The emergence of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society in 1966

  1. Briefly describe the events and factors that contributed to the emergence of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society in 1966.

The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) was formed in the year 1965 to be in charge of the National Recreation Association, the American Institute of Park Executives, the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, the American Recreation Society, and the National Conference on State Parks. In 1966, the hospital recreation that was previously part of the American Recreation Society merged with the NRPA to form the National Therapeutic Recreation Society (NTRS) (Carter & Van, 2020).

  1. Identify the five qualities of a profession and discuss the current status of therapeutic recreation in relation to each.

i.) Provision of service: The recreational activities involved in therapeutic recreation contribute to the improvement of the physical, emotional and social health, and general wellbeing of the clients (Carter & Van, 2020).

ii.) Scientific theories: Therapeutic recreation is a profession that is guided by scientific theories. There is a specific body of knowledge on the same (Carter & Van, 2020).

iii.) Standards of practice: Recreational therapists are expected to adhere to a specific code of ethics. This code guides them in their practice (Carter & Van, 2020).

iv.) Education and training: Therapeutic recreation professionals are required to undergo a specific training. This enables them to gain knowledge pertaining to their profession (Carter & Van, 2020).

v.) Professional organizations: Recreational therapists are encouraged to join various professional groups related to their own profession (Carter & Van, 2020).

  1. Identify the philosophical perspectives that have developed throughout the history of the profession. What historical factors led to the development of each perspective?

During the first century, people started giving recreation a therapeutic look. It was held that art and music had healing powers. In the Middle Ages, the disabled were considered to be a problem in the society. During the Renaissance, the Church was in the forefront in helping people living with disabilities. In the Industrial Revolution era, the sick and disabled people were seen as a burden to the society since they could not help. During this period, people began seeing recreation as one of the means of helping those whose health was not good. Today, many people embrace recreation. However, it is yet to be fully regarded as a form of professional therapy (Carter & Van, 2020).

  1. Given your understanding of the history of therapeutic recreation, what factors will influence the evolution of the philosophical perspectives in the future?

In the future, the attitude of the society towards therapeutic recreation will play an important role in influencing philosophical perspectives (Carter & Van, 2020). It will be necessary to change the mindset that people have towards the role of this therapy.  Developments in various healthcare professionals will also help (Carter & Van, 2020). Such trends will enable people to understand how recreation contributes to overall health.

  1. What events led to creation of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association in 1984?

In the early 1980s, disagreements arose within the NTRS about the effectiveness of various healthcare practices. Health care professionals wanted to compete with both occupational and physical therapists. In 1984, the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) was formed was formed to address issues emerging within the health care sector rather than in recreational fields and park (Carter & Van, 2020).

  1. What is the role and purpose of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification? What is its history and what is its significance in the therapeutic recreation profession?

Since its formation in 1981, The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) has over years played an important role in establishing professional standards for therapeutic recreation specialists (Carter & Van, 2020). Such standards determine what one requires to be certified in the field.


Carter, M. J., & Van, A. G. E. (2020). Therapeutic Recreation: A Practical Approach, 5th edition. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press.

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