Rick Benson, CPGC, ICGC-II (Founder)
Rick founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992 and has directed gambling specific, Algamus residential facilities in Florida, South Carolina, Quebec, and Arizona.
A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel.
He currently serves as a clinical supervisor for the Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor Certification Board and as an International Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification Board member. He has been an advisory board member of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, and a founding executive board member of both the North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling and the South Carolina Council on Compulsive gambling.
For more than 20 years he has been both a student and a facilitator in Bonding Psychotherapy, Holiotropic Breathwork, Primal Therapy, and the Enneagram. He is presently a member of both the Arizona Enneagram Association and the International Enneagram Association, and is deeply involved in the Enneagram Prison Project. He is an executive board member of the International Primal Association.
Rick now provides consulting services including admissions and network/marketing to Algamus Gambling Treatment Services.
Dr. Terry Vaughan, M.D (Medical Director)
Dr. Terry Vaughan was most recently the Medical Director of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and has practiced in Prescott for 11 years. She Was one of 41 Psychiatrist nationally awarded the 2009 “Exemplary Psychiatrist” award by NAMI (the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill).
She works with patients suffering from mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance dependence, developmental disabilities and psychotic disorders. She is board certified in Psychiatry and works with adults and adolescents 13 and up. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.
Marc Lefkowitz, ICGC-I (Program Director)
Marc Lefkowitz is a California/Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor receiving his CCGC in 1999. He has facilitated multiple counselor and therapist certification trainings for the UCLA Gambling Studies Program and the California Council on Problem Gambling. He was an adjunct instructor in California teaching courses on problem gambling and addiction. He has a degree in Human Services and a certificate of Alcohol and Drug Studies from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA.
Marc, a recovering gambler for more than 33 years, has extensive knowledge about Gamblers Anonymous and the 12-Step process. He has worked in the treatment/recovery field developing program content, and in case management, group facilitation, individual counseling, and group counseling with recovering gamblers and their families. He is a national lecturer on problem gambling and financial recovery for addicts.
In 2012, Marc received the California Council on Problem Gambling's Life-time Achievement Award for his work with disordered gamblers and affected individuals.
Jeff Trudgian, ICGC-II (Primary Counselor)
Jeff is an Internationally Certified Gambling Councilor (ICGC-II) since 2007. Originally from the Midwest, Jeff became a Primary Counselor at Algamus' Gambling Treatment Center in 2012.
Jeff is grateful to have over twenty years of recovery from his destructive gambling addiction. He’s worked as a Counselor, Trainer and Educator in the Behavioral Health and 12-Step communities, helping to raise awareness and prevention around the emotional issues surrounding problem gamblers and their families.
Prior to coming to Algamus, Jeff was lead therapist at another gambling treatment program in Illinois working with gamblers and those afflicted with chemical dependency as well as their families in a private setting.
He utilizes Psycho-Educational and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies in conjunction with an emphasis on spiritual principals.
Ryan Pienovi (Operations Manager)
Ryan began his recovery at Algamus in North Palm Beach, Florida in 2006 and became a resident manager there late in 2007. In 2008, he relocated and became the lead resident/operations manager for Algamus Gambling Treatment Services in Prescott, Arizona. He is presently studying to become a certified gambling counselor and coordinates a variety of residential activities for our clients.
Victoria Stallings (Primary Therapist)
Victoria has been a Primary Therapist and Case Manager at Algamus for the past two years. She facilitates individual sessions and group therapy on psycho-education with a focus on recovery and family systems.
For three years prior to joining the Algamus team, she managed the Neuro-Feedback Center and was a group leader at A Sober Way Home.
She earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology and is presently completing her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Sherri Sharkins (Primary Therapist)
Sherri received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Allegheny College and her Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis is Depth Psychotherapy from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Sherri is certified in Somatic Experiencing (SE) and The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), two modalities aimed at the resolution of trauma. She specializes in working with clients who suffer from complex trauma and addiction. She employs attachment focused therapy and integrates a bottom up (body-centered) and top down (cognitive behavioral) approach to access unconscious beliefs and patterns of behavior that underlie addiction and limit one’s connection with self and others.
Rob Heinrich, MA, LPC (Clinical Supervisor and Primary Therapist)
Rob brings years of varied experience to Algamus Gambling Treatment Services. After earning his Masters in Counseling from Denver Seminary, Rob immediately jumped into his career in addiction treatment counselling. First, as a general outpatient therapist in a dual diagnosis capacity in his hometown of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, then moving to Wickenburg, AZ to specialize and become a primary therapist in eating disorders.
Since then, Rob has been working as a primary therapist and clinical supervisor in addiction treatment centers and facilities, helping adolescents and adults with behavioral addictions and dual diagnoses including eating disorders, gambling addiction and drug addiction.
Rob helps supervise the clinical team as well as overseeing the outpatient groups. His theoretical applications include EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, CBT, DBT, and a strong integration on the power of love and relationship with a person-centered approach. His philosophy is that we are here to love and be loved