Vicky Blocker – Office Assistant


Vicky handles all of the scheduling and billing for The Ladipo Group. She’s the first person you’ll speak with to schedule an appointment or verify health insurance benefits.  Vicky is warm, caring, and professional. She’ll gather basic information about you and your needs and then schedule an appointment with a therapist who will help you make lasting change in your life and your relationships. Email Vicky to verify health insurance benefits and to schedule an appointment.



Cassandra Bolding, LPC – Therapist & Trainer

cassandra-bolding-headshot“If the only tool you have is a hammer you tend to see every problem as a nail”-Abraham Maslow

For over 18 years I have been privileged as an addictions counselor, psychotherapist, HIV counselor, coach, and educator to embark on a journey with people from all walks of life in their most vulnerable and empowered states, to aide them in developing creative solutions to improve quality of life. Treating the whole person is paramount in addressing such issues as depression, anxiety, addiction (sexual, gambling, alcohol, drugs and shopping), and trauma (violence related, sexual, combat related and emotional). Whole person awareness is an understanding that sitting in front of me I am working with the individual, family/friends and community and must ensure interventions and treatment strategies incorporate all those connected to the individual to effect change.

I look forward to us taking the journey together towards creating your best self in order to live your best life.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor licensed in the state of PA, Master Addictions Counselor, HIV Counselor, Trauma Specialist and versed in Mindfulness based stress management. Graduate of Lincoln University with a Masters in Human Services.

Lee Carson, LSW – Director of Training


Lee is a licensed social worker who serves as the Director of Training at The Ladipo Group. He has conducted numerous trainings on topics including cultural competence in general, but also specifically with LGBT populations; burnout, vicarious trauma and self care; healthy professional boundaries; motivational interviewing and a number of other topics relevant to the work of human service organizations. Lee has a very engaging and interactive training style and has received positive reviews from trainees on his work.

He has 8 years of experience teaching in higher education, both at Temple University where he teaches graduate level social work students and at the Community College of Philadelphia in the Behavioral Health and Human Services program.

In addition to his professional experience, Lee was one of eight founders and first president of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council, which was a Philadelphia based leadership and advocacy organization.  Lee also served on the Advisory board for LGBT Affairs during the Nutter administration.  Lee has been part of several advocacy efforts in Philadelphia, New York State and nationally to improve the quality of life of Black LGBT people.

Lee earned his master’s degree in social work in 2004 and became a licensed social worker in the state of Pennsylvania in 2006.

Carmella Jackson, LPC, CAADC – Therapist

img_0033I am an addiction and trauma specialist with 15+ years of experience helping individuals, couples and families travel the road to recovery. I’ve worked as a sexual abuse case manager, drug and alcohol counselor, trauma group facilitator and military family consultant. In those roles, I’ve used an integrative approach rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing to assist those working towards recovery to develop new, applicable coping skills, constructively process feelings and identify concrete ways of managing emotions.

Because I understand that addiction is bigger than drugs and alcohol, I have received training specific to sexual addiction, compulsive gambling and trauma. Additionally, I have a long history of working with individuals, couples and families within the LGTB community, helping to traverse matters related to coming out (as an individual or couple), reinterpreting societal norms and overcoming professional bias. I hope that you’ll allow me to help you and those most important to you journey towards wellness, recovery and happiness.

Kali Johnson, LPC, NCC, CRC, M.Ed. – Therapist


I have over 15 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor. My background includes extensive clinical experience providing counseling services in a variety of settings addressing the needs of adolescents, adults, couples and families living with depression, anxiety, addictions and co-occurring concerns.

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and continued my academic career at Kent State University in Ohio where I attained a Master’s of Education with a concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor through the state of Pennsylvania and hold a National Certification in Counseling.

I look forward to meeting and working with you to achieve and reach your greatest state of well-being.

Tonya Ladipo, LCSW, Founder & CEO

The Ladipo Group 255 S. 17th Street, Ste. 2704 Philadelphia, PA 19103

After several years of working in community mental health agencies and witnessing African-Americans receiving poor treatment or being ignored for treatment Tonya Ladipo decided to start a private psychotherapy practice to work with the Black and African-American communities. The practice grew over the years to include several therapists and the Clinical Director who oversees all aspects of our therapy services. In 2010 we expanded our services to include consulting with organizations and corporations to enhance their Diversity and Inclusion programs through staff training and development.

Tonya is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Program (April 2016) and Widener University’s Clinical Social Work Masters degree program (May 2004). She was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Villanova University’s Women of Color luncheon. In 2015 she was also awarded the Advena World Most Outstanding Speaker award.

When not working Tonya is laughing with her husband and two daughters (usually), taking walks alone, and hanging with friends.

Dr. Valerie Newman-Freeman, Ph.D., LCSW – Clinical Director

val pic twoAs the Clinical Director of The Ladipo Group Dr. Valerie Newman-Freeman, Ph.D., LCSW provides support to the therapists to ensure that our clients receive the high quality services they deserve.

She has over 20 years of experience as a clinical supervisor, program director, and clinician. She has a strong background in family systems therapy and working with trauma survivors. She shares our passion for working with the Black and African-American communities and understanding the influence of culture in our work.

Andrea Sherman, LCSW – Clinical Coordinator & Trainer


A guiding theme for her work as a therapist stems from a quote by Famous African American Opera Singer Leontyne Price: “Be Black, Shine, Aim High.”  Andrea believes the ultimate goals in therapy are to work with her clients to identify who they are, what their strengths are and the strategies needed to help them reach their highest potential.  Her ability to connect with clients and also challenge them when necessary, aides in the process of clients reaching their life goals.

Andrea received her bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and African American Studies from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  She then recieved her master’s degree in Social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She has experience working with children and adults dealing with a variety of mental health diagnosis, addictions, the child welfare system as well as survivors of partner violence, sex abuse and sexual assault. Additionally, she completed training in Attachment Based Family Therapy at Drexel University.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading historical fiction, attending cultural festivals and experimenting with different cuisines. At The Ladipo Group she is happy to do what she loves which is having the opportunity to provide psychotherapy services for individuals, couples and families within the Black community. 

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