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.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On Social Support

In the October issue of APA's Monitor on Psychology there appear a couple of short articles on social support. One ("Reducing Stress Helps Both Brain and Body") discusses the stress tempering effects of increased social support. The other ("Restaurants Serve Social Substence") talks about the social support found by regular customers in restaurants. Places, such as restaurants, are sometimes termed "third places" due to occupying a third place in people's lives after work and home. I would think many recreational activities (e.g., being on a team, belonging to a club) provide a "third place" where social support may be found.

Past ATRA President Bryan McCormick has long recognized the importance of social support in mental health. He studies social support as a major part of his work at Indiana University. Those who wish to learn more about social support may wish to read McCormick's chapter,"Social Support in Therapeutic Recreation," that appears in Austin, Dattilo, and McCormick's Venture Publishing book Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation.


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