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Meet Our Founder

Fanteema Barnes, LCSW NC, NJ, and NY (She/Ella) Founder/Owner

Phone: 866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 101

Fanteema Barnes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist in New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina. She founded The SWEET Network, LLC (Supporting Women to Empower and Enhance Themselves) providing counseling and self-help tools to women for personal and professional growth. She specializes in working with Black and Latinx women, femme, and trans clients. She focuses on ethical non-monogamy, trauma of all types, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and relationship issues. She provides individual and couples therapy for adults through telehealth.

Fanteema’s counseling style includes Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness to help people make the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT involves learning about issues like depression or self-esteem and completing exercises to learn your current mindset and how to change it. Mindfulness is related and is about being aware of yourself and living in the present moment as well as being focused on positive goals. Using these two strategies helps you to stay focused and adds accountability to prevent you from slipping back into old habits. Clients leave sessions with clarity on who they are, what they want, and how to get it – stress-free. She also uses other therapeutic strategies based on the client’s needs.

Fanteema is an Afro-Latina psychotherapist and has been doing this work for over 20 years. She has been providing individual, group, couples, and family therapy to children, teens, and adults. She is comfortable and has experience working with people of all faiths and cultures as well as being an LGBTQQIA+ (also known as “sexual minority”) affirming therapist. To book a free 15-minute consultation please email:

Stephanie Beal, MSW
(She/Her) Therapist/Clinician

Phone: 866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 112

Stephanie Beal is a social worker with her MSW from Walden University and she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Stephanie is passionate about promoting the social functioning of Black and Brown families, with a particular interest in the well-being of children and adolescents within the family system. Stephanie has nine years of experience working with children and families in an educational environment providing case management and strengthening the home-school connection. Stephanie’s professional goals include obtaining an LCSW and working with children and family units in a clinical setting to implement practical coping skills and intervention strategies that address family and individual conflicts. Stephanie believes a genuine, warm, and empathetic approach to client engagement results in a strong and successful therapeutic alliance.

Stephanie is an African American therapist passionate about working with marginalized, vulnerable, and oppressed populations. She is an advocate for equity and inclusion and addressing systemic disparities.

Ralisha Mercer, LCMHC Intern (She/Her/Hers) Lead Intake Coordinator/Therapist/Clinician

866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 116

Ralisha is a graduate-level counseling intern completing a Master of Science degree in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Elizabeth City State University in northeastern North Carolina. Ralisha has worked both in university and community nonprofit organizations to enrich the lives of children, adolescents, women, and families.

Ralisha believes that people do the best that they can with the tools they have, and that sharing more tools can be life-changing when dealing with various challenges like trauma-recovery, relationships, and self-esteem for example.

Ralisha is an African American intern who uses a direct approach to helping clients find solutions while advocating for their healing. She has a passion for helping women navigate life’s challenges.

Emanni (E-mon-E) Riddick, MSW Intern (She/Her/Ella) Therapist/Clinician

Phone: 866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 115

Emanni Riddick is a social worker with her MSW from Walden University. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Rutgers University. She has experience in working with children, families and homeless individuals within her local community in NJ. Emanni’s professional goal is to obtain her LCSW to work with children and families in a clinical setting. Her ultimate goal is to help and empower individuals to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

Emanni is an African American and Hawaiian therapist who desires to change the world one family and one individual at a time. She has various experience within children and family advocacy and is passionate about changing lives and empowering individuals to speak up for themselves and learn positive coping skills to manage daily life stressors.

Karina Rodriguez, LMSW, MPA, M.Ed. (She/Ella) Therapist/Clinician

Phone: 866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 106

Karina is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of New York and Florida. She provides a wide range of psychotherapeutic services that includes mindfulness, self-help, depression, anxiety, parenting, and trauma resolution/healing. Her therapeutic approach goes beyond the individual and integrates every aspect of the person’s life into a comprehensive long-term resolution. She has experience in providing counseling to adults, adolescents, and children. She partners with clients to build a relationship that is centered on understanding and discerning the blind spots that have limited opportunities to manifest the life that clients dream of.

Karina is a Latina Social Worker with over 16 years of experience. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work and School Building Leader. She also holds a Life Space Crisis Intervention and Restorative Trainer certification and is an active member of the National Association of School Social Workers, and Executive Committee member of Columbia University School Social Work Conference.

Karina holds a master’s degree in Education Administration from Baruch College, as well as master’s degrees in Public Administration and Social Work, both from Columbia University in addition to her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Long Island University and completing the Diplomacy Program at the Foreign Affairs College of China.

Beverley Stewart, MSW Intern (She/Her/Hers)
Intake Coordinator/Therapist

Phone: 866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 107

Beverley is a full-time student completing her Master of Social Work degree at Grand Canyon University. She graduated from Touro University in New York City with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She has worked with nonprofit organizations, such as the Institute for Community Living, helping people with mental and medical issues transition to a more independent lifestyle in the community. Through her work with the Institute for Community Living, she witnessed firsthand the difference that a supportive environment can make in the lives of people who have struggled with trauma, relationship issues, and low self-esteem. Beverley believes that people have the best tools available, and the empowerment from additional resources can be life changing. In addition to working with The SWEET Network, Beverley currently works as a Case Manager with Northwell Health.

As an African American female, Beverley has a passion for assisting teenagers in understanding the changes they will face in adulthood and their life choices. Her main objective as a social worker is to help individuals find their path to recovery and wellness. She strives to provide a safe and respectful environment for all her clients and encourages open communication and understanding. Beverley is also an advocate for social justice and believes in promoting equality and inclusivity for all. Her goal is to empower clients to take charge of their lives and to help them reach their full potential.

Lakisha Stuart, MSW (She/Her/Hers) 

Phone: 866-SWEETTX 866-793-3889 ext 105

Lakisha Stuart is a social worker with her MSW from Walden University. She attained her undergraduate degree in Social Work at South Carolina State University. She is looking to obtain her LCSW. She has experience working with a diverse group of people. She is passionate about helping individuals, couples, and families grow and heal through therapy. She is looking to provide support and encouragement to help clients through difficult situations. She is interested in working with individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship challenges, life transitions, and family conflict.

Lakisha is an African American therapist who likes to help people build confidence, accomplish their personal goals, cope with stress, and develop a positive outlook on life.