Daniel Spence
MA, LHMC (he/him/y'all)

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Who are you?


I am a gay, white cisgender male who has lived in New York City for over 15 years. I am engaged to be married, able-bodied, agnostic yet interested in spirituality (and especially astrology — shout out to all my Leo/Virgos out there!) I've lived all over the country (and outside of it) before settling in NYC, and I’ve always been an avid traveler. Both of these experiences profoundly inform who I am and helped me appreciate the need for a multicultural approach to therapy.




What made you become a therapist?


l’m fascinated by people’s stories. My undergraduate degree was in film and television production (as well as psychology) and I worked for many years making documentary television — shows for Discovery, Travel Channel, and Animal Planet. In this capacity I interviewed a wide variety of people, including survivors of crimes, academics, people suffering from physical and mental health maladies; and even serial killers! In doing so, I came to understand the power of the narratives we create about our lives. I eventually decided to use this experience to help people create new narratives, find new roles, and write new scripts.




What’s your therapeutic style?


I usually work from a mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral perspective, in which we examine how your thinking affects your emotions and behaviors. We often think that a situation or event causes us to feel a certain way (anxious, depressed, angry), but in actuality, it is the way we are thinking about that event that causes our feelings, and subsequent dysfunctional behaviors. By becoming aware of these unhealthy thought patterns, we can learn to think differently; and similarly, change our relationship with the associated negative feelings. I also work interpersonally — meaning that the relationship, the dynamic, that we have in the room will often mirror the dynamic you have with others outside of the room. Thus, by bringing attention to our dynamic, we can glean a lot of information. I usually work in a more direct manner, giving you concrete tools that you can use to help yourself. Of course, all of this will depend upon you! Each treatment will be a collaborative process, depending on what works best for you.




What are your areas of expertise?


While I work with all mental health issues (anxiety, depression, anger-management, etc.), I do so through a trauma-informed lens, as that has been my main area of focus and training, both here and abroad (I trained at a refugee center in East Africa). I also specialize in issues of identity, gender and sexuality, self-acceptance and body image.




What populations do you specialize in?


I have specific expertise in working with stigmatized groups, like LGBTQ+, HIV+, non-binary and gender-creative folx, sex workers, poly, kink, and other people from diverse sexual and gender experiences; as well as refugees and immigrants; and people living with complex trauma.




What are your fees per session?


I charge $225 for individual therapy and $275 for relationship therapy. Limited sliding scale fee slots available.




What do you view as a key component of the therapeutic alliance/relationship?


I think it’s important to show that we as therapists are human too. I am not perfect; I also struggle. And to show this, I prefer not to be a “blank slate,” but to share myself and who I am (if you want to know).




What do you love most about being a mental health professional?


Oh gosh, so many things. Perhaps mostly, that I get to understand such diverse groups of people a little better every day — I get to learn about not just their lives, but the way they see things, feel things, experience things. To share that with them is such an honor and a blessing.




Any last words?


I have a BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University and an MA in Mental Health Counseling from City College of New York. I have served on the board of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association, and am a member of the American Counseling Association. I volunteer with the Ali Forney Center, an LGBTQ+ homeless youth shelter in New York City, and am on the Young Patrons Circle of New York City Ballet. I am trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Motivational Interviewing, Multicultural Counseling, and Cognitive Processing Therapy, among others. Email me at: daniel@heartspace-therapy.com to book a free 15-minute consultation.