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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: June 22, 2023 09:26 AM
From: Senator Lynda Schlegel Culver
To: All Senate members
Subject: Providing Licensure for Recreational Therapists
In the near future I intend to introduce legislation that would provide licensure and scope of practice protection for appropriately qualified recreational therapists in Pennsylvania. My bill would amend the Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors Act. 

Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that uses 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. Recreational therapists treat and help maintain the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their clients by seeking to reduce depression, stress and anxiety; recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.

Recreational therapists are doing important work with combat veterans, seniors, children, and those recovering from a stroke, injury, illness, substance abuse and depression among other circumstances.

There are approximately 19,000 recreational therapists in the U.S. and nearly a thousand recreational therapists in Pennsylvania. Three Pennsylvania colleges or universities provide academic degrees in recreational therapy: Slippery Rock University, Temple University, and York College of Pennsylvania. In the last few years, New Jersey and North Carolina have passed laws providing for licensure of recreational therapists.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1091