First, Mike, try deleting the Elements preference folder. I've seen this error before, but it was a long time ago, and I don't remember the fix. Rebuilding preferences might help, and it won't hurt.
With Elements closed, click on the start up icon and then make a quick grab for (Win) Control, Alt, and Shift keys or (Mac) Command, Option, and Shift. Hold all three down at once until you get a screen asking if you want to delete Settings. Say Yes.
Check back and let us know if that helped.