About Counseling Space
Counseling Space is a social work practice that aims to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities who struggle with mental health conditions. Our services include counseling, coaching, advocacy, and education. We have a unique focus on individuals and families from multicultural backgrounds, and specialize in culturally aware and culturally competent-based services.
Founded by Leslie M. Garcia, who has over 15 years of experience as a social worker, our practice provides life coaching, clinical and care management services. We pride ourselves on being one of the few life coaching and counseling providers that also helps our clients navigate complex issues such as healthcare, legal system, benefits programs, and others that can be difficult to maneuver on their own.
We partner with each client to create a comprehensive, resource-based care plan that is centered on discovering his or her inner strengths – rather than focusing on weaknesses. Together with our clients, we assess and prioritize different stressors - internal and external - and develop solution-oriented action plans that will break down life’s obstacles into manageable and achievable steps.
In the end, every Counseling Space client has a personalized, goal-oriented strategy that empowers them to achieve their goals and realize their highest potential.
About Leslie M. Garcia
Social Worker. Personal Development Coach. Life Navigator.
Leslie M. Garcia is a bilingual (Spanish) Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Life Coach. For over 15 years, she has devoted her professional career to empowering others by helping them understand their abilities and inner strengths, and to taking practical steps to achieving their goals. She has combined her personal and professional experiences to serve her clients as a social worker, personal development coach, advocate, and life navigator.
A first-generation American, born in New York City to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, Leslie spent her childhood serving as a liaison and translator between her family and their community in New York City. Through her early experiences, Leslie developed an interest in employing strength-based, cross-cultural solutions to help those in her community overcome everyday challenges – principles that have guided her professional career.
In 1996, Leslie became the first in her family to graduate from college. Equipped with a degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology, Leslie became a Substance Abuse Counselor after witnessing the crack epidemic that plagued New York City. Through this experience, Leslie learned the ins and outs of the New York judicial system enabling her to transition into new roles as a Case Manager/Court Liaison and then as a Probation Officer. As she learned more about her clients' personal stories, Leslie realized how important it was to advocate for clients to receive mental and emotional support through treatment rather than be resigned to having criminal records. Through her advocacy, her colleagues began to see her clients as people in need of guidance and support, rather than as perpetrators in need of correction through our criminal justice system. It is also during this time that Leslie completed her Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University.
In 2001, Leslie observed the attacks on the World Trade Center firsthand while working in downtown Manhattan. This experience ultimately led her to seek employment as a social worker at Mount Sinai’s World Trade Center Health Program, where she worked directly with first responders and advocated for them during their treatment process.
Through these endeavors, Leslie has gained experience tackling multiple life challenges, mental health conditions, and serving as a Personal Life Navigator by helping her clients navigate the resources that are needed to reach a balanced life. In 2015, Leslie united her specialties under one roof, and launched her practice. She prides herself on knowing that her personal life story allows her to understand and empathize with people from a variety of backgrounds, circumstances and with unique life experiences.
In addition to providing comprehensive social work and life coaching services, Leslie is an active volunteer and a mentor in her community of New York City. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers and The Holistic Chamber of Commerce. Leslie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of New York and Georgia.