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Recreational Therapy Archives
1958 JHPER: National Recreational
Therapy Section News
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E. Phillips from "52-'58)
published in the January 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 1, page 68...
Early Report on
persons participated in the National Conference on Recreation for
the Mentally Ill conducted in November at the Woodner Hotel, Wash.,
D. C. Conferees truly constituted a representative group; they came
from 25 states, Canada, and the District of Columbia; 18 represented
as many cooperating national professional societies and agencies.
The group included 10 psychiatrists; 51 persons actively engaged in
the conduct of recreation at hospitals (24 from state and 17 from
Veterans Administration hospitals); 16 persons currently holding responsible
state, regional, and national supervisory and administrative positions
in this professional area; and 14 persons engaged in the professional
preparation of recreation personnel at colleges and universities.
on invitation and, for the most part, attended at their own expense.
(Those contemplating registration with the Council for the Advancement
of Hospital Recreation may well note that CAHR's registration list
was the first consulted by the Steering Committee in selecting potential
participants.) Delegates were invited without reference to professional
The conference provided
a national form at which recognized leaders in hospital recreation
and other concerned professions were able to assemble, analyze, and
synthesize their views on four main areas on concentration--Professional
Attitudes and Practices, Pre- and In-Service Education, Facilities
and Equipment, and Evaluation and Research. All conferees were oriented
to these four areas at the opening session. Then, during the ensuing
two days, two independent work sections (constituting each of four
work groups) explored each area, and assembled their findings for
presentation to the total conference for refinement on the final day.
∑ Group A, exploring
the first area focused its discussion on professional attitudes rather
than practices because it seemed logical that, once having acquired
desirable attitudes, effective practices are forthcoming. Consequently,
the group first recognized certain desirable attitudes of any professional
person, and next identified those characteristics unique to the person
working in recreation for the mentally ill.
∑ Group B, developed
specific concepts to govern the development of undergraduate and graduate
curriculums for those preparing to conduct recreation in hospitals,
listed the goals and the ways and means of in-service training of
such personnel, delved rather deeply into the knotty problem of recruitment,
and offered recommendations pertaining to other pertinent needs of
∑ Group C, concentrated,
for the most part, on facility needs, design, location, and construction.
General principles were proposed and, in many instances, specific
details were recommended. This, of the four areas of concentration,
unearthed certain fundamental differences of opinion between one or
two psychiatrists, on the one hand, and recreation personnel, on the
other. These differences appeared to have been attributable to the
lack of a well defined and uniformly agreed upon prediction of the
specific nature and direction of the treatment of the mentally ill
in the years ahead.
∑ Group D, developed,
among other things, 23 criteria for the evaluation of hospital recreation
programs, identified six methods useful in the evaluation process,
listed the major available sources in the professional literature,
and suggested nine general areas for study.
organization, and conduct of this conference will be reported in greater
detail in the February Journal. Further, it is hoped that the published
proceedings will be available for the AAHPER 60th National Convention
at Kansas City, Mo., March 30-April 3.
Considering the high
professional status and representativeness of the participants, and
the rather extensive plans already made for implementing the conference
findings, it can reasonably be anticipated that this National Conference
on Recreation for the Mentally Ill will prove to have been a milestone
in the development of our chosen profession.
The National Recreation
Association and New York University are co-sponsoring a Recreation
Institute for the Ill and Handicapped Who Are Homebound, to be held
at the NYU School of Education, Washington Square, New York City,
January 20-31. Topics to be discussed include existing programs for
the homebound ill and handicapped, techniques for developing recreation
outlets and pursuits for the homebound, the role of the government
family, and friends, recruiting and directing the services of volunteers,
and trends toward the day-hospital treatment of the mentally and physically
ill. For further information, write Beatrice H. Hill, Hospital Recreation
Consultant, National Recreation Association, 8 W. Eighth St., New
in the February 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 2, page 60...
Education of Hospital
editor receives inquiries pertaining to the educational opportunities
for professional preparation in hospital recreation. The following
summarizes these opportunities: Approximately 75 colleges and universities
currently offer undergraduate degrees in recreation. Five institutions
were offering such degrees in 1938. Upward of 35 institutions now
offer graduate degrees in this field. Approximately 2,000 students
are enrolled as recreation majors, and some 500 degrees in recreation
are conferred annually.
Of the above, the
University of Minnesota and New York University offer Master's degrees
in Hospital Recreation, Springfield College and Columbia University
offer Master's degrees in Recreation in Rehabilitation, and the Texas
Woman's University and Sacramento State College offer Bachelor's degrees
in Recreational Therapy. Several other institutions of higher learning
not offering the specialized degree in this area do provide for field
experience in hospitals for recreation major students planning to
seek employment with the ill and handicapped.
Several schools have
conducted hospital recreation institutes of three to five days duration.
The University of Minnesota will conduct its fourth such institute
in May; the University of North Carolina and New York University (in
cooperation with the National Recreation Association) have each conducted
three such institutes. Springfield College and Columbia University
have conducted several two week seminars in Recreation in Rehabilitation.
The University of California at Los Angeles has announced a three-day
institute for April of this year, and the University of Wisconsin
has tentative plans for a similar institute in the spring of 1959.
To date, only the
University of Minnesota has made available correspondence study in
this professional area. Two courses are offered, namely, "Orientation
to Recreation in Hospitals," and "Methods in Supervision
to any of the above should be directed to the institutions concerned.
Columbia University, has announced a spring term Seminar in Recreation
for the Emotionally Disturbed. This is a one or two credit course,
and will meet Thursdays, 5:30-7:10 P.M., beginning February 6. This
seminar is being conducted in cooperation with the National Recreation
Association, and is designed to meet the needs of those responsible
for recreation programs in hospitals, special schools, and institutions
for the mentally ill. Registration dates are February 1-4; the non-credit
university fee is $30. For further information write Dr. Elizabeth
Rosen, Box 70, Department of Health and Physical Education, Teachers
College, Columbia University, New York 27, N. Y., seminar coordinator.
The Fourth Institute
in Hospital Recreation will be held at University of Minnesota, May
26-29. A qualified faculty of physicians and specialists in hospital
recreation will lead group discussions, demonstrations, and subjects
of value to those employed in leading recreation for the handicapped.
Similar institutes have been conducted by the University in 1950,
1954, and 1956. Details on the Institute will be announced by the
University in the spring. In the meantime, further information may
be obtained from Professor Fred M. Chapman, Division of Recreation
Leadership, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 14.
Floyd E. McDowell,
director of Cottage Life, Sunland Training Center at Gainesville,
Florida, reports a rather ambitious program for the Institutional
Recreation Section, at the convention of the Southern District, AAHPER,
in Louisville, Kentucky, February 26 and 27. This Section consists
of the following sub-sections: 1) Hospitals for the Emotionally and
Mentally Ill, 2) Institutions for the Mentally Retarded, 3) General
Hospitals and Institutions for the Physically Handicapped, 4) Homes
for Senior Citizens and Institutions for the Aged, 5) Youth and Adult
Correctional Institutions, and 6) Student. At Louisville, each sub-section
Chairman will speak on the role of recreation in the institutional
area he represents. Attendance at these meetings should certainly
provide one with a rather comprehensive picture of Institutional Recreation
in the South. It is encouraging to learn of this professional activity
in another AAHPER District.
in the March 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 3, page 62...
Last November this
column pointed up the importance of retaining recognized recreation
periodicals in the reading room of the medical library of each hospital
with a recreation program. There are at least three more practices
which Hospital Recreation Directors would do well to consider, or
First, they should
confine their recreation service on prescription, and their written
reports on patient behavior, to those relatively few, selected patients
for whom specific needs have been identified, and for whom individual
attention can be assured within recreation staff and resource limitations.
Too often, recreation departments accept these responsibilities for
more patients than they are able to instruct and/or carefully observe,
thus attenuating their programs.
Second, They should
budget time within the normal work-week for such essential functions
staff conferences, individual conferences with patients' physicians
and other hospital personnel, in-service education, necessary paperwork,
and other indispensables of a "quality" and a "quantity"
program; between the "long-term" and the "short term"
Third, they must
provide for the intelligent selection of pertinent information for
reference to their subordinates. Simply routing all publications to
members of one's staff is rarely very productive. Someone must take
the time to sort out the significant matter from the vast amount of
literature now available, and to plan for its consumption by those
best able to use it, i.e., those working directly with patients.
A resident Institute
will be conducted April 17-19 on the Presbyterian Conference Grounds,
six miles west of the UCLA campus. It is being conducted by the UCLA
Recreation Education Unit in cooperation with the Medical Center and
School of Social Science; the Calif. Recreation Comm., Dept. of Mental
Hygiene; and Recreation Society; the VA and American Red Cross. It
will emphasize professional preparation, attitudes, and practices
for recreation leaders in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and institutions
for the physically and mentally handicapped. Alexander Reid Martin,
M.D., American Psychiatric Association, will deliver the keynote address.
is $24, which includes meals, lodging, a copy of the proceedings,
and certificate. The 15-hour course carries one University credit.
Information may be obtained from Norman Miller, UCLA, 305 Hilgard
Ave., Los Angeles 24.
U. of Iowa Hospital
Betty van der Smissen,
major adviser in recreation leadership, Department of Physical Education
for Women, University of Iowa reports that her department is developing
specializations in Hospital Recreation at the undergraduate and graduate
levels. With several medical opportunities in Iowa City, Miss van
der Smissen feels her department can offer excellent field experience
and research opportunities.
At the undergraduate
level, the student selects for program emphasis two of seven available
activity areas. He also may elect to specialize in Recreation for
the Ill and Handicapped (including Hospital Recreation) which is one
of five service areas from which he may choose. At the graduate level,
provision is also made for specialization in Hospital Recreation,
including a theses and field work. Information may be obtained from
Miss van der Smissen.
The need for improving
communications within the hospital setting and the adjacent community
has been accented at several recent professional meetings. Nick J.
Catamas, chief of recreation, Veterans Administration Hospital, San
Fernando, Calif., has reported his approach to the solution of this
problem. In an inter-office memorandum to all Service and Division
Chiefs, his Manager announced two lecture programs in Hospital Recreation.
These programs were held on consecutive Wednesday afternoons, for
approximately 45 minutes each. Mr. Catamas conducted the first, using
a series of color slides depicting his station's recreation program,
and demonstrating the station's closed circuit television facilities.
A renowned author-lecturer conducted the second.
These programs were
so well received that Mr. Catamas was asked to schedule repeat performances.
These were also announced more than a week in advance through the
same medium. Further, training coordinators at the hospital were so
favorable impressed with this approach to better communication that
they have recommended it to other Divisions within the hospital.
on improving communications in the hospital setting are invited for
reporting in this column.
in the April 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 4, page 62...
of the Hospital Recreation Leader
A major problem confronting
the Hospital Recreation Director is defining the duties of the Hospital
Recreation Leaders on his staff. One good approach is to assign to
each such Leader the full responsibility for coordinating a medically
prescribed or cleared, diversified and comprehensive recreation program
for an identifiable segment (type of patient, building, group of wards)
of the hospital's patient population. In this capacity, and under
the direct supervision of the Director, each Leader:
∑ Works directly
with patients' physicians to determine treatment objectives, capabilities
and limitations of patients, and plans for meeting these objectives
within indicated restrictions.
∑ Works directly
with other concerned professional management personnel to learn of
patient interests, assay material and personnel resources, and identify
the restrictions in scheduling imposed by established hospital routines.
∑ With this medical
guidance, and having assayed the interests of patients and recreation
resources, plans recreation activities for patients on a daily, weekly,
monthly, and/or seasonal basis.
∑ Arranges for an
coordinates the assistance of other staff recreation specialists and
generalists in the conduct of these planned recreation activities.
∑ Determines the
need for volunteers and orients them in the recreation program; schedules
their services to insure the most efficient operation of the program;
supervises and evaluates their work; and makes recommendations regarding
their recruitment, selection, utilization, retention, recognition,
and termination of services.
∑ Personally serves
as leader and instructor in selected recreation activities.
∑ Evaluates recreation
activities, including patients' reactions thereto, and makes or directs
indicated changes in both program content and methods, best designed
to meet treatment and management objectives.
∑ As requested, reports
to physicians on patient behavior and progress.
∑ Directs and/or
assists in the performance of various administrative-type functions
essential to the smooth operation of the recreation program for which
he is responsible, among these being:
a. Planning, interpreting,
and implementing local policies and procedures, recommending same
when and as indicated;
b. Training leadership
personnel and assistants;
c. Safeguarding employed
and volunteer personnel, participants, property, and supplies;
d. Maintaining contacts
with public and private individuals and organizations through personal
contact and correspondence;
e. Gathering recreation
statistics, maintaining records, and rendering reports as required;
f. Preparing and
justifying necessary budget estimates;
g. Recommending capital
expenditures for recreation facilities;
h. Purchasing, issuing,
and accounting for necessary recreation supplies;
i. Developing publicity
j. Advising on technical
aspects of recreation matters.
of the Hospital Recreation Leader
The knowledge, abilities,
and other qualities typically required of the Leader performing the
above duties include:
∑ Basic background
of applicable biological, social, and physical sciences, and ability
to apply such knowledge in the day-to-day implementation of recreation
∑ Demonstrated personal
qualities of leadership and good working knowledge of the principles,
plans, tools, and techniques of recreation involved in local program
planning and implementation.
∑ General working
knowledge of, and skills in, several fields of recreation, and demonstrated
ability to apply such knowledge and skill in the conduct of recreation
for the segment of the patient population for which he is responsible.
∑ Ability as necessary
to plan, assign, supervise, and evaluate the work of assistants in
positions of lower grade; or ability to obtain the services of and
to direct volunteers who perform work equal in variety and scope to
that of such assistants.
∑ Demonstrated ability
to adapt and to adjust recreation plans, procedures, tools, and techniques
to the specific operational situations and conditions encountered
in the performance of his functions.
∑ A good working
knowledge of medical terminology; physical, mental, and emotional
limitations of patients that are caused by a variety of diseases and
disabilities; and the adaptation of recreation activities to satisfy
∑ Ability to write
observation reports on patients, progress reports on program, and,
potentially, to contribute to the professional literature.
in the May-June 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 5, page 68...
INDEX OF SELECTED
ITEMS FROM THIS COLUMN, 1952-58
IN ORDER to facilitate
reference, there are listed below, chronologically, and by general
interest category, selected items which have appeared in this Recreational
Therapy column during the past six years.
- Nov. 1952--Recreational Therapy's
- Sept. 1953--The Spice of
- Nov. 1953--Patient Activities
(Minnesota); Hospital Recreation Concepts
- Dec. 1953--Recreational Therapy,
- Jan. 1954--The Purpose of
Mental Hospitals (Hartford)
- March 1954--A Surgeon Speaks
on Recreation (Ogilvie)
- May 1954--Therapeutic Recreation
- Oct. 1954--Recreation Needs
of Orthopedics (Michigan); Recreation Needs of Polios
- Nov. 1954--Rehabilitation
- Nov. 1955--Therapist or Recreator...1780
- Feb. 1956--Patients Need
- March 1956--Food for Thought
- May-June 1956--Can We Agree?
- Sept. 1956--A Philosophy
of Recreation (Martin)
- Feb. 1957--Uniqueness of
Recreation in the Hospital (Haun)
- Dec. 1957--Interdisciplinary
- Nov. 1955--Management Improvement
- Feb. 1956--Prescribing Recreation
(McCormick); Safety Precaution
- March 1956--References on
- Nov. 1956--One Fundamental
- Feb. 1957--Impact of Tranquilizing
- Nov. 1957--Orienting Physicians
- March 1958--More Recommended
Practices; Improving Communications (Catamas)
- April 1958--Suggested Duties
of the hospital Recreation Leader
- June 1953--Operational Techniques
- Oct. 1953--Music Performance
- Feb. 1954--Have Fun...Get
- Oct. 1954--Wheelchair Basketball
- Nov. 1954--Notable Plan (Community)
- Oct. 1955--Individual Treatment
- Dec. 1955--Slow Pitch Softball;
- Oct. 1957--Recreation for
- Sept. 1954--Correspondence
- Nov. 1954--Recreational Therapy
- May-June 1956--Professional
Education Grants (Illinois)
- Dec. 1956--Professional Preparation
in Hospital Recreation
- Jan. 1957--Specialization
in Hospital Recreation
- May-June 1957--CAHR Registration;
First VA Affiliation Approved
- Sept. 1957--Why Register
- Oct. 1957--Qualities of the
- Nov. 1957--New Correspondence
- Dec. 1957--Another VA Affiliation
- Jan. 1958--Early Report on
- Feb. 1958--Education of Hospital
- March 1958--U. of Iowa Hospital
- April 1958--Suggested Qualifications
of the Hospital Recreation Leader
- Dec. 1952--An Experiment
in Recreation (Illinois)
- Dec. 1954--Physicians Discuss
- Feb. 1955--The Problem of
- March 1955--Relevant Studies
- Sept. 1955--Selecting Activities
- Dec. 1955--Disabilities in
- Jan. 1956--Significant Research
- Oct. 1956--Reflections on
Evaluation; Hospital Recreation Study
- March 1957--Music with Alcoholic
and Neurotic Patients
- Oct. 1957--National Conference
- Sept. 1952--Here's a Start
- March 1953--Directories of
- Feb. 1954--Journal References,
- March 1954--Program Aids
- Sept. 1954--Directory of
- May-June 1955--Index of Selected
Items from This Column, 1952-55
- Oct. 1955--Recreation for
the Handicapped (Hunt); Working with the Handicapped
- April 1956--Bibliography
- Jan. 1953--Job Qualifications
- Feb. 1953--Application for
- Jan. 1955--New APA Standards;
Revised CAHR Standards
- Nov. 1956--Recreational Therapists
- Jan. 1957--The Recreational
Therapist in California
- April 1957--Duties of Hospital
Recreation Personnel (Chapman)
in the September 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 6, page 67...
REGULAR READERS of
the recreational therapy column will miss the familiar by-line "by
B. E. Phillips" which has been over the column for the past five
years. Dr. Phillips' writings on recreational therapy, research, professional
preparation, philosophy, and hospital programs have been a source
of inspiration to those of us who work with the mentally ill. We will
try to continue in his footsteps, a trifle behind his brisk pace,
to bring to your attention the new developments, the sources of material,
and the progress of recreational therapy.
No one person can
be aware of all the important developments that are going on in the
field. What you are now doing at your hospital, your desk, or your
college or university may be of real interest and help to others in
another part of the country. Use this column to bring your work, your
meetings and conferences, your thoughts on recreational therapy and
research to their attention.
Send your comments,
suggestions, and criticisms to the address above. We will acknowledge
each letter and include here all material suitable for the column.
We will attempt to make the column a medium of exchange for recreational
therapists at all hospitals, private and state as well as federal.
the Mentally Ill
The report of the
AAHPER conference held in Washington, D. C., last November is now
available. Entitled Recreation for the Mentally Ill, the report covers
a wide field of inquiry into professional attitudes and practices,
pre- and in-service education, facilities and equipment, evaluation,
Added to the report
of the conference are sections on personnel standards of the Council
for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation, duties of hospital recreation
personnel, standards of the Veterans Administration student affiliate
recreation trainee program, recreation in hospitals with psychiatric
services, and a medical viewpoint of hospital recreation. Under the
stimulus of a group of leaders in the profession, the conferees have
prepared a document which should be a valuable guide to all hospital
recreation workers. Copies of the report can be ordered from AAHPER.
Much valuable assistance
in carrying out recreation programs in hospitals for the mentally
ill is provided by the large and still growing number of volunteers
who work with paid staff at these hospitals. Usually these volunteers
are recruited for specific jobs through national or local organizations
and throughout their service at the hospital maintain their identity
as members of the organization.
From time to time
articles on the recruiting, screening, on-the-job training, supervision,
and recognition of volunteers have appeared in this journal. Although
the pattern for the use and training of these unpaid recreation workers
is fairly uniform in most hospitals, occasionally we come across a
unique or more efficient way of obtaining, employing, or recognizing
the services of these people.
Keeping a record
of the hours of service of volunteers is a fairly universal practice
at most hospitals. This yardstick of their contribution to the medical
team of the hospital is a treasured form of recognition for the volunteers.
The award ceremonies, at which certificates are presented to those
who have reached certain totals in their hours of service, are an
important part of the recognition program at some hospitals. At others,
formal or informal in service training programs are the core of a
program designed not only to improve the quality of volunteer service
but to maintain the volunteers' interest at a high level.
If the methods you
use to recruit, screen, train, assign, evaluate, or accord recognition
to your volunteers have produced for you, perhaps they would be helpful
to others. Share it with others through this column.
in the October 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 7, page 51...
BENEDICT F. FIORE
Veteran's Administration Hospital, Northampton, Mass.
The June 1958 issue
of the American Journal of Psychiatry reports a survey of public mental
hospitals by Lucy D. Ozarin, M.D., and A. H. Tuma, Ph.D., on patient
"privileges" in these hospitals. The study is based on information
gathered from 292 hospitals in the U. S., Canada, Hawaii, and Puerto
Rico totaling 629,916 beds. Of the patients, 12.8 percent are classified
as "open" ward patients, in wards with doors unlocked all
or most of the day; 22.3 percent are privileged, can leave the ward
unaccompanied (included here were the "open" ward patients);
45.8 percent are semi-privileged, can leave the ward accompanied by
the staff, visitors, or volunteers; 31.9 percent are in the non-privileged
The statistics for
Veterans Administration hospitals show 39.6 percent in the first,
or privileged, group; 53.8 percent in the semi privileged group; and
only 6.6 percent in the non privileged category. Statistics from the
newer hospitals show larger percentages in the privileged or semi-privileged
classes. The authors conclude that the "trend of present day
psychiatric thinking and practice is toward the open hospital."
How many hospital
recreation workers are looking into the patients' background for leads
to their interests and skills in areas of recreation? How can we learn
what their hobby interests are or if they have a liking for music,
an interest in sports, an appreciation for play reading, or any of
the many specialized activities that make up a well-rounded recreation
It is possible to
review the patients' complete folder, and several of the other hospital
services use this method to assist them in prescribing craft activity
for patients. Some hospitals make use of interest sheets, on which
the patient himself lists the things he has done or presently likes
to do for his recreation.
Another method of
obtaining information of this kind is to include interest sheets or
hobby interest forms in the papers that are completed by the family
of the patient. When such a program is established for all new admissions,
a file is gradually built up which will be of immense value to the
Many a fly-tyer,
cartoonist, radio disc-jockey, stamp club member, or barber-shopper
has been discovered and re-introduced to his old leisure time activity
through the use of interest questionnaires of one kind or another.
an important part in any worthwhile hospital program. We need good
communications to encourage those who work with us to express their
ideas and opinions, as well as to pass on to others the product of
our own thinking.
do not travel along a one-way street from the leader to those in subordinate
positions. The way must be open in all directions, side-ward, upward,
as well as from the top down. There must be many avenues of communications
in hospital recreation because we depend on so many other people and
services to accomplish our missions. Every hospital service, beginning
with accounting through to ward administration, is involved at some
time with some phase of the programs we plan for patients.
The dietitian must
not only be advised that we want coffee for a picnic for 100 patients,
but must also be told that it will be a picnic supper, that the picnic
will replace a regular hospital meal, that the patients involved will
come from Wards A and D, and that two, twelve, or no special diet
patients are involved. Will the coffee be black or with cream and
sugar? Finally, to what area will it be delivered? When all this information
is included in our original request, cooperation comes more easily.
The dietitian knows just what is wanted, for what purpose, and what
effect your program will have on her own operation.
How are your communications?
in the December 1958 JHPER, v29, issue 9, page 47...
MOST of the recreation
programs for hospitalized mental patients include bowling activities
of one sort or another. Ten pin bowling is enjoyed in most hospitals
which are equipped with alleys. Duck pins are favored among parts
of the Eastern seaboard, however. A less popular form of bowling,
which to our knowledge is little known outside isolated New England
communities, is candle pin bowling.
Candle pins, like
ten pins, are made of maple and actually resemble wickless candles.
They measure 15 5/8" in length and are 2 3/4" in diameter
at the middle of the pin, tapering slightly at both ends. The balls
are smaller than those used for duck pins, measuring 4 1/2" in
diameter. Some manufacturers equip their candle pins with plastic
ends for greater durability.
Method of Resocialization
Bowling is a wonderful
device for resocialization of withdrawn, depressed patients. At first,
the patient who bowls is doing something relaxing by himself. The
sound of the ball as it hits the alley and then rolls into the pins
has a pleasant, almost rhythmic quality. The interval between the
time the ball leaves his hand until the crashing of the pins is a
measured period of time, something the patient can depend upon. His
first adjustment to this interval is the only one he has to make--it
is fairly constant thereafter.
It does not particularly
matter how many pins fall into the pit. Interest in the score comes
at a later stage. After three balls are rolled, thrown, or even lobbed,
the game stops while the pins are reset and the balls returned. The
activity is unhurried, and the rest periods are frequent in a ten
At the beginning,
scoring has meaning mostly in terms of pleasing the recreation leader.
It is this dedicated person, the recreation leader, who gradually
assists in developing an appreciation for the spare and the strike
and, finally, an interest in a bowling average. Only when he has reached
this point does the patient begin to show an interest in the bowling
achievements of his fellow bowler and to view him as a competitor
or as a teammate.
An awareness of the
other fellow is a long forward step in the resocialization process
of the patient. Now he rolls the ball down the alley not only for
his own satisfaction but to make his contribution to the efforts of
the other men bowling on his team. The number of pins which fall after
each roll of the ball and the score that goes up on the board take
on a meaning previously nonexistent. If he does well, he becomes accepted
by the others, the recreation leader is pleased, and therefore he
too derives greater pleasure from the game. He now has a new basis
of communication with the others on his team.
In a future column
we would like to devote some space to a discussion of bowling programs
in mental hospitals. One hospital in New England has developed a bowling
program that begins with instruction in the basic skills and, by means
of simple devices, leads the patient through a series of plateaus
culminating in a place on the "varsity" bowling team which
represents the hospital in competition with community teams away from
the hospital grounds.
We are grateful to
Dr. Martin W. Meyer, coordinator of activity therapy for the state
of Indiana, for the annual report of the Interdisciplinary Study Group.
The ISC was formed at a meeting in New York City in June 1957 for
the purpose of fostering "closer integration of patient services
through increased mutual understanding of those disciplines whose
primary function is the direct application of activities in the treatment
of the mentally ill." In other words, occupational, physical,
corrective, manual arts, and educational therapy, hospital library
service, and hospital recreation are going to make a determined effort
to achieve a better understanding of each other's contribution to
the treatment of mental patients.
We hail this action
of the hospital treatment services and are happy to report that the
Recreation Therapy Section of the AAHPER voted to continue representation
on this group through the Council for the Advancement of Hospital