Lavonda Handy, MFT – Therapist
As an African American woman, I’ve had many experiences through my life that has allowed me to direct a path of healing others through mind, body, and soul. I am a strong believer in having balance throughout one’s life in order to reach the highest level of happiness. I continue to hone in on this skill through personal practice of balance for myself with my enjoyment of exercise, nature, and traveling.
I received my bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University in Psychology and my master’s degree at La Salle University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I spent several years working with young adults living in poverty and with little to no family. Through that experience, I learned the importance of the familial piece to the healing of an individual. I was able to move into a more intensive setting of doing in home therapy for families, which allowed me connect with families at the heart of their distress.
I have a passion for helping others to heal their connections with others and themselves in order to have access to their own inner peace. I believe everyone has the ability to live to their full purpose if given access to it through the connections they have with others. My goal within my work is to help guide others to identify and put into action their full value to life and find a balance in an environment that at times can be chaotic.
Renee D. Frierson-Briscoe, LPC, MFT – Therapist
Renee works with children, adolescents, and adults. With her training in Marriage and Family Therapy she uses a systems approach when working with clients. Renee understands that challenges don’t happen in isolation and neither do solutions. She works with you to identify what needs to be changed and to build on what is working.
Renee has her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from LaSalle University. She is a member of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Tyler Wims – Masters-level Therapist Intern
Tyler Wims joined The Ladipo Group, LLC, as a Masters-Level Therapist Intern in January 2017. His life mission has been to serve and provide support to children and families. With a focus on Community Trauma, Tyler is often able to utilize his experience growing up in Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia, as well as, his 10 years of work experience within the mental health sector, public and private education, and the juvenile justice system within Philadelphia and its surrounding communities to have an impactful and therapeutic connection with others.
Tyler received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Millersville University in 2007 and he will graduate from Philadelphia University with a Master’s of Science degree in Community and Trauma Counseling in May 2017.
When he is not working or going to school he enjoys spending time with his 8-year-old daughter and his family, watching movies, laughing, and enjoying the diverse cultures that Philadelphia has to offer.
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Donnetta Watson, ATR-BC, LPC – Psychotherapist
Donnetta Watson is passionate about uplifting the Black community and has learned that when provided with the appropriate tools, people can be prosperous in the life they choose to lead. She has over 7 years experience working with children, adolescents, and adults.
Donnetta is a Board Certified Art therapist and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Donnetta utilizes art making within therapy sessions as a way to support exploration of topics in a non traditional way. Art making and creativity is viewed as an ability all persons possess. It provides another avenue to express and explore thoughts and feelings. Donnetta makes an effort to tailor art interventions to the client’s needs and looks forward to exploring with clients how Art therapy could be a beneficial intervention. Donnetta uses a trauma informed, client centered, strengths based approach to counseling. She has a deep appreciation for the collaborative process that counseling can provide, with the aim of achieving goals clients have set for themselves.
Donnetta Watson attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish. Donnetta attended Drexel University in Philadelphia, and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Art Therapy.
When not working, Donnetta enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, creating artwork, reading, and listening to music.
Dr. Jade Logan – Psychologist
Dr. Jade Logan is a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist. She received her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and completed post-doctoral training in the area of sexual trauma at New York University’s Counseling Service. She received her board certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Logan’s areas of expertise include PTSD related to sexual trauma and intimate partner violence, anxiety and mood disorders, relationship issues, substance abuse, gender identity, and women’s issues. She treats early and middle adults in individual, couples, and group psychotherapy. Dr. Logan has offered topic-focused psychotherapy groups such as social anxiety, sexual trauma, substance abuse, and depression. She has also provided support groups for women of color who are coping with the stressors of working and/or being educated in predominantly white work and school environments. Dr. Logan uses a holistic approach to understand how her clients’ presenting concerns impact their overall well-being. She also provides individual and group supervision to masters and doctoral trainees.
Dr. Logan is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. She is originally from the Philadelphia area, and enjoys watching football, cooking, and spending time with friends.
Dr. Cheryll Rothery – Psychologist
Dr. Cheryll Rothery is a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist with over twenty years of experience in individual, couple, and family therapy. She also provides individual and group supervision to psychology trainees. Dr. Rothery’s areas of clinical focus include ethnic identity development, adjustment issues, life transition issues, anxiety and mood disorders, bereavement, LGB issues, relationship issues, and women’s issues. Dr. Rothery utilizes the Relational Cultural model of psychotherapy, which places high value on healing through relationship, and consideration of each client’s cultural context.
Dr. Rothery is a frequent workshop presenter on topics related to providing culturally competent psychotherapy to African American clients, relational-cultural therapy; racial, ethnic and sexual identity formation, and the training and supervision of clinicians. She has served on the Executive Boards of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi), the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists (PSCP) and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA). In June, Dr. Rothery will be the recipient of PPA’s 2017 Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the profession of psychology in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Rothery received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey and her board certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology.
She has lived in the Philadelphia area for 18 years and enjoys dance, music and theater productions.
Noel Hopson – Masters-level Therapist Intern
Noel possesses a strong passion for connecting with people and building relationships. Upon graduating from Spelman College, with a degree in Psychology, she initially entered the workforce in a corporate environment. Although this allowed Noel to gain employment experience, she felt spiritually unfulfilled and was motivated to return to her education.
Noel is currently pursuing a Masters in Science in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. With this degree, she plans on becoming a practicing psychotherapist, in addition to continuing in higher education as a professor of psychology. Noel believes that psychotherapy is an art form that fuses creativity and knowledge to facilitate healing. Her personal mission is to help increase awareness of the importance of mental health and decrease the stigma surrounding mental health services in the African American community.
Noel has been active in working with The Ladipo Group since 2014. She initially began as a volunteer then transitioned to completing intakes and scheduling. Over time she became a part of the training team and has assisted in facilitating professional development trainings and workshops on self care and stress management. Noel believes that interning with The Ladipo Group is significant because she is not only gaining clinical experience, but also providing a valuable service to our community.
In addition to The Ladipo Group, Noel works at Menergy, an unique non-profit agency that has served Philadelphia for over thirty years. In her free time Noel enjoys spending time with her family, listening to live music, and exploring the different restaurants that Philadelphia has to offer.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
Cassandra Bolding, LPC – Clinical Supervisor, Therapist & Trainer
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.
Andrea Jackson, LCSW – Clinical Director
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.
Aisha Coulson-Walters -SOS For Superwomen Solution-Focused Coach
Aisha Coulson-Walters has over 12 years of experience working with women, children and families in the areas of maternal and child help, time limited behavioral health consultation. Mrs. Walters is a Solution-Focused Licensed Social Worker and Certified Life Coach. Aisha has a passion for working and coaching African American women seeking to develop narratives of hope, spiritual centeredness and overall healing with the goal of restoring balance.
In her work with The Ladipo Group, Aisha has served as a trainer for human service professionals seeking to understand the signs and symptoms of vicarious and secondary trauma. Currently Aisha is a SOS For Superwomen Solution-Focused Coach. Additionally Mrs. Walters is an Adjunct Professor within the Sociology Department at Jackson College, which is located in Jackson Michigan.
Mrs. Walters hold a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from Hampton University in Hampton, VA and a dual Master degree in Social Service and Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr Graduate School for Social Work and Social Research, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. With not working, Aisha enjoys reading, traveling and doing creative activities with her husband and children.
Vicky Blocker – Scheduling & 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.
Lee Carson, LSW – Director of Training
Lee is a licensed social worker who serves as the Training Manager 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.
Lisa Christian is an experienced licensed social worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University. She completed post graduate training in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center (PCFTTC) where she is a faculty member. She has an extensive background as a trainer, group and workshop facilitator. Her engaging and interactive teaching style incorporates more than 28-years of work as a practitioner in homeless as well as victim services. She weaves, humor, theory, case studies, role plays and vignettes of lived experience in her trainings around mental health issues impacting homeless families, intimate partner/family violence issues, power/privilege issues impacting social service providers, trauma and males of color as well as making schools more trauma sensitive environments.
Lisa is employed full time at a victim’s services agency providing individual counseling, crisis response, clinical consultation and support to middle and high school students as well as providing in office individual and family therapy to those impacted by the trauma of violence, violent crime and homicide. Lisa is a parent and grandparent who enjoys spending quality and free time with her family.
Shadeen Francis, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist, professor, and author. She has over 7 years of experience training, supporting, and collaborating with non-profit organizations, medical schools, homeless shelters, and university counseling centers. Her work allows people of all backgrounds to improve their relationships and live the lives they desire.
As a corporate trainer, Shadeen’s areas of expertise include community building for organizations, multicultural competence, healing from trauma, and exploring sexuality. She speaks internationally on topics such as sexual self-esteem, inclusivity in medical care, and the intersections between power and social media. Her curricula on healthy relationships are implemented nationally, and her signature combination of warmth, humour, and compassion has allowed her to develop inter-professional training programs that raise the bar for humanistic healthcare. She has been the therapist expert on media platforms like CBC, 6-ABC, and the New York Times.
Shadeen’s belief is that the world is built on the strengths of communities. This worldview has propelled her to empower people to have difficult conversations with respect and understanding. Outside of the office, Shadeen continues this work through her passion for writing, research, and program development.
Shadeen received a Master of Science in Couple and Family Therapy, with a specialization in Sex Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University. She completed her undergraduate education at McMaster University with a combined honours degree in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Behaviour, with a minor in Sociology.
Tonya Ladipo, LCSW, Founder & CEO
As Founder and CEO of The Ladipo Group, LLC, Tonya Ladipo, LCSW is the visionary behind the region’s only known counseling and consulting practice designed for the Black and African-American communities. 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.
She works with an incredible team of skilled therapists providing individual, couples, and family therapy services to our own community. The Ladipo Group also conducts dynamic workshops and training about working with different cultures and people for companies and organizations committed to Diversity and Inclusion.
As an engaging speaker Ms. Ladipo has a particular passion for teaching busy women how to put themselves on their own to-do list. She was the keynote speaker for Villanova University’s Women of Color luncheon in May 2015. She has also been featured on radio (National Public Radio (NPR) and WURD Radio), television (NBC-10, Fox-29, and ABC-6), and in magazines (Black Enterprise, Essence, and Madame Noire).
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, taking walks alone, and hanging with friends.