Addiction, Recovery, Therapeutic Recreation

As I have said before one of the nice things about working at Cottonwood is being associated with the great people we have here on staff. I want to introduce you today to Richard Patterson, MS, CTRS, our Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

Hello. My name is Richard Patterson. Everyone calls me Butch, a nickname that was given to me by the nurse in the hospital where I was born. I was the biggest baby in the nursery.

I have worked at Cottonwood for some 14 years. I am a recreation therapist by training and the Coordinator of Recreation Therapy Services. People often tell me I have the BEST job at Cottonwood as there is kickboxing, Rocks and Ropes, outings, Challenge Course and “Funstitute”. People see the results but not the preparation that goes into making these activities not only fun but therapeutic.

What part of the job do I enjoy the most? It is being present when someone recognizes they can have fun without the aid of mood altering chemicals or feeling guilty for being happy. It is looking at the face of someone who has just completed the 45 minute kickboxing workout (butt boxers included) without any rest stops. It’s hearing the joy in an individual’s voice when they complete their first rockclimbing wall.

What is my favorite activity? Whatever I am doing at the time. If I had to put it down I guess it would be Rocks and Ropes because it gives patients so many opportunities to gain insight into their own behavior and problem solving.

Favorite Saying

“Man does not cease to play because he grows old; man grows old because he ceases to play”.

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CARF - Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities NATSAP | National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs NAADAC newsweek