Biographies

Sharea Farmer, LSW

A New Jersey native, I received my B.A. in Sociology from Rider University in 2000. Upon graduation I entered the mental health profession, working with youth and adults with mental illness and counseling women in crisis. This led to a strong and sincere desire to further my education and understand how to focus my attempt to help. I then decided to attend Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s social work program for my Masters degree in Social Work. I am currently an adjunct professor at Rutgers in their graduate level social work department where I teach: Program Development and Strategic Planning, Direct Clinical Practice with Adolescents/Children, and Diversity and Oppression.

As a therapist, I have a passion for working with individuals to build self-esteem, self-awareness and other empowerment skills to improve their quality of life. Through my extensive ability to build and maintain rapport with clients, I have been successful working with an array of populations. I have done a wide-range of work with crisis-counseling, cognitive and behavioral interventions, parent skills training, and children/adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. Also I attend ongoing trainings to continue to build and cultivate my therapeutic skills.

Away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends, plus staying active in Zumba and Bokwa classes. Additionally, travelling is one of my favorite pastimes and sports holds a special place in my heart along with music, film and theatre. The passions in my life are balanced and fueled by my beliefs and a lifelong quest for understanding and peace; they reaffirm my faith and commitment to my community.

I am excited to be the new addition to the Ladipo Group, it gives me a real opportunity to provide professional services in my community. I am looking forward to providing the community with psychotherapy that has the potential to help deal with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, relationship difficulties, parenting challenges and much more. I absolutely know that being a therapist with The Ladipo Group aligns with both my professional and personal beliefs of providing excellent clinical services to help those in need in my community.

Lavonda Handy, MA

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.

Manami Henry, LCSW

I grew up in South Jersey and recently relocated to Pennsylvania.  I graduated from Rutgers University in 2003 with a Masters in Social Work and have an undergraduate degree in Psychology.  Since graduation, I have been dedicated to improving the quality of life for people.  Specifically, I have several years of experience working with adults, children, and families.  When working with these individuals, I am empathetic, nurturing, and able to support the client in a non-judgmental manner in reaching their goals for recovery.  Also, I help individuals to heal from emotional trauma and stress by empowering them.  This experience resulted in me having the ability to relate, apply patience, and resolve in helping treat these particular groups.

Before joining The Ladipo Group, I spent several years in community mental health. I most recently worked as a Supervising Director overseeing the daily operations of a group treatment facility and providing direct clinical services.  This experience made me realize that there is a deficit in the amount of quality services that are provided to minority populations.  Hence, this is why I am so excited to join a group that plays an integral role in enhancing the emotional health of the African American community specific to our unique struggles.

As a therapist, it is important for me to guide people in their journey of healing with the ultimate goal of each individual feeling empowered to manage the challenges that life brings.  I am warm, friendly, and able to meet you where you are.  I have a unique ability to quickly connect with people and put them at ease.  As a result, I utilize a variety of techniques to teach practical tools and skills that leads to lasting change and growth.  I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques when working with depression and anxiety. Additionally I use a systems perspective when working with couples and families.

When not working, I can be found in the front row of a Zumba class, spending time with my son and family, or traveling to exotic islands.

Noel HopsonIMG_6484

Noel Hopson is the Intake Coordinator at The Ladipo Group.

Anais Mahone, MSW, LSW

As a clinician, I help others activate their strengths and pursue successes through the discovery of themselves as well as their environment. I recognize how our perspectives can be influenced by our past, yet through skill development and self-reflection make for an impactful future. I have had the honor of working with people of many walks of life, from children to adults. I understand the importance of connecting with one another through shared human experiences while still valuing individuality.

My ultimate professional goal is to help create a society of healthy, resilient individuals who live life courageously.  I have been trained in various techniques; I find the best treatment approach is one that is personalized and appropriately paced. I wholeheartedly believe we each have a purpose; a meaningful word, gesture or action meant to enhance a life other than our own. Together, we can gradually uplift our communities by creating a society built on knowledge and wellness that begins within and radiates outward.

Andrea Sherman, MSW, LSW

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

I received my bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and African American Studies from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  After graduating I went on to conduct research with the University of Pennsylvania working with children on the autism spectrum in hopes to pursue a career in psychology.  I quickly learned, however, that psychology was not a good fit for me because of its limited focus on the individual, rather than on the individual and his or her environment.

Our environments cannot be ignored because we are all interconnected to systems such as family, relationships, work and neighborhoods that make us who we are. At times, any or all of these systems can be a support for us or a trigger to stress. As a result of this understanding, I decided to transition to the field of social work, and in 2012, I graduated from the University of Maryland at Baltimore with a master’s degree in Social Work.  I have experience working with children and adults dealing with a variety of issues including survivors of partner violence, sex abuse and sexual assault. Additionally I completed training in Attachment Based Family Therapy at Drexel University.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading historical fiction and experimenting with different cuisines. Another joy of mine is attending cultural festivals throughout the city. I am so excited to have returned home to Philadelphia; I’m even more excited about joining The Ladipo Group and being given the opportunity to provide psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families within the Black community.

Tonya Ladipo, LCSW, Director

“The light in us is greater than the dark.” Ben Okri

We all have circumstances and relationships that are challenging to us now or in our past. If we focus our energy and attention to healing our wounds then we allow our own light to shine more brightly. Healing ourselves also allows us to heal and transform our own community.

As the owner and director of The Ladipo Group I work with our team of therapists to ensure that you get the high-quality and effective services that you deserve. I also facilitate our quarterly workshops to help you live your life better.

When I’m not working I spend time laughing with my husband and two daughters and going for walks to have time to myself.