Recreation Therapy and Benefits

What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation Therapy is a distinct and identifiable health care profession in Canada and internationally.

The work of recreation therapists differ from other health care professionals as evidence based leisure activities and the client’s enjoyable and rewarding interests are used as intervention to meet the client’s psychological and physical health, recovery and well – being.

Recreation therapists:

  • Support individuals to draw on their strengths and abilities to reduce or eliminate functional, societal or attitudinal barriers that obstruct or prevent them from optimal participation and engagement in meaningful, purposeful and constructive leisure behaviours.
  • Work with clients to enhance motor, social and cognitive functioning, build confidence, develop coping skills, and integrate skills learned in treatment settings into community settings. These processes support the goal of assisting the individual to maximize their optimal levels of independence, productivity, optimal health, well-being and the highest quality of life.
    • Are valuable members of the health care team and collaborate with other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
    • Work in urban and rural settings throughout the continuum of health care including rehabilitation, addictions and mental health, acute care, community, home care, adult day programs, continuing care and private practice. 
    • Provide services to a broad range of clients with a complexity of health conditions across the age continuum that includes children, youth, adults and seniors.


Since 1985, Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) represents and promotes the development of professional recreation therapy services in Alberta.

Benefits of Therapeutic Recreation for Albertans