July 5, 2018
Today, Governor Chris Sununu’s office announced that Senate Bill 535 is among 70 bills the Governor has signed into law. SB 535 provides title and practice protection, authorizing persons holding a master’s or doctoral degree in art therapy to practice professional art therapy in New Hampshire. Effective July 1, 2018, persons who do not hold master’s or doctoral degrees in art therapy are prohibited from using the titles “professional art therapist” and “art therapist,” in addition to any other words, letters, or abbreviations that may indicate or imply that they are professional art therapists. While the art therapy portion of the bill retained the title, “relative to licensure for the practice of professional art therapy,” the licensure provisions of the bill approved by the Senate were removed by the House when it determined there was insufficient time at the end of the legislative session to revise and consider the full licensing proposal.
This new law will have significant impact on those practicing art therapy in New Hampshire and will help protect the public, offering some assurance that those calling themselves art therapists are qualified. A special thanks to the art therapists in New Hampshire that advocated on behalf of this legislation and to our chapter, the New England Art Therapy Association, who supported this bill every step of the way. The AATA is looking forward to working with this group of advocates again next legislative session to pursue full licensure!