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Lessons Learned

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ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-57167-582-8

Author(s): David R. Austin

Copyright year: 2010

Edition: 1st

Other Formats: eBook

pages: 136

Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners provides a personalized approach and a fresh, bold guide for students and practitioners in recreational therapy.

The author gives a personal account of his lessons learned in the areas of understanding recreational therapy, approaches to recreational therapy, conceptual foundations of recreational therapy, working with groups, the recreational therapist, techniques for recreational therapists, social psychology and recreational therapy, and what to do and not to do as a recreational therapist. The book is full of tips and advice, and it raises issues that will help to guide practice in recreational therapy in years ahead.

Beyond higher education, the author has authored or coauthored of several widely used recreational therapy textbooks. He also served professional organizations such as the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, the Society of Park and Recreation Educators, and the Academy of Leisure Sciences. This book is a valuable resource for students and practitioners.

Understanding Recreational Therapy

Chapter 1: Recreational Therapy is a Lot More than Diversion!

Chapter 2: Our Mission Includes Health Promotion

Chapter 3: What Makes RT Therapeutic?

Chapter 4: Do You Know Who We Are?

Chapter 5: Recreational Therapists Need a Philosophy of Practice

Chapter 6: The Importance of Recreation and Leisure


Approaches to Recreational Therapy 

Chapter 7: Recreational Therapists Use a Strength-Based Approach

Chapter 8: Client Strengths Include Traits and Resources

Chapter 9: Recreational Therapy is Action Oriented, but the Emphasis is on the Client and Not on the Activity

Chapter 10: Recreation and Leisure Activities Provide Fun with a Purpose

Chapter 11: The Therapeutic Relationship is at the Heart of Recreational Therapy

Chapter 12: Recreational Therapy Offers a Unique, Caring Atmosphere

Chapter 13: Recreational Therapy is Customized Care

Chapter 14: Recreational Therapy as a Dress Rehearsal for Life


Conceptual Foundations for Recreational Therapy

Chapter 15: The WHO Definition of Health and Its Acceptance by Recreational Therapists

Chapter 16: Carl Rogers: The Grandfather of Recreational Therapy

Chapter 17: Positive Psychology and Recreational Therapy

Chapter 18: Freud and Skinner Weren’t Completely Wrong


Working With Groups

Chapter 19: The New Recreational Therapist’s Anxiety in Group Leadership

Chapter 20: Recreational Therapy Groups Offer Participants Numerous Benefits

Chapter 21: Group Processing Should Be Regularly Completed with RT Groups

Chapter 22: Techniques When Clients Don’t Participate in Group Discussions

Chapter 23: Get a Background in Group Dynamics, Because You’ll Need It


The Recreational Therapist

Chapter 24: Recreational Therapists are Models for Clients

Chapter 25: Is Recreational Therapy an Art or a Science, or Both?

Chapter 26: Enthusiasm

Chapter 27: Extroversion

Chapter 28: Dare to Share

Chapter 29: Learn to Relax

Chapter 30: Value Values

Chapter 31: Gaining Cultural Competence

Chapter 32: Maintaining Confidentiality

Chapter 33: Burnout

Chapter 34: Why Clients Like RTs: The Norm of Reciprocity

Chapter 35: Clinical Supervision

Chapter 36: Self-Awareness

Chapter 37: Being a Team Player

Chapter 38: Being Professional

Chapter 39: Being an Advocate for Our Profession


Techniques for Recreational Therapists

Chapter 40: Learning by Doing

Chapter 41: It’s Good to Give Feedback

Chapter 42: When Clients Change

Chapter 43: Engage Your Clients

Chapter 44: Aggression Begets Aggression

Chapter 45: Use Self-Disclosure Sparingly and in a Timely Fashion

Chapter 46: Be Supportive of Clients

Chapter 47: The Use of Gimmicks Can Be Good

Chapter 48: Employ and Foster Intrinsic Motivation

Chapter 49: Here and Now

Chapter 50: Build Self-Esteem

Chapter 51: Leisure Counseling

Chapter 52: Activities Spur Conversation

Chapter 53: Use Touch Therapeutically

Chapter 54: Therapeutic Recreation Skills Are Not Esoteric

Chapter 55: My Favorite Approaches to Effective Listening

Chapter 56: Top Teaching Principles


Social Psychology and Recreational Therapy

Chapter 57: Recreational Therapists as Applied Social Psychologists

Chapter 58: The Overjustification Effect

Chapter 59: Self-Efficacy: Why Some Clients Try and Others Don’t

Chapter 60: Social Facilitation

Chapter 61: Self-Handicapping

Chapter 62: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Chapter 63: Learned Helplessness


What to Do and Not Do as an RT

Chapter 64: Evidence-Based Practice: A Concept RT Should Embrace

Chapter 65: Say “Yes” to RT Research

Chapter 66: Never Become Sexual with Clients

Chapter 67: Never Become Anti-Intellectual

Chapter 68: (Almost) Never Make Choices for Clients

Chapter 69: Cherish the Opportunity to Do Recreational Therapy

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