Rec Therapy at Duke oncology

We were asked to share this link at Rec Therapy Today. 

It is all about the Rec Therapy Department at Duke’s Cancer Institute.


Brain Injury: conference in Chattanooga

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association would like to invite you to our upcoming conference “Brain Injury:  Unveiling the Mystery.”  Registration is available online at:

The paper version of this is attached to this email.  Please feel free to share this conference with others.

For questions, please email me at

March 2018 Rec Therapy Today is here!

Download your March 2018 Issue of Rec Therapy Today with Danny Pettry. Go here now:


CEU Secrets was a valuable training

canstockphoto11712941 (1)Howdy there —

I’m  Danny Pettry.  I’m a Continuing Education Consultant for Recreational Therapists and allied professionals.

I presented an online training titled: CEU Secrets for Recreational Therapists on Wed. Feb. 21st, 2018.

I wanted to provide transparency for my recent webinar training by providing you with the following insights:

  1. Four hundred and thirty (430) people registered!
  2. One hundred and nine (109) attended the live training. Many of those who registered got access to the replay.
  3. Courses in my program meet standards to get pre-approval. This webinar was worth one clock hour of continuing education. As you can see the main session lasted 60 minutes. I stayed late and provided a question and answer section after the 60 minutes, so the total webinar was 85 minutes.
  4. The average attentiveness for attendees was 90.39%
  5. The average interest rating was at 92.55%


Here are the comments about Danny Pettry’s webinar:

·         Convenience, all of the ways to earn CEUs, etc.
·         I enjoyed that it was interactive and not just a lecture style webinar.
·         I liked the information that was provided. I also liked how convenient it was for me. Working a full time job and being a full time mom, it’s sometimes hard to get out and go to conferences, but this gave me some flexibility.
·         It was easy.
·         Just got some new thoughts about how to get CEUs other than conferences
·         The opportunity to learn about additional CEUs that are out there.
·         Very informative!
·         I got the important information how to safe money on CEU.
·         Knowing there are other cost effective options than attending conferences.
·         That it was only an hour
·         He answers questions being asked!
·         Learning how to save money by taking online CEU courses
·         The material was presented in a great way that was easy to understand and insightful.
·         How to complete CEUs online because I live up North which rarely (if any) offers any face to face workshops. If I wish to attend any workshops or courses I need to travel so it is beneficial to be aware of what is available online.
·         Organization.
·         Very to the point and well organized
·         I loved that I could do it from my office at work and that it helps to learn alternative ways to earn CEU’s. Like you mentioned, my agency does not pay for me to attend conferences and I use vacation hours so being able to do it online from work and home is very helpful!
·         Personal experiences
Provided slides to go along
Spoke highly of our profession and included resources that will help me down the line
·         It was informative, interactive, and not drawn out.
·         Flowed well…kept my attention.
·         I enjoyed that it was interactive and you made sure to answer everyone’s questions.
·         affordable CEUs
·         Always learn valuable new information
·         Danny was very honest.
·         Information regarding NCTRC CEU regulations
·         Danny gave specific links and resources to CEU’s
·         I enjoyed learning about how the CEUs online can give RTs more time to be with family, friends, and our favorite hobbies.
·         Topic interesting
·         Every objective that was presented
·         Very precise and easy to follow.
The time frame was conducive to my hectic schedule as FT IRF therapist and FT contract therapist.
·         It was very informative. I didn’t realize that there were so many other opportunities to earn CEUs, that don’t involve traveling to an expensive conference.
·         That there is an opportunity to get ceus without having to go to conferences.
·         The jokes were a nice touch
·         Speaker was engaging, professional yet casual.
·         Danny was very friendly, patient, and knowledgeable. I loved that he was ok with answering various questions, even repeatedly.
·         Lots of great information that I wasn’t aware of. Also, my passion is mental health so I like how Danny talked about his experience in mental health and his background.
·         The alternative ways to obtain CEU’s
·         A lot of helpful resources
·         It was nice to hear that it is possible to earn CEUs at home during my free time.  Danny sounded very nice and new a lot about Rec therapy CEUs.
·         The opportunity for on-line courses.
·         Learning about what courses you have available
·         Speaker presented as sincere, approachable and practical.
·         I enjoyed it all
·         Very clear and helpful
·         I enjoyed the jokes that were said and the knowledge that I obtained about CEUs.
·         Opportunity for free CEU in the comfort of my home.
·         Good and practical information.
·         I enjoyed how laid back Danny made it feel. I felt comfortable and at ease, when I normally get anxiety about these sorts of things.
·         I enjoyed all that I learned!
·         I like that he took the time to explain CEUs and how to go about completing them all; I also like that he didn’t sugar coat it and said that online CEUs are good but you need to still venture to a conference for the experience.  It was helpful to hear how CEUs breakdown and the requirements needed as well.
·         Lots of good info
·         It was not boring and he kept it light and interesting.
·         How to obtain CEU’s.  My employer will not pay for any travel.
·         All aspects was excellent
·         That I could do it from the comfort of my home!!!
·         You were very informative.
·         Answered in previous screen.
·         I liked your passion for the profession.
·         I was actually able to see the slides on my phone using the “join a webinar” app. He is upbeat and presents as confident when speaking.
·         The information presented was informative and I learned more about getting CEU’s online.
·         Learning where to get CEU’s and the NCTRC requirements about them without having to look them up.
·         Learning about the many ways to earn CEUs.
·         The resources offered. And the compare and contrast between going to conference and the costs.
·         It clarified NCTRC requirements and made it easy to find resources
·         Time at the end and learning about your website showing the topics you offer online
·         It was a straightforward presentation which made it easy to follow!
·         It was informative
·         Current competency maintenance issues.
·         His enthusiasm.
·         Information provided
·         How funny you are! You made the webinar very interesting
·         good explanations, visuals, and examples
·         A lot of detailed information on how to maintain certification through CEUs . The package deal for hours is really great too, especially if money and time is an issues to attend a conference. Questions were answered quickly and effectively.
·         I enjoyed that it was interactive and it held my interest. Lots of good info for alternatives to conferences.
·         I enjoyed that it was engaging.
·         I enjoyed the Q and A at the end.
·         Learning about receiving CEU online
·         Very detailed
·         Danny was very helpful with all questions
·         That he made the information clear and easy to understand
·         Hearing about the bundles Danny Pettry offers.
·         Very informative
·         easy to attend
·         Reminders as to how beneficial,efficient, & cost efficient webinars can be versus national & state conferences!
·         quick
·         I enjoyed that he kept it interesting and had jokes in the powerpoint as well.
·         How easy it was to complete in the comfort of my couch!
·         Yes
·         The insight on CEU’s and how to easily attain them
·         It was quick and to the point.
·         Thanks.
·         Always great information!
·         I enjoyed the humor throughout to break up the material.

Join my exclusive facebook group for recreational therapists to get access to the following five bonuses:

  1. the replay video for CEU Secrets
  2. A FREE one-hour of continuing education — pending you viewed the full replay video.
  3. a special report on CEU Secrets for Rec Therapists with useful tips, including Danny’s Questions and Answers.
  4. the slides for the webinar (for personal use only)
  5. a CEU discount…. 50% OFF + books

These five bonuses will be gone at midnight on 2/28/18 at midnight.

Go here to join the group and get access now:


Questions To Help You Find The Career of Your Dreams

 Submitted by: Guest blogger: Anna Kucirkova (Cornerstone University)


Struggling to find your dream career? Not sure what you want to do with your life? These questions will get you headed in the right direction.

Questions To Help You Find The Career of Your Dreams


Trying to figure your dream career can be really challenging, especially if you’re older and are considering starting something new. It can be an intimidating prospect with so many possibilities and so much uncertainty.


How can anyone possibly figure out their dream career? There are so many options, each with pros and cons.


What can you do?


Fortunately, you don’t have to wander blindly as you try to identify where you want to be in life. There are some very specific questions you can ask that will help you nail down who you are, what you love and what you really want to.


Consider these questions to be a map leading you to your desired destination.


Question #1: Who Are You?


If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking. – Anonymous


Before you can figure out what you want to do, you need to determine who you are and what you stand for. A dream career will line up with your core value and most tightly held beliefs. If you choose a career that contradicts these core values, you’ll probably end up deeply unhappy.


Ask yourself:


  • What do I care about most?
  • What underlying values motivate everything I do?
  • What am I willing to sacrifice for?
  • What drives me?


For example: I am Jessie, a single mother of three children. I am a spiritual, kind, loving person. I care deeply about helping my children succeed, social justice and alleviating poverty. I’m driven to sacrifice my time and comfort to provide financial security for my children. I’m driven to use my planning skills to help the homeless in my city.


Identifying your core values shapes the trajectory of your career path.


Question #2: What Do You Love Doing?


Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do. – Pope John XXIII


What are you passionate about? What do you absolutely love doing? What gets your juices going, your creativity pumping and your energy moving? What do you think about when you’re standing in line at the grocery store?


As you ponder this question, don’t limit yourself to things that you think could be a career. Do you love reading? What about hiking? Does the thought of making a delicious meal make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Do you get pumped at the idea of helping someone make money?


Finding your dream career starts with identifying your true passions. Once you’ve nailed those down, you can start moving toward the how.


Question #3: What Are You Really Good At?


You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. – Woodrow Wilson


This one will get your mind going in a slightly different direction. What do you have real talent for? What’s the thing everyone says you’re amazing at? Art? Coaching sports? Teaching? Writing music?


Many times, a dream career comes at the intersection of your skills and passions. Of course, this makes sense. If you’re passionate about photography, you spend a lot of time taking photographs and thus get really good at it.


When you combine your skills and your passions, you’ll often discover a dream career waiting to happen.


Question #4: What Goals Do You Have?


What are your long term goals when it comes to:


  • Relationships?
  • Health?
  • Family?
  • Finances?
  • Spiritual development?


In some ways, your goals will shape the dream career you pursue. For example, if you want to be a family man who spends most of his time at home, a career as a traveling musician probably isn’t right for you. If you want to be financially secure by the time you’re 45, it will be difficult to spend your life working among the poor in India (although that’s an admirable goal).


Ideally, your dream career will align well with your life goals.


Question #5: If You Could Do Anything, What Would It Be?


The only goal you can’t accomplish is the one that you don’t go after! – Vilis Ozols


If your life had no limits, what would you do? Think about it. If you had all the money, time and resources you needed, how would you spend your time? Where would you go? Who would hang out with?


This line of thinking pushes you outside your normal box. You probably have a series of limiting beliefs when it comes to what you can do with your life. In many ways, this is reasonable. There are actual limits imposed on you by your job, relationships, etc. But many of our limiting beliefs simply aren’t true. We’ve picked them up somewhere over the years and unconsciously treat them as law.


When you think about a limitless life, it allows you to explore possibilities you’ve never considered.


Question #6: Who Do You Look Up To?


The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. – Albert Einstein


Who are the people you truly and deeply admire? Think on both a personal level and a professional level. Is there an author you love for her ability to turn phrases and create beautiful word pictures?


Is there a friend you admire for his willingness to help anyone at the drop of a hat?


Is there a photographer who always inspires you with his astounding nature shots?


What about a mentor who you look up to for her constant guidance?


As you think about the people you admire, consider why you hold them in such high esteem. What unique qualities do they possess? How could those qualities segway into a career for you? Could you become like the photographer you love? Could you also become a wonderful author?


Identifying the people you look up to can help you get ahead on what a dream career could look like for you.


Question #7: What Do You Dislike Doing?


Better to have spent a life reaching for a dream that never came true, than to have slept through a life that never had a dream. – Samantha Pickreign


This question will take you to the other end of the spectrum. Are there particular activities you really dislike? For example, if you’re an introvert who really doesn’t like being in large crowds, a career as an event planner probably isn’t for you.


When you consider these activities, think about why you don’t like doing them. Do you dislike manual labor because you don’t like being outside or because you’re in pain afterwards? Do you hate writing because you struggle with words or simply because you don’t like sitting in front of a computer?


Your goal isn’t necessarily to figure out what careers you want to avoid, although that helps. Rather, you want to determine why you don’t like particular activities. Knowing that you dislike the outdoors keeps you away from much more than manual labor and should be taken into account when considering your career.


Putting It All Together


Once you’ve answered all these questions, you can begin considering possible careers. You should have a good idea of what you love doing, what matters most to you and what types of things you want to avoid.


Now you’re ready to start taking steps in the right direction.


Depending on the complexity of your dream career, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to get started:


  • Taking online classes in your field of choice
  • Joining a mentor program
  • Reading books about your dream career
  • Starting a small side business


What matters most is that you do something. Take at least one step in the direction you want to head.




It’s never too late to start doing what you love. You don’t have to work in a job you hate until you retire. If you know the right questions to ask and the correct steps to take, you can chart a path to the career of your dreams.


Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”


We wholeheartedly agree.


This article originally appeared here at and has been republished with permission from



2018 Peg Connolly Scholarship

canstockphoto25893822I [Danny Pettry] highly recommend for college students in RT/TR degree programs to apply for the Peg Connolly Scholarship.

The winners get to attend ATRA’s national conference for free and get to monitor sessions.

You’ll meet a lot of people in the field.

It is named in honor of Dr. Peg Connolly (first President of ATRA) and former Executive Director at NCTRC.

I had won the 2004 Peg Connolly Scholarship (Kansas City, Missouri). It was the 20th anniversary of ATRA. I assisted with training the Peg Connolly Scholarship winners for the 2009 ATRA conference in Kansas City.

I’ve assisted with the scholarship selection committee for several years. I won’t be reading essays for students in 2018.

Check it out here:

Email questions to:

Danny Pettry disclaimers: I am a not a hired spokesperson for ATRA. I’m not an elected board member for ATRA. I am a Lifetime Member of the Association who is active with ATRA and encourages others to join the association.



Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium’s

srtsThe Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium is March 28-30, 2018 @ Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Virginia.

It appears all of the continuing education sessions are pre-approved by NCTRC.

A person can earn up to 15 continuing education hours (1.5 CEUs) for this event.

You can download the program here:

You can register at this link 

I’ll be presenting on Friday March 30th at 830 a.m. on my main focus area.

 Trauma Focused Recreational Therapy For Children And Adolescents (G1) 

Danny Pettry, MEd, CTRS, LPC

 This session will introduce participants to theories of behavioral change, how trauma impacts the brain, symptoms of trauma in children and adolescents, and other diagnostic tools. The session will also include evidenced-based practices and recreational therapy interventions such as relaxation skills, affect regulation skills training, cognitive processing skills, conjoint sessions that can result in enhanced interpersonal and safety skills.


Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to:

1) Identify one way trauma changes the brain in children and adolescents,

2) Identify three possible symptoms of trauma in children and adolescents,

3) Identify how recreational therapists can assist a child with enhancing relaxation skills, affect regulation skills and interpersonal skills.



Rec Therapist positions: Colorado, New Hampshire, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Michigan


Now Hiring


New Hampshire:





Buying Cheap CEUs vs Investing in Quality Continuing Education


Will this board handle this?

Buying cheap is about saving money in the short run.

Investing in quality is about saving money in the long run.


Here is an example:

I loved skateboarding during my teenager years. I skated every day.

There are “cheap” skateboards in the world. There are also quality skateboards that cost more.


Cheap boards can save you a lot of money in the short-term. They cost a quarter or less of the price of the real deal. The short-term thinker questions: why pay $100 for a board when you can get a cheap board for only $25 (or less). I could save $75 right now! That’s a smart deal. 


Cheap boards cost a person more in the long run because cheap boards break easily. A skater can’t skate a broken board.  What if the skater gets injured from trying to do a big trick that a cheap board is not capable of handling. Now the expenses add up. Injury costs can be expensive. Let’s pretend the board breaks and there is no injury (to the human).  There is still a big problem: There is  a skater who out of a board (which is not good) for a skater. She can pay for another cheap board (basically paid twice). That includes $25 for the first board and then $25 for the second board. She could invest in a real quality board at the expensive price about $100 (which is still money spent on top of the money ($25) she’s already spent for cheap-o-board). She could easily have 5 cheap boards in a row (now $125) when one quality board would have only be…. $100. The higher quality board is the safer choice for the long run.

 Cheap boards also have a social stigma. Seriously, you’re skating that? Serious skaters skate the real deal skateboards.  

Quality boards cost more in the short-term, but they save you money in the long run. The quality board is going to outlast the cheap board.  A skater won’t have to continue to pay out money to replace a cheap board because they invested in a quality board.  In fact, I’d rather skate a half-used (real-quality board) over a new cheap board any day. The real quality board is just more capable. I could re-sell a used quality board to get money. However, it would be very difficult to sell a used cheap board.


Continuing education is the same:

Thoughts About a Cheaper CEU Program. 

A recreation therapist could save a lot of money in the short-term by choosing the cheapest CEUs.

Hundreds of online programs have popped up over the last decade offering cheap CEUs.

Here is an important question to ask: Are you going to get the best quality by choosing the cheapest program available?

A person who is buying “cheap,” may just want to buy “CEUs,” and not education and knowledge. That might save a person money in the short-term, but may not help in the long-term.

This comment is cliche’ — if you think hiring an expert is expensive then try hiring an armature. 


Danny Pettry’s Rec Therapy CEUs 

Quality Continuing Education

Danny Pettry’s program boasts a quality that our direct competitor in the world of self-study CEUs doesn’t offer. Our courses require a person to read books. 

Danny Pettry: I read a lot of books. Not any book is accepted or approved for my CEU program. Of course, as a disclaimer: I’m not the leading authority on the book-reading courses that I select. 

I read and evaluate books based on my own background and training. I have a Master of Science in Recreational Therapy and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling.

I stick to my area of expertise, (Behavioral Health/ Mental Health). I have 15+years working as a practitioner at a psychiatric setting.

I select books that are of appropriate quality based on my own training and experience.

I don’t feel that I would the best person to select books for courses in the (Physical Health and Rehabilitation domain) because I don’t have 15-years of experience in that domain. I don’t have advanced graduate degrees in physical rehab or advanced graduate school internships in physical rehab.

My favorite motivational speaker, the late Jim Rohn often said, “the book you don’t read, won’t help.”  

People who read fiction and novels often argue, ‘the book was better than the movie.”

We have a 100% satisfaction with a full 360-day money back guarantee. 

Check it out here:


How to teach children character traits

51vkrH+D5uL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)Public school in America does a good job at teaching the basics: reading, writing, math, science, and other subjects.

Public schools are known to be a place where kids go to “socialize” with their friends.

However, public school typically don’t offer a course on friendship and interpersonal skills.

Kids with pro social character traits are generally more likeable. The kids poor social character traits are federally less likeable and more often rejected. They suffer more mental health problems too.

My book, Building Character with Sam and Izzy aims to bring social skills and character development to the classroom. The book has a mission to help kids to make more friends and to feel happier (most of the time). Being happy 100% of the time isn’t realistic.


My sister’s wild animals.

The book uses pictures of dogs (and some cats) to teach children how to make friends by improving their character traits. The book started when my sister’s two dogs Izzy (a Chihuahua) and Sam (an English Bulldog) became friends. What an unlikely friendship. I figured if these two (very different dogs) can be friends then any two kids could become friends too.

In fact, even the dog (and cat) can be friends. See the picture of my sister’s dog Sugar and the cat. I can’t recall that cat’s name.

My book isn’t therapy, but it uses a lot of recreational therapy interventions.

  • Bibliotherapy is a type of therapy based on reading books. My book could be used in recreational therapy.
  • Animal therapy is uses animals in the facilitation of needs. My book uses pictures of friendly animals
  • Activities are part of recreational therapy. My book includes access to download an instructor’s workbook with activity ideas: like making a compromise to select a game, volunteering and helping; being a team-member; and a good sport.

Here is the summary of the book:

Danny Pettry is a Recreational Therapist who specializes in working with children (ages 7 to 12) who have mental and behavioral health needs.
Now he has put together an astonishing children’s book to help ALL children have better social health and wellness.
Danny Pettry’s book teaches character lessons to children using colorful pictures of animals. This book is a valuable tool for teachers, group leaders, therapists and parents alike.
This book covers social skills and character values like:
Accepting others
Having good sportsmanship
Being respectful, generous, helpful, empathetic, and more.
This book helps children learn how to make friends and get along with others.
You’d like for your child or a child you know to develop and improve these skills, wouldn’t you?
You like pictures of cute animals don’t you?
All right then.
Just read the book to your child.


I’ve been featured in the media a few times with this book.

  • I did an interview for National Public Radio (but they’ve taken down the recording – I guess because it has been so many years).
  • Parenting Magazine featured the book
  • Several newspapers


Seal of Approval Winner by The National Parenting Center
Testers were delighted to discover this storybook that teaches children important lessons about tolerance, empathy, sharing, compassion and much more. Pettry uses adorable dogs and puppies to illustrate these good character traits. Parents noted how well the book was written. The style easily connected with children and was fun for parents to read. What many parents told us was that this book sparked conversations about various behaviors including how humans and dogs share many similarities when it comes to caring for each other.

5-Star Rating from Reader’s Favorites

5-Star Rating from Reviewers on Amazon!

Get the book here:


Personal Experiencecanstockphoto26598298

I wasn’t the smartest kid in my class. I didn’t have a 4.0 in public school or undergraduate school. I did finally get a 4.0 in graduate school. I had an A in almost every course. I did get a B in Ethics. I know – that doesn’t sound good, does it?

However, I did win the class of 1992 Good Citizenship Award at my Elementary School.

I’d argue that a child’s social health (interpersonal skills) and ability to deal with emotions (affect regulation skills) might be more of an indicate of success in life compared to just having high grade point average.