Assembly passes bill to provide licensure to drama and dance therapists

TRENTON, NJ — Moving to license all drama and dance/movement therapists in New Jersey, a measure to establish the State Board of Creative Arts Therapies for the oversight and regulation of all such therapeutic practices passed 62-11 in the full Assembly on Nov. 25.

The bill, A-1220, further outlines defined and fair criteria for obtaining licensure to provide services as a drama and dance/movement therapist, in turn promising a higher standard of care in New Jersey as a result.

Sponsors of the bill, Assembly Democrats John McKeon and Mila Jasey, who represent parts of Essex and Morris counties; Valerie Vainieri Huttle, who represents parts of Bergen County; and Raj Mukherji, who represents parts of Hudson County, released the following joint statement:

“The research has been very conclusive. Drama and dance/movement therapy has seen great success. From abuse survivors and at-risk youth to children with special needs and the elderly, these forms of therapy can be effective for such a diverse range of people.

“Creating the necessary regulations to standardize these professions will ensure all drama and dance/movement therapists in New Jersey are qualified to provide top-level care. Not only will New Jerseyans gain greater confidence in the quality of care they receive, but practitioners who have spent a lot of time and money attaining specialized knowledge to help people will be protected.”

The bill now goes to the Senate.