My name is Leslie Elliott, and I am a native Texan living in Washington State for over a decade. I am the mother of four children, including two adult daughters and two young sons. I have always had a somewhat unconventional perspective, questioning what I’m told and thinking outside the box. I married young and had my first child at 19. By 25 I became a divorced single mother of two daughters.
I supported my little family as a portrait photographer and later worked in medical office administration as I put myself through college and university. I earned a BA in psychology, summa cum laude, from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where I was the recipient of an undergraduate research fellowship and had the opportunity to take Master’s level courses for undergraduate credit. I enjoyed studying psychology so much that I considered continuing on to graduate study in the field, but I stuck to my original plan and went on to law school instead.
My daughters and I moved from SA to Seattle, where I attended Seattle University School of Law beginning in 2009. I excelled in my classes and discovered I had a knack for alternative dispute resolution (mediation) but started to wonder if I had made the right career decision. By the end of my first year, I was having serious misgivings about a legal career, and in my second year (law school is a full-time 3 year program), I took a leave of absence and began exploring counseling programs.
Meanwhile, I met and fell in love with a wonderful man. My family expanded as we welcomed our two sons into the world, and my education faded into the background for a time. I decided not to return to law school, and instead worked part-time in medical administration for a naturopathic clinic in Seattle where I learned a great deal about natural health and the body’s amazing capacity for healing.
In 2019 I returned to higher education, enrolling in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s degree program at Antioch University in Seattle. I had the opportunity to learn and improve counseling skills and therapeutic approaches, but I also encountered something deeply disturbing: the usurpation of traditional therapy values by Critical Social Justice ideology. Compared with my previous experiences in college, university, and law school- and most strikingly compared with my prior psychology education- what was now being taught seemed shockingly sophomoric and illogical.
To my great dismay, future counselors were being instructed that a person’s race was perhaps their most significant characteristic. That we should always introduce ourselves to others by including the third person pronouns we expect them to use for us. That we should measure ourselves against our clients by listing our demographic categories and determining who is more marginalized and who is more oppressed. That children can be “born transgender,” and that the word “woman” might be offensive.
What’s more, around this time our country (and indeed seemingly the entire world) became so obsessed with a viral outbreak that public officials everywhere decided to rewrite fundamental social scripts in burst of authoritarianism. These policies were dehumanizing, cutting people off from human connection, stripping them of autonomy, and treating them like mere viral vectors. People lost jobs and businesses closed; friends and family fell apart as we quarreled about what was happening and what it meant; and a generation of kids migrated from classrooms and playground to screens.
As a life-long democrat voter and self-professed liberal, I watched as the political left became a gross caricature of itself in its relentless promotion of identity politics and medical tyranny. I looked to the political right and found some people making more sense than I had previously given them credit for- but although my views have shifted away from the left, I don’t always align with conservatives, either. Instead, I find myself in the center- which is a “radical” place to be in these strange times.
I have walked away from my graduate program several times only to go back and attempt to finish my coursework despite my ethical objections to the ideology the school is pushing. This summer, with only a few courses left to complete, I found myself at what seems a final stopping point: the school was requiring me to sign a Social Justice “civility pledge” which I am morally unwilling to sign. And even beyond finishing my degree- my concerns about the mental health profession are larger: professional and licensing bodies are also increasingly promoting both Social Justice ideology and medical micromanagement of providers and their clients.
Despite my rejection of mainstream trends in mental health practice and counselor education, I have remained committed to working with individuals and families in a support capacity. In the fall of 2021 I opened a private coaching/consulting practice that is informed by my counseling education, my life experiences, my passion for natural health, and my understanding that we are each a whole and unique person, not divisible into “identity” categories nor into mind and body. Each of us is an idiosyncratic being on our own journey through life, and we deserve to be seen for who we really are by those who care for us.
So with all that said, I do not and cannot offer you psychotherapy or clinical mental health treatment, and I don’t offer psychiatric diagnoses. I also don’t claim to have all the answers, or even any of them! But what I can offer if you choose to become a client is a genuine, authentic relationship and my undivided attention as we explore your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and goals together.
I work with adults and older adolescents, individuals and families. We can meet in person if you are local, and video conferencing or phone sessions are available as well. Special areas of interest include but are not limited to: women’s life-span, aging, and fertility issues; spiritual growth; porn addiction and infidelity trauma; gender confusion and detransition; recovery from institutional discrimination and gaslighting; technology addiction; and more. Reach out to me and we can schedule a brief chat to see if working together is a good fit.