The Radical Self Care Journal is a collaboration between A New Direction & Dawn Estefan

Corinne Micallef

Senior Programme Manager A New Direction

A New Direction began working with Dawn Estefan in 2021, during our Space for Change programme. Space for Change is a series of workshops designed to support the cultural sector in navigating the challenges it faces when working with children and young people. Dawn’s session on Self Care was a watershed moment - it was as if we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as participants began to let out some of what they had been holding, supported to do so in Dawn’s thoughtful small group process .

Dawn and I began dreaming up a way to share the power of this session more widely, and to support more arts professionals working with young people . The nature of participation and engagement practice means that it can often leave its practitioners feeling depleted because they are attending to the needs of everyone else on their programmes or in their teams. Even more so since 2020 and the ever-increasing pressures facing the creative sector .

Whilst we may recognise that it’s essential to look after ourselves first, it is still often the thing that gets pushed to the bottom of the pile . Dawn gave our groups an invitation to truly understand what Radical Self Care is and the practical steps we can take towards it. It was the first time A New Direction has collaborated with a psychotherapist and the first time I actually understood what it means to care for yourself as a unique whole person .

Dawn has a brilliant way of helping people explore their inner world in a way that is both simple and deep . We think her inspiring work makes the process understandable for everyone, accessible and revelatory .

Dawn Estefan

Creative Thought & Thinking

Dawn Estefan.png

Award-winning psychoanalytic psychotherapist and trauma specialist Dawn Estefan has a passion for using psychoanalytic theory as a way of making sense of our lives and the world we live in. Her unorthodox approach to mental health and therapy, which focuses on the sharing and telling of stories to bring about social change, has seen her build relationships and collaborations with organisations, brands, and creatives from all backgrounds. As a “thought leader” Dawn uses creative thinking and thought as the two focal elements to shift stagnated narratives .
As a psychotherapist, Dawn Is best known for her work with Black and Brown communities and as a mental health activist . Her private practice fondly known as the “The Black Girl Clinic” (although she now also works with Black and Brown men) focuses on the importance of understanding cultural nuance and intersectional identities when navigating wellness . Dawn’s cultural literacy guides her commitment to delivering both clinical interventions and public discussions which address the disparities and barriers to care in mental health . 6 Introduction

Other platforms

With over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Dawn introduced a platform called “Creative Minds” as part of her general practice, which focuses on the unique needs of those in the creative industries . Dawn is trustee on several boards and has also worked on several plays and documentaries in Latin America and the UK providing on- and off-set clinical advice on how to support staff, writers and cast in their work and performance.
“Organisation in the Mind” is a business psychology platform which challenges organisations to position “thinking” as opposed to “doing” as a way of tapping into the organisational unconscious. In her work Dawn uses psychoanalytic ideas, conversation, and storytelling to help her clients understand the significance of the unconscious on behaviour, creativity cultures and development in the workplace . Dawn believes that awareness of emotions, conflicts and identity allows people to be fully present at work and to effectively manage the complexity of individual and collective relationships
as well as overall organisational mental health .