In Alaska, Leota became a counselor specializing in the teachings of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, with whom she studied in England. She was well-known as an educator who applied Ross’s theories in group work with clients suffering from childhood trauma. After obtaining a degree in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College, Leota worked with women as a therapist and addictions counselor at Pia’s Place in Prescott, Arizona.
Leota became interested in writing personal essays after working with Susan Lang at Yavapai College. Her essays won awards and were published in literary magazines, notably So to Speak, Byline, Threshold and In Recovery Magazine. She served as treasurer of the Professional Writers of Prescott and was a popular innovator in the group. At the time of her death, Leota was completing a memoir about her relationship with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.