RT Blog

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, April 30, 2007

Blogging as Therapy?

I recently ran across an article on blogging as therapy. I am wondering how many RTs have clients who blog as therapy. Please comment on this post if you have information on blogging as therapy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Visiting Instructor Position at WCU

Peg Connolly has announced the informaton that follows regarding a position opening for a Visiting Instructor at Western Carolina University in the Recreational Therapy Degree Program.

The position is to begin on August 1, 2007. The job information and description can be found at the following links: The link to the WCU web posting: https://jobs.wcu.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=50733 and the link to the Higheredjobs.com posting: http://www.higheredjobs.com/details.cfm?Jobcode=175238499.

A master’s degree is required although a doctorate is preferred. This is a great opportunity in a progressive recreational therapy degree program that currently has 70 majors in RT. The Recreational Therapy B.S. Degree program is being moved on July 1, 2007 to a newly formed College of Health and Human Sciences. RT will be one of several B.S. degrees in a new School of Health Sciences, along with Athletic Training, Environmental Health, Emergency Medical Care, Clinical Forensics, Clinical Laboratory Services, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Health Information Administration. Other departments in the College include Nursing, Physical Therapy, Social Work, and Applied Criminology. A new Gerontological and Health Services Building is being constructed to house the new College.

Western Carolina University is nestled in the Smokey Mountains about 20 miles from the Smokey Mountain National Park. The area is incredible with mountain views everywhere. Only 50 miles from Asheville, NC, 90 miles from Knoxville, TX, and 150 miles from Atlanta, GA.

This is a wonderful opportunity for a new educator. Please see the job information on the web sites listed above and, if you have any questions, please contact Peg.

Peg Connolly, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
Associate Professor and Director of Recreational Therapy
Western Carolina University

Monday, April 16, 2007

Madison RT Workshop to be June 7 & 8

The Madison RT Workshop is scheduled for June 7 & 8, 2007, according to an announcement on the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) website. This annual workshop has been sponsored by Madison State Hospital, Madison, Indiana, for a number of years. In the past, the Madison RT Workshop has been free of cost and has offered ATRA CEUs. I'll let you know more as more information is made available.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Book: Control and the Psychology of Heatlh

I recently ran across a book that could prove to be of interest to RT scholars. It is Control and the Psychology of Health by Jan Walker. The book was published in 2001 by Open University Press.

Chapters include: control concepts, perceived control, locus of control, self-efficacy, learned helplessness, social support, emotional states, and a unifying theory of control. These are all topics that should be of interest to scholars in RT.

As you may know, control is a topic dear to my heart. I have long held that control is a key concept in RT. After all, in what part of their lives do people enjoy more control that in recreation and leisure? Control is certainly a core feature of my Health Protection/Health Promotion Model.

In fact, I felt control to be so important that I wrote a chapter titled "Control: A Major Element in Therapeutic Recreation," which appeared in the book Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation (2002, Venture Publishing) that I did with John Dattilo and Bryan McCormick.

I just had lunch with my IU colleagues, Marieke, Youngkhill, and Bryan, and told them about Walker's book. They were very interested in it and wanted to know more about it -- so I thought others might also share their interest. Thus, I am passing along the information via this post.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Did You Know? Chronic Conditions on Increase

The numbers of persons with chronic conditions is on the increase. Currently, more than 45% of Americans have chronic conditions and 30% have activity restrictions that result in disabilities.

Source: Funk, S.G., & Tornquist, E.M. (2001). Chronic illness: Improving nursing practice through research. In S.G. Funk, E.M. Tornquist, J. Leeman, M.S. Miles, & J.S. Harrell (eds.). Key Aspects of Preventing and Managing Chronic Illness. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

CTRS Positions Open at LaRue Carter Hospital

Laurie Lee, CTRS, has announced two positions on the RTI listserve. LaRue D. Carter Hospital, in Indianapolis, has reposted their positions for Rehab Therapists until April 14.

LaRue Carter Hospital is a psychiatric hospital associated with the Indiana University Medical School.

The openings are for: one CTRS for Adult Population and one CTRS for Youth Service.

Contact information was not provided but the number and name from a prior posting of an opening at LaRue Carter was (317) 941-4000 asking for Todd Peters.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Exercise Helps Prevent Pain from Arthritis

In the USA, arthritis is the number 1 cause of disability. There is some good news for the one-in-five American adults who have been diagnosed with arthritis -- and half of those over age 75 have reported it.

The good news comes in the form of research done with women with arthritis who exercised. More women than men contract arthritis so the findings have the potential to be meaningful to the largest group of those who suffer from arthritis.

An Australian study suggests the more time older women spend exercising, the better their chances are of staying pain-free from arthritis. Exactly why exercise helps prevent arthritis pain is unclear -- but even exercising as little as one hour and 15 minutes a week now can make a difference over the next three years, according to findings recently published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.

RTs should note that for women with arthritis suggested physical activities include walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, and even some weight training.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

RT Position Openings in Southern Indiana

The following position announcement was posted on the RTI listserve:

Southern Indiana positions:
Monroe, Lawrence, and Jackson Counties

Meaningful Day Services, Inc. is seeking full-time and part-time Recreational Therapists to provide home-based services to people of all ages with MRDD. Job responsibilities include conducting assessments, writing individualized treatment plans, facilitating 1:1 therapeutic interventions, ongoing documentation of client progress and consultation with the interdisciplinary team.

Our company provides competitive pay and benefits, including 401K, medical insurance, reimbursement for conference and therapy supplies, and opportunities for CEU's through company trainings.

Must be certified or eligible to sit for the NCTRC exam.

Please email resumes to kmms43005@sbcglobal.net

Mandy D. McQueeney, BS, CTRS Director of Recreational Therapy Meaningful Day Services, Inc.
(formally Behavior Consultation and Therapy Services, Inc.)www.meaningfuldays.com

Is North Carolina the Number One State for RT?

As a Hoosier, I've always felt that Indiana was a strong state for RT. Indiana University has had a long and distinguished history in RT and today IU's RT program continues to be among the best in the nation. I must admit, however, that North Carolina may be the best place in the United States for recreational therapy. Here is why.

For one thing North Carolina has a rich heritage in RT. Dave Park emerged from North Carolina to become a national leader in RT and to become the "founding father" of ATRA. ATRA's first board held its initial meeting at the University of North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. Peg Connolly, now on faculty at Western Carolina University, served as the first ATRA president. Ray West (long associated with UNC) was the second president of ATRA. Other ATRA presidents with North Carolina ties have included Thom Skalko and Carmen Russoiello, who now serve on the faculty at East Carolina University, and Pam Wilson from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Pam was recently named a Distinguished Fellow by ATRA for her exceptioanal career in providing leadership for RT both in North Carolina and nationally.

Some of the best RTs and RT programs have traditionally been found in North Carolina. Particularly outstanding have been the University of North Carolina Hospitals, in Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem. Many students, from across the nation, have completed internships at this facilities know for their excellence.

The state of North Carolina has some of the best know university RT professional preparation programs in the nation as well. UNC at Chapel Hill, in the days of Lee Meyer, was once known for its RT program. More recently, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Western Carolina University have emerged as schools with outstanding reputations for their RT academic programs. Cindy Konarski's Western Piedmont Community College program has long enjoyed a wonderful reputation among two-year programs.

Additionally, North Carolina has had an exceptionally strong state professional association. The North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association is known throughout the nation as a leader among state RT membership organizations.

Finally, during the 2005 legislative session, the North Carolina General Assembly amended the Therapeutic Recreation Personnel Certification Act (Chapter 90-C). Effective October 5, 2005 North Carolina became the second state in the nation to license individuals to provide recreational therapy services.

I wish Indiana could claim to be "Number 1" among the states for RT. But, for now, I must confess my nod has to go to the state of North Carolina.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Apparently No ARTA for Now

Recent communications with national leaders have lead me to the conclusion that changing the name of ATRA to ARTA is not currently a priority item. It still seems to me that the majority of practitioners favor the change -- since they consider themselves to be recreational therapists and they provide clients with treatment and rehabilitation. Perhaps they will raise their collective voices to bring about a name change. We'll see. I must confess to being a bit frustrated with the lack of movement on key issues like the ARTA name change and RT curriculum standards.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

National Walk for Epilepsy was Huge Success

Saturday my wife and I participated in the first National Walk for Epilepsy. The walk was on the National Mall in Washington, DC. It was a great day. The weather was perfect for walking -- high 40s and sunny that morning. The cherry blossoms were out. And, most importantly, 3,000 walkers took part and a million dollars was raised for epilepsy.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tips to Relieve Stress and Cope Everyday

The post below is the April "Mental Health Minute" from the Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis. The tips are things known by RTs -- but they serve as good reminders for all.

Maintaining mental wellness, enlisting the help of others when you need it and surrounding yourself with a supportive, healthy environment are essential in today’s modern, on-the-go world. Here are just a few of the ways you can relieve stress and cope with everyday life:!

Get plenty of rest– Make certain to devote a full seven to eight hours of sleep each night to sustain a proper balance of physical and mental health.

Go for a walk – Enjoying a long walk at a moderate pace allows you to reflect on your day while getting the blood flowing. For an added spin, invite family members and friends to join you for an evening stroll.

Exercise your mind - Challenge yourself with a jigsaw puzzle, solve riddles or read a good book.

Spend time with others – Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile and create new memories. Call on a friend or relative to join you as you run errands or complete routine, everyday activities. Doing things together is a great way to raise your spirits and engage those around you in your life.

Indulge yourself – Soothe aching bones and wash away worrisome thoughts with a long bath or hot shower. Enjoy a healthy dessert, sip a cool glass of iced tea or juice when it’s hot outside curl up under a blanket and relax when it’s cold.

Make the most of leisure time - Make plans with family members, loved ones and/or a tour group to visit a place you’ve always wanted to go. Join a club, start a new hobby or learn a new skill such as gardening, bird watching or dancing.

Get involved– Volunteering is a great way to give back. Knowing that you have helped someone else can help you to feel better about yourself. Plus, sharing your time with others is a great way to get out and meet new people, with common goals and interests.