Recreation Therapy

Researchers have identified that involvement in recreation activities provides many benefits, some of which include increased physical fitness, increased self-confidence and increased social interaction. Research shows that productive and positive use of recreation time for someone with a disability is not only desirable, it is imperative.

Attitude and activity strongly affect a person’s health and well-being. Involvement in positive and meaningful recreation activities assists with decreasing medical complications and the need for further medical intervention and /or hospitalization, and it is one of the best ways to adjust to lifestyle changes caused by a disability.

Our Mission Statement

Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy Department’s mission is to help people with a temporary or permanent disability caused by injury or disease to lead healthy and active lifestyles as independently as possible through the use of recreation activities, providing education, skill development, and community reintegration opportunities.

Who is Appropriate for Recreation Therapy?

  • Anyone who has acquired a disability and wishes to return to an active lifestyle. Please inquire via contact information below if you are interested in Recreation Therapy Outpatient Services.

Initial Assessment

  • Individuals are assessed to see what goals they have for themselves and what goals the Recreation Therapy Specialists finds appropriate for the individual. Once goals are agreed upon then individual sessions are set to work towards achieving these goals.

Recreation Therapy Services

Leisure Counseling/Leisure Education Content Areas:

  • Laws and rights
  • Meaning of wellness
  • Benefits of recreation
  • Problem solving techniques
  • Community accessibility
  • Self-advocacy
  • Transportation and Air travel
  • Time management
  • Community resources
  • Stigma management

Leisure Skill Instruction Content Areas:

  • Explore Recreation Interest
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Adaptive techniques
  • Activity modifications
  • Recreation Resources 

Community Reintegration

All learned information is combined to assist an individual with the confidence and knowledge to return to their community. Individuals with the support and guidance of the Recreation Therapy Specialists, learn how to function more independently and practice skills within their community. External resources are used whenever needed to assist in achieving a goal. Through the assistance of Recreation Therapy services individuals gain the confidence and knowledge to become active members of their community.

Recreation Therapy Internships

Internships are available/open for all semesters. 

Download the recreation therapy internship application. Please email your completed application to or mail your application to:

Shannon Ali
Recreation Therapy
2020 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

Note: The application process has changed. Video is now required. Submit video by Google or YouTube link.

Recreation Therapy Internship Experience at Shepherd Center

Internships at Shepherd Center

Learn more about the recreation therapy internships at Shepherd Center in the video below.

Supervisor-Intern Relationship

Learn more about the supervisor-intern relationship at Shepherd Center in the video below.

Former Intern Experiences

Learn more about former recreation therapy internship experiences in the video below.

Student Tour Information

If you are a current student majoring in Recreation Therapy and are interested in touring our Recreation Department, please contact Shannon Ali at or 404-350-7474. Your name must be on the tour list and only those students that have received a confirmation will be allowed to tour. Tours are approximately 1 hour.

    Contact Information

    For more information about Recreation Therapy services, email Kelly Edens at