College of Health Sciences

Recreational Therapy


College Values Online 2016 has named The University of Toledo's Recreation Therapy Program as the "Best Value Parks and Recreation Degree Program" for 2016.  The ranking considers tuition, financial aid, return on investment and the number of minors, concentrations or areas of emphasis offered. 

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A Recreational Therapist utilizes a wide range of techniques to improve the physical, emotional, social and leisure needs of clients with varying disabilities. A recreational therapist works with the client, their family members and others to improve their health condition. The goal of recreational therapy is to restore, remediate or rehabilitate in order to improve functioning and independence as well as reduce or eliminate the effects of illness or disability. (ATRA)

Recreation Therapists provide a variety of interventions including, but not limited to: leisure education/ counseling, values clarification, Bibliotherapy, horticulture therapy, therapeutic community re integration, humor, therapeutic use of touch, relaxation techniques, physical activity/ exercise, aromatherapy, tai chi, assertiveness training, social skills training, cognitive rehabilitation, animal-assisted therapy, aquatic therapy, creative arts, reality orientation, validation therapy, remotivation, resocialization, sensory training, self-esteem training and reminiscence.

Usually, recreational therapists are distinguished from physical and occupational therapists because they are helping the client cope with no longer being able to participate in meaningful leisure activities and lifestyle pursuits. Recreation Therapists are certified through The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification exam (NCTRC) after completing a four year degree and internship in Recreation Therapy. NCTRC - National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. The University of Toledo pass rate of students on the NCTRC exam exceeds the national average.

The University of Toledo is one of several institutions that offer clinical training and a degree in recreational therapy. The University of Toledo’s Recreation therapy program is the only RT program in the state of Ohio, and we are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Park, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).Many of our students seek a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Therapy and upon graduation continue their education in Occupational Therapy Clinical Doctorate Program.

There are currently four states that require licensure as a Recreation Therapist (Oklahoma, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Utah).  If you live in and/or plan on working as a Recreation Therapist in one of these states, you will need to contact the local licensure board for information on how to get licensed in that state.

NEW:  2015-2016 Conference locations and dates are now posted.  See attached for more information.



Last Updated: 2/2/16