Diversional therapy

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Diversional therapy

In Australia, Diversional Therapy “is a client centred practice [that] recognises that leisure and recreational experiences are the right of all individuals.” [1] Diversional Therapists promote the involvement in leisure, recreation and play by reducing barriers to their client's participation and providing opportunities where the individual may choose to participate. Ideally these recreational activities promote self-esteem and personal fulfillment, through an emphasis on holistic care; providing physical, psychological, social, intellectual and spiritual/cultural support.

Diversional Therapists work in a wide variety of settings, such as Rehabilitation & hospital units, Justice Centres, Community Centres, Day and Respite services, Aged Care Residential Facilities, Ethnic Specific Services, Palliative Care Units and Outreach Programmes, Mental Health Services, Specialist Organisations, Private Practice, Consultancy & Management [2]

The diversional therapist works with a client to achieve positive health outcomes by incorporating leisure programmes into their lifestyles. He or she assists decision-making and participation when developing and managing these programmes. These are often quite diverse and can range from:
· Games, outings, gardening, computers, gentle exercise, music, arts and crafts.
· Individual emotional and social support
· Sensory enrichment, activities like massage and aromatherapy, pet therapy
· Discussion groups, education sessions like grooming, beauty care, cooking
· Social, cultural and spiritual activities [3]

Diversional Therapy is not just about passing the time, about being entertainers or babysitters. As an unknown author once said "Recreation's purpose is not to kill time, but to make time live; not to keep people occupied, but to keep them refreshed; not to offer an escape from life, but to provide a discovery of life." [4]

Becoming a Diversional Therapist[edit]

To become a diversional therapist in Australia you must complete a diploma or degree in diversional therapy or leisure and health studies and this course needs to be recognised by the Diversional Therapy Association of Australia. Entry to the degree courses usually requires completion of your HSC/ACT Year 12 with prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, chemistry or biology. The various universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.[5]

In New Zealand, you can complete a National Certificate in Diversion Therapy. This course of study generally takes 18 months to complete, and participants must have already achieved a Level 3 Core Competencies qualification, which is a basic all-round groundwork course. The diversional therapy courses are usually offered by institutions that focus on practical learning and skills, teaching about the roles of the diversional therapist and developing the ability to create a plan of care.[6]

Benefits of Leisure[edit]

Leisure has many well documented health related benefits.
Physical Benefits can include:

• Decrease in blood pressure
• Decrease in heart rate
• Increase in bone mass and strength
• Increase in lung capacity
• Reduction in incidence of diabetes
• Increase in muscle strength
• Increase in sense of well being
• Increase in flexibility, balance and coordination
• Improvement in immune system [7]

Emotional Benefits can include:

• Happiness
• Life satisfaction
• Morale
• Self-concept
• Self-esteem
• Perceived sense of freedom
• Independence
• Autonomy
• Self-confidence
• Leadership skills
• Tolerance/Understanding
• Problem solving skills [8]

Further information[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ What Is Diversional Therapy
  2. ^ Diversional Therapy Association of NSW
  3. ^ (Quality Care Training, 2003)<
  4. ^ http://www.recreationtherapy.com/trquotes.htm
  5. ^ http://www.diversionaltherapy.com.au
  6. ^ "Diversional Therapy". CareerForce. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  7. ^ (Ayvazoglu, Ratliffe & Kozub, 2004; Academy of Leisure Sciences, n.d.)
  8. ^ (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997; The Academy of Leisure Sciences, n.d