National Therapeutic Recreation Week celebrates the role of therapeutic recreation in improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. On July 7-13, Brookhaven Retreat celebrates the benefits of physical exercise and exercise-based therapies for mental health recovery.
Brookhaven Retreat strongly believes that recovery entails more than a therapy room, and has created a beautiful outdoor environment featuring a range of recreational activities to nurture the social, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of women. It has found that time outdoors relieves feelings of depression, stress and anxiety. Therapeutic recreation fits into mental health recovery by allowing women to self-discover and process non-verbally. To this end, Brookhaven Retreat provides both ropes course therapy and team recreation.
A low elements ropes course presents a physical and emotional challenge that prompts personal development. Cooperative challenges encourage women to depend upon others and open themselves to vulnerability. Reactions to these activities can prompt discoveries about sources of anxiety, poor self-esteem and behavioral reactions.
Very little in life is done alone. Work environments, education and families all demand interpersonal skills. Group recreation offers a measure of how women interact with others. Team sports such as badminton and volleyball allow women who have suffered depression, anxiety, trauma and isolation to practice relational skills and connect with others. Group activities encourage women to rebuild trust and self-esteem. Women also build a group of supportive peers with whom to practice interpersonal skills.
Therapeutic recreation helps form a more holistic picture of a woman’s mental health. Emotional reactions and self-discoveries help break down emotional barriers and allow therapy to more effectively process issues. Therapeutic recreation is unique among therapies because it discovers and processes issues in a nonverbal way, relying on instinctive reactions to tell a woman’s story for her.
Brookhaven Retreat celebrates the importance of recreational therapies in the mental health recovery process. Its ropes course and team activities fit into its residential program by helping women self-discover and process issues along the road to wellness. Through therapeutic recreation, women reconnect with themselves and rebuild a strong, healthy identity.