RELEASE: Art Therapy Licensure Bill Signed Into Law

Marylhurst University’s art therapy faculty instrumental in seeing passage of HB 2432

Laura Beer, Mary Andrus, Sally Giles, Marylhurst University

Laura Beer, Mary Andrus and Sally Giles with HB 2432 in Salem, Oregon.

Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2432 on May 25, 2017, establishing licensure requirements for persons practicing art therapy in the State of Oregon effective January 1, 2018. Previously, anyone could claim to be practicing art therapy; now only those who meet stringent professional qualifications licensed through the State’s Health Licensing Office may engage in the practice of art therapy.

“Now, clients seeking art therapy services in Oregon can be assured that licensed practitioners are extensively trained and experienced,” said Dr. Mary Andrus, director of the art therapy program at Marylhurst University. “This is an important step in raising the bar for the profession,” she added. “It will require anyone who wants to practice and call what they do art therapy to have their ATR and adhere to the ethical guidelines and continuing education requirements of the Art Therapy Credentials Board.”

Mary Andrus, Sally Giles, Beth Ann Short, Gaelan Harmon-Walker

At the Oregon State Capitol: Mary Andrus, Sally Giles, Beth Ann Short, Gaelan Harmon-Walker (in back)

Dr. Andrus and faculty colleagues at Marylhurst University, Kris Bella, Sally Giles and Beth Ann Short, were instrumental in seeing the bill through the legislature, testifying before both Oregon’s House and Senate bodies.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn), also has a connection to Marylhurst University; she earned her M.B.A. from the university in 2008. Parrish sponsored a similar bill, effective in 2016, requiring state licensure of music therapists.

Dr. Laura Beer, chair of the Department of Counseling & Creative Therapies and director of the music therapy program at Marylhurst University, noted the importance of both laws in protecting Oregonians seeking counseling services. “Clients need to be assured not only that their therapist has met certain standards, but also that therapists who fall outside these standards will be disciplined for violations, and these laws give the State that authority,” Beer said.

The fields of art therapy and music therapy are growing at a “faster than average rate” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, with growth rates projected at 9 to 13 percent nationwide through 2024, and as high as 15 percent in Oregon. Graduates of programs such as Marylhurst’s M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling and Bachelor of Music Therapy find employment in hospitals, outpatient care centers, residential care facilities, schools and private practice. In Oregon, the annual mean wage for the industry is $63,490 according to the BLS (category: therapists – all other).

» More details about Marylhurst faculty involvement in the passage of HB 2432 from the American Art Therapy Association 

About Marylhurst University
Marylhurst University, a private, nonprofit applied liberal arts and business university 10 miles south of Portland, Oregon on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence in serving students who want to complete their bachelor’s degree or earn an advanced degree. Empowering students to impact the world since 1893, Marylhurst offers degree completion programs at the bachelor’s level, master’s degrees and professional certificate programs both on campus and online. We are the premier university that weaves together the liberal arts with professional studies and prepares graduates to be ethical leaders who think critically and creatively.

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