How to become a Diversional Therapist

Diversional therapists provide recreational and leisure services for individuals in healthcare centres and in the community to encourage them to take part in activities, assist in their social development and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Personal requirements of a Diversional Therapist

  • Enjoy helping and interacting with people
  • Interested in leisure and recreation as a way of promoting wellbeing
  • Sensitive to the needs of a wide range of individuals
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to coordinate and lead group activities

Education & Training for a Diversional Therapist

To become a diversional therapist you usually have to complete a degree in health science at university with a major in leisure and health or therapeutic recreation. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Diversional Therapist

Diversional therapists may perform the following tasks:

  • help clients to identify their preferred recreational activities
  • encourage and support clients to take part in activities suited to their particular needs and interests
  • provide information on resources available within the local community and from associated agencies
  • perform administrative duties
  • arrange for the purchase of leisure and recreational supplies and equipment
  • organise leisure and recreational events
  • train and supervise volunteers
  • encourage interaction between clients and the community.

Working conditions for a Diversional Therapist

Diversional therapists work with a wide range of clients whose needs arise from ageing, physical or intellectual disabilities, mental illness or undergoing medical treatment. They work alongside other health and community workers to help clients reach their full potential.

Employment Opportunities for a Diversional Therapist

Diversional therapists work with individuals and groups in a range of settings, including aged-care facilities, respite care, community health centres and retirement villages. Diversional therapy programs are also offered in the geriatric, psychiatric and rehabilitation departments of public and private hospitals, as well as in correctional institutions, often in association with occupational therapy services. Diversional therapists may also work in agencies and institutions that provide special services for clients with visual, hearing and speech disabilities. These include Vision Australia, MS Australia and the Australian Red Cross. They may also work in private practices or consultancies. Job opportunities depend on the number of people living in agedcare facilities and residential care institutions, the number of aged citizens and funding for institutions and programs.

Additional Information
Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Check. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Graduates of the degree courses may be eligible for membership of Diversional Therapy Australia.
Related careers