Recreational therapy includes providing treatment services and recreation activities to individuals using a variety of techniques including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings. With services provided and supervised by a certified recreation specialist, recreational therapy is used as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery, and well-being.

Recreational therapists treat and help maintain the physical and emotional well-being of their clients. They do this by seeking to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety while recovering basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities. Recreational therapy can build self-confidence and needed social skills. Under the guidance of a trained recreational therapist, the client can begin to release and explore negative feelings of anger, hurt, or shame as they relate to past experiences that may have blocked or linger still.

The therapy is often used in the treatment of trauma, eating disorders, behavior disorders, anger management, grief and loss recovery, and, substance abuse.

It is also recommended for those who wish to be free of painful, unhappy, or otherwise bad feelings from past experiences, to change the nature of their current and future relationships, and to live up to their full potential.

The Growth of Recreational Therapy For Addiction Treatment

A form of experiential therapy that dates back to the early 1900s, recreational therapy, also known as adventure therapy, has proven an effective therapeutic approach for addiction recovery.

Recreational therapy can be used to treat depression, childhood trauma, anxiety, and anger management. Usually consisting of outdoor activities, the benefits of this therapy include:

  • Learning to trust yourself and others
  • Sense of accomplishment from physical and mental challenges
  • Team-building and leadership skills
  • Stronger self-esteem and greater self-confidence
  • Developing problem-solving skills
  • Emotional discovery and healing
  • Facing fears head on without numbing them
  • Improvement in fine motor skills and coordination
  • Helps patients step out of their comfort zone
  • Awareness of strengths and weaknesses

Recreational therapy has shown huge growth and development over the past 20 years or so. Today, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that there are over 19,000 recreational therapists in the U.S.

According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, “Recreational therapy is a service used to restore, remediate, and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life’s activities, to promote health and wellness.”

The DOL also suggests that recreational therapy will continue to grow, what with increases in the therapy being offered in acute care hospitals and outpatient facilities, day treatment settings, and community living situations.

Recreational therapy, or RT, can improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual functioning. With the functioning and clarity offered through recreational therapy, people are enabled to participate more fully in life.

Types of Recreational Therapy For Substance Abuse

Recreational therapy includes—but is not limited to—providing activities for people using a variety of techniques. These techniques include—but are not limited to:

  • arts and crafts-
  • interactions with animals
  • sports and games
  • outdoor activities like kayaking, ropes courses, and rock climbing
  • dance and movement
  • drama
  • music and art
  • community outings

Adventure Therapy

Adventure therapy is a type of recreational therapy that offers supervised outdoor activities, such as kayaking, ropes courses, canoeing, fly fishing, rock climbing, hiking, and the like. It has proven effective in the treatment of depression, childhood trauma, anxiety, and anger management, while also promoting team-building and improving fine motor skills and coordination.

Music and Art Therapy

Music and art therapy is another type of recreational therapy. These therapies offer people the opportunity to express themselves creatively. They are also effective in coping with stress, grief, and loss. One of the goals of these types of therapy is providing insight into people’s emotions and encouraging communication between loved ones.

Art can produce a powerful release of feelings that can be healing to the mind, body, and spirit. A licensed art therapist offers encouragement and guidance while emphasizing the process of the artistic creation, not the final product. Art therapy can be a creative tool for sharing memories and exploring coping skills.

Music therapy is a creative opportunity for people and families to express emotions in an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. This therapy can include songwriting, performance, and vocal or musical improvisation. No musical background or experience is necessary to enjoy its benefits.

Meditation Therapy

Meditation therapy has been used all over the world for many years and contains many possible health benefits. It has been known to manage pain and reduce stress. Meditation therapy is widely practiced and can also relieve nervous system complaints such as headaches and depression.

This is done by people changing their brainwave state into theta, which is relaxing, or alpha, which is resting. When a person is able to make his or her brain rhythm decrease in this way, the heart rate, metabolism, and breathing rate all slow down as the blood pressure lowers. Meanwhile, endorphins are released into the system as the mind calms.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy consists of direct interactions between people and horses. The interactions include grooming, feeding, haltering, and other assorted task-oriented groundwork that slowly yet surely builds a relationship between human and horse. Equine therapy can be fun, hard, and sometimes frustrating, but often illuminating.

It is an evidence-based therapy that has shown efficacy in patients with depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism, and other chronic mental disorders. Equine therapy has also been shown to be a highly effective form of therapy in the treatment of substance use disorder and related mental health issues.

With their lack of ego and ability to pick up on body language as a true indicator of intention, horses are incredible teachers. Horses have been utilized to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans, reduce recidivism among convicts, and aid troubled teens. 

Recovering Through Our Recreational Therapy In Kentucky For Addiction Treatment

At JourneyPure Bowling Green, we know how difficult quitting drugs and alcohol can be. Every day, we teach and demonstrate to our clientele how to live a successful and sober lifestyle.

From helping you manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms to discovering the coping mechanisms to deal with everyday life, the certified staff at JourneyPure Bowling Green is here for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us now for more information. Your call is free and confidential, and there is no obligation to enroll. Let us help you find your way to recovery!

Get the best treatment for yourself or a loved one.

Fill out the form below and we will reach out to you to let you know how we can help you get your life back!

Blog

Stay Up To Date

  • neurofeedback therapy

    What is Neurofeedback Therapy?

    Mental illness has long been shadowed by stigma. This stigma kept people from seeking help and limited the options people had when they did try to seek help. Luckily for those suffering there has been an opening of support and resources for all types

    LEARN MORE
  • songwriting therapy

    Songwriting Therapy Heals Patients in Recovery

    For many, especially those undergoing treatment for addiction and mental health issues, it can be difficult to express feelings verbally. Addiction is rarely the only struggle one’s facing when they enter treatment; it’s often coupled with some t

    LEARN MORE
  • The Heroin Epidemic in Kentucky

    Known as “The Bluegrass State,” Kentucky is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby, is notorious for its bourbon, coal mines and even fried chicken. What it’s lesser known is the devastating effect heroin is having on families. There is a hero

    LEARN MORE
  • Finding Hope through Family Therapy

    At JourneyPure Bowling Green, we feel very strongly that family involvement throughout one’s addiction treatment is essential for long-term recovery. Organizations including the National Institute on Drug Abuse and U.S. Department of Health and Hum

    LEARN MORE
  • A Guide to 12-Step Meetings

    As part of your continuing care plan, it will be recommended you attend regular 12-step meetings for support and encouragement. Understanding the founding principles and the general meeting guidelines can help ease some fears and anxiety you might be

    LEARN MORE
  • Sober Fall Activities Near Bowling Green

    Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the cooler weather and head out for some festive family activities. A major contributor in long-term recovery and preventing relapse is steering clear of triggers. The best way to do that is change your o

    LEARN MORE
  • Michaela’s Story: Road to Recovery

      It is estimated more than two-thirds of people that struggle with addiction have experienced some type of childhood trauma. For Michaela S., it was a family tragedy. She was just 9-years-old when she lost her brother in an ATV accident. He was

    LEARN MORE
  • 12-Step Meetings: What to Expect

    If you’ve just completed a treatment program and are looking to get connected to people in recovery or if you’d like to stop drinking or using drugs and are looking for some support, 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonym

    LEARN MORE
  • Staying Motivated in Recovery

    Staying Motivated in Recovery

    Addiction is a deadly disease that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One minute you think you have your life under control and the next minute you realize you are lying to everyone, including yourself. You have difficulty managing your wo

    LEARN MORE
  • How to Stop Enabling an Addict

    Addiction is a tough disease — both for the person with the problem, as well as their friends and families, who may feel helpless in their ability to keep a loved one out of harm’s way. Though addictions only affect the addict themselves on a phy

    LEARN MORE
  • 10 Common Fears of Rehab and How to Overcome Them

    Making the decision to enter a treatment facility to get help with an addiction is certainly not easy. There are many common fears of entering rehab that come up when contemplating this decision. The good news is, you’re not alone in feeling this w

    LEARN MORE
  • 5 Stress Relief Tools for Recovering Addicts

    Family problems, traffic jams and looming deadlines. Everybody has experienced stress at some point, but for individuals suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, stress can be destructive. Stress overload – or an inability

    LEARN MORE

Testimonials

  • Everyone who works here is very kind and helpful. They really want what is best for you. The housing is super nice and comfortable. I am very pleased with the time I spent here.

    Emily

    Review

  • JourneyPure Bowling Green has changed my life this is the first time I have ever been to a Rehabilitation Center and while it was not at all what I expected, it was exactly what I needed.

    Angela

    Review

  • Great place. I learned much here about my addiction and I feel that I now have the tools to control it. They have great a great staff and the accommodations are top notch.

    Terry F

    Review

  • My family member is still sober a year and a half after his treatment stay here.

    Brittany

    Review

  • This place was GREAT! I feel like they helped me with much more than I expected.

    Tim M

    Review

  • I loved my time here and I learned a lot about my recovery. All the staff were great and really helped me in the areas that I needed help in.

    Caleb H

    Review

  • The people here are very nice and will do whatever it takes to help you out, they are very helpful, its a great place to start off your sobriety

    Steven

    Review

  • I have enjoyed my stay and feel very confident in my recovery. Everyone here has been wonderful and very helpful. I would recommend Journey Pure to anyone seeking recovery.

    Frank

    Review