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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. 

Therapy Interventions

Relaxation Therapy
In 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 pain, better sleep, and improved quality of life.

Get Ahead Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
This group intervention addresses cognition, orientation, memory, social interaction 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. 

Group 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 and Therapeutic/Adaptive Yoga
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, biosonic repatterning, polarity, reflexology, visualization, massage therapy and body work. 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.

Adaptive Yoga follows the same principles as traditional yoga but also provides the participant specific instruction in the use of props and modifications for poses. Therapeutic Yoga (TY) uses 16 supported yoga poses, breath work, guided meditation to help individuals nurture their bodies, allowing health and wellness to blossom. It is a gentle and safe way to encourage balance in the body and mind.

General Recreation
Burke offers general recreation programs which may be therapeutic, such as entertainment, social programs, horticulture activities, music, games, crafts and a variety of other activities. These programs are available during the late afternoon, evenings and on weekends, after therapy has ended for the day. Family and friends are invited to participate with the patient. In addition, the TR department offers a range of "in-room" resources for our patients, including a movie library, music library, games, books on tape and specialized adolescent-oriented resources. Burke has several patient areas dedicated to leisure, such as our library, computer areas, atrium, Harris Parlor, greenhouse, and a rec room on our Brain Injury Unit with basketball, air hockey, two computers, a variety of games and a flat screen TV.

Health Alert: Current Visitation Policy and Other Important COVID-19 Updates

What's Happening at Burke

Health Alert:

*All visitors on the Burke campus are required to wear a mask at all times*

Click here to view the complete list of visitation safety protocols and regulations.

Learn what Burke and Montefiore are doing to keep you and your loved ones safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Here's what you need to know about policies and procedures

Rehabilitation care for individuals recovering from COVID-19

Concerned about exposure, but have no symptoms? Call the NYS DOH at

Get In Touch

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital
785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605

Hospital Main Telephone

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