St. Mary’s Center

Therapeutic Recreation

While medical care has made the extention of the life span a reality, a lack of stimulation, activity and interaction can lead to boredom and depression, which can then lead to other health problems.

Maximizing the Quality of Life for those we serve is a vital component of the work that we do.  Therapeutic Recreation is a way to present our residents and clients with life affirming leisure activities that help them heal.  Our location in Upper Manhattan allows us to offer our residents and clients outings to Broadway Plays, and sporting events in NYC.  We increase their awareness of drug free leisure options outside of the facility and on site we offer Creative Arts Therapy Groups such as Dance/Movement, Community Band, Songwriting and Drama Therapy.  Table games such as BINGO and Billiards offer opportunities for friendly competition, hand eye coordination and gross motor skills maintenance.  We also know how to throw some great parties.

Creative Arts Therapies

The creative arts therapies both compliment and provide an alternative to traditional talk therapy. They are often effective where clients may have difficulty with words such as with those who suffer from dementia or ambivalence about traditional talk-based therapies. Some of the specific groups we offer are:

  • Therapeutic Music Making - for clients who struggle with emotional expressions, interpersonal difficulties and behavioral management skills related to their addiction and HIV/AIDS.
  • Embracing Self Through Art - for clients who struggle with low self esteem, negative self image and ongoing feelings of shame and guilt.
  • Dance Therapy - for clients to increase body awareness and strengthen the mind body connection as a way to identify feelings.
  • Move Out Anger/Anxiety - for clients who want to use movement to release tention, learn ways to relax the body and improve communication skills.
  • Drama Therapy - for clients who want to break unhealthy patterns of behavior and interpersonal interactions by identifying with another character. The distance of the problems of a character and the use of metaphors create a safe space for clients to work through emotional and psychological problems.

The creative arts therapies can also provide a more direct channel to accessing feelings and emotions, especially when used with patients who have trauma or abuse in their histories. Verbal descriptions and explorations may often retrigger trauma, whereas the CATs have potential for working with the feeling underneath the explicit content without requiring painful verbal disclosures.

Positive Socialization

Positive socialization is the type of social learning that is based on pleasurable and exciting experiences. At St. Mary's we offer a variety of activities that are designed to increase awareness of and participation in drug free leisure options. From table games tournaments to horseback riding we create opportunities for friendly competition, healing and fun.

Pet Therapy


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