About Leslie

Thank you again for visiting my website. I wanted to let you know a little bit more about my background, my vision and my work.

One of the reasons I’m so passionate about helping people in difficult and destructive relationships is because I know what it feels like to be in one.

My own painful and destructive relationship with my mother began in my childhood, but it did not stop when I grew up. Even as an adult, I feared her temper. We could not communicate, and she would not or could not acknowledge that she hurt me.

When I was eight years old, my parents went through an ugly divorce. My younger sister, brother, and I went to live with our mother. After years of enduring mom’s alcoholism and abusive behavior, my father finally gained custody of us. My mother remarried and eventually moved to another state. She chose not to stay closely involved with her children.

For more than fifteen years, during my adulthood, I didn’t see or speak to my mom. Before that time, my contact with her was sporadic and always tense. She didn’t attend my wedding, nor was she present when my son was born or my daughter was adopted from Korea. She never shared Christmas with us or invited my family to visit her.

The helplessness, confusion, frustration and hurt can be overwhelming at times. It can be tricky, and sometimes risky, to navigate through it in a God-honoring way.

Even as a Christian counselor, I struggled with how to honor my mother without losing myself.

I eventually learned

  • how and when to set appropriate boundaries
  • how to confront and when to forbear
  • how to overcome evil with good
  • and how to let go of all those negative messages swirling around in my head.

These were just a few of the things I personally had to learn and that I want to teach you through my resources and coaching programs.

The Church has been rather slow to acknowledge the validity of emotional abuse, especially in marriage. My prayer is that God would use me and my written materials to be an advocate for a group of people who have been overlooked and oppressed as well as give them biblical and practical tools to get healthier and possibly turn their relationship around. I don’t want the next generation to repeat the same mistakes.

I am a national and international speaker, author, licensed clinical social worker, consultant and relationship coach with an expertise on the subjects of personal and spiritual growth, marriage improvement, conflict resolution, depression, child abuse, destructive relationships and domestic violence.

My book, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship is in its 9th printing and enables people to identify the root issues of dysfunction and stop destructive patterns in any relationship.

Other books I’ve written include:

Lord, I Just Want to be Happy

How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong

How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World

How to Live Right When your Life Goes Wrong

Leslie Vernick is a popular speaker, author, and licensed clinical social worker and relationship coach.

She is the author of seven books, including the best selling, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and her most recent The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.

Leslie has been a featured guest on Focus on the Family Radio, Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, Moody Mid-Day Connection and writes a regular column for WHOA Women’s Magazine. Internationally, she’s spoken in Canada, Romania, Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, British Virgin Islands and Iraq.

In 2013, she received the American Association of Christian Counselors Caregiver of the Year Award.

She’s been married to Howard for 38 years and together have two grown children and three grandchildren.

Leslie received her Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Illinois and has received post-graduate training in Biblical Counseling as well as Cognitive Therapy. Leslie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania.

I hope this gives a little insight into my work, my passion and my personal life. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for your” FREE Special Report: “9 Common Tactics of Manipulators and What You Need to Counter Them”. – and subscribe to the blog so you can get weekly Bible-based relationship advice.