About Crespo Mental Health
Raquel A. Crespo, LMHC – Founder of Crespo Mental Health
Director & Bilingual Psychotherapist
Raquel Crespo, MA, LMHC, is the founder of Crespo Mental Health. Crespo Mental Health was created to be a safe place for individuals of all ages and all walks of life to bring their struggles, challenges, worries, and fears to caring professionals who embrace, accept, and partner with them in their journey toward better mental health.
Raquel earned her MA in Mental Health Counseling at Yeshiva University’s Graduate School of Psychology and her BA in Psychology at St. John’s University. She is a bilingual psychotherapist who has dedicated her counseling career to working with individuals, children, adolescents, couples, and families in a variety of direct service and administrative roles. Through the use of her education, experience and supportive psychotherapy techniques, Raquel is able to tailor her therapeutic work to focus on the strengths and needs of each client.
In addition to her work in private practice, Raquel is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor for Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University educating the future counselors of tomorrow.
Raquel’s professional experience includes working as Clinical Coordinator for JBFCS, Preventive Services Case Planner, and Adult Literacy Therapist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is a member of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association. Before commencing her counseling career, Raquel was involved in educating adults and children with developmental disabilities.
Aileen Benatar-Stotter, LMHC
Aileen earned her Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology-Counseling at New York University, her M.A. degree in Mental Health Counseling at Alfred University, and she her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Previously, Aileen worked at the Roberto Clemente Mental Health Center in New York as a Mental Health Counselor. Aileen is a bilingual psychotherapist with 7 years of experience treating children, adolescents, adults, and families from diverse backgrounds. Her specialties include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship issues, women’s issues and parenting issues. Aileen believes in using an eclectic therapeutic treatment approach focusing on Psychodynamic psychotherapy and the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy approach. Aileen utilizes collaborative, empathic and non-judgmental techniques in supporting individuals and families with openness in communication. Aileen’s goal is for her clients to find hope and meaning in their lives and to develop better coping mechanisms to overcome their difficulties.
Stacy Cesar, MHC-LP
Stacy Cesar is a Mental Health Counselor with experience in individual, family, couples and group therapy. She has worked in various settings with individuals of different ages, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Stacy has experience working with clients dealing with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, family conflict, criminal history and more. Stacy uses an eclectic therapeutic approach to meet the needs and desire of her clients. Stacy strongly believes in meeting clients “where they are” and believes in using a variety of techniques and modalities based on the need of the client.
Stacy believes in working collaboratively with clients throughout their course of treatment in order to address their needs in a way that is personal and fitting to the challenges they are facing. Stacy strives to create an environment for her clients that is warm, welcoming and safe in order for clients to feel comfortable being their true self.
Stacy received a Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Nyack College Alliance Graduate School of Counseling in New York and a Bachelors of Science degree at Mercy College, where she studied Psychology.
Joni Rebecca McLeod, MHC-LP
Joni McLeod is a a graduate of Northwestern University where she received her Master’s in Counseling. Joni has gained experience working with individuals, couples, and families with a variety of presenting problems and diagnoses. In graduate school, Joni conducted research on the intersection of trauma and the LGBTQ+ community as well as attachment patterns in relationships.
Joni is passionate about finding the coping mechanisms and interventions that work best for each individual and generally takes a Psychodynamic approach with clients while borrowing interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Joni is passionate about helping every individual and family find strategies that work best for them on their mental health journey.
Laura Herrera Torres, MHC-LP
Laura Herrera Torres graduated with honors from Queens College, where she obtained her Master’s degree (M.S.) in Mental Health Counseling. As the 2020 recipient of the Jesse Vazquez Multicultural Counseling Award, Herrera Torres provides culturally-informed psychotherapy to clients of all racial, ethnic, and sexual identities. In the years prior to working at Crespo Mental Health, Laura conducted neuropsychological research regarding biomarkers of risky decision making and substance use disorder in young adults. Her findings later informed her work providing individual and group psychotherapy to clients in recovery who suffered from depression and anxiety. Laura uses an eclectic approach, borrowing from multiple therapeutic frameworks including Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy, in order to tailor sessions to each client’s individual needs.
Pyschotherapist Student Intern
Elizabeth Kauffelt is a current student at Northwestern University and is working towards her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She completed her undergraduate studies with a B.A. in Business from Ohio University and spent over a decade working in the corporate world. After witnessing and experiencing the stress and pressures that can come from working in a fast-paced business setting, Elizabeth started her journey to understanding more about mental health issues and the importance of therapy to increase one’s overall well-being. This understanding and strong desire to help others and empower them to better their Mental Health led her to pursue a career in counseling. Elizabeth is very involved in the community and believes in advocating for others through volunteer opportunities.
Pyschotherapist Student Intern
Sydney Lerner is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Northwestern University. Sydney’s undergraduate degree is in Creative Writing and strives to use creativity and language to impact the lives of her clients. Sydney is passionate about using psychodynamic interventions to engender positive change and wellness. Prior to interning at Crespo Mental Health, Sydney dedicated her time volunteering with children and young adults with cognitive and behavioral disabilities.