UPDATED November 23, 2021
A message from AATA President, Margaret Carlock-Russo
Although the ATCB and AATA are separate organizations—and AATA has no direct control over any actions of the ATCB—AATA’s Board recognizes the dire situation many of you are experiencing regarding your credential inactivation and other communications confusion.
This situation is deeply concerning and harmful to our entire art therapy community. Whether you are an AATA member, non-member, student, or lifelong practitioner, I want to assure you that AATA is acting in support of all of us.
By now, you’ve probably seen various posts in the MyAATA community forum and in Art Therapy Today pointing out the efforts that we’ve already put forth—from assisting with the NCCA group complaint organized and filed by AATA members, which included approximately 300 affected credential holders; to the information we posted about how to file a complaint. Additionally, the AATA Board is currently having intentional and deliberate strategic discussions about the future of credentialing of the art therapy profession.
I want to assure you that you are not alone, and we will provide whatever information and assistance is within our capacity to work to remedy this situation. On behalf of the AATA Board, I encourage you to continue participating in conversations around this topic in the MyAATA community forum and with AATA leaders and the National Office team. I also ask that you provide us with any specific short- or long-term suggestions. We are actively attempting to communicate with ATCB leadership to aid resolution of these issues as soon as possible.
Together, we will find a solution.
Original Post, October 21, 2021
AATA Responds to the ATCB on Behalf of our Members
AATA has now received nearly 100 emails and communications from our members about issues they are experiencing with obtaining or renewing their art therapy credentials. While AATA does not have oversight or influence on the credentialing process, these challenges are deeply troubling to AATA, and our leadership has been advocating for improvements in the process directly with the ATCB leadership. Many of our members and broader community have reached out to ask what AATA might be able to do, and, to ask for information about the relationships between the organizations. This overview about the organizations that support the art therapy profession may be helpful. We also posted additional details in the MyAATA Member Forum.
This week, we’re hearing that many of you have reached a crisis point with your own credentials: Some art therapists have reported that they have had their credentials revoked due to failure to renew by the deadline, and a $400 fee may be imposed as a result.
As you know, AATA and the ATCB are independent of each other. While we have different purposes, both are critical to the success of the profession and to your ability to serve the public. AATA leadership has been reaching out to ATCB leadership to advocate for our stakeholders and continues to offer support that ATCB might find valuable. In addition, AATA’s National Office has been forwarding, at members’ requests, pertinent information to the ATCB, pursuant to the ATCB’s own policies and rules—and we will continue to do so.
Yesterday, AATA President Margaret Carlock-Russo sent a formal communication to the ATCB leadership to convey concerns about several specific issues. This communication:
- Reiterated the many concerns that have been reported about the lack of ATCB responsiveness over the last 18 months;
- Addressed the large number of members that have recently lost their credentials despite lack of communication;
- Identified reports of a $400 reinstatement fee; and
- Identified the potential impacts of even a temporary credential loss on state license holders.
Individuals whose credentials have been revoked for failure to renew through no fault of their own may contact the oversight body of the ATCB, the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) directly via their complaint form. Alternatively, members who wish to have their stories added to a group report being compiled independently by AATA members may find further details in this thread in the MyAATA Member Forum.
AATA will continue to advocate for our members—and, to the extent possible, support the ATCB in expeditiously responding to the needs of art therapists and students. Despite being an entirely independent organization, our goal is to collaborate and support the ATCB as much as possible to cultivate a strong, sustainable art therapy profession.