LANSING — State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) has introduced House Bill 6098, which would create a regulatory and licensing framework for the practice of art therapy. Art therapy is an established mental health profession that applies the principles and methods of psychotherapy alongside specialized training in art media. Art therapy has been used to prevent, diagnose, and treat emotional, behavioral, cognitive and developmental disabilities.

“More and more we are coming to understand how significant and far reaching mental health concerns are across the state — and nation,” said Rep. Hammoud. “It is critical we use every tool available to address those issues, including art therapy. By creating a clear framework for art therapists to provide services in the state, my legislation will help many vulnerable residents explore new ways of healing and addressing their mental health concerns.”

Specifically, HB 6098 would provide a clear definition of art therapy, establish licensure requirements to practice it, protect client records and privileged communication, and create “The Board of Professional Art Therapists” within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. According to the American Art Therapy Association, 15 states already have art therapy standards in place and 17 more are seeking art therapy licenses.

“Art therapy is used to treat complex mental health issues, including addiction and PTSD, and we need to make sure that those practicing it are trained and qualified,” said Hammoud. “HB 6098 would create the necessary standards to protect both art therapists and their clients, while also giving families the option to choose the therapy methods that work best for them. Mental health issues are a serious concern that many in Michigan struggle with every day, and our state should do all that it can to ensure that they receive every legitimate treatment possible.”