The Department of Recreation Therapy provides a variety of regularly scheduled groups, in addition to individual work with patients of the Schizophrenia Research Unit (SRU), the General Clinical Research Unit (GCRU), and the Children's Day Unit (CDU). Recreation Therapy fieldwork students from NY, FL, PA and Canada have completed internships at the Institute. Department members also supervise volunteers assigned to the three units. These volunteers implement patient groups such as Art Therapy, Yoga, Creative Writing and Pet Therapy. The department has two dedicated Recreation Therapists, Lawrence Rotundo, CTRS and Michele Jacques, Sr. RT and is administered by Dana Moore, CTRS.
Recreation Therapy is the provision of treatment, leisure education and recreational services to help persons with psychiatric illness to restore and rehabilitate functioning, to improve health and well-being, and to develop, maintain and express their most independent leisure lifestyle. The Department of Recreation Therapy functions as active members of their respective interdisciplinary treatment teams. Their responsibilities include assessing patients’ progress, participating in team meetings, maintaining their own level of professional preparedness, and contributing to the education and training of the many volunteers, students, new practitioners and interns that come to the Institute. The major focus of these treatment modalities is activity groups, but individual attention, in the form of educational, vocational and leisure counseling is also provided. The Department of Recreation Therapy continues to offer a variety of regularly scheduled groups on the research units, in addition to individual work with patients.