COLUMBUS – Sponsored by State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills), Sub. House Bill 557 was favorably reported out of the House Health Committee. The bill would grant a license to art therapists to practice in the State of Ohio under the guidance of the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. The licensure process would enforce standards of training, practice, and discipline across a therapeutic practice that has rapidly expanded in recent years.
“Art therapy has proven to be an incredibly useful tool in dealing with issues of individuals,” said Rep. Anielski. “For many, speaking or writing about trauma is a traumatic experience in itself. Art therapists work with some of Ohio’s most fragile and vulnerable citizens: those with drug addictions, veterans returning from war, citizens suffering from emotional or mental health diagnoses and victims of trauma. These consumers’ needs require fully trained professionals with expertise to help them navigate the most challenging times of their lives.”
Art therapists assess a person’s response to the use of art media, images, and the creative art process to then identify their developmental needs, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. Art therapy has been a distinct and independent profession since the 1940’s and has been represented on the national level by the American Art Therapy Association since its foundation in 1969. For additional information, please visit the Buckeye Art Therapists Association website at http://buckeyearttherapy.org/. The state of Ohio would join Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon in licensing Art Therapists.