RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ATRAnet Listserv is Really Active

I'm pleased to see that the ATRAnet listserv is really being used. It is being used to seek information and to share information. It has turned out to be just what we need to share communications.

I believe I saw that over 160 individuals have signed up for the listserv. If you haven't signed up for the listserv, you should do so right away. Just go to the ATRA homepage to sign up.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

RT Mirrors PE: Both Have a Big Problem

I just read a history paper on p.e.links4u titled "That was Then...This is Now: Celebrating PETE's Past While Facing the Challenges In Its Future," by Mike Metzler and Lynn Housner.

In tracking the history of physical education the authors noted:

"We applauded the establishment of so many quality PETE doctoral programs in the 1970s and 1980s, but today we face a crisis....Too many of the landmark PETE doctoral programs are either gone or have been reduced in size and stature. While a few new programs have started, the unavoidable reality is that we are not producing enough new PETE professors to take the place of those who retire or otherwise leave active duty."

As I read this, I could not but think the exact words could capture what has happened in RT/TR. Just reread the quote and substitute RT for PETE and I think you will see what I mean.

I am extremely concerned about the future of our profession should changes not be made to produce enough Ph.D. prepared professors with solid training in research. Without qualified individuals to research, do scholarship, and to teach, what will become of our profession?

I personally believe faculty in universities that have doctoral programs fully understand the problem -- yet these faculty do not seem to be willing to even try to strive for a solution. This is too bad. I just can't understand why these faculty are not willing to at least make an attempt to correct the situation.

I don't know what can be done, do you?

ATRA Should be Congratulated

Does it seem to you that ATRA is again on the move? It seems to me that ATRA is fast recovering from a few years ago when ATRA activities had to be cut back. The new listserv is a good example of restoring a service many of us had missed.

I'm really pleased to see that ATRA is now taking steps to improve RT/TR curricula. This is one of the most important things ATRA can do to advance the profession.

Hats off to the ATRA Board for making advances during tough times!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Listserv is Being Used Already!

I'm pleased to see that the ATRAnet listserv is already being used. It is just what we need to share communications.

If you haven't signed up for the listserv, you should do so right away. Just go to the ATRA homepage to sign up.

Monday, April 19, 2010

ATRAnet Listserv Now Available

Thanks to Oklahoma State University's Therapeutic Recreation Program for establishing ATRAnet. The ATRAnet listserv is now available.

To subscribe go to the ATRA website. You will find directions for subscribing to ATRAnet.

A few years ago, ATRA had the ATRA Educators listserv that provided a valuable service to allow regular communications to flow. University faculty used it to announce such things as faculy openings, the availability of grduate assistantships,upcoming workshops and conferences,and available educational resources. I think this new listserv will be equally helpful in allowing rapid communication of information. Thanks ATRA and Oklahoma State University!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

ATRA 2010-11 Meetings Now Set

ATRA recently announced the dates and place for the 2011 ATRA Mid Year Meeting. It will be in Providence, RI, March 6 - 8, 2011.

Previously ATRA had announced that the ATRA 2010 Annual Conference will be in Spokane, September 12 -15, 2010.

Friday, April 16, 2010

ATRA Newsletter Article on RTV Videos

Appearing in the most recent ATRA Newsletter was this item on the availability of the RTV videos at no cost from the Indiana University Library:

Free Recreation Therapy Videos:
The entire collection of 23 Recreation Therapy Videos is available
via streaming from the Indiana University Library at no
charge. The RTV instructional videos were produced through a
federal grant to Indiana University.

One of the most popular RTV videos is titled “To Serve a
Purpose.” This video provides an introduction to therapeutic
recreation. Other popular RTV videos include “TR Models:
Health Protection – Health Promotion Model;” “TR Models:
Leisure Ability Model;” “Professionalism in Therapeutic
Recreation;” “Professional Ethics;” “Clinical Supervision;”
“Documentation and Behavioral Observation;” “Therapeutic
Listening;” “Nonverbal Communication;” and “History of
Therapeutic Recreation, Parts I, II, III.”

A complete listing of the RTV videos titles, with descriptions,
may be obtained by going to the Indiana University TR webpage.
When on the page, click Recreation Therapy Videos on
the left side of the page. The address for the IU TR webpage is:

To video stream any of the RTV videos, go to:

NCTRC to be Representated at Conferences

NCTRC has announced representatives will be at the following conferences:

April 22-24: Therapeutic Recreation Symposium for the Southwest, Austin, TX
April 26-28: Midwest Symposium on TR, Lake Geneva, WI
May 16-18: Mid-Eastern Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation, Richmond, VA
June 7-12: Pennsylvania TR Society, Grantville, PA
June 9-11: Canadian TR Association, Ontario, Canada

I believe it is good that NCTRC is getting out to these conferences, especially the one in Canada where RT is growing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marveling at McCormick's Fulbright

I am still marveling that Bryan McCormick, Ph.D.,CTRS, of Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has received a Fulbright Scholarship. Receiving a Fulbright is such a high honor that it is really something to have an RT receive one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ATRA Begins Accreditation Process with CAAHEP

There is an interesting development in the area of university RT curricula discussed in an article in the recent ATRA Newsletter. I've provided part of the article below:

On February 5, 2010 ATRA composed a letter of recognition
and support of the efforts the Committee on Accreditation
of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) have put forth in
the development of the initial accreditation standards for institutes
of higher learning which provide training and education
for students preparing to enter our profession. ATRA is seeking
recognition of Recreational Therapy as an Allied Health
Profession through the Council on Accreditation of Allied
Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Simultaneously, ATRA
has submitted a letter of sponsorship to CAAHEP to sponsor
CARTE as the Committee on Accreditation (COA) for
Recreational Therapy Education.

The initial meeting with CAAHEP to discuss and answer questions
regarding the recognition of Recreational Therapy as an
Allied Health Profession through the organization will take
place in the spring 2010. During this time CAAHEP will also
consider the request of sponsorship of CARTE as the
Committee on Accreditation for the profession.

New Dates for Summit in Chicago

I just read an announcement that the summit sponsored by the Health Professionals Newwork (HPN), "Educating the Allied Health Workforce of the 21st Century," has been rescheduled to September 22-23, 2010, in Chicago. Those interested can see the HPN website for details.

I am still not clear if ATRA will have representation at the summit. I sure hope so.

Midwest Symposium Dates and Locations

I recently received an announcement of the dates and locations for the 2010 and 2011 Midwest Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation and Adapted Physical Activity.

The 2010 symposium will be held April 26-28 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The 2011 symposium will be April 18-20 in St. Louis.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kesgen to Keynote 2011 S-E RT Symposium

I just learned from my friend, Dr. Ed Kesgen, that he has been asked to keynote the 2011 Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium to be held in May of 2011 in Gatlinburg.

Ed is one of the most dynamic speakers in our profession. I think the Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium Board has made an excellent selection.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hoosier Running for ATRA President

I think it is safe to reveal tha Vicki Scott, M.S., CTRS, has been asked to run for ATRA President. She has accepted and will be on the ballot when it comes out.

Vicki is an I.U. alum and has always been one of my favorite RTs.

For those who do not know Vicki, she is with the Hook Rehabilitation Center at Community Hospital North in Indianapolis. She has many years of experience and is a highly respected practitioner who has been a real leader in our profession.

Among the roles she has assumed are serving as on the ATRA Board and serving as the ATRA Treasurer. She is a Founding Member of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana and an orgional member of the Indiana University Clinical Faculty.

I can't think of anyone who is better qualified to serve as ATRA President!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Hoosier May Be on ATRA Election Ballot

I have it on good authority that a Hoosier may be running for ATRA President in the next ATRA election. I'll fill you in on this in the next week or so.

Buettner Receives High Award

I just read in the ATRA Newsletter that Dr. Linda Buettner, RT professor at the University of North Carolina Greenboro,has received the 2010 Barry Reisberg Award for Non-Pharmacologic Research,Theory, and Clinical Practice.

This award honors an accomplished clinician and researcher each year for their distinguished contributions to the field of non-pharmacologic Alzheimer’s disease treatment and care. It is named for Dr.Barry Reisberg, Clinical Director of NewYork University's Aging and Dementia Research Center, who is a psychiatrist, geriatric
psychiatrist, and psychopharmacologist and whose research and practice bridges all forms of treatment.

Congratulations Lin!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

ATRA Newsletter Out

I recently received an email from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)that announced the latest ATRA Newsletter is available to members on the ATRA website. I haven't had a chance to check it out but plan to do so in the next day or so.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference

I recently told you that I'd be sharing some developments. I can now share that I'm looking foward to being the featured speaker for the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Conference, to be held in Calgary, October 15 and 16, 2010.

Glenn Skimming, from ATRA, and I had a good phone conversation yesterday in which we began to firm up arrangements. We are moving toward establishing a unique program format. I'll fill you in as time goes on.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

IU's Bryan McCormick awarded Fulbright Scholarship

There is a picture of Bryan McCormick and a brief article on RT Professor Bryan McCormick on the Indiana University Bloomington homepage. When you click on it, the following news release appears:

April 1, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bryan McCormick, associate professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to examine the influence of different levels of urbanization on the social interaction and psychosocial functioning of people with serious mental illness who live in Eastern Europe.

An important component of the award involves lectures to medical and nursing students about related issues, including obesity and the health of people with serious mental illness, which is an ongoing focus of McCormick's research in the U.S. In Eastern and Central Europe, McCormick says, psychiatric training focuses more on prescribing medicine rather than rehabilitation, which can teach important skills needed for living in a community.

"Their medical education is very different than in the U.S.," McCormick said. "The lectures give me an opportunity to talk with medical and nursing students about rehabilitation, to suggest they think beyond prescribing medicine to consider how people might recover or develop skills that might help them function in their everyday lives."

McCormick's combined teaching and lecturing award begins in fall 2010 with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Kragujevac, in Kragujevac, Serbia. The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, sends around 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year to exchange knowledge with their counterparts in other countries.

McCormick's project is titled, "Social context and schizophrenia in a changing system of services: The role of urbanization in the functioning of Serbians with schizophrenia."

Mental health systems in Serbia, as well as in most Balkan states, are considered "developing" because they have been crippled by a lack of money since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Many people living in mental health institutions in Serbia, for example, would be receiving treatment from community mental health services in the United States.

Studies have shown that people with schizophrenia fare better in developing countries than in developed countries. McCormick is examining the role urbanization plays in this phenomenon. It could be, he says, that people living in urban areas have fewer social connections and as a result, when people with schizophrenia begin struggling and showing symptoms, there may be few people to notice until they become very symptomatic at which time they may be more likely to end up in the criminal justice system, rather than the mental health system.

His research will involve collecting data on social networks and social integration and psychosocial functioning among people with schizophrenia in three different-sized towns in Serbia. Data will be collected on companionship and social support networks as well as functioning in areas of work, home, leisure and social relationships. More broadly, he is interested in studying the differences in how people with mental illnesses have fared since the breakup of former Yugoslavia and the transition for member states from a communist economy to a free market.

McCormick can be reached at 812-855-3482 and bmccormi@indiana.edu.