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.

Monday, July 31, 2006

How About ARTA?

My wife and I just returned from vacation. We met our daughter's family at Dollywood. All of us were pleased by our experience at Dollywood -- especially our grandson, Xander! We would recommend visiting if you have kids.

In this post, I want to return to the notion of our profession adopting the term recreation therapy (or recreational therapy), rather than therapeutic recreation. And I would like to make a specific recommendation.

There seems to be a consensus building that: (a) The term therapeutic recreation is confusing to people outside the profession; (b) There is a need to clearly distinguish between inclusive recreation and recreation therapy; (c) It is time to consider adopting the term recreation therapy (or recreational therapy).

Finally, as Sharon stated, the time has come for our profession to truly clarify how we define ourselves. Employing the term recreation therapy would do this. Therefore, I would propose that ATRA become ARTA in order to focus us on health protection and health promotion (in contrast to supplying recreation experiences for persons with disabilities).

What do you think? If you have an opinion on changing to ARTA, please post your comment or let ATRA President Bryan McCormick know of your view. It would be good to see some discussion on this issue by the members and Board at ATRA in Orlando.


Blogger Thom Skalko said...

I was ATRA President over a decade ago when we discussed this. It was time then and way past time now.

I fully support a motion to change ATRA to the American Recreational Therapy Association. I will continue to defer to Recreational Therapy vs Recreation Therapy since that is the term adopted by ATRA in the 90's and is used by the Federal Government.

I support your notion Dave. Bring it to the floor in Orlando.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Frank Brasile said...

It has been brought to the floor and put on the table for review.

9:59 AM  

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