Tara Ferguson, PhD
Dr. Ferguson works with adults and adolescents (age 13+) for individual, couple's and family therapy. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, relationship issues, trauma/PTSD, eating/body image disorders, career counseling, addictions and other compulsive behaviors. Her approach to therapy is cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and emotion-focused theories with multicultural and developmental influences. Mindfulness, meditation and EMDR are cornerstones of her approach as well.
Dr. Ferguson believes that therapy is a collaborative process of exploring an individual’s concerns to gain insight into how and why their problems developed. Sometimes problems stem from early family experiences or other traumas we have experienced in our lives. Other times problems develop because we don't have the skills to cope with the stress of work, relationships and our own emotional reactions. Dr. Ferguson strives to provide a safe and comfortable environment in which to explore your concerns and experiment with new ways of relating to yourself and others. She works with clients to increase their self-awareness, self-acceptance, and options for coping with distress. As she views wellness from a holistic perspective, therapy often addresses a combination of mental, emotional, interpersonal, physical, and spiritual aspects of one’s life.
Dr. Ferguson is the founder, creator and owner of Place of Peace Counseling and Therapeutic Center. She provides supervision and consultation for all of the wonderful and talented therapists who work at the Center. Her private practice is right across the street from Place of Peace at 5004 Oleander Drive. Learn more about Dr. Ferguson and her private practice here.
Stefanie Roback, MSW, LCSW, LCAS
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist
Stefanie provides therapy for adolescents (12+), college age individuals and adults and specializes in the treatment of low self-esteem, addictions, anxiety, eating disorders, body dismorphic disorder, depression and relationship issues. Her passion is walking with others on their journey to identifying and loving who they are and learning to be more intentional. She is dually licensed as an addictions specialist and clinical social worker. Her most commonly used therapeutic approaches are cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness and motivational interviewing. Stefanie is always mindful of cultural and developmental influences on treatment. Christian based counseling is also available for those who desire it. Treatment is always tailored to the client's individual needs, presenting concerns and the individual client's preferences.
Stefanie firmly believes that when we take time to work on ourselves, we impact the world around us in a positive way. She helps her clients gain the tools and coping skills to create the changes they desire in their life. Stefanie's goal is create a safe environment to reflect inward and manifest the self-awareness and acceptance to awaken the motivation for change, as well as a deeper understanding of who you are and who you desire to be. She feels called to working with those who feel something missing from their lives, to find a sense of freedom and a love for who they are.
Stefanie obtained a B.S.W. degree from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, graduating as valedictorian of her class. She then obtained a Clinical Master’s of Social Work degree from Columbia University in the city of New York.
Renee McCauley, MEd, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Renee is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works with adolescents (ages 15+) and adults. She has a holistic approach to therapy and works with individuals dealing with a vast array of issues. Her clinical interests include life transitions, mood disorders, the LGBTQIA community, addiction & recovery, women's issues and relationship issues. She loves working with artists and creative thinkers. Renee employs techniques from various therapeutic orientations including Insight-Oriented Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Therapy and EMDR. The fundamental element in her work is building safe, nurturing relationships with each individual. This allows for an environment where there is freedom from judgement and where practicing new, healthier behaviors is encouraged. Renee considers it a privilege to be entrusted with clients' most intimate challenges and dreams. She loves to learn about clients’ passions and incorporate them, as well as creativity and humor, into treatment.
Renee earned her Master’s Degree from North Carolina State University. She has thirteen years of experience in the mental health field and has provided psychotherapy as a private practitioner, college counselor, and in the community.
Megan McDonnell, PsyD
Dr. Megan McDonnell provides individual therapy for adults and adolescents (13+). She specializes in treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, trauma/PTSD and relationship issues. She uses an integrative approach that combines cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic theories with relational, mindfulness, multicultural, developmental and attachment theories. Dr. McDonnell also offers Cognitive Processing Therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for trauma/PTSD and as otherwise indicated to address a client's concerns.
Dr. McDonnell takes a collaborative and holistic approach to therapy. She works with you to establish the best approach to achieve your goals. She believes safety and the therapeutic relationship are essential for a reparative emotional experience to take place. She believes that through therapy you can have stronger and more meaningful relationships as you learn more about yourself and gain skills for better coping.
Dr. McDonnell completed her postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Ferguson in private practice. She is a licensed psychologist and is the Associate Director at the Place of Peace Counseling and Therapeutic Center.
Lauren Butler, MSW, LCSWA
Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate
Lauren is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate who specializes in working with children (ages 3-12) and families as well as adults. She focuses on the treatment of anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, stress reduction, anger management, troubled relationships and learning disorders. Her desire is that everyone understands how important his or her story is, no matter how young or how old, and she sees it as a privilege to a part of that story. She has her associate license in clinical social work and is also trained in play therapy. She offers online tele-therapy sessions by request.
Lauren was one of North Carolina's Child Welfare Collaborative Scholars in Wake County on a forensic team which gave her the opportunity to work with children and families in many difficult situations. This ignited her passion for working with children and families and getting them the help they deserve. Her main therapeutic goal is to create an environment for individualized, solution-focused therapy for children and/or adults where she can help clients develop appropriate coping mechanisms and emotional regulation techniques. Lauren values each person’s unique journey and the pathways to establish his or her independence.
Lauren has the ability to connect easily with others, often being told that she “never meets a stranger”. She utilizes interventions from cognitive-behavioral therapy, play therapy, positive psychology, stress reduction, anger management processing and control, and processing of anxiety/ panic triggers. She believes working individually with the client as well as the entire family system are extremely valuable tools for healing and recovery. Lauren also enjoys working with foster children and parents as well adoptive parents.
Marki Sulzbach, MA, LPCA, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate
Marki Sulzbach provides individual and group therapy for children (5+), adolescents, and adults. She specializes in art therapy utilizing cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral therapeutic techniques. She works in the treatment of anxiety, depression, anger management, social skills, difficulties with transitions, and ADHD. Marki believes that you do not need to be an artist in order to benefit from the impact of art therapy. Her hope is that others may discover something new and transformative about themselves through the different types of art mediums implemented in art therapy.
Marki received her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Wake Forest University in May of 2019. She also holds a dual undergraduate degree in psychology and Biblical studies from Barclay College. She completed her practicum and both internships at Art It Out Therapy Center, LLC and also spent two years as a residential specialist in a child residential care facility. Marki recently moved from Atlanta, GA and is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in the state of North Carolina and is certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Get to Know Us
Elizabeth Bain, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Elizabeth provides individual and couples therapy to adults and adolescents ages 14 +. She specializes in working with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (including complex PTSD), relationship issues, addictions, co-occurring disorders, adult children of alcoholics, military veteran and first responders. She is experienced in providing couple's counseling and is a trained EMDR professional. Her approach to therapy uses multi-faceted (eclectic) counseling theories from cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral therapy and rational therapy. She utilizes Imago therapy in her couples counseling work and often incorporates EMDR and mindfulness techniques, as well as other holistic therapies, into her work with clients.
Elizabeth helps clients to explore their concerns and gain insight and understanding into how their problems have developed from their life experiences. Oftentimes problems or issues develop during childhood with family of origin experiences and other seemingly minor or major traumas that can occur in one's life. Elizabeth assists individuals in gaining power over, learning to cope better with and moving beyond their problems, limitations or concerns. She sees therapy as a collaborative relationship where a client's strengths are enhanced and they are an active part of the process. Clients are encouraged to make changes to provide them with the most benefit in their lives. Coping skills are taught which can empower a person to deal more effectively with stressors as they come up.
Elizabeth obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Counseling from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She has 16 years experience developing and running a Dual diagnosis program in a hospital setting.
Michael T. Helfer, PhD
Dr. Michael T. Helfer provides therapy for individuals, couples, and groups ages 13+. He views therapy as being a safe, judgment-free space where he can collaborate with others to discuss and help manage life’s challenges. He believes people have their own unique background, values, and culture. He appreciates these differences, and wants to help others in a way that feels right for them. Therapy goals may include learning new skills, changing problematic behavior, or exploring attitudes and values. Part of this process may include understanding how your thoughts, actions, feelings, and relationships are impacting your life.
His areas of work include but are not limited to those experiencing anxiety, relationship issues (romantic, family, or social), men’s issues, major life transitions, trauma, and depression. His theoretical approach is integrative and dynamic, drawing on cognitive-behavioral, emotion-focused, mindfulness-based, and relational-cultural influences.
Dr. Helfer earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Seattle Pacific University in 2011. He had been practicing in Hawaii before moving to Wilmington in 2019. He is a Licensed Psychologist in NC.