Testimony on H.B. 5444: AA Requiring Licensure of Art Therapists

Public Health Committee

February 11, 2019

Submitted By: Stephen A. Karp, LMSW

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter that represents over 2,500 members statewide we support AA Requiring Licensing of Art Therapists.

H.B. 5444 offers the public increased consumer protection and assurances of qualifications of those individual practitioners who practice as an art therapist. Current statute does not have a provision for licensed art therapists, thus the public is not adequately protected in the event of a non-licensed art therapist violating standards of practice. This bill rectifies that problem by requiring all art therapists in Connecticut to be licensed.

H.B. 5444 has an appropriate Scope of Practice exemption for other mental health professions, Section 2 ( c ), including licensed social workers, allowing for use of art in therapy. In the past this was a concern of NASW/CT, however we are fully satisfied with the proposed exemption language, allowing us to support H.B. 5444.

NASW/CT supports licensure for all practitioners who are practicing clinical behavioral health. Consumers are only fully protected and qualification of practitioners only best assured through licensure. Connecticut lags behind many states in licensing programs, which makes for weak governance over professional practice. Thus, we are pleased to see legislation that will provide for licensure of all art therapists.

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