Executive Director – Newport Academy, Connecticut
Danielle Roeske, PsyD
Dr. Danielle Roeske has worked in the mental health field since 2003, providing a wide range of clinical services, including acute psychiatric care, outpatient community therapy, and residential treatment for those dealing with the challenges of sobriety and mental health. Shortly after obtaining her undergraduate degree in philosophy, Danielle discovered her passion for working with young people and their families. She went on to earn her Master’s in Counseling and Human Relations, and thereafter her doctorate in clinical psychology.
Danielle’s experience as a CEO, clinical director, program developer, family program director, therapist, and supervisor, as well as her early years as a clinical tech, have afforded her an intimate understanding of the key ingredients for providing quality treatment, and the essential components of a strong clinical and organizational team. Moreover, she is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) , family systems therapy, and relational psychoanalysis, and has a deep appreciation of the complex nature of substance use and mental health disorders. In addition, she understands the steps that are necessary for fostering lasting change and recovery. Inspired by her combined personal and professional experience, Danielle has committed her career to helping those touched by the pain of substance use and mental health struggles to find hope and healing.
My Five Fundamental Beliefs
1. One of the most difficult dilemmas that struggling teens face is the simultaneous longing to be seen and terror of being seen. The only way through this bind is to meet them directly at that point of conflict, through authentic connection. By refusing to see them as their protective façade we inherently invite the experience of wholeness that we all long for.
2. A sense of community, once considered the cornerstone of a healthy society, has seemingly gone by the wayside. Yet the instinct for togetherness goes beyond societal norms. Rather, it is deeply ingrained as part of our instinct for survival and connection. This explains why teens continue to seek ways to establish a sense of community with their peers, even if it’s through self-destructive methods. As such, when working with kids who are struggling, it is important to consider the social paradigm in which they exist. Along with individual work, which can be impactful and integral to healing, a positive peer environment has great transformative power.
3. Much like a paradigm shift, a shift in individual perception signals a revolution in one’s experience—the replacement of something old for something new. Far from extraordinary, however, these shifts are a constant occurrence, as they are the primary mechanism through which all learning and change takes place. As such, any discussion of teen healing and recovery should include an exploration of their individual perception and the nature of perceptual shifts.
4. Awareness creates space for change. Becoming aware of both the presence of and implications of one’s suffering is paramount in initiating a perspective shift. Awareness opens the door to the pivotal question: If there is a problem, do I want to do anything to change it? Consciousness itself, while vitally important, is not sufficient on its own for healing to take place. The opening provided by awareness has to eventually lead to a new choice. The goal is for treatment to embrace all aspects of the change continuum.
5. We cannot discuss the treatment of teens without also speaking about the family system. If we consider that a parent’s primary function is to provide care and safety for their child, we cannot help but empathize with the terror parents feel as they watch their child struggle. While parents’ reactions may have good intentions, they may sometimes result in combative communication with their child, or worse. Hence, parents, though longing to get closer to their kids, end up feeling farther away. For effective treatment to take place, both parents and kids need skills for moving beyond anger, hurt, and fear, and communicating their deep longing for closeness.
Newport Academy…in her own words
“Newport Academy is a place where teens and their families can feel safe to share their most vulnerable selves, and through that, transform pain into hope for a brighter future. There is no greater privilege than to watch our kids stand a little taller, hold their heads up a little higher, and feel a sense of comfort in their own skin.”–Danielle Roeske
- Doctorate in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California
- Master’s in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania
- Undergraduate degree in philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
- Created an intensive family program for a longstanding residential treatment program
- Worked as a literary consultant and chemical dependency expert for the former commissioner of the FDA
- Cited in a national publication on recovery from emotional and behavioral compulsive disorders
- Trainer and mentor for young professionals starting out in the mental health field