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Hillside is proud to offer daily Recreation Therapy services to our clients. Our department is staffed with Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) via the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.  Our vision is to empower youth with leisure values and life skills to create happier, healthier, lives worth living.

What is Recreation Therapy (RT)?

According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), Recreation Therapy is a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.

We focus on:

  • Treatment Services – We provide therapeutically-driven activities that provide experiential application of DBT skills and address clinical symptoms (depression, anxiety, impulsivity, mood instability) related to treatment plans. RT also helps kids develop and improve social skills, communication, increased self- esteem, and improved physical health.
  • Restoring, remediating, and rehabilitating – Our goal is to get kids to a level of social and emotional functioning that allows them to participate in sports, clubs, organizations, and other activities that allow for social interaction and effective coping once they return to the community.  We create specific interventions geared towards improving deficits and overcoming barriers.
  • Increasing level of function and independence – Many of our youth experience impaired social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.  We use recreation therapy to help improve these areas and allow for our kids to live productive, successful lives outside of Hillside.
  • Promotion of Health and Wellness – This includes programming that focuses on physical, mental, social, and emotional health.  We work with children to help them obtain skills and values that support overall well-being.

RT interventions include team building activities, Horticulture Therapy, expressive arts, sports and games, community-based outings and therapeutic West African drumming classes.

For more information on RT at Hillside, please contact RecreationTherapy@hside.org

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