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About Me

I am Dr. Lastenia Francis, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Founder of Meaningful Emotion Therapy LLC. I was first drawn to Marriage & Family Therapy because I wanted to help strengthen Black families. For the past 8 years, I have been committed to that purpose. I received my BA in Psychology & Sociology from Stony Brook University. I received my MS in Marriage & Family Therapy from Mercy College. I earned my PhD in Marriage & Family Therapy from Northcentral University with a focus on Black military families. I have experience providing individual, couples, family, and group therapy in primarily Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. My focus has and continues to be on treating trauma experienced by marginalized communities as it relates to their ability to build healthy relationships.

Foundationally, I am a systemic thinker. I think about your problems from a holistic perspective because I believe that everyone contributes to the problem. As such, I encourage the whole family to join our sessions to get a better picture of how the problem started and is maintained. Although I am trained in many family systems therapy and trauma treatment modalities, I often draw from solution-focused therapy because I truly believe that it is in your strengths as an individual and as a family that you can find the solutions to the challenges you face. As Black people, you are resilient and my job is to help you remember why you are resilient, and how those strengths can guide how you treat yourself and those you love. 

Starting therapy is no picnic, especially when you are a person of color. We are taught to "don't tell your business outside the house" and are often looked at funny when we talk about mental health. Unfortunately, therapy is needed for our community because we not only have to face our personal challenges, but we have to face the challenges of just being a person of color, and that is exhausting!

You are not alone, and you don't need to deal with your challenges alone. As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, I have helped individuals deal with trauma, relational problems, racial identity challenges, depression, self-esteem, anxiety, grief, and many more. If you are ready to start your healing and build a meaningful life with your family, let me help you!
  • Couples and Marital Issues

  • Depression

  • Anxiety and Phobias

  • Relationship Difficulties

  • Life Transitions

  • Difficulties with Self-Esteem

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Stress Management

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Spirituality

  • Racial Identity Support

  • Coparenting Issues

  • Divorce

  • Communication

  • Infidelity

  • Grief, Loss, or Bereavement

  • Other Issues 

For therapists, I provide clinical supervision for licensure and to become an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.

Dr. Lastenia Francis
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