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Legislative Summary

The Indiana Art Therapy Association (INDIATA) and many consumer organizations are asking the Indiana General Assembly to consider an “Art Therapy Practice Act” which would:

● Provide for the licensure of art therapists and inclusion of art therapists as Medicaid approved mental 
health providers in the State of Indiana, thereby increasing service to underserved populations.

● Create a clear definition for a Professional Art Therapist that includes the nationally recognized 
standards for graduate education, competencies, and hours of supervised practice.

● Protect the public and improve mental health outcomes by prohibiting unqualified practitioners from 
advertising themselves or otherwise holding themselves out to be art therapists.

The Problem
Although unethical, it is not illegal in Indiana for anyone to claim to be an Art Therapist; this means they can treat an unsuspecting child or adult in crisis by providing art therapy, even though they do not have the education and clinical experience to deliver accurate services or assessment.   

Art Therapists work with vulnerable populations, including the mentally disabled, developmentally delayed, elderly, traumatized children and veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI, as well as the medically fragile.  Yet, there are no criteria under Indiana law to ensure the Art Therapist is qualified to perform art therapy treatment and assessment. The national standard for Art Therapy, like that for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, is a specific two-year, 60 hour art therapy graduate degree program, including supervised hours of clinical practice, and the highest levels of professional standards.  

 
 
 
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