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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good Points on Name Change

I received the following from Danny Pettry, M.S., CTRS, regarding the proposed ATRA name change -- to ARTA. I think what he said is worth sharing on the RT Blog. Danny wrote:

I understand that some ATRA-members are afraid that “recreation” being first might confuse us as being recreational providers.

I use a similar comparison at work when describing, how, recreational therapy, is different from, recreation activities. We’re systematically using recreation as a vehicle to achieve a pre-determined outcome according to a patient/ client’s need.

Sometimes, I’ll continue, by sharing how, physical therapy is a lot different from physical activities. Just the same, recreational therapy is a lot different from recreational activities.

I explain that physical fitness and physical therapy are very different just as recreation activities and recreational therapy is very different.

Sometimes, I'll use "care." Many people can provide "care," However, it is very different from nursing care provided by a RN. Again, many people can provide recreation activities. However, it is very different from recreational therapy, which is provided by a rec. therapist.

Regardless if we change the name or not, I’ll continue to support the association because it is the leading group that represents, us, recreational therapists.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Views on ARTA?

What do you think about the proposed change from ATRA to ARTA (Amcrican Recreational Therapy Association)? A survey showed that most ATRA past-presidents favor the change to ARTA. I personally favor the change. But what do you think?

Call for Presentations for ATRA Mid-Year

ATRA has issued its call for presentations for the 2010 Mid-Year Conference to be held February 21 - 23 in Biloxi, Mississippi. The deadline to submit is November 15, 2009.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ARTA Vote to be Held On or About December 4th

In a prior post I mentioned that ATRA would be considering a name change to the American Recreational Therapy Association (ARTA). I just received an announcement from ATRA regarding the proposed name change. It reads:

A motion was made from the floor at the Membership Meeting held during the ATRA Annual Conference to change the name of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) to the American Recreational Therapy Association (ARTA).

We are currently in a 60-day discussion period prior to the vote by the Membership which will occur electronically on or about December 4, 2009.

YouTube Video on the Power of Fun

Ed Kesgen sent me a great YouTube video on the power of fun. I'm passing the address along because I think it is a good reminder for RTs and their clients of the power of fun.

The address is:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reactions to 6th Edition of TR Processes and Techniques Sought

If you are teaching this fall using the new (6th) edition of Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques I'd be very interested in receiving any reactions to the book and also the Instructor's Guide.

I am particularly interested to learn of reactions to additions to the book. Sections have been added on positive psychology, new intervention techniques, strengths-based assessment, cultural diversity, leadership techniques, group processing (debriefing), and the ICF.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lundberg to Speak in Thailand

Neil Lundberg, Ph.D., CTRS, has been asked to speak at universities and hosptials in Thailand. The invitation grew out of a visit by 15 representatives from Thailand who visited BYU last year. As a result of their visit they became excited about possibilities for recreational therapy in Thailand and invited Lundberg to Thailand to speak.

Lundberg plans to take the RTV video, "To Serve a Purpose," with him to show when he speaks in Thailand. The video provides an introduction to recreational therapy and portrays settings in which RT is delivered. This video and all 23 RTV videos are available via streaming from the Indiana University Library at http://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Sunday, October 18, 2009

RT Blog Announcement in RTI Newsletter

The following appeared in the recent RTI Newsletter. Please feel free to copy it and include it in any RT newsletters or publications. I'll appreciate getting the word out about the RT Blog.

REMINDER!! RT Blog is Still Going
The RT Blog has been up and running since April of 2006. It now contains over 800 posts on RT. Posts range from local job listings to national and international developments in RT. The RT Blog is managed by the “Hoosier RT.” To check it out go to

Friday, October 16, 2009

We Call Her "Modest Marieke"!

The Recreation Therapists of Indiana Newsletter, edited by Marieke Van Puymbroeck, was distributed yesterday. The RTI Newsletter contained nothing about Marieke being awarded the Scholarly Achivement Award by ATRA at the Annual Conference held earlier this month. From now on we Hoosiers shall refer to her as "Modest Marieke"!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 23rd Deadline for LEADERSHIP ATRA

Today I received an announcement from ATRA that indicated the application deadline for the LEADERSHIP ATRA program will be October 23, 2009. For details on the LEADERSHIP ATRA program see yesterday's post.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leadership ATRA Announcement

ATRA is inviting members to become a part of this year's LEADERSHIP ATRA class. The following was extracted from an ATRA announcement on LEADERSHIP ATRA:

The LEADERSHIP ATRA experience has an immediate, positive effect on the participants and their Therapeutic Recreation practice. Each person is better informed and more skilled in active organizational leadership. The real value of the program is evidenced, as graduates become leaders in positions of responsibility in the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

LEADERSHIP ATRA was founded to help develop this most precious resource and to recognize the valuable contribution of great leadership in the past, present, and future. Participants that complete all class requirements will receive 15 hours of continuing education unit contact.

The successful completion of the LEADERSHIP ATRA experience includes five dimensions of the program. These include Comprehensive Education Training, Teamwork Development, ATRA Board Observation, ATRA CQI Project Completion, Mentoring and a Practical Application Phase of the program.

LEADERSHIP ATRA includes 18 contact hours of continuing education training through active participation in teleconference and onsite program days. Participants become more aware of the dynamics of the American Therapeutic Recreation Associations organizational structure and operations and the potential impact on our membership.

LEADERSHIP ATRA provides an opportunity to develop and apply teamwork skills through assigned projects and activities. The teamwork experience provides for the application of knowledge and skills, as well as, the development of professional network contacts. Teamwork is critical in the development of high performing teams.


LEADERSHIP ATRA requires attendance and direct observation of a meeting of the ATRA Board of Directors. The experience provides a practical observation of the Association's governing body.


LEADERSHIP ATRA participants plan and implement a Continuous Quality Improvement project working in small groups. These projects are designed to address priority and emerging issues for the profession and the Association. The ATRA CQI Projects culminate in a report to the Board of Directors during the Annual ATRA Conference.

LEADERSHIP ATRA facilitates discussion and interaction with Association leaders and experts during session presentations. Each participant is provided an ATRA Mentor for as a professional resource for the 12 months following the completion of the formal LEADERSHIP ATRA training.

LEADERSHIP ATRA includes a final practical application of knowledge and skills following successful completion of the education sessions. Participants develop an Individual Professional Growth Plan that they work at completing during the 12 months following their LEADERSHIP ATRA graduation.

Participants must participate in all sessions, complete team assignments and attend March On-site Class and Annual Conference sessions.


Current ATRA members may submit an application for the coming LEADERSHIP ATRA class. Applications must be received by October 23rd to be considered for the upcoming class. Each LEADERSHIP ATRA class will be limited to no more than 12 participants to facilitate individual professional growth, teamwork and mentoring. All applications will be reviewed and scored according to demonstrated current and talent and desire to serve the Association through their work with ATRA Chapters, Teams or Treatment Networks.

Registration cost per participant - $325*

*does not include participant registration, hotel and travel expenses for Mid-Year On-site Class and ATRA Annual conference

Questions? Contact Nancy McFarlane at Nancy.McFarlane@va.gov

RTI Conference Preregistration & Program

From the Recreation Therapists of Indiana president Julie Foster, M.S., CTRS, has come a reminder about the upcoming RTI Conference to be held November 12 & 13, 2009, at the Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel in Carmel. Julie reminds us that October 21st is the last day to preregister in order to receive the early registration discount. It is also the last day to receive the special conference room rate from the Renaissance.

Julie also announced that the Conference program is now available. The program features ATRA President Missy Armstrong who will deliver the keynote speach for the Conference. Former ATRA President Bryan McCormick, from IU, is also scheduled to speak.

Monday, October 12, 2009

ATRA Board for 2009-10

In case you missed the post earlier this month, ATRA has a new Board:

Missy Armstrong, president
Mary Ann Aquadro, president-elect
Heather Sedletzeck, secretary
Lisa Morgan, treasurer
Tim Passmore, Kari Kensinger, Stephanie Courtney, Ramon Zabriskie, members-at-large

If you know any of these individuals, I would like to suggest that you express appreciation to them for their willingness to assume their responsibilities because being a board member is a large task.

Enjoy Columbus Day!

Hope you have a great Columbus Day. And Happy Thanksgiving to all friends in Canada!

ATRA Webinars Available

Did you know ATRA provides webinars? Jean Folkerth just sent me info on the ATRA webinars for which CEUs are available.

On October 28th, Mary Ann Keogh Hoss is doing a webinar on "How to Talk to Your Administration." On December 3rd Wayne Pollock is doing one on "Civic Engagment through Involvement in Professional Organizaions." Both begin at 1:00 PM EST.

I assume those interested can contact the ATRA Office to register.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Part-Time Position in Indy

From Mandy D. McQueeney, CTRS, comes this position announcment:

Meaningful Day Services, Inc. has just opened up a new position for a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist. This position offers great flexibility for therapists seeking additional work hours to supplement their full-time jobs.

Service area: Indianapolis (northside) and Hamilton county: Part-time evenings.

Must be credentialed (CTRS) through NCTRC
Valid Driver's license.
Preferred experience with MRDD population and child development

Job Description:
Our therapists conduct standardized assessments for each client, attend interdisplinary team meetings, develop and implement treatment plans and interventions based on assessed need, educate families and caregivers on TR processes and techniques, and document measurable client progress on a quarterly basis. Duration of therapy sessions is based upon number of Recreation Therapy hours approved by the state within each client's plan.

Part-time Benefits:
Base rate ranges from $18 - $22/hour
Company sponsered CEU's
Stipend for therapy supplies
Paid travel time
Flexible hours

To apply, please visit our website at www.meaningfuldays.com. You may direct questions to me directly at mdmcqueen@comcast.net.

Mandy D. McQueeney, CTRS
Director of Recreational Therapy
First Steps Developmental Specialist
Meaningful Day Services, Inc.

NIH Study Supports Benefits of Yoga

Did you happen to see the report today in Parade magazine on the bennefits of twice-weekly participation in Iyengar-style yoga? It relieved back pain and reduced depression.

Unfortunately, the Parade article didn't mention the names of the researchers but did state the research was published in the journal Spine. If I can locate the origional source I'll pass it along in another post.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ARTA Vote to be Held

Frank Brasile , Ph.D., CTRS, has informed me that there will be a vote to change the name of ATRA to the American Recreational Therapy Association (ARTA). I'm not sure when the vote will occur but all members will be able to vote on the change.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

RTV Producer/Director has Birthday

John Winninger is a Senior Producer/Director for Radio/TV at IU and served as Producer/Director for all 23 of the Recreation Therapy Videos (RTV). I happened to be on the IU campus yesterday where I saw John. Even though he celebrated his 65th birthday this week, John still looks great.

The address to access the videos via streaming is:

RTI Seeking Nominations for Board

The Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) have announced that nominations are open for board positions for 2009-10. Positions include: president-elect, treasurer, secretary,and two board members at large.

Thanks Vicki Scott!

Vicki Scott, M.S., CTRS, just completed two terms as ATRA Treasurer. Vicki is a manager at the Hook Rehab Center in Indianapolis. All ATRA members, and especially all of us Hoosier RTs, owe Vicki a great deal of appreciation for her valued service to our profession! Thanks so much, Vicki!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pacific Northwest ATRA Fall Workshop

Michael Ratliff, CTRS, just sent out a reminder that there are just two days left to get the early registration discount for the Pacific Northwest ATRA Fall Workshop. ATRA President Missy Armstrong will be a featured speaker.

Faculty Position Open at Virginia Wesleyan

From my long-time ATRA friend, Wayne Pollock, at Virginia Wesleyan College, comes the following position announcement:

VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE (VWC), a small (1400 students, 85 full-time faculty), selective, and diverse liberal arts institution sited on 300 beautiful wooded acres in the heart of the historical, economically dynamic, and culturally rich Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area, seeks applications for a tenure-track position as assistant professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies, beginning fall, 2010. A doctorate in Recreation, Leisure Studies or a related field is required at the time the position begins.

The successful candidate will contribute to the Department’s core curriculum as well as the career tracks (Leadership, Management, and Therapeutic Recreation) associated with his/her area of expertise. Development of courses related to the individual’s areas of interest also will be encouraged. VWC seeks committed teacher/scholars who will foster undergraduate research, be professionally active, and advance the college’s quest for Phi Beta Kappa recognition. The salary is competitive and an attractive benefits package is offered.

This is an exciting time for the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. We have been accredited since 1984, are one of the largest departments at the college and have excellent support from our administration. VWC is undergoing a change to a four-credit system that is going to reduce the teaching load for all faculty and allow for the creation of enhanced courses that provide increased time for out-of-class experiences.

Please send a letter of application, a statement of your philosophy of teaching, a curriculum vitae, transcripts, and three letters of reference to: Dr. Timothy G. O’Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of the College, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23502-5599. Review of applicants will commence November 15, 2009 and continue until the position is filled.

Questions prior to application may be directed to Dr. Doug Kennedy, Department Coordinator, via (757) 455-3305 or kennedy@vwc.edu Department website is http://facultystaff.vwc.edu/~rec/index.php

To contact Wayne Pollock use wpollock@vwc.edu

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Van Puymbroeck Receives National Award for Scholarship

Professor Marieke Van Puymbroeck, of Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, was honored by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) at its Annual Conference recently held in Minneapolis. Van Puymbroeck received ATRA’s Scholarly Achievement Award for her contributions to the literature in therapeutic recreation.

Van Puymbroeck has been a highly productive scholar having over 40 refereed publications to her credit. Prominent among her research studies have been those involving older adults and the therapeutic benefits of yoga and Pilates programs.

We are very fortunate to have Marieke as a major scholar in RT.

Monday, October 05, 2009

And the Winners Are....

I just heard from IU prof Marieke Van Puymbroeck who passed on the ATRA election results. They are:

Missy Armstrong, president
Mary Ann Aquadro, president-elect
Heather Sedletzeck, secretary
Lisa Morgan, treasurer
Tim Passmore, Kari Kensinger, Stephanie Courtney, Ramon Zabriskie, members-at-large

Congratulations to all the new ATRA officers and board members!

And, by the way, Marieke said the ATRA Conference was going great!

Winners of ATRA Election?

I've heard from the ATRA meeting in Minnesota that it is cold there -- but I haven't heard who won the ATRA elections. Does anyone know?

Friday, October 02, 2009

NTRS Seems to be History

A second national figure has informed me that NRPA is doing away with NTRS. I haven't seen any "official" announcement that NTRS is dead but everything points that way. I hope that all RTs will now join ATRA.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

NCD Report Now Available

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released a report entitled The Current State of Health Care for People with Disabilities, calling for immediate health care reform for people with disabilities. The report is available from the National Counicl on Disability website.