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What Is Recreational Therapy?

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What is the best treatment for drug and alcohol addiction? That’s impossible to say since most people benefit from treatment that involves numerous techniques and strategies. Yet one of the most important components of recovery from addiction is a focus on the whole person.

It’s possible to stop using drugs and alcohol through a detox program and then get back to life without any further intervention. Unfortunately, those who do this are at a much higher risk of relapse. That’s because they haven’t dealt with the underlying cause of their addiction or enabled their body, mind, and spirit to fully heal from the damage.

Most often, whole-body focused therapy will involve:

  • Clinical programming
  • Holistic care
  • Psychiatric and medical treatment
  • Recovery support

To give yourself the best chances of long-term recovery, you’ll likely need numerous resources, including help with life skills and improving family relationships. At Canyon Vista Recovery Center, all of this is provided to you as a component of the treatment plan. Let’s focus on one area of this process – recreational therapy.

How Does Recreational Therapy Work?

Recreational therapy is what it sounds like. It is the process of engaging in physical activities that you find enjoyable for the purpose of rehabilitating mental health, confidence, and overall physical health.

Recreational therapy can include a wide range of activities, each designed to be enjoyable and challenging to encourage you to move to the next level of your care. Some examples of the recreational therapy activities may include:

  • Dance therapy
  • Working out
  • Music therapy
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Gardening

You don’t have to engage in things you simply do not like to do. Recreational therapy is tailored to individual needs and abilities.

What Are the Benefits of Recreational Therapy?

Engaging in recreational therapy offers an opportunity for you to heal in various ways. Here are some of the benefits people often experience when they engage fully in this type of therapy.

Reduced Stress

Stress is a big part of addiction. There is a lot to worry about and be fearful of, not to mention all of the pressure to get things just right. Recreational therapy helps reduce some of the stress you’re feeling. The process of moving your body helps to burn up the stress hormone that’s in your bloodstream, helping you to relax. If you’ve ever engaged in a workout and then felt energized afterward, it’s because of this ability to reduce stress levels.

More Confidence

Learning something new can help to build confidence. It enables you to feel good about yourself. Many people also find that recreational therapy allows them to learn something new, getting their mind off of their worries. In the process, they may become quite skilled in the therapies they select, perhaps gaining deeper insight into what’s important to them and what they want to continue pursuing after treatment ends. Confidence in one area of your life is contagious, bringing a greater sense of self-efficacy to other areas as well.


Often, recreational therapy creates a way for you to express yourself, even if you’re not using words to do so. Dance is an excellent way to allow yourself to release those feelings and passions you’re unable to talk about. Music therapy is an excellent example of this, too. It enables you to pour your heart and soul into music, and as you do, you’ll likely feel released and restored.


Life is tough, especially during drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Recreational therapy is meant to lighten the mood and give you something to do that you enjoy. That’s an important lesson to learn for life as well. Not only do you have to focus on the work of recovery and rebuilding relationships, but you also have to work on yourself. Doing things that you find enjoyable can help you to build a new version of who you are that you love.

Having fun – and enjoying life in general – is something you will do again, not just in recovery but through each of the things you learn during your treatment.

Take a Step Towards Healing and Recovery

Recreational therapy is one component of the treatment and care you’ll receive at Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, AZ. Beyond all doubt, you’ll want to explore all levels of care available to you to determine which is the best treatment plan for your needs. Let us help you. Contact us today to learn more.

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About programs offered at Canyon Vista Recovery Center

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