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Recreational Therapy

According to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), Recreational Therapy (TR) is defined as a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions that are based upon the assessed needs of individuals with a disability, an illness, or a disabling condition.

A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) has acquired a body of knowledge that includes theory, philosophy, and practice, that spans a wide range of disabling physical and mental conditions.  When that knowledge is applied, the CTRS addresses the total person and the associative life factors that may apply to an individual’s specific disability or illness.  Professional recognition is granted by NCTRC to individuals who apply and meet established standards for certification which include education, internship, and continuing professional development.  The CTRS credentials are awarded after the completion of those specific qualifications and the candidate has successfully completed the international computer-based certification exam.

The scope of Recreational Therapy practice includes the services of assessment, planning, design, implementation, evaluation, documentation of specific therapeutic interventions, management, consultation, research, and education.  This occurs for both individuals and groups that require specific Recreational Therapy intervention.

Recreational Therapy and the CTRS credentials are recognized by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities as well as many governmental regulatory agencies.

The purpose of the TR process is…

To assess, evaluate and treat individuals/groups in an effort to improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in order to facilitate full participation in life. 

The goal of the TR process is ....

To restore, remediate or rehabilitate in order to improve the individual’s functioning and independence as well as reduce or eliminate the effects of their disability, illness, or disabling condition.

To help individuals recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities, build confidence, and socialize effectively to enable greater independence.

To teach individuals techniques that assist to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety.

To integrate individuals with a disability, an illness, or a disabling condition into the community by using community resources and recreational activities.

The primary purpose of Recreational Therapy practice is…

To improve health and quality of life by reducing impairments of body function and structure, reducing activity limitations, participation restrictions, and environmental barriers of the individuals served.

Internship/Field Work Experience/Volunteering

Internship:

The UMHS Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers a Recreational Therapy internship that meets the criteria to sit for the NCTRC exam. 

If you are interested in applying for an internship please access and complete the Student Application.

Applications for:                                                                    Are due by:
            Fall Placement (September – December)                             March 1st
            Spring Placement (January – April)                                      July 1st
            Summer Placement (May – August)                                     November 1st

Once the application is completed please email a copy along with a cover letter and your resume to devynb@med.umich.edu

On the date that the applications are due, you will receive an email containing the process to confirm a date for shadowing and interviewing.

Field Work Experience:

The UMHS Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers a Recreational Therapy Field Work Experience that meets the requirements for most universities. 

If you are interested in applying for a field work experience please access and complete the Student Application.

Once the application is completed please email a copy along with a cover letter and your resume to devynb@med.umich.edu

Volunteer Opportunities:

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity please contact:
University of Michigan Health Systems Volunteer Services

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