Professional Relations Liaison for Counseling
Advisory for those seeking state licensure:
Licensure differs from professional certification in that it is a government-regulated designation intended to protect the public from inadequate services and underprepared or unsafe practitioners. It is conferred and administered by state governments. All 50 US States, and Puerto Rico, license professional counselors, and in many states (but not all) dance/movement therapists are licensed under these laws. Two states have specific licensure for dance/movement therapy (Wisconsin) and creative arts therapists (New York). Having a state license does not guarantee that your services will be reimbursed by insurance companies or other health care coverage entities, but in some states it makes this more likely. Receiving insurance reimbursement for your work is a complicated process with many requirements, of which a license to practice in your state is but one.
Professional dance/movement therapists who have earned a master’s degree or higher in a mental health discipline (including DMT) are strongly encouraged to research the specific requirements for licensure in the state(s) where he or she intends to practice. Sometimes the DMT degree alone is sufficient to satisfy educational requirements for licensure. In other states additional coursework may be required. Those seeking licensure should also pay close attention to the state board’s licensure examination requirements and to the language regulating clinical supervision and continuing education. The qualifications of one’s supervisors may be a factor, so be sure to read the regulations on that detail as well.
Each individual is responsible for negotiating the path towards licensure if that is a goal, but the ADTA is ready to support you with information, advice and consultation to the extent of its authority and expertise.
Students in dance/movement therapy graduate programs should follow the same advice as for professionals, and use the options within their degree program to fulfill as many of the desired state requirements as possible given the resources and possibilities in the college or university.
To find information on state counseling licensure boards visit the American Counseling Association’s State Professional Counselor Licensure Boards listing at http://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/licensure-requirements/state-professional-counselor-licensure-boards , with contact information and link to the relevant websites.
Updated March 12, 2013
Comparing Dance/Movement Therapy & Professional Counseling - ADTA, 2013