Music therapists and other creative arts therapists at Leinster House

Press Release from the Irish Association of Creative Art Therapists (IACAT)

Vulnerable children and adults Deserve Better
In Ireland, hundreds of qualified Creative Arts Therapists deliver valuable clinical services however, unlike their counterparts in the UK, their profession is still not subject to statutory recognition, meaning that children and adults with mental health and well-being needs can easily fall prey to unqualified practitioners. On 24 April 2013 5pm at Leinster House, the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists (IACAT) represented by Professor Jane Edwards of University of Limerick and a panel of IACAT members including Triona McCaffrey, Rebecca O’ Connor and John O Malley will make the case for statutory recognition of the profession.

IACAT was formed in 1992, and is the professional body for music therapists, art therapists, drama therapists and dance movement therapists in Ireland. With over 250 qualified members working with vulnerable adults and children in a variety of health, care and educational settings, IACAT believes that the profession should be included in the Health & Social Care Professional’s Act (HSPCA) 2005

“Creative Arts Therapists are highly trained professionals, with a very expert skill-set, and the ability to work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The profession is internationally recognised and evidence-based. The current lack of statutory recognition in Ireland demeans the profession, and leaves the people who are seeking to access our services at-risk. Essentially, anyone can claim to be a Creative Arts Therapist and can begin taking referrals. This is very worrying. Statutory recognition is long overdue, and as the demand for Creative Arts Therapies is growing all the time, vulnerable people must be protected from rogue and unqualified practitioners. It is time to ask our policy makers to step up to the plate and make the changes required to ensure no-one is left at risk ” Annemarie Ni Churreain, Development Officer, IACAT

According to IACATs 2012 Survey, 1 in 2 Creative Arts Therapists is aware of someone delivering services under the CAT (Creative Arts Therapist) title without the relevant qualification. And 1 in 3 therapists has had to cease work with vulnerable clients earlier than planned due to service-funding restrictions.

Please visit to view the full survey results, or contact us at or 0871252184 to arrange an interview with a member of IACAT council. Pictures outside Leinster House will be available to the media on 24 April 2013 between 3.45 -4.30pm

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