Drama Therapy Licensure

Licensure in the United States and Canada is governed by the states and provinces. Neither country has national licensure.

Some states/provinces have laws requiring licensure in order for someone to work as a mental health professional, although this may depend in part on the types of settings where one works. For example, most states/provinces will require a mental health license in order to work in clinical mental health settings or a teaching license in order to work in school/educational settings. Even when a license is not required by law, many drama therapists find that having a license allows more job opportunities.

It is recommended that future drama therapy students think about where they would like to live and work when they finish their training, and then research the licensure and practice laws in that state or province. Most licenses do not transfer to another state/province, although some license boards have reciprocal agreements or a process for granting licenses to people with the same license in another state/province. The best way to find out about licensure laws is to talk to drama therapists and other professionals in that state/province. NADT members have access to the on-line membership directory which will allow you to search for drama therapists by state.

Credential vs. License

The Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) is a credential indicating that one is board certified to practice drama therapy and has achieved full competency in the field. The RDT provides recognition among colleagues and mental health professionals. It is not a license, however, and many drama therapists find it beneficial to obtain a license in addition to the RDT.

Types of Licensure

New York is the only state/province that has licensure specifically for drama therapists. Professionals must have an LCAT in order to practice drama therapy in New York State. Click here for information from the NADTA New York State Task force about the LCAT.

There are many other types of licenses that can be obtained in other states depending on the type of work one wants to do. Examples include: psychology, professional counseling, marriage & family therapy, educational counseling, teaching, registered nursing, medical doctor.

Get Involved

NADTA members are encouraged to contact your Regional Representative and the Government Affairs Committee for assistance with licensure questions and issues.