Seven (7) Fun Facts About Rec Therapy!

canstockphoto12078659

Photo credit: © Can Stock Photo / Oakozhan

Note: These fun facts are listed at: http://www.iamarecreationtherapist.com/

 

 

1.   MSN —  ranked Recreational Therapy #10 in college careers that lead to a satisfying career.
 
2.   CNN-Money – A Recreational Therapist requires creativity and persistence, but it’s gratifying when you see people move away from what they lost and focus on the abilities they do have.

 
3.   Kiplinger — While physical therapists typically need a doctorate degree, recreational therapists make the big bucks on a B.A. alone.

 
4.   CNN —  Recreation therapists get people with disabilities, injuries or illnesses to engage with the world again through art, music and sports. They work in private, commercial, clinical,  or community settings.”

 
5.   CNN-Money —  Ranked Rec Therapy as  #9 of the “Best Jobs for Saving the World”

Way to go Super Heroes, I mean, Rec Therapists.

 
6.   The Economist   Rated recreational therapy as the least likely profession to be replaced by technological advancement and automation within the next two decade.

 
7.   The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) — provides a national certification that signifies a Recreational Therapists has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide recreational therapy.

Origin of the Recreation Therapy (and certification) submitted by Kenneth Davis

canstockphoto10943132

This blog was post submitted by Kenneth Davis for RecTherapyToday

  • The origin of the Recreation Therapy profession dates back to the early 80s when the first meeting of certification  was part of a national discussion.
  • Norma Stumbo, PH D was probably  key in developing a study guide for the  administration of the National exam given by athe National  Council for Thetapeutic  Recreation Certification now in New York.
  • Academic  development was with Dr. Scout Gunn PhD and Macia Carter, PhD and many others
  • My memory is that Dr.Peg Connelly  PhD and later a Bob Rilely, PhD  were very involved in promoting and developing the exam an making changes to the credentialing process.  Adding a staff for credentialing and having clear discussion on the job analysis http://nctrc.org/about-certification/national-job-analysis/
  • I believe, a national  testing service ETS was to review the exam before it was administered and Dr. Stumbo released a study guide later for the exam.  Additionally  individuals like Alice Burlingame were very involved in assessment  development with https://www.idyllarbor.com/. I known Alice for years and she has sold the business.
  • Additionally  Dr. Connie,Nall, and myself  worked with Leisure Scope.a developed tool for leisure assessment. Jean Forthworth, PhD  then at Central  Michigan University, and I had many discussion  on this including Dr. Marsha Cater at Michigan State University  in Lansing,  Michigan.
  • The exam and through careful developed and determining of the questions and submitting to a national testing service was critical.  Some of the concern  included accommodation for the exam for individuals with disabilities. I remember  Dr. Nancy Navar was also involved in this discussion. Dr. Navar is now retired from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.
  • Ed Keegan , PhD  was also developing the program at Western Carolina University and Dr. Gerald O Morrow was reaching retirement .
  •  The National Recreation and Parks Administration  NTRS was developing their own certificate. It was a bit divided and most NRPA members were not in favor of a separate certification of a Governing Body to address this issue which was NTRS.
  • Many years had gone by until thongs were actually worked out with NTRS believe at least 10 years or more. Most Parks and Recreation majors in colleges did not understand this aspect of therapeutic recreation nor a need to have certification. But stardardard for placement  were just about all that wree in place at that time. http://www.recreationtherapy.com/history/rthistory3.htm
  • Yvonne Washington, was a central person addressing this discussion with NTRS  individually with the National  Recreation and Parks Association.  Later they had  the discussion which  moved to colleges and universities and  TR sections including the Virginia Therapeutic Recreation Section, which I was a part in the 80s with Besty Kennedy MA Ed at Old Domunnion with so many other TR’s addresses the exam at Radford  and Old Dominion University  and Virginia Commonwealth  University.
  • In the mid 80s schools like Michigan State, Wayne State, University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Texas  and University of Washington, Radford  and California State were all involved in promoting the national exam.  I do remember Mick and Lee being involved at Radford as well. In fact Lee was very gracious in ;coming to Marion Virginia where I was the department head to be involved in the selection position for a job I had written specifically for our agency.  At that time I worked for Marion Correctional Treatment Center a forensic facility in Southwestern Virginia.
  • Sharon Nicholas, MA CTRS  in New Hampshire whom I’ve known over the years and still in New Hampshire was working on explaining our value in the rehabilitation settings.  I kept in contact with Sharon while m working for the VA in Manchester New Hampshire and while at Health South in Concord New Hampshire,
  • I later moved from New Hampshire to Colorado  but in  Virginia with some knowledge of the happening in both the West and East Coast because I was in contact with Ann Houston.
  • Ann Houston, MPH, CTRS, became the President of ATRA, and this was after her leaving the VA in a Palo Alto, California.  Ann spearheaded ATRA  to a much larger need and audience. With its offices in Hattersburg,  Mississippi.
  • As a member of ATRA, I remember having many discussion with Kelly Dunbar, about the formation and direction of ATRA, and NCTRC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreational_therapy?wprov=sfla1

  • ATRA, became very involved in therapeutic recreation both locally and on Capital Hill. During the Clinton administration health care reform years , The Joint Commission o established that lTR was a part of treatment.   Many of its members ATRA including myself went to Washington DC in 1980s  to speak on behalf of the organization to our local representatives dto educate  them on the three hour rule of health care reimbursment, which continues today

Kenneth Davis MA CTRS,  is now a Independent Therapeutic Educational Consultant and Chief Executive of tge Business  Educational Planning and Counseling Services LLC www.educational-planning-and-counseling.org

Kenneth  is a graduate of Pepperdine  University holding Masters in Educational Technology and Organizational Leadership currently Certified by NCTRS. Business Owner, CEO Educational Planning and Counseling Services Lives in Sun City Wesrt, Arizona

RT book project

I’ve been advocating for several months to get Chicken Soup for the Soul to create a book of stories about the healing power of recreational therapy.

I’ve met a lot of resistance.

I’ve contacted Chicken Soup by mail and they’ve said “no,” too narrow of a topic.

I drove to Chicago one weekend to meet Jack Canfield, the co-creator of Chicken Soup to get his support and he sent my message on to Chicken Soup (a company and brand that he sold). – but they still said no.

I’ve created an online petition to request them to create the book (but only 400 signatures)  – but Chicken Soup said “no.” – They need millions of signatures.

I’ve contacted NCTRC and asked them to submit a letter to Chicken Soup, but they didn’t because the mission of NCTRC to is protect the public from harm.

I ‘ve contacted ATRA and asked them to write a letter to Chicken Soup, but they said it wouldn’t be fair to all the members of ATRA.

My last letter from Chicken Soup said “return to sender.”

Emotions: I feel invalidated. I feel rejected. I feel distressed.

But don’t despair.

I Danny Pettry am determined. I promise that I’ll continue to advocate until this book project gets approved.

I’m going to get this book published. I hope with Chicken Soup.

I really think Chicken Soup is making a huge mistake to disregard recreational therapy.

My second choice is Hay House.  My team has reached out to them and they are open to book proposals. What do you think?

I have another appointment to meet with Jack Canfield in 2017 in Philly. I’ll keep you posted.

Bulletproofing Recreational Therapy

A book Review of Stephen Viscusi’s (2008) book, Bulletproof your job

canstockphoto5546617

Licensed permission to use image from (c) CanStockPhoto

  • Viscusi, S. (2008). Bulletproof your job: 4 simple strategies to ride out the rough times and come out on top at work. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Book Review By: Danny Pettry

            Politicians often say, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu” to argue the importance of being involved. Those people who are not at the table and not involved risk having their services being “cut” and discontinued by those people that are involved.

Recreational therapists need to be involved and have a seat at the table to bulletproof their job. However, the focus of the profession is not about saving our own jobs. It is about the people that receive recreational therapy services. Our job in being involved consists of making sure people (consumers of recreational therapy) are getting the greatest outcomes. The focus is on ensuring and advocating that consumers are getting access to these cost-efficient recreational therapy services that are bringing about functional outcomes.

Health care services cost a lot of money. Those services that are not bringing about measurable outcomes are deemed not necessary. Those services risk being cut and discontinued. Recreational therapy has evidenced-based research that supports what we do. It is vital that recreational therapists are involved, having a seat at the table, and active in advocating for the consumers of recreational therapy services.

Stephen Viscusi (2008) points out four strategies people can use to keep their job. This book review outlines Viscusi’s four simple strategies and provides additional focus for those people who are professional Recreational Therapists to be involved (at a national public policylevel)

Viscusi’s (2008) four simple strategies to bulletproofing a job consist of being:

  1. Visible;
  2. Easy;
  3. Useful; and
  4. Ready

Recreational therapists could apply Viscusi’s (2008) four simple strategies in order to advocate for our professional services and the outcomes that they help achieve.

 

Being Visible

            Viscusi (2008) points out the importance of being seen. Viscsi argues that this means seen doing the right things. Appearance must be professional. Employee must show up on time for work (or early) and do extra. The employee must be consistently hardworking, providing real value to the company. The employee is seen as going the extra mile to volunteer to lead special projects.

Recreational therapists do a lot of these already. They are passionate, genuine, enthusiastic, positive, polite, considerate, good listeners.

Some tips for Recreational Therapists to be visible:

Get involved in public policy with the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Be a leader and volunteer to take initiative to organize efforts (at a state level for your own state and on a national level). Be present (by having a seat at the table) by participating in public policy. Send ATRA an email and ask how you can help with public policy in your state and at a national level.

 

Being Easy

            Viscusi (2008) points out the importance of being easy. This concept is based on being easy to get along with opposed to being the difficult employee. Difficult employees whine, complain, and make things miserable for others. Employers are more likely to get rid of difficult employees.

Recreational therapists as a whole often demonstrate the characteristics of being easy-going.  These concepts consist of being calm and collect, having a positive attitude, being flexible, and agreeable.

            Some tips for Recreational Therapists on being easy:

Get involved in your professional organization: The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Apply your easy-going skills towards making new connections and networking with other professionals. Demonstrate a positive attitude and volunteer to help the professional association with tasks.

 

Being Useful

            Viscusi (2008) argues that being useful is a key to keeping a job. This consists of doing more than what you’re expected to do. Sometimes they call it “going the extra mile.” It is doing “extra credit” work when you already have a solid A+ grade. Being useful is about helping the company reach goals. It is the opposite of blaming and making excuses when job responsibilities are not completed. It is quite easy for a company to le employees like this go.

 

Some tips for Recreational Therapists on being useful:

Become a specialist. Go above and beyond your entry-level Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) offers five specialty certifications, including: behavioral health, physical medicine and rehab, developmental disabilities, geriatrics, and community. Specialists provide additional value to the company. A person with the specialization could be sought out for advice in their area of expertise. They could assist with training others in the company.

 

Being Ready

            Viscusi (2008) argues the importance of being prepared and ready. Changes happen all the time. Anything can happen. People that are prepared are the ones who are going to come out on top. Those people that are not prepared are going to be the ones that are left behind or let go.

Some tips for Recreational Therapists to be ready:

Our world is changing. Health care is changing as well. Recreational therapists need to be knowledgably of what is happening in the world, in health care, and in their own profession. Consider going the extra mile to earn a graduate degree or a doctorate. One change our profession is facing is the shortage of qualified people to teach undergraduates and graduate students.

 

Conclusion

            There are things a single individual person can do to bulletproof her (or his) own job. Viscusi (2008) did an excellent job arguing how being visible, easy-going, useful, and prepared can be beneficial.

Recreational therapists as a whole could apply Viscusi’s (2008) concepts to bulletproof the profession. There is an old story about four bulls and one hungry tiger. The tiger could easily take out any one single bull. However, the four bulls put their back tails together. They form a circle and watch out for each other. The tiger is not able to get any one single bull when they have their horns out and form a circle. The tiger gets them when they are alone.

Recreational therapists are more vulnerable when they are alone. However, they do not need to be alone. We have a professional association that forms a circle. However,  recreational therapists must join the circle (the association) in order to be involved.

Recreational therapists can be:

  • Visible when they are part of a group association
  • Easy-going by working with others in the profession and building a network of professional friends.
  • Useful by volunteering to work on the many roles and responsibilities of the national association.
  • Ready for what changes happen next. The association will spread the knowledge through their email network to those involved.

 

Bibliography

  • Viscusi, S. (2008). Bulletproof your job: 4 simple strategies to ride out the rough times and come out on top at work. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

 

===================================

Danny Pettry is a full-time practitioner. He has provided services for children with abuse-reactive needs at a psychiatric residential treatment facility since 2002. Pettry has graduate degrees in Mental Health Counseling (Linsey Wilson College, Columbia, Kentucky, 2012) and Recreational Therapy (Indianan University, Bloomington, Indiana, 2006). Pettry is a lifetime member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Pettry is not a hired representative, elected member, or spokesperson for the association. This blog is written by Danny Pettry (an individual).

NCTRC – recertification and specialty certifications

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pictured above: Susan Kaufer and Robin McNeal

I [Danny Pettry] had the great privilege of attending the Recertification and Specialty Certification Overview at the 2016 ATRA conference in Chicago with Robin McNeal, CTRS and Susan Kaufer, CTRS.

Robin and Susan work for NCTRC! I’ve had the privilege to attend several training sessions they’ve provided at ATRA conferences and other state/ local conferences of the years with both of them.

I informed both of them that I appreciate all the work they do for our certification. I also informed them that I do not envy their task/ job of reviewing all of those documents (applications) and reviewing/ audit of CEUs. Important job. Somebody has to do it. I let them know I’d rather be a practitioner in the field.

They shared the mission of NCTRC: To protect the consumer of therapeutic recreation services by promoting the provision of quality therapeutic recreation services by NCTRC certificants.

NCTRC is overseen by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is considered the benchmark for professional services. The CTRS is known as the qualified provider of recreational therapy.

NCTRC does a lot to advocate for the credential. We, CTRS can also advocate and promote our credential. People can contact NCTRC to request brochures.

 

A while back, NCTRC completed a job analysis survey among certificants. It was used to identify two areas: job task/ experience and knowledge areas for the CTRS to be competent.

One option for renewing certification consists of: working at least 480 hours in the field within 5-years and having at least 50 hours of continuing education that are relevant to the therapeutic recreation knowledge areas.

 

Do it early! There is good news: people can submit their recertifcate application up to one-year early to get the process completed. Of course, the CTRS renewal cycle will still be at the same time. I think this is wonderful. That way – if a Continuing Education course doesn’t count towards recertification, you can earn more credits that do because you’ve submitted early/ before the deadline.

 

Responsibility: Your continuing education units(CEUs) is your responsibility. You must keep track of these and don’t lose them. I [Danny Pettry] keep mine in a fire proof safe along with CEUs for other professional certificates and state professional licenses.

 

NOTE: activity/ skills based sessions do not count for CEUs. In example – if you take a yoga class it won’t count. Of course, a person can take these courses to learn new skills, but should be aware that they won’t count for CEUs.

 

Ways to earn CEUs that were discussed during this session:

  • Publication – write a book or journal article and you’ll earn CEUs
  • Guest lecture for your local college or university and you’ll earn CEUS
  • Supervise an internship (up to 2 interns allowed) and they can’t be during the same time. You can get 5 hours per intern.
  • Academic course credit. One 3-hour-semester course counts for 45 out of 50 CEUs! That is a great way. Those working on their master’s degree will have an abundance of CEUs.

Another way:

  • They didn’t directly talk about online/ home study courses (http://www.DannyPettry.com) during this part of this session. Staff at NCTRC have in talked about my program (which I’ve attended, in example: ATRA 2013 Pitts, PA). However, I do think it is best that they don’t name any praticular programs. In example: if they talk about Indiana Univrsity for a master’s dgree in the field or taking a graduate course for CEU credit then other colleges and universities may want them to do the same and that really isn’t the role of NCTRC to advocate or promote any program like that.
  • My self-study online courses are currently pre-approved by NCTRC for CEUs. Go here: http://www.DannyPettry.com

Getting the 480 hours of experience in five years

  • Those working full time should easily have this.
  • Those who are not working full-time as a Rec Therapist can still earn 480 hours for various roles and responsibilities, including:
    1. Supervisor role (manager of RT)
    2. Administrator (at hospital) who is no longer working in RT
    3. Educator (who is teaching RT)
    4. Consultant (who is providing services in RT)
    5. Volunteer (which I just think is wonderful
    6. Professional services (serving as a member of the ATRA board or your state/ local chapter affiliate of ATRA)

Robin McNeal, CTRS and Susan Kaufer, CTRS (the two presenters of this training) are not working in direct service as a recreational therapist. However, they can still earn their 480 hours work from various ways.

I wanted to mention during this session that U.S. Congressman G. T. Thompson isn’t working as recreational therapist practitioner, but he still maintains his 480-hours of work in the field, which I’m very grateful for. He has done a lot with legislation related to our field.

The speakers did not directly say this, but I got a gut impression that they will move to requiring a CTRS to earn so many CEUs in each knowledge area. But I’m not 100% of that yet.

SPECIALTY CERTIFICATION

This is fairly new!

They speakers had suggested in the future that a license in the profession will be the benchmark in the field and then those professional practitioners can advance by earning specialty certifications.  They said that currently 54 people have a specialty certification!

Based on my knowledge, nurses can specialize in various areas (like behavioral health). Counselors can specialist (like substance abuse, career counseling, family marriage counseling, etc).

There are currently five specialty certifications offered by NCTRC.  These included:

  1. Behavioral health: they said over 50% of those with specialty certification have this one.
  2. Geriatrics: 2nd place
  3. Physical medicine/ rehabilitation: 3rd place
  4. Community/ inclusion: only two people have this.
  5. Developmental Disabilities: 0 people have this specialty certification.

There are two paths towards earning this.

  • One path consists of a master’s degree with (9) credit hours in the specialty area.
  • One path consists of earning (75) CEUs that are all focused in the specialty area and having at least 3 professional certificates that are greater than 6-hours.

I really hope to see more people get these.

NOTE: I, [Danny Pettry] am working on creating three professional certificate courses in behavioral health designed specifically for those people who are seeking the behavioral health specialty certification by NCTRC.  I’m working to get those same three professional certificate trainings approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). They will probably be released at my site (DannyPettry.com) in 2017.

 

Disclaimer: Contact NCTRC with your questions and comments. Danny Pettry (author of this blog) has been a CTRS since 2003, however, he does not work for NCTRC and he is not elected to the board of directors. Go here: http://www.NCTRC.org

University of St. Francis

University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL) had a vendor booth at the 2016 ATRA conference in Chicago.

I may have seen Dr. Marcia Jean Carter at the conference, but I can’t recall for sure. I thought I spoke to her in passing.

Please note that Dr. Marcia Jean Carter has provided history files about the formation of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) to the University of St. Francis library.

You can obtain these here:

http://www.library.stfrancis.edu/archive.html

  • Finding Aids
    • “other” tab
      • Marcia Jean Carter Papers