Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Great Initial Response to Call to Adopt RT Term

I am both surprised and pleased by the response thus far to the post "Time for Profession to Adopt RT Term!" In the first 48 hours following the post I received five email messages which were all in favor of adopting the term recreation therapy. And, by the way, all five messages were from "big names" in our profession. You may have also seen the well prepared comment by Sharon n ctrs (wonder who that is!) in which she stressed the need to distinguish ourselves from special recreation.

I want to share a particularly interesting email message that I received from Jerry Kelley. Jerry is now retired but was a leading national figure in our profession in the 1970s. Jerry wrote:

I just had a chance to read the RT Blog regarding a name change for Therapeutic Recreation and it's like "deja vu all over again." Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many of us urged the profession to make clear its identity, mission and purpose by adopting the name Recreation Therapy, a name that puts the emphasis on the treatment process rather than the recreation experience. ATRA should have taken this step when it was formed years later. Perhaps this generation of leaders in the field will have the courage to adopt a name that better relects the profession. Jerry Kelley, Ph.D., 1973 NTRS President


Blogger Thom Skalko said...

I want to comment on 2 items. First, I want to endorse the use of the term "recreational therapy".

The term offers a distinct differentiation from the confusing term of therapeutic recreation. There are numerous reasons for the profession to adopt the term. During my presidency, we struggled with a name change for the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. The rationale still holds true over a decade later.

Second item is the piece on the MS in Occupational Therapy. I agree with Dr. Austin, it is time for the Rt educators and the profession in general to discuss the option of masters level entry into the profession. Our entry level practitioners must be equipped to compete iwth masters level OT, PT (now DPT) and SLP professionals. I presented in the TREC report for the committee on masters level preparation a minority opinion the open discussions on masters level entry into the profession. A SWAT analysis of internal and external factors, in my opinion call for this dialogue and beg for a plan for the future.

9:03 AM  
Blogger cindy said...

I say yes for rt. People are confused when I say tr. I don't like to keep talking.

12:45 PM  

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