Meet the Staff of Peaceful Counseling Solutions


John "LJ" Booth M.F.T., L.M.F.T.

John ('LJ') Booth, MFT, LMFT is  a Marriage and Family Therapist, with a family of his own, who brings the practical experience of marriage (and raising kids) to his practice. His skill set has evolved to a range of therapeutic approaches, including IFS, Narrative therapy, Strength-based therapy, Imago Dialogue Therapy, DBT and mindfulness, in whatever combination will be most effective with the challenges at hand.     

Utilizing individual, family, or group therapy, his expertise addresses a wide variety of issues including anxiety, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, marriage/relationship issues, parenting, LGBTQ+ issues, life transitions, traumatic history and other mental health concerns. LJ is continually inspired by the courage and open-heartedness of his clients; as they set out partnering together toward change and healing. LJ provides therapy to children, teens and adults ages 8 years and up. 


Julie Jensen, MSW, LCSW

We are excited to announce that starting March 4th, Julie will be in our Merrill office 2 days per week.

Julie Jensen MSW, LCSW  holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is credentialed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Julie has over 18 years’ experience working in the Child Welfare system. She also has experience providing intensive in-home family therapy, mobile crisis intervention services, counseling services to victims of crime, outpatient mental health services to children and their families, and therapeutic services to older adults experiencing depression and anxiety. Julie uses a Cognitive Behavioral approach and is available to see adults as well as adolescent females with depression, anxiety, and victimization issues.  Julie provides therapy sessions for community members in our Merrill office.


Erinn Nelson, M.S., L.P.C., S.A.S.

Erinn (Nelson) McCabe, M.S., L.P.C., S.A.S.

Erinn is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Substance Abuse Specialty. Erinn’s expertise includes providing individual, family, and group therapy to address a wide variety of issues including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, LGBT struggles, parenting concerns, abuse and other trauma history, grief and loss, substance abuse, and other mental health concerns. Erinn provides play therapy for children ages 3 yrs. and up and is trained in Theraplay-based methods to promote healthy attachment in children and adults. She is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help individuals that struggle with adjustment concerns and trauma. Erinn’s philosophy is grounded in interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, as well as mindfulness. Erinn is an open-minded individual who provides empathy and guidance to her clients working through difficult moments in their lives.


Marjorie Debevec-Marksteiner, M.S., L.P.C.

Marjorie Debevec-Marksteiner, M.S., L.P.C.

Marjorie is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She also has a Master of Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Marjorie enjoys working with children ages 9 and over, adolescents, and adults of all ages, life stages, and both genders. Her areas of expertise include Eating Disorders & disordered eating, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, Anxiety, illness & health concerns, life transitions, grief, loss, trauma, and relationship challenges at school, work, or in marriage, partnership or family.

Based on client need Marjorie employs a blend of therapies including Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral, Motivational Interviewing, Rogerian and trauma-informed, along with the techniques of meditation, mindfulness, play and art therapy. She believes respect for self and others is realized by creating an environment where all feel safe and comfortable sharing, knowing their thoughts, feelings and experiences will be held in high regard and confidentiality appropriately kept.


Melanie Strand, M.S., C.S.A.C.

Melanie Strand, M.S., C.S.A.C.

Melanie is a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor and a Mental Health Intern. Her experience of 9 years in the field of counseling includes working with those who are under-served, mental health concerns, substance use, and struggle with a combination of mental health and substance use. Melanie has been certified in Pro-Longed Exposure Therapy which is an evidence-based treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help individuals that struggle with adjustment concerns and trauma. Melanie’s specialties include PTSD, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, substance use concerns, grief and loss, career as well as a variety of other concerns. Melanie sees individual’s that are 13 years of age and older. She focuses on a cognitive-behavioral theoretical orientation helping individuals identify how their thoughts impact many areas of their life. Melanie takes the time to understand her client’s needs and meets them where they are at so they can develop a healthy life.


Deborah Piskoty, M.A.,L.M.F.T., C.S.A.C., I.C.S.

Deborah Piskoty, M.A.,L.M.F.T., C.S.A.C., I.C.S.

Deb holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. As well, she is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and an Independent Clinical Supervisor.   Deb has 16 years of experience treating substance abuse issues.  Deb is a TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Interventions) Practitioner who has experience working with adolescents.   Deb has experience working with individuals, couples and families to address a wide scope of issues including parenting issues, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, stress- and anger-management, trauma, life transitions and grief and loss.  Deb is very active in our schools, providing education to our youth about the physical and mental health impact of substance use/abuse.   She is also active in our community and at the state level working to educate others and to eliminate the stigma associated with the disease of addiction.

Based on the individual needs of each client, Deb employs therapeutic approaches to include Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive-Behavioral, TBRI, Mindfulness, Strength-based and Solution-Focused.   Deb believes that every client has the right to feel safe and that the foundation of the therapeutic relationship is felt safety.  Deb works to create a therapeutic partnership with her clients and ensure that every client feels valued and respected.


Susie Rood , M.S., L.P.C.-I.T., S.A.C.-I.T.

Susie Rood has earned a bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education (Bowling Green State University), master’s degrees in Bilingual Education/TESOL (University of Findlay), a second master's degree in Psychology (Longwood University) and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Central Michigan University.   She previously worked in disability services in post-secondary education prior to joining Peaceful Solutions.

She specializes in mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, grief, loss, trauma, PTSD, LGBTQ+ issues, transition issues, chronic pain, stress-management, self-esteem issues, relationship issues, congenital and acquired disabilities, adjustment disorders, and  substance absue issues.  Her therapeutic practices include cognitive-behavioral and how thoughts influence actions, positive, personalize problem-solving, and strength identification. Susie works with individuals 10 years and older.


Becky Pein, M.S. L.P.C.

Becky is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in mental health counseling and child and adolescent counseling.  Becky has experience working with a wide variety of individuals from all walks of life. Becky utilizes individual, family, and group therapy to address a wide variety of issues including anxiety, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, relationship issues, parenting concerns, LGBTQ+ issues, life transitions, abuse/other trauma history and other mental health concerns. Becky’s approach emphasizes utilizing one’s individual strengths to build upon the abilities the individual has to cope with the struggles they are experiencing.  Becky is a non-judgmental open minded person who emphasizes empathy, encouragement and guidance to her clients.  Approaches that Becky utilizes to help her clients achieve their goals include cognitive behavioral, mindfulness-based, dialectical behavioral, motivational interviewing, and solution-focused. 


Curtis Mallow, S.A.C.

Curtis Mallow, S.A.C.

Curtis is an experienced Substance Abuse Counselor who has provided groups and individual sessions for people in the Department of Corrections, people transitioning out of corrections as well as clients in the community. He currently sees clients individually, provides assessments and co-facilitates a variety of substance abuse groups including: The CHOICES Teen Group, Addiction 101 and OWI Groups. Curtis brings personal experience that helps him provide empathy and guidance on the path to recovery.


Lexie Strasser, MSE, LPC-IT, SAC-IT

Lexie is a Licensed Professional Counselor – IT and a Substance Abuse Counselor – IT. Lexie received her Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Lexie works with adults, teens, and couples encountering depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relationship and family difficulties, grief and loss, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concerns. Approaches that Lexie uses to help her clients achieve their goals include CBT, DBT, mindfulness, dialectical behavioral, trauma-informed and solution-focused.  


Carla Jones MS, MSW, APSW

Carla is a certified Advanced Practice Social Worker. She has experience working with individuals and families to address a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and relational issues including depression, stress- and anger-management, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma and family system issues. She provides a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment in which clients can explore the issues and challenges they face.  It is in Carla’s professional interest to provide the most effective therapy to her clients by integrating a use of therapy techniques to include Cognitive-Behavioral, Motivational Interviewing, EMDR therapy, Strength-based, Mindfulness, and incorporating empirically supported practices. Carla strongly believes in the power of the therapeutic partnership to help uncover the strengths and resources we all possess in order to bring about the changes we desire in our lives.


Shawne Judnic MS, LPC.

Shawne is a licensed professional counselor with expertise including individual, couples, groups, and family therapy to address a wide variety of issues including: childhood sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress disorder, LGBT struggles, child behavioral problems, parenting issues, grief and loss, and other mental health concerns.  Shawne has experience providing individual, group, couple, and family counseling. Over the course of her career in the human services field, Shawne has worked as a youth counselor, supervisor, therapist, and treatment director. She has interest in and lectured on Reactive Attachment Disorder, Crisis Prevention and Intervention, LGBT issues, and Sexual Offender Specific therapy.  Shawne believes in the infinite worth of every human being and strives to make a difference in the lives of those she encounters.


Tricia Gumz MSW, APSW, SAC-IT

Tricia has a Master's in Social Work from Southern Illinois University.  She has spent the last 6 years working in the school system providing mental health services to students and working with families through community programs. She is available to work with children, adolescents, and adults.  

Tricia has experience working with children ages 8 and older that struggle with depression, suicidation/self-harm, anxiety, ADHD, and behavior issues.  She has also spent time working directly with at-risk youth who have a history of trauma, truancy issues, intrapersonal relationship concerns, and/or substance use.  Tricia has worked with young adults and parents in navigating through various life struggles and uncertainty.  

Tricia has worked with a variety of clients since starting her journey.  She uses an integrative approach based on the client's needs including cognitive behavioral, solution-focused, brief, and motivational therapies.  Crisis intervention also plays a large part in her role with clients.  

Tricia believes in providing empathy, understanding, and guidance while engaging with clients.  She is open minded, positive, nonjudgmental, and determined in her role.  


Steven Korzinek

Steven Korzinek

Steven co-facilitates the Phase I portion of the SAFE program, conducts intakes, facilitates the men's aftercare program, and provides mentoring to men in the SAFE Program. Steven brings with him a wide variety of valuable life experiences that allow him to offer compassionate and valuable wisdom to the men we serve.


Julie, Jill and Cyndy

Julie, Jill and Cyndy

Our friendly and helpful office staff who keep our office running smoothly and efficiently!


Stephanie Schmitt

Stephanie Schmitt

Our accountant extraordinaire who keeps it all balanced and making sense.


Lee Shipway, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Lee Shipway, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Lee is the co-founder and Executive Director of Peaceful Solutions Counseling. She has 36 years of experience as a licensed mental health therapist in individual, couples, family and group therapy. She supervises all of the mental health therapists at the agency as well as co-facilitating groups for the SAFE program. She is dedicated to assisting our community by providing a high quality outpatient mental health and substance abuse clinic through her support and guidance to the therapists on staff. She is a past recipient of the Governor's Award for excellence in domestic violence services.


Todd Werner

Todd Werner

Todd Werner is the co-founder of Peaceful Solutions Counseling.  Todd has been one of the co-facilitators of the S.A.F.E. program for the last twenty-nine years, and has provided many other services to individuals and families in the past thirty-six years. Todd is a past recipient of the National Sunshine Peace Award.  Todd continues to co-faciltate the SAFE groups in Wausau.