A Passion for Transformation
Dr. Crystal Burwell believes in meeting clients where they are and doing whatever it takes to help them heal. In her role as Director of Outpatient Services at Newport Academy’s campus in Georgia, she is driven by a passion for the process of transformation and recovery. Dr. Burwell specializes in treating young people suffering from depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, as well as highly sensitive people. A public speaker and healthcare consultant, she is an advocate for emotional health and social justice.
Dr. Burwell utilizes a variety of modalities in working with teens, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Before joining the Newport Academy team, she served as regional clinical supervisor for Northstar Psychological Services in Marietta, Georgia, working with therapists providing outpatient mental health treatment. As a program director for Walden Behavioral Care, she ran an outpatient eating disorder treatment program, and started the first intensive outpatient program for binge-eating disorders. She was also program director at Fellowship Health Resources, a substance abuse/mental health outpatient program for court-mandated clients.
My Five Fundamental Beliefs
1. We all have a reservoir of strength when life puts us to the test.
Life will test our courage, but we are stronger than we think. I believe in a strengths- based approach to treatment. Helping teens focus on their strengths and resilience creates life-long healing. Despite whatever trauma teens are facing, they have everything they need inside them to heal. I’m passionate about helping teens understand they are powerful beyond measure!
2. Namaste: “The spirit in me honors the spirit in you.”
Namaste is a cultural greeting whereby one bows to show respect when meeting another. Namaste also captures the essence of the beloved community. I believe in a holistic approach to healing that honors mind, body, and spirit. The essence of Namaste ignites the spiritual spark to heal the soul. By channeling this energy, teens learn to sit with themselves and enjoy the company they keep.
3. We are conduits of love.
I believe love is everything, and everything can be done in love. Love is emotional currency and oxygen. Love creates a consciousness of self-worth. External dynamics are often connected to our innermost state of being. We must be courageous enough to ask ourselves, “What do I need in this moment?” And equally courageous enough to meet those needs. Using cognitive behavioral techniques, teens learn to cultivate self-love, self-care, and self-worth.
4. “Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter.”
This African proverb captures the power of finding your voice. I often say, “Use your voice, because it is all you have.” During this developmental time, teens are exploring their identity and place in the world. Using their voice creates confidence, power, and self-efficacy. Teens must learn to own their narrative, while cultivating courage to alter their story. I’m passionate about helping teens find their voice and come to believe the world needs what they have.
5. Sankofa: “It’s not too late to get what is at risk of being left behind.”
Sankofa is an African word describing the importance of knowing and learning from the past. In essence, it is a reminder that it’s okay to go back and retrieve what you’ve lost. I believe treatment is about honoring the place you’re in, while acknowledging all that came before. Awareness through a cultural lens shapes how we create meaning and relationships. Effective treatment is systemic. When a flower doesn’t grow, you don’t pluck it out of the ground and throw it away. Rather, you assess the environment of the flower. What is the soil like? How much sun is there? How much water? We’re all part of a system, and treatment must focus on healing the entire system. The spirit of sankofa conveys honor, pride, culture, and legacy. By looking back, we learn to move forward gracefully.
Newport Academy …in her own words
“Newport’s core values—Love, Empathy, Connection, Excellence, Patient First—describe the essence of who I am and my approach to helping others.”—Dr. Crystal Burwell