Meet Our Therapists

Dr James Lassiter

James F. Lassiter Ph.D., ABPP

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

I have devoted my career to providing exceptional professional mental health services, including the training and supervision of the professionals that serve our communities through our group practice. As an expert in diagnostics, assessment and many psychotherapeutic techniques, I have sought the very best and talented clinicians to serve our clients at Lassiter and Associates. With prior experiences as a psychoanalyst, a professor of clinical psychology, and personality development for early childhood as well as middle and secondary grade levels, I have also established several mental health organizations primarily focused on meeting the mental health stresses our social environments create.

I settled with my family in Hampton roads in 2003 to discover a fascinating regional melting pot for families from all over the world; as a licensed independent practitioner since 1979 in New York, I was well prepared to establish a new private practice (2005) versed in serving children, adults and families from a variety of cultures (especially the military). Today, Lassiter and Associates Psychological Services provides the most advanced assessment and intervention strategies with convenient locations in Virginia Beach and Suffolk. We also offer a variety of time-limited psycho-educational groups for personal healing, growth and self-care dealing with such topics as mindfulness based and spiritual strategies for stress, cognitive and evidenced based behavior management techniques, foster-parenting, parent support for children with ADHD and autism, relationship building and conflict resolution/bullying.

With 37 years experience and a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology (American Board of Professional Psychology), I also mentor and provide supervision for mental health practitioners meeting licensure requirements. As a former professor of the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University (Garden City, New York), I provide on-the- job post-graduate training for mental health practitioners that require hands-on supervision in clinical settings (externships, internships and practica rotations). Additionally, I specialize in therapeutic hypnosis, energy psychology methods (EMDR and Thought Field Therapy), cognitive-behavioral techniques, trauma focused and analytically oriented therapies and psychological testing.

My day-to-day mission is to assure our clients the quality mental health services most needed for our communities.

Professional Training:

  • New York Licensure 1979
  • Virginia Licensure 2005
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, 1977
  • Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology 2004
  • National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology 1997
  • Postdoctoral Diploma in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis 1987
  • EMDR Institute 1998
  • New York Ericksonian Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis 1998


Venitta Johnson, MSW, LCSW

As a licensed clinical social worker, I provide counseling to individuals from ages “3 to 300”. My therapeutic philosophy is modeled after Plato’s quote “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I believe in challenges instead of problems and that sometimes you just need to talk. You need to talk to someone who is objective, warm, accepting, and who will listen with unconditional positive regard. Perhaps your friends and family have given you an indication that they are tired of listening to your challenges… that’s where I come in.

I provide supportive psychotherapy to children beginning at age three, adolescents, and adults. I believe in challenges instead of problems and that sometimes you just need to talk to someone who is objective, warm, accepting, and who will listen with unconditional positive regard.

My passion for helping children is one of the reasons I became a therapist. I utilize Child Centered Play Therapy as modeled by Virginia Axline PHD and Gary Landreth Ed.D, LPC, RPT-S. Many children lack the ability to communicate their feelings verbally. As stated by the Association for Play Therapy “Play is our first language. Just as  adults use words to communicate, children use play. When playing, we express thoughts and feelings that might otherwise remain hidden.”

My office is a playroom that is a welcoming and inviting space for children to feel empowered, to learn self-acceptance, self-control, self-exploration, and discover their own strength. I utilize play therapy techniques as a primary intervention for behavioral issues caused by bullying, grief and loss, divorce and abandonment, physical and sexual abuse, and crisis and trauma, in addition to mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, ODD, and Conduct Disorder.

I am also passionate about counseling those who are experiencing mood disorders, trauma, women’s issues, African-American issues, LBGTQi issues, substance use disorders and chronic illness. I am available evening and weekends for your convenience.  My treatment is strategically eclectic and diverse. I utilize Person-Centered Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Non-directive Play Therapy, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to assist you in becoming your best self.

Specializing in:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic Illness
  • Coping Skills
  • Domestic Violence
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Grief
  • Racial Identity
  • Stress
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Women’s Issues

Virginia Stanley, MSW, LCSW, CAADC, CSAC

I am a graduate of the Ethelyn R.  Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and Chaplain for nearly a decade, I know that post-traumatic growth, healing and change are possible with the help of a professional, competent and compassionate guide.

Using a holistic, eclectic therapeutic approach, I have provided individual, group and family therapy to children, youth, adults, active duty/retired military and the elderly, in a variety of settings (including the Hampton VA Medical Center, National Counseling Group and the Community Services Board) I have helped  my clients gain the coping skills needed to experience healthier, more satisfying lives and relationships.

Let me guide you to a healthier, stronger, more confident you…

My Specialties Include:

  • Trauma-Focused CBT
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Behavior Modification
  • Brief Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Christian Counseling
  • Positive Discipline
  • Love and Logic

Lisa Wright, M.S.Ed., LPC

As a licensed professional counselor, I believe counseling is a lot like a conversation, only the focus is on you. A professor and mentor of mine once described, the counseling relationship in this way and it is one of my favorites because of its simplicity. Counseling is many things, but at its core it is a safe space for you.   I believe it is an honor to work with clients and support them in personal growth and change.  I am person-centered in my practice, and use a variety of techniques based on the individual client.

I have been in the counseling field for 14 years and I have worked with a diverse group of clients in many different settings: hospitals, schools, military bases, and outpatient offices.  In that time I have had the opportunity to work with children and adults of all ages facing a variety of challenges.

Specializing in:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief/ Loss
  • Stress
  • Women’s Issues
  • Military
  • LGBTQ+
  • Self-Esteem
  • Crisis Counseling

Professional Training: MS in Education in Counseling, Old Dominion University 2005

Virginia Licensure 2013


Latoya “Nicole” Edwards, LCSW

I have worked as a psychotherapist for the past 6 years, and have worked in the mental health and dual diagnosis field for the last 10. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have worked in several mental health and substance abuse treatment settings including outpatient and inpatient settings as well as private practice.  As a psychotherapist, I believe our lives are made up of several different relationships. When there is dysfunction, chaos, tension, and communication barriers in those relationships, psychotherapy can help. The goal is to gain self-awareness and examine the triggers of the problem. Once we identify those triggers, we can then work on coping with the problem. I believe in providing a safe and supportive environment for my patients. My goal is to help my patients identify and understand barriers to personal growth and success within themselves in relation to others.

I use a dynamic approach based primarily on the Cognitive Behavioral perspective as well as utilizing Client-Centered and Mindfulness perspectives that offers not only symptom relief, but also a means to improve emotional connections to the individual and others. I am dedicated to serving individuals of all populations (ages 8- 108+) and offer a proven track record of quality, ethical, and compassionate work.

My specializations include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Trauma & PTSD
  • Military Personnel and Their Families
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Co-occurring Disorders and/or Substance Use Disorders
  • Hoarding Disorder
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Domestic Violence
  • Grief and Loss
  • Christian and Spiritual Counseling,
  • Employment Conflict
  • Racial Issues and African American Issues,
  • Women’s Issues
  • LBGTQ Issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Anger Management
  • Child Conflict/Behavioral Issues
  • Individual, couples, family, and group therapy

Professional Training & Experience

Trauma Informed Therapy, Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy – (TF-CBT), Solution Focused (Brief) Therapy (SFBT), Spiritual Counseling, Crisis Management, Couples Counseling, and Motivational Interviewing (MI), EMDR, and CPT.

Masters in Social Work, Norfolk State University