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Monroe woman testifies in support of music, art therapy bill

A bill co-sponsored by Newtown state Representative Mitch Bolinsky has made it through the committee process and awaits action by the General Assembly.  An Act Concerning Music and Art Therapy defines both music an art therapy, as well as music and art therapists. 


Bolinsky says this came to his attention by several constituents who are Licensed Creative Arts Therapists, an as yet unrecognized practice in Connecticut. Bolinsky said by licensing these professions, it will open up new possibilities for a population of people that can't be reached in traditional ways.  There is a fee associated with obtaining a license.


Connecticut Music Therapy Task Force chair Jennifer Sokira, of Monroe, testified in support of the bill.  She also is a staff music therapist for the Resiliency Center of Newtown.  The Center is working with many children and families impacted by 12-14.


Sokira says music therapy grew as a profession when music was found helpful after WWII for veterans returning home with shell shock, now known as PTSD.  She noted that music therapy programs this month were expanded at Walter Reed Medical Center.


She says this form of therapy can help people's brain health and assist with developmental, medical or behavioral needs.


Sokira says licensing will add a layer of consumer protection for clients.


There are 90 practicing board certified music therapists in Connecticut, and 130 board certified art therapists.