Awakenings by the Sea prides itself on selecting highly trained and qualified staff members who have many years of combined experience in the field of addiction treatment. Our small Oregon rehab center lends itself to providing quality individualized care to our clients. While professional backgrounds and qualifications are a vital consideration in choosing our staff (to ensure top-quality client care), so are the personal lives of our staff members, who are able to connect with clients through shared experiences. They understand the many facets of addiction that have brought clients to our doors. This caring women’s treatment staff serves as a powerful example of how to life of recovery from drug and alcohol. 

Photo of Vicky Spear MA, CADCll, QMHP-R
Vicky Spear, MA, CADCll, QMHP-R
Program Director

Vicky grew up in a family with alcoholism and when she attended a family session to support her brother’s recovery on June 9, 1990 she began to learn her “co dependent” role that enabled him in his addiction.  This was life changing and was the beginning of a new life in recovery.  Vicky enrolled in Portland Community College’s Addiction Program in the fall of 1990. Since this time, she completed her Master’s Degree in CounsellingPsychology from Lewis and Clark; and she has a CADC II and QMHP from MHACBO.

Vicky began her career working at Hazelden, Betty Ford and then spent many more years working with women who were incarcerated.  Her strengths include experience in trauma informed, gender specific inpatient treatment.  She is passionate about supporting both individuals and families learning about the underlying behaviours that contribute to the disease of addiction and equipping them with tools and knowledge needed to begin the change process.  “I am humbled and blessed to be joining the Awakenings By The Sea team.  She believes “listening to individuals builds trust and rapport which is so important in healthy relationships.  She loves to share about “self care, boundaries and assertive communication” and hopes to have a small part in the beginning of each of the clients and their families’ recovery journeys who enter Awakenings.

Outside of work Vicky is the mother of two sons and the proud grandmother of one grandson.  She loves spending time with family, friends, and her two dogs.

Photo of Tabatha Christopherson CADCII, QMHA-I, CCTP
Tabatha Christopherson, CADCII, QMHA-I, CCTP
Executive/Clinical Director

Tabatha had a long-term goal to become a Clinical director and a helping professional, and she considers herself to be blessed to be able to work in a profession that she truly loves and feels passionate about. Tabatha also notes that, “I consider it to be such a privilege to be invited into my clients’ inner lives, and to travel the journey with them through healing, change, and self-empowerment.”


Tabatha’s areas of expertise include a focus on women’s addiction treatment and recovery, as well as relapse treatment and prevention, motivational interviewing, and working with family systems impacted by addiction. Tabatha has facilitated workshops such as Recovery Enrichment Program and Awakening’s Family Program. Tabatha has extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy through The Portland DBT Institute. Tabatha is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals.

Photo of Dr. Merle D. Williamson M.D.
Dr. Merle D. Williamson, M.D.
Medical Director

We are thrilled to have Dr. Williamson on staff. His addiction medicine experience includes time Hazelden Treatment Center.

As Medical Director, Dr. Williamson provides patients with excellent medical care. He develops and implements policies and procedures, detox protocols and quality assurance for our CARF and ASAM approved programs.

Before working in addiction medicine, Dr. Williamson specialized in anesthesiology for 25 years. His expertise and experience as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente gives him important perspectives in helping patients who are addicted to prescription drugs.

Dr. Williamson earned his medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Oregon Society of Addiction Medicine. He is a Diplomat at the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Photo of Debbie Kincaid RN
Debbie Kincaid, RN

In 1997, Debbie moved from Las Vegas, NV to Seaside, OR.  She is a single mother of two daughters. She has worked in several different nursing fields, but finds addiction nursing extremely fulfilling because there is such hope.

Debbie is compassionate and cares about the relationships she is able to build with the women who walk in our doors broken and walk out with with hope and a new perspective for their future.

Debbie enjoys many different crafts and sharing these talents on to the women.  She likes to think of fun therapeutic activities to do with the women.

She holds deep gratitude and appreciation to be part of the Awakenings family and the amazing spirit it possess.

Photo of Courtney Cruz LPN
Courtney Cruz, LPN

Courtney joined Awakenings in 2012 after relocating from California.  She received her LPN license in 2010 after working as a CNA and realized she wanted to do more.  She has two very active boys who keep her running and they spend most of their free time enjoying the outdoors.  Courtney never realized working with women in addiction would bring such challenges into nursing but she knows now that these challenges are the steps to change.  She has seen so many positive changes daily in the women and recognizes its the beginning of a new life.

Photo of Robyn Spear CADC
Robyn Spear, CADC

Robyn Spear joined Awakenings in December 2019. Born in New Hampshire and raised in Idaho, she has called the Oregon coast home since 2006. She started her journey into recovery at Awakenings in June of 2016. She is currently pursuing her CADC I. Robyn credits Awakenings with saving her life. She is passionate about addiction treatment and is incredibly grateful to be helping other women on their journey into recovery.

Photo of Keith Forney
Keith Forney
Admissions Director
Keith has been in recovery for over 10 years. He worked in “corporate America” for 15 years before realizing his true passion was helping people receive the same gift of sobriety that he’s received. He’s worked in recovery for 5 years and takes pride in walking alcoholics/addicts and their families through the admissions process. His goal is to offer solutions no matter what the circumstances of each individual are. He will recognize the positive no matter what the situation is and formulate a plan to achieve successful sobriety. His motto is: “Call Me Anytime.” And he means that.
732.771.6297 (direct line)
Photo of Chloe Kincaid
Chloe Kincaid

Chloe was born and raised on the Oregon coast, she has also lived in Las Vegas but she considers the coast her true home. Her journey with Awakenings officially started in June of 2023, but her mother Debbie has worked for the company since 2017 so she has been familiar with the wonderful work they do for many years. Chloe loves working closely with the women and is looking forward to the privilege of helping them find healthy coping skills and hope for their future. When Chloe is not working at ABTS, she is either reading, volunteering with local youth, or hanging out with her two cats

Ann Martin
Executive Consultant

Awakenings by the Sea was designed by our Executive Consultant Ann Martin. Ann has over 30 year’s sobriety. She worked for the Betty Ford Center providing relapse and relationship workshops for 17 years, along with continuing care work, while managing a private practice in southern California. She is an imago/relationship therapist, workshop presenter and a PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills) presenter. She has presented nationally and internationally for lawyers and physicians in recovery. Ann is also a SEP practitioner (somatic experiencing) for trauma work as well as a certified addiction counselor in Oregon and California. She has been teaching relapse prevention and facilitates our couple’s workshop here at Awakenings. She is working nationwide conducting her workshops and consulting.

We do our best to keep these pictures up-to-date so you can find a familiar face. The journey to addiction recovery is never easy. This team is eager to stand by you to find a better day. Our staff is convince our small, family-owned program is right for you, or the woman you love.