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Bridging the Gap Between Rehab and Home with Recreation Therapy

New Shepherd Center Radio podcast discusses the the many benefits associated with recreational activity.

Researchers have identified that involvement in recreation activities provides many benefits, some of which include increased physical fitness, increased self-confidence and increased social interaction. Research shows that productive and positive use of recreation time for someone with a disability is not only desirable, it is imperative. 

Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy department helps people with a temporary or permanent disability caused by injury or disease to lead healthy and active lifestyles as independently as possible through the use of recreation activities, providing education, skill development and community reintegration opportunities.

In a new podcast with Shepherd Center Radio, associate manager of recreation therapy Cecilia Rider, MS, CTRS, discusses how recreation therapy is used in the rehabilitation environment to address therapy goals throughout the continuum of care. 

Download the podcast as an audio file above, or access it at

Cecilia started her tenure at Shepherd Center working as a primary Recreation Therapist on the inpatient SCI unit where she worked for 6 years before moving to the outpatient SCI unit for another 6 years. As the coordinating therapist for her facility’s travel education program, Cecilia works closely with representatives from Delta Airlines, AirServ and TSA to coordinate staff disability awareness education and hands-on training as well as her facility’s client travel education program. Cecilia is actively involved in institutional research projects to promote departmental growth and evidence-based practice. Cecilia is currently serving her second term on the NCTRC Standard’s Hearing Committee. Cecilia obtained her BS in Psychology from Auburn University Montgomery and her MS in Parks and Recreation Management from University of North Carolina Greensboro.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.