About the Utah Recreation Therapy Association

Our Mission

URTA is established for the development of the profession of Recreation Therapy, to promote standards of practice and strengthen members through: education, advocacy, research, networking, community partnership, involvement in local, state and national issues and the enhancement of personal growth and development.

Our Vision

URTA is dedicated to professional excellence by working collectively to improve and promote standards of practice, ethical conduct and efficacy in Therapeutic Recreation. By embracing this vision, the services received by all consumers of Therapeutic Recreation will be enhanced.


The Utah Recreation Therapy Association (URTA) officially became an organized association January 1, 1981. Since then we have helped recreation therapists and others interested in the field develop and cultivate their skills through collaboration and sharing experiences. We have a long and bright future ahead of us, helping each other… help others.

About Recreational Therapy

What is Recreational Therapy?

Recreational therapy is a person-centered process that uses recreation and psychoeducational activities as intervention tools to improve the physical, cognitive, social, behavioral, emotional, or spiritual well-being of a person with an illness or a disability. Recreational therapy is outcome first based. We do this by following the APIED Process. (Cited from The Utah “Recreation Therapy Practice Act”)

Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. (Cited from the ATRA and NCTRC)

How are Recreational Therapies Different From Other Therapies?

Recreational Therapy is essential in a multidisciplinary setting. One thing that is unique about Recreational therapy is that we use recreation and leisure as our modality to address issues and bring about an increased quality of life. Leisure time is a common time that people create unhealthy patterns. As we assess, plan, implement, evaluate, and document the individuals process, continual information is brought out to find interests and new hobbies according to their strengths and needs.

Who can Provide Recreational Therapy Services?

Recreational therapy in Utah is provided by licensed qualified professionals known as Master Recreation Therapeutic Specialists (MTRS), Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (TRS), and Therapeutic Recreation Technicians (TRT). Requirements to become a MTRS, TRS, or TRT vary in education, practicum, and experience. See Recreational Therapy Licensure in Utah for more details about qualifications and scope of practice for each license classification.

Where is Recreational Therapy Provided?

Recreational therapists practice in a variety of different settings such as inpatient and outpatient physical rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient mental health, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living, adult day programs, park and recreation, residential treatment centers, adapted sports programs, acute care hospitals, pediatric hospitals and programs and school systems to name a few.

Who can Benefit from Recreational Therapy?

Recreational therapists work with a variety of individuals of all ages and diagnosis. Some include: physical disabilities, older adults, individuals with psychiatric disorders, pediatric patients, youth at risk, people with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, mental illness, veterans, and many more.

How is Recreational Therapy Beneficial?

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association states "Recreational Therapy is an integral part of a patient’s treatment, as well as a service benefiting consumers of community services. Recreational Therapy enhances participant outcomes and reduces healthcare costs by:

  • Providing active, outcome focused care which achieves results

  • Enabling the generalization of skill developed in treatment to their home and community environments

  • Reducing the effects of primary and secondary disabilities

  • Providing treatment through cost effective means such as in small and large group settings

  • Serving as a cost-effective means to enhance or replace other more costly services

  • Addressing the whole person with the focus on enhancing independent functioning within physical, social, cognitive and emotional domains

  • Training individuals to identify and utilize community resources that enable independent functioning

  • Focusing on skills that carry over to everyday life and can make a difference in a person’s quality of life

  • Providing a diversity of interventions which are cost effective, add value and have significant durability across an individual’s lifespan."

What is the APIED Process?

Learn more about the APIED Process in detail by clicking the button below.

Recreation Therapy Licensure in Utah

Learn more about the different Recreational Therapy Licenses required in Utah by clicking the button below.

Testimonials and Informative Videos

Read testimonials how Recreational Therapy has impacted individuals in Utah and to watch informative RT videos by clicking the button below.

Cited from:

American Therapeutic Recreation Therapy Association (https://www.atra-online.com/)

and Recreation Therapy Practice Act (https://dopl.utah.gov/rec/index.html)