Nevertheless, thanks to art therapy pioneers like Lu and Hong, things are changing. After seven years of preparation, the TATA was established and approved by the government in 2004. Since there is currently no licensing program for art therapists in Taiwan, practitioners have to pass the national exam for clinical or counseling psychologists to qualify for hospital employment. The first art therapy graduate pro-gram was opened at Taipei Municipal University of Education in 2005. Lu thinks that qualifying as a psychologist is necessary and beneficial for the cultivation of future art therapists because they need to master the language of psychotherapy in order to communicate with other mental~ health professionals. Therefore, in addition to art, music and dance, the graduate program includes integrated psychology and clinical practicums.
Both Chou and Lu are optimistic about the future practice of art therapy. As more and more art therapists return to Taiwan after finishing their training abroad, Chou feels sure that their practice will expand into local communities and more nonprofit organizations and that eventually health insurance will cover the cost of treatment. Lu pins her hopes on art therapy becoming a viable career path in Taiwan so that more locals are capable of helping children like Ting-ting mature into well-adjusted and confident adults.