M. Michelle Gourley

Director of Clinical Integration and Founder

M. Michelle Gourley Photo


  • Juris Doctorate, University of Utah

  • Master of Social Work, Brigham Young University

  • Master of Science, Marriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Licensed member of the Utah State Bar

  • Psychotherapist in residential and outpatient settings since 1982


Michelle believes every teen is unique, and deserves to be treated that way. No matter what issues young people have when they arrive at Gateway, they have the potential to live a fulfilling and happy life. Michelle knows that the key to unlocking that potential is different for every student. Michelle works closely with all of the Gateway teams to craft an individualized treatment approach that builds on each student's strengths and addresses their unique issues. Regardless of the specific approach, Michelle insists that it is holistic--engaging the mind, the emotions, and the body of each youth. School curriculum and therapeutic techniques must utilize movement and knowledge about the brain to facilitate growth and healing. Michelle believes that every interaction with a youth is an intervention.


Michelle has been working with youth and their families since 1982. As a clinical social worker, a family psychotherapist and a private family and juvenile law attorney, Michelle's career has been spent working on behalf of youth and their families. Michelle has extensive experience working in both residential and outpatient settings. She also has many years of experience providing clinical assessment of adolescents for the Utah Third District Juvenile Court. Michelle has presented as a professional in both state and national conferences regarding adolescent development, juvenile sexual development, and specialized treatment approaches incorporating neuroscience and movement. Michelle was instrumental in making Gateway the first program in the country to include the science of deliberate movement within its treatment and academic curriculum, and she continues to study and incorporate cutting-edge research on the brain and adolescent development into Gateway's academic curriculum and therapy.


Michelle loves music, poetry, and photography. She is a violinist, scuba diver, and avid cyclist. Her friends tease her about reading "boring" books, but her desire to know all there is to know about the brain is insatiable. Above all, Michelle loves spending time with her family and friends.

Creating Student Success

Michelle's success story is every student at Gateway. As an owner and clinician, she has been able to bring her vision of a safe, validating environment, individualized treatment, and the application of current research to life at Gateway. Whether facilitating a therapy session, training staff, or improving programming, Michelle is invested in ensuring the success of each youth at Gateway. As a result, she has had the privilege of sharing in the accomplishments and healing of many students and their families.