Recreational Therapy in the Next Year
I wonder if other faculty will come forward to show leadership for creating curriculum standards for graduate programs? Both the master's and doctorate programs need attention. Our sister discipline of occupational therapy is moving to a master's degree as an entry-level degree. Physical Therapy has moved to a practice doctorate. Speech and hearing has also gone to a practice doctorate. It seems time for recreational therapy to join its sister professions in giving more attention to graduate preparation. Who is willing to come forward to lead the charge?
Is a name change for ATRA going to occur this coming year? Recently there have been several name changes of national organizations. AAHPERD is the most recent -- changing to the American Alliance for Health and Physical Activity. I don't believe that ATRA best describes who our organization represents or what the members do. ATRA represents recreational therapists who do health protection and health promotion. People just do not understand the expression "therapeutic recreation" but they do have a concept of "recreational therapy." I believe it has hurt the advancement of the profession to use TR and that we need to move now to RT. A good signal for this would be a name change for ATRA this year.
If our profession of recreational therapy can make strides in undergraduate and graduate preparation and bring about a name change for our national organization next year, I think 2007 could be a great year!