Michelle Taylor - TR

background of therapeutic recreation

Requirements and competencies
that emerging TR specialists need to evaluate

  • Theories/understandings of play, recreation, and leisure. Human development throughout the lifespan.
  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Basic assumptions about human nature.
  • Etiology, course, and prognosis of various diagnostic categories.
  • Disease Sequelae.
  • Effects of stress on individuals.
  • Perception of clients as "whole persons" not just as individuals possessing symptoms.
  • Effects of major drugs.
  • Health and safety information for working with clients.
  • Medical and psychiatric terminology.
  • Principles of rehabilitation.
  • Concepts of health and wellness.
  • Attitudes toward illness and disability.
  • Self as a therapeutic agent.
  • Leadership of various recreation/leisure activities parentheses example, arts and crafts, camping, games, sports)
  • Theory and technique of group leadership.
  • Community leisure resources for client involvement.
  • Activity analysis procedures.
  • Careful selection of activities to meet treatment aims.
  • Interpersonal relationship skills.
  • Interview skills.
  • Leisure counseling theory and technique.
  • Client assessment.
  • Treatment goals formulation.
  • Stating behavioral objectives.
  • Treatment/rehabilitation planning theory and application of treatment/rehabilitation approaches (example, client centered approach) learning/teaching principles.
  • Behavior management techniques evaluation of intervention outcomes.
  • Client records and documentation (example, charging on clients)
  • Referral procedures.
  • Assistant techniques and adaptive devices for specific illnesses and disabilities.
  • Ethical and professional standards of practice.
  • Legal aspects of therapeutic recreation.
  • Procedures for mainstreaming and integration.
  • Giving and receiving clinical supervision.
  • Role and function of healthcare systems.
  • Role of therapeutic recreation as a component of health care.
  • Role and function of interdisciplinary treatment teams.
  • Role and function of kindred professionals.
  • Current professional issues and trends (example, accreditation, credentialing)
  • Historical foundations of therapeutic recreation as they influence the philosophy of practice.

Types of healthcare professionals

Medical doctors. Medical doctors use surgery, drugs, and other methods of medical care to prevent and alleviate disease. There are over 30 different specializations of medical doctors. Examples of these are psychiatrists (Who specialize in mental and emotional disorders), pediatricians (who specialize in the care and treatment of children), and neurologists (who deal with diseases of the nervous system).

Nurses. Registered nurses have responsibility for giving nursing care to patients, carrying out physicians’ orders, and supervising other nursing personnel such as licensed practical nurses, nurse’s aids, orderlies, and attendants.

Psychologists. Psychologists usually hold PhD or PS why D. Degrees in psychology. They engage in psychological testing, diagnosis, counseling, and other therapies.

Social workers. Social workers use case work and group work methods to assist clients and their families in making social adjustments and in dealing with social systems. They prepare the social histories of newly admitted clients and are often the primary professionals to assist clients with community reintegration.

Play therapists. Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses play activities and toys with children to permit the expression of and working through emotional conflicts. Symbolic play is seen as a means for the child to surface problems so that they can be dealt with

Vocational rehabilitation counselors. Vocational rehabilitation counselors (often referred to as open quotation vote rehab close quotation counselors) are concerned with work or career counseling of clients in treatment and rehabilitation programs. They assess client vocational interests and potentials and attempts to find appropriate training or replacements to meet clients abilities.

Physical therapists. Physical therapists are concerned with restoration of physical function and prevention of disability following disease, injury, or loss of a body part. They apply therapeutic exercise and functional training procedures in physical rehabilitation.

Occupational therapists. Occupational therapists use purposeful activities with persons with limitations due to physical injury, illness, psychosocial disorders, developmental or learning disabilities, economic and cultural differences, or aging processes in order to increase independent functioning, maintain health, and prevent disability.

Music therapists. Music therapists use music as a medium to reach and involve clients in treatment. Musical therapy is found primarily in psychiatric treatment programs rather than in centers for a physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Art therapists. Art therapists use art as a medium to promote self-awareness, nonverbal expression, and human interaction. Art therapy is used with both physical and psychiatric rehabilitation, although it is most widely used with psychiatric treatment.

Dance therapists. Dance therapists use movement as a medium to work with clients. It is a nonverbal means of expression employed with both individuals and groups. Although not found exclusively in psychiatric treatment programs it is most commonly used with people experiencing problems in mental health. Activity Therapy and Rehabilitation Therapy Services. The terms activity therapy and rehabilitation therapy are regularly used as an umbrella terms for administrative purpose in order to encompass several of the action oriented therapies. In addition to therapeutic recreation, activity therapy and Rehabilitation therapy departments are composed of occupational therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and Art therapy. Sometimes vocational rehabilitation counseling is also located within an activity therapy or rehabilitation therapy department.

Additional TR Information

For a complete glossary of terminology and acronyms used in TR, click here.
To read the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, click here.

Other TR related links:
Utah state licensure application:
ATRA Code of Ethics:
NCTRC Certification standards: