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Recreation Therapy

What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation Therapy is using recreation or leisure based activities as purposeful tools of intervention to help the client achieve a specific goal. This is done through four basic steps: Assessment, Planning, Implementing and Evaluating. See FAQ for elaboration of each step.

Recreational activities provide a wide range of benefits to the participant, and can actually be used as a form of therapy when specifically selected for an intended purpose.

Recreation Therapy is unique in that it uses client assessments to plan a unique combination of interventions that cater to a client’s specific needs and goals. People experience healing best when they are having fun and are engaged in their treatment process.

Benefits of recreation participation include:

Heightened self-awareness
Reduces stress and depression
Increases strength and endurance
Decreases social isolation
Enhances decision making
Increases life and leisure satisfaction
Promotes healthy adjustment to life circumstances
Expands range of motivation
Improves coordination
Elevated emotional well-being
Improves coping
Aids in avoiding medical care
Improves functioning and independence
Contributes to overall health
Enhances body image

Therapeutic Recreation for Fitness

Recreation therapy programming is useful also when looking to lose access body weight, obtain a higher level of overall fitness or increase muscular endurance.

Our Recreation Therapy Pro, Jenna Holden is a NASM Certified personal trainer and has several certifications in aquatics and coaching. Together, Recreation Therapy, and personal training and aquatics create a unique trifecta that takes this program next level and separates it from the rest. Each participant may require more or less from these three areas the combination creates and atmosphere ideal for success.

This program takes into account each participants unique interests as well creating an individualized program that is not only effective but also enjoyable for them making it ideal for them to want to improve.

Schedule & Pricing for Recreation Therapy

Contact our Recreation Pro, Jenna Holden, via email: Jenna@paloaltoswim.com with any questions or to schedule a session.

Prior to your first appointment, you will need to set up a MindBody Account: Please follow this link to set up an account.

The first step in the recreation therapy process is assessment. Your first session will be include a variety of assessments to help the pro best understand your unique abilities, interests, needs and goals. From here we will set up a plan and follow up session that work with you and your schedule.


One on one:  $125/hour
*10% discount when you purchase a 6-hour pack of time.
*Discounted group and package deals available on a case by case basis. Contact Jenna for further information.

Meet the Pro

Jenna Holden

Growing up on a lake in upstate New York, Jenna developed a love of outdoor recreation especially water sports at a young age. Wakeboarding, tree climbing, kayaking and swimming regularly topped the list. Jenna’s love of swimming continued to grow as she swam competitively year round for her local USA swimming league and later at the intercollegiate level.

Her love of outdoor recreation also grew as she continued to pursue new ventures such as rock climbing, high ropes course initiatives, western horseback riding and open water swimming. She decided to pursue this interest into college and study the science behind why some activities draw people in and allow them to have a rich experience of pure joy, realizations or even challenge. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation, she continued on to obtain professional credentialing in the field by becoming a Certified Recreation Therapist through NCTRC. While in college she also pursued leadership in the industry with training in the areas of whitewater raft guiding, high ropes course initiatives and group facilitation. She was involved with various programs offering multi-day backcountry backpacking and canoeing trips that traversed many miles through the Adirondacks wilderness. She also enjoyed serving as a facilitator in Colorado leading students in character development and personal growth programs through rock climbing, whitewater rafting and backpacking trips.

She has always had a passion for helping people and was thrilled upon realizing there was a career using recreation based programming to do so. She became fascinated with Recreation therapy studying how the intentional selection of specific activities or interventions can be so therapeutic and healing. She got her start in recreation therapy working at the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, CO. It was here where she developed a strong background in leading adaptive sports, outdoor recreation, teambuilding initiatives, backcountry expeditions and adventure wilderness therapy.

In 2013 she was able to put her training to practice by applying techniques to her own life when she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune cancer that required neurosurgery and 18 months later chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She used recreation therapy techniques to move forward as she strived to stay as strong, healthy and optimistic as she could through illness, recovery and on to strengthening.  She now wants to help others do the same, coming alongside her clients as they overcome their own challenges and strive to achieve a higher level of holistic well-being.  Jenna seeks to help others find their unique best path to success taking into account their unique situations, abilities, and interests and creating a personalized approach just for them. She is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and also holds several certifications in the areas of coaching and aquatics. The combination of personal training, recreation therapy and aquatics makes her program so effective with clients. She is now enjoying live in remission and looks forward to competing in more triathlons and Spartan races this season. In her free time she can be found swimming laps, mountain biking and cooking.

Policies & FAQs

Q: Who benefits from this type of programming?
A: Anyone interested in an Individualized fitness and or recreation plan based on their personal assessments, needs, interests, abilities and goals is encouraged to try this program.

Specific groups include but not limited to:
Individuals recovering from illness or injury
Children or adults with disabilities
Individuals with learning differences limiting them from current programming
Individuals that cannot take part in recreation or fitness programming already provided due to physical, social or emotional restraints
Individuals looking to lose weight and or increase fitness
Seeking individualized aquatic workout fitness plan
Anyone needing extra support, encouragement or accountability with fitness
Injured athletes overcoming a temporary injury (rehabilitation)
Athletes with a permanent disability looking to adapt to their sport or learn a new ability.
Adaptive sports: Challenged athletes division/Special Olympics
Anyone with limited or painful mobility

Anyone looking for an individualized fitness plan:
Looking to lose weight increase fitness but aren’t sure how to do this on own or where to start
Anyone interested in extra guidance, motivation, structure and accountability to stay on a healthy routine
Aquatic workout/ fitness plan
Anyone needing extra support/encouragement or accountability with fitness
Those seeking breakthrough to overcome plateau

Q: How does it work?
A: Jenna follows the APIE approach for treatment, Assessment, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate:

All clients will fill out a general intake survey. This will serve as our baseline starting point in getting to know you, the participant, and what you want to get out of our time together. From here, the therapist will select the appropriate additional assessments that help us get a better understanding of your unique abilities, situations, interests and needs. Methods of Assessment include, interviewing, observation, tests/ questionnaires, reviewing past records.

These assessment tools can look further at anything from levels of physical, cognitive, social or emotional functioning, leisure interests, leisure awareness, perceived freedom or barriers, environmental support, leisure values and attitudes, individual’s strengths, issues needing to be addressed, expectations and goals, clients general leisure awareness and unique perspectives.

From our assessments the therapist can better determine needs, priorities and goals. Together, these go into developing a treatment plan. This is our plan of action.

Our plan puts your treatment into a schedule that works for you and your lifestyle. Helps us to nail down goals, create measureable objectives, and determine what activities will work best to get the client where they need to be. Well formulated goals and objectives is key here as they will be used to both direct us as well as measure our success.

Here is our action phase. The therapist will guide person thorough the activity, organized activities, makes adaptions, offers support and feedback. Documentation of participation and performance is ongoing throughout the sessions.

Our final step is one of reflection and debriefing.  This includes appraisals of our goals and objectives. Determining how effective our plan was, evaluating the individual’s progress and determine what our next steps should be.

Cancellation Policy
All lessons need to be booked 48 hours in advanced. Any changes to the schedule must be made 48 hours in advance to avoid charges.