If so, then you are in the right place and we are so glad you have found us!

We get it. We have been there. We at Breathing Space do not do it alone and you don't have to either!

We are here to offer support and guidance as you own your one true life.

We want to walk with you as you dip your toe into the swell of emotion or dive right into the depth of yourself.

We begin where you are and move toward balance through your conscious connection with all levels of yourself. We work with you to gain insight and understanding about your life and offer tools to help you seek balance.

Our aim is to help you get to the underlying belief structures that are causing disturbances in your life. We want you to sink in and listen to your body. To that voice that has been silenced. To the space where YOUR truth lies.

We believe that everyone can heal and thrive in their lives. That means YOU!

We welcome your struggles with body image, prenatal and postpartum issues, grief, anxiety, difficult transitions, mid-life challenges, and trauma.

In addition to insight-oriented talking therapy, we invite you to consider the use of art making, movement, role-playing, writing, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping), and other body-centered modalities in your process of healing.

The therapists at Breathing Space support your journey of self rediscovery and teach you to honor your inner wisdom. May our work together open your heart and ignite your spirit so that you can begin to live your best life!

Our Therapists


Rachel Bender, LMHC, NCC, ACS


Rachel has her BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester, a MS in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University and is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor. Working in a variety of community based programs and mental health settings, she has experience working with adults of all ages and diverse backgrounds, including older adult populations aged 65 and over.

Rachel’s therapeutic style is a blend of person centered, trauma informed and interpersonal therapy techniques, which allows her to provide a safe, calm, and supportive space in therapy sessions. The focus of her work with clients has included those experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, bereavement and those processing change, loss and navigating life transitions. She strives to help clients observe and identify areas for improvement through a holistic lens in order to encompass overall wellness including mental, physical, spiritual, social and emotional health by making sustained changes over time.


· Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), New York State

· National Certified Counselor (NCC), The National Board for Certified Counselors

· Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), Center for Credentialing and Education

· Post Master’s Certificate Program in Clinical Supervision, New York University





Lyndsey Masters, LMHC

  • Pronouns: She/Her/Hers or They/Them/Theirs
  • Languages other than English: N/A
  • State(s) Licensed: New York, Florida
Therapy,  to me, is having a space that is entirely your own to feel and name your emotions in a safe and controlled environment, free from judgment or danger. I believe in coming as you are wherever you are in your process and being met with compassion, empathy, and authenticity. Therapy should be a journey filled with growth, possibility, and personal victories.
Amazing changes can take place when we give ourselves permission to feel our emotions, as ugly as they can seem, and opening ourselves up to possibilities. When we give ourselves permission to dream and to want differently for ourselves, doors will open- let's walk through them together.
I bring into the therapy space my authentic self to share your time with me as you decide. Use your session to cry, rant, curse, laugh, or sing. I am here to walk through the tough times and to celebrate your victories with you.

My Focus Areas

  • Relationship Diversity |  Whether kink, poly, open relationships, consensual non-monogamy, or any space in the vast world of relationship orientation is validated and valued.
  • Family of Origin   |   Figuring out how to manage complex childhood timelines and parental dynamics is often translated into “people-pleasing” into adulthood.
  • Sexual Health   |   While not a formal sex therapist, I hold the space for frank, honest, and valuable conversation about what is - or is not - happening in the bedroom.
  • LGBTQIA  Affirming |   Where differing sexual orientations, gender identities, and non-binary/gender non-conforming individuals are celebrated and acknowledged for their individuality.
  • Forensics   |   With an in-progress MS in forensic psychology, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges individuals who have experienced incarceration and marginalized groups can experience.
  • Adolescents & Young Adults   |   Adolescence and young adulthood is a stressful time of development and transition.

My Ideal Client

My ideal client is one who shows up committed to owning their emotions and ready to work towards their future happiness, and willing to acknowledge their hard work with humor. I’ll hold you accountable with gentle directness. I love what I do and invite you to a space of honesty and vulnerability where the therapeutic relationship is built on trust and savviness.


My goal as an LGBTQ+ queer, trauma and kink-informed therapist is for my clients to have a safe, confidential space where they don’t have to explain or worry about their sexuality, style, or identity. They don’t have to worry about being misgendered and where you don’t have to “teach” your therapist about the community or justify your experiences. My personal approach to therapy is being a supportive player while my clients ultimately direct the show. I believe that we each know ourselves better than anyone else, so I'm here to walk through the struggles with you and be witness to amazing growth.
Therapy is a journey of healing and hope. I will encourage you to trust your gut, trust the process, and trust yourself in what you need. I will encourage you to explore and make mistakes, to accept that as humans, we are fallible creatures and as such, are entitled to grace and mercy for when we stumble. We will work together to develop techniques, skills, and new ways of understanding obstacles as opportunities. Together we will work on building achievable, tangible, and practical skills and celebrate successes in the journey of hope, health, and healing. We will identify challenges and problem-solve together to meet goals.
I listen carefully to your needs and help clients get unstuck by identifying areas of personal strengths and weaknesses. I lean towards a warm, yet direct, approach with an emphasis on acknowledging victories no matter how small. I examine behaviors and hold you accountable in improving your life and replacing stale, unproductive behaviors with feelings of empowerment ready for radical change.
All I ask of my clients is they show up and together, we will do amazing work.


I have been fortunate to work in a variety of settings that have helped me craft how I view therapy as well as the lens through which I view the world. My mental health career has gone through many iterations — employment within inpatient and forensic settings, residential settings, the therapeutic foster care field, day treatment programs for those with developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, HIV & AIDS diagnoses, or co-occurring disorders, and community mental health outreach for underserved areas. Each employer has gifted me with a renewed passion for what I do and has taught me that I am the lucky one to walk alongside my clients in their journey of self-exploration. Additionally, all of my experiences have been woven together with a solitary thread- my passion for bringing much-needed affirming and respectful services to those whom society often marginalizes.
  • 2021 - Anticipated graduate Northcentral University, Scottsdale AZ | Masters of Science in Forensic Psychology
  • 2015 - Graduated St John Fisher College, Rochester NY| Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling
  • 2012 - Graduated St John Fisher College, Rochester NY| Bachelors of Science in Psychology
  • Kink Aware Registered Professional with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
  • Member: New York Mental Health Counselors Association since 2018
  • Member: International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology since 2019
  • Human Sexuality and Kink/Alternative Lifestyle Guest Community Educator- Corning Community College
Affiliations/Personal Projects
  • Kink Aware Registered Professional with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
  • Rainbow Mapping: April 2021
  • Mindfulness and Modification Therapy for Impulsive Behaviors: April 2021
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals: March 2020
  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP): March 2019

Personal Information

I reside in the state of New York near the City of Syracuse with my husband, Matt, and dog, Obi. My dream is to live on a wide-open plot of land surrounded by goats, cows, dogs, chickens, bees, and wildflowers. We enjoy traveling, sightseeing, trying new foods, and finding adventure in mundane day-to-day life activities.
I am affectionately known as 'Sweets' among friends as I make a sincere effort to listen, remember, include, and check in with those who are endeared to me. Similarly, I'm known for ferociously defending and advocating for those that do not have a voice of their own and being outspoken about the respect people deserve to be treated with, from those with differing abilities to LGBTQIA to incarcerated individuals, and to children. I believe everyone is deserving of being treated with dignity and humility.
My hobbies include leisure reading, various art outlets, film photography, roller derby, community activism, supporting local businesses, and enjoying the sunshine when it graces the Upstate New York area.




Meg Tobin, MA, LMHC


Meg offers retreats, workshops, online classes, and individual or group psychotherapy to encourage conscious connection on all levels – physical, emotional, and spiritual. As a trauma-informed therapist, her philosophy is heart-centered and spirit-filled and she provides a safe place for exploration of all feelings and experiences, whatever they may be. Meg begins where you are, with the truth that within each person lies a pure center. It is your whole, unchanging, perfect, divine, connected core just waiting to be remembered and honored. Meg supports your journey of self-rediscovery and honors your inner wisdom.

Meg uses art, movement, and drama to bring us to our deepest selves. she has worked in a variety of clinical and school settings with adults, adolescents, and children around issues of trauma, body image, grief, and family violence. She helped to write a dating violence prevention curriculum for juvenile justice-involved youth and a bullying prevention program for middle school students.

Meg has presented to human service agencies and at conferences and been a trainer for group facilitators in the areas of eating disorders and grief. Meg has long been involved with theater for change where she co-directed a Syracuse performance of the national play Birth, by Karen Brody and wrote and directed the Reflections Project (educational theater about eating disorders) with a cast who performed throughout Boston, MA, Burlington, VT, New Haven, CT, and Central New York.

Meg is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the State of New York, having earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a focus in Expressive Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. In addition to her state license, she holds the following certifications:

  • Certified EFT Practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping): International Metaphysical University and additional training with Alina Frank and Craig Weiner of the EFT Tapping Training Institute.
  • EMDR Basic Training - EMDRIA Approved
  • Certified Level 1 in the Trauma Resiliency Model: Trauma Resiliency Institute
  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional: International Association of Trauma Professionals
  • Completed Sand Tray Play Therapy Training Parts One and Two
  • Several Psychodrama trainings (approximately 100 hours)
  • Internal Family Systems - Currently in training




Maksim (Max) Tsaryk, MA, LPMHC

Max’s style emphasizes a deeper understanding of the whole self. Each client is supported to develop goals that aim to address the root causes of presenting concerns and build life-long skills and balance. Max is skilled at creating a safe and healing environment that promotes a cooperative therapy relationship to explore coping strategies and self-discovery. He implements clinical interventions that respond to individual immediate and long-term concerns. Max believes that what you are going through is important, and he honors the significant courage it takes to engage in treatment.

Max completed his B.A. in Psychology at SUNY Geneseo in Psychology and his M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Medaille College. Max’s experience in a clinic setting includes work around emotion comprehension and regulation, anxiety management, supporting individual around setting and reaching goals, interpersonal communication, and conflict resolution, developing boundaries, building resiliency, overcoming procrastination, relapse prevention, stress management, healthy living, sleep hygiene, symptom management, and overcoming adversity. Max was also born in Belarus Minsk, and therefore, offers fluency in Russian speaking and writing. His history of migrating and serving in the U.S. military enables consideration for diversity and adaptation to change.


  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Suicide Prevention
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • LGBTQ and Multicultural Counseling
  • Mindfulness, Conversational Hypnotherapy
  • Solution-Focused Interventions
  • Mental Illness Related Disorders Treatment Interventions
  • Max holds a NYS Limited Permit and is working towards completion of his NYS Licensure hours under the supervision of Meg Tobin, LMHC. His services are self-pay on a sliding scale.



Karla Photo

Karla Varona, LMHC

Ms. Karla Varona is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) based out of NYC, born in Cuba. Karla is bilingual in Spanish.
Karla received her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Education Department at Hunter College in 2018.
Karla has extensive experience working with individuals ranging from childhood to adulthood as well as their families to achieve a happier life overall. Karla also has experience conducting open and closed groups in a variety of settings. Karla’s goal is to encourage and support clients with the necessary tools to empower them to overcome personal obstacles. Karla provides a judge-free zone, a safe and comfortable space, and a trustworthy experience using a person-centered holistic approach to therapy. Karla strives to allow clients to find their authentic selves and increase satisfaction in day-to-day life through healing, compassion, and emotional support. Karla is also certified with NBCC as a National Certified Counselor.
Karla has provided individual therapy to children and adults who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress management, behavioral issues, family conflict, self-esteem, sexual abuse, trauma, and interpersonal relationships.

Over the years she has found that cognitive-behavioral (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and solution-focused therapy (SFT) approaches to be effective therapy skills.

What makes her happy?
Good foods, the ocean, traveling, bike riding, plants, puppies. She also truly enjoys Yoga, yoga pants, and meditation. 

Karla attended The University at Buffalo where graduated with a bachelor's in Interpersonal Communication. A few years later, after working at an in-treatment program with children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences, she decided to embark on a journey to become an LMHC. Since then, she’s continued to work with at-risk young adults and their families in various settings that include outpatient facilities, schools, and foster care agencies.
Karla truly feels honored to have been given an opportunity to embrace such a fragile population and collaborate for better overall wellbeing and positive change in their lives. Kara has strived to continue living in purpose, which she honestly believes is that of helping others become their best and happier selves. She invites you to be excited about your treatment and look at it as an individualized resource available to you and your well-being. Karla strongly stands for her clients. She understands each client’s unique process and individual journey.

She aims to provide a space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of all but in particular minority women and girls. There are several individuals that have paved the way and inspired her to treat a variety of disorders and continue to teach her humbly. Needless to say, she respects and wishes to join those also working towards eradicating the stigma of the meaning of therapy within the minority community. Karla looks forward to working with you.



Kate.vulcano.photo.2020 3

Kate Vulcano, MA, LPMHC

Kate Vulcano holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester. She is currently working towards completing the New York State licensing requirements in Mental Health Counseling as a limited permit holder at Breathing Space Studio. She will be offering counseling services under the supervision of Meg Tobin, MA, LMHC.

She believes that each person is beautifully different and supports clients to see their strengths. Kate's holistic approach creates a space for each client to live their own truth and explore what is not working in their lives. For Kate, counseling is about having a safe space, someone in your corner, and providing the tools and support people need to walk through life with more ease. Kate's empathy helps create a safe space in her sessions for an individual to express themselves and her non-judgmental approach welcomes and validates clients' needs.

Kate specializes in geriatric and caregiver mental health. She has worked as a mental health clinician in several senior living sites, and she has formally worked with the geriatric population or caregivers for the past 6 years. Personally, she experienced caregiving from a young age and gained a close familiarity with Alzheimer's disease. Kate’s goal is to empower caregivers, empathize, and listen to their concerns while providing resources to help them experience some relief.

Kate’s work with the geriatric community and any type of caregiver holds a special place in her heart. Aging, witnessing loved ones aging, or caring for someone who is ill is not always an easy task, and changes happen quickly. Kate aims to provide support, active listening, and empathy to build a strong therapeutic relationship. Her goal is to empower her clients to speak their truth and to be able to advocate for themselves around relationships, medical issues, and in work situations. Kate utilizes different styles of psychotherapy based on what each individual needs. Kate is skilled in the use of gestalt therapy, interpersonal therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Her main style consists of cognitive-behavioral therapy with a bit of person-centered therapy.

  • Kate holds a NYS Limited Permit and is working towards completion of her NYS Licensure hours under the supervision of Meg Tobin, LMHC. Her services are self-pay on a sliding scale.