Interview with Kevin Gruzewski, Recreation Therapy Consultant

Kevin Gruzewski is a recreation therapist who has worked with developmentally disabled adults as well as teenagers in the criminal justice system. I connected with Kevin through Amazon of all places! I was looking up my telehealth book, and under “Frequently bought together,” Amazon recommended Kevin’s book, Therapy Games for Teens: 150 Activities to Improve Self-Esteem, Communication, and Coping Skills. I figured, if some of my readers like Kevin’s books, I should let the rest of you know about him.

Recreation therapy is “a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed need of individuals … as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery, and well-being” (NCTRC). Recreation therapy often refers to outdoor activities, like athletic games and outdoor physical activities, but it can also include creative and artistic activities, animal assisted therapy, and mindfulness or meditation activities. If outdoor activities are not an option in your practice, the book still has many resources that you can implement with your clients.

Recreation therapy can be great for building rapport, especially with clients who might not be thrilled about coming for therapy. It incorporates activities that make therapy enjoyable and often does not look like “traditional” talk therapy. The movement activities that recreation therapy incorporates can be particularly helpful for those struggling with trauma.

Therapy Games for Teens

Who doesn’t need more options in their toolbox for therapeutic interventions? Kevin’s book gives detailed instructions for implementing activities for a variety of presenting concerns. You can follow the instructions easily, but you can also customize the interventions based on the client’s unique needs, interests, and preferences. It is a great addition to any therapist’s library, especially those working with teenagers.

Kevin’s book came about from his blog, where he wrote about recreation therapy and shared resources for other therapists doing recreation therapy. (Sound familiar?) His website has some great resources and activities for therapists who want to make their therapy sessions more engaging and fun for clients. If you are looking for some free suggestions for your practice, check his blog out!

Currently, Kevin writes full time and is available for freelance work.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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