Heritage Recreation Therapists Present at Statewide Conference

Four Heritage School recreation therapists were invited to present recently at a state conference.

The Utah Recreation Therapy Association yearly conference was held at UVU on March 3 and 4. Recreation therapists from all over Utah gathered to gain education credit and learn the programs and techniques used at various schools.

Natalie Sagers, Elevate recreation therapy supervisor, said she and other rec therapists from Heritage attended and presented at the conference. She and Laura Bennion presented the first day on recreation therapy regarding mood disorders and Elicia Schwendiman and Chelsey Cook presented on recreation therapy regarding autism spectrum disorders.

“I presented on evidenced-based therapy interventions for teens with mood disorders,” Natalie said. “URTA asked for applications to present at the conference and they accepted our proposal to present.”

She said there were break out sessions with three or four options each session where recreation therapists could choose the topics they wanted to learn about. In all, there were about 20-25 options to choose from.

“Laura and I presented on the program I wrote for mood disorders,” Natalie said. “It’s an all inclusive program that has eight topics. For each of those topics we presented on we explained why they relate to mood disorders, why they are effective to mood disorders and we gave rec therapy intervention ideas. We also had them participate in a couple of tasks to get them engaged in the presentation.”

She said the topics are unique to the program she wrote – they are evidenced based for mood disorders. She explained the research and evidence of the impact of this program at the conference. Many in the audience had positive comments.

“The reviews people gave said it was interactive and informative,” she said. “A lot of people asked when the program would be copyrighted so they could use it.”

Copyrighting of the program will take place in the near future.

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