By Nina Hausfeld, ATR, LPC June 14, 2018 | #WeAreArtTherapists

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I feel deeply honored that my artwork was selected to serve as a visual representation of our theme of “Honoring Yesterday, Celebrating Today and Building Tomorrow.”  I think that the Board’s decision to add the lotus mandala extending beyond the boundaries of the colored center is what really transformed a visually pleasing background conceived by me into a meaningful symbol that encompasses this conference’s theme.

The story behind the artwork:

When I got an e-mail from the committee inviting folks to submit their artwork for the logo, I felt a strong urge to do so which surprised me, since I do not have a background in graphic design and most of my work is either very representational(e.g. landscapes, or still life), or quite abstract, what I call “doodles with paint.”  Yet I decided to trust this urge.  Instead of trying to create something from scratch,  I went over to my flat file and pulled out a few exciting paintings I thought might be considered.  I immediately got drawn to the watercolor that ended up being selected to be developed into the final logo.

The colors in the image seemed reminiscent of those found in the sky on a hot summer night by the beach.  Considering that this year’s conference is taking place on the Atlantic coast of South Florida, I thought that the color scheme seemed to have captured the feeling of the conference location quite well.

This watercolor was created during a demo for one of my art groups.  The technique we used incorporated wet on wet watercolor painting and plastic wrap.  This technique allows for the beautiful blending of colors while also making space for the emergence of the unintentional and often surprising shapes, marks and patterns left by the lifting of the paint by the plastic wrap.

In a sense, this process invites us to be completely present and intentional while also letting go of control and trusting in the power of the creative process to reveal to us it’s beauty and meaning.  I find that the approach required to complete this project is a wonderful metaphor for approaching life in general: maintaining presence in the face of the unknown and trusting in the outcome.

My story:

 

I grew up in Moscow, Russia and immigrated with my family to the U.S. when I was 19 years-old.  When I was a child, I  had two passions: listening to other people’s life stories and making art. As an adult I was lucky enough to find a profession that encompasses both of these passions.  I obtained a Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Counseling from Antioch University, Seattle in 2006.

For several years after graduating, I was fortunate enough to work with refugees from war-torn countries, traumatized children, sexual, ethnic and racial minorities, and anyone who, for one reason or another, lived in the margins of mainstream American society.  I have also led therapeutic art groups for populations such as elders, adults living with persistent mental illness, parents raising young children, and people suffering from traumatic brain injuries/strokes.  For the last three years, I have been seeing  clients in my private practice in Boulder, CO where I also facilitate weekly art groups for women.

Throughout my career, I have been honored to facilitate a shift  in people’s lives, regardless of their circumstances and physical abilities and have found that creativity and art making can be a powerful space for connection and growth.  Most recently I have expanded my private practice to begin addressing sexual health concerns of women and their partners.

When I am not seeing clients, I enjoy hanging out with my husband Ayal, also a therapist, our daughter, Sasha and our two dogs. I also love yoga, painting and hiking in the woods.  To learn more about my practice,please visit: www.teacupcounseling.com and www.sexandspiritcounseling.com.

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