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How does recreational therapy help a brain injury survivor and what are some of the outcomes that you work towards with survivors?

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Medical Professional

Answer transcribed from Brightway's interview with recreational therapist Allison Huck:


Recreation therapy can help brain injury survivors in a lot of different ways. We provide opportunities for successful recreation and leisure participation, both through skill development. This includes learning new things, adaptations, adaptive equipment, and community resource education. In the brain injury world, we play an important role in educating patients and families, where we go over reviewing safe and unsafe activities to engage in after discharge. We make sure that patients know what they can go home and safely engage in, but also educate the families so that when everyone goes home, everyone's all on the same page.

Clinical Specialist

Answer transcribed from the Brightway Answers interview with clinical specialist Marlene Rivera:

I like this question because it helps us to frame recreation therapy separately from activity specialists.  When many individuals initially hear about recreation therapy, they may think of games and activities. These are part of the profession, but recreation therapy services for brain injury survivors specifically can include activity-based interventions that assess their free time, their ability to adjust and cope with their free time.  When individuals sustain an injury, their life changes in a way where they may not be engaging in the same tasks or responsibilities that took up most of their time pre-injury.  So if they're no longer working, they suddenly have an abundance of free time - how do you adjust to that?  We use recreation therapy to introduce activity-based interventions to enhance an individual's overall quality of life post injury.  We believe effective free time management is key to identifying the most stabilizing content and pace of a brain injury survivor's daily schedule.