At The Blackberry Center, we rely on evidence-based addiction recovery treatments at our health care facilities. And while they may not be traditional, we include recreational therapy treatments to help our patients achieve long-term recovery.
There can sometimes be confusion as to what recreational therapy really means. While it is not simply a structured “goof off” time, it is one of our most enjoyable treatment modalities. At The Blackberry Center, our recreational therapy options include:
- Arts and crafts
But let’s look at those a little deeper and discuss exactly how they help patients recover.
Many of our patients love to play sports. For those who want to incorporate this into their treatment, we offer the opportunity to play team sports as part of recovery. And while our patients enjoy their time playing, we don’t offer it solely because it’s fun.
Sports are a great way to build essential life skills that help patients post-treatment. Whether they’re recovering from mental illness or substance use disorder, learning teamwork skills will be invaluable to their life after treatment. As they return to their normal lives and learn to cope with their issues, they may need to continue group therapy, 12-step meetings, or just learn to accomplish goals with their loved ones. In any case, teamwork will play a big role in their recovery, and our recreational therapy can help them prepare for that.
Moreover, physical activities help our patients improve and value their physical health. Showing them fun, convenient ways to exercise can greatly improve long-term health for our patients, and it can also make them place more importance on their physical wellbeing, which can lead to reduced risk of relapse.
On the whole, sport activities make for great recreational therapy. While we do not force anyone to play sports, this is a great treatment modality for many of our patients.
Another recreational therapy option is drama, or theater. While these aren’t Broadway productions, patients can take this opportunity to develop new skills that will help them on the road to recovery.
Like sports therapy, our drama program helps patients learn to work together. After all, skits rely on cooperation between group members, as do many real-world activities like work, planning trips, etc. But the recreational therapy benefits do not stop there.
Drama is a great way for patients to learn to communicate. Speaking up in front of others can be hard, particularly for patients suffering from anxiety disorders. But our close-knit, supportive environment offers the perfect place for them to learn to speak in front of others. For all of our patients, learning to convey their needs will vastly help them in recovery. Asking for help will prove important as they face life after treatment, and this is one way that we prepare them to face those challenges.
Brain teasers are more than just fun; they help people develop critical thinking skills. And in a recreational therapy program, that’s exactly what you want to see. By helping patients develop their problem-solving skills, we equip them to solve real-world problems that could threaten their recovery.
For example, relationship stress is a common relapse trigger. But by using the solution-oriented thinking that our games teach them (as well as communication skills from other treatments), our patients are more likely to look for realistic, actionable remedies to their issues. For so many people, they need to enter treatment because their mental illness or addiction issues have become impossible to manage. While we help minimize symptoms wherever we can, these recreational therapies prepare them to deal with the realities of living with these problems.
Games can also be a great supplement to our more traditional therapies. These games improve logic and reasoning, which can help patients identify patterns when discussing their experience in individual or group therapies. To put it simply, games are a surprisingly efficient form of recreational therapy.
Arts and Crafts
While many of our patients would not call themselves artists, they still benefit from our art exercises, including arts and crafts. This form of recreational therapy doesn’t just help patients work on their art skills; it provides a space for them to creatively express themselves without judgment.
Many of our patients feel unheard in their daily lives. While this may or may not be caused by their own struggles with communication, it’s important that they have places where they feel heard and, more importantly, understood. Whether a patient has mental health or addiction issues, our art exercises create the perfect space for them to express themselves. And while it’s great if our patients continue to create art after leaving treatment, that is not the only way that this treatment can help them.
For many people, they simply need to know that they can be understood. After all, why would they reach out to others if there was no chance of their message getting across? But our recreational therapy services teach patients that they make sense and that others can understand and relate to them. This helps them take the important first steps of reaching out to others and forming those meaningful connections that will help them achieve long-term recovery.
A Lasting Recovery Starts Here
While all of our treatments are evidence-based, we urge new patients to keep an open mind. Our recreational therapy options may not be as well-known as other treatment modalities, but they play an important role in helping our patients.
If you would like to discuss your treatment options or have any questions about our recreational therapy, you can fill out this contact form or, for an immediate response, call our admissions specialists at (813) 908-4199. They will be ready and waiting to help you along the path to recovery.