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06/23/2024 10:27 AM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: April 11, 2023 11:08 AM
From: Senator Rosemary M. Brown
To: All Senate members
Subject: Licensed Professional Art Therapy Legislation
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation, similar to House Bill 786 of the 2021-22 legislative session, to require licensure of art therapists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  This legislation will prevent unqualified individuals from practicing art therapy without the proper education, training, or credentials.
Currently, if you were to seek out art therapy treatment in Pennsylvania, there is no way for you to know if the individual offering this treatment has the requisite training.  Individuals can practice art therapy in Pennsylvania without obtaining state certification ensuring their proficiency.
Art therapy is a distinct mental health and behavioral science profession that combines knowledge and understanding of human development, psychological and counseling theories, and techniques with training in visual art and the creative process.  Art therapy is used in order to provide a unique approach for helping clients improve psychological health, cognitive abilities, and sensory-motor functions.  While art therapists share elements of their training and practice with other mental health specialties, it is the combining of psychological knowledge and counseling skills along with an understanding of art media, the effect of art stimulus, and the creative process that distinguishes art therapy from other mental health treatments.
Specifically, my legislation would require the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors to create a Licensed Art Therapist Certification that ensures the individuals practicing in this field have the necessary training and proficiency.
Approximately eleven other states provide certification for art therapists, and approximately 12 more are in the legislative process of seeking licensure.  It is time for our state to begin recognizing these professionals for their unique skill set, while providing our constituents with the peace of mind that these individuals truly provide the care they are seeking for their loved ones.

Please join me in support of this effort to provide a standard licensing process for art therapists in the Commonwealth.
If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov.  Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB786