Recreation Therapy for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Challenges to Professional Perspectives and the Evolution of a Leisure Education Group


  • Janet Griffin


Post-Traumatic Stress, Abuse, Trauma, Leisure, Traumatic Reenactment, Recreation Therapy


People who have experienced trauma, such as childhood abuse, often unconsciously reenact aspects of their trauma through their leisure experiences. This has powerful clinical implications for recreation therapy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Without awareness of traumatic reenactments in leisure, recreation therapists may enable maladaptive coping strategies and deeply rooted shame-based beliefs for which the patient is initially seeking treatment. This narrative addresses leisure-related traumatic reenactments of adult survivors of trauma, as well as the process of a leisure-based psycho-educational group implemented to address trauma issues. Case examples and the personal reflections of the recreation therapist are presented, with implications for practice and research.





Practice Perspective