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Dr. Marline Francois-Madden,  LCSW
Owner and Clinical Director 


I have worked with individuals with depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues and life challenges for the last 15 years.  I practice therapy from a humanistic approach - focusing on supporting the client to understand his or her fullest potential.

I completed training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) which has provided my clients with resources and tools to help them heal and develop a sense of self, trust, purpose and meaning. I utilize various therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy and Humanistic Therapy.

Marline was recently elected as the "Social Worker of The Year" by the National Association of Social Worker - NJ Chapter

Image by Ren Ran

B.A. in Psychology (Penn State University)
Masters in Social Work (Rutgers University)
Ph.D. in Family Sciences and Human Development (Montclair State University)
Licensed Clinical Social Work
School Social Work Certified
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Certified
Certified Facilitator - Teen Mental Health First Aid

National Association of Social Workers Member

2020 "Social Worker of The Year" by NASW
Top 50 Caribbean Entrepreneurs by Carib Biz Network
Forbes 2021 Next 1000 List of Entrepreneurs
2022 Top 100 Black Health Connect

Marline Francois Madden is the owner and Clinical Director of Hearts Empowerment Counseling Center, Huffington Post contributor, phenomenal public speaker, best-selling author of The State of Black Girls, and entrepreneur. With over 15 years of clinical experience, she has become a sought-after expert in mental health, trauma, self-care, and girls' leadership. Marline has shared her expertise at dozens of universities, colleges, community organizations, churches, and conferences— including the Congressional Black Caucus for Women and Girls. She was named by the White House as a Nominated Changemaker at the State of the Women summit during the Obama administration. 


Empowerment isn’t what she does, it’s who she is.


Driven by passion and purpose, Marline touches the lives of many through her work. She facilitated trauma-informed group and individual sessions for young women in Haiti who were sex trafficking survivors. Her commitment to youth development earned her an invite to speak to young global leaders from countries like Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Israel, Bangladesh and more, about self-care. She also volunteered at a children’s orphanage in Ghana.


Conscious of living what she teaches, Marline believes that everyone can live a life of service and be intentional about self-care -- the two are not mutually exclusive. She continues to be a pillar of leadership as a coach for mental health professionals who seek to expand their expertise, brand themselves, and diversify their income.


Marline has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Penn State University and Masters of Social Work degree from Rutgers University - Newark. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Montclair State University. Her research interest focuses on mental health disparities among Black girls who experience racial discrimination. She is a member of the National Association of Social Worker and serves on several youth non-profit boards. She is currently licensed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Jersey. Marline was recently named by the National Association of Social Workers as 2020 "Social Worker of the Year". Marline is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. 


Marline's work has been featured in Forbes, CBS, MadameNoire, Essence, Bustle, Business Insider, Family Circle, Elite Daily, Huffington Post, Fox 5, Hot 97, Therapy for Black Girls and various media platforms. To learn more about Marline's work, please visit her website


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