It has take a long time for creative art therapists to become accepted as a valid psychotherapeutic modality to the healing and supportive services communities at large and it has taken just as long to be accepted by the clients we serve, but we continue to face numerous challenges. Not the least of which is issue of insurance coverage. While creative art therapy is often accepted as "out of network", most insurance companies will not accept CAT under their coverage. This represents a challenge for our clients to pay for or be covered by their personal insurance policies and in turn limits the jobs we are eligible for because supportive service agencies because they face similar billing for service issues.
But we are as an industry excited to see that the conversation is being had, bills and bills are being written and submitted through governmental channels.
The American Art Therapy Association published this article on this subject where they discuss The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics who released a preliminary listing of Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes to take effect on January 1, 2018, that will classify art therapists within the 29-0000 occupation group for Healthcare Practitioners and under a 29-1129 subcode for “Therapists: All Other.” The proposed reclassification is a marked improvement over the current 2010 SOC system in which art therapists were inappropriately classified within the 29-1125 occupational code for recreational therapists.
Here is an excerpt from that article:
The American Art Therapy Association has been engaged for several years in the process of changing our SOC in O*NET, the nation’s primary source of occupational information under the sponsorship of the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-1125.01. To that end, in 2014, the American Art Therapy Association petitioned the SOCPC requesting that the occupational classification of art therapy be changed in the 2018 SOC revision “to more accurately reflect the art therapy profession as a distinct mental health discipline” and to include it under the minor occupational occupational grouping 21-1000, “Counselors and Other Community and Social Service Specialists.” The other occupations under this code most closely correspond to the work art 2 therapists perform and the substance and level of their training, skills and experience, such as Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors.
But for those of us who simply don't understand all the governmental talk, or find the proposal verbage to be a foreign language to us creative types, CityLimits.org published an online article in June of this year discussing the challenge we as creative clinicians face.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Tell us what your thinking in the comments below.