Anyone and everyone can improve their overall health and wellbeing with Be RT. General health principles will be used with all of our clients. We will always encourage physical activity and a healthy diet to help boost mood and improve stress management. We will focus on healthy routine including sleep habits. We will help you identify and engage in healthy activities of interest. We will encourage you to spend time with friends and family. Although we target specific groups we are willing to work with anyone who would like to improve health and wellbeing.
At Be RT we believe in celebrating diversity and uniqueness. Every client is different, therefore every treatment plan and group will reflect the unique strengths and interests of the individual or group. Below are some examples of who we work with and the types of services we provide. Be RT can support you in carrying out an existing treatment plan or we can design you a new treatment plan. We can support the work you have begun with a doctor or allied health professional or Be RT can serve as a stand-alone service.Children
Children thrive when actively engaged in play. At Be RT all aspects of assessment, and treatment will be play based. Through play, the Recreation Therapist will develop therapeutic rapport and trust required to help children heal, and practice skills. Adventurous and challenging recreation activities provide a sense of accomplishment and, cultivate the development of self-confidence. Continuous support, encouragement, and feedback, increases determination and nurtures the development of self-efficacy. At Be RT children are the leaders of their own treatment which fosters the development of autonomy.Youth and Young Adults
Rapid developmental changes during adolescence can create unique and interesting challenges. Healthy recreation can help young people develop a sense of identity and belonging, provide a positive outlet for energy, provide a safe space to take risks and test boundaries, and much more. At Be RT we see the inherent potential in every youth. We acknowledge and accept the value in video games and social media and we assist young people in finding a balanced lifestyle. Be RT helps youth connect with active adventure in the outdoors, express their individuality through music and art, become a positive social leader, find joy in learning, and explore meaning in their lives.Adults
In Adulthood life can feel hectic and exhausting. Be RT takes a mindful approach to assessment, treatment planning, and implementation. Healthy recreation allows adults to be present in the moment and offers uplifting and revitalizing effects. Be RT helps adults to maximize the therapeutic potential of authentically engaging in their own unique strengths and interests. We help clients create and implement a realistic plan to navigate those nasty barriers that keep adults from regularly experiencing the joy and fulfillment we feel when doing the things we love.Older Adults
Aging creates a host of challenges and opportunities. Often older adults have more time to engage in healthy recreation but they lack the energy, ability, or desire to participate. Be RT helps older adults to adapt activities of interest to allow continued participation despite challenges of aging. Adapted activities allow clients to safely participate in personally meaningful recreation beyond what they previously thought possible. Be RT helps older adults to socially connect, experience fun and enjoyment through physically activity, and stay sharp through music, art, and cognitive exercise. Be RT also provides transportation and assistance to and from therapeutic recreation destinations.LGBTQ+ (LGBTTTQQIAA+ Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-spirited, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, + Pansexual, Agender, Gender Queer, Bi Gender, Gender Variant, Pan Gender)
At Be RT we are inspired by the LGBTQ+ community. We advocate for acceptance, inclusion, and diversity in all of our work and we look to the LGBTQ+ community for leadership. LGBTQ+ clients face significant challenges such as prejudice and stigmatization. At Be RT we help LGBTQ+ clients process complex social and emotional dynamics and support connections with LGBTQ+ community groups. We engage our clients in personally meaningful inclusive recreation activities and we assist clients with navigating barriers to participation that can be specific to the LGBTQ+ community.First Nations, Inuit, Metis
Indigenous teachings inform Be RT practices. Teaching such as gratitude, kinship, reverence for community, and creation come from a cultural wisdom that shows us how to live in peace with the earth and one another. At Be RT we help Indigenous and non-Indigenous people connect or re-connect with cultural wisdom and practices. We support clients on and off reserve to benefit from traditional and contemporary recreational pursuits. Our clients receive culturally safe care that acknowledges the historical, societal, and cultural contexts that influence ongoing health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people.
Mental Health and Addictions
Below are some examples of the Be RT approach based on DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition) diagnostic categories. Pursuing a diagnosis is not always necessary however if you are interested seeking diagnostic clarification we are here to help
Substance Related and Addictive Disorders
Substance Use Disorder - Increasing dependency on drugs and alcohol is often related to escaping underlying issues such as stress, trauma, grief, and shame. Clients often spend significant time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of substance use. At Be RT we help clients to cope with triggers and cravings by using their time to engage in meaningful recreation. We use motivational interviewing to foster intrinsic motivation needed for sustainable change. We help clients find the right supports and attend groups with them whether it be AA, NA, or secular groups.
Process Addictions (gambling, internet, sex, shopping, video games, etc.) - Little research exists to inform treatment of these addictions. Participating in the addictive behaviour can cause clients to neglect all other parts of their life. At Be RT we help clients create and maintain a balanced leisure lifestyle. We complete relapse prevention work and use a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) informed approach. A harm reduction approach is used because typically abstinence is not practical or desired.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Phobias, and Agoraphobia – Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada. Although common, the treatment path is far from clear. Be RT offers in home/community recreation based exposure therapy. Often exposure is ineffective because the client does not have adequate support during initial exposures. Be RT treatment offers one on one support in a real life context to ensure small successes are celebrated and ability to cope increases.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts can contribute to a person feeling like they are re-experiencing a traumatic event(s). At Be RT we take a balanced approach to working with people with PTSD. Participation in healthy recreation gives clients some distance and reprieve from the intrusive thoughts. Exposure and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are used to process and restructure thinking regarding the initial trauma.
Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Unwanted, repetitive thoughts and urges may cause a client to engage in behaviors compulsively. Not engaging in these compulsive behavior can cause significant distress. At Be RT we create recreation based exposure response prevention plans and provide one-on-one support for implementation. Engaging in these plans in a recreational context provides motivation and distraction for the client thereby optimizing opportunities for success.
Hoarding Disorder, Trichotillomania – Hoarding and hair pulling are typically difficult conditions to treat. At Be RT we use healthy recreation to reduce social isolation and develop therapeutic rapport. We use an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)/Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) informed approach to accept/restructure urges and distorted thinking. Home visits and one-on-one support play a vital role in Be RT treatment plans.
Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Psychotic Depression – Be RT treatment helps people suffering from depression to re-connect with meaning in life but sometimes the first step is the hardest, to step out of bed. At Be RT we will help you every step of the way. The road to recovery can be slow but the joy we experience through personally meaningful recreation is a motivator to keep putting one foot in front of the other. From a helping hand out of bed, to changing patterns of behavior and cognition, Be RT treats depression in a real life context.
Post-Partum Depression – Extreme sadness and exhaustion can make it seem impossible for people to care for themselves and their children. At Be RT we engage the family in treatment planning. We can provide care for the baby and support mom and/or dad with engaging in healthy recreation. We support the family in creating, and engaging in a sustainable plan to improve energy level and lift mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Beyond simply the winter blues SAD can leave people susceptible to a host of other illnesses. Be RT helps clients to be active in the sunshine during the winter months. We address and navigate barriers to recreation participation in the cold season to ensure SAD does not return each year.
Cluster A - Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personality Disorders – Can cause extreme social isolation and distrust of others. Recreation activities can be the perfect venue to challenge paranoid thoughts and gain an appreciation for the value of social connections. One-on-one support helps clients in the moment to identify and label cognitive distortions and then reorient towards realistic thinking.
Cluster B – Anti-social, Borderline, Histrionic, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders – Can be the most stigmatized and misunderstood group of diagnoses’. The core components of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy DBT will be taught and practiced in a recreational setting with continuous feedback. Mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance practiced in real life, with real emotions teaches powerful and lasting lessons.
Cluster C – Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorders – When anxious and fearful thinking becomes debilitating one-on-one support and encouragement can be required to practice skills and sustain changes. Be RT treatment offers a safe and supportive environment in which clients can step outside of comfort zone, build self-confidence, and independence.
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa – Be RT takes an Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) approach. The complexity of eating disorder pathology requires people suffering from eating disorders to receive support from family/friends/community. A family or group context can help people with eating disorders accomplish challenging treatment goals such as, normalizing eating, eating in public, maintaining a positive self-image, and coping with urges to purge. Heathy recreation can serve as a motivator to consume enough food energy to safely participate in the client’s activity of choice.
Binge Eating Disorder – Strong urges to eat are often related to shame, poor self-image and other underlying emotions. Be RT treatment will take a Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) informed approach to help clients regulate these challenging emotions. We will use healthy recreation to address unhealthy patterns of behavior and inspire positive change.
Bipolar and Related Disorders
Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder – Learning how to cope with these illnesses can take trial and error because they never seems to present the same in people. Be RT helps clients to identify and practice coping strategies for both manic and depressive episodes. We will use a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach in a recreational context to examine the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Psychotic Disorders
Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Schizophreniform Disorder, Brief Psychotic Disorder, Psychosis associated with substance use or medical conditions - Hallucinations and delusions can be difficult to separate from objective reality. Coping with these symptoms while engaged in a healthy recreation activity can be empowering. Participation in regularly scheduled activities supports a healthy routine including activities of daily living (ADL’s). Be RT helps clients establish and maintain healthy routine while regularly experiencing joy and increasing independence.
Self-harm and Suicide
Self-harm – Many people describe a release from cutting themselves or hurting themselves in some way. Urges to self-harm can be very strong and entrenched patterns of behavior can form. Healthy alternative methods of coping are often unsuccessful in providing people with that same sense of release. At Be RT we never villainize self-harm. We help clients and families to accept that the self-harming behavior is serving a purpose for the client. We use mindful recreation pursuits (e.g. meditation, yoga, thai chi, etc.) to explore patterns of thinking and behavior. We process urges to self-harm in the moment and provide consistent support with implementing strategies.
Suicide and Suicidal thoughts – There are often many complex and interdependent factors that contribute to a person taking their own life. At Be RT we help ensure our clients safety by creating, practicing, and revising realistic safety plans. We engage our clients in activities they are good at and enjoy. We highlight positive emotional experiences to help our clients question and move past hopelessness. We build strong therapeutic alliances to uncover and resolve underlying mental and emotional concerns. If you require emergency assistance call 911 or the Ontario Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600 to connect with the mental health crisis line in your area.
Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – The most common mental disorder amongst young people but also affects adults. At Be RT we help those struggling with ADHD to connect with a healthy outlet for their energy. We also work with schools and employers to ensure that accommodations can be made. Be RT clients with ADHD learn new ways to structure their time to maximize focus and concentration.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – There is no cure for ASD but quality of life and well-being can be dramatically enhanced. At Be RT we focus on developing a trusting relationship by allowing the client to choose a preferred method of communication. We teach and practice skills in a variety of recreational contexts and facilitate the transfer of learning into school and employment settings.
Intellectual Development Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Specific Learning Disorder, Tic Disorders – Be RT focuses on building therapeutic alliance to best assist clients with fostering strengths and coping with challenges. Artistic pursuits are used to understand, explore, and expand unique learning styles. Various physical activities are used as an energy outlet and to improve focus and concentration when required to perform a specific task.
Neurocognitive Disorders (NCD’s)
Delirium, NCD’s from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc. – Impaired cognition has not been present since birth therefore clients can experience a profound sense of loss and disorientation. Be RT uses relaxing, mindful, and physical recreation activities to help clients find a sense of calm, acceptance, and to maintain fitness level. We explore the use of adapted equipment to assist clients with continuing to enjoy personally meaningful recreation in a safe way. We work with family members and friends to strengthen routine and minimize memory demanding tasks thereby increasing independence.
Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Conduct Disorder (CD), Pyromania, Kleptomania, etc. - These conditions can be very taxing on an individual, family, and community. Be RT takes a family/community approach by providing in the moment feedback and support to clients and families in a recreational setting. We work with schools to implement behavioural strategies that support learning, development, and success. We model healthy behaviour and provide social skills training from a strength-based recreational context.