"Hope Through Healing"

Charlotte, NC


About Healing Solutions Counseling Center, PLLC

We would like to welcome you to Healing Solutions Counseling Center, PLLC; where we strive to create "Hope through Healing." We appreciate you taking the time to visit our website and look forward to hearing from you. We would like to meet you and learn more about the situations you are currently experiencing and how we might be able to help make things better.

We will do our very best to assist you in getting back on a path that leads to positive growth, well-being, and balanced living - while finding a new level of happiness in the process. Although we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work with you to better understand and resolve problems in your life. Our goal is to help you find solutions - practical things that you can do today to overcome the problems and difficulties that you are facing; useful tools that will have a positive impact on your life.

As marriage and family therapists, social workers, and professional counselors we understand the importance of family. We are committed to helping you develop relationships defined by bonds that strengthen; bonds that provide the safety and security necessary to enable you to develop a closeness you have only dreamed of.

If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, we look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

Please call or email us today if you have questions or would like to schedule an individual, couples or family therapy consultation.

May God bless your journey of healing!


Michael Howard, EdD

CEO & Clinical Director

Dr. Michael Howard, EdD

Hi! I am Dr. Michael Howard, Executive Director and founder of Healing Solutions Counseling Center, PLLC. I would like to welcome you to our website and to our facility.

Regardless of why you are seeking counseling or the specific things you may be dealing with, we promise to treat you with dignity and respect. Our goal to provide you with the highest quality care possible. Stefanie, Kelly, Kim, and I are experienced therapists who want to assist you in overcoming the difficult and perhaps overwhelming challenges you are currently struggling with. Life can be tremendously difficult, but here at Healing Solutions, We will walk beside you in your journey of healing as you discover new hope and begin to experience all the joy that life can truly offer.

My background is probably a little different compared to other therapists in the field ... I enlisted in the Navy in 1984 after attending college in California for three years. I was a submarine nuclear trained electrician (Chief Petty Officer) until 2002 when I applied for and was subsequently selected to be commissioned as a Chaplain. I retired in 2012 from the Navy with almost 28 years on active duty. During that time, I served on 5 different submarines, as an instructor at a land-based nuclear prototype, and as Training Officer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Additionally, I served as a Chaplain at Navy boot camp, headed the Pastoral Care Department at a naval hospital, and was a Battalion Chaplain in a Marine combat unit. Most recently, I served as the Command Chaplain of the amphibious warship, USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43), where I had the added blessing of participating in Operation Unified Response in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

I am licensed as a Professional Counselor - Supervisor (LPCS) and Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) in the state of North Carolina. I am also licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Washington State. I specialize in individual, couple, and group counseling, but also enjoy working with larger family systems. I work primarily with adults and adolescents. My passion however, is working with couples experiencing marital and relationship problems. I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist - Supervisor (CSAT-S), having personally trained with world renown therapist and researcher, Dr. Patrick Carnes. I, therefore, love working with couples and individuals recovering from infidelity and sexual addiction. I also specialize in trauma recovery and am trained in a technique called eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which is considered one of the most effective and leading trauma treatments available.

I have Master’s Degrees in professional counseling, addiction psychology, marriage and family therapy, and discipleship ministries. I also have a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree in counseling psychology. I am a Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor, as well as a nationally certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Master Addictions Specialist.

I enjoy mentoring, coaching, and supervising younger therapists. As an Approved Supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), I am available for clinical supervision of therapists seeking licensure or completing a practicum or internship. I enjoy passing on knowledge and guiding therapists in their professional journey.

I have authored numerous articles for scholarly journals and have presented at National conferences and to general audiences speaking on the topics of ethics, sexual addiction, infidelity, and building great relationships. I have authored three books: Pathways to Intimacy: Conversations for Closeness - Creating the Marriage you have Always Dreamed of (2011); Intimate Betrayal: Hope and Healing for Couples Recovering from Infidelity and Sexual Addiction (2011); and The Honeymoon's Over - Now What? (2013).

My proudest accomplishment however, has been marrying the love of my life, Lonna, more than 26 years ago and raising our four awesome children (Ila, Dawn, Kimberly, and Jonathan) together. The greatest (and most challenging) calling in life for me has been as a husband and a father.

I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you better.

Stefanie Petyak, MA, LMFT, CSAT Candidate

Hi! I am Stefanie Petyak, MS, LMFT. Every profession has its acronyms and mine is no exception, as an LMFT I am privileged to be both a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. I am also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (candidate) and am in the process of completing training and supervision to become fully certified. I have been personally trained by renowned sex addiction therapist and author, Dr. Patrick Carnes. I specialize in working with partners or spouses of sex addicts, as well as adolescents struggling with sexual compulsivity and/or addiction.

After graduating from Arizona State University, I moved to Hawaii where I obtained my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and where I spent the next eight years working with individuals, couples and families. In 2008 I moved to Virginia to take a clinical position at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth where I had the honor of serving as a therapist to our men and women in all branches of the uniformed services and their families.  During that time I gained additional valuable training in specialty areas such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) which are most helpful in treating people impacted by childhood or adult trauma.

Working with teenagers is a particular specialty of mine. I am both trained and comfortable working with all types of family constellations and I am very experienced and enjoy working with adolescents and their parents or step-families. Physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health are important aspects of my own life and are often important aspects in the lives of my clients as well.

My therapy is always focused on solutions over problems and hope over pain, as I believe the goal of those who come to my office is not only to survive but to thrive in their most important relationships as well as in their personal lives.

William "Bennett" Harris

Hi, I’m Bennett Harris and I look forward to serving you along your journey of personal growth and development. I am a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and have been practicing as a therapist specializing in adolescent and adult development since 2010.

My journey as a counselor has been diverse. I obtained a Masters level counseling degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and have continued my training and specialization in trauma-focused therapy as well as behavioral modification. Upon graduation, I worked in a Level III inpatient facility for teenage boys. I served as a live-in full time counselor, dealing with both developmental and behavioral issues. After transitioning into an outpatient setting, I have gained extensive experience working with families, adolescents, and adults. An area of keen interest for me is children and how to help them regulate their own behavior, rather than rely on their parents to do it for them. Work done with children will focus heavily upon self-regulation and how the parents can support this.

My training in EMDR therapy allows me to join with clients in order to help them along their path to emotional wellness. My work with families has been ongoing since the outset of my career and I continue to look for ways in which I can help strengthen that social unit.

I also work with individuals struggling with self-harm (cutting behaviors and other self-mutilation), as well as Anxiety and PTSD.

The way in which I work with clients can best be described as a dynamic approach that operates under the philosophy that we are forever changing. This adaptive ability that we all possess (yes, even before treatment) can be the driving force for great change, whether our problems are transient or chronic, minor or severe.

It is my sincere belief that the single most important factor in regards to the success of any counseling experience is the quality of the relationship between the counselor and the client. As the client, it is crucial that you become an active participant during therapy, but trust that I will be working equally hard. I look forward to serving you and your family in a caring and compassionate way!

Kim Leppert

Hi! I am Kim Leppert and I look forward to working with you. I hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). I completed my undergraduate studies in Sociology at Longwood College in Virginia and have a Master’s Degree from UNC-C.

Throughout our lives, we have experiences which impact who we are and our world view. It is only when those experiences are negative that we are challenged to use our strengths and find out just how resilient we are. As we experience life, we change, how we change is up to us. Together, we can work to realize and use your strengths to help you become the person you would like to be.

I have 20+ years of experience working with individuals and families who have experienced trauma. I am not only a clinician but also an advocate and pursuer of social justice. I have been privileged to work with survivors of domestic abuse, sexual trauma, child abuse, as well as those individuals who support and care for them. Quite often, what appears to be a single event has a significant impact on a marriage or an entire family system. In addition to trauma, I am equipped to assist individuals cope with anxiety, depression, anger, stress, and in improving one’s overall mental health.

My goal is to provide a supportive and a person centered approach to each client while respecting individuals as the expert about themselves. I utilize cognitive behavioral, rational emotive, and solution focused therapies. All of which respect the strength of the individual while challenging the negative cognitions that often prevent forward progression toward healthy living.

I am a believer that, when in the midst of chaos, one must learn to relax, focus, and oftentimes just breathe. Life takes us on some wild rides and the purpose of reaching out for help should be about finding and remembering who we are, where we want to go, and rediscovering the joy in life.

Kelly Saylor

Hello! I am Kelly Saylor and I am a licensed professional counselor associate and licensed marriage and family therapist associate. My education includes a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UNCC and a master’s degree in Christian counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

I have a varied background which includes work in a psychosocial clubhouse (helping those with mental challenges learn social and job related skills), pregnancy resource center, hospitals, Hospice organizations, mental health and family private practices and church. I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples, families and groups.

I specialize in counseling couples concerning dating, engagement and marriage issues. I also work with adults who deal with the challenges of anxiety, depression, Bipolar and schizoaffective disorder to improve their mental health. Counseling individuals dealing with sexual abuse and anger management issues is another area of expertise of mine. Lastly, working with individuals facing life's transitional struggles is another area I enjoy; these include: adapting to college, career planning and transitioning into retirement.

I am uniquely trained as a Christian counselor. I believe that we are whole persons, with physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects. Whether we include discussion of the spiritual dimension of life in our time together will be up to you. This spiritual perspective is integrated with the perspectives of narrative, solution focused, cognitive-behavioral and family systems understandings of how people work. These are well-established and researched methods of therapy that are widely respected as being effective.

Overall, I am dedicated to helping individuals, couples, and families navigate life's peaks and valleys with integrity, wisdom and joy!