Meet the Team

Our highly trained medical directors and counselors are ready to serve you.


Dr. Joseph Frawley, M.D.

Co-Founder & Medical Director

Dr. Frawley is a board-certified internist, certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and past Presdient of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. He has been treating chronic pain over the past five years and is Co-Founder of Recovery Road Medical Center.


Dr. Sherif El-Asyouty, M.D.

Co-Founder and Medical Director

Dr. El-Asyouty is a board certified psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of addiction. He serves as the Medical Director and Co-Founder of Recovery Road Medical Center.



Susan Lauwers, MFT

Susan Lauwers, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, experienced in a broad scope of mental health issues including substance abuse, depression, anxiety, relationships, and trauma. Sue has been on staff at Recovery Road Medical Center for the past five years, where she is currently facilitating the evening dual diagnosis group. She has also developed and teaches Yoga for Recovery classes which are included in the curriculum for Recovery Road’s program. In addition to her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology acquired at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, Sue spent two years studying Somatics (Mind/Body Connection) with Richard Heckler at the Strozzi Institute, a world- renowned training center for embodied leadership. She has been active at Santa Barbara City College, where she has worked as a teacher, a counselor, and advocate for international students. While working in the Drug and Alcohol Counseling program, she developed a curriculum and taught classes in Movement for Recovery and Relationships in recovery, which combines psychology, somatics and yoga.

Sue has been a certified Yoga instructor for more than 30 years. She has also worked as a Counseling and Child Development Specialist for Sojourn Services. Recently, Sue has become a practitioner of Quantitate EEG (brain mapping) and Neurofeedback, which has shown to be successful in treating people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, PTS, ADHD, stress reduction, and a variety of issues. Other universities attended include the University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the in Koninglijk Kunst Academy, in Ghent, Belgium, where she studied as a Fine Arts Major. She also acquired a Marketing Certification, from UCSB. Sue loves intellectual and physical activities, travel, has lived in a variety of cities around the world and has a flair for languages.


Kelli Sullivan

Kelli Sullivan is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has practiced in Santa Barbara since 2002. She brings to Recovery Road her expertise in working with patients with addiction, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. She has extensive experience in working with patients and their families.

Kelli received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of California Santa Barbara. During her college years, Kelli worked as a program coordinator for the United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County. There she realized her passion for working with youth, their families and the therapeutic benefits of being in nature.  She developed an after-school homework program as well as camping programs, fundraising and providing scholarships for at-risk youth to attend trips to National Parks throughout California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. She was then a graduate of the California State University Northridge Counseling Psychology program, writing her thesis on Wilderness and Mindfulness Therapy.  Kelli began her clinical work at The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Project Recovery program. There she worked in their Perinatal and Dual Diagnosis programs facilitating groups. She then took on the position of a Program Coordinator for Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara County, managing the Court Mandated Batterers Treatment program as well as facilitating groups and individual sessions at their shelter for women and children.

After being at Domestic Violence Solutions for five years, Kelli transitioned on to Recovery Road Medical Center, facilitating dual diagnosis groups. With that experience she helped to create their young adult track, closely working with local universities and colleges.  At Recovery Road, Kelli continued her path in helping young people and their families in crisis. Kelli found a particular interest in working with college-aged people struggling with trauma and personality disorders as well as addiction and mood disorders. Kelli has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. In 2013, Kelli was also a Primary Therapist/ DBT therapist for One to One Treatment.  She also facilitated CBT/ DBT groups at Mission Harbor Behavioral Health in 2018. With a passion in working with a team as well as facilitating groups, Kelli is excited to take on the role as Clinical Director at Recovery Road Medical Center.

Natalie Thurmond

Natalie Thurmond

Natalie Thurmond earned her BA of Psychology in 2014 at the University of Memphis. During that time, she worked in psychology research labs studying the effectiveness of psychotherapy and the process of recovery from trauma. After gaining her BA, she decided to pursue a career helping individuals cope with the complexities of life. She moved to California to pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy concentration.

She graduated in 2017 from the University of San Francisco and is now a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. After receiving her MA, Natalie took a position as a Residential Therapist, practicing group and individual therapy for adults with severe mental illnesses. To expand the scope of her practice, Natalie moved to the central coast to work as a therapist for the Santa Barbara County School System, providing therapy for youth and their families for two years. In 2020, she joined the team at Recovery Road.

Natalie has provided compassionate, client-centered therapy for adults with severe mental illnesses; at-risk children and adolescents; and parents and families. She is trained in CBT, Motivational Interviewing, Family Systems, and Brief Solution Focused Therapy, among other techniques. She believes in meeting the client where they are in their life journey—working with the client, not for the client.

Ewelina Wilga

Ewelina Wilga earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2019 at Notre Dame de Namur. She is currently a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and has joined the team at Recovery Road in May 2021. Ewelina previously worked with individuals with severe mental illnesses and addictions in both inpatient and rehabilitating outpatient units. Ewelina has provided empathetic, strength-based therapy for adults, and facilitated various diverse groups with CBT and strength-based skills.

Ewelina also has a background in Creative Arts Therapies, and she facilitated groups such as creative writing and art therapy, using individual creativity as an outlet for further therapeutic growth. She believes that each individual has strengths and positive aspects in their lives that they can utilize in order to better heal and flourish. To further develop the scope of her practice, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Quantitative Research at Grand Canyon University.

Ewelina is excited and enthusiastic about acquiring more skills, knowledge, and experience from working for our practice and with our team. She is dedicated and committed to provide the best possible care to each patient and support them in their journey to recovery.


Emily Sanborn

Emily joined Recovery Road Medical Center as a Utilization Reviewer. She learned a Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science in 2020 at Emory University. With a focus on public health, she spent her undergrad years working as a part of a Neurotoxicology research team in the Rollins School of Public Health. There she investigated the negative health effects that the insecticide bioallethrin have on the dopamine and GABA system in the brain. She is excited for the experience and knowledge she will gain from working for our practice and looks forward to dedicating her time and effort to giving the best possible care to our patients.