Past Presidents


Jemal Doute, LMFT

Jemal has recently relocated to Georgia…we will miss you Jemal!

Prior to his relocation, Jemal was a practicing Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Middletown, NY in private practice.

His current professional interest/focus is directed towards research to establish rapport between Family Therapists and Military Families suffering from Adjustment Disorders associated with returning from War Zones.  He has over 23 years experience working within populations that are prone to Traumatic Stress as an occupational hazard, such as Military and Law Enforcement agencies

Jemal has served combined 22 years of service in the US Marines reserves and the Army National Guard as well as 20 years with the New York City Police Department.   His work with these organizations has provided him with a wealth of knowledge in regards to the bureaucracy, culture and internal mechanisms of these organizations, and organizations with similar structures.  During his tenure as president, Jemal brought these same skills to the Metro Chapter of the NYAMFT which has provided a strong foundation for the organization to move forward in the years to come.


Melissa Kester, LMFTMelissa Kester is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has served on both State and local professional boards since she graduated in 2005.  During that time she displayed her continuous support for the challenges that new professionals face.   Melissa is currently working as the Founder and Executive Director of Madison Marriage and Family Therapy, PC, a group practice in NYC providing in-depth psychotherapy for individuals and couples struggling with depression, anger, infidelity, childbirth concerns and LGBT issues.  Melissa has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College, where she instructed graduate students on Family systems and Counseling Skills.  She has provided workshops to agencies working in residential treatment, substance abuse, PINS prevention, and Family Mediation.  Melissa practices in-depth psychodynamic work incorporating systemic and contemplative practices into her weekly sessions.

Melissa Kester, LMFT and Madison MFT continue to hold true to their values of providing for the community.  With the common belief that everyone deserves love, happiness and emotional support they provide monthly charitable meetings called, Healing Saturdays and weekly community meditations.  You can learn more about Melissa and Madison MFT in their blog, ‘Towards Healing.’

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