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Become A Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist

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Working As A Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist Do

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. These therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts; drama, music, and dance; sports and games; aquatics; and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Duties

Recreational therapists typically do the following:

  • Assess patients’ needs through observations, medical records, tests, and discussions with other healthcare professionals, patients’ families, and patients
  • Create treatment plans and programs that meet patients’ needs and interests
  • Plan and implement interventions to prevent harm to a patient
  • Engage patients in therapeutic activities, such as exercise, games, and community outings
  • Help patients learn social skills needed to become or remain independent
  • Teach patients about ways to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Record and analyze a patient’s progress
  • Evaluate interventions for effectiveness

Recreational therapists help people reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.

They use activities, such as arts and crafts, dance, or sports, to help their patients. For example, a recreational therapist can help a patient who is paralyzed on one side of their body by teaching them to adapt activities, like casting a fishing rod or swinging a golf club, by using their functional side.

Therapists often treat specific groups of patients, such as children with cancer. Therapists may use activities such as kayaking or a ropes course to teach patients to stay active and to form social relationships.

Recreational therapists help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities. For example, therapists may teach a patient who uses a wheelchair how to use public transportation.

Therapists may also provide interventions for patients who need help developing social and coping skills. For example, a therapist may use a therapy dog to help patients manage their depression or anxiety.

Therapists may work with physicians or surgeons, registered nurses, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, teachers, or occupational therapists. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreational activities primarily for enjoyment.

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How To Become A Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist

Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Many employers require therapists to be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Education

Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in recreational therapy or a related field such as recreation and leisure studies.

Recreational therapy programs include courses in assessment, human anatomy, medical and psychiatric terminology, characteristics of illnesses and disabilities, and the use of assistive devices and technology. Bachelor’s degree programs usually include an internship.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most employers, particularly those in hospitals and other clinical settings, prefer to hire certified recreational therapists. The NCTRC offers the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential. Candidates may qualify for certification through one of two pathways. The first option requires a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy, which includes the completion of a supervised internship of at least 560 hours, and passing an exam. The second option also requires passing an exam, but allows candidates with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject to qualify with a combination of education and work experience. Therapists must take continuing education classes to maintain certification.

NCTRC also offers specialty certification in five areas of practice: behavioral health, community inclusion services, developmental disabilities, geriatrics, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. Therapists also may earn certificates from other organizations to show proficiency in specific therapy techniques, such as aquatic therapy or aromatherapy.

As of 2014, only New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah required recreational therapists to obtain a license. Requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact the state’s medical board.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Recreational therapists should be kind and empathetic when providing support to patients and their families. They may deal with patients who are in pain or under emotional stress.

Leadership skills. Recreational therapists must be able to plan, develop, and implement intervention programs in an effective manner. They must be engaging and able to motivate patients to participate in a variety of therapeutic activities.

Listening skills. Recreational therapists must listen carefully to a patient’s problems and concerns. They can then determine an appropriate course of treatment for that patient.

Patience. Recreational therapists may work with some patients who require more time and special attention than others.

Resourcefulness. Recreational therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be both creative and flexible when adapting activities or programs to each patient’s needs.

Speaking skills. Recreational therapists need to communicate well with their patients. They must give clear directions during activities or instructions on healthy coping techniques.

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Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist Career Paths

Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist
Therapist Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinician Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinician Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Clinician Team Leader Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Consultant Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Team Leader Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Team Leader President
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Counselor Administrator Nurse Manager
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Counselor Lead Teacher Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Clinician Clinical Social Worker Social Work Supervisor
Director Of Social Work
6 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Clinician Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Clinician Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Outpatient Physical Therapist Clinical Supervisor Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Outpatient Physical Therapist Program Manager Clinical Director
Director Of Rehabilitation
7 Yearsyrs
Outpatient Physical Therapist Adjunct Professor Nurse Manager
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Office Manager House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Adjunct Instructor Registered Nurse Case Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Clinician 2.7 years
Therapist 2.7 years
Family Therapist 2.7 years
Group Therapist 2.4 years
Health Therapist 2.4 years
In Home Therapist 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist
Internship 15.4%
Clinician 9.3%
Therapist 9.3%
Counselor 7.6%
Mentor 2.9%
Volunteer 2.2%
Trainee 2.2%
Cashier 2.2%
Top Careers After Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist
Therapist 16.7%
Clinician 12.4%
Counselor 5.6%
Internship 3.0%
Supervisor 2.5%

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Top Skills for A Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist

  1. Group Therapy Sessions
  2. Treatment Plans
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated daily group therapy sessions and weekly dialectical behavioral therapy group.
  • Completed assessments and diagnoses, implemented treatment plans and interfaced with other community agencies.
  • Coordinated with service providers and families* Counseled children and families* Provided crisis intervention* Observed children in their classroom to determine their needs
  • Work with other agencies as necessary for the provision and coordination of mental health services for the children.
  • Provided on-site classroom support to individual children with behavioral issues.

Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist Demographics

Gender

Female

71.6%

Male

18.7%

Unknown

9.8%
Ethnicity

White

64.3%

Black or African American

12.7%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

83.3%

Khmer

16.7%

Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist Education

Schools

Liberty University

21.5%

Ohio State University

6.5%

Walden University

6.5%

Norfolk State University

5.6%

Jacksonville State University

5.6%

Old Dominion University

5.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.7%

Jackson State University

4.7%

University of Alabama

3.7%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.7%

New York University

3.7%

Antioch University

3.7%

University of Phoenix

3.7%

Capella University

3.7%

Adler Graduate School

2.8%

Saint Mary's University

2.8%

Boston University

2.8%

State University of New York Albany

2.8%

Radford University

2.8%

Lynchburg College

2.8%
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Majors

Social Work

26.8%

School Counseling

13.7%

Counseling Psychology

10.3%

Mental Health Counseling

10.0%

Family Therapy

8.0%

Psychology

7.7%

Clinical Psychology

6.0%

Human Services

2.6%

Rehabilitation Science

2.3%

Sociology

2.0%

Education

2.0%

Nursing

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Business

1.1%

Human Development

1.1%

Experimental Psychology

0.9%

Special Education

0.9%

Communication

0.9%

Ethnic, Gender And Minority Studies

0.6%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.6%
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Degrees

Masters

74.2%

Bachelors

10.2%

Other

6.0%

Doctorate

4.9%

Certificate

2.3%

Associate

1.3%

License

1.0%
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