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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Every 9 seconds someone in the United States sustains a brain injury according to the Brain Injury Association of America. Brain injury can impact a person's mood, personality, and functional abilities indefinitely. 3.5 million people sustain acquired brain injuries each year, which are caused by instances of electric shock, near drowning, seizure disorders and stroke. Traumatic brain injury is seen in more than 2.8 million people each year, and are caused by external forces such as car accidents, falling, assault and more. Recreational Therapy (RT) can be utilized as part of a treatment plan to help those living with brain injury live their best lives. The goals for those in RT programming are to achieve the highest possible level of independence. These goals vary across individuals and cases, but can include ways to overcome barriers to leisure and community.

Recreational Therapy Interventions

Recreational therapy is founded on the principles of a strengths-based approach, which means recreation therapists use the strengths our clients have to achieve goals they have for themselves in regard to recreation, leisure, independence, and community. Not everyone with a brain injury has the same goals, and not everyone has the same needs, wants or values when it comes to their recreation and leisure goals. Our team is here to help facilitate that journey and aid our community members with brain injury to lead leisure enriched lives through inclusion, adaptability, community engagement and focusing on person-centered goals.

Based on diagnosis, input from our team and the client, and a leisure interest and needs assessment, an individualized treatment plan is developed that identifies the recreation goals for the client. The overall goals of the recreational therapy journey with EmpoweRT are to improve physical, cognitive, and/or social functioning, and to return the individual to as independent and active of a lifestyle as possible. Specific interventions for those living with brain injury include:

  • Leisure Skills Education: – Individual sessions where the value and benefits of recreation is discussed, the strengths-based approach to leisure, coping strategies, and discussions based around interests, and learning about new skills, abilities and recreation resources/activities.

  • Leisure Skills Instruction: individual and/or group sessions where individuals explore past or new recreation interests. They learn how they can return to these interests through the use of adaptive equipment, adaptive techniques, activity modification, compensatory strategies, and/or a variety of resources (Some of these skills could include, but not limited to, Adaptive Hand-cycling, Adaptive Kayaking, Adaptive Fishing, Animal Assisted Therapy, Expressive Arts, and Assistive Technology.)

  • Community Reintegration: individual and/or group sessions where a client’s abilities and independence are brought out in real-life situations. These outings are designed to help the individual adjust and re-acclimate to their community in the context of their disability and learn tools, and skills to thrive within their respective community settings. (Some of these outings could include, but not limited to, Art Museum, Top Golf, Bowling, Parks, Botanical Gardens, Outdoor Concert, etc.

Community Connection

Empower Recreational Therapy has proudly accepted several invitations from local support groups with the Brain Injury Association of Georgia and from local Wellstar Stroke Support Groups to provide education and share community resources. Most recently, EmpoweRT was invited to speak at a TBI peer support group at Fyzical Therapy Sprayberry led by Pete Kane. Supporting the local community through education, and speaking events is just another way EmpoweRT connects and supports its community members, and other organizations.

EmpoweRT partners with various organizations to bring many of our programs to life, such as partnering with Georgia Tech Tools for Life to utilize assistive technology and adaptive equipment to optimize function. We are able to support greater community needs in our partnership with the Catalyst Sports - Adaptive Kayaking community program and Paws for Life USA for Animal Assisted Therapy needs.

Our community connections make us stronger together to provide the best and most effective ways to ensure our clients are connecting with their community in meaningful, and person-centered ways.

Our Team & Contacts

EmpowerRT has Recreation Therapists that have significant experience and specialized knowledge in treating both Acquired Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury. To find out more about our team:

To learn more about how we can help you, a loved one, or your community please reach to us at

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