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The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is the only national membership organization representing the interests and needs of therapeutic recreation specialists, also known as recreational therapists. Recreational therapists are healthcare providers who plan, direct, deliver, and evaluate recreation-based interventions for individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions. They provide research-informed interventions that are based on client assessments and targeted client outcomes.

ATRA, was incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1984 as a non-profit, grassroots organization in response to a growing concern about the dramatic changes in the healthcare industry. As a result of this response, ATRA has grown from a membership of 60 individuals in June 1984 to 2,200 in 2014.

 

VISION STATEMENT

We envision a world where all people have access to Recreational Therapy.

Revised by ATRA Board of Directors | May 2015


MISSION STATEMENT

We empower Recreational Therapists

Revised by ATRA Board of Directors | May 2015


DEFINITION STATEMENT

Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. 

Revised by ATRA Board of Directors | May 2015

 

STATEMENT OF MEANING

(Supplemental description for use as needed) “Recreational Therapy means a treatment service designed to restore, remediate, and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition” (ATRA, 2009). 

Adopted by ATRA Board of Directors | May 2015


ATRA ENDORSES THE FOLLOWING:

  • Therapeutic Recreation is the field
  • Recreational Therapy is the practice
  • Recreational Therapists are the practitioners
  • The CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) is the qualified provider

 

Adopted by ATRA Board of Directors | May 2015

 

ATRA’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES ARE:

 

We Believe…

1.       Recreational Therapy is a process provided in diverse settings.

2.       Assessment, Planning, Intervention, Evaluation, and Documentation (APIED) are the foundation of Recreational Therapy.

3.       In Evidence Based Practice, Professional Credentialing, and Accreditation.

4.       In building powerful relationship to strengthen Recreational Therapy.

5.       In mentoring and developing professionals.  

 

 

Adopted by ATRA Board of Directors | May 2015

 

STATEMENT ON DIVERSITY


The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) has an ongoing commitment to advancing diversity within the field of recreational therapy. We acknowledge that diversity includes any aspect of an individual that makes him or her unique. Our association values and actively promotes diverse and inclusive participation by its leaders, members and affiliates.

Further, the association works to educate its membership about diversity issues, and to foster an environment that acknowledges the contributions of all its members. We value the role that diversity plays in every aspect of service delivery, recognizing that diversity is vital to all elements of recreational therapy practice and education.

 

Revised by ATRA Board of Directors | September 2011

 

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