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Your FREE February 2024 Issue of Rec Therapy Today

Dear Innovative Rec Therapist –

It is with great excitement that we announce the celebration of International Recreational Therapy Month!

This month is dedicated to acknowledging the transformative power and the significant impact of recreational therapy on the quality of life for individuals of all ages. It’s a time to recognize the dedicated professionals who devote their talents to enriching the lives of others through therapeutic recreation.

In honor of this special month, we are thrilled to offer a complimentary one-day teleconference, where you can connect with experts, peers, and trailblazers in the field of recreational therapy. This event is not just an opportunity to celebrate our profession but also a valuable way to earn up to five clock hours towards your professional development. It promises to be an enriching experience with sessions designed to inspire, educate, and propel your practice to new heights.

Furthermore, we are excited to showcase the diverse world of recreational therapy by featuring a recreational therapy business each day throughout February. These daily spotlights will offer insights into the innovative work being done across the globe, introduce unique therapeutic programs and approaches, and celebrate the business acumen within our passionate community.

Mark your calendars and join us in this fantastic celebration. Let’s share our success stories, uplift one another, and spread the word about the critical role recreational therapy plays in health, wellness, and overall life satsatisfaction.

Stay tuned for more details on the teleconference and daily features. We are looking forward to connecting with you during International Recreational Therapy Month!

Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

Danny Pettry

P.S. Giveaway is at the bottom of this newsletter so you’ll have to scroll to bottom and view all parts of the newsletter. 

Celebrating You

Happy Recreational Therapy Month!

Time to honor the exceptional impact of your work.

Your seamless blend of fun, compassion, and skill brings healing and enthusiasm to all you serve, turning routine into something extraordinary.

Your efforts play a crucial role in your clients’ recovery and joy, driving them toward independence and the enjoyment of life’s little moments.

As we celebrate your dedication, know that your contributions create a brighter, more hopeful world.

Thank you for all that you do.

Inspiration for the Month

Humor of the Month

Infographics for the Month

Important Holidays this Month

– February 2: Groundhog Day
– February 12: Lincoln’s Birthday
– February 14: Valentine’s Day
– February 19: Presidents’ Day (Washington’s Birthday)

Three (3) Activity Ideas for the Month

Activity 1: “Heartfelt Stories

**Supplies Needed:**
– Blank greeting cards or cardstock paper.
– Markers, pens, and decorating supplies.
– Timer.

1. Gather participants into small groups.
2. Each person selects a piece of cardstock to create a card.
3. Set the timer for 10 minutes to write or draw a heartfelt story or message on the card.
4. After crafting their story, each person passes their card to the right.
5. Each recipient reads the story aloud and adds a supportive comment or doodle.
6. Repeat the sharing process until the original creator receives their card back.


– **Social**: Fosters a sense of community and positive reinforcement.
– **Emotional**: Sharing stories enhances empathy and emotional expression.
– **Intellectual**: Crafting narratives stimulates creativity and language skills.
– **Physical**: Fine motor skills are used during writing and decorating.
– **Spiritual**: Encourages reflection on personal experiences and connections with others.

Activity 2: “Puzzle Race Challenge”

**Supplies Needed:**
– Several identical jigsaw puzzles (number depending on group size).
– Tables or flat surfaces for puzzle assembly.

1. Divide participants into teams, each with the same puzzle.
2. Set a clear start and finish line.
3. Teams race to complete the puzzle, collaborating on strategy and placement.
4. The first team to finish shouts “Done!” and the game ends.
5. Discuss the strategies and experiences of each team afterward.


– **Social**: Promotes teamwork and communication.
– **Emotional**: Builds patience and coping with frustration.
– **Intellectual**: Enhances problem-solving and spatial awareness.
– **Physical**: Improves hand-eye coordination through puzzle manipulation.
– **Spiritual**: The shared goal can lead to a sense of unity and achievement.

Activity 3: “Nature’s Gratitude Walk”

**Supplies Needed:**
– Comfortable walking shoes.
– Notepads or journals and pens (optional).
– Access to a park or natural space.

1. Invite the group for a walk in a nearby park or natural setting.
2. Encourage mindfulness, focusing on the sensations, sights, sounds, and smells.
3. Stop periodically to share something each person is grateful for.
4. Optionally, participants can note their observations and gratitude in journals.
5. Conclude with a group discussion on the experience and feelings of gratitude.


– **Social**: Encourages bonding and shared experiences.
– **Emotional**: Fosters positivity and gratitude, reducing stress.
– **Intellectual**: Stimulates nature-related knowledge and observational skills.
– **Physical**: Provides gentle exercise and the health benefits of being outdoors.
– **Spiritual**: Nature walk can be a meditative experience, enhancing spiritual well-being.

Book of the Month

“Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again” by Scott Mautz provides readers with insights on how to refuel their enthusiasm for their careers. Below is a distilled list of tips from the book to help rekindle that professional spark:

1. **Reconnect with your WHY**: Always remember the underlying reasons why you do what you do. This sense of purpose can be a powerful motivator.

2. **Seek Challenges**: Push yourself out of your comfort zone by taking on new and challenging tasks. This keeps things fresh and can reignite passion.

3. **Pursue Learning**: Never stop learning. Educational growth can inspire innovation and a renewed sense of competence.

4. **Cultivate Relationships**: Relationships at work can be a source of energy and inspiration. Invest time in building and maintaining them.

5. **Leverage Your Strengths**: Understand and use your strengths. Doing what you’re good at can lead to satisfaction and success, which can boost your enthusiasm.

6. **Inspiration Through Environment**: Change your environment if it’s dull or uninspiring. Even small changes can make a big difference in your mood and creativity.

7. **Take Breaks to Refuel**: Stepping away for a break can provide perspective and allow for mental recovery.

8. **Set and Revisit Goals**: Having clear goals provides direction and something to work towards, which can be motivating.

9. **Control Your Perspective**: Adopt a positive mindset. Positivity can lead to viewing challenges as opportunities.

10. **Autonomy and Ownership**: Seek out ways to gain more control over your work, as autonomy can be a powerful motivator.

Each tip is a step towards rediscovering what excites you about your work, helping ensure that your professional life is both satisfying and productive.

Game of the Month

“Rapid Rumble” is a fast-paced, competitive board game designed for players who thrive on quick thinking and agile strategy. In this dynamic game, players race against time to match patterns, claim objectives, or fulfill various tasks as set by the game’s rules. Each participant is dealt a hand of cards, dice, or tokens that represent different actions or resources.

As the clock ticks, players must quickly use these items to match the game’s requirements, which could be anything from forming a sequence of numbers or colors, to building a specific shape or completing a set of challenges. The first to complete the tasks or reach a predetermined score claims victory. Communication and adaptability are key, as players often have to change plans on the fly and outthink their opponents.

“Rapid Rumble” is typically designed with a blend of luck and skill elements, ensuring each round is unpredictable and engaging. It’s ideal for family and friends who are looking for a lively and energetic gaming experience that tests their reflexes and decision-making under pressure.

Rec Therapist of the Month: Samantha Black

Samantha Black is a dedicated and highly qualified Recreational Therapist who graduated with honors from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2022. She has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) since March 2023 and a member of the ATRA since April 2023. Samantha’s passion for helping people stems from her experiences reading with her grandparents, inspiring her to work with diverse populations. Currently, she works in the psychiatric unit at Montefiore Nyack Hospital, providing services to adults aged 18-85.

Her therapy interventions include music, arts, CBT, and DBT skills, focusing on mental health awareness such as anxiety, depression, coping skills, and loss. Samantha finds fulfillment in witnessing patients transitioning from initial struggles to feeling safe and comfortable in group settings. She emphasizes the importance of patience and continual self-improvement for new recreational therapists. She believes that the future of recreational therapy is promising and sees potential for growth in the field.

Video for the Month

Learned helplessness is a psychological phenomenon where individuals come to believe that they have no control over their circumstances, even when opportunities for change exist. This belief often arises from repeated experiences of failure or adversity, leading to a sense of resignation and reduced motivation to seek change. It can profoundly affect one’s mental well-being, resilience, and willingness to take action in challenging situations.

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Section

Danny Pettry/ Rec Therapy Today — Disclaimers regarding ATRA

Danny Pettry and Rec Therapy Today are not affiliated with ATRA.  Danny Pettry is not an elected ATRA Board Member or hired spokesperson for ATRA. Danny Pettry is a Lifetime Member of ATRA who volunteers to assist with ATRA when possible.

Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comofrt and Convenience of Your Own Home or Office™

Danny Pettry’s Section

My Role as a Practitioner: Planting Seeds of Hope at the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility


As I write for Rec Therapy Today’s February 2024 issue, I reflect on my journey as a practitioner in a psychiatric residential treatment facility for teens.

My introverted nature, often seen as a hindrance, has become one of my greatest strengths. It allows me to listen deeply to the teens’ stories and offer them stability.

Embracing my role has meant accepting that I can’t help very teen. Instead, I focus on making a positive impact by consistently showing up and living my values. Consistency is key in my approach, as it reinforces the importance of small steps toward change.

Living my values is crucial, as I aim to inspire and encourage the teens through authenticity and integrity. This commitment has brought purpose to my life and enriched my professional role.

Amid the challenges, I’ve learned the importance of self-care, resilience, and optimism.

Prioritizing my well-being through mindfulness and creative activities allows me to better support the teens.

Ask Danny Pettry any question about recreational therapy, continuing education, mental health, or success Principles. Danny will post answers at his Rec Therapy Today blog. Your name will be kept confidential 

Recent Blog Posts at Rec Thearpy Today

Fun Pages for All Ages

Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comofrt and Convenience of Your Own Home or Office™

Our Final Message

Giveaway for the Month

As we celebrate Recreational Therapy Month, we’re thrilled to extend an exclusive invitation to all recreational therapists to participate in our Rec Therapy Month Giveaway.


What’s up for grabs? Thirty (30) lucky winners will be randomly selected to receive an incredible pack, specially curated for passionate recreational therapists like you. Each pack includes:

  • Recreational Therapist Lanyard: Wear your dedication with pride!
  • Rec Therapy Today Ink Pens: Transform your ideas into reality.
  • Rec Therapy Today Stick-It Notepad: Jot down inspiration on the go.
  • Rec Therapy Today Stickers: Add a touch of flair to your workspace.


How to Enter: Entering is a breeze! Sim complete entrynform below.


Deadline: Make sure t submit before midnight on February 9th, 2024, to be eligible for this exciting giveaway.


Important Details:

  • No purchase is required to enter.
  • Purchases will not increase your odds of winning.


We believe in the power of community and celebrating the incredible work done by recreational therapists every day. This giveaway is our way of expressing gratitude for the positive impact you make in the lives of others.

Thank you for your dedication to the field of recreational therapy, and best of luck in the giveaway!

The Danny P. CEU Guarantee


Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

Danny W. Pettry II, M.Ed., M.S., LPC, NCC, CTRS-BHS

P.S. Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comfort and Convenience of Your Own Home of Office

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P.S.S. Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comfort and Convenience of Your Own Home of Office