Therapeutic recreation finds new allies in Champaign

On Thursday, nearly 40 participants from the surrounding communities attended a workshop at Rosecrance in Moreland on Champaign to learn about therapeutic recreation.

Although it is not the first time that therapeutic recreation therapists introduced Rosecrance’s friends and partners to the modality that is woven into substance use disorder treatment for those in residential treatment, this was the first-ever workshop offered at the Champaign location.

Led by the highly skilled therapeutic recreation therapists Paul Fasano, Alicia Kaleta, and Gillian Littleton, the attendees quickly became comfortable with each other. The group was divided into three subgroups, each assigned an animal—lion, tiger, or bear—and given the opportunity to engage in a series of therapeutic recreation (TR) sessions. These sessions were designed to provide a simulated experience of the same kind of treatment that a Rosecrance Illinois client would receive during residential treatment.

The TR team did an outstanding job of bringing the participants to a place where they could truly empathize with clients. This was achieved through the team’s expert guidance and by involving the attendees in the three different services that the TR team offers. They even took the time to explain the intention behind each activity and how clients relate to each one, which helped the participants better understand the challenges faced by those undergoing treatment. Overall, this experience proved to be a highly educational and rewarding one for all involved.

With the workshop’s success, the TR team is gearing up to lead two additional workshops at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson campus in Rockford, Illinois, this spring.