Mary Leighton

Mary Leighton, MEd

Therapy • Evanston

Now offering online video visits for patients

(312) 546-4193

501 Davis Street, Evanston, Illinois 60201


I am a former socio-cultural anthropologist with a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from DePaul University. I specialize in providing therapy for academics and immigrants. ‘Academics’ includes contingent & adjunct faculty, post-docs, ABD doctoral students, tenured and tenure track professors, and administrative staff. Alongside this specialty, I welcome clients facing loneliness, interpersonal challenges, and life transitions such as leaving religious groups or relationships.

Questioning something that defines your identity is frightening, whether it is a career, a relationship, your gender, or your religious faith. It’s normal to feel stuck or overwhelmed when we are confused or in pain. My role is to walk alongside you. As an existential therapist I believe no situation is completely hopeless. The options we face might be painful or have messy consequences: changes may temporarily cause things to get a lot worse before eventually becoming permanently better. But you don’t have to face this alone! As a therapist I provide clients with a supportive and non-judgmental space to explore all possible options, so they can rediscover their strengths and core values and make their own decisions. My personal style is sympathetic and straight-forward, and I bring a sense of humor, honesty, and compassion to my sessions.

As an anthropologist I studied scientific communities and higher education institutions in the U.S. and Latin America, and I realized that the ivory tower is too-often built on depression, anxiety, and untreated trauma. As a therapist, my goal is to take what I learnt from studying academics and use it to help individuals survive and flourish in what is often a lonely and unsupportive environment. This can involve addressing issues like burnout, anxiety, procrastination, bullying, imposter-syndrome, and fieldwork depression/trauma.

I bring my personal experience as both a late-in-life career changer and an immigrant to the U.S. to my work as a therapist, but I don’t make it the center of my approach. My experience of making a life in a new country will not be the same as yours. All our immigrant stories are unique. When working with individuals from new countries, I strive to balance asking you for clarification with doing my own research. I take the same approach when working with clients with different gender, sexuality, or racial/ethnic identities to me. In therapy your growth and needs are the focus, not mine.

In-network insurances

    Blue Cross Blue Shield • Self pay


    ADD/ADHD Behavior Therapies • Adjustment Disorder • Anger Management • Anxiety • Autism • Bipolar Disorder • Borderline Personality Disorder • Daytime Sleepiness • Depression • Divorce • Domestic Violence • Gender Dysphoria • Grief and Loss/Bereavement • LGBTQIA+ • Life Coaching • Life Transition • Major Depressive Disorder • Mood Disorders • Occupational Difficulties • Perinatal Mental Health • Personality Disorder • Phobias/Irrational Fears • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Trauma • Racial Identity • Relationship Issues • Sadness • Self Esteem • Social Anxiety • Stress/Worry • Suicidal Thoughts

Education and training

  • DePaul University, MEd Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Professional memberships

  • Illinois Counseling Association
  • American Counseling Association

Honors and awards

  • Myths of meritocracy, friendship, and fun work: class and gender in North American academic communities. American Anthropologist (2020), 122(3), 444-458.

Languages spoken

  • English


  • she/her/hers

Find Therapy and Psychiatry by Location

Find Therapy and Psychiatry by Insurance

All Providers Open For Telehealth: Book Now

Sidebar Scroll To Top