Mary Ellen Culen
A Place of Peace is within you!
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A Place of Peace is a community of love and peace – A Place of Peace to journey; emotionally, spiritually, personally. As an interfaith/metaphysical community, we offer a home for the soul and a bridge to the Oneness in all traditions. We are dedicated to bringing people together of like mind - offering them a "Place" to evolve and to become their highest selves - through the clases, meetings, circles, groups, guidance, meditations, community support and practitioners we have drawn together here.
The purpose of A Place of Peace shall be:

To provide a forum for personal and spiritual growth through but not limited to: counseling, interactive dialogue, education, study groups, workshops, prayer, meditation, retreats

To directly engage in and to provide facilities for: counseling, worship, self reflection and community

To sponsor lectures and events from like minded others

To provide outreach to: hospitals, food shelters, community service programs

To provide a facility for healing/awakening/spiritual enlightenment through but not limited to the various modalities of: Counseling, Drum, Movement, Massage, Energy Facilitation, Reiki, and Music.

Teri Kierbel, Founder/Director
Counselor and Interfaith Minister

In his book The Little Prince, French author, Saint-Exupery, asks us to consider a concept so simple it seems obvious, yet so simply wise it tends to escape the most intelligent of minds. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye...It is the time you waste on your rose that makes your rose so important....”

I love that message! I “waste” time. And, I encourage all of us to do so - to “waste” time that we might see from the heart what is invisible. I encourage the wasting of our precious time on the roses in each of our own gardens of life. I challenge us all to “waste” as much time as we can on our loved ones - to meet them from our hearts. I uphold the “waste” of time on ourselves in acts of self love, on causes that arouse our passions and on simple pleasures of the heart that whisper to us of the eternal. I believe the time we “waste” is how we come to know....

A Place of Peace is my Rose, my passion, the whisper of the eternal in my heart. I am honored and excited to be here and to have this opportunity to be part of the creation of a Place for people to find, work toward, offer, experience…Peace.

I am blessed with sons who are also my Roses and my passion. Our journey for these past 30+ years has been my greatest teacher of love, peace and hope. And now my grand daughter has blessed us with her precious life – teaching our family an even deeper sense of love. I am a wife to a wonderful man who shares and supports - participates in my dreams and now finds them to be his own.

Life is a journey of becoming, of awakening to our highest, healthiest and most natural self.  A thriving life and relationship is lived in alignment with Love and Peace.   I assist my clients in discovering that which keeps them from happiness and peace within.  Together we redirect cognitions, search partnerships and environment, find the right tools and training toward peace on the this path of the heart.  I have been in private practice now for over 25 years and am currently in the process of obtaining my doctorate in Metaphysical Sciences. I am an Ordained Interfaith Minister as well - I have been an Associate Minister at The Interfaith Fellowship in Thousand Oaks and a member of the Conejo Valley Ecumenical Counsel. I am on the founding Board of Directors for the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States, now recognized at the table of World Religions.  I am a member of Spiritual Directors International.  Much of my ministry is with people who have left traditional religious forums but who search for spirituality. I address their concerns or disaffection while at the same time honoring the truth and beauty of those traditions that formed them. I love assisting folks who come to me to create both traditional and non-traditional spiritual ceremonies that create a sacred and meaningful experience for their special times.

The vision I hold for my work is ever changing. I believe in the evolution of the human spirit toward a love and need for individual truth. I believe in the healing of our planet, and our people. I know my quest is to serve in that arena. Therefore, I walk with people where they are and am honored by the journey they share.....I hold all in my heart. My practice and ministry are planted where ever there is need or desire for Love/Light/Truth/God. My message is Love and my way is Peace. I pray that I will understand more each moment I live how sacred life is in all its forms as I strive to grow in wisdom, reverence and respect. As I grow and mature I pray for increasing integrity in my life. I imagine peace - for myself and the world - that all may know the beauty and perfection of now.

I look forward to welcoming fellow travelers to our Community at A Place of Peace ~ as well as to our weekly Interfaith Services. I look forward to meeting any and all of you in the days, months and years to come.

Doug Kierbel, Treasurer

I am Doug Kierbel, Board of Director. I am blessed as husband and father of a wonderful family. I am excited and thrilled to be involved with the creation of A Place of Peace. I have always felt a need to do my part in supporting people to bring about positive change in their lives. In the early 70’s I joined VISTA Volunteers as a full time employee. Thereafter I became the Director of a non-profit community service organization, working with consumer protection and landlord tenant meditation. In the late 70’s I earned my Masters Degree in Public Administration and later in the 90’s my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. In 1978 I became a Labor Relations Specialist at UCLA Medical Center and there I stayed for 23 years. I transferred to University of California at Santa Barbara campus in the same capacity for the next 7 years. I left UCSB in June of 2008 to begin my journey with A Place of Peace. Currently I am working with my wife Teri to help facilitate couples counseling and provide administrative support for the Place of Peace.

My excitement with A Place of Peace is that I believe we can build a home for the heart and a place to come to get filled up and connected with others of like mind. I see A Place of Peace as a place that will feed the soul and promote inner peace and happiness. I’m looking forward to where our outreach in the community will take us and all the folks we will meet along the way. I enjoy Teri’s and my sessions with couple’s counseling – we draw on our own journey in love and marriage for our work and I think truly connect with our clients’ healing process.

I look forward to meeting any and all of you. Hope you’ll stop by.

Illayne Kiel, Volunteer Coordinator

My name is Illayne Kiel and I am a Board Member of A Place of Peace. I have been friends with Teri and Doug for 10 years now, supporting their dream of the community they envisioned. I was a participant in Teri’s ministry in Thousand Oaks and am very happy to assist in her endeavors here in Ventura . I am a Speech Therapist, working in the Oxnard School District . I have been working in California schools for over 20 years and love my work. I also work with Children’s Therapy Network, making home visits for them in the surrounding communities. I will be offering after school tutoring for children in the community needing a little extra support.

I am married to a wonderful man, Mark. We spend much of our time around the beach and park in Oxnard Shores where we live, together with our little Calico, a small labradoodle. I look forward to what the future may bring for all of us at A Place of Peace.

Jim DeSmit, Outreach Chair

I am Jim, and this new venture is just what I have been searching for in my life. I come to the board with lots of love and willingness. I feel Ventura needs a place like this, A Place of Peace, and I am going to do my part to make things happen. Our board meetings are filled with ideas and good will – we are all on the same wave length and I like that harmony. I guess our job is to support the creation process and then the sustaining of our new community. We are all looking forward to this new beginning.

I was born in New Mexico but have lived in Texas and California as well. I’ve been here in California for more years than I can remember now. I have two Masters Degrees from Berkeley and have left teaching Math at Ventura College , last year. Actually, I enjoy my coffee and donuts with friends in the morning, wandering and finding what’s out there, meeting new people, I seek out all kinds of meditation, and I believe in service. I am a minimalist and am enjoying the process of releasing material things that I have collected over the years toward simplifying my life style.

Come celebrate with us on Sundays – or Wednesday nights for A Course in Miracles. I’ll see you then and there.

Phil Carker, Outreach Chair

I am Phil Carker, father of 5 sons and a big German Shepard dog I love. I am a man who loves – and my life is dedicated to that endeavor. I live in Houston Texas but that will not stop me from being a huge part and presence at A Place of Peace. I will be traveling to California every couple of months, to stay for a month each time, to work together with Teri and the Board of A Place of Peace. I’m known as a, “get it done spirit”. Now a part of the A Place of Peace Board of Directors, I will get it done. I realize in this new commitment that I am back where I began, a place of new beginning. This is a beautiful Place, and a community of people with outstretched arms, full of love.

I have a long and successful history of businesses I have owned and operated, my most recent and loved was, Health Masters, School and Clinic of Massage in Houston Texas . Teri and I shared a practice in Houston , years ago – she has spoken of her vision of A Place of Peace for many many years.

Together, all of us, we are going to make it all happen!


In-House Professional Practitioners

Teri Kierbel, Counselor/Interfaith Minister
(805) 794-9878

Teri is a Counselor, Interfaith Minister, and Spiritual Guide - Founding A Place of Peace to provide a "Place" to journey: emotionally, spiritually and personally.

As a counselor and spiritual guide, Teri assists people in the process of coming to the fullness of their promise.  
Her passion is to awaken participation in life: fully, peacefully and with love.  
Toward that end she is a guide in the process of coming to truly “know” and understand one's self, one's partner, one's environment and vision.
Teri journeys with those who seek to release, within theselves, their best and highest selves, that they might flourish outwardly.
Her Relationship Counseling supports couples in finding the love that drew them together in the beginning…
in removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s creating the vibrant life they envision.
Teri's Workshops, Retreats, and Classes are fun, empowering, motivating and healing.
She holds Meditation Circles and A Course in Miracle Study Groups regularly and has recently introduced Full Moon Circles.

As an Interfaith Minister, Teri provides a Place for people who have left traditional religious forums but who search for
collectively diverse spirituality and community. Sunday Services are Circles of Love...casual and heartfelt.
She offers all the services of ministry; Weddings, Funerals, Baby Blesslings....

Teri has been in private practice for over 25 years, her ministry for 13 years.  
She was ordained in The New Seminary/ Interfaith Seminary.  
She is currently obtaining her doctorate in Metaphysical Science.
Teri is a founding board member of the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States
and a member of Spiritual Directors International.

Doug Kierbel

Doug Kierbel, MA, Clinical Psychology
MBA, Pulic Administration
Co-Founder of A Place of Peace

(805) 794-9917
After 30 years with the University of California, Doug retired to co-found A Place of Peace with Teri.
Doug assists with the administration and overall business functions of A Place of Peace. He is pulling
together all aspects of the Wellness Center: Equipment, Practitioners, Instructors, etc.
Doug currently co-counsels Relationship/Couple’s Counseling with Teri and works with her on their Couples's Retreats.  
He is in the process of beginning a Men’s Process Group to facilitate their exploration of self and Doug
offers his Drum Circle each month on the 2nd Wednesday.
Doug is also a Mediation Specialist focused on Labor Relations.


Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Cullen, MSW
Intuitive Counselor/New Consciousness Teacher 
(805) 426-5414

Mary Ellen has been studying consciousness and the concept that all things are energy, for the last eight
years of her personal and spiritual awakening process.

Starting in childhood, Mary Ellen suffered from an eating addiction, poor health and poor body
image yet has moved beyond this and has helped many others to as well. She teaches about the energies
of food and the body and how they respond to our own consciousness of self love and acceptance.

Mary Ellen provides individual private sessions and is facilitating a class on Tuesday afternoons at A Place of Peace.
As a Intuitive Counselor, and as a Group Facilitator, she provides a safe energetic and emotional space to help
others develop a spiritual relationship with food, their bodies and to find peace with their emotions.
She facilitates groups and individuals to bring Spirit into their moment to moment experiences to live with more joy and balance.

Mary Ellen has facilitated workshops on Food, Body and Spirit since 1999 in Michigan, North Carolina, and California.
She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2003 with a Masters Degree in Social Work.
She worked in Mental Health as a Counselor and Clinical Therapist for 5 years. She now prefers private
practice to work with others on a spiritual and creative level.

Donna Otte - Traditional N.D., CHC  Natural Health Consultant

Linda Marshall - Traditional N.D., CHC  Natural Health Consultant

Donna and Linda developed, manage and own "Quest for Health" and "Quest for Health II"  holistic, alternative health care consulting practices.
They have been working as a natural health consultants for over twenty five years and incorporate many different modalities for healing, including:
lifestyle and constitutional analysis, iridology,  herbalism, muscle testing, retreats, workshops, classes and much more.
Both have completed their naturopathic studies and have master’s degrees in Holistic Nutrition.

Rosa Raya
Healing Practitioner


Brock Travis holds a doctorate in Psychology,
& has over 20 years experience serving in rehabs, clinics, spiritual centers, colleges & schools,
Brock provides discrete individual consultations - guidance for people in recovery from addictions,& support for people giving care for a loved one.
His work uniquely draws from modern science & ancient wisdom to enhance well-being.  It does not involve either therapy or diagnosis.

Brock also presents seminars & workshops in non-sectarian meditative spirituality - helping people find their way to living in this world with serenity. | All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009
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