Dedicated Experts With a Passion for Healing
Dedicated Experts With a Passion for Healing
From admissions and administration to our Senior Fellows, clinical team, and executive leadership, we pride ourselves on providing quality care from some of the industry’s leading experts. At Rio Retreat Center, we have a dedicated team that does nothing but workshops. All highly skilled master’s-level therapists trained in trauma, you’ll find them to also be compassionate, dynamic facilitators who will walk side by side with you on your journey. That passion comes from each of them having done their own work, seeing that positive shift in themselves, and wanting that for others.
Georgia Fourlas, Executive Director for Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in social work. She has worked in the field of behavioral health for more than 20 years and has extensive experience working with adults and children as a crisis counselor, trauma therapist, and addictions therapist. More than a decade of Dr. Fourlas’ experience has been working with patients in an inpatient setting at both state and privately funded agencies. She also previously held positions as a program coordinator, program director, and clinical director, and she is an approved clinical supervisor through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.
Dr. Fourlas is trained in Post Induction Therapy (PIT), Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and psychodrama. She draws from an eclectic blend of theoretical perspectives and creative approaches to therapy designed to reach both motivated and resistant patient populations and to maximize the potential for personal healing and growth.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Shaul Austin earned his Master of Education degree in counseling from Northern Arizona University. A licensed professional counselor in Arizona and Louisiana and a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Nevada, Austin has been treating eating disorders, trauma, and addiction for more than 25 years. He is also certified in Post-Induction Therapy (PIT).
It was his own recovery journey, which started well over three decades ago, that led to a passion for helping others. His career with Meadows Behavioral Healthcare began in 2013 as program director at The Meadows Ranch. He then served as program director at Gentle Path at The Meadows and most recently in workshops from 2018 to January 2021. Austin returned to Rio Retreat Center in April 2022 as a therapist. He has also served as adjunct faculty in the counseling department at Webster University in The Netherlands and as an assistant professor (bio-behavioral science) at Louisiana State University School of Medicine-New Orleans.
In this current role, Austin facilitates a variety of workshops including Survivors I and II, Couples Repair & Reset, Mending Heartwounds, and Thrive, in addition to leading private intensives. Our workshops create a space for healing, and “seeing individuals and couples have a renewed hope and purpose after five days is truly amazing,” Austin says.
Austin is a very proud parent of three adult children. In his downtime he enjoys reading, sporting events, music and concerts, traveling, and visiting art museums.
An addictions counselor working primarily with young adults dealing with heroin addiction, Katherine Jensen earned a BA in business administration from the University of Nebraska. The native Nebraskan also holds an MA in counseling, specializing in trauma, abuse, and deprivation, and she is trained in EMDR I & II and Post-Induction Therapy.
Jensen discovered her calling through her own healing journey. At Rio Retreat, she serves as a Survivors therapist, facilitating the Survivors workshop process for patients. It’s a process she says she fully believes in, “as it helped me reclaim my own life.”
With four thriving adult children, Jensen enjoys watercolor painting, card making, scrapbooking, photography, or almost any arts and crafts during her downtime.
Born in Ohio and raised in Iowa and Arizona, Elyse Vincent completed her undergraduate degree at California’s Fresno Pacific University, earning a BA in psychology. She then returned to Arizona for her master’s of counseling, studying at Arizona State University, and is now a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) in the state of Arizona.
Vincent became fascinated with psychology and the field of mental health in high school and couldn’t get enough of all she was learning. Both personally and professionally, she says she has witnessed the many ways trauma can impact people’s lives and have had the privilege of seeing how healing is possible. That led her to follow a career path where she could journey with others as they move toward that healing.
She began her career with Meadows Behavioral Healthcare in 2018 as a behavioral health technician before moving over to Rio Retreat Center upon completion of her graduate degree.
In her current role, she facilitates trauma-informed group therapy, guides experiential trauma work, and leads clinical lectures. Prior to joining MBH, Vincent worked as an intern at La Frontera EMPACT, where she facilitated weekly trauma-informed individual and group counseling for clients who had experienced anything from a recent traumatic experience to complex childhood trauma. She also worked as a practicum counselor-in-training at a university clinic, providing individual trauma-informed therapy to students, staff, and members of the community.
Vincent says that watching people come to understand that they are not their trauma and release carried emotions that have impacted various areas of their lives is one of her favorite parts of the work she does. When not working, she can be found spending time with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors (hiking, kayaking, etc.), cooking or baking, discovering new music, reading a good book, traveling, or trying something new.
Born in the backwoods of Georgia, Detrial Williams was raised in Florida’s Tampa Bay area. She completed her undergraduate degree from Chaffey Community College then earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology, with an emphasis in marital and family therapy from California Baptist University.
A certified professional parent trainer and lay counselor, Williams is trained in trauma therapy, Post-Induction Therapy, play therapy, individual psychology (Adlerian therapy), and holds certifications in Rutgers Adoption Competency and from the Florida Department of Children & Families Substance Abuse & Mental Health. She is also a Licensed Associate Marital & Family Therapist in Arizona and Florida, and she currently sit on the board of directors for the Florida Adlerian Society.
Williams initially set out to become a surgical nurse, but her math skills were a barrier, so she took a career assessment and learned she is a humanitarian at heart. That led to a career in social work, mental health, and then marital family counseling “because it all starts with the family,” she explains. Over the course of her career, Williams has fallen in love with seeing individuals and families’ lives changed because someone listened. Past roles include 14 years as a lay counselor in the church, six years working with at-risk children in the education system, 12 years working with children and families in the foster care system, and five years working with families with substance use and in recovery.
A single mother of one biological daughter and four stepchildren, Williams enjoys cooking, playing board games, outdoor activities like camping and barbecues in the backyard, and traveling. She’s also a fan of Marvel comics and football.
Born in McAllen, Texas, Alex Hardwicke spent her first five years in Ireland before the family returned to Houston, Texas. As an adult, she traveled extensively, living in California, Oregon, and Mexico, among other locations. Hardwicke studied at University of California before completing her BA at Southern Oregon University. She then earned an MA in community counseling at the University of Texas. A licensed professional counselor, she is also trained in EMDR and Natural Lifemanship.
Previously a program director for a large inpatient treatment center in Texas, Hardwicke has served as a therapist at outpatient programs, a private practice for families, and at addiction-focused treatment centers. She has also worked with young children suffering from severe trauma, adolescents at a residential treatment center, managed a high-acuity unit, and worked with those struggling with disabilities.
She’s always been an empathetic individual, and Hardwicke finds helping others “the most fulfilling thing I could imagine.” In recovery herself, she now wants to give that gift to others. She joined the staff at Rio Retreat and The Meadows in 2021. In her current role, Hardwicke provides trauma-informed care for clients that attend our workshops, facilitates clinical lectures, and teaches clients about trauma — how it’s affected them and how to develop healthy coping skills and other clinical tools. Some of her favorite parts of the job include watching clients release carried shame and other painful emotions they’ve held onto and their entire lives as well as seeing how clients progress so much in a five-day workshop.
When not working, Hardwicke loves spending time with friends and family, attending recovery meetings and events, making homemade ice cream and baking other sweet treats, advancing her knowledge in the field of counseling, dancing, practicing interior design, journaling, working out, riding her bike and traveling.
Los Angeles native Dawn Lotti spent her childhood in multiple states as well as Guanajuato, Mexico. As an adult, she lived in Alaska where she married and had three children. Along the way, she earned a master’s of social work from the University of Southern California, which was preceded by a BS in psychology from the University of Anchorage. Lotti is PIT-trained, certified in IFS, somatic informed, and trained in EMDR, complex trauma, and Hakomi.
Her own life experiences with trauma and education led her to this line of work, which has included serving as a drug court and mental health therapist at Columbia Community Mental Health, a male prison population primary counselor at Wildwood Correctional Center, and a counselor at Peninsula Mental Health. She also volunteered for several years at a battered women’s shelter in Kenai, Alaska.
Lotti’s tenure at Meadows Behavioral Healthcare began in September 2019 on The Meadows main campus as a primary therapist. Today, working as a therapist at Rio Retreat, she facilitates workshops to help individuals process and recover from early life adverse events and trauma while working through addiction, mental health, and relational issues that interrupt healthy living.
Assisting workshop participants in identifying their core self and reestablishing the relationship, uncovering the activation of trauma and how it interferes with daily life, and building the tools to manage these issues going forward are the aspects of her job that keep Lotti engaged and excited about this work.
Lotti and her husband have three grown children and two grandchildren. They spend their free time on RV expeditions, hiking, cooking, and enjoying their family. She also has an interest in multimedia art.