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Therapeutic Recreation

Recreation Therapists at Burke utilize a wide range of activities to help patients make improvements in the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and leisure areas of their lives. They assist patients in developing skills, knowledge and behaviors for daily living and community involvement. Recreation therapists work with the patient to incorporate specific interests into therapy to achieve optimal outcomes that transfer to real life situations. Research supports the concept that people with satisfying lifestyles will be happier and healthier.

At Burke, recreation therapy interventions for physician-referred patients include individualized therapy sessions, as well as treatment in small group settings, co-treatment in conjunction with physical and occupational therapists or speech-language pathologists. All of Burke’s therapeutic recreation staff members are certified therapeutic recreation specialists. (CTRS)

Therapy Interventions

Individual Therapy

Following receipt of a physician’s order, the CTRS conducts an assessment which includes a review of the patient’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social status.  A list of individual leisure activities and interests helps the recreational therapist develop a treatment plan to meet the identified goals within each domain.  Individual clinical TR sessions use preferred leisure activities to work on functional outcomes in line with the person's needs and goals. Sessions also include education related to post-discharge such as time management and adaptations for successful participation.                      

Relaxation Therapy
In individual or group relaxation therapy sessions, patients learn stress management techniques that help to prevent or alleviate a variety of symptoms that may occur with illness or injury. Techniques include guided imagery, progressive relaxation, breathing techniques and various types of meditation. Practicing these relaxation techniques may result in a strengthened immune system, improved physical performance, reduced anxiety, decreased stress, reduced pain, better sleep, and improved quality of life.

Get Ahead Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
This group intervention is often co-led with a speech therapist and addresses cognition, orientation, memory, social interaction, problem solving, logic  and communication skills. Designed primarily for patients who have experienced a stroke or brain injury, this therapy helps patients make practical improvements and gain confidence. 

Humor Therapy (Humor is Good for Health)
HIGH (Humor Is Good for Health) therapy uses the power of laughter, humor, and positive attitude to bring about physical and emotional benefits. Negative emotions can have a detrimental effect on the physical and emotional quality of life, and can negatively impact the full benefit of a physical rehabilitation program. Humor therapy sessions help patients build healthier habits through a positive outlook and positive behaviors.

Complementary Therapy 
A variety of gentle interventions are used to enhance and encourage the body’s ability to reduce pain, heal, and relax. Modalities offered include acupressure,  visualization/guided imagery, aromatherapy, mantras and different types of meditation. Education regarding mindfulness and mind-body-spirit connections is included in each session.  Benefits of complementary therapies can include: deep relaxation and rejuvenation, tension reduction, better posture, improved self-awareness, better sleep, reduction and management of stress and enhanced connection of the mind and body to restore wholeness.

Re-Creation Therapy

This individual or group intervention uses different types of expressive art mediums as a powerful healing tool to help patients maximize the body and mind’s ability to work harmoniously for healing. This functional intervention offers a safe outlet for expression and can help patients release feelings of frustration, anxiety, anger, stress and/or isolation that may be blocking the body’s ability to heal.   As there is no right or wrong way to creatively express oneself, this intervention allows opportunities for personal success, renewal and revitalization.

Mindful Movement Therapy

This individual or group intervention focuses on the functional use of weak arms and/or legs while engaged in movement during leisure activities. The activities are accompanied with education regarding the importance of mindfulness for recovery as well as continued safety.  Positive outcomes of this type of therapy may include: improved gross and fine motor skills, increased self-esteem, decreased anxiety and/or stress, and a more positive outlook on the recovery process.

Stretch Therapy

Administered as an individual or group intervention, stretching is a vital part of physical rehabilitation.  Following illness or injury, muscles, tendons and ligaments have often been underutilized and/or affected by neurological factors that interferes with their elasticity.  This approach focuses specifically on combining breath work with the stretching of any injured or damaged small or large muscle groups to return and/or maintain optimum muscle, tendon and ligament function.

Continuum of Care

In accordance with the Mission of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, the Therapeutic Recreation Department provides Adaptive Sports and Recreation programs to members of the community with cognitive and/or mobility diagnoses at no charge.  Please see the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Tab on this website for more information.  The department also works closely with the development and marketing departments to host special events of meaning to our community members.

Family/Friend Education
Burke recreational therapists educate and empower not only patients but also their family and friends.  There are many activities which can be therapeutic, such as sports, music, games, cards, crafts and a variety of other activities. For appointments during visiting hours, family and friends are encouraged to participate in clinical TR sessions with the patient to see how they can continue to assist their loved one’s recovery. 


Janelle Krantz, CTRS

Elizabeth Coley

Gabrielle Mitchell

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Visitation Policy – Two Visitors At A Time – 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Daily -

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Burke Rehabilitation Hospital
785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605

Hospital Main Telephone

(914) 597-2500, (888) 99-BURKE