Executive Director, Newport Academy, Maryland
Gale Saler, M.Ed., LCPC, CRC-MAC, CIP
With 40 years of experience in the field of mental health, Gale Saler, M.Ed., LCPC, CRC-MAC, CIP, is passionate about helping individuals, families, and communities find recovery and healing. Gale excels in recovery coaching, including treating mental health, substance abuse, and other co-occurring disorders, and in creating treatment programs that meet the needs of diverse populations. She has been instrumental in developing, opening, and operating some of the most effective Maryland recovery centers.
Before joining the Newport Academy team, Gale was the founder and CEO of NorthStar Academy, which became part of the Newport Academy family of programs in 2018. Prior to that position, she spent more than 20 years with Second Genesis, Inc., starting as director of Reentry and Vocational Services and eventually becoming chief operations officer. As regional director of Gaudenzia Inc., a multi-state mental health organization, she built multiple treatment programs throughout the Chesapeake region as well as several Maryland recovery centers.
As a life coach, Gale has been at the forefront of developing a program of recovery coaching, as part of her dedication to developing resources to help her clients build a foundation for lasting recovery. She finds inspiration in the work of her mentor for the past 18 years, Dr. Judith Landau, a pioneer in behavioral health, specifically in the areas of intergenerational trauma, interventions, and resilience.
My Five Fundamental Beliefs
1. When working with teens, a strength-based approach is essential.
Our work is about nurturing core internal strengths and abilities in teens. We must provide opportunities for young people to develop a belief in themselves and in their ability to influence their lives and the world around them.
2. The family is a source of power and resilience.
Mobilizing family—however one defines it—is a major factor in successful teen treatment. Mutual healing and growth within an intergenerational family system is crucial for positive outcomes.
3. Building and maintaining positive communication and social connection is key to a teen’s development.
However, this requires a level of self-confidence and self-efficacy that many teens say they don’t have. Hence, communication and connectedness are skills that must be incorporated into the treatment experience.
4. We need to “hear” teens in whatever form they communicate.
The expressive and experiential therapies are, therefore, core to our work with teens. What teens can’t, don’t or won’t put into words, they will act, draw, dance, play, etc. It is vita that we remain open and receptive to their expressions of self.
5. Teenagers need both safety and autonomy.
We must demonstrate to teens that we honor their growing need for and movement toward independence, while maintaining clear, consistent boundaries. Where boundaries don’t exist or are not held, teens are unsafe, and safety is the most important consideration.
Newport Academy…in her own words
“At Newport Academy, we specialize in offering an appropriate, caring, and effective continuum of treatment that includes both the teen and their family. Together with our clients and families, we are fostering the development of self-sufficient, contributing, and happy teenagers.” –Gale Saler