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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Advocacy Training in RT -- Needed?

The October, 2012, issue of APA’s Monitor on Psychology contains an article titled “Innovative Education” which focuses on the advocacy training provided graduate students in the counseling psychology program at the University of Tennessee. APA recognized the program for this curricular innovation.
In discussion of U of T’s 15 credit hour advocacy training and a practicum in social justice, the article states that “On top of traditional training in research and counseling the model teaches students to advocate for policy change—a component that enables students to help people beyond the therapy room.”

I couldn’t help but wonder just how much advocacy training our RT graduate students are receiving today. While 15 credit hours appears to be a lot, I wonder if any university offers a single RT course on advocacy. I seriously doubt that any RT graduate program has such a course. I even wonder how many graduate students are receiving even a major unit on advocacy in any of their RT courses.
As I have written in my book, Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners (Sagamore Publishing, 2011): “I have come to believe that advocating for our profession is a responsibility that all recreational therapists should assume.” I hope that those RT educators who agree with my sentiment will make sure that their students receive training in advocacy.


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