Legislation Updates

To all Michigan Art Therapists

As most of you know, we are working on having art therapy as a protected licensure in Michigan. For that process, we will be needing certain information from our members. It is extremely important to help spread the word and provide us with the information below.

To expedite the legislative process please let us know:

How many clients do you as an art therapist serve a day?

What Michigan Senate District do you live in? www.senate.michigan.gov/committee/healthpolicy.html

Which District for the Michigan House of Representatives do you live in? Michigan House of Representatives

Please send your emails to Amber James, our legislative chair via the MAAT email address.

michiganarttherapy@gmail.com

This information is essential for our future presentation in Lansing. Thank for your support.

 

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Legal and Ethical Regulations for Practicing Art Therapy in Michigan

It is unethical but not illegal in the state of Michigan for a person who is not formally trained in art therapy to provide art therapy services or to claim to be an art therapist. A credentialed art therapist can be identified by the “ATR” (Registered Art Therapist) or “ATR-BC” (Registered, Board Certified Art Therapist) designation after his or her name.

Art therapists who are credentialed through the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) have completed rigorous training and certification protocols that are specific to the field of art therapy. This involves completing a master’s level art therapy program that includes that adheres to standards that are established by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). These standards are comparable to that of mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists (who are all licensed in Michigan). Accredited art therapy master’s programs include coursework in psychological theories but also include coursework and experience specific to art therapy research, practice and theory. Art therapists are not only trained to work with a variety of art materials, but they are trained in the appropriate uses of these materials as they relate to various psychological processes. Credentialed art therapists are required to maintain credentials by:

  • Adhering to strict ethical guidelines that meet or exceed those defined in the Michigan Mental Health Code.
  • Adhering to strict ethical guidelines regarding the creation, dissemination or sale of any artwork created in the context of an art therapy program or session.
  • Completing continuing education credits to maintain competency in art therapy and ethics.

Advocacy for State Licensure

Some states offer an art therapy license or allow art therapists to become licensed under a related mental health profession. Michigan currently offers neither, but efforts are being made to propose legislature for art therapists to become licensed in our state. This is part of a national trend, endorsed by AATA, as well as growing interest and investment by members of MAAT and others with a vested interest in art therapy. Protecting the public is the number one priority of this legislative initiative. Join us at our next MAAT meeting to join the licensure effort.