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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Review of Book by Linda Levine Madori

Below is a book review of Linda Levine Madori's book titled,Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming for Older Adults. The review was published in the Journal of International Psychogeriatrics, 2008

By Andrew Knights, Instrumental Professor
Trinity College of Music, London and Visiting Lecturer, Southampton University, U.K.
Email: a.knightsoboe@btinternet.com

In this book Dr. Levine Madori examines the beneficial effects of creative therapy with elderly people and especially with those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She has codified her work into a method to which she has given the name of the book’s title, or TTAP for short. This book is more than a very clearly outlined introduction to her method; it is full of practical ideas.
The author, a keen painter, has seen in the course of her professional work how her passion, the arts, has been able to provide a powerful underlying structure for meaningfully creative and life-enhancing activities for groups of older people. Her book has six chapters and five appendices. Three of the latter are available to be copied and used by therapists. Dr. Madori begins by putting TTAP in the context of brain function. This chapter will be a particularly useful background for general artists and musicians who are keen to use their skills in therapeutic work. She goes on to put TTAP in the context of working with older adults, both well and ill. The aim of TTAP is that groups of older people are able to enjoy enriched leisure with appropriately challenging activities. They are stimulated by music, visual art and language and can become creative, perhaps in a way they never attempted earlier in their lives. The goal is that older people should achieve an enhanced quality of life or “flow”, as coined by the psychologist Csikszentmihalyi.

The third chapter outlines the work of Recreation Therapists. It covers the important overlap of therapeutic activity with meaningful leisure activity.

Interestingly, Dr. Madori cites U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics which suggest there are some 12,000 salaried jobs in geriatric settings for recreational therapists. This number is predicted to grow rapidly over the next few years. The U.S.A. is clearly in advance of other countries in recognizing the importance of recreational therapy and it is likely that it will be these new recreational therapists who will find this book of greatest interest.

Three areas of therapeutic recreation are then discussed; functional intervention, leisure education and leisure participation. The importance of music and its function as a liberator of stored memories across the brain is described, together with that of physical movement which is so often inspired by music. She points out that music can often stimulate memories in long-term storage where verbal conversation can fail. This seems to be behind her desire to mix art forms. Thus, in Dr. Madori’s TTAP method, music, words and art are all brought together under different themes – e.g. broad (seasons, culture and hobbies) or specific (colours, animals, the oceans, mountains, families, travel, food, smells and books) -- to stimulate each other. TTAP therapists are encouraged to proceed with their groups by a series of steps; individual thoughts and group ideas can progress with musical stimulus to images, forms (sculpture), movement, words, taste sensations and then the social event, the step where all the previous activities come together as a group experience.

A wealth of practical ideas and tips are detailed which should provide much help for therapists. Certainly, therapists will have their own ideas as to what is most helpful in this book for their own circumstances but there is much here to generate new programs for creativity for all of us. It will be particularly stimulating for new therapists but will also show administrators of care programs just how beneficial “the arts” can be in creating meaningful and stimulating activities for older adults.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Consider Supporting GT Thompson for Congress

RTs who wish to support the election efforts of Glenn "GT" Thompson in his run for Congress in Pennsylvania may wish to send contributions to this address:

Friends of Glenn Thompson
198 Park Road
Howard, PA 16841

Most know that GT is a past-president of ATRA and has been a real leader for our profession. While I am a Hoosier, I am in support of GT in his run for Congress. GT is a fine person who will serve well in Congress -- and it would be great to have an RT in office in Washington, DC!

Book Review: Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming for Older Adults

Below is a review of an RT related book authored by Linda Levine Madori. The review is written by Marcia Carter:

BOOK REVIEW by Dr. Marcia Carter, CTRS
Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming for Older Adults (2007)
Author Linda Levine Madori, Ph.D., CTRS, ATR-BC.
Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press. 208 pages

and receive free presentation package

The purpose of the publication is to present the Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming (TTAP™) method as an intervention to be used with older adults at various stages along the care continuum. Theories and principles of therapeutic recreation (recreation therapy) and the creative arts (music, movement, writing, sculpture, movement and music combined, poetry, culinary activities, theme events, and photography) are combined to produce programming that benefits all aspects of functioning among older adults. This method is a creative approach that relies on the participant’s intact strengths while promoting cognitive health and self-expression.
Contents are covered in six chapters supported by illustrations presented in five appendices. Chapters one and two provide foundational information on brain growth and development and theories on aging and therapeutic recreation. Concluding comments in Chapter two tie TTAP to desired outcomes of therapeutic recreation/recreation therapy. Chapter three presents TTAP in the context of the Stumbo and Peterson Leisure Ability model (2004) while introducing examples of creative arts programs with themes to use as programs are actually implemented. Chapter four is the ‘meat’ of the publication. Each of the nine steps of TTAP is presented in detail with implementation suggestions. The nine steps are presented sequentially yet may be adapted to meet the needs of each individual participant: Each step relies on one or more form(s) of creative arts. The nine steps are: From individual thought to group ideas; from ideas on the page to music off the page; from music in the mind to the image; from image to sculpture; from sculpture to movement; from movement to words/poetry and stories; from words to food for thought; from thought to theme event; and, from event to photography. TTAP using the Stumbo and Peterson model as the program structure to address client needs in five domains (social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual) is summarized in Chapter five. Through TTAP these five domains are integrated and interests across the lifespan become central during intervention. The closing chapter outlines each of the nine steps of TTAP with various older adults in assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and Alzheimer’s disease. Each appendix presents useful resources to apply TTAP from an actual assessment to resources for acquisition of program supplies.
The target audience for this publication includes educators, practitioners, and caregivers in therapeutic recreation/recreation therapy and creative arts. The book would complement any professional preparation courses that address the APIE (assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation) process specifically programming and techniques classes. Activity professionals would benefit from the programming ideas as would interns and entry-level professionals in a variety of healthcare settings. Further, instructors might find discussion on brain growth and the theories useful references as they present information on evidence- and theory-based practices.

RT Prof Featured in Newsweek Article

RT Professor Carmen Russoniello from East Carolina University has been featured in an article in the latest issue of Newsweek and in a video.

Carmen's research on video games for stress reduction and mood enhancement are the focus of the Newsweek article and the video in which he appears. See below to access the article and video.

Sharon Begley’s “Science” column in the latest issue of Newsweek is devoted to the video game study:


For the video interview of Carmen go to:


Monday, April 28, 2008

Youngkhill Lee to Calvin College

Professor Youngkhill Lee completes the semester this week at Indiana University. He will soon be leaving to assume a position at Calvin College in Michigan.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Glenn "GT" Thompson Wins PA Primary!

I just received a message from Marcia Smith that indicated Glenn "GT" Thompson yesterday won the Republician primary for his Congressional District in Pennsylvania. CONGRATULATIONS TO GT! What a great day! I hope he will have the support of many, many RTs as he now runs for election.

Position Openings in Indiana

I'm passing on this (below)from the Recreation Therapists of Indiana listserve:

Meaningful Day Services, Inc. has opened up new positions thoughout the state of Indiana. We currently provide Waiver services, First Steps, Applied Behavior Anaylsis, and just opened up a new Day Treatment Program for adults. Our Recreational Therapists are eligible to provide a number or services to individuals in the client's home, community or within our facilities; 1:1 or group setting. There are many opportunities for our therapists to not only provide TR services but also apply their skills in other related fields.

Check out our current positions:
Indianapolis, surrounding areas: Part-time/evenings--therapist to provide community and home-based services for individuals of all ages with disabilities. May also be eligible to provide First Steps. Potential for full-time employment.

Ft Wayne, surrounding areas: Part-time/full-time/days or evenings--therapist to provide community and home-based services for individuals of all ages with disabilities.

Bloomington/Columbus, surrounding areas: Part-time/days or evenings--therapist to provide community and home-based services for individuals of all ages with disabilities.

Indianapolis, Full-time/days--2 positions available; Seeking therapist with degree in TR to provide supervision to direct care staff, oversee day treatment facility operations, assist in developing and implementing groups for adults with disabilities.

You may visit our website to apply www.meaningfuldays.com

ATRA Medicare Project Conference Calls

ATRA's Public Policy Committee has announced two RT Medicare Project conference calls this week:

Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 pm EST
Friday, April 25 at 12 pm EST

Call in number: 712-580-1800
Access code: 604906#

Please join us as we continue to work together in moving this project forward. The results of this project can only be what each of us makes of it for the future of our profession!!

All are welcome to join the calls.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Long Term Care Workshop, June 18 & 19

Linda Buettner of the University of North Carolina Greensboro, recently sent out a notice regarding an approaching workshop:

"Recreation Therapy in Long Term Care: Countdown to MDS 3.0"
June 18 & 19, 2008
UNCG Dateway Reserach Park, 5900 Summit Avenue, Brom Summit, NC

Faculty: Linda Buettner, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
Suzanne Fitzsimmons, MS, ARNP
Charlsena Stone, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
15 hours of CEUs available
$140 for both days, $80 either day

For questions: Linda Buettner, llbuettn@uncg.edu or (336) 334-4131

Call for Activities Directors Quarterly

I received this message from Linda Buettner requesting submissions for the Activities Directors Quarterly:

Dear Colleagues,

We are requesting articles for Activities Directors Quarterly with a late May deadline. Many geriatric recreation therapy professionals read this journal, and it has a large national nursing home readership open to your teachings. Please consider sending an article, public policy information, a concept paper, or some user friendly research you are working on. If you have good graduate student papers please consider this journal as well.[www.pnpco.com for author's instructions.]

With MDS 3.0 just around the corner we all need to get information into the trenches!

Thank you for the great work you are doing. Please help us educate others.

My best, Lin

Linda L. Buettner, Ph.D, LRT, CTRS
Professor Therapeutic Recreation/Gerontology
RTH/Health and Human Performance
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Phone: 336-334-4131
Fax: 336-334-3238

Friday, April 18, 2008

No More TR at University of Minnesota

I didn't realize that the Univesity of Minnesota had closed its TR program until I saw this on a U of M website:

Notice regarding therapeutic recreation program:
The School of Kinesiology, in consultation with the Dean’s Officee in the College of Education and Human Development will terminate the University of Minnesota’s therapeutic recreation (TR) program. This includes the B.S. track and the M.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D. emphasis areas. The termination date is June 1, 2007. As a result of this decision, the School will no longer accept any new Therapeutic Recreation applications.

The TR program at Minnesota had always been small but had some solid faculty and had produced some excellent graduates. It is always a shame when an R1 university closes a TR program.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mental Health of Service Personnel and Vets

I just read a report that a new study estimates that some 300,000 U.S. troops are suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 320,000 received brain injuries.

I hope that recreational therapists realize the extent of mental health problems and head injuries that have occurred among service men and women and jump forward to assist these brave military personnel. Certainly, RTs in the VA Hospital system should help lead the way in developing specific therapeutic services for these populations.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ATRA Conference Call on Bill

Lisa Morgan from ATRA has announced the Medicare Project conference call...

Our call this week will be on Friday, April 18th at 12 pm EST (11 am CST, 10 am
MST, 9 am PST)

Call in number is 712-580-1800
Access code 604906#

All are welcome to join. I apologize to those of you that usually particpate on Thursday's calls. We will resume next week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Book on Stretching

RTs who run stretching programs will be interested in the new book, Superstretch, published by Sterling Publishing ($12.95). The book provides clear instruction on stretches with photos included.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thompson for Congress

Wouldn't it be great to have a CTRS in the U.S. Congress! Glenn "GT" Thompson, CTRS, hopes to secure the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional seat in Pennsylvania. Good luck GT!

If you would like to contribute to GT's campaign, the address is 198 Park Road, Howard, PA 16841. Or you can email at GT@embarqmail.com

Friday, April 11, 2008

Recreational Therapist Opening in Indy

From Mandy D. McQueeney, B.S., CTRS, Director of Recreational Therapy, Meaningful Day Services, Indiananpolis, Indiana:

Meaningful Day Services, Inc. is seeking a full-time therapist with a degree in TR to help develop and facilitate programs at our Day Treatment Facility in Indianapolis. Our day treatment facility provides services to adults with Developmental Disabilities, assisting them in the areas of recreation/leisure and daily living skills. The therapist may also work within the ABA department, providing ABA Therapy to children with disabilities. If you are interested in learning more about this position, please contact Mandy McQueeney at 317-709-2772. You may also visit our website and complete an online application at www.meaningfuldays.com

Saturday, April 05, 2008

CTRA Conference Approaching

The 2008 Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association (CTRA) Conference is only about a month away. It will be held in St. John's, NL, May 7-9.

The theme of the 2008 conference is "Therapeutic Recreation: Respecting the Past, Embracing the Future." This will be the 12th annual CTRA Conference.

I will lead a pre-conference workshop on May 7th and then deliver the Keynote Address for the Conference. The title of the address will be "This I Believe...(about Therapeutic Recreation)." I feel very honored to be asked to speak at the CTRA Conference and look forward to getting to know our colleagues in Canada.

For information on the 2008 CTRA Conference go to http://ctra2008.org

Friday, April 04, 2008

Opportunity for RT Students

ATRA President Marcia Smith, M.S., CTRS, recently announced that students may apply to become Peg Connolly Scholars. Below is a copy of the announcement:

The Peg Connolly Scholarship Program

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is excited to provide the opportunity for students within the field of therapeutic recreation to receive the Peg Connolly Scholarship. Named in honor of Dr. Peg Connolly, former Executive Director of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification and first ATRA President, this program provides a tremendous experience for students.

Here are the Program Basics:

What? Eight stipends are available to attend ATRA’s Annual Conference, including
conference registration, lodging accommodations and meal stipend ($100). Students are responsible for their transportation to/from the conference. This scholarship is a “working scholarship”. Students assist in various aspects of implementing the conference such as room hosting, registration and monitoring social events.

Who? This scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students
(transcripts may be mailed into the ATRA office). This announcement shows the Evaluation Criteria for the application process.

Due to the competitiveness of this scholarship, students will only be eligible to receive this award one time during their academic pursuits.

who will be enrolled in a therapeutic recreation program during the conference year.

Where? The 2008 Annual Conference will be held in Reno, Nevada.

When? You must be able to attend a mandatory training on September 28, 2008 as well as the ATRA Annual Conference from September 29–October 3, 2008.

Why? This program has tremendous personal and professional benefits and rewards. Not only do students gain professional knowledge from sessions, students have the opportunity to network with professionals from around the country. ATRA believes the future of our field depends on the continuing growth of students. Today, many former scholarship recipients prove this belief by serving vital roles within our profession.

How? Follow the steps indicated by the established deadline. ATRA wishes to reward students who demonstrate exceptional competence in the field of therapeutic recreation on the basis of their academic achievement, personal and professional philosophy, leadership skills and other occupational achievements. All application materials must be submitted electronically

The Peg Connolly Scholarship Application 2008
ATRA Annual Conference

Please note: You must be an ATRA MEMBER to receive this scholarship.
For Membership information, please call 601-450-ATRA (2872) or visit the ATRA website at: www.atra-tr.org.

Your Application should consist of:
1. A title page with the following information:
a. Name
b. University attending
c. Degree pursuing
d. Year in college
e. School address and phone number (include area code)

f. Home/summer address and phone number (include area code)
g. Dates you can be reached at these locations.

2. One copy of your official transcript. (may be mailed to Sarah Telthorster at 984 Williamson Road, Horsham, PA 19044)

3. Two letters of recommendation
a. One from a Professor.
b. One from a Supervisor (volunteer or paid experience).

4. Essay responses to the questions below. Please answer each question separately and numbered as indicated. Essays should be limited to 200-400 words.
a. Based on the ATRA definition, describe and comment on the theoretical and philosophical base of therapeutic recreation. Include areas you support, as well as the areas you would change and why. Describe your philosophy and goals that support your beliefs.
b. Discuss how your work or volunteer experience has contributed to your professional goals in the field of therapeutic recreation.
c. Discuss your leadership strengths and weaknesses. Discuss how receiving this
scholarship may foster the development of your leadership skills.
d. Describe your ideas for a quality therapeutic recreation program for a population with whom you would like to work.
e. Discuss how you feel this scholarship can help you develop personally and professionally.

For consideration, scholarship applications must be completed and postmarked by Monday May 12, 2008. Scholarship recipients will be notified by July 15, 2008.
Email questions and completed applications to: stelthorster@yahoo.com

Release on Social Support Networks

Below is a release from Mental Health America. It concerns the need we all have for maintaining social support networks. By the way, my colleague, Bryan McCormick, has done much to advance research on social support in RT. I happen to think this is important work because RT can do much to build social support. Here is the release:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 1, 2008)—In observance of 2008 May is Mental Health Month, Mental Health America is encouraging Americans to build their social support networks throughout May to protect and improve their mental health. Mental Health America challenges all Americans to the Mental Health Connection Challenge by making FIVE positive and life-fulfilling connections. Research shows that social networks can reduce stress and promote overall health by providing a sense of belonging, self-worth and security.

"We all need to maintain positive connections to feel a part of our communities and families, which is why this May, Mental Health America is challenging every American to connect to family & friends, coworkers, community members and professional help, if needed," said David Shern, Ph.D., president & CEO of Mental Health America. "Years of research have shown that individuals who feel valued and cared for are better equipped to deal with stress and adversity and even experience less severe illnesses than those with little social support."

Mental Health America’s Mental Health Connection Challenge:

Connect To Family & Friends – Loved ones are an important source of support and encouragement. Talk to them when you need extra help, allow them to provide guidance and be prepared to help them when they need you.
Connect To Coworkers – Given the amount of time we dedicate to work, healthy relationships with coworkers are a must. Spend a lunch hour with officemates or reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while to take a walk or grab coffee.
Connect To Community Members – Shifting from your own issues to the needs of others can be a healthy change of pace. Select a faith-based organization, school, long-term care facility or non-profit group that needs your help and pitch in.
Connect To Yourself – Taking time for yourself can decrease stress and improve health and relationships. Try meditating, exercising, enjoying a hobby or reading a book. Whatever you choose, it’s your time, so spend it doing something you enjoy.
Connect To Professional Help – If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope, reach out to a mental health professional. For a referral to local services, contact Mental Health America or your local Mental Health America affiliate at 800-969-6642 and www.mentalhealthamerica.net

Mental Health America founded May is Mental Health Month 50 years ago to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental health for all. This year’s theme, “Get Connected” is focused on the important role social connectedness plays in maintaining and protecting mental health and wellness.

Mental Health America is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, we represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation—everyday and in times of crisis.

Opening for RT Director and RTs in Rockville

I just received an announcement of position openings at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Maryland's largest long-term care facility (556 beds), located in Rockville. The positions are for the Director of Recreation Therapy and Recreation Therapists.

Both positions require a B.S. in TR, CTRS, and 2-3 years experience in RT. Director candidates must have 3-5 years of management experience in long-term care facilities.

Send resume with salary requirements to: Reginald Adams, Chareles E. Smith Life Communities, 6121 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD, 20852, Phone:(301) 770-8500,
Fax:(301) 770-8511, Email: adams@hebrew-home.org

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ATRA Medicare Project Conference Calls

From Lisa Morgan, ATRA Public Policy Committee:

Here are our times for this weeks Medicare Project Conference Calls:

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 7:30 pm EST (6:30 pm CST, 5:30 pm MST, 4:30 pm PST)
Friday, April 4, 2008 at 11:30 am EST (10:30 am CST, 9:30 am MST, 8:30 am PST)

Call in number is: 712-580-1800
Access Code: 604906#

Please note time difference change on both days. We shifted a little to not conflict with another ATRA team preplanned conference call.

Please invite others to join us including yourself : ) We had good participation last week...let's beat our own record this week!!!!

Let's keep our momentum going!!! We have another new person to announce tomorrow on board with us....who could that be???? Join the call to find out!!!! Way to go to the state of __!!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

ATRA Research Institute Call

From Marieke Van Puymbroeck of Indiana University:

I am pleased to announce the call for research presentations and posters for the 2008 ATRA Research Institute, held during the annual conference in Reno, NV September 29 - October 3, 2008. Please note that the deadline has been extended to April 15, 2008.

Marieke's email address: mvp@indiana.edu

RT Position Openings in Indiana

From Heather Sedletzeck, CTRS:

RT Solutions, Inc. is seeking CTRS's for full and part time positions. Full time positions would offer; health insurance, 401 K and mileage reimbursement. Salary range for full time positions is $30,000 - $40,000 to start depending on experience.

The positions are for home-based therapists to deliver services to clients with developmental disabilities. We serve clients of all ages and abilities!
The service area for these positions is Marion, Hamilton, Hendricks and Johnson Counties in Indiana.

RT Solutions Inc., has been providing Recreational Therapy services in Indiana under the Medicaid waiver for 5 years. We pride ourselves on providing the most cutting edge treatments the clients we serve.

For more information about our company, please check out our website at: www.rtsolutionsinc.com

If interested in the above listed positions, please send your resume and references to: Heather Sedletzeck at heatherctrs@bizma.rr.com

Heather J. Sedletzeck, CTRS, President
RT Solutions Inc.
812-917-4529 (o)
812-878-6872 (c)