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, July 31, 2013

Instructor's Guide for TR Processes and Techniques

The Instructor's Guide for the 7th edition of my book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques, is almost completed. It is extensive -- over 100 pages with lots and lots of suggested learning activities and test items.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Therapeutic Recreation in Motion Conference

From Allyson Dedic, CTRS:


The 2013 Key Largo, FL "Therapeutic Recreation in Motion" conference brochure is now on-line! If you are looking for luxury resorts, this is not the conference for you, however, if it is being on an island in the middle of the ocean, check us out!

Fishing trips, kayaking, snorkeling, and much more awaits you in rustic (yet air conditioned) beach front property!

Visit www.trinmotion.org for more information!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RT Opening at Montana State Hospital

From Beth Eastman, CTRS:

The State of Montana has a new position opening for a Recreation Therapist. See below for details. Interested parties may apply online at www.mt.gov

Please contact Beth Eastman, CTRS at 406-693-7145 with any questions. Please share with everyone and all!!

Thank you,
Beth Eastman, CTRS
Rehabilitation Department Manager
Montana State Hospital
PO Box 300
Warm Springs, MT 59756


Facebook Post Regarding My New Book

Yesterday I made a Facebook post that my new book, Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques, had been published. I just followed up that post today with another to Facebook that I am sharing (below) with RT Blog readers:
Thanks for the positive reactions to the 7th edition of Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques. Two comments came from Canada and Sweden. Can I now claim “international acclaim” for my book?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TR Processes and Techniques has been Published

I just received word from Sagamore Publishing that the 7th edition of Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques is back from the printers.

So an annoucement of the book should be forthcoming and print and e-book copies will be available.

I am really proud of this new edition. I truly believe it will make a significant contribution to the literature.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

ATRA Election Results Announced

ATRA election results:
President Elect - Debbie Robinson

Secretary - Tim Passmore

Dan Ferguson
Martha Judge
Jo-Ellen Ross

Friday, July 19, 2013

468 Now on ATRAnet

I just submitted a post to ATRAnet and found there are now 468 people on the listserv. I believe this is a record high.

Instructor's Guide for 7th edition of TR Processes and Techniques

Yesterday I submitted to Sagamore Publishing the Instructor's Guide for the forthcoming 7th edition of Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques. Thus, as soon as the book becomes available (i.e., within the next few weeks), instructors will have access to the new Instructor's Guide.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Research on Beatles Music and Depression

An interesting research article that appeared in today's MedPage Today:

The Beatles may bring back good memories in more ways than one: listening to the group's old familiar tunes helped to relieve depression, anxiety, and other psychological health problems among patients with moderate to severe dementia, researchers found.

Cooking and baking also improved patients' general sense of well-being, Pauline Narme, MD, of University Paris Descartes, in France, and colleagues reported here at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

"Whether randomized to group music sessions or group cooking lessons, a number of psychological measures including anxiety and depression decreased significantly in our dementia patients both during and post treatment," with a P value of <0 .05="">
Based on the limited efficacy and serious side effects of pharmacological treatments used to treat psychological problems in patients with dementia, experts strongly encourage the development of nonpharmacological care strategies, Narme said.

A few small studies have suggested that musical therapy may help such patients, but few have been randomized and others have other methodological weaknesses, she said.

The new study, a randomized controlled trial accepted just this week for publication in theJournal of Alzheimer's Disease, involved 48 patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease or mixed dementia living at the same nursing home.

Eleven patients were lost to attrition and the remaining 37 were randomized to either a musical or a cooking intervention group. Each intervention lasted 4 weeks, with two 1-hour sessions a week.

The vast majority of patients in both groups were female, and mean age was 87 years in the music group (18 patients) and 88 in the cooking group (19 patients).

During music sessions, popular old tunes such as Beatles hits were played, and patients were encouraged to sing or follow along by beating on a small drum.

During cooking sessions, a different recipe, such as chocolate cake or French pancakes, was collectively prepared each time.

Blind evaluations were conducted before, during, and 4 weeks after the intervention to assess short- and long-term effects.

Patients were evaluated using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), a validated questionnaire of caregiver distress in which physicians rate how emotionally distressing they find a number of their patients' behaviors such as anxiety or depression.

The findings revealed that:
• In the music group, scores on depression dropped significantly at 2 and 4 weeks

• Anxiety decreased significantly at 2 weeks

• In the cooking group, anxiety and irritability dropped at 2 and 4 weeks, respectively

As rated by the patients, the severity of these problems also improved significantly after both interventions.

While the researchers had expected music to have a greater effect in improving mental well-being than cooking based on previous research, Narme hypothesized that the "socialization of both activities explains why both worked equally well."

William Thies, PhD, senior scientist in residence at the Alzheimer's Association, agreed. "Clinicians need to remind caregivers that people with dementia are people too. Don't just let them watch TV all day. The more you can get them to participate in family or group activities, the better," he said.

Source reference:
Narme P, et al "Efficacy of musical interventions in moderate to severe dementia: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial" AAIC 2013; Abstract PC-004.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Guest Editorial in Current Issue of AJRT

Hope you will find and read the Guest Editorial I authored for Volume 12, Number 1 (2013) of the American Journal of Recreation Therapy. The title is "On not taking ourselves seriously as individuals working in a vital profession."

23rd Anniversary of ADA

July 26th will be the 23rd anniversary of President Bush's signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Friday, July 12, 2013

RT Psych Position Opening in Cincy

I recently received a note that there is a full-time RT position on the psych unit at the UC Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Have a happy and safe July 4th!

Call for Editor(s) of Annual

The ATRA Board of Directors is pleased to announce:

Call for Editor(s) for the Annual in Therapeutic Recreation, the research journal of the
American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Qualifications include:
• One or more individuals may be named as editor/co-editors.
• All editors/co-editors must be an active professional member of the Association, and a CTRS, at the time of appointment and remain in active status for the duration of the editorship.
• The editor/co-editors should be recognized scholars in the therapeutic recreation profession and have extensive editorial experience serving as an editor and/or associate editor for the Annual or other comparable scholarly journal(s).
• The editor/co-editors may not serve as editors of other journals simultaneously with their Annual co-editorship.

If you have questions, please contact Diane Skalko, ATRA President

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Position Opening at SIU

From Professor Heewon Yang, Ph.D., CTRS:

We are seeking a dynamic professional to join the faculty of Health Education and Recreation (HER), housed in the College of Education and Human Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

This is a full-time instructor position (Non-Tenure Track, A generalist position) for the academic year of 2013 and 2014. However, this position will either turn into a Tenure Track Position (we already got an approval for a TT faculty position for fall 14) or be kept as a separate NTT faculty position, depending on our fiscal situation.

The screening will begin on July 15.

Application materials:
1. A letter of application,
2. Curriculum Vita,
3. Unofficial transcripts, &
4. A list of three professional references to be contacted 

You can send your materials to:

Search Committee
Department of Health Education and Recreation
Pulliam Hall 307, Mail Code 4632
475 Clocktower Drive, SIU Carbondale
Carbondale, IL 62901,
Phone: (618) 453-2777
Or you can simply send your materials directly to me by e-mail (hyang@siu.edu).

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Pleased to Announce a New Book

UPS just delivered my personal copies of the 6th edition of Inclusive and Special Recreation: Opportunities for Diverse Populations to Flourish. Youngkhill Lee and I authored the book. It is always a very good day for me to have a new book that I've authored (or co-authored in this case) in my hands.

The book is aimed at students studying for careers in parks, receation, and tourism. I sure hope that our book has wide use in universities across the U.S. and Canada as it has much to say about leisure services being truly inclusionary -- that is serving not only people with disabilities but all who are from underrepresented sectors of society such as aging populations, women, those with nondominent sexual orientations, and people from racial and ethnic groups.

As stated in the Preface: "In order to reflect the broadened concept of inclusion represented in the sixth edition of Inclusive and Special Recreation, as well as to represent the perspective that recreation and leisure contribute significantly to the growth and well-being of individuals, the subtitle of the book has been revised. The full title of the sixth edition is Inclusive and Special Recreation: Opportunities for Diverse Populations to Flourish."

Monday, July 01, 2013

VA Position Opening

From Heewon Yang, Ph.D. & CTRS:

Dear Collleagues

Please distrbute the following recreation therapist position at a VA hospital to anyone who would be interested. The VA hospital is located in Southern Illinois (Marion), 20 minutes from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Job Title:Recreation Therapist
Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

SALARY RANGE: $52,252.00 to $67,931.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD: Friday, June 21, 2013 to Friday, July 05, 2013


DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy in the following location: Marion, IL

WHO MAY APPLY: Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles)

Heewon Yang, Ph.D. & CTRS®
Professor, Director of Recreation Graduate Studies Department of Health Education and Recreation Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 60901-4632
618-453-2777 (Office),