It’s International Recreational Therapy Month
In honor of International Recreational Therapy Month, Wasatch Crest’s Director of Recreational Therapy, Adelinn Cook, TRS, CTRS, shares details about our robust recreational therapy program. You can watch her full presentation below.
What do recreational therapists do?
Recreational therapists use art, music, sports, games, and relaxation to assist clients in the improvement of their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Recreational therapists work to decrease and eliminate barriers to participation in leisure and recreation activities. They also help clients reintegrate into a vibrant, active community.
Recreational therapy enhances people’s independence and allows them to actively participate in life. Clients are able to explore new leisure interests and develop new coping skills. To make the therapeutic experience relevant, recreational therapy incorporates clients’ interests, family, and community. It is extremely individualized to each client’s past, present, and future interests.
Recreational Therapy at Wasatch Crest
At Wasatch Crest, the mission of the recreational therapy program is to provide clients with a variety of effective therapeutic modalities that empower them to rediscover their passions, develop motivations, and exercise survival skills to face trials and build meaningful lives in recovery.
The recreational therapy experiences facilitate the development of self-efficacy, resilience, positive communication, self-discovery, self-awareness, and stress management, among other things, to promote a holistic sense of well being in recovery.
At Wasatch Crest, we utilize yoga, mindfulness, experiential therapy, service work, spirituality, music, adventure therapy, and creative expression to curate a robust recreational therapy experience for our clients.
Yoga and Mindfulness at Wasatch Crest
Clients participate in yoga three times a week. Yoga can be integral to early recovery. The practice helps clients regulate stress hormones, take time to breathe, and train their minds to be present, rather than avoiding emotional discomfort.
Our yoga and mindfulness sessions include:
- Restorative: The restorative poses and guided mediation are intended to induce a state of deep relaxation.
- Core and Sculpt: The strengthening poses are good for decreasing physical pain like back pain which can be helpful for clients struggling with opioid addiction.
- Balance: The balancing poses and following vibrational sound healing meditation helps clients fully arrive in the present moment.
Expressive Therapy at Wasatch Crest
Expressive therapy at Wasatch Crest includes art, music, and dance sessions. During the sessions, the process of creation is emphasized rather than the final product.
Expressive therapy groups include:
- Therapeutic drumming: Group drumming is excellent for stress relief. The sessions are also ideal for engaging more withdrawn clients.
- Painting class: The artistic setting is a social and lightly therapeutic opportunity for growth.
Adventure Therapy Outings at Wasatch Crest
Our adventure therapy outings offer a massive variety for clients. When planning the outings, the recreational therapist takes a thorough look at clients’ interests, capabilities, and treatment goals.
Adventure therapy experiences include:
- Lakota Sweat Lodge Rituals
- Equine Therapy Sessions
- Ropes Course Outings
- Indoor and Outdoor Rock Climbing
- Tubing on the Provo River
- Snow Tubing
- Experiential Hiking
- Escape Rooms
- Hatchet Throwing
- Skiing and Snowboarding
- And more!
Service Work Outings at Wasatch Crest
We emphasize service as an integral part of recovery and community involvement.
Our volunteer work outings include:
- Park City Habitat for Humanity volunteer work
- Nursing home support
- Trail maintenance on our adopted trail
Evaluating the Experience
Every aspect of recreational therapy has a purpose. The recreational therapist and supporting clinicians regularly intervene to help clients process important moments during recreational therapy experiences. At the end of each session, clients participate in a formal group evaluation with the recreational therapist to analyze their experiences.
About the Author
As the Director of Recreational Therapy at Wasatch Crest, Adelinn Cook, TRS, CTRS, is the curator of Wasatch Crest’s robust recreational therapy program, which includes adventure therapy outings, experiential group therapy, expressive therapy, and mindfulness interventions such as yoga and meditation. She works closely with clients to create personalized recreational therapy treatment and aftercare plans. Using evidence-based therapeutic methods, she guides clients to discover their passions, develop resilience, and ultimately develop meaningful lives in sobriety.
Adelinn received her bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to coming to Wasatch Crest, she worked as an Adolescent Guidance Specialist at a substance abuse treatment center in Indianapolis. She also facilitated recreational therapy activities such as ropes course initiatives, canoeing and equestrian therapy at an organization that served adults and children with varying disabilities.
Frequently going on solo backpacking trips for days at a time, Adelinn has a breadth of knowledge about outdoor survival skills. In her leisure time, Adelinn enjoys rock climbing, fly fishing, disc golfing and painting. Adelinn is also working toward her yoga instructor certification.
Adelinn’s calm and gentle demeanor is almost constant, but when she does get upset, her favorite coping method is throwing knives and hatchets. She also incorporates hatchet-throwing into Wasatch Crest’s recreational therapy program as a way to empower clients and introduce them to a fun, stress-relieving activity.
Adelinn is profoundly gratified when she witnesses clients overcome their fears by stepping out of their comfort zones and find inspiration to live life to the fullest.