Born the eldest of three to Russell and Doris Lessor, I grew up in a small south city neighborhood in St. Louis. On the outside we looked like a typical happy lower middle-class family, on the inside it was a nightmare of alcoholism and abuse. I didn’t grow up privileged, I grew up making a decision to survive and be a better man than my father.
Life Gave Me Lemons
My story is one laced with beatings, drunkenness, divorce and abandonment. I will spare the details to get to the most important thing, the decision to take control of my destiny!
For me, the opportunity to get “away” presented itself when I turned 18 and graduated high school (barely). My best friend and I joined the United States Air Force. The military was easy for me; it offered structure and organization that replaced a life of chaos, I welcomed and excelled in my new environment!
Finally, I could make my own decisions, choices and mistakes! I COULD be a Doctor if I wanted to, even though my dad told me “I wasn’t smart enough.”
I Made Lemonade
Turns out once free of the abuse and chaos I discovered just how smart I am as my education and publications reflect:
- Completed my Bachelor of Artsin Psychology in 1994.
- Earned a Master of Arts in Counseling; Thesis topic: “The Effect of Initiation and Mentoring on Adolescent Boys” (Lessor, C., 1998) in 1998.
- Became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 1999.
- Published in peer-reviewed journal “Role of Deceased Mentors in the Ongoing Lives of Protégés,” Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Lessor, C., & Marwit, S., 2000).
- Published “Saving Our Sons”-A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys For Success 2016.
- Graduated Doctor of Philosophy in Education with the Distinguished Graduate Award in 2017. Dissertation title: “Difference of a Counselor Facilitated Adolescent Boys Group on Behavior” (Lessor, 2017).
- Published “Generation of Men”-How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men 2019.
I am a proud patriot and retired USAF Captain, with multiple military awards and recognitions.
A member of the White House Council on Men and Boys steering committee since 2019.
Living My Mission
To Create Healthy Lifestyles by Teaching, Facilitating, Research, Writing, and Example
Over 20 years ago I opened my private counseling practice in St. Louis. I developed and began facilitating a highly successful program called The Quest Project®. Since that time I have facilitated 2000+ male adolescents on a Modern-Day Rite of Passage™ to grow, heal and become responsible young men. I’m good at it; I know how to quickly uncover and get to the wound an adolescent boy carries. And I know firsthand just how important it is for a young man to get his life back!
You can find an abundance of knowledge, insight and parenting tips in my weekly blog publications on The Quest Project website. And…this year I will launch The Quest Project Online in order to reach male adolescents everywhere struggling to become the men they want to be.
Providing balance to this incredible life I lead through service; I founded a not for profit called Charity Patch in 2013. Charity Patch is an urban garden providing over 2000lbs. fresh produce annually to local food pantries. There is no greater reward than giving back and helping those less fortunate!
Proud to say this is MY life and how I live it!
For over 25 years it has been my pleasure providing mental health wellness and guidance to my clients. Over the recent weeks we are all faced with challenges, the ability to be flexible and change.
My first priority is to ensure the health and safety of my client. With the potential spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) I have made decisions that will temporarily affect how I currently provide therapy services. (more…)
Greetings and Happy Holidays to you all! The Quest Project® is a labor of love, this year was filled with accomplishments and growth. With your continued dedication and support, together we will help our boys grow into healthy, happy young men.
A Year in Review
The year started with the publication of “Generation of Men-How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men.” It’s a fathers guide to raising sons and the important role he plays in his son’s life. To date over 500 books are in the hands of dads that need help and continues to be very popular. (more…)
An article published in the Journal of Family and Marriage titled “Mismatches in the Marriage Market” published last month has fired me up; and my hope is it fires you up too!
The article addresses what it calls a shortage of “economically attractive” unmarried men….according to unmarried women! Unmarried women find the available men undesirable for marriage due to lack of education and income. (more…)
What a significant year for The Quest Project®, and for me personally! Life is a journey and when you allow yourself to grow and expand, it will enhance your mission.
Meeting a New Friend
When Peter McGennis, filmmaker/producer from Buffalo New York, contacted me about featuring The Quest Project in his upcoming documentary “Within Reach” I was admittedly skeptical. First and foremost, my responsibility to the program is safety! We proceeded to move the conversation forward with caution! (more…)
Periodically I like to give you news and updates; a glimpse into what’s going on and what I’m up to! It’s a very exciting time for The Quest Project® and me personally. I’ll start with the updates.
What’s Been Going On?
We officially launched my second book “Generation of Men”-How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men the end of January this year. Instead of tooting my own horn, I’m sharing a couple of the recent reviews it received! (more…)
St. Louis’s Clayton Lessor, PhD, LPC to Join
Coalition for a White House Council on Men and Boys
St. Louis (March 11, 2019) – Local expert and author Dr. Clay Lessor has been appointed to the steering committee for the Coalition for a White House Council on Men and Boys. Dr. Lessor has dedicated his professional counseling practice to the study and successful treatment of young boys who are experiencing difficulties in the transition from boyhood to manhood. (more…)
I have discovered The Quest Project (an adult version) is as meaningful to men as it is to the adolescent boys. Imagine a group of men coming together over a weekend to work through issues they feel have prevented them from being the men they want to be! (more…)
My name is Clayton Lessor, PhD, LPC and it is my life’s mission to work with adolescent boys, I have done just that for the last 25 years. I am a licensed professional counselor, facilitator and author. I have a new book out titled “Generation of Men: How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men” it’s available on Amazon. (more…)