Art Therapists (2016)

Should Art Therapists be Licensed in Vermont?

In 2015, the Office of Professional Regulation conducted a sunrise review of art therapy and concluded that additional regulation of art therapists was not needed. The Art Therapy Association of Vermont asked the Office to revisit that conclusion in light of new information offered by the Association. The 2016/17 sunrise review of art therapy was submitted to the House and Senate Committees on Government Operations on February 6, 2017.

The Office of Professional Regulation was tasked with objectively gathering information about the profession and preparing a report for the Legislature. Sunrise reviews are governed by the criteria set out in 26 V.S.A. Chapter 57, which lay out a series of questions the Office of Professional Regulation must answer leading to a well-considered recommendation on whether to license a profession. Our goal through this process was to be fully educated about all relevant issues and to be receptive to all views.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held on Friday, October 28th, 2016 at the Office of Professional Regulation, 89 Main Street 3rd Floor, Montpelier VT. Thank you to all who participated in the sunrise process.


New documents for 2016 sunrise review

Previous documents from 2015 sunrise review

Questions Regarding Art Therapists

New questions for 2016 sunrise review 

  1. How do the training, examination, and continued-education requirements for Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) differ from those prerequisite to ATR, ATR-BC, and ATCS designations, as well as the eligibility criteria in proposed § 4907?
  2. What harm, in particular, accrues to the public from Vermont’s existing practice of regulating art therapy as an activity within the four already-regulated fields (clinical mental health counselors, psychologists, clinical social workers, and non-licensed non-certified psychotherapists), rather than as an independent profession?
  3. How should scopes of practice be coordinated? Are we protecting art therapy as a title, or establishing a unique scope of practice not shared by the existing counseling professions?  The exemption at § 4904(b) of the draft legislation suggests licensure would effectively establish title protection, but would not preclude other licensed counselors and psychotherapists from using art as a therapeutic modality.
  4. How and in what ways are the existing regulatory programs insufficient to protect the public from incompetent or unprofessional art-therapy practice? Have there been art-therapy-related disciplinary complaints within the four already-regulated fields that were not actionable, but should have been?
  5. Could adjustments to the existing regulatory programs (overseen by the Board of Allied Mental Health Practitioners) accommodate the unique characteristics of art-therapy practice in a manner that better protects the public?
  6. Does the absence of an independent regulatory structure for art therapists create billing and insurance difficulties, particularly for school-based art therapists? If so, how? What laws or regulations cause this problem, and how would licensure of art therapists remedy the problem? 

Previous questions from 2015 sunrise review 

  1.  Have art therapists caused harm to Vermonters? (Please give specific examples.)
  2. What harm or danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public can be demonstrated if art therapists continue to practice without some form of licensure?
  3. What benefit can the public reasonably expect if art therapists are licensed, and how would it be measured?
  4. Is there a need to assure that art therapists have a certain amount of education, training, or experience?
  5. Is the public protected from harm caused by art therapists by means other than regulation? (For example, criminal penalties, consumer protection laws, national organizations, employment relationships, small claims court, civil litigation, etc.)
  6. Can you provide us with the names of any groups or organizations that should be contacted for this review?
This page was last updated: 2018-02-13