Rehabilitation Services


Recreation Therapy

Recreation therapists at NewYork-Presbyterian provide treatment and education and offer recreational opportunities to improve and maintain your physical, cognitive, emotional, and social function. Through care overseen by a physiatrist (rehabilitation medicine physician) or another doctor, they work with you to enhance your independent living skills and overall quality of life.

About Recreation Therapists

Recreation therapists have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and are certified by the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification. The certification requires a combination of education and experience before a professional is considered eligible for examination.

How Recreation Therapy Works

There is an element of “play” in therapeutic recreation that can improve your emotional, social, and physical functioning. Recreation therapists work with you to identify leisure activities and hobbies that may be useful during your therapy. Examples include pottery, a sports activity, pool exercises, dancing, music, or any activity you enjoy. Your recreation therapist will speak with you first about what you enjoy and combine that with knowledge about your healthcare needs to tailor a plan of recreation therapy that benefits you.

Who Benefits from Recreation Therapy?

Recreation therapy has something for anyone learning to live with or recover from an illness or disability. Examples of people who have benefited include those with:

  • Autism
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Depression
  • Injuries, including brain trauma
  • Long-term hospitalization
  • Physical challenges
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder