Healing Arts & Therapeutic Recreation

St. Mary’s goal is to help children be children. One way we do this is through the use of healing arts and therapeutic recreation.

Therapeutic recreation uses treatment, education, and recreation services to help people with illness and disabilities to use their leisure time in ways that enhance their health, abilities, independence, and quality of life.

St. Mary’s specially-trained Therapeutic Recreation Specialists organize medically-approved recreation programs for our young patients. Participation in sports, dramatics, games, sensory stimulation, and arts and crafts assists children in developing interpersonal relationships, helps them socialize effectively, and helps them develop the confidence they need to participate in group activities. Program content is tailored to meet each child’s capabilities, needs, and interests.

Art and music therapies help our children cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences. It also helps children express themselves – making art therapy one of the best ways to help children deal with anger or depression.

Every child in St. Mary’s inpatient and outpatient programs has the opportunity to participate in the therapeutic arts program. Activities include: ­

  • Dinner and a Movie Night
  • Sunrise Sensory Group
  • Healthy Snacking Group
  • Special trips to shows, sporting events, aquarium
  • Cafe North – chat group
  • St. Mary’s Bonus Bucks incentive program
  • Swimming and aquatics program
  • Poetry and creative expression programs
  • Monthly birthday celebrations

Innovative Therapy-Portable Vecta Station

portable vecta stationSt. Mary’s Therapeutic Recreation staff members promote relaxation and comfort through the use of a portable multi-sensory cart which uses lights, music, and touch to provide multi-sensory stimulation to children at St. Mary’s. The new form of therapy serves as a distraction for difficult and often painful procedures, such as physical therapy sessions, and tests, and even helps children focus more on achieving their goals. In addition, therapists have witnessed first-hand, the improvement in their patient’s condition. St. Mary’s kids look forward to group sessions with the cart, and therapy has now become another element of “fun time” for them.

For more information on Healing Arts and Therapeutic Recreation, please call 718-281-8859.