CREDENTIALS AND LICENSURE

In addition to rigorous academic and clinical training art therapists pursue further credentialing, administered on the national level by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). Depending on the state of practice, art therapists may need to attain additional licensure in art therapy or a related mental health field.

CREDENTIALING

The Art Therapy Credentials Board, in alignment with the American Art Therapy Association, manages the credentialing and testing processes of art therapists to ensure the professional and high-caliber practice of the profession. Their mission is to “protect the public by promoting the competent and ethical practice of art therapy through the credentialing of art therapy professionals.” (ATCB, 2017).

The ATCB is an independent organization from the American Art Therapy Association and the Educational Programs Approval Board.

The ATCB administers the following credentials at the national level:

Provisional Registered Art Therapist (ATR-Provisional)

Individuals who have completed their degree (or education requirements for the ATR-Provisional) and are engaged in a supervisory relationship with a qualified supervisor(s). The ATR-Provisional is not a required credential to apply for the ATR.

Registered Art Therapist (ATR)

Individuals who meet established standards, with successful completion of advanced specific graduate-level education in art therapy and supervised, post-graduate art therapy experience.

Board Certification (ATR-BC)

Individuals who complete the highest-level art therapy credential by passing a national examination, demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of the theories and clinical skills used in art therapy.

Art Therapy Certified Supervisor (ATCS)

Experienced Board Certified Art Therapists who provide clinical supervision and have acquired specific training and skills in clinical supervision.

Practitioner credentials can be verified through the ATCB database.

LICENSURE

In addition to national credentials, the practice of art therapy is regulated with professional art therapy licenses in the following states:

  • New Jersey (Licensed Professional Art Therapist)
  • New Mexico (Licensed Professional Art Therapist)
  • Kentucky (Licensed Professional Art Therapist)
  • Mississippi (Licensed Professional Art Therapist)
  • Maryland (Licensed Clinical Professional Art Therapist)
  • Oregon (Licensed Art Therapist and Licensed Certified Art Therapist)

States that regulate art therapy under another professional license are:

  • Texas (Licensed Professional Counselor with Specialty Designation in Art Therapy)
  • New York (Art Therapy included in the Creative Arts Therapist License)
  • Pennsylvania (Art Therapy as a Related Field for the Professional Counselor License)
  • Wisconsin (Registered Art Therapist with a License to Practice Psychotherapy)
  • Utah (Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor License)

RESOURCES

By logging into MyAATA, AATA members can access a variety of resources related to licensure including:

  • State-by-state licensure guide that outlines steps and requirements for attaining licensure in various states
  • Advocacy materials for organizing advocacy events and presentations
  • Insurance reimbursement information and toolkits for working with Medicare and Medicaid

The American Art Therapy Association supports federal and state policies, legislation, regulations, judicial actions, and initiatives that encourage, promote, and support efforts to gain a professional art therapy license and licensure of art therapists.

Visit our Advocacy page for more information and updates about the American Art Therapy Association’s work toward licensure across the country, and for ways that you can get support our efforts.