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.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Positive Feedback & Recreational Therapists

I recently read an article by Shelly L. Grable and Gian C. Gonzaga titled "Will You Be There for Me When Things Go Right? Supportive Responses to Positive Event Disclosures." It appeared the November, 2006, issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(5), 904 - 917.

The research was done on dating couples and studied how they reacted to discussions of positive and negative events with their partner. Responses to positive event discussions were related to the level of perceived social support from the partner. Thus, supportive responses to sharing positive news helped build relationships. It was reasoned that "sharing positive events provides prime opportunities to obtain understanding, validation, and caring" (p. 4). It is hypothesized that such exchanges play a large role in developing and maintaining healthy relationships.

I couldn't help but wonder if one of the reasons clients tend to like recreational therapists a great deal is because of the positive emotional responses provided when clients share positive news about themselves. RTs tend to be very positive in their responses so it would make sense that shared positive emotions between RTs and their clients build strong ties. What do you think?


Blogger Conall said...

But of course! Surely growth and healing happen in an atmosphere of positive regard and affirmation. We become what the other, or the Other, sees us to be. Good therapists, I would suggest, always have positive regard for their clients and know how to communicate that.

Thanks for your Blog.

11:43 AM  

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