Mandala Journey. Image Copyright 2017 P. Tarasuk
Born in Washington D.C.; I've lived many years in Massachusetts and eleven years in Santa Fe, NM. As a very young child I lived in Panama and as a young adult lived in Seoul, South Korea. Traveling, learning about others cultures, and getting to know humans from all walks of life is important to me.
Education: at eight began studying art. At age sixteen my pen & ink drawings were hung in a juried show at the National Gallery of Art. Attended Philadelphia Museum College of Art, majoring in Fine Arts with a full scholarship based on portfolio. Attended University of Maryland in College park, MD and Seoul, South Korea (Psychology & Art, B.A. and M.A., advanced to doctoral candidacy), finishing my Doctorate 2002 at International University. Community Mental Health (CAGS) Northeastern University. Family Systems Therapy certificate, the Cambridge Family Institute. Yale University Drug Dependence Institute (Certificate), and Washington School of Psychiatry (suicide prevention).
Yoga and meditation studies and practices began in 1972 and continue through the present. My primary focus is Tibetan Buddhism although I study many religions and spiritual paths.
Work: Over forty years in Community Mental Health as a psychotherapist with individuals, families and groups in various agencies serving a wide variety of children and families. Co-director (1972-74) of Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center (HELP) University of Maryland Counseling and Guidance Center. I directed a storefront street clinic and was a therapist in the Adolescent Residential Drug Treatment center in Lawrence, MA (1974-77). Individual and family evaluation & therapy- the Family Unit- Human Resource Institute, private psychiatric hospital, Brookline, MA. My private practice was established in 1975 in Medford, MA and continues to the present in South Deerfield and Cambridge, MA.
Pro Bono community Service: teaching art, fairytales, and ecology in public elementary schools. Adult education: art and imagination. Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, New Mexico (2000-2005): working with community & staff, addressing the complex issues and the effects of violence, including re-traumatization staff. Community humane education & outreach. Testified at the NM state house judiciary committee regarding youth adjudication. Participation as a photographer and support volunteer for the Santa Fe Humane Society during the 2000 Cerro Grande fire disaster in Los Alamos, NM.