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, August 28, 2008

Conceptual Models and the Definition of RT

I think that any definition of RT must exist in the context of conceptual models for RT – because conceptual models are means by which to define the practice of a profession. In following today's conceptual models, I believe we can avoid getting into the position we are in today -- of defining the profession so broadly.

More modern conceptual models such as Austin's Health Protection/Health Promotion Model and Van Andel’s TR Service Delivery and TR Outcome Models emphasize treatment and wellness – not the provision of recreational services for persons with disabilities.

It has been my experience that practitioners can really relate to the Health Protection/Health Promotion Model once it has been explained to them. It is important to examine all conceptual models to see how they define the profession. Those thinking about a new, improved definition of RT may wish to take a close look at the conceptual models that exist today.


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