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Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy is 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, and to reduce or eliminate the activity limitations/restrictions caused by an illness or disabling condition.

This evidence-based, goal oriented therapy focuses on the enhancement of physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills, as well as, leisure development, adaptation to real or perceived barriers and reintegration back into the community with chosen life pursuits.


  • Substance Abuse (SARRTP)
    • All veterans receive Recreation Therapy services upon admission.
  • Psychiatric Units
    • Providers teams on these units can refer to Recreation Therapy.
  • Physical Rehabilitation
    • Providers teams on these units can refer to Recreation Therapy.


All Outpatient Veterans will need consults placed for the specific outpatient Recreation Therapy programs listed below.

  • Substance Abuse (SOAR)
    • Veterans with a substance abuse diagnosis and in active recovery who have completed either the inpatient SARRTP program or currently enrolled/graduates in SOAR programming via the Addiction Therapeutic Services (ATS) Consult.
    • Contact Number: 801-582–1840
  • Whole Health
    • Veterans who are enrolled / participate in the Whole Health Program can join the Whole Health Rec Therapy program via the Complementary & Integrative Health consult.
    • Contact Number: 385-218-9590
  • Mental Health
    • Veterans with diagnosis of Military Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/ or Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Providers can place consult via consult title: RECREATION THERAPY PTSD CLINICAL TEAM OUTPT.
    • Contact number: 801-582-1565
  • Adaptive Sports
    • The program’s mission is to optimize Veteran’s independence, community engagement, wellbeing, and quality of life. Adaptive sports education and application allows Veterans to stretch beyond their perceived limitations.
    • We work with non-profits to plan, develop, manage, and implement adaptive sports opportunities. The adaptive sports program is for both those wanting to participate for leisure as well as those for competition.
    • Contact Number: 801-635-5047

Recreation Therapy Internship Program

The VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System offers excellent internship opportunities in the summer, spring, and fall semesters for students who are pursuing a degree in Recreation Therapy. Learn more about the Recreation Therapy Internship Program.