New Jersey Establishes Precedent with State Board
Submitted by Paula Unsal, Chair NJSTF
On December 19, 2019 Governor Phil Murphy signed into law P.L. 2019, c.273, the Drama and Dance/Movement Therapists Licensing Act w GR. Beyond providing state recognition through licensing for these therapists, this law created a new State Board of Creative Arts Therapies – a first of its kind in the nation!
For the first time, art, drama, dance/movement and music therapists are brought together to comprise a state board to oversee licensing of creative arts disciplines. We applaud the forward thinking of our Governor and Attorney General to create this new state board so that instead of being housed with separate advisory committees or mini-boards under the oversight of non-arts specific state boards, these therapies should comprise one board which would have direct knowledge of the professions.
While the neighboring state of New York has had the LCAT for years, licensing under the New Jersey State Board of Creative Arts Therapies differs in major ways. The New York LCAT provides one generic license for all of the arts therapies with the title of Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and there are state mandated qualifications for this license. Under the New Jersey board there will be specific licensing titles for individual disciplines and beyond that the qualifications for each professional license issued by the board will reflect education and training requirements and certifications through the applicable national organizations of each discipline.
Yet to come at the time of this writing but expected is completion of the legislative process to law for A2183/S1687 the Music Therapist Licensing Act and A1604/S2734 the Recreational Therapists Licensing Act. With the addition of the recreational therapists, the board name will become the State Board of Creative Arts and Activities Therapies.
WHAT AN EXCITING TIME!