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Our Staff

The clinical staff at Free by the Sea is comprised of highly skilled professionals with a combination of over a century of experience in the field of addiction rehabilitation and mental health. We practice an evidence-based approach built on the tried-and-true 12-step recovery model. Clients are treated with compassion, respect, and understanding at all times.

Rather than focus solely on the client’s addictive behavior, our counseling programs are designed to promote healing of the whole person — mind, body, and spirit. This integrated approach allows us to effectively address the addiction while exploring and healing other aspects of life that may have been sacrificed for the addictive behavior. When we heal the whole person, the client is better equipped to return home with the strength they need to pursue a life free from addiction.


We limit the number of clients under our care to ensure each person receives the time and attention he or she needs along their journey to recovery. By maintaining a low client-to-counselor ratio, the quality of our service and strength of treatment outcomes are consistently outstanding.


staff at free by the sea in wa

Susan P. Harris, Administrator

Susan Harris has worked in the counseling field for over 20 years. She has been a clinical director and a branch manager of agencies prior to coming to Free by the Sea where she currently a clinical administrator, mental health counselor and Program Director for the gambling program. She has developed prior co-occurring programs and gambling programs in her other facilities. She is a licensed mental health counselor, a chemical dependency professional and an internationally certified gambling counselor and board approved clinical consultant. She received her BA in Psychology from Walla Walla college, her Master’s Degree in Addiction Counselling from Capella University and is currently working on her doctorate in Psychology. at California, Southern. Currently in recovery herself, Susan has devoted her time to those still suffering and became aware early in her career that the co-occurring approach to treatment has proven to be most effective.

Erica R. Griffin, M.A LMHC

Erica Griffin has worked in the mental health field for over 9 years. She received her B.A in Psychology and English from Judson College. She received her M.A in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Social Psychology. She has been a counselor in a variety of clinical settings including inpatient, outpatient, private practice and community mental health. She has experience with a multitude of mental health and general life issues but also specializes in mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring diagnosis. She has experience helping individuals who experience combat trauma, and trauma as a result of loss, abuse or assault. She utilizes and is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Her counseling philosophy is that life is a journey and sometime we get mired in its complexities that make it difficult to see a way free of the challenging places. She walks alongside you, helping you regain confidence and develop new perspectives that will help you navigate the path toward health and wellness.

staff at free by the sea in wa

Kayla Hernandez, SUDP, Clinical Director