[Skip to Content]

Recreational Therapy at Heartland

Expressive and Recreation Therapy

Heartland Behavioral Health Services in Nevada, Missouri, offers Expressive and Recreation Therapy to our patients. Not only are these activities fun, relaxing and enjoyable for our patients, but they also teach skills to help identify and cope with intense emotions.

There are many goals of Expressive and Recreation Therapy. One is to help children specifically identify which emotions they are experiencing, including depression, stress and anxiety. When words do not fully express the depth of the given emotion a child is experiencing, he or she can easily become frustrated and traditional talk therapy may be insufficient. The use of recreation activities such as expressive arts therapy, drama therapy, poetry, storytelling and dance therapy often give the child a way to relay what is truly going on inside their head and heart. Another goal is to encourage engagement in activities that promote teamwork, problem solving, communication, movement, healthy competition and good sportsmanship.

We understand that each child is unique and that is why this program has two components. One component is Expressive Therapy. Our care facilities include an entire room dedicated for kids to express their thoughts, feelings, opinions and emotions using a variety of media and techniques. The goal with this component is to identify a child’s personal emotions and increase their emotional vocabulary. Rather than a child saying, “I feel mad”, recreational therapists work to guide the child to look inside themselves through the creative process to identify more specifically what the emotion is such as, “I feel frustrated or enraged or, I show mad on the outside because inside I feel lonely.”

The second component is Expression in Movement (also called “Recreational Therapy”). Kids have the opportunity to utilize our over 50 acre campus and participate in activities such as kickball, Wiffle ball, initiative games, problem solving, and all types of movement activities. The overall goal for this component is for the children to work collectively together as a team and also have fun while doing it. Both of these components are a favorite among many of our kids, especially those interested in the arts and expressive movement.

Need Help? Give Us a Call.

Heartland Behavioral Health Services provides acute inpatient and residential treatment services to children and adolescents at our treatment facilities in Nevada, Missouri. We cannot offer a diagnosis, counseling or recommendations online, however, our professional staff offer 24/7 assessments at no cost. We can be reached anytime by calling 800-654-9605. If you need immediate medical assistance, contact 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.