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Experience Change with Safe Space Licensed Clinical Social Work

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind"

William James

Child Psycholgist

Our Services

Couples Therapy like going to the gym, the relationship gets stronger

Family Therapy

.. for healthy families, healthy lives, healthy you

Individual Therapy

..helping you reach your full potential

All About Therapy

Personalized Attention for All Your Needs

Perhaps you're down or anxious - maybe you're unsure about the future of a relationship, or just feel that you aren't living the life you were meant to lead. Whatever your needs may be, we are here to offer support. Therapy is a process of growth and self-discovery, and in session our therapists promote behavioral transformation by encouraging a positive outlook and the adoption of new attitudes and reactions. We have the tools and professional experience to help you get back on track.

Our Staff

Our clinicians are licensed

Helping our patients is the reason we get up in the morning and we are happy to be able to provide them with the best health services. Read on to find out about our clinicians and reach out to schedule your appointment. Most medical insurance plans accepted.


Michelle Fuentes, LCSW

As a licensed clinical social worker, Michelle provides psychotherapy to children, adults and families to assess needs, build trust and explore issues. She utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help survivors decrease their reactivity to traumatic memories, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to help clients gain insight, and Motivational Interviewing Techniques (MI) to help clients evaluate the pros and cons of change. In addition, Michelle supervises social work interns and clinicians in the practice. Michelle is SIFI certified in the State of NY, and a Qualified Supervisor in the State of Florida.

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Johan Peguero, LCSW

In addition to supervising a group of clinicians in the practice, Johan provides psychotherapy to clients who struggle with an array of challenges, including depression, anxiety, work-related stress, relationship setbacks, and other hardships. His goal is to help people get through some of their toughest moments in life and help them be their best selves.

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Stefan Stanjevic, LMSW

Stefan specializes in working with couples by helping them gain awareness of how they experience each other and the negative patterns that contribute to conflict. Stefan uses Emotionally Focused Therapy to help couples see how insecurities may be hurting their relationship and teach them how to feel safe with each other. Through therapy, Stefan provides a safe environment to support couples of diverse backgrounds and teaches them how they may better negotiate themselves in an ever-changing social world.


Sheila Arias, LMFT

As an Afro-Latina bilingual Marriage and Family therapist, Sheila works with many members of marginalized communities to talk about their unique experience and to break down barriers and stigma around mental health. When a client’s beliefs do not align with their cultural or family’s beliefs it can create distress, anxiety, and other challenging emotions.
Sheila helps youth, adults, and couples explore issues important to them and to reexamine cultural beliefs, values, and personal ideology. Sheila serves as a co-pilot with her clients and supports them to drive their own process, to further create an awareness of the influence that life stressors have on them both as individuals as well as in their relationships. 


Sabrina Johnson, MSW

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Monica Gavilanes, LMSW

As a therapist of color, Monica takes pride in understanding how systemic oppression has influenced the way we view ourselves and how that translates to relationships/life circumstance. Her areas of specialty include codependency, anxiety, racial identity, self-esteem, & childhood trauma. She merges psychoanalysis, body/mind connection, and internalized family systems.


Shifra Tepper, LMSW

Shifra's integrative approach to counseling includes motivational interviewing, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral strategies, and psychodynamic therapy. She specializes in the treatment of trauma, bereavement, relationship and family issues, end-of-life decisions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, etc. Her approach is non-judgmental, collaborative and supportive.


Theresa Chriscoe, LMSW

Theresa is a compassionate and empathetic psychotherapist that recognizes the incredible courage it takes to reach out for support during periods of distress and vulnerability. Theresa is committed to building a strong therapeutic relationship with clients by providing them with a safe space in which they feel supported, heard and understood. Theresa focuses on helping individuals feel empowered to be able to achieve their treatment goals.

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Elsa Guerrero, LMSW

Elsa is a bilingual, Spanish/English, speaking Therapist. She provides support to adults in different facets of life. Her approach is gentle and compassionate. She offers individual therapy to those seeking to improve their overall wellbeing while addressing areas of mental health concerns. Elsa considers herself to be a passionate, gentle and empathetic Therapist. She believes that meeting clients where they are is essential to providing a safe space for learning and trust. Elsa uses a psychodynamic approach to help clients gain awareness of unconscious patterns of behavior that may stem from early childhood experiences. Gaining self-awareness can help individuals improve their interpersonal relationships.

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Viviana Schmidt, MSW

Viviana recognizes the unique struggles that individuals face when adapting to a new country and the complex emotions that come with acculturating to a different culture. Moreover, Viviana understands the immense challenge of seeking help in a society where mental health is often stigmatized. As a bilingual therapist fluent in English and Spanish, Viviana is equipped to provide therapy in both languages. Her primary therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She firmly believes that individuals often underestimate their own strengths and capabilities. Therefore, her focus lies in assisting her clients in gaining self-awareness and harnessing their existing powers to promote growth and well-being.

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Charlene Vernon, MSW

Charlene has a wide range of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults of diverse cultures. She has provided direct service to adults who suffer from depression, anxiety, addiction, and trauma that impact their ability to be their best selves. Charlene therapeutic approach includes a combination of strength-based, person-centered and solution focus interventions. In addition, she includes a faith-based practice in the therapeutic relationship.


Qiana Outlaw, MSW, MPA

As a Black clinician, Qiana's mission is to provide her clients with an empathetic and brave space to foster autonomy on their healing journey. She employs a variety of therapeutic modalities in her treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), mindfulness, and self-care approaches. Qiana is passionate about providing high-quality mental health treatments to diverse populations. Qiana has over twenty years of experience in social services providing trauma-informed care to children, youth, adults, and families.

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Rema Sheikah, MSW

Rema believes that mental health is just as important as physical health. As a Muslim Arab-American woman in social work, Rema tries her hardest to ensure she fosters a safe space for her clients to achieve their treatment goals. The teenage years and young adulthood present unique challenges. Trauma, Anxiety-related disorders, and Depression are complex. Rema has a particular interest in working with this special population and helping them achieve success in their life.

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Bianca Prasad, MSW

Bianca is currently working towards becoming a licensed clinical social worker in New York. She has been passionate about helping individuals from a very young age. Bianca has been advocating on breaking the mental health stigma along with enlightening individuals about the significance of mental health, and advocating for those who feel as if they have lost their voice. Bianca truly believes that therapy is beneficial for all. She understands the difficulty that individuals may face when starting therapy, so she tries her utmost best to make clients feel comfortable and understood. Bianca is compassionate, empathetic, patient, and respectful. She believes that a client-centered and strengths-based approach is the bases of a prosperous journey. Bianca looks forward to engaging with clients and developing a trustful and respected relationship.

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Christy Padila

Christy is a dedicated and passionate therapist who has experience working with culturally diverse populations. Christy has a case management background and she has provided clinical support to at-risk populations, specifically clients with disabilities and unhoused individuals. Christy utilizes integrative therapeutic approaches that focus on working with the clients through understanding emotions, thoughts, and core beliefs. Christy is committed to building a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients.

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Sonia Ricks, MFT

Sonia is a Marriage and Family therapist who specializes in grief counseling, PTSD, anxiety and depression. Her military experience affords her with additional expertise to work with Veterans. Sonia utilizes trauma focused therapies and CBT to help her clients find inner peace. Sonia's welcoming and warm demeanor emits calm that results in client's feeling at ease.

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Matthew Mbamelu, MSW

Matthew is a clinician who believes that human understanding and connectedness can be achieved with empathy and compassion. With this belief, Matthew hones into each individual's strengths to guide them towards awareness, strong self-esteem, conflict resolution, and prosperous interpersonal relationships. To achieve these goals, Matthew is committed to fostering a safe therapeutic space where individuals feel comfortable and motivated to explore their life experiences.

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Shoshana Levenson

Shoshana is passionate about working with children and their families, specifically advocating for youth in the foster care system, and those in the LGBTQ+ community. She believes in using trauma informed, client centered approaches to build strong relationships with the populations she works with. Her goal when working with clients is to help them embrace their strengths, trust in their capabilities, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their environment, and their experiences.  Shoshana is also interested in using her social work degree for advocacy work in the future.

Schedule a session today and start healing.

About Us

Serving Patients Since 2015

Safe Space Licensed Clinical Social Work is a licensed Mental Health Service Provider based in New York and Florida. We are here to guide you through life’s most complex and difficult matters. We truly care about our patients’ well-being and guarantee top of the line counseling and psychological services catered to their needs.

Since 2015, we have provided a number of specialized therapeutic services to those dealing with challenging life experiences. Patient well-being is our number one priority, and we go above and beyond to help them through all their obstacles. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Contact Us

3249 Kingsbridge Ave., Bronx, NY 10463

917-969-2445 or 863-738-7808

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