355 East Erie
Chicago, IL 60611
United States


Therapy does not have to be all work and no play. Through Therapeutic Recreation, patients build upon physical skills from other therapies, resume previous recreational interests, learn new ones, and move forward on the path of mental and emotional healing through different leisure activities. These benefits are very important to the recovery process and your whole being because they allow you enjoy the activities you love and just be yourself. You also have the chance to meet new people, many of whom face the same challenges you do. Inpatients and families can explore various fun and therapeutic opportunities through music therapy, art therapy, animal-assisted therapy and recreation activity programming

What makes Therapeutic Recreation at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab unique?

Our therapeutic recreation staff works closely with you and your loved ones to help find activities and events that match your interests and help you meet everyday needs (for example, commuting on the train or safe money handling).

Internships with the Therapeutic Recreation Program


The Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program is an integral part of a patient’s rehabilitation process while at  the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The team works closely with other allied health professionals to devise treatment objectives that can range from leisure skills training and community reintegration outings, to leisure education sessions and recreational resource awareness. Based on a leisure assessment, a treatment plan is developed to aid the patient’s rehabilitation goals and leisure interests. Therapies may involve recreational therapy, music therapy, horticultural therapy, art therapy, and animal-assisted therapy.

An internship with the Therapeutic Recreation Department is great for people who want exposure to a variety of patient populations and experience in helping individuals lead healthy and active lifestyles as independently as possible through the use of recreation activities, education, skill development, and community reintegration opportunities.

Interested in applying for an internship or more information? Click links below for an application and general Information or visit the Sports-Fitness-T-Rec Internship page.

For information on other internship and career opportunities within the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, click here now.

Manager, Therapeutic Recreation

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Michael Wehner


Art Therapist

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Lynne Linkowski


Music Therapist

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William McKenna


Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

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Natalie Bilynsky


Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

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Ericka Burnam


Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

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Rio James


Upcoming Events

25Oct 2019

6:00 PM - 10:30 PM

St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church Auditorium

OCTOBER 25 - Annual Sports & Fitness Awards Dinner

3Nov 2019

7:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Willis Tower

SkyRise Chicago - 2019

9Nov 2019

9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Broadway Armory

Second City Showdown Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

14Dec 2019

9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Park District of LaGrange Recreation Center

Chicago Boccia Regional Tournament

19Jan 2020

2:30 PM - 9:00 PM

United Center

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Sled Blackhawks at the United Center

11Mar 2020

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Wichita Hoops

National Wheelchair Basketball Championships

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Our Programs

Recreational therapy is designed to improve function and independence, as well as offer a productive & inspirational aspect to the recovery process. Here are just some of the recreational therapy options at AbilityLab.

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