Counsellor/Creator – SHE Matters
As a Licensed Clinical Counselor, Relationship Coach and Consultant, Dr. Leslie Davis is empowering women across the globe by telling them – SHE Matters. Through her company – Leslie Davis Coaching & Consulting LLC, as well as her popular Podcast – SHE Matters on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, Dr. Davis helps women break free from toxic relationships.
“I am a firm believer that I have been created ‘for such a time as this’. There have been many moments throughout my life when I have met someone during their experience of deep pain, and I just happen to be in the right space at the right time to offer them support and guidance. These experiences have taught me the value of listening as a vital skill to creating a safe space for others to share a piece of their heart. Living with the mindset that I can meet someone and be the light in their darkest time motivates me to always be open to using my gift of counseling.”
Leslie’s academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology from Wheaton College; Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from McKendree University; and Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling and Psychological Studies with a concentration in Marriage and Family Ministry from Regent University. One of her proudest moments was earning her Doctorate at the age of 40, just 3 years after witnessing her mother receive her Doctorate from the same university.
Passionate about developing awareness of the crisis among Black single mothers who struggle with depression and suicidal ideation, Leslie’s PhD dissertation entitled ‘Her Life Matters: The Black single mom’s journey to healthy attachment’ addressed this concern. As part of her dissertation, she developed the podcast – SHE Matters, to provide a free psychoeducational resource for single mothers struggling in their relationships with the goal of reducing symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation.
Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, SHE Matters has emerged as a movement for women around the world. “If I had only one thing to say to the woman searching for answers, I’d tell her that SHE Matters,” exclaims Leslie. “My passion is to transform women by supporting them to break free from toxic relationships in order to thrive in healthy connections. I have experienced my fair share of toxic relationships and understand how individuals can lose sight of their personal desires due to unhealthy attachments. I believe that changing a life by helping the individual reveal their heart, can impact generations. Sharing my experience and professional expertise allows me to be more relatable to the clients I serve.”
The coaching business allows Leslie to further her reach, as her heart has always been in a place to impact the world. As a single mom, she saw the need to create a community of support for other single moms, so she created a nonprofit – Hearts in Faith, NFP. As Founder and Executive Director, she empowers single mothers, single fathers, and youth by promoting healthy relationships. They have implemented a program called ‘Heart Beats’, which is a youth violence prevention program. This program served youth involved in the juvenile justice system who were deemed aggressive offenders. She continues to speak to youth who are involved in the juvenile justice program through a program called the ‘Diversion Program’.
Leslie also has a son who is diagnosed with a life-threatening congenital heart defect. He was granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and after this, she became a Wish Granter to give back to other children with life-threatening illnesses. As a Heart Mom and Therapist, she has the privilege of providing therapy and emotional support to other Heart Moms whose babies receive medical care at the Heart Center in St. Louis Children’s Hospital through her employment at Washington University Saint Louis. Within her first year of employment, Leslie was asked to become the Team Lead of the Heart Center Therapy Staff.
Day in and day out, how does she find the inspiration and strength to stand tall for others? “I am truly inspired by every client who chooses to allow me to walk alongside them in their healing journey. I have seen and heard various trauma stories and it amazes me when God creates beauty from the ashes. It’s a beautiful experience to watch a young woman who initially comes to me feeling nervous and sometimes ashamed, but has the courage to share her secrets of abuse, pain, regret, etc. Witnessing her transformation to becoming a fearless woman who walks with her head held high because she has learned that she is worthy of real love – it inspires me to do what I do, even on my worst day! My desire is to witness this transformation for women around the world.”
Yet, this line of work comes with its own set of challenges, shares Leslie. “One of the biggest challenges in my business is having the desire to help women who are not always in financial positions to afford the services that I provide. I often receive requests from young women, college students, and single mothers who desire to heal through therapy and coaching but struggle to financially meet their basic needs. I never want someone to neglect themselves or their child in order to receive my services. I would love to partner with a company that would provide the financial support to these women to be able to receive the help they need for as long as they need it.”
Leslie’s unwavering dedication has made her a rousing leader for women in the community. Telling us that leaders should not only lead by examples of excellence, but also have a heart of service, she says, “The best leaders are those who ensure that their team has all the tools necessary, including emotional and mental support, to accomplish the goal. Leaders should be in a position to leave a legacy by developing more leaders.”
For someone who sees the best and worst of humankind every single day, we can’t help but ask Leslie how women can succeed in the proverbial rat race? “It’s unfortunate that people who fall prey to the rat race fail to recognize their strength as individuals who were created with specific gifts and talents to make the world a better place. There’s no need to compete with anyone as we all have unique purposes to fulfill in life. No one can do what we do, the way we do it. I know my purpose and I know my worth, and I walk on this earth knowing that my only competition is the former versions of myself,” sums up Dr. Leslie Davis.