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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hope you have a happy halloween today!

Interview Questions

Here is another post on interviewing that appeared as a post on the RT Blog a couple of years ago. The interviewing tips are still timely. Here it is:

Seven Toughest Interview Questions

This morning I ran across a article on the web titled "Answering the Seven Toughest Interview Questions." It was written by Kate Lorenz, the editor of CareerBuilder.com

I thought the article might be of interest to both RT professionals and students -- so I am passing on the highlights of it on the RT Blog. Below are the seven questions with tips borrowed from Ms. Lorenz on how to answer them.

(1) What are your weaknesses? Take a potential weekness and turn it into a plus...such as: "I'm very detail orientated and for some positions that might not be a good fit. But for this RT position, I think it is a trait that will serve me well."

(2) How would you solve this problem? It is recommended that you be brief in your answer, not providing great detail.

(3) Why did you leave your last job? Put a positive spin on your answer. "The facility just wasn't a good fit for my innovative personality. What I learned is that organizations have distinct personalities just like people do. Now I want to concentrate my job search on facilities that value independent thinking and will allow me to prosper in that environment."

(4) Why do you want to work here? You'll need to have homeworked the potential employer to anwser this. For instance, "I want to be a part of an organization that takes a caring approach with patients. Not all facilities really do care. I know from the reputation of your facility that you truly do care about the patients here." Another reply for a student seeking an internship might be: "Some of the very best senior therapists work here. As someone doing an internship, I'd like to learn from the best."

(5) Tell me about yourself. As Lorenz wrote: "This is your chance for you to shine -- but not to tell your life history. Begin by listing your traits and accomplishments you feel are relevant for the position. Don't delve into personal information unless it relates to the position you are vying for."

(6) Tell me about the worst boss you ever had. Lorenz suggests: "Take the high road and don't give into the temptation to vent any past frustrations." Say something like, "While none of my past bosses were awful, there are some who taught me more than others did."

(7) What are your goals? Lorenz suggests "This is best answered by reiterating your objective statement on your resume."

I hope these interview questions will prove to be helpful -- especially to RT students who are seeking internships or first positions. Best of success!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nonverbals in Job or Internship Interviews

A couple of years ago, I posted information on interviewing for jobs and internship placements. These posts brought about a great deal of comment and were used by educators preparing students for job and internship interviews.

While the posts are still available in the archives, I thought it might be helpful to post some of the interview tips again. So here is one on nonverbal behaviors in interviews:

Nonverbals in Job and Internship Interviews

It has been my long held belief that RT faculty don't always fully prepare their students for job interviews or, for that matter, interviews for internships. While RT students probably receive some instruction on nonverbal communication as part of their professional preparation, they may not think about their body language while in an interview situation. The MSN.com homepage recently featured an article on nonverbal communications in interviewing. A portion of that article follows:

"A lot of job candidates spend a significant amount of time worrying about what they will say during their interview, only to blow it all with their body language. The old adage, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it," still holds meaning, even if you're not talking. You need to effectively communicate your professionalism both verbally and nonverbally.

"Because watching your nonverbal cues, delivering concise answers and expressing your enthusiasm at once can be difficult when you're nervous, here's a guide to walk you through it:Have them at 'hello.' Before you walk into the interview, it's assumed that you will have done the following: prepared yourself by reading up on the company and recent company news; practiced what you'll say to some of the more common interview questions; and followed the 'what to wear on your interview' advice. So you're ready, right? Some hiring managers claim they can spot a possible candidate for a job within 30 seconds or less, and while a lot of that has to do with the way you look, it's also in your body language. Don't walk in pulling up your pantyhose or readjusting your tie; pull yourself together before you stand up to greet the hiring manager or enter their office. Avoid a "dead fish" handshake and confidently -- but not too firmly -- grasp your interviewer's hand and make eye contact while saying hello. Shake your hand, watch yourselfIf you are rocking back in your chair, shaking your foot, drumming your fingers or scratching your... anything, you're going to look like your going to look the type of future employee who wouldn't be able to stay focused, if even for a few minutes. It's a not a game of charades, it's a job interview.

"Here's what to do (and not do):
Rub the back of your head or neck. Even if you really do just have a cramp in your neck, these gestures make you look disinterested.
Rub or touch your nose. This suggests that you're not being completely honest, and it's gross.
Sit with your armed folded across your chest. You'll appear unfriendly and disengaged.
Cross your legs and idly shake one over the other. It's distracting and shows how uncomfortable you are.
Lean your body towards the door. You'll appear ready to make a mad dash for the door.
Slouch back in your seat. This will make you appear disinterested and unprepared.
Stare back blankly. This is a look people naturally adapt when they are trying to distance themselves.

Sit up straight, and lean slightly forward in your chair. In addition to projecting interest and engagement in the interaction, aligning your body's position to that of the interviewer's shows admiration and agreement.
Show your enthusiasm by keeping an interested expression. Nod and make positive gestures in moderation to avoid looking like a bobblehead.
Establish a comfortable amount of personal space between you and the interviewer. Invading personal space (anything more than 20 inches) could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable and take the focus away from your conversation.
Limit your application of colognes and perfumes. Invading aromas can arouse allergies. Being the candidate that gave the interviewer a headache isn't going to do anything in your favor.
If you have more than one person interviewing you at once, make sure you briefly address both people with your gaze (without looking like a tennis spectator) and return your attention to the person who has asked you a question.
Interruptions can happen. If they do, refrain from staring at your interviewer while they address their immediate business and motion your willingness to leave if they need privacy.
Stand up and smile even if you are on a phone interview. Standing increases your level of alertness and allows you to become more engaged in the conversation.
Say Goodbye GracefullyAfter a few well-thought-out questions and answers with your interviewer, it's almost over, but don't lose your cool just yet. Make sure your goodbye handshake is just as confident now as it was going in. Keep that going while you walk through the office building, into the elevator and onto the street. Once safely in your car, a cab or some other measurable safe distance from the scene of your interview, it's safe to let go. You may have aced it, but the last thing you want is some elaborate end-zone dance type of routine killing all your hard work at the last moment."

I would hope that RT educators share these tips with their students. And students reading this may wish to practice their nonverbal communication skills while role playing interviews.

Research of Interest -- on Feeling Cold

I just ran across a study that could have implications for RT. It is on feeling cold. The study raises questions that RTs and RT scholars may wish to pursue.

“Cold and Lonely: Does Social Exclusion Literally Feel Cold?” by Zhong and Leonardelli, appeared in the September 2008 issue (Vol 19, No 9, pp. 838-842) of Psychological Science.

This research is on the idea that social exclusion literally feels cold. Two different experiments suggest that it does! These findings complement earlier studies related to cold and exclusion.

The findings raise questions as to if warmth may overcome negative feelings of social exclusion or whether coldness can lead to feeling socially rejected. Or perhaps there is a connection between coldness and other disorders, such as seasonal affective disorder or feelings of depression.

Some RT researchers may wish to take a look at Zhong and Leonardelli’s study. It would seem that the connection between cold, warmth, and affect would be of a great deal of interest to the field of recreational therapy where we have long attempted to provide “warm, caring environments.”

AARP Info on Video Games

I think RTs who work with almost any age of clients may benefit from the following information on video games provided by AARP.

From AARP.Com comes this story (I’ve listed the Wii games but AARP rates several types of video games):

Video Games for Grownups
Here's the inside scoop on some of this year's great (and not-so-great) games for those 50+.
By: Damon Brown | Source: AARP.org | Date Posted: 2008-07-24

It’s official: Grown-ups can have as much fun with video games as kids. AARP is diving in head first, giving you the best (and the worst) games for those 50+. You just need to pick your favorite computer or video-game system, grab a joystick, and have a ball!

"Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree," $50.00, Overall AARP rating of 4 out of 5

Do logic problems, math calculations, and other brain teasers as quickly as possible, then get ranked and aim for a higher score. As the title implies, it’s a great, fun exercise for your brain that doesn’t even feel like work. You can also compete with up to seven—that’s right, seven, of your friends in the same living room. The original Brain Age and Big Brain Academy are available on the portable Nintendo DS system. Why you should get it: To keep your mind sharp.

"Endless Ocean," $30.00, Overall AARP rating of 3 out of 5

A tranquil, beautiful game, Endless Ocean accurately recreates deep-sea diving in the South Pacific. Go on missions to find treasures and rare sea creatures, or just wander around the deep at your own pace. The visuals are outstanding, while discovering and learning about real-life mammals like stingrays and dolphins is an educational treat. Why you should get it: To have a quiet gaming experience.

"Rayman Raving Rabbits 2," $50.00, Overall AARP rating of 4 out of 5

In this collection of parlor games, evil rabbits have taken over the world and the hero must stop them by shooting carrot juice, busting dance moves, and doing other fun feats of skill. It’s a hilarious game that makes active use of the Wii’s special remote-control stick, yet it’s still easy to pick up and play. The original Rayman Raving Rabbids is also available on the Wii, XBox 360, PC, and Nintendo DS. Why you should get it: To have silly fun with the kids.

"EA Playground," $30.00, Overall AARP rating of 3 out of 5

Want some old-fashioned fun? EA Playground has 10 classic schoolyard games like dodgeball, marbles, handball, and paper airplanes. Use the special Wii remote to flick, swing, or grab things. You can play against several of your friends, in person, and the wholesome game play is perfect for kids, too. It’s also available on the Nintendo DS. Why you should get it: To enjoy a non-violent competition with the kids.

I’d be interested to know if and how RTs are using video games. Any comments?


ABLEDATA would seem to be a good resource for RTs. ABLEDATA provides information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment for people with mobility impairments and those who are deaf or blind or have low vision. These products can assist people with disabilities in many areas of life, including recreational and sports activities, with everything from camera mounts for wheelchairs to adjustable basketball backstops. ABLEDATA does not sell any products; rather, it helps people locate companies that do.

ABLEDATA is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), part of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Accessible Travelers Database

National Accessible Travelers Database

The National Accessible Travelers Database, sponsored by Easter Seals Project ACTION, assists travelers with disabilities seeking accessibility in transportation at destinations across the U.S. Just enter your city and state or zip code to find listings of public and private accessible transportation services in your community.

For additional transportation resources, visit the Web site of United We RIDE and the Transportation section of DisabilityInfo.gov

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

iPod & iTunes Accessibility

Some RTs working with clients with visual problems may be interested in this item from Lighthouse International:

Apple Takes on iPod and iTunes Accessibility

In late 2001, the computer giant,Apple released a product that would eventually change the way the world listened to music: the iPod. In the following 7 years, Apple has continued to improve on its original iPod, creating products such as the iPod Nano and Touch, revolutionizing portable music players.

However, up to this point, Apple had been missing a key component to its tech-savvy designs: accessibility for people who were visually impaired.

"Before the release of the new iPod Nano, people with visual impairments either had to randomly shuffle through their music collections, memorize every menu and playlist, or simply not use iPods at all," said Dr. Tara Cortes, President and CEO of Lighthouse International.

But with the new iPod Nano, and an accompanying announcement of future iTunes accessibility improvements, that's all changed. The new iPod includes spoken menus, large font options, and high contrast settings.

Possible Grant Opportunity

I just ran across an announcment on a grant opportunity. I don't have any personal knowledge about the program but thought it might be of interest to scholars in RT. Here it is:

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program - Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT)

The purpose of this grant program is to provide research training and experience at an advanced level to individuals with doctorates or similar advanced degrees who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects train rehabilitation researchers, including researchers with disabilities, with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and that improve the effectiveness of services authorized under it. The deadline for transmittal of an application is November 10, 2008. The entire grant announcement may be downloaded from the Federal Register.

Why Not Brag a Bit!

Our daughter,Dr. Janet Austin Tooze, an assistant professor of biostatistical sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, will be one of 10 people to receive the 2008 National Institute of Health Merit Award as a member of the Surveillance Measurement Error Group. This award recognizes researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in research endeavors.

October is Emotional Wellness Month

I didn't know there was an "Emotional Wellness Month" but there is! The following announcement comes from the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services 11420 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852 1-800-540-0320 promoteacceptance@samhsa.hhs.gov

October is Emotional Wellness Month and this year, we have much to celebrate.

On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed the economic bailout bill which included a provision that requires equal health coverage of mental and physical illnesses. Businesses that employ 50 or more people and that offer health insurance with mental health coverage must make sure that the coverage for mental illnesses is equivalent to the coverage for physical illnesses. The new laws will make it easier for people to obtain treatment for a wide range of mental health problems, including depression and schizophrenia.

The bill’s passing marks a new era in the history of mental health care and a turning point for advocates who have long championed parity for mental illnesses.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back from Trip

My wife and I just returned from a cruise on the Danube River. It was a wonderful experience -- but it is always good to be home.

I'll plan to begin posting again on the RT Blog right away. I just posted a position opening and I'm sure there are a lot of things to share.

Position Opening in Ft. Wayne

From Mandy D. McQueeney, BS, CTRS, Director of Recreational Therapy, Meaningful Day Services, Inc.

Meaningful Day Services, Inc. is seeking a Recreation Therapist to serve individuals in the Ft. Wayne area. Therapist to provide services in the home and/or community to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities. Therapist must be CTRS or scheduled to take NCTRC exam in January 2009.

Job responsibilities:
Interview and educate clients/families interested in Recreation therapy services.
Conduct assessments, develop treatment plans, and identify quarterly progress for each client served.
Attend interdisciplinary team meetings and company staff meetings.
Plan and facilitate therapeutic activities 1:1 with clients.
Assist in marketing events to promote Recreation Therapy services.

401K and medical insurance
Activity/supply reimbursement
Travel time pay
Reimbursement for 1 conference per year
Free CEU opportunities at company trainings
Moving expense assistance for out-of-state hires
Opportunities for professional growth...become a mentor or project manager.
Flexible schedule
Starting rate: $18-$21/hour based on work experience

For more information, please contact Mandy McQueeney at kmms43005@sbcglobal.net. You may apply and submit your resume online at our website.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Detail on TR Processes and Techniques

I had promised more information on the soon to be published 6th edition of my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques. In this post I'll note another major change.

You may recall that I previously mentioned adding a section on positive psychology in the Theories and Therapies chapter and updating the chapter on facilitation techniques. In addition, I have added a new section to the Leadership chapter. It is on group processing, including debriefing.

The new segment on group processing will be the most extensive treatment of this topic to appear in the RT/TR literature. I believe that the information on group processing that I've presented has the potential to greatly influence practice.

I'll pass along other information on the new, 6th edition of my book in the coming weeks. Sagamore Publishing has said it should be published early in the new year.

An Elephant in the Library!

Big Ten schools, including Indiana University, are among a group of the nation's largest research libraries who are collaborating to create a repository of their vast digital collections, including millions of books. These holdings will be archived and preserved in a single repository called the HathiTrust. Hathi, the Hindi word for elephant, evokes memory, wisdom, and strength.

Launched jointly by the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC - the CIC is composed of Big Ten schools and the University of Chicago) and the 11 university libraries of the University of California system, HathiTrust leverages the libraries' time-honored commitment to preservation and information access. Materials in the public domain will be available for reading online.

The HathiTrust is an exciting development. It will be interesting to see what RT/TR resources will be made available through the HathiTrust.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today is "Blog Action Day" Focusing on Poverty

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business. She has announced that today is the second annual Blog Action Day. The information below is taken from her announcement.

Blog Action Day brings together 8,000-plus blog, podcast, and videocast sites to post about the same issue on the same day. This year's topic is poverty. The purpose of the effort is, according to organizers, "to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue. Out of this discussion naturally flow actions, advice, ideas, plans, and empowerment."

Certainly many RT clients deal with poverty everyday. This Blog Action Day should serve as a good reminder to us that this is the case and that we need to do what we can to remove poverty and to be supportive of persons who are living in poverty.

For additional information go to Dian Schaffhauser, "'Blog Action Day' Calls for Discussion of Poverty," Campus Technology, 10/15/2008, http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=68516

Dian schaffhauer invites anyone with higher education technology news to send it to her at dian@dischaffhauser

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Dirty Little Lie" Revealed

I want to add an addendum to my last post regarding the duties of university educators in regard to RT/TR books. I noted that educators need to be aware of all the books available so that they can make wise selections of textbooks and I had mentioned that educators needed to remind students to build their personal libraries.

What I failed to mention is the responsibility educators have to make sure their university libraries hold a wide collection of RT/TR books.

You would assume that most universities would have an adequate collection of RT/TR books in their libraries. But one of the “dirty little lies” of our profession is that universities have complete collections of RT/TR books in their libraries – WHEN IN FACT THE COLLECTIONS ARE NOT AT ALL ADEQUATE.

I made 18 accreditation visits to universities across the nation. I personally examined the library holdings at every institution. Almost all the libraries at these universities had inadequate collections of RT/TR books! And I mean to tell you the collections were EXTREMELY INADEQUATE.

My guess is that even today the libraries of most universities with RT/TR professional preparation programs do not have comprehensive collections of RT/TR books. In my view this is a tragedy.

If you are a university faculty member, please review your collection to see exactly what it contains. Then follow-up by seeing the library orders the books needed to fill in the gaps. If you are a practitioner on an advisory committee for a university TR program, ask for a listing of all RT/TR books held in the library. Go over it and request that books be purchased to be sure there exists a comprehensive collection.

Whatever your role, please see to it that students and faculty have access to a complete collection of RT/TR books. And shame on those schools that do not provide the resources needed to support their students and faculty. Those institutions are failing themselves, their students and faculty, and our entire profession.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Did You Notice: Two Hoosiers

A recent post listed the ATRA Officers and Board members. Did you happen to notice that two of the officers are Hoosiers!

Heather Sedletzeck, CTRS, from Terre Haute, is the ATRA Secretary.

Vicki Scott, M.S., CTRS, who is with Hook Rehabilitation Center in Indianpolis, is the ATRA Treasurer.

There has been a tradition in ATRA of the Treasurer eventually serving as ATRA President. I hope this occurs again as Vicki Scott would make an outstanding ATRA President!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Publishers Should be Supported

I recently received a catalog from Idyll Arbor. Getting it reminded me that we in RT are blessed by having three publishers who regularly publish books for our profession. The other two are Sagamore Publishing, Inc. and Venture Publishing Inc.

I believe that we are fortunate to have three publishers that produce literature for students and practitioners. In case you haven't recently looked over these publishers offerings, below I have listed information that may be helpful:

Idyll Arbor can be found at http://www.idyllarbor.com
Idyll Arbor publishes and sells a number of books related to RT. One of the most recent is the Recreational Therapy Handbook of Practice: ICF-Based Diagnosis and Treatment that came out in 2007. This book, by Heather Porter and Joan burlingame covers the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) from the WHO and shows RTs how to use it.

Sagamore Publishing Inc. can be found at http://www.sagamorepub.com
Sagamore Publishing, of course, publishes Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques soon to be in its 6th edition. This is my book that I have been discussing in recent posts. Sagamore also publishes 15 other RT/TR books.

Venture Publishing Inc. can be found at http://www.venturepublish.com
Venture has about 50 RT/TR books including Austin, Dattilo, and McCormick's Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation and Dattilo's Facilitation Techniques for Therapeutic Recreation. We used both of these books in our curriculum at IU.

It is my belief that educators need to regularly examine what textbooks are available and to adopt those that can be used to best prepare students. Educators also need to remind students of the need to build their own personal libaries -- something students often do not do. Practitioners too need to keep up with the literature of their profession by checking out the list of books published by Idyll Arbor, Sagamore, and Venture. And when purchasing books that help prepare students and direct practice you are supporting the publishers that support RT.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Midwest TR Symposium Call for Presentations

Call for Presentations, 38th Annual Midwest Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation & Adapted Physical Activity (MWTR), April 15 -17, 2009, St. Louis, MO
Submission Deadline: November 14, 2008

For 38 years, the MWTR has been offering students, practitioners, researchers, and educators an opportunity to participate in continuing education format in the Midwest. Most, but not all, participants and speakers come from community recreation, mental health, mental retardation, physical rehabilitation, aging, and outdoor recreation facilities, as well as colleges and universities.

Registration and program information will soon be posted at http://muconf.missouri.edu/midwest_symposium/. For more information, contact 573-882-4038 or muconf1@missouri.edu

Friday, October 10, 2008

Faculty Opening at Illinois State

The following position opening is from Sandra Wolf Klitzing, Ph.D., CTRS of Illinois State University:

The School of Kinesiology and Recreation at Illinois State University is pleased to announce a nine-month, tenure-track position in therapeutic recreation.

Assistant or Associate Professor in Therapeutic Recreation

Available: August 16, 2009

Responsibilities: Provide quality instruction in the professional core and Therapeutic Recreation sequence of the Recreation and Park Administration (RPA) program. Supervise student internships. Teach graduate courses in the Recreation Administration sequence and core courses. Pursue a focused area of scholarship that culminates in nationally refereed publications and professional presentations, and submit grant proposals. Serve on School, College, and University Committees, and contribute to professional and community organizations.

Required: Doctoral degree required in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy, or a commensurate field. Applicants with expected completion of the doctoral degree before March 1, 2010 will be considered. NCTRC certification preferred. Applicants with prior college teaching experience, experience supervising therapeutic recreation internships, and/or strong professional practitioner experience will receive preference. Initial review of applications will begin December 12, 2008 and will continue until filled. To assure full consideration, submit letter of application, vita, and three letters reference to: Gale Wheatley, 5120 School of Kinesiology and Recreation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-5120 or e-mail gdwheat@ilstu.edu. See http://www.kinrec.ilstu.edu/ for full information.

Sandra Wolf Klitzing, Ph.D., CTRS
Associate Professor
Illinois State University
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
100B McCormick Hall, Campus Box 5121
Normal, IL 61790-5121

Changes in TR Processes and Techniques Book

A couple of days ago I told you that I am truly excited about the 6th edition of my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processses and Techniques. I also mentioned that I believe it is my best work yet and hope it will make a great contribution to the field.

I've planned to provide more information about the book in posts on the RT Blog. Today I want to briefly mention a couple of the innovations in the new edition to come out this Spring.

One addition that I am very pleased with is that in Chapter Two, Theories and Therapies, I have included an exciting new theoritical perspective for therapeutic recreation, positive psychology. This is the first presentation of positive psychology and its implications for practice in RT to appear in a textbook.

In Chapter Three,Facilitation Techniques, I've includes updated information on a large number of facilitation techniques that should serve as a guide to evidence-based practice. New segments also have been added to Chapter Three on Pilates, laughter yoga, and the use of the Wii video game systems.

I'll share some additional changes that appear in the 6th edition of Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques in future posts. I should mention that Sagamore Publishing continues as the publisher of my book.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

More Info on Topeka Workshop

Professor Dan Ferguson of Pittsburg State University sent me this updated information on the Topeka workshop to be held November 13th. I'm sending it along with this post:

The Kansas Therapeutic Recreation Society of KRPA is holding a one day workshop on November 13, 2008 in Topeka. You will be able to earn .4 CEU's for attending.

This workshop will have sessions on the following topics:
1. Improving Health for Seniors and Special Populations - 2. An
overview of the Johnson County Community college Success Center
Program - 3. Incorporating the use of assistance dogs in health care,
education and community settings 4. Information regarding a 3 year
grant program on reducing obesity in adults with developmental

For more details contact Bonnie Simon at the address below. Forward this information to anyone that you think would be interested in attending. The registration deadline for this workshop is: November 5, 2008. Cost: $35 for KRPA members, $45 for non-members of Kansas
Recreation and Park Association.

Thank you,

Bonnie Simon
Membership/Education Services Coordinator
Phone (785) 235-6533 ext. 20 (Fax) (785) 235-6655 (website)
Kansas Recreation and Park Association 700 SW Jackson St Suite 805 Topeka KS 66603-3737

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Physical Activity Guidelines Out

Garth Tymeson, Ph.D., of the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity of the College of Science and Health at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse passed along this latest information on recommendations for physical activity from the American College of Sports Medicine. RTs should become familiar with the guidelines and help their clients to know about them. Here is the release:

Yesterday, the U.S. government released "The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," and held a launch event in Washington, D.C. ACSM president-elect James Pivarnik, Ph.D., FACSM, spoke at the event on behalf of ACSM and its scientific contributions to the guidelines.

The federal guidelines state adults should exercise for two and a half hours - or 150minutes - per week at a moderate intensity. This breaks down into 30 minutes of exercise five days per week, consistent with guidelines released last August by ACSM and the American Heart Association. Read more about the federal guidelines at www.health.gov/PAGuidelines.

ACSM has created resources at www.acsm.org/physicalactivity to assist in your professional translation and communication of exercise recommendations. These resources detail both ACSM/AHA and federal guidelines, but perhaps even more importantly, focus on the message of simply starting an exercise program regardless of minutes-per-day recommendations.

Book Out this Spring!

Sagamore Publishing recently announced that they would have a booth at the NRPA Congress. Sagamore also announced that my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques, 6th Ed., will be a Spring 2009 Release.

I am truly excited about this new edition of my book. I believe it is my best work yet and hope it will make a great contribution to the field. I plan to provide more information about the book in additional posts on the RT Blog.

Here is the Sagamore announcement:

Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques, 6th edition presents a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to therapeutic recreation. This book addresses the actual practice of TR using practical examples and learning exercises. Therapeutic Recreation covers examples in both theory and implications, and is a great resource for students and practitioners alike. View this easy to read, new edition at Sagamore's NRPA booth in Baltimore.

ISBN 978-1-57167-547-7 * 6x9 Paper Back

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New ATRA Officers & Board

At the recent ATRA Annual Conference in Reno the new ATRA Board of Directors was sworn in. The ATRA Board for 2008-09 is:

President: Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, Ph.D., CTRS, FACHE. Mary Ann is on faculty at Eastern Washington University in Spokane.
President-Elect: Missy Armstrong, M.S., CTRS. Missy is at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Secretary:Heather Sedletzeck, CTRS. Heather heads RT Solutions, Inc. in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Treasurer:Vicki Scott, M.S., CTRS. Vicki is with Hook Rehabilitation Center in Indianpolis.

Board Members:
Carla Carmichael, CTRS, of Baltimore.
Mary Ann Aquadro, Ph.D., CTRS of Murfeesboro, Tennessee.
Janice Monroe, Ph.D., CTRS of Ithaca, New York.
Tim Passmore, Ed.D., CTRS, of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Stephanie Courtney, M.S., CTRS/ACC of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Kari Kensinger, Ph.D., CTRS, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will serve as Chair of the Chapter Affiliate Council.

All of us owe this group of professionals our apprecition for providing leadership for our profession!

November 13th Workshop in Topeka

From Dan Ferguson and Bonnie Simon comes this announcement:

The Kansas Therapeutic Recreation Society of KRPA is holding a one day workshop on November 13, 2008 in Topeka. Participants will be able to earn
.4 CEU’s for attending.

This workshop will have sessions on the following topics:
1. Improving Health for Seniors and Special Populations – 2. An overview of the Johnson County Community college Success Center Program – 3. Incorporating the use of assistance dogs in health care, education and community settings 4. Information regarding a 3 year grant program on reducing obesity in adults with developmental disabilities

For more details contact Bonnie Simon at the address below. Forward this information to anyone that you think would be interested in attending. The registration deadline for this workshop is: November 5, 2008. Cost: $35 for KRPA members, $45 for non-members of Kansas Recreation and Park Association.

Thank you,

Bonnie Simon
Membership/Education Services Coordinator bonnie@krpa.org Phone (785) 235-6533 ext. 20 (Fax) (785) 235-6655 (website) www.krpa.org Kansas Recreation and Park Association 700 SW Jackson St Suite 805 Topeka KS 66603-3737

RT Educators Breakfast at NRPA Congress

The following announcement was sent out by Brent D. Wolfe, PhD, CTRS, Assistant Professor of Recreational Therapy at Georgia Southern University:


NRPA and the NTRS Board invite you to the
RT/TR Educators Breakfast at the
NRPA 2008 Annual Congress in Baltimore, Maryland
Thursday, October 16, 2008
8:00am-9:45am (Room: TBA)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Department Head Opening at UNCG

Linda L. Buettner, Ph.D, LRT, CTRS, sent along this position opening:


POSITION: Department Head, Professor, Department of RTH
The Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management invites nominations and applications from talented and dynamic national leaders for the position of Department Head. The Department Head is responsible for providing academic, administrative, and professional leadership, including building on the department’s reputation for teaching and service excellence, fostering a culture that values scholarship and research, developing external relations, and fund raising. Position begins August 1, 2009.

QUALIFICATIONS: The candidate should have an earned doctorate in a field relevant to recreation and parks or hospitality and tourism management, and a distinguished record of research, scholarly accomplishments, teaching, and professional service. The candidate should show a demonstrated record of effective leadership and managerial communication. The candidate must currently hold the rank of Professor or be qualified to enter at the rank of Professor at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Candidates who have demonstrated success working with diverse groups of students and faculty are preferred.

We seek a Department Head who will help us continue to increase the Department’s national prominence. In keeping with the strategic goals of the university, the school, and the department, the candidate must show willingness to support the increasing need for effective long term planning for both curriculum and research, as well as corporate and alumni development. Experience facilitating or leading interdisciplinary collaboration is desirable. Candidates should have strong democratic leadership qualities and appreciation for the diversity of sub-disciplines across commercial recreation and special event management, therapeutic recreation, leisure services management, hotel and restaurant management, and travel and tourism management.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Duties include administration and oversight of the general operations of the Department, including: curricular and budgetary management; ongoing program development, evaluation, and accreditation; faculty recruitment, development, and evaluation; student recruitment and retention; development and outreach activities. Department Heads also serve as members of the School of HHP administrative team.

SALARY: Commensurate with experience.

Send letter of application, curriculum vita, and three letters of reference to:

Drs. Charlsena Stone & Linda Buettner
Search Committee Co-Chairs
Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
P. O. Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina 27402
E-mail: cfstone@uncg.edu Email: llbuettn@uncg.edu
Tel: 336-334-4481(Stone) Tel: 336-334-4131(Buettner)
Fax: 336-334-3238
RTH Website: www.uncg.edu/rth

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Program Announced for RTI Conference

Laurie Lee, President of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) recently announced the tentative program for the RTI Conference to be held in Evansville on November 13 and 14, 2008. CEUs will be available for those attending.

Thursday, November 13th

8:00 AM Keynote Address
"This I Believe about RT"
David R. Austin, Ph.D., CTRS, Founding Member of RTI

9:15 - 10:45AM Educational Sessions
"Collaborative Art Activities in RT Practices"
Steve Lewis, M.S., CTRS

"Tai Chi: An Alternative for Youth at Risk and Older Adults"
Pei Chun Hsich & Gretchen Snethen

11:00AM - Noon Educational Sessions
"Self Expression and Advocacy through Drama Therapy"
Michelle Davenport

"CMS-Are you ready?"
Jill Rowe, Patty Gaylor, & Jacque Phillips

12:00 pm –1:00 pm Public Policy Luncheon
"State & Federal Public Policy"
Heather Sedletzeck,M.S.,CTRS & Julie Foster, M.S.,CTRS

1:15-2:45PM Educational Sessions
"A Communication and Conflict Resolution Intervention for the RT Setting"
Shay Dawson

"Inside/Outside: Looking at Care from the Other Side"
Jacque Phillips, CTRS

3:00-4:00PM Educational Sessions
"Adaptive Interventions"
Heather J. Sedletzeck, CTRS, RTI President 2005-06 & Julie Foster, M.S., CTRS

"One Facilities Journey to increase Reimbursement of RT Services"
Kim Clarke, M.S., CTRS, RTI President 2004-2005

5:00 - 7:00PM RTI Conference Social – at Jillian’s

Friday, November 14th

8:30-10:00AM Educational Sessions
"Mindfulness Meditation: A Promising Intervention for Therapeutic Recreation Practice"
Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Ph.D., CTRS

"Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder"
Jennifer Haessig, M.S.W.,RBC

10:15-11:45AM Educational Sessions
"More Mindfulness Meditation: Part 2 Interventions for TR Practice"
Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Ph.D., CTRS

"Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders: Part 2"
Jennifer Haessig, M.S.W., RBC

11:45-12:15PM Lunch/RTI Meeting, Awards

12:15-1:15PM RTI Rec Connect Networking Opportunities

1:30-2:30PM Educational Session
"Poly Trauma"
Kimberly Few, M.S., CTRS

"Caged in TR: Are the Benefits Always Endless?"
Lisbeth A. Berbary, Ph.D. & Stephen Lewis, M.S., CTRS

2:45-3:45PM Educational Sessions
"Mental Health Interventions"
Tonya Thomas, CTRS

"A CTRS’s Role in Treating Sex Offenders with Mental Illness"
Bridget Lawson, CTRS

ATRA Conference Highly Successful

You may have already read comments from Mike Sutherland and Marieke VanPuymbroeck to the October 3rd post "How was Reno?" Both Mike and Marieke attended in Reno and had very positive things to say about the ATRA Conference. You may want to go to the "How was Reno?" post to read their comments.

Yesterday I received an email message from Mary Ann Aquadro who also attended the ATRA Conference in Reno. She remarked that the attendance at the recent ATRA Conference far exceeded expectations and "I must say that there was a tremendous amount of excitement and energy in Reno."

This is good news for ATRA and the profession. Next year's ATRA Conference will be held in Minneapolis and the 2010 ATRA Conference in Spokane. I've attended past ATRA meetings in Minneapolis and Spokane. Both are great cities to visit and in which to hold the ATRA Conference.

While Minneapolis is in the middle part of the USA, it is pretty far North and a very long drive for most RTs. I still would like for ATRA to hold its Annual Conferences closer to the majority of RTs who traditionally have lived and worked in the Midwest and near South. That is why I have suggested that ATRA hold its Annual Conference in the midcontinent every-other-year. How about an ATRA Conference in Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Nashville or some other city in the Midwest or near South!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

RTI Still Seeking Nominations

Today I received a message on the RTI listserve from Laurie Lee, RTI President. In the message she indicated that while there have been nominations for Board Members RTI is still seeking nominations for the positions of president-elect and secretary.

Please respond to Laurie by October 13th. Her address is Laurie.Lee@fssa.in.gov

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mental Health Parity Legislation Passes

Both ATRA and Mental Health America have pressed Congress to establish mental health parity. Finally, mental health parity legislation has been passed. The following October 3rd news release was published by Mental Health America:

Mental Health America Hails Approval of Federal Parity Legislation

Bill Broadly Outlaws Health Insurance Discrimination;

Recognizes Importance of Mental Health to Overall Health

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (October 3, 2008) — Mental Health America today hailed as “a great civil rights victory” the approval of mental health parity legislation that will broadly outlaw health insurance discrimination against Americans with mental health and substance-use conditions in employer-sponsored health plans.

The legislation, which recognizes the importance of mental health to overall health, bans employers and insurers from imposing stricter limits on coverage for mental health and substance-use conditions than those set for other health problems. It will provide parity for 82 million Americans covered by self-insured plans and another 31 million in plans that are subject to state regulation.

It is estimated that roughly 67 percent of adults and 80 percent of children requiring mental health services do not receive help, in large part because of discriminatory insurance practices

Mental Health America, which has worked for years to pass mental health parity, applauded Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), as well as Senate and House leadership key committee chairmen for championing the legislation and their long-standing commitment to ending this civil rights inequity. This victory also owes much to tireless champions such as Rosalyn Carter, David Wellstone and tens of thousands of Americans who have pressed for this historic reform.

“This is a historic day and a great civil rights victory for millions of Americans who have been unable to access mental health treatment,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. “With approval of this bill, we will tear down the walls of stigma and discrimination and the open the doors to the power and promise of treatment and recovery. It recognizes that mental health disorders are every bit as debilitating, and just as treatable, as cancer and diabetes.

“With economic problems making it even harder for Americans to afford treatment and driving up rates of depression and family difficulties, passage of this law is even more important.”

The legislation, called the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, builds on the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the recent approval of Medicare legislation that reduces discriminatory co-payments for mental health services. Dr. Shern said the law’s approval should spur further action to improve mental healthcare.

“This law sends a powerful message that we as a nation must address mental health conditions with the same urgency as other health problems,” he said. “We must continue to enact policies that embrace that principle.”

The legislation applies to group health plans of 51 or more employees. The bill takes the following steps:

o There is no requirement as to what conditions must be covered. But when a mental health or substance-use condition is covered, it must be at parity with medical coverage (except to the extent that a state parity law requires broader coverage). Specifically, it prohibits group health plans that offer coverage for any mental health or substance-use conditions from imposing treatment limitations and financial requirements on those benefits that are stricter than for medical and surgical benefits.

o If a plan offers out-of-network benefits for medical or surgical care, it must also offer out-of-network coverage for mental health and addiction treatment and provide services at parity.

o Strong state parity and consumer protection laws are preserved while extending parity protection to 82 million more people who are not protected by state laws and 31 million in plans that are subject to state regulation.

State parity laws vary widely from state to state (for a map of state laws, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/parity/states).

For fact sheets on the legislation and more information, go to www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/parity.

Disability and Health Journal Abstracts Online

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD)has announced the fourth issue of the Disability and Health Journal is now available on-line at www.disabilityandhealth.jnl.com

If you are not a paid member of AAHD, you will only have access to the abstracts and not the full text of the Journal articles.

How was Reno?

I didn't attend the ATRA Annual Conference in Reno and am wondering how it went. If you attended, how about commenting on the conference. I know I'd appreciate it.

Positive Psychology and RT

I recently ran across a couple of quotes from positive psychology that seem to have application in RT.

The first is from Cowen and Kilmer's article in the Journal of Community Psychology (Vol.30, 2002, p. 450). They have written that positive psychology can be perceived as “health-building oriented rather than reactive, and repair or containment-oriented.”

Positive psychologists Linley and Joseph in their book titled Positive Psychology in Practice (2004, p.724) similarly have written that interventions “do not begin and end with the target of the client being symptom-free.”

How do you react to these quotes? Does RT go beyond symptom removal in its approach to clients?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Best Therapists Build Strengths

A quote from a chapter by positive psychologists Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson titled "Positive Clinical Psychology" (in the 2003 book A Psychology of Human Strengths)reads:

"...the best therapists do not merely heal damage; they help people identify and build their strengths and their virtues" (p. 306).

I really believe this is true for rec therapists. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mid-Continent Policy for ATRA Conferences Proposed

In looking over the results of a mini-survey done by Charlie Dixon's TR Directory, one result caught my eye. Participants were asked which TR conference they planned to attend. The results follow:

Answer Votes %
ATRA Annual 17 - 20 %
NTRS/NRPA Congress 7 - 8.24 %
Regional TR Symposium 14 - 16.47 %
State TR Conference 37 - 43.53 %
None 10 - 11.76 %

While a small sample size, the results point out that by far the most popular national meeting is the ATRA Annual Conference. This year's ATRA Conference is going on right now.

With this year's location in Reno, I can't help wonder how well it is being attended. My guess is that attendance is down. Reno is simply too far away for the vast majority of RTs. RTs tend to be primarily be located in the midwest (e.g., Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin) and the near south (e.g., North Carolina).

It seems to me that the profession would be much better served if ATRA held its Annual Conference in the mid-continent every-other-year. Having the conference relatively close to the majority of RTs would allow them to drive to the meeting.

History would indicate the mid-continent strategy is a good one. Some of the best attended ATRA Conferences have been held in the middle of the nation, in cities such as Nashville and Louisville. Also, for years the Midwest TR Symposium (typically held in Springfield, Illinois, or in Wisconsin), was the largest attended TR meeting. Again, these meetings were located close to the majority of RTs.

If ATRA really wishes to serve its members and the profession, it seems to me that it should adopt a policy of holding its Annual Conference in the mid-continent every-other-year. What do you think?

WSSU Forms TR Advisory Group

Winston Salem State University has formed a Therapeutic Recreation Advisory Group. Professor Jo Ann Coco-Ripp recently anounced the next TR Advisory Group meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 9, 2008.

I think it is great that WSSU has a TR advisory group. I wonder how many universities have such groups?