During addiction treatment, there are many kinds of programs that can help. Recreation therapy is a form of experiential therapy that is a common choice for patients residing at an addiction treatment center. Ultimately, this kind of treatment works to help improve the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of the individual.

Patients engage in physical and other recreational activities as a tool. It helps them better discover what is going on with them. Recreational therapy is a common technique that is often used on children because they are unable to identify emotions and feelings as well as many adults. recreational therapy

Come to find out most people are generally this way. A recreational therapy program in sober living in Los Angeles can help you to heal wounds that talk therapy won’t.

What is Recreational Therapy?

Recreation therapy is just what it says, treatment in the form of recreation. Traditionalists may wonder what the sense of recreational therapy is. During the recreational therapy program, patients engage in recreational activities that are fun and enjoyable to do. Recreation therapy may include things like sports, art projects, community outings, crafts, or dance. Sometimes, recreational therapy uses light, gentle movements like tai chi and yoga. Typically, this kind of treatment happens anywhere from several times a week to every other week.

However, it can be beneficial for people that have not been themselves for a long time or who have been out of the loop of society for a while. People that are looking to heal from substance abuse stand a better chance at long term sobriety when they add alternative therapies to their toolbox.

A recreation therapy program can include the following activities:

  • Sports, dance, and acting
  • Outings, group outings, and yoga
  • Thai chi and martial arts
  • Art and crafts
  • Working with animals and hiking

As you can see, there are many ways that recreation therapy can be carried out. When you look for a recreational therapy program, you will want to find something that you enjoy doing. If you hate drawing, then don’t opt for a program that involves drawing. The point here is to do something that you love to do, and that comes naturally, this way, emotions from deep down may be allowed to bubble up, and you can discuss them with your counselor.

The Difference in Recreational Therapy

Recreation therapy encompasses a sense of health, which includes both the absence of illness and extends to the enhancement of cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and leisure development. The unique method of recreation therapy that is different from other medicines is the practice of recreational activities that are designed for intervention strategies. 

Although many of the therapy goals recreation therapists are similar to other disciplines of rehab, the way the recreation therapist accomplishes those goals is what differentiates this unique service. 

Incorporating the patient’s interest and family helps to make the therapy process significant and relevant. Recreational therapy is particularly individualized to each person’s past, present, and future lifestyle and interests. 

The recreational therapist has a unique aspect regarding the cognitive, social, and physical and leisure requirements of the patient. Recreational therapists construct the concept of healthy living into treatment, assuring improved functioning, and enhancing self-sufficiency through all aspects of life. 

Ways That Recreational Therapy Can Help 

During an addiction, people will use drugs and alcohol to feel normal. Unfortunately, this means that they may have problems relaxing or having fun once they stop using it. These therapy options help patients reduce tension and unwind. They also work to fill up the many hours that the client once used for their addiction.


A patient’s therapy during recovery is a very personal journey. There are many recreation therapy programs to choose from. One of the benefits of being in Southern California is that you have beautiful weather all year long. Recreational therapy indoors and out is possible all year. 

Recreational treatment can be carried out in many ways. It can be done by playing team sports, doing individual activities in groups, or it can be an activity that is completed entirely alone in the presence of a clinician. Here are some of the things that you can learn while doing recreation therapy:

  • Social skills
  • Coping skills
  • How to reduce Your depression
  • Deal with anxiety
  • Learn to be confident

Participating in a sober living center will immerse you in a community where you will be able to learn how to live a sober life again. You will relearn how to interact with others, work on your social skills, and continue to do recreation therapy exercises that help to keep you sober. 

Continuing recreation therapy after your addiction treatment experience will help you to build new hobbies in place of drinking or using drugs. When you feel like you want to use, you will have taught yourself to paint, or bake, or do any other activity that you learned during your recovery.

Recreational therapy can help you get on your way to being a sober person faster than talk therapy alone. When you are looking for programs to help you with a substance abuse problem, look for one that includes alternative treatments such as recreation therapy. You will learn a lot about yourself and have fun doing it!

What Does A Recreational Therapist Do?

Recreation Therapists are professionally trained practitioners who:

  • Individually assess each patient
  • Design distinct therapeutic goals
  • Plan an intervention
  • Implement safe and effective recreational therapy interventions
  • Document interventions based on patient progress
  • Assess the effectiveness of intervention programs
  • Manage recreation therapy 

Interventions Practiced By Recreational Therapists:

  • Behavior correction
  • Cognitive retraining
  • Loss counseling
  • Guided imagery
  • Re-motivation
  • Reality adjustment
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Stress management
  • Anger management
  • Coping skills
  • Relapse prevention
  • Biofeedback-based relaxation methods
  • Family interventions
  • Group interventions
  • Leisure training
  • Re-socialization
  • Reminiscence
  • Social skills education
  • Community alliance
  • Wellness practice
  • Agriculture
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Aquatic treatment
  • Expressive arts
  • Adapted sports

What Are The Outcomes Of Recreational Therapy?

Modern research shows a significant amount of favorable health outcomes that come from recreational therapy programs. 

Improvement in Cognitive Status

Patients engaging in multiple structured recreational therapy interventions can give the following positive results, which include:

  • Enhanced memory, concentration, and perception
  • Heightened organizational abilities
  • Improved problem-solving and decision making skills
  • Behavior management tactics
  • Enhanced awareness of surroundings
  • Reduced disorientation and confusion

Improvement in Physical Health Status

People who participated in several structured recreation therapy sessions accomplished results which include:

  • Increase in physical skill development
  • Enhanced mobility and muscular strength
  • Enhanced ambulation, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Finely tuned motor skills
  • Development of perceptual-motor skills, athletic skill, balance, and agility
  • Increase in respiratory and cardiovascular functioning
  • Growth of endurance, strength, and coordination
  • Reduced pain and stiffness
  • Decreased need for medications
  • Diminished disabilities linked with more expensive health care costs
  • A decrease in developments related to secondary disability

Improvement in Psychosocial Status

People who participated in several structured recreation therapy interventions accomplished results which include:

  • Developed self-confidence, self-efficiency, and recognizing disability
  • Elevated trust, communication, and cooperation skills
  • Increased skills at managing boredom, stress, and anxiety
  • Expanded skills in communication, contention, and support for self
  • Reduced social isolation and increased connection with others
  • Elevated verbal communication
  • Decreased levels of depression
  • Increased feelings of well being
  • Progressed confidence and life satisfaction
  • Enhanced thoughts of individual control and ability
  • Enhanced relaxation
  • Refined body image

Improvement in Life, Recreation, and Community Activities

People who participated in various structured recreation therapy interventions accomplished results which include:

  • Increase in community function and barrier control
  • Establishing new life projects for continual growth
  • Enhanced ability to cope with substance-related triggers
  • Enhanced decision-making skills
  • Heightened sober lifestyle and personality
  • Improved operative independence for community living
  • Increased capacity to structure time
  • Improved quality of optional time use

Does Recreational Therapy Work?

When patients start recreation therapy, it quickly works to change their overall outlook on life. A recreational therapy program will help to improve the individual’s mood, sense of well-being, and independence. It can help people reconnect with their peers and boost their social skills. Depending on the program, this therapy can also improve the individual’s physical strength and motor skills. Before long, it can work to boost the individual’s work-life balance, improve their time management skills, and give them a better quality of life.

Residential therapy programs allow individuals to get help through evidence-based, time-tested programs, which helps patients work through psychological changes in a healthy, comfortable way. Because of this, it helps to support other rehab programs that help clients stop using drugs and alcohol.

Studies also show that recreation therapy helps patients relearn the abilities and skills that they lost during their addiction. These are skills like excellent motor skills, emotional control, and time management. When addiction specialists combine these programs with traditional methods, the results are even better.

Recreational therapy works in a significant way as distraction therapy. Sometimes, the easiest way to stay sober is by distracting the mind during a craving or withdrawal symptoms. With addiction treatment programs, recreational therapy options like mountain climbing, painting, 

and art classes can help clients distract their minds from their cravings.

Getting the Help You Need With Recreational Therapy

Sometimes, people feel shame, guilt, or anxiety about their addiction. It can contact like they are the only person in the world to experience this kind of difficulty. Over time, many people struggle to hide their drinking habits or drug abuse. At some point, a fantastic experience or a comment from a close friend causes the individual to realize that they have a problem.

When someone has a problem with drugs or alcohol, help is available. In a five-star, luxury setting, individuals can discover the support they need to recover. No one has to suffer through the pain and difficulties of addiction alone. At our Los Angeles rehab center, clients can discover options such as:

Whether you have relapsed before or are starting rehab for the first time, LA Detox can help. Our luxury addiction treatment caters to anybody who needs help becoming sober. With our high-quality therapies and experienced staff, you can take the first step toward a better life.

LA Detox offers recreation therapy, contact us today to find out more about our therapy programs and aftercare programs.