How to become a diversional therapist

Run leisure programs in health and aged care settings to give others a higher quality of life.

Begin your diversional therapy career

  1. Earn your qualification in health and leisure. Many employers will accept a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health. However, if you’d like to broaden your career opportunities, consider a Bachelor of Health Science or a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in leisure and health or therapeutic recreation. 
  2. Get a National Police Certificate, first-aid certificate and Working with Children Check. You may also need to have a current driver’s license. If you plan to work in a clinical setting, you will need to provide up-to-date immunisation records.
  3. Join Diversional and Recreation Therapy Australia to share your journey with other therapists and access professional development resources. 
  4. Specialise with further study in an area like aged care or dementia care

What does a diversional therapist do?

Diversional therapists coordinate lifestyle activities for people of all ages, though they most commonly work in the aged care and health sectors. They develop fun, creative programs that meet their clients’ individual wants and needs, with the goal of improving their overall wellness. 

Duties and tasks

Diversional therapists generally:

  • Plan and run leisure programs, which could include anything from general outings to art therapy sessions
  • Help individuals identify what they want and need from a lifestyle program so they can be supported and encouraged
  • Document and report on an individual’s outcomes after they have participated in leisure activities 
  • Evaluate the success of leisure programs and adjust accordingly
  • Observe clients for health concerns and report changes to relevant staff
  • Assist with training and supervising volunteers and staff

Industry bodies

Diversional therapy jobs

You will find diversional therapy jobs listed on SEEK, LinkedIn, Ethical Jobs, Diversional and Recreational Therapy Australia, government job boards and aged care job boards. Other related roles you could consider with your qualifications include:

  • Activities coordinator
  • Activities officer
  • Lifestyle coordinator
  • Recreation activities officer

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