Danny Pettry Presentations

Danny Pettry presents:

Topic Date/ Time Location Price
Trauma Focused Recreational Therapy for Children and Adolescents Wednesday


7 p.m. (Eastern)

(90 minutes)

Live webinar

DannyPettry, LLC


$15 per person

Registration Open: click here

Trauma Focused Recreational Therapy for Children and Adolescents Friday


8:30 a.m.

(90 minutes)

Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium,

Williamsburg, VA

$275 for full conference
Rec Therapist: WE put the RT in SMART: Learn how to awaken your patient’s intelligence and Success 4/4/18

7 p.m. (Eastern)

(60 minutes)

Live webinar

DannyPettry, LLC


$15 per person

Registration open: click here.

Recreational Therapy in Mental/ Behavioral Health Saturday


(60 minutes)

Great Lakes Student RT Conference, Bradford Woods, Indiana $70 per person

Contact Indiana University Rec Therapy about registration.

Rec Therapy: We put the RT in HEART: Wednesday


(60 minutes)

Live Webinar DannyPettry, LLC


$15 per person

Registration is NOT open  yet

Learn about advanced specialization areas in rec therapy Wednesday


(60 minutes)

Live Webinar

DannyPettry, LLC

FREE  Registration open now: click here.
StaRT Button TRaining Wednesday

5/ 2/18

(60 minutes)

Live Webinar DannyPettry, LLC

60 minutes


Registration NOT open yet


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: http://srts.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SRTS-2018-Program-CEU-Approved.docx

You can register at this link http://srts.info/registration/ 

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.


Violence and Barriers to Meaningful Relationships

A MSRT student at Temple University. shared that she had been introduced to Robert Waldinger’s TED Talk: What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.
Here is a link to the video:
The student shared, “His main point states that in life, our happiness is most influenced by meaningful relationships.”
She asked: “My question to you is how, in our practice, can we best promote meaningful relationships for our participants when there may be barriers due to violence? What kinds of interventions do you use to help various populations that may become more reclusive due to past abuse, gender violence, etc.? In what ways can we address this issue with participants?”
Here is my response:


I provide services for children (both male and female) between (ages 7 to 12) who have abuse-reactive needs. Children admitted to the unit have experienced some type of traumatic in their life.

 It is a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. The typical stay is 6 to 9 months.

Some of the common needs among patients include:


  • Lack of interpersonal skills (possibly from learned behaviors)
  • Lack of assertiveness skills (often resorts to physical, verbal aggression)
  • Lack of a social support system (no identified foster family or adoptive family)
  • Lack trust in others
  • In addition, patients may have other conditions, like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Some children have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) – this is where they had neglect at an early age and fail to learn how to have emotional connections and relationships


Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are the two primary treatment modalities. There is evidenced-based research that demonstrates that these two approaches are effective.

Both TF-CBT and DBT have a focus on interpersonal skills.

  • In the TF-CBT mode, there is a phase called, enhancing social skills
  • In the DBT model, there interpersonal skills are one of the four main skill sets taught.


We identify our intervention as “interpersonal skills training or social skills training.”

We in recreation therapy have a lot to offer in this domain.


We use a lot of recreation activities as means to achieve outcomes.

  • Sports: taking turns, good sportsmanship, being part of a team/ group
  • Board games: taking turns, being a good sport,
  • Social activities: ballroom party for Halloween or ice cream social
  • Education/ classroom settings: to teach skills. Using pictures of children in different social situations
  • The listening game: Teach what paraphrasing is. Get a book like “The conversation starts.” Read a question to a group member. Group member answers. Randomly select a different group member to paraphrase what the first group member said to indicate he (or she) listened and then ask that group member a question.
  • Assertiveness training: Teach the children to ask for what they want or to express their feelings with use of I-statements.
  • Cinema therapy card game: Play a movie. Ask children questions from the card game that get the kids to point out social skills, emotions in characters
  • Community re-entry outings: passes to local parks, zoos, water parks, mall, or other places.
  • Emotional support: being able to recognize emotions in others and be able to offer support
  • Family-based recreation therapy: with rec therapist: Mental health therapist/ counselor provide family therapy. and the rec therapist often supervise the community re-entry outings before a new family is on their own with a patient. The rec therapist can implement games and activities to help the family and child to get to know each other, and supervises passes in the community.


The recreation therapist serves as a role-model, a coach, a facilitator, and evaluates progress.

Move beyond talk therapy – fund rec therapy research

I [Danny Pettry] have graduate degrees in both Mental Health Counseling and Recreational Therapy.

I’ve often argued that people “talk” about it in individual therapy and actually do something about it in “recreational therapy,” by practicing.

There was a real neat article in the Military Times by Bret A. Moore.  The author argues going beyond talk therapy. Research and evidenced is discussed.

What did Bret Moore suggest?

“We need to fund studies looking at the benefits of meditation, exercise, recreational therapies and other noninvasive approaches to achieving and maintaining health.”

Read about it here: