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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Looking for a Recommendation?

Charlie Dixon, Pam Wilson, and Danny Pettry have all sent me messages that they have read Lessons Learned: A Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners and really enjoyed it.

So in case you are looking for a recommendation before getting a copy of Lessons Learned, you now have three from some of the top people in our profession. The book is available from the Sagamore Publishing website. I'll be interested in your view of the book so please let me know your reaction.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ATRA in Indy September 18 - 21, 2011

ATRA has announced that the 2011 ATRA Annual Conference will be held in Indianapolis, September 18-21.

The deadline for the call for papers is November 15, 2010.

Congrats Candy!

Congratulations to Professor Candy Ashton-Shaeffer upon receiving ATRA's Scholarly Achievement Award! Candy is on the faculty of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two Weeks until ATRA in Calgary

In just over two weeks, I'll be heading to Calgary to do the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association Symposium. I am really looking forward to getting to know RTs from Alberta. Should be fun!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ATRAnet Listserv

There seems to be growing interest in the ATRAnet Listserv. The last time I checked there were around 160 ATRA members on the ATRAnet Listserv.

It is easy for ATRA members to sign up for ATRAnet. Just go to the ATRA website and click on networking to sign up for ATRAnet.


In visiting the ATRA website I found that ATRA is a sponsoring agency for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. This seems to me to be a good step for our profession.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BYU TR Program Continues

From the ATRAnet comes this announcement from Professor Ramon Zabriskie of BYU:

Hello TR Folks!

Many of you have been asking about the status of the TR program here at BYU, particularly related to the challenges related to ”fit” within our new home in the business school....We assure you that the further refinement of our program will not impact the quality of our current students, their education, their internships, their eligibility for NCTRC certification, nor their ability to contribute to the profession. As an entire faculty we want to express our gratitude to each of you for the contribution you have made to our students, to our program, to our university, and most importantly to the profession of Therapeutic Recreation. We wish you all the very best!

BYU TR Faculty

Ramon B. Zabriskie, Ph.D., TRS, CTRS
Dept. of Recreation Management & Youth Ldsp.
Brigham Young University
W431 TNRB,
Provo, UT 84058
(801) 422-1667

Call for TRJ Editor

From the ATRAnet comes this announcement:

Call For Editor!
Therapeutic Recreation Journal
Term December 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Sagamore Publishing LLC are currently seeking candidates for the position of editor for Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ).

The Therapeutic Recreation Journal is a renowned, peer-reviewed, quarterly publication devoted to publishing scholarly and substantive manuscripts in the field of therapeutic recreation. The Journal provides a national forum for research and discussion on the needs of person with disabilities, problems confronting the profession, new vistas of services, and receiving therapeutic recreation services. The Journal seeks materials that are theoretically, empirically, or practically based and substantive in the sense of proposing, discovering, or replicating knowledge in the field of therapeutic recreation.

The information below outlines qualifications and responsibilities for the position. The editor of TRJ has a tremendous opportunity to significantly impact the therapeutic recreation field.

TRJ Editor Qualifications and Responsibilities

1. Recognized scholarly contributions to the field of leisure, recreation, and therapeutic recreation.
2. Awareness and understanding of the theory and methods of multidisciplinary approaches to the study of leisure, recreation, and therapeutic recreation.
3. Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) preferred.

1. Be responsible for receiving, reviewing, and selecting the material that will make up the Therapeutic Recreation Journal.
2. Be responsible for maintaining the office of the Editor of the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and its attendant requirements and duties.
3. Supervise the work of the Associate Editors and reviewers.
4. Be responsible for conducting the search for and selection of new Associate Editors.
5. Be responsible for organizing and conducting the meeting of the Associate Editors held annually during the NRPA Congress.
6. Maintain close communication with Sagamore Publishing LLC, who will serve as the Managing Editor.
7. Be responsible for implementing editorial policies and procedures as determined by the Editor, Sagamore Publishing, and the Associate Editors.

Required Institutional Support
The host institution needs to certify that the following support is available for the Editor.
1. Sufficient release time for the Editor to enable the successful discharge of the responsibilities.
2. A secretary able to provide necessary support for the Editor and necessary secretarial support equipment.
3. Adequate office space.
4. Travel expenses for the Editor to attend the annual meeting of the editorial staff at NRPA Congress.
5. Ability to assume partial costs of institutional overhead expenses for mailing, printing, forms, phone calls, and miscellaneous supplies. A stipend of $4,000.00 will be paid for this position.

Information to be Submitted with the Nomination or Application
1. A cover letter stating the candidate’s desire to be editor including comments regarding philosophy or approach to the position of Editor, as well as any appropriate changes that might be made in the Journal.
2. An up-to-date personal resume or academic vitae.
3. A statement from the supervisor indicat¬ing that the institution is willing to provide necessary support requested in the preceding section.
4. Other materials that the applicant deems appropriate.

Submit Applications to:
Dr. Joseph Bannon
Sagamore Publishing LLC
1807 North Federal Drive
Urbana, IL 61801

For questions please contact:
Dr. Joseph Bannon

Application materials must be received by October 15, 2010. Sagamore Publishing LLC and NRPA will review the nominations and officially appoint the new Editor by November 2010, who will be responsible for the first issue of the TRJ in 2011.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Geriatric TR - Three Course Series

From ATRAnet comes this announcement from Dr. Lin Buettner, LRT, CTRS:

The Department of Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality Management has partnered with the Office of Academic Outreach in the School of Health and Human Performance at the University of North Carolina Greensboro to develop an online series of three courses in the area of Geriatric Therapeutic Recreation. This unique and innovative offering will provide students with a broad range of specialized knowledge and skills to enhance the ability of Therapeutic Recreation Therapists to work with older adult populations. Courses include:

· Geriatric Recreation Therapy Practice: Roles and Responsibilities, (October 13, 2010)

· Geriatric Assessment for Therapists, and

· Evidence Based Interventions in Geriatric Therapeutic Recreation.

The courses in this series are asynchronous and online. Students may enroll in the courses to obtain either Continuing Education Contact Hours or Graduate Credit from UNCG.

For more information on the course content please contact Dr. Lin Buettner, LRT, CTRS at llbuettn@uncg.edu.

For more information on how to enroll in courses for graduate credit or continuing education hours contact Maggie Chrismon at mlball@uncg.edu

Friday, September 17, 2010

Instructions to Stream Free RTV Videos

I recently had a request to post information on accessing the RTV videos so I thought I should repeat the procedures followed in order to view an RTV video.

So below I've provided the easy steps in order to view a video:

1. Go to the website address: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378
2. Up will come a page from the IU Scholar Works that reads Recreation Therapy Videos
3. Below Recreation Therapy Videos is a list of the 23 RTV videos
4. To view one of the videos, just click on the title and information on the video will appear
5. Simply click on the address (that appears following the word Location) and the video will come up
6. Just click on the arrow in the center of the black screen to start the video.

Some faculty have their students view an RTV video prior to a class. If you are doing this, be sure to provide the above instructions to students.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gretchen Snethen on Faculty at ECU

I just read that Dr. Gretchen Snethen has joined the Recreational Therapy faculty in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at East Carolina University. If I am not mistaken, Gretchen was a student of Bryan McCormick and Marieke Van Puymbroeck at IU.

Indy -- a Great Place! Attend Indy ATRA!

The 2011 ATRA Annual Conference will be held in Indianapolis. I'm really pleased ATRA is coming to Indianapolis next year.

While the city has had an (unfair) repulation as "Naptown," Indy today is a going place. Much to see and do.

Just considering museums, Indy has the Children's Museum (Best in the world!),Indy Motor Speedway (500 track & fun museum), Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art (one of the best of its type),the Indianapolis Art Museum (world class), the NCAA Hall of Fame, and the Indiana State Museum. Several of these museums are located in the downtown area along a beautiful canal in the White River State Park. White River State Park also contains the Indianapolis Zoo (a world class zoo).

Shopping opportunities abound in Indy. Shopping downtown is easy at the Circle Center Mall. It is new and extensive. For more upscale shopping head out to Keystone at the Crossing.

There are some great restaurants in downtown Indy. The St. Elmo Steakhouse is not to be missed (but bring plenty of money!). Two of my personal favorite are the Slippary Noodle Inn (oldest tavern in Indiana)and Shapiros Delicatessen (a New York style delicatessen).

Also downtown are Conseco Fieldhouse (home of the Indiana Pacers) and Lucus Oil Stadium (home of last year's men's NCAA "Final Four" and this year's women's "Final Four," as well as home of the Colts). These sports facilities certainly are among the best in the world.

And best of all, Indianapolis is only 60 minutes from Bloomington (a great college town) and Indiana University (yes, with a great TR program!). I'm sure there will be opportunites for IU alums to reconnect with their alma mater.

I could go on and on about what Indy has to offer. Trust me, Indy today is a going place!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

20 - 30 Years Late

A good friend of mine just heard about the dissolution of NTRS. His reaction: "Wow! Only about 20 - 30 years late!" I have to agree.

Just In -- NTRS Pronounced Dead

I just received an email message from Marieke Van Puymbroeck who is at the ATRA Annual Conference in Spokane. Marieke reported: "Jerry Jordan just announced the official dissolution of NTRS."

IU & RTI Well Represented at ATRA

I just heard from Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Ph.D., CTRS, that the ATRA Conference has been going well. In fact she stated, "ATRA has been GREAT!"

Representing the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) at ATRA are Marieke, Vicki Scott, Heather Sz., Jen Piatt,Gretchen Snethen, Rachel Smith, and Jessie Bennett.

Marieke reported that IU had a wonderful dinner with 16 IU Alums and current students and that the IU doc students are the talk of the conference among educators. And IU's Rachel Smith was a Peg Connolly scholarship winner this year.

By the way, Marieke will be the conference coordinator for the 2011 ATRA Annual to be held in Indianapolis.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Envious, Are You?

I wasn't sure that I would miss not attending this year's ATRA Annual Conference.

Following email and Facebook communications from several ATRA members attending the conference, I must admit that I am envious of those who got to attend this year's conference. How about you? Are you too envious?

I'll do what I can to attend the 2011 ATRA Annual Conference in Indianapolis next year. Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association Symposium

The "other ATRA," the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) will hold its 2010 Annual Symposium in Calgary on October 14th - 16th. The Symposium will be held at the Greenwood Inn in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The old "Hoosier RT" (aka, David Austin) will be the featured speaker for the ATRA conference. Among the topics on the program are the Opening Keynote titled "Traits Recreation Therapists Should Have." Other sessions include "The Health Protection/Health Promotion Model" and "The Health Protection/Health Promotion Model: Implications for Practice."

Additionally, information from my new book Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners will be presented and reaction panels made up of RTs will react to the contents.

The invitation to speak at the conference provides me with an opportunity to interact with RTs in Canada. I keynoted the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association Annual Conference held in Newfoundland a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. The RTs in Canada are excited and enthuiastic about their growing profession -- they reminded me a lot of the early days of our own ATRA.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

More on Green Exercise

I found the research article on “green exercise” that I mentioned a couple of posts ago -- and it is interesting.

The article is a multistudy analysis of the best doses of green exercise (i.e., outdoor exercise) required to improve mood and self-esteem. It is authored by two researchers from the University of Essex in England.

The results of the study found green exercise improves both self-esteem and mood. Interestingly, the authors reported that those with mental illness had one of the greatest improvements in self-esteem. Acute changes in mood were largely maintained for 2 to 4 hours following exercise and had positive effects on social interactions, productivity, and making better behavioral choices.

Green exercise by research participants most often consisted of walking or gardening. Even exercise of short duration (5 minutes) seemed to have a positive effect. The authors concluded: “Exposure to nature via green exercise can thus be conceived of as readily available therapy with no obvious side effects.”

Thus, this research certainly provides RTs with support for walking and gardening programs, especially for clients with mental illness. Of course, other types of RT clients may benefit from green exercise as well.

To read the results yourself go to: “What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis,” by Jo Barton and Jules Pretty, in the 2010, 44 (10) issue of Environmental Science & Technology, pages 3947 - 3955.

Research on Women at Work

I just read about research by an IU faculty member. The story was titled "IU Researchers Found that Women have Friends at Work but not the Networks to Get Ahead."

Professor Gail McGuire's research found that because women are often in lower-status positions, they don't have the connections to the decision makers who help emplyees in career advancement. McGuire is quoted as saying: "Rising to the top comes in part from informal networks and it helps if your network contains high-status people."

It seems to me that this research has something to say to women in RT, a female dominated profession. That would be to get to know those who occupy higher-ranking positions -- and more importantly have them know you!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Green Exercise" and Mental Health

Have you heard of the "green exercise" studies being done at the University of Essex in England? I must admit that I only recently became aware of the work being done on outdoor exercise and mental health at that university.

I need to find out more about the idea of the psychological impact of outdoor exercise on people's moods and feelings of self-esteem. If you want to explore what is going on at Essex, you can check out the web pages on green exercise.

I'll try to learn more about green exercise and pass along what I learn on the RT Blog.

Hope I Don't Get This Response

I recently read a cleaver quote (wish I could recall where the quote was from). It read: "Thanks for sending me a copy of your book. I'll waste no time reading it."

I sure hope I don't receive that message in regard to my new book, Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Bob Krider and Positive Psychology

I really appreciated Bob Krider's, M.S., CTRS comment earlier today. I think Bob is "right on" in terms of positive psychology and RT.

I hope that Bob and all RTs will read the article on positive psychology that will appear in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Recreation Therapy. The title of the article is "Positive Psychology: A Theoretical Foundation for Recreation Therapy Practice." Bryan McCormick, Ph.D., CTRS and Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Ph.D., CTRS joined me as co-authors of the article.

In our article, we show the relationship between RT and positive psychology and then explain how positive psychology provides a foundation for RT practice.

Additional information on RT and positive psychology may be found in my 2009 book Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques (6th edition, Sagamore Publishing), as well as in my most recent book titled Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners (Sagamore Publishing).

Happy Labor Day!

To all RTs in the United States and Canada, happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

RTI Conference Seeking Speakers

The Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) are seeking speakers to make presentations at the RTI Annual Conference to be held November 4 and 5, 2010, at the Logansport State Hospital in Logansport, Indiana.

Those interested are encouraged to contact Julie Foster, CTRS, at ctrsjulie@embarqmail.com

Those in the Cincinnati/Dayton area are particularly encouraged to give presentations as speakers from this area have given excellent presentations at the RTI Annual Conference in the past.

Found Linda!

I thought I should let readers know that thanks to a response to the post asking for information on Linda Hutchinson-Troyer I located her. Linda is working for a rehab facility in the Baltimore area and is doing well.

Friday, September 03, 2010

1,132 Posts since April 2006

It might interest you to know that there have been 1,132 posts on the RT Blog since it began in April of 2006. All posts are archieved on the RT Blog site.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Woke Up Thinking About Danny and My New Book

If you read his comment a couple of days ago, you know that yesterday Danny Petry was to pick up his copy of Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners.

I woke up this morning wondering: "I wonder if Danny got his copy of my book yesterday." and, if he did, "I wonder if he will read it right away and, if so, if he will like it?"

I guess, for me as an author, having a just released book is something like bringing a new baby home. You want everyone to see it and tell you how much they like it! I've got to get over these feelings. I'm an old man and I still worry about my work being accepted and liked. I wish to could rise a bit higher on Maslow's hierarchy :-)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Lack of Ph.D. Faculty a Concern

I just communicated with a well known RT professor who indicated there is a real shortage of Ph.D. prepared persons to assume faculty positions. The lack of Ph.D. prepared faculty is not new to RT but it seems the situation is only getting worse.

I realize that over the years the profession has lost Ph.D. programs at major universities. First, Maryland and Oregon shut down their entire recreation and leisure studies programs, including RT/TR. Then Illinois and Georgia closed their RT/TR programs. Now Penn State has dropped its TR program. These kinds of losses are very hard to make up.

And yet the leading Ph.D. producing universities (e.g., Indiana, Temple) have not come forth to display any leadership that might lead to rectifying the situation. Neither has the major professional membership organization (i.e., ATRA) made any attempt to better the situation. Just where is the leadership that will help us overcome this extremely serious problem of a severe shortage of Ph.D. prepared faculty?