Posted on February 7, 2023

Must an Antioch Student Bow Down to ‘Social Justice’ Dogma to Graduate?

Ethan Blevins, The Hill, February 6, 2023

A graduate student at Antioch University in Seattle has incurred the wrath of her college by criticizing their radical approach to training therapists. Leslie Elliott, who says she considers herself a liberal, is a master’s student in clinical therapy. She grew fed up with a department that she believes has abandoned genuine therapy for extreme leftist dogma, and she says Antioch has responded by attempting to defame her and derail her education.

Antioch’s clinical therapy courses taught Elliott that therapists should serve as agents of social change. Race, in particular, should come up quickly in any counseling relationship. The counselor should map clients along a matrix of intersectional identities to determine whether they are “privileged” or “oppressed.” Minority clients should be taught to see how their minority status may have contributed to their problems. If the client is considered privileged, he or she should be taught to confront their white supremacy. In this intimate relationship, where an individual’s unique needs should dominate, counselors reportedly are told to bury the individual beneath the sloppy platitudes of group identities.

Elliott posted several YouTube videos criticizing her educational experience as a departure from science and good counseling practices. Comments poured in from others who had experienced similar “social justice” takeovers in counseling programs at other schools. Shortly after, she claims the university, without notice, cut her off from all student resources. The university issued a public statement blasting Elliott as a transphobic white supremacist and discouraging anyone from watching her videos. It reportedly created a “crisis team” to help the university cope and work through any trauma that Elliott allegedly caused by disagreeing with its worldview.

Elliott says the school requires that students in the graduate program sign a “civility pledge,” in which they acknowledge their “privileged and marginalized identities and the power that these afford.” Elliott has refused to sign — which may mean that she never graduates from the master’s program that has consumed several years of her life.