Milton’s Training Tip Titillation – Tip # 2: How to “Spice Up” Therap Training

Milton NeuenschwanderEvery organization using Therap has to do it, there is no getting around it; staff must be TRAINED on how to use Therap! But what is the best way to teach new staff on how to use Therap?

As a Staff Development Coordinator, every month during company orientation I take 1-2 hours to try and teach a group of new staff on the basic elements of Therap. So I set up my computer and projector, I have the group of new staff sit in nice comfy chairs, I turn down the lights, and I start my presentation. It never fail that 30 minutes into my presentation, I have a handful of new staff laying their heads down and succumbing to the forces of boredom and sleep deprivation.

Which brings us to our next Training Tip Titillation – How to “Spice Up” Therap Training. Through my experience as a trainer, I have come across many ways on how to “spice up” training in order to arouse your participant’s interests, keep them engaged, and retain information. So the following is a selection of the best tips I have for “spicing up” Therap training.

Tip #1 – The Beginning: Arouse Interest, Set the Mood, and Create Anticipation

Good trainings will have a beginning, middle, and an end; and so we will start at the beginning. At the beginning of training you will need to get everyone’s attention and arouse their interests by making them wonder, “What’s going on here”? You will also need to set the mood right away, so that everyone feels comfortable, everyone realizes that they are in for a good time, and everyone wants to playfully cooperate. Lastly, you need to create anticipation by making them think, “this is going to be a cool training that is going to help me.” So here are the tips on how to do that…

  • Give Them Something to Do – One of the best ways of getting you audience involved in the training is by doing something together as a group. We like to call these “Icebreakers”. One of my favorite icebreakers is to take a stuffed animal and I toss it to members of the audience. Whoever catches it introduces themselves to the group and then tosses it to the next person. Quick, simple, and very involved.
  • Show an Intriguing Picture, Slide, or Video – Youalready have a computer and projector set up, so before the training starts show your participants an intriguing picture, slide, or video. Just look at the picture I posted in this blog. I guarantee that it caught your attention and you wanted to read and see how this ridiculous picture relates to training (it is a picture of me dressed up like Garth, from Wayne’s World, during a Blizzard Ball tournament in Montana)
  • “Hang Out” Before You Start – Shake hands and say, “hello” to as many audience members as you can. Even if you work with these people every day and they already know you. Spending time with your audience before you start does two things; (1) helps loosen you up – you will be more relaxed and ready to go once the meeting actually starts, (2) it shows that you care.

Tip # 2 – The Middle: Prove your Point, Use Examples, and Explain Why

The middle of your training is the “meat & bones” of your presentation. It usually is the section of your training that involves stating facts, presenting examples, and speaking technical jargon; however, if you starting flinging around too many facts, examples, or technical jargon your training can quickly turn into “nap time”. So the following are some examples of how to keep your students’ attention and make them think that what you are telling them is in their best interest.

  • Have an Agenda – all your best trainings and meetings have an agenda or outline of what the students should expect from the presentation. An agenda also keeps the trainer on task and on time. The agenda that I would recommend for Therap Training is the “T-Checklist” (Therap New User Training Checklist) which can be found by following this link:

  • Encourage Hands – On Experience – One of the best ways to make sure that your students don’t get bored and start to day dream during your training is to keep their hands occupied. The best way to do this for Therap training is to make sure that all participants have their own personal laptop, computer, or mobile device in front of them to follow along with the training. Furthermore, provide each trainee with a copy of the “T-checklist” so they may check off the tasks as they are complete.
  • Know Your Student’s Name and Use Their Name During Your Training – This is a very simple technique to guarantee you have someone’s attention, but it works and it is my favorite. When you start to notice that one of your staff’s focus is starting to drift away from the training; say or write their name when giving examples. I guarantee that if you use someone’s name when writing an example of a T-log (and then read what you wrote), you will immediately get that person’s attention.

Tip # 3 – The End: Wrap Up, Call to Action!

It’s almost over and the training must come to an end, but don’t end with a dud. But instead ask yourself, “What do you want your staff to do now that they have experienced this well-prepared Therap Training?” Your ending to your training should also involve a wrap up of the presentation and be a powerful motivating event. So here are some tips for ending your training:

  • Summarize – One of the easiest ways to end your Therap Training is to provide your staff with a summary of the different modules that were taught as well as the importance of using these Therap modules for documentation and communication purposes.
  • Proclaim a “Call to Action” – A fun and “cheesy” way to end a Therap Training is to have everyone raise their right hand a quote an unofficial Therap oath. For example, “I, state your name, promise to be the best Therap User I can be. This means that I will be committed to writing daily T-logs, documenting GERs when incidents occur, tracking Health issues to the best of my knowledge, and sending SComms when I have questions to be answered.” Or you can just make up your own.
  • Always End on A Positive Note – One of the positive ways in which I like to end Therap trainings is to give compliments to my students. I tell them how great of staff they are going to be now that they have been properly trained in using Therap. This makes them feel great about themselves, and hopefully feel great about the fact that they had to go through the training.

Well I hope these suggestions prove useful when thinking about how to “Spice-Up” your trainings, especially your Therap trainings. I am always interested in hearing new ways in which to make trainings better, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

So in the words of LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow), “you don’t have to take my word for it, “ instead go out and try these training tips yourself!

The Joys of the Attendance Module

My organization started a brand new project on October 7th called the “Treatment Mall”. For anyone who does not know what a Treatment Mall is it is a lot like High School or College. Our clients attend treatment related classes from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM Monday-Friday and are not permitted to go back to their living units during this time. Being a 24/7 Treatment Center that houses 56 clients it was important to us to expand the type of active treatment we were offering so that every client was able to immerse themselves into the Therapeutic Milieu. As you can image this program has taken a lot of effort on the organizations part to successfully create the Treatment Mall and so far it has worked out pretty well. One of the main components of any project like this is how to create schedules and keep attendance. I first thought that we would be able to utilize Therap’s wonderful Training Management System but after some trial and error I realized this would not work. One component of Therap that is working very well is the Attendance Module, after a lot (hours and hours) of data entry (not my favorite part of this module and I honestly thing that this could use some vast improvement) we are up and running. So far most of the staff are liking how fast and easy it is to enter date and absolutely love the reports that are able to generate. I’m looking forward to seeing what other components of Therap can be utilized to help me with the logistics of the Treatment Mall but right now I’m just happy that the Attendance portion of this process seems to be working well.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:19+00:00November 25th, 2013|Categories: Tammy Ross's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on The Joys of the Attendance Module

Milton’s Training Tip Titillation – Tip #1

"The Milton"As a new blogger to Therap, I wanted to start my blogging experience in a successful manner; and, in order to do that I needed to come up with a good blogging strategy. So I decided to do some research on “How to write a compelling blog article”, and I must say that there are a lot of tips and opinions on how to write a good blog. So I decided to take what I thought were the best tips and apply them to my new Therap blog!

Tip 1 – Have a powerful headline.  I went back and forth with creating a headline that was interesting and powerful, yet describes exactly what I want to talk about in this blog. My first thought was “Milton’s Training Tip Tantrum” (notice the alliteration), but then I thought the word “Tantrum” was too strong and made me sound angry. So maybe a good headline would be “Milton’s Tantalizing Training Tips”, but then I thought the word “Tantalizing” described something that people may want, but then can’t have. This should not be the case. So finally, I came up with “Milton’s Training Tip Titillation”. This I believe is a headline that people will remember because it grabs people’s attention and tells people that the blog is going to provide training tips that will pleasurably excite them.

Tip 2 – Have a Theme that your audience can relate to.   So I thought to myself, what is a good theme that I know a lot about…TRAINING (since I am a Staff Development Coordinator). And guess what; since this is a Therap Certified Trainers blog, TRAINING is something everyone reading the blog should be able to relate to.

So my first Training Tip is actually a reference to a FREE online learning source at That is correct, it is FREE. This is an online learning source that provides free videos, step-by-step instructions, online tutorials, etc., on various learning subjects including computer software like Excel 2010 (which a lot of Therap users use for reporting). For a full list of computer technology learning just follow this link Enjoy!

Tip 3 – Enrich your entry with various media – Don’t settle with just words. Grace your blog article with images or videos to further its appeal and complement your textual content.

So here is an example of an Excel video tutorial that you can find on

Excel 2010: Navigating Excel 2010

Tip 4 – Tell a story – Start by raising an issue, continue with answering it and providing backup or proof, then end with reaffirming the solution to the issue you raised. Enough said…read the article.

Please stay tuned for more training tips from “Milton’s Training Tip Titillation” Blog. Until next time, in the words of SPOCK, “Live Long and Prosper”.

The End!

By |2016-11-03T10:15:19+00:00November 15th, 2013|Categories: Milton Neuenschwander's Posts|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Utilizing TMS in a unique way

Recently I was able to have a great conversation with Deborah Hibbard regarding some questions that MDC had utilizing different modules in Therap. One of the biggest questions was if MDC could utilize the TMS Module for clients. MDC is in the process of implementing a Treatment Mall program and we need to have the ability to organize the clients into different classes and keep track of all the logistics of the Treatment Mall. For anyone who uses the TMS Module in Therap knows how wonderful this module is at the logistics of education tracking. When I asked in TMS could be utilized for clients the answer was an immediate “Of Course” and then Deborah talked me through the simple process to implement the program. Once again I was in wonder at how you can utilize Therap for such a different array of needs. I’m excited to see how TMS will work for this project and I will keep everyone informed of the progress.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:22+00:00August 21st, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

Another…Smarty Pants!

Picture of Milton Neuenschwander, Staff Development Coordinator at Missoula Developmental Service Corporation (MDSC)

Welcome, Milton! He is the latest to join the herd.

Milton Neuenschwander is the Staff Development Coordinator at Missoula Developmental Service Corporation (MDSC), a non-profit organization that services many adults with developmental disabilities. Milton has many years of experience as a Therap Administrator as well as knowledge and hands-on experience in working with adults in the developmental disabilities and mental health fields.  Milton graduated from Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN) with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Chemistry. During Milton’s free time, he enjoys doing a number of outdoor hobbies including slow-pitch softball, mountain biking, backpacking, snowboarding, fishing, and so much more. “NO! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” – YODA

(Allison’s Note: Religion and Chemistry??)


By |2013-07-24T16:15:38+00:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: Allison's Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Another…Smarty Pants!

Therap Regional Conference

Therap held a Regional Conference in Montana on June 12th and 13th and it was wonderful. I really appreciated the great presentations offered, especially the previews of the upcoming changes. This conference was a nice way to network with providers and trainers alike. I’m hoping to be able to go to the National Conference in January just to see how other organizations around the country utilize all aspects of Therap.

By |2013-06-21T19:28:14+00:00June 21st, 2013|Categories: Tammy Ross's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Therap Regional Conference

First Time Jitters

Well, i am on the schedule for our Therap Conference this week. I am a wee bit nervous! I am learning about being a presenter already – and it is all about what I forgot to set up! lol

I hope i get useful feedback from attendees – I have the webinar to do in the fall and I want to be a better presenter next year if I get asked back.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon!

By |2013-06-08T21:23:30+00:00June 8th, 2013|Categories: Deb Gabse's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on First Time Jitters

Head Cold

Well, I can tell ya, that when a head cold first shows itself, ya better get on it! (lol)

I ignored mine on Saturday and by Tuesday I was miserable! And with an upcoming first-time webinar to prep, now is not the time!

If ya see my poor brain anywhere, would ya send it back to Montana please? ;>)

By |2013-04-11T04:15:52+00:00April 11th, 2013|Categories: Deb Gabse's Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Head Cold

Why Blog? (a Personal Rambling)

Why Blog? Who in the world would want to read my ramblings? Why would someone in New York or Japan care what is going in my corner of the world?  I have thought about these and many more; and have thus far been successful in avoiding the whole thing. But after some recent epiphanies (some forced) I have come to this conclusion.  In today’s culture, as “some one” mentioned in another Therap blog, information is power. In the olden days information was passed vial snail mail, books and face to face conversations. Information was gained on a personal level, So what went on in other parts of the world rarely did affect the little corner of the world we lived in. Now though information is quickly being taken out of the hands of the postman,  the librarian, and your next door neighbor; It is now globalized on the internet. Therefore if you want to not only receive, but communicate, information you have to be connected.

But, still, why blogging you ask?

The reason is that e-mail has replaced snail mail, Kindle/ e-books have replaced the library, and texting is the new face to face. Blogging is that middle ground, it is not innately personal nor is it by default public: blogging is  your punk band’s poster plastered on the side of  buildings all over the city.  It’s a personal work of art, there for the world to see, but most of the time the general public has no clue (Only the truly Awesome see it!).  So, blogging is that information that fills the gap from the time you finish reading your office email until the time you relax with friends.

In short I blog to stay relevant. I blog to stay connected. I blog because INFORMATION, in any form, whether given or received, is POWER.

So take my blogs and use the power wisely…Rambling done.Original Picture is Unavailable

By |2016-11-03T10:15:30+00:00March 27th, 2013|Categories: Craig Buswell's Posts|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Why Blog? (a Personal Rambling)

I’m a presenter!!??

So I just agreed to be a presenter at the Montana Regional Conference in Helena June 12-13. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I am going to be talking about GER’s and Montana’s Incident Management System and also how to take Montana’s PSP’s and put them into Therap’s ISP module. Are there comments/suggestions on these topics that people wish they would have known about or that I should make sure to mention?

By |2013-03-19T17:34:12+00:00March 19th, 2013|Categories: Lacy Hutchens's Posts|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment
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