Frequently Asked Questions About Recreational Therapy

What is Recreational Therapy?

Recreational therapy or RT offers its clients the skills and tools needed to function in society and increase one’s quality of life. Recreational therapists are healthcare providers who use recreational therapy interventions for improved functioning of individuals with illness or disabling conditions. Recreational therapy is a medical modality that uses therapy, in the form of recreation and education as a means of meeting one’s physical, mental, emotional and social goals.

What are the benefits of Recreational Therapy?

Many benefits may include: Promotes Independence, Recover basic Motor functioning, Reduces Depression, Improves Reasoning, Recuperates Body Mechanics, Builds Confidence, Diminishes Stress, Moderates Anxiety, Boosts Coping Abilities, Refines Socialization Skills, Restores Energy, Documented Improvements and Reactions.

What are the typical patient goals?

Increase appropriate social interaction skills, Increase physical endurance, Increase in awareness of resources or adaptive equipment, Time management, Money management, Decreasing frustration tolerance, Reducing impulsiveness, Increase gross and fine motor coordination, Demonstrate awareness of safety skills within community and at home, Increase active range of motion, Decrease depression.

What do I need to get started?

Our referral form needs to be completed and a prescription from the physician is what we need to get started.

What is the length of treatment for a client?

Treatment length is dependent on what the needs/concerns/issues/interests of client and the health care team. Some clients are very short term while some clients require longer term treatment.

How long is a recreational therapy session usually?

Our sessions are personalized to the individual’s specific needs. Every individual’s interests and skill level are different. Therefore, sessions are catered to specific needs and ability level of the client. Because our services are very subjective in nature, there is not a defined length of a therapy session. Session length usually depends on what the activities planned are for that particular session. =

How long does the initial evaluation usually take?

It can usually take between 2-4 hours. Each client case is very different. Some evaluations will take longer if there are more issues or concerns the client and his/her family would like to discuss.

How does Recreational Therapy differ from Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy?

Occupational Therapy focuses mostly on daily activities of living. OT usually focuses on how to relearn to dress and cook with your injury. Sometimes OTs can address recreation and leisure, but the bulk of their focus is to work on goals that assist in learning to get acclimated to injury.

Strive would enhance what’s learned through OT and take those people out into their community. There is no use knowing how to dress yourself again if you never want to leave your house again. We connect what’s learned in the hospital setting and help apply it in the real life situations. Strive uses recreation, sports and leisure opportunities to assist in getting to a better quality of life.

Physical Therapy generally focuses on large muscle movements, for example walking, lifting and what not. PTs goals are mostly to get your body back to a physical state it was prior to injury and/or retrain your body how to work with its new injury. PTs usually help you to walk again.

Strive would help take “learning to walk” or maneuver your wheelchair in the community. Strive will assess how to safely reintegrate into the life our clients want to live. There is no use learning all of this information if you are never getting off of the couch. Strive combats depression and obesity and other secondary health issues by keeping clients active while working with other adjunct therapies.

What is the difference between an Aid (personal aid) and a Recreational Therapist?

A personal aid is someone who has had training or schooling to meet the daily living needs of a client i.e. bathing, eating, dressing, etc. A Recreational Therapist is trained to look at one’s personal lifestyle and identify the needs to increase their quality of life. An RT will then add activities, identify barriers to such activities and creatively look at adaptations to assist in a more independent lifestyle. Strives focus is to positively impact our clients lives socially, physically and emotionally through developing a plan to incorporate recreation, sports and leisure in their daily activities.

What types of activities do you do with your clients?

Our approach is very individualized. Just as there are different goals for every person, there is not a blanket set of activities for each client. Strive’s Recreational Therapists work one on one with our clients and their families to create measurable goals and to discuss what kind of activities we can incorporate to reach those goals. Strive has therapists who specialize in aquatics therapy, massage therapy, adaptive sports, and much, much more.

Are your therapists licensed/certified?

All of our therapists are Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) or CTRS eligible (meaning, a therapist is just waiting to take their CTRS exam). Therapists/TR aides are those who have taken TR classes at an accredited university/college and are meeting or have met the needs to qualify to take the national examination offered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). To qualify for the NCTRC exam, the therapist must have completed a bachelor’s degree in TR or similar coursework and completed an internship in Recreational Therapy. Each state determines if additional licensure to be a CTRS is needed. Currently, Michigan and Florida do not require licensure as of yet.

What populations do you work with?

We can work with all populations of people with disabilities and ages. Our usual clientele are those with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) as TBI injuries are considered a “silent” disability where one can have a TBI and those around them wouldn’t always necessarily recognize it. We also have worked with those with mental health issues, paralysis, and other disabilities.

Do you partner with other companies/facilities?

Sometimes, this is something that is handled on an individual basis.

What areas do you cover?

Strive covers most of Michigan and South Florida. We are slowly working on expansion to other states. We may already be in your state. Contact us.

Who pays?

Our three ways of reimbursement are Auto Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and private pay. Our non-profit entity allows for us to service those who do not have the before mentioned ability to pay for TR services. Contact us to see what we can work out for services if you need to consider being a non-profit qualified client.

Can you bill medicare/medicaid ?

Unfortunately, not at this time.

What happens if I have a coordination of benefits?

Strive would bill/contact the primary carrier first to get the necessary documentation to then bill the secondary carrier.

Do you accept interns?

Strive will occasionally take Summer Interns (those starting in May) looking for class credit in Therapeutic Recreation. This varies year to year because of client loads, administrative availability, etc. Internships are unpaid and for class credit only. If you would like to apply for an internship please email Stella Husch at for consideration and attach your cover letter and copy of your resume.

What sets Strive apart from other competitors?

Strive does not have many competitors to begin with. Those competitors that do exist do not provide services to the extent that Strive does via physical location or who provide solely in home recreational therapy. Many of Strives contractual therapists as well as the owner have been identified and received state wide and national recognition for their work and service. Strive initially started as a non- profit organization. Ideally, it is the company’s foundation to continue to give back to those in need. Strive believes in doing good things for others… always.

Can family participate?

This generally depends on the activity or action plan that is designed for each client and the client’s wants/comfort level. However, Strive encourages family to use this time to allow clients to have their own “independent” time. Often, clients develop a better rapport with our therapists and even communicate things more often when family is not present. There are many occasions family and friends are able to attend activities though. Attendance is not denied.

What if my client/family member is apprehensive?

The initial assessment is meant to be as easy as possible for our clients. Doing such helps the client/family member to learn more about the service and hopefully build a rapport before feeling “trapped” in a therapy. A therapist will come to your home and in an ideal setting, have an open conversation with family members and medical caseworkers about their goals and interests.

How do I sign someone up?

In order to begin service we need a referral form for each new client and a Doctors prescription for “Recreational Therapy through Strive eval and treat.” You can find our referral form here on website link and either email it to or fax it to 248-922-1235.
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