In 2005, CBMT and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) launched the State Recognition Operational Plan. This plan was designed as a proactive effort to address the changing climate of the profession and role of state regulation on the field. Nationwide issues of healthcare and education reform impact and affect the practice of music therapy and client’s access to services.

CBMT works in cooperation with the AMTA and state task forces on the State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary goal of the Plan is to help states achieve recognition for the music therapy profession and the MT-BC credential required for competent practice. There are various forms of recognition (e.g. creation of licensure, creation of a registry, or inclusion of music therapy specific language by department or division) and each state task force works in cooperation with their own state government agencies, the CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff and the AMTA Government Relations staff.

We invite you to explore the CBMT Advocacy section for information about advocacy, the State Operation Plan, and state recognition process, and how YOU can be involved.


Regulatory Affairs refers to work with government and regulatory agencies in any given state to provide consultation and collaboration on education and healthcare needs as they interface with the music therapy profession.

The CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff works in collaboration with the AMTA Government Relations staff on the State Recognition Operational Plan. This national initiative helps individual state task forces pursue state recognition for the music therapy profession and the MT-BC credential required for competent practice by:

  • Facilitating local, regional, and state advocacy efforts
  • Submitting accurate language for legislation and state regulations
  • Working with local music therapists to educate the state regulatory bodies, state government departments, state legislators, and the public about music therapy
  • Supporting state task forces as they seek state recognition of the music therapy profession
  • Protecting the rights of board-certified music therapists to practice


Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC
CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor

Dr. Dena Register has been the Regulatory Affairs Advisor for the Certification Board for Music Therapists since 2006. Register works in cooperation with Judy Simpson, Director of Government Relations for the American Music Therapy Association to carry out the State Recognition Operational Plan. This plan is a systematic set of steps designed to support states across the country as they advocate for music therapy services and obtain formal state recognition of the profession.

In addition to her experiences in Policy and Advocacy, Register is an associate professor of music therapy and Interim Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas. Her primary research interests include personal and professional skill development in music therapy, impact of international study, and music therapy in early intervention. Dr. Register was awarded a Council for International Exchange of Scholars Fulbright Scholar grant in 2009 in order to teach and conduct research at Mahidol University, College of Music, Bangkok, Thailand. She continues her work with the Mahidol program by offering music therapy study abroad opportunities for US students and as a consultant for their Master’s degree program.

Kimberly Sena Moore, PhD, MT-BC
CBMT Regulatory Affairs Associate

Kimberly Sena Moore joined CBMT as the Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2010. Kimberly works in cooperation with Dr. Dena Register, CBMT’s Regulatory Affairs Advisor, and Judy Simpson, AMTA’s Director of Government Relations, on the State Recognition Operational Plan. Through this position she is involved in state-level advocacy, legislative, and policy issues that affect music therapy practice.

Currently residing in Miami, Florida, Sena Moore joined the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in Fall 2014. In addition to teaching courses in music and development, music and rehabilitation, and introduction to music therapy, she serves as Clinical Training Director for the program. Online, Sena Moore co-hosts the Music Therapy Round Table podcast, and blogs at “Your Musical Self” for Psychology Today and Music Therapy Maven. She received her PhD at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where her clinical and research interests centered on music therapy and emotion regulation development in neurodevelopmentally at-risk children.