The meeting took place at 9:00 am on December 7, 2017. The art therapists in attendance were Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC; Heidi Bardot, MA, ATR-BC; Sarah Deaver, PhD, ATR-BC; Carol Olson, LPC, ATR-BC, ATCS; Leila Saadeh, MS, ATR-BC; Laura Tuomisto, ATR-BC, CTT; Monika Burkholder, MS; and Gretchen Graves, MS, ATR-BC, CDATA. The meeting was a follow up after the Board of Health unanimously voted to pursue a Sunrise Review study in late August. A Sunrise Review is when a States Professional Regulations board, like the Virginia Board of Health Professions, decides that a profession needs to be regulated in order to protect the public. An individual or group may request regulations. Then a study is done.
In August The Virginia Art Therapy Association turned in a 30 + page request for licensure. We were told it was one of the most thorough applications they had ever received. A special shout-out goes out to Dean Segar, Gretchen Graves, Laura Tuomisto, Leila Saadeh and Carol Olson for helping put it together.
At the December meeting the Board asked us a few clarifying questions regarding the education and training requirements of art therapist, and the differences between our profession and counseling. They then assigned our study to a Mr. Jim Wells, citizen member from Warren County School Board, with help from Laura Jackson, Operations Manager at the BHP. Mr. Wells was very nice and asked us a few questions after the meeting.
The next important date will be February 27th. This will be the first hearing for the study and we want as many voices there as possible. A timeline for the study will be posted on the Virginia Art Therapy Association website under Licensure.
After the meeting we all had brunch and threw around some ideas. Carol realized the radio station she works with had open time in the studio, and so we went and recorded a radio show that we will strategically air about two or three weeks before the February 27th hearing. We talked about art therapy, what it is, why licensure is important, and a number of other topics related to the profession. Check the VATA website for a link to the radio show, which will air January 29th on WRIR 97.3, WRIR.org.
Minutes for tBHP meetings can be found here: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/bhp/bhp_calendar.htm