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Recreational Therapy Internships


Students complete two internships totaling 1,000 hours under the direction of a nationally credentialed and state licensed recreational therapist. During their junior and senior year, students work closely with site recreational therapists to conduct assessments, develop treatment plans, deliver interventions and report during treatment team meetings. Internship sites may include behavioral health or psychiatric treatment facilities, physical rehabilitation facilities, home-health settings, public schools, private practice or community-based facilities.


Past Internship Sites


Acadia Health Care: Vantage Point (Fayetteville, Arkansas)


  • Interventions Used
    • Health and fitness
    • Trust
    • Self-esteem building
    • Anger management
    • Problem solving
    • Social interaction
    • Relaxation
    • Team building
    • Self-expression
    • Stress management
    • Education/teaching
  • Most Common Diagnoses

    Every patient receives therapeutic recreation at least five times a week.

    • Geriatric population: psychosis, dementia and combative behaviors.
    • Adult population: substance abuse, detox, suicidal ideation and depression.
    • Acute adolescent population: suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation and depression.
    • Sub-acute adolescent population: suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation and depression.
    • Children population: oppositional defiance disorder and aggressive behaviors.


St. Anthony's Hospital: Behavioral Health Unit (Edmond, Oklahoma)

  • Types of Therapy Offered

    Group Therapy

    • Expressive: Focus on emotions felt in different situations. 
    • Rehab: Focus is to educate residents about a certain skill set
    • Discharge planning: Focus is to prepare residents for life after program

    Individual Therapy: The focus of this treatment is the patient and meeting his or her needs during admission.


    Family Therapy: The focus is on incorporating the resident’s family into treatment and addressing any issues within the family.

  • Advice for Junior Interns
    • Visit other populations that are different from yours.
    • Observe other recreational therapy styles of conducting group.
    • Be confident in your skills learned from coursework.
    • Be grateful at all times.
    • Remember there is an opportunity in every situation, but it is up to you to make the most of it.


Salem Medical Center (Salem, Virginia)

  • Overview
    • Medical center that provides services to American veterans.
    • Services and treatments include long-term care, psychiatric, PTSD, substance abuse, etc.
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