Bleisure trip

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Word of the day: Bleisure trip:

This is when people take a business trip (and they include leisure time).

Used in a sentence, by Danny Pettry:

I imagine many recreational therapists who are heading out to Orlando, FL for the next American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) conference are taking a bleisure trip.

Based on my personal experiences, all of my ATRA experiences had been bleisure trips.

I enjoy learning. It is something I do for a hobby, so conferences are very rewarding (as well as tiring).

There has been something FUN to do in each town ATRA holds their conferences based on my experiences.

Some people go golfing. I can recall many people going golfing at a conference in Greenville, South Carolina. (I believe it was a Southeastern Symposium conference). I don’t golf (unless it has a windmill and a waterfall and something entertaining).

I always go out to the local restaurants with fellow recreational therapists. So many fun places in every town. I always stop by the mall and shopping center in each town. Those are things I find enjoyable.

Here are some of my experiences that I recall:

  • Kansas City, Missouri: World War I Museum, big former train-station, Hallmark headquarters, Craolya headquarters, Kansas City chiefs (I wanted to go see them play real bad, but didn’t get to for some reason). They have a real nice restaurant that brings your food out on small trains. So cool. Oh yeah – they have a real neat model map of the town. You can push a button (for where you want to go) and a light pops up to show you where that part is at).
  • District of Columbia: a lot of museums. Metro subway was neat.
  • Bloomington, Indiana: Colts! Hoosier state (Indiana University). Real nice mall in downtown Bloomington.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: we took a riverboat down the Mississippi, which was one of the most entertaining and relaxing activities. I also stopped by the Mall of America.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: This is like a really giant version of Charleston, West Virginia (with more to do). I ate with my good friend and mentor Charlie Dixon and his wife at the HardRock Café there. Charlie won the distinguished fellow of the year award by ATRA. A lot of sports: Penguins, Pirates, Steelers.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: quaint town with a lot of culture in downtown. Spent the day walking around the park with fellow Rec Therapists and we found some real nice restaurant there.
  • Chicago Illinois: wow – that city is just too big for me. I felt a bit scared there. Luckily the conference was slightly outside of Chicago. I went to the local mall with fellow rec therapists. But I didn’t do anything else there. A few RTs told me they ran into some suspicious characters. There were some special events and activities at the conference. Some girls were having a hoola-hooping contest!
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Big Book of Therapeutic Activities for Children and Teens

Blog Entry Submitted by: Lindsey Joiner

Hi blog readers,

My name is Lindsey Joiner.  I’m the author of The Big Book of Therapeutic Activities for Children and Teens: Inspiring Arts-Based Activities and Character Education Curricula and The Big Book of Even More Therapeutic Activities for Children and Teens: Inspiring Arts-Based Activities and Character Education Curricula.  I am an LPC in Mississippi as well as a National Certified Counselor and National Certified School Counselor.  I have a wide variety of experience in community mental health, education, and private practice.  I was thrilled when Danny contacted me and asked me to write an article for his fantastic blog.

Although I have a lot of experience now, these books were born out of my desperation as a new counselor conducting day treatment groups.  I had received great training in my graduate programs and thought I had a pretty good handle on counseling theory, but the first day I conducted a day treatment group, I quickly realized I had no idea what to do with a group of 9 children or teens for 2 to 5 hours a day.  I went and ordered all of the therapeutic activity books that I could find to try to find something to do to manage behavior in my groups and fill our time together with meaningful activities.  Almost all of the books I found were either filled with worksheets or scripts to talk through as a group.  While I did manage to get the behavior of the group members under control and fill the time, I noticed that all of the participants were miserable.  They didn’t want to come sit in group for 2 hours after school and do more worksheets.  I started try to find activities and games that they would enjoy that were also therapeutic at the same time.   I began to look at ordinary art activities and games and think about how I could change it or spin it to teach a therapeutic concept.  As I introduced more and more of these activities, I found that participants started wanting to come to group.  Attendance and participation improved and the lessons really seemed to stick with the participants.

Most children and teens (and adults as well) do not learn well through sitting and doing worksheets.  The arts-based activities in my books teach a wide variety of therapeutic skills including anger management, conflict resolution, positive thinking, following directions, and social skills through the use of ordinary and readily available materials.  For example, one of the group activities allows the group to create anger control totem poles.  Each group member takes a short quiz to identify their anger management style (which corresponds to an animal).  The group members then create their animals (using templates providing in the book) while discussing different styles of anger and anger management strategies.  After each group member has created their animal, a totem pole is created.  This is so much more fun and meaningful than sitting and completing a worksheet on anger management.

I want to thank Danny for inviting me to contribute to his blog.  If you are interested in purchasing my books, they are available at amazon.com as well as many other online retailers.  I am also available for conferences and presentations.  Please contact me at lindseymoiner@gmail.com for more information.

Click on the covers below for more information: 

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