About Dawn

Welcome to The Faces We Live, a blog site about personal growth & development. Having been a life-long seeker of all things having the potential to expand, advance and improve my emotional/psychological and spiritual potential, I wish to share my journey and learning’s with you.

What I know for sure is that to the degree that each of us is willing to claim our “inner barbarians” with some degree of self-acceptance and compassion; to that exact degree we will stop projecting those aspects of ourselves onto our “enemies.” I want peace on earth and truly it MUST begin with me.

No matter the topic or particular series, my intent is always to show examples of our different parts, often conflicting parts. I happen to be using myself and my own experiences as illustrations of how parts or shadow sides can be expressed in the real world because (1) I know myself better than anyone else. (2) It is my blog.

I also know for sure that every part of me that I disown, despise or refuse to acknowledge will become hostile to myself and others, thereby perpetuating misery like a cloud of aimless radiation blowing where it will.

My hope is that these blog posts will facilitate another path to understanding the me that is me and the you that is you.

Please, please let us look at the “devil” within, the ways in which we all “miss the mark.” For it is not our shadow (devil) that is intrinsically evil but rather the refusal to acknowledge our shadow that contributes to the collective evil manifested outwardly in prejudice, jealousies, greed and wars.

The range of what we think and do

is limited by what we fail to notice.

And because we fail to notice

that we fail to notice

there is little we can do

to change

until we notice

how failing to notice

shapes our thoughts and deeds.


(R.D. Laing)



Dawn DeLisa Novotny MSW, LCSW, MTS, CDP, CP, Is a clinician, teacher, author, spiritual director and national workshop leader. She is in private practice in Sequim, WA. Since 1987. She specializes in systems theory focusing both on the “external” (family, cultural, roles) as well as the “internal” family system (internalized roles, parts, archetypes, ego states, internal conflicts, etc.). As a clinical practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry and group therapy, Dawn utilizes a variety of action methods. She conducts workshops in CA. and WA. She holds Masters Degrees in Clinical Social Work, Theology and is State Certified in the field of chemical dependency. She completed a two year post-graduate program in Spiritual Direction sponsored by the Jubilee community for Justice and Peace and the Vancouver school of Theology. She was an adjunct professor at Seattle University and past instructor at Peninsula Community College. She is a nationally certified psycho-dramatist and completed the advanced Internal Family Systems training in 2004.

Dawn is the mother of three biological children, two step-children and six grandchildren. She lives with her beloved husband of 35 years. She has a wide range of experience with blended families, addiction and adult twin sons, both of whom heroically struggle with developmental and mental disabilities. Dawn has 27 years of sobriety.

Racquetball, swing dancing, camping, reading, snorkeling, family, coffee with close friends, shopping, kayaking, giving and attending workshops, writing, watching movies, shopping, hanging out with her husband and trying to sort out her challenging love of quantum physics.

Dawn is a breast cancer “thriver” vs. survivor. She had a mastectomy in February of 2004. During her impending surgery and protracted medical treatments, which included chemo therapy and radiation, she was inspired and supported by incorporating aspects of the Internal Family System’s model. Click on — to view her experience.

And breast cancer is a dance of initiation, for no woman who dances with cancer is ever the same. She has visited the source and tasted the waters of life and death, savored the sweetness and the sharpness of her own mortality, and tasted her desire to survive.”
(pg. Xiii) Breast Cancer? Breast Health! Susan S. Weed)

Indeed this experience illuminated her life, deepened her commitment to Spirit and Self; healings with loved ones and re-directed her chosen life work. Her gifts, talents, creativity, expressive art forms all culminated in her special abilities to facilitate large workshops.

Dawn initially aspired to be a minister. However, her personal and professional journey led her to counseling. As synergy would have it, her deep and profound love of Spirit or “The Eternal Mystery” is perfectly complimented in her workshops using the Internal family System’s model which posits that ”everyone has at the core, at the seat of consciousness, a Self that is different from its parts” R.C. Schwartz. For Dawn, a description of Spirit that is most in alignment with her understanding is captured in the following quote:

The Self…is not born. It does not die. It is neither cause nor effect. This Ancient One is unborn, imperishable; though the body be destroyed, it is not killed…Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all.

The Katha Upanishad

(One of India’s wisdom traditions dating back to between 1500-5000 b.c.)

Please feel free to contact Dawn for additional information

Click HERE to read some endorsements about Dawn’s Workshops



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