What is Therapeutic Recreation?


Therapeutic Recreation is a specialized area in the field of recreation that focuses specifically on providing recreation and inclusion services for people with disabilities or health challenges to improve quality of life, enhance well-being,  and promote wellness in their families. Services are provided by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist.

Participation in recreation programs is the ultimate goal of therapeutic recreation, either in adaptive programs or in programs with their peers without disabilities. Recreation therapists assess, formulate treatment and support plans that address the area for interventions. Some of the interventions we use to facilitate the growth of the participant are: 

  • Recreation activities
  • ​Recreation skill building
  • Expressive Arts
  • Therapeutic Drumming
  • Leisure Education
  • Social Skills Training
  • Drama (puppets, role playing, expressive play)
  • Movement
  • Floortime therapy
  • Cooperative Games
  • Teambuilding
  • ​Group Initiatives 
  • Family Interventions
  • Community Integration
  • Value Clarification
  • Sensory Stimulation
  • Play Skills
  • ​Validation Therapy


Recreation Inclusion Consultant

Vicky Pitner, CTRS​, CDP, CPE

As a Certified Therapeutic Recreation​

Specialist, I have thirty five years

working with adolescents and adults recovering from substance abuse, and children and adults effected by addiction to experience joy and the true meaning of leisure. After working in clinal settings for fifteen years, I transitioned to providing therapeutic recreation services to include children, and adolescents in their community recreation programs. Often children children and adolescents  with  ADHD, ADD, autism and children  and children with behavior challenges they are not successful in summer day camps, sport programs, after school programs, and other out out-of-school time activities children can succeed with structure and learning recreation skills.

As a Certified Parent Educator, with the International Network for Children and Families,  I teach parenting classes 

in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and private classes through Skype helping parents to  understand their child's challenging behaviors. When parents and program staff work together in developing practical strategies to help to be successful at home and in the community allow children to succeed, make friends, buildself confidence, and develop social skills.  

I believe that recreational activities teaches children social, life, and problem solving skills,
and how to negotiate boundaries and limits they will face as adults. Children with disabilities need these basic skills just as child without disabilities and when all children play together they can learn together.

So whether you are an agency looking for training or a parent wanting recreation therapy services for your child, together we can work toward finding the balance for a happy and fulfilling life. 



Certified HealthRhythm Drumming Facilitator
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Certified Dementia Practitioner
Certified Parent Educator