Leila Levinson, LMSW
Counselor: Children, Adolescents, Adults
Since Covid-19 ruptured our lives, we are all suffering from traumatic grief. We have lost so many of our routines, our supports, our joys. Anxiety and depression—whether from these losses or from early insecure attachment, systemic injustices, or unresolved trauma within our families—have intensified. In my collaborative work with clients, we uncover, even within these current constraints, possible paths to self-actualization. Each client, being unique, requires a unique strategy—which will involve other modalities such as expressive arts, walking, forest bathing, and sitting still. Leila bases her work on attachment theory, neurobiology, mindfulness, and logotherapy. She sees herself as a deeply compassionate and empathetic guide and team mate, not having the answers but committed to helping her clients discover their truths and way forward.
Areas of Specialty
Bachelor’s degree in English, Vassar College; Juris Doctorate at The University of Texas School of Law; Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin
In my previous career of teaching literature and writing, my college students were passionately grateful for discussions about mental illness—particularly anxiety, depression, and family dysfunction. They longed to understand the constraints they were encountering. My conversations with students about their constraints and confusion led me to leave teaching to become a therapist so I could more directly enable people of all ages to work through their obstacles and realize fulfilling, rich lives.
Ten years ago I wrote Gated Grief, a portrait of intergenerational trauma within families of World War II veterans. In my talks around the country, I realized how many, many families carry unrecognized legacies of trauma that manifest in anxiety and depression, emotional distancing. Yet the role of our family history in our own personal struggles is all too often overlooked. Rather than continuing to just write about it, I want to help heal it, to help people find their way to becoming whole, clear-sighted, and capable to create the lives they desire.
As a young adult I fell in love with hiking in forests and mountains, with swimming and gardening, and then with making pots. Little did I know until many years later that these activities were helping me recover from a difficult childhood, regulating my nervous system, creating a home for me in the world.
My first career was being a lawyer for legal aid, where I quickly learned that most work was a mere band aid on the underlying problems of systemic racism and poverty. After my sons were born, I became a college professor, wanting to balance parenting and work and a chance to make a difference in a young person’s view of their options. All the while, I was writing—writing my way to understanding my family’s legacy of trauma, how my father’s trauma from WWII brought about my childhood trauma. And that writing, along with my teaching, led me to where I should have been all along: helping people develop insight and the tools to act on it.
Get started on your pathway to change.
Read reviews below from actual clients who have worked with Leila.