Connie Stapleton, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist, conniestapletonphd.com

The FAIR & FIRM Therapy Retreats for Women are the culmination of my life’s work. These are my dream and I am thrilled to be able to share them with you.

I have been blessed beyond measure in my life. I have also done a whole lot of personal work, with the guidance of many others, to get to a place in life where I can pass on to others what I have learned through my experiences gained at the school of hard knocks, the schools made of brick and mortar (where I spent 12 solid years of higher education), the rooms of many a 12-step meeting, and from the incredible people God has put in my path over the years.

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Did I use the “G” word? I did. I am a believer in God, a higher power. I’m accepting of those who don’t believe in God and who do not participate in any religion. I do not “shove my beliefs” down anyone’s throat or up any other body parts. I simply live and let live. I hope that my belief in God, and my regular reference to having a higher power will not be a deterrent for you in choosing to work with me!

Back to the amazing people in my life. My husband, commonly known as “The Lovebug,” but whose name is Steve, has been my greatest supporter, my best friend (as well as the most frustrating person in my life, at times). He is my partner in all things, including all of the work that I do. Without him, I would have no business (he is a CPA, after all). Nor would I have the honor and privilege of having a man who really needs to teach men how to be truly good men as my life companion. Without the Lovebug, I would not have the other most important people in my life – our three phenomenal children and their families. These are the people for whom I live. They are the people with whom I spend the vast majority of my non-working time and some of the people I like most in the world. Don’t get me started on my 7 grandbabies, or I will write about nothing else. They are a joy beyond description.

I have three women friends who have been my lifelines for nearly thirty years. I love these remarkable treasures, who provide me a safe place in life to be fully myself without fear of abandonment. They give me loving, constructive, “FAIR and FIRM” feedback when I need it. They give me laughter and hugs (many of them virtual as we all live a great distance from one another). They share with me their trust and their love. And we have oodles of fun together!

I have had mentors in life who literally taught me how to live as a healthy adult. We all need them and I am so grateful for those who have been part of my journey.

My journey… through an emotionally difficult childhood (in many ways), but also a childhood filled with beautiful lessons of giving to others and spending time with family. My journey led me through various forms of addiction in my late teens through my late 20’s, until I was guided to an outpatient program in 1989. It was at that point in time I began to live life fully.

Several years of therapy and beginning to learn who I am, followed by completion of a Master’s degree in Counseling and a PhD program in Counseling Psychology led to my professional practice of nearly three decades.

The retreats I have created are part of what I was born to do. I teach and I engage. I teach from a place of personal experience through much therapy and recovery from addictions. I also teach from a place of many years of formal education and ongoing professional education. I engage with people and we connect. That is what makes the work I do so fulfilling and why it is something I (usually) do well. Not that I have “the answers” for anyone. I do have the compassion to connect and the skill of listening. Together, we work on ways to improve the difficulties in life.

Join me as I impart what I’ve learned about being my authentic self. Join me and discover your own authentic self. Work with me and let’s learn more about living balanced, healthy FULL lives!


Morgan Schaack, RD

Registered Dietician

Morgan Schaack is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for health and wellness. She graduated from Georgia Southern University as Summa Cum Laude of her class with a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and and Food Science with an emphasis in Dietetics. She continued to stay at Georgia Southern University to complete her Dietetic Internship and graduate certificate in Nutrition.

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After passing her boards to become a RD, she moved to Augusta, GA to work as a Clinical Dietitian. As she soon discovered “clinical” was not her true desire, she sought out to be a RD at Live Heathy MD. Morgan focuses on helping others optimize their health, both surgical and non-surgical patients, by meeting them where they are and giving them advice that is specific to their needs. She is not only one of the two RD’s at LHMD but is soon to become a certified personal trainer. In her free time, she enjoys working out, spending time with her girlfriend their three labs and their pig Hamilton and spending time near the ocean.


Julia Karlstad, M.Ed., CSCS, SFN-ISSA

Exercise Physiologist, Founder & President of JKFitness

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I hold over thirteen years of experience developing, implementing and directing exercise, education and training programs within medical based programs and facilities.  My business, JKFITNESS, LLC, was founded in 2008 and is a personal training and wellness studio that specializes in weight loss programs. Combined, JKFITNESS trains 600 plus hours of personal training each month. I’ve personally worked with thousands of clients, many of which were weight loss surgery patients.

I have a Master’s of Education in Exercise Science as well as a Bachelor of Science in Basic Sciences from the United States Air Force Academy. I have authored a book that is specifically about exercise as it relates to weight loss, Rx Fitness for Weight Loss: The Medically Sound Solution to Get Fit and Save Your Life.  Additionally, I’ve been published in numerous periodicals and was featured with one of my clients on TLC’s “My 600 Pound Life” reality show.