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, March 30, 2009

"Exergames" Catching On

This morning's USA Today newspaper contains a story in the health section titled "Exergames: Fit to be Tried." The artilce talks about Nintendo's Wii Fit that came out 10 months ago and has been a top seller.

Wii Fit is a video game that has yoga, strength exercises, aerobic activities and balance games using a movement-sensitive board with an on-screen trainer. Because of the popularity of Wii Fit, other companies are introducing similar fitness video games.

In my new book I discuss Wii video games and present literature on how they have been used with success in recreational therapy. But the Wii Fit had just come on the market so there were no reports on its use in RT.

I am now wondering if RTs are using Wii Fit with their clients. If you are, please do comment so we can know about what you are doing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sagamore Publishing Website Offers Information on My Book

I just visited the Sagamore Publishing website. There under new books I found my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques.

When you click on my book you will find information showing the Table of Contents and the Preface. Reading this information will provide you with an good understanding of the content of the book.

You can also access the 85 PowerPoint slides produced to accompany my book. I think instructors will find these to be excellent classroom aids.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Improvements to TR Processes and Techniques Book Noted

Several people have asked me how the new 6th edition of my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques (Sagamore Publishing), differs from prior editions. In this post I'm providing information from the book's Preface that details changes in the new edition. This information follows:

There have been a number of changes in this edition. Chapter Two, Theories and Therapies, has been expanded to include positive psychology.

Chapter Three,Facilitation Techniques, now includes updated information to guide evidence-based practice and new segments have been added on Pilates, laughter yoga, and the use of the Wii video game systems.

Chapter Four contains a revised TR Intervention Plan developed by my colleague, Bryan McCormick.

In Chapter Five, Helping Others, the section on cultural diversity has undergone a major updating and expansion.

Chapter 7, Being a Leader, has been extensively revised and now contains a section on group processing, including debriefing.

Added to Chapter Eight has been a section on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Heatlh (ICF).

Throughout the book, sections have been expanded. Unique elements found in earlier editions of the book have been updated. These include information on drug therapy, therapeutic communication skills, models of practice, and formulating goals and objectives. Over 150 new references appear in this sixth edition. In short, I am excited to be able to present what I believe are, by far, the best revisions ever made to this book.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Institute of Medicine Report on Mental Health

The Institute of Medicine is composed of the very top people in health care (My wife is a member!). Its role is to serve as an adviser to the nation to improve health care.

Last month the Institute of Medicine published a report titled "Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities." The report states that the prevention of mental health and substance abuse conditions among youth must be a national priority -- and, as such, should be a core element in health care reform. It goes on to discuss interventions that could reduce problem behaviors.

I have read only a summary of the complete report so I can't offer more details. I would think however that the report should be of great interest to RTs who provide care in mental health and substance abuse. The report has been endorsed by Mental Health America.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

White House Forums on Health Reform

Does anyone plan to participate in a Regional Health Forum by attending one of these upcoming White House forums on health reform?

Forums will take place March 23 in Des Moines, IA; March 31 in Greensboro, NC; and April 6 in Los Angeles, CA.

I wonder if anyone from ATRA plans to attend any of these regional forums. I would think it would be good for RT to be represented.

Southeast RT Symposium Reminder

A reminder the Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium will be held April 8-10. With over 30 sessions and nationally renowned keynote speakers this Symposium will offer 15 CEP's for full conference attendance. This year's Symposium will also feature a "Geriatrics" track.

For more information regarding the Symposium, including the full conference program and Registraiton Form, please visit the SRTS website at www.musc.edu/srts Early registration deadline is March 30.

Interesting Video with Dr. Russoniello

I just read an email message from Professor Carmen Russoniello of East Carolina University. Carmen is a professor of recreational therapy at East Carolina University and a past-president of ATRA. In his message Carmen informs us about a website that features his work at the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic.

On the website there is a banner entitled "Basic ReTraining" with a helmet with EEG sensors. You will find a video that describes some of Carmen's work with military personnel. It is well worth watching.

Go to www.ecu.edu

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good to be Back

In case you didn't notice, I've been away. I just returned from a trip to Tampa to watch some spring training games, play golf, and visit a friend. It was a great trip. I plan to keep up regular RT Blog posts now that I am back.

Mental Health Resource Center

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services has a Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated withMental Health (ADS Center).

They are countering prejudice and discrimination associated with mental illness by:
Sharing ideas about what works
Promoting best practices
Connecting people and programs

The web address is http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/

Friday, March 13, 2009

Call for Manuscripts

From Deborah Rines, Editoral Coordinator forActivity Directors Quarterly for Alzheimer's and Other Dementias comes a reminder of a call of manuscripts.

Send manuscripts to adq@pnpco.com

Psych RT Position in Lebanon, Indiana

From RTI comes an announcement of a positon opening:

Witham Health Services (Hospital) in Lebanon, Indiana, has a full-time position opening for a CTRS in a 10 bed inpatient geriatric psych unit.

See Witham.org or contact Amy Scesny, LCSW, at asczesny@witham.org

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Good Obseration About Using Recreational Therapy in Publications/Communications

This morning I received an email message from an RT Blog reader who is an M.S. prepared CTRS. She had read the news release on Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck's research that I'd posted a couple of days ago. And she noted that nowhere in the release did it refer to Dr. Van Puymbroeck as a professor of recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation.

This person was correct. I went back to the release and found this reference describing Dr. Van Puymbroeck: "Marieke Van Puymbroeck, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation." There was nothing to indicate she was a professor of therapeutic recreation. I should point out that this was not Marieke's fault as university news releases are typically distributed without the faculty member's knowledge.

This reader's point was that too often we don't mention RT or TR in our communications. Instead expressions like "yoga therapist" are used rather than recreational therapist.

I entirely agree with the reader. We in RT need to be proud of our profession and to use the term recreational therapy (or therapeutic recreation) in our communications so that others begin to realize that we exist.

I can recall that when I was ATRA President that the officers and board members made an agreement that each of us would inform others when we met them that we were in recreational therapy. For example, when meeting someone I would say that I taught recreational therapy, rather than I was a university professor. I don't know if this informal policy is still followed by national leaders -- but I would suggest it if it isn't being followed.

At any rate, I'm very glad that one of our own recreational therapists took the time to point out the need for all of us to continually promote our profession. I know that I will be more sensitive to the issue and hope you will too.

Mental Retardation Awareness Month

March is Mental Retardation Awareness Month. March is also National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

I just ran across a website that lists all health observations for 2009. It is the National Health Information Center website. If you are interested in seeing a complete listing of health observations go to: http://www.healthfinder.gov/nho/hno.asp?year=2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NIH Grants Available

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) (H.R. 1, S. 1 - PDF-1MB) is a Federal public law passed by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. As part of the Recovery Act, NIH has designated at least $200 million in FYs 2009 - 2010 for a new initiative called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research, to fund 200 or more grants, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications.

RT Research in "Medical News Today"

Research conducted by Indiana University Professor Marieke Van Puymbroeck appears in today's Medical News Today.

Medical News Today is an eletronic newsletter that covers all aspects of health related news. The article is titled "Older Adults Taught Hatha Yoga to Reduce Fear of Falling."

Congratulations, Marieke! It is great to have RT research appear in a prominent medical newsletter.

To read the article go to http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

TR Education Conference, June 19th and 20th

I just received information on the tentative program for the Therapeutic Recreation Education Conference, June 19th and 20th, from Professor Tim Passmore of Oklahoma State Universtiy. Oklahoma State is hosting the curriculum conference and Tim and Jerry Jordan are coordinating it.

A series of presentations will cover all aspects of TR curriculum. Time will be devoted to work sessions following most presentations.

Speakers include Jean Keller, Ramon Zabriskie, Thom Skalko, Debbie Hutchins, Ann Simmonson, Alexis McKenney, Bret Wolfe, Bob Riley, Missy armstrong, Carla Carmichael, Fran Stavola Daly, Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, and Jerry Jordan.

To register for the conference go to the ATRA website.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Marieke Van Puymbroeck's Research Featured in News Release

Congratulations to Indiana University TR Professor Marieke Van Puymbroeck on her research success that has been covered in a news release from Indiana University. It follows:

Older adults reported tremendous benefits from a twice weekly yoga class that was part of a study involving yoga and fear of falling.

Yoga and fear of falling. Indiana University researchers found promising results in an exploratory study involving yoga practice by older adults who expressed a fear of falling. After a 12-week, twice weekly hatha yoga class, taught by a professional yoga therapist, study participants reported a reduced fear of falling, increased lower body flexibility and a reduction in their leisure constraints. Fear of falling is an important public health concern because it can cause older adults -- even those who have not fallen -- to limit their social and physical activity. This effort to avoid falls creating a harmful cycle that can diminish health and quality of life. "Our study found that yoga was a feasible intervention with older adults and that they perceived great benefit from it," said Marieke Van Puymbroeck, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Van Puymbroeck discussed some of her findings this month at the International Association of Yoga Therapists' Symposium for Yoga Therapy and Research in Los Angeles and will discuss her findings further at conferences hosted by the American Geriatrics Society and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. More about the study:

The study involved 14 men and women with an average age of 78. Five participants had fallen previously.

Van Puymbroeck said the 90 percent weekly attendance rate was notable, as was the 6 percent dropout rate, which she said was much lower than most physical activity and yoga studies. The participants took a class in hatha yoga, which is a gentle form of yoga that easily can be adapted for individual needs and can be performed from a seated position. The twice weekly classes each lasted 60 minutes.
After the 12-week class, participants reported a 6 percent reduction in their fear of falling, a 34 percent increase in lower body flexibility, and a statistically significant reduction in leisure constraints.

Van Puymbroeck said participants reported "tremendous benefits," with emerging themes that included the ability to generalize principals of posture to other situations, increased range of motion, increased flexibility and improved balance.

Co-investigators include David Koceja, Department of Kinesiology in IU Bloomington's School of HPER; and Arlene Schmid, Department of Occupational Therapy and Department of Veterans Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Van Puymbroeck can be reached at mvp@indiana.edu

Friday, March 06, 2009

Southeast RT Symposium April 8 - 10

I received this from Pam Wilson, MS, LRT/CTRS, this morning and am passing it on:

Just a reminder the Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium will be held April 8-10. With over 30 sessions and nationally renowned keynote speakers this Symposium will offer 15 CEP's for full conference attendance. This year's Symposium will also feature a "Geriatrics" track.

For more information regarding the Symposium, including the full conference program and Registraiton Form, please visit the SRTS website at www.musc.edu/srts Early registration deadline is March 30. We hope to see you there!

Pamela Wilson MS,LRT/CTRS - SRTS Board Member

Thursday, March 05, 2009

RT Position Opening in Indy

Meaningful Day Services, Inc is seeking a therapist with degree in Therapeutic Recreation to work at our Adult Day Service facility for people with developmental disabilities.

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Job Description:
Assist with program and goal development
Facilitate individual and group therapy
Train in social skills, fine/gross motor skills, daily living and self care skills
Document client progress

Opportunity for advance and other professional opportunities upon passing certification exam
Medical insurance
1 paid conference annually
Company sponsered trainings

For more information regarding the position, please contact Mandy McQueeney, Director of Recreation Therapy, at 317-709-2772. You may check out our company online and apply at www.meaningfuldays.com

RTI Sweet 16! ATRA to be 25!

It is hard to believe that the Recreation Therapists of Indiana will be 16 years old this year -- old enough to drive! I just ran across a copy of the history of RTI that I had prepared which indicated RTI was formed in 1993 and became an ATRA Chapter that same year.

Come to think of it, won't ATRA be 25 years old this year? ATRA was formed in 1984 --so if my math is correct, ATRA will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. It hardly seems possible.

Instructor's Guide for TR Processes and Techniques Book

I recently sent off a draft of the Instructor's Guide for the 6th edition of my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques (David R. Austin, 2009)to my co-authors of the Guide Bryan McCormick and Youngkhill Lee for their reveiw and reaction. This is the final step in completing the Instructor's Guide -- so hopefully I can send it to Sagamore Publishing for them to release it in the next few weeks.

I am really pleased with the Instructor's Guide. It certainly will be the best to ever accompany my book.

I'm particularly pleased with the suggested learning activities that are provided for instructors who use my book. If all goes as planned, the learning activities will provide an entirely new means to access instructional materials. I'll put more information out on the RT Blog when this becomes a reality.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Russoniello Announces Grand Opening of ECU Facility

A few minutes ago I received an email message from Carmen V. Russoniello, Ph.D., LRT, LPC, BCIAC. Most of us know Carmen as a Past President of ATRA and a leading recretional therapy professor and researcher. The email from Carmen was addressed to Colleagues, Friends, and Americans.

In the message Carmen announced the Grand Opening of the Physchphysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic to be held March 19, 2009, at the Belk Building on the campus of East Carolina University.

The message announced that New York Times best selling author retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopleman will be the keynote speaker -- and there will also be some short demonstrations of current ECU/ Military programs and and a panel of Marines will share their experiences at the lab/clinic.

The message also indicated that the presentation is free and, if you can attend, please RSVP to tamimaes@msn.com.

Carmen went on to provide the following:

"Currently there is very little funding for the Wounded Warrior Program. I am trying to rectify this in a number of ways including traditional methods i.e. grants. In addition a Health and Human Performance Wounded Warriors Fund has been created to provide funding to provide services. With the later in mind three quick things: As the song we adopted for our program attests these are the “boys next door that probably carried your groceries”. When the towers came down they gave up many things to defend our freedom. Now we have a chance to demonstrate we appreciate their sacrifice. Please show your generosity.

In honor of WWS I will be doing a series of runs over the next year and would love to have sponsors make a per mile pledge with the money going to the WW fund. I will be doing the Ukrop’s 10 K (6. 5 miles) later this Month in Richmond, The Historic Marine Corps Half Marathon in Fredericksburg (13.2 miles) in May and either the New York or Marine Corps Marathon (26.2 miles). The total mileage (If I make it) is approximately 46 miles. Pledges of $1, $2, $5, 10, dollars per mile would be deeply appreciated."

Carmen requested that his email be forwarded to as many people as possible. But rather than email it, I have chosen to post this information on the RT Blog. Please do respond to Carmen to seek more information or to respond to his appeal to support the Wounded Warrior Program with a donation.

Carmen's contact information follows:

Carmen V. Russoniello, Ph.D., LRT, LPC, BCIAC
Director, Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic
East Carolina University
Belk Building Suite 2501
Greenville, NC 27858

Phone: 252-353-8674
Fax: 252-328-4642
email: russsonielloc@ecu.edu

New Edition of Stumbo's Professional Issues Book

I just received an eletronic newsletter from Sagamore Publishing in which it was announed that the 2nd edition of Norma Stumbo's book, Professional Issues in Therapeutic Recreation: On Competence & Outcomes, will be out in July.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ray West & Dorothea Dix

Rumors keep circulating that Ray West dated Dorothea Dix in college. I want to put a stop to these rumors right now. Ray is very old -- but not that old!

News from ATRA: Something on the Horizon

I have it on good authority that there will soon be "big news" coming out of ATRA. I'll report developments on the RT Blog as I confirm them. Stay tuned!

Joke from Xander!

My 6 year old grandson, Xander, called last night to tell me his latest joke. I thought I'd share it with RT Blog readers. Here it is:

"Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!"

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Monday, March 02, 2009

MHA Honoring Dorethea Dix during National Women's History Month

Earlier today I received the article that follows from Mental Health America. I hope you find it interesting. Here it is:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 2, 2009)—As part of National Women’s History Month and its 100th Anniversary celebration, Mental Health America is honoring the enormous contributions of mental health advocate Dorothea Dix.

Dorothea Dix is recognized as a groundbreaking figure in the treatment of individuals with a mental health condition and one of the most influential social reformers of the 19th Century. Dix has been previously honored during National Women’s History Month, which is celebrated each year in March.

“Dorothea Dix was a crusader for humane treatment and a voice of conscience,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. “We will always remember her work and accomplishments.”

In 1841, Dix, then a teacher, volunteered to teach a Sunday school class to the women in the East Cambridge Jail in Massachusetts. When she entered the jail to teach, she was appalled at the conditions the inmates were forced to endure. At the time, people with mental health conditions were viewed as incurable and generally unaware of their surroundings.

Dix found similar conditions in prisons throughout Massachusetts and convinced the state legislature to increase funding for the state psychiatric hospital to accommodate additional residents. During the next 40 years, Dix persuaded legislatures in 15 states as well as in Canada and Europe to establish 32 public psychiatric hospitals and stop imprisoning people with mental illnesses. She also successfully lobbied Congress to establish the first and only national federal mental health facility, which grew to be a world-class mental health and research center.

She founded several hospitals and schools for those with mental illness as well as specialized schools for nurses. Her reforms were put into practice in Europe as well. In 1887, she passed away in a hospital she had founded.

RT Blog has had 666 Posts!

This post is the 666th to appear on the RT Blog -- and this post is to announce this and to thank those who regularly read the RT Blog.

AJRT Welcomes Manuscripts

Today I received an announcement from the American Journal of Recreation Therapy (AJRT) reminding potential authors that manuscripts are being accepted. I'm passing it on to readers of the RT Blog. Here it is:

The American Journal of Recreation Therapy, an independent double-blind peer-reviewed print and online journal, welcomes original research manuscripts that contribute to the field of therapeutic and recreational therapies in the management of rehabilitation and quality of life for disabled persons of all ages. The journal also receives and publishes original papers regarding all uses of recreation therapy, as well as articles on the legal and regulatory issues surrounding this important field.

Manuscripts are accepted for review as original clinical or basic science research, case reports, clinical reviews, literature reviews, practical application, inservice updates and letters to the editor. Manuscript submission is handled electronically. To submit a manuscript, please follow this link to http://ajrt.allentrack2.net. For additional author guidelines and instructions please visit the journal's webpage, www.recreationtherapy.org .

American Journal of Recreation Therapy is the journal of record in the field and features a distinguished Editorial Review Board led by Editor-In-Chief, Professor Linda Buettner, PhD, LRT, CTRS. Dr. Buettner has a long standing reputation as one of the country's most respected leaders in the challenging field of recreation therapy.

As Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Buettner guides the journal's leadership role at a time when the spotlight has been switched on to the rising problem of abuse and poor quality of care for the disabled and long term care patients. We are actively seeking papers dealing with all aspects of recreation therapy.