Seabrook House Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Seabrook House


SeabrookSeabrook House Review

Occupying what was formerly the estate of a frozen foods magnate, Seabrook House was founded in 1974 by recovering alcoholic Jerry Diehl and his wife, Peg. Their mission was to bring a much-needed treatment center to Southern New Jersey. The Diehls, along with several close friends in recovery, had noticed that alcoholics who went to rehab, and then to AA, seemed to have a better chance of achieving long-term abstinence. Jerry passed away in 1989, but Peg and the couple’s son, Edward, continue to run the rehab. Today, Seabrook House has five other facilities, including one in Pennsylvania, that provide inpatient services, detox, extended care, and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) services for those struggling with addiction.

Accommodations and Food

Inpatient and detox treatments are provided on the main campus in Bridgeton, a small town just inland from Delaware Bay. The rehab has a 146-bed capacity, of which 37 beds are used for detox residents. The estate sprawls over 40 acres, with manicured grounds, woods, winding paths, quaint benches, a gazebo and a trickling water fountain. While walking down a trail, a resident might spot the Serenity Prayer etched on a rock.

Residents live in colonial-style houses with brick-red roofs. Gender-specific suites and private rooms are available for an additional fee. Rooms are spacious, yet cozy, with the type of décor usually found at a Cape Cod bed and breakfast. Rooms include dressers, closets and private bathrooms. Seabrook House has a gym with treadmills, a yoga room and a common room with dark wooden walls, a large-screen TV and pinball machines.

A former restaurant chef prepares gourmet meals such as steak, fish, and pasta. A fresh salad bar is stocked for lunch and dinner. Those with vegan or vegetarian diets are accommodated. Caffeine is taboo, so those who crave coffee have to settle for decaf. A pretty dining room has oblong tables covered with red tablecloths and adorned with fresh flower centerpieces.

Treatment and Staff

The rehab uses its own treatment philosophy, the Seabrook House Model, which employs detoxification (if necessary), followed by inpatient treatment including 12-step based counseling, transitional care and attendance at AA/NA meetings.

Upon admission, residents receive an intake evaluation with a nurse plus a urine drug screen. Twenty-four hours later, they obtain a complete medical examination and receive individualized treatment plans. Those requiring detox undergo medication-assisted treatment and 24-hour-a-day nursing care. Alternative therapies, including acupuncture and massage, are used to ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. Detox services cost $5,000 for the first five days.

Inpatient treatment, not including detox, is typically 30 to 35 days long. While the program focuses on the 12 steps, the rehab uses evidence-based practices, alternative therapies and exercise as part of treatment. They also provide dual diagnosis support, if needed. While this is a co-ed facility, women and men are divided into gender-specific groups. Group topics include relapse prevention and identifying triggers. Treatment includes two-hour group therapy (daily, except Sundays), individual therapy (a minimum of one hour-long session per week) and attendance at four NA/AA meetings a week that are held on the premises. EMDR is provided for those suffering from trauma issues.

A typical inpatient schedule may include wake up at 7 am, followed by a gym workout, breakfast, group therapy, break and lunch. After lunch is a Big Book study, followed by a lecture, NA/AA meeting, break, dinner, step study group, a recovery movie, a break, snacks and lights out at 11 pm.

After the first 30 to 35 days, Seabrook offers gender-specific transitional care programs. Female residents move to Changes for Women, a 37-bed facility located on the main campus. The men’s transitional care program is located on the equally luxurious estate known as Seabrook House West in Westfield, Pennsylvania.

Transitional care lasts a minimum of 90 days for those in early recovery, but a six-to-12-month stay is recommended. Length of stay is determined by each resident’s individual progress. The facilities feature both private and semi-private accommodations. Through daily groups, lectures and outside meetings, these programs are designed to immerse each person in a 12-step way of life, while providing the basic rehab support of counseling and sober housing.

Seabrook House’s IOP treatment, located at the main campus, includes three-hour group therapy sessions three times a week and hour-long individual therapy session.

Seabrook House’s inpatient treatment, IOP and detox services accept most major health insurance plans including Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Cigna. Private pay for the 30-day residential treatment program is $26,200. The cost for both men’s and women’s transitional care programs is $27,500 for 90 days. The transitional living is private pay only.

Co-founder Margaret “Peg” Diehl is a CADC, while Edward Diehl is the president of Seabrook House and has 39 years of sobriety. Seabrook House also employs approximately 62 staff members, including CADCs, psychiatrists, primary therapists, nurse practitioners, drug and alcohol interns and specialty therapists. The majority of staff have a Bachelor’s- or Master’s-level degree of expertise.


Seabrook House offers a plethora of alternative therapies, including equine therapy, brainspotting (for trauma), acupuncture, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, sleep management, drumming, music therapy and art therapy. Residents exercise in a 4,000-square-foot gym. Some participate in adventure therapy, consisting of a ropes course designed to build self-esteem, create a sense of achievement and help to develop trust.

The recovery enhancement program is Seabrook House’s aftercare and includes 12 months of monitoring, drug screens and therapy. The cost is $2,000, private pay only.

Seabrook House offers the Family Matrix family program, a three-day event to help families learn how to heal while their loved one is struggling with or recovering from chemical dependency. The program is scheduled from 6 to 9 pm Thursdays, and from 9 am to 5 pm Fridays and Saturdays. Topics include enabling, family dynamics, relapse, guilt, co-addiction, boundaries, addiction as a brain disease and forgiveness. The cost for the event is $195.

In Summary

The biggest complaint from former residents about Seabrook House is that the staff is full of “Big Book thumpers,” so those seeking a 12-step alternative should probably go elsewhere. However, for those desiring a strong foundation in the AA program, this rehab offers comfortable, intensive treatment in a beautiful setting.

Seabrook House Location

133 Polk Lane
Seabrook, NJ 08302

Seabrook House Cost

$26,200 (30 days). Reach Seabrook House by phone at (856) 455-7575 or (800) 761-7575 (help line) or by email at [email protected]. Find Seabrook House on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+

Do you have a complaint or review of Seabrook House to add? Use the comments area below to add your Seabrook House review.

Photo courtesy of Facebook



  1. I read a lot about Seabrook House, both positive and negative reviews. All I can is this: in my families time of need, they went above and beyond for us. They did more for us than we ever could have imagined. My family is forever in gratitude to Seabrook House for what they did for us in our time of need. I can’t speak on anyone else’s experiences but this was mine. Seabrook House gets a 10 star rating in my book. – RW

  2. This place is bait and switch central. Get whatever is told to you in writing because the people in this place have no problems telling you one thing to get you in there and then saying they never said that when you are there. This place is also very understaffed, and I have never been to a rehab before where more than half of the community is in open revolt against the staff and the way the staff is treating the patients. There is no real down time built into the schedule, only 10 minutes between each lecture from 9am until 9pm. The speakers are often ill prepared and just wing their presentation, or they will have a RC or someone from the outside bore you with a war story if they have nothing else prepared. Also be prepared to be bludgeoned by the Big Book at every turn. This place worships the 12 steps and questions or saying anything to the contrary will get you branded as a heretic. There is no real counseling group is just basically bashing you over the head with the big book and the only advice they give you is to turn it over to God. There is no real focus or bond within the community here. The psychiatrist that you consult with is some foreigner that you interview with over a video conference. He will just prescribe the same medicines for everyone and if you look at his diagnosis he totally botched mine. He also prescribed me two medications that had a known bad interaction with each other which caused me to be overly restless and anxious when I am never that way. The quack Dr should have known that those two drugs should have never been prescribed together. Everything looks flashy from the outside but when you pull back the interior everything is for show. All of the fancy signs that look like real metal are just plastic, all of the out door recreation areas are pretty much for show, you will never get to use the rope course, or the volley ball court. This place is about image to get you in there but when it comes down to it when you pull back the curtain everything is fake.

    Mirmont in my opinion the best rehab in the region. The schedule builds in free time, about an hour and a half in some spots on the week days and over 2+ hours on the weekend. You are free to mingle with the whole community and there is a bond among the community with just about everyone willing to help you. The staff has always treated me professional instead of being disrespectful and rude at Seabrook. The head of the CAs (or RC in Seabrook terms) will never address you as a group or berate you like they did to us at Seabrook. There is no revolt in the community against the staff. Group offers actually therapy instead of cookie cutter 12 step slogans and advice which are usually just a cover for “Hell I don’t know, why are you asking me? Here’s a cute slogan that may sound like advice but I have no clue.” Lots of focus on mindfullness here, sure there is 12 step talk and a lot of 12 step focus but no to the extent of Seabrook where you feel like you are being choked to death with it. I know everyone is different and different people have different likes and needs, but for me Mirmont fit my needs more so than Seabrook did.

    • Adam I was there it became apparent that it was a revolving door. I stayed for an extended period of time. I was never given a clear evaluation what was the core of my problems except trauma. Brainspotting was great at relieving anxiety and depression but everything else was causing more anxiety. A waste of my money and time. They left me at an AA meeting never taking a head count that would have given them a clear idea I was missing. So many other things the list could fill a book. It’s all about the money and now Seabrook just opened another location. People are desperate to fix themselves or family Seabrook only brushes the surface. Your blessed that you found another place that was more helpful.

  3. This is the Taj Mahal of treatment centers! I’ve been to Malvern, Mirmont, and Caron and Seabrook takes the cake by a long shot. I had some frustrations of course like the “gender specific treatment” but my wife really liked that I wasnt gonna come from from rehab with a girlfriend again. They did massage therapy and gave me a medicated comfortable detox, my insurance cut me off after just 11 days and I was so scared. A guy named Jake came in and said they would keep me longer at some PHP thing. In all I stayed 20 days, the food was good but what I really enjoyed was my privacy and closing my own bedroom door at night. At Malvern I was stuck with a 65 year old guy who couldn’t control his blatter. This place saved my life, my family and changed the way I think and behave forever.

  4. This place is all about the money. What you are told on the phone is not what they say when you arrive in person. I experienced a total bait and switch. They told me one the phone that my insurance was approved and that things would be taken care of. But when I arrived they told me that they had to verify with the insurance and it wasn’t guaranteed that they would cover it, so they wanted $1400 from a credit card to cover that. On top of that they wanted to add a $550 fee for any medications that I might need and anything else that comes out plus a $350 ($50 a day for 7 days) incase I cause any damage. The lady that wanted to do the intake felt more like a used car salesman than anyone who actually cared about you. I objected to the charges and then she went to talk to a manager and after that they said that they would only charge half of what they wanted if I just left a card on file. I didn’t feel comfortable with them they felt so sleezy so I walked out. Plus their whole program is 12 step tripe that you can get anywhere for free.

    I had a much better experience at Mirmont in Media, PA. What they tell you on the phone is what you hear in person. They will actually call and verify your insurance while you are there, it may take a while but they will. No charges up front no credit card needed to be on file. Medication assisted detox is usually quick and you don’t have to wait. The nurses will give you medication to help with the withdrawal process. Mirmont will actually treat you like a person, there is structure, but at least they allow you to have caffine (no caffine allow at Seabrrook) and intermingle with male and females and there is free time built into your schedule (unlike seabrook where you are lucky if you get 6 minutes to take a dump). Sure you will get your dose of 12 step tripe but the group counselors more than make up for that if you are willing to actually speak during group.

    • Hilarious,

      Apparently Seabrook treats many the same way they treated you, It’s all about the MONEY to them – which I understand, cause they are a business.

      What I don’t understand is
      When personal effects are Stolen from people they are treating – they tell you this never happens, the items must have been misplaced and we’ll get them back for you – BUT THAT NEVER happens, no one returns calls, no one ever gets back to you.

      Jen Coulter said she’d get back that day, haven’t heard from her, her phone always goes to Voice Mail – Jen Never returns calls.
      Lisa, Ed Deal’s assistant (Ed’s chief dog in charge, hides behind Lisa’s skirt, so he can stay away from any issue) committed to call my wife back, as Lisa did – and Never called back.

      Seabrook House has money that was put on account, items of our loved ones – apparently they feel that Stealing is Okay.

      They will take your money or your insurance companies money, make promises that they know they’ll never keep and then throw you out without giving you proper treatment.

      IF this is the way they handle their business – do YOU think that they’ll treat you in a professional manor and help with your addiction issues – of course Not.

  5. I attended the inpatient program at Seabrook House during May of 2016 at the recommendation of my Employee Assistance Program. Though I have many positive things to say about my experience, there were a couple of very frustrating circumstances that could have been avoided, or at least minimized, had Seabrook been a little more forthcoming with some of their policies.

    I’ll start with the positive. The food was excellent and you could always eat until you’re full. Chicken and steak are the mainstays and we all grew a little tired of it after a while, but there was always a second option at every meal and they also had a salad and fruit bar with a great spread.

    The day to day staff of recovery coaches and therapists were all for the most part top notch in my experience. They were friendly, helpful, funny and at times inspirational, but they also knew when to crack the whip on poor behavior.

    The nursing staff was also very good, though a lot of undue anger is directed toward them from inpatients suffering from withdrawal symptoms. While Seabrook does have a medically supervised detox process, they will not provide a pill solution for every ailment an addict complains about (Obviously, recovery isn’t about looking to pills to solve every problem). That said, inpatients can request to see a doctor for an approval, but there is a 3-4 day process & waiting period before a patient actually meets with the doctor.

    Now for the negative. My biggest complaint was with Case Management and other individuals who handle patient intake & discharge, insurance claims, FMLA paperwork, etc. Case managers were often hard to find and seldom provided more than 5 minutes of their time when I did manage to corner one of them. They sat on my FMLA paperwork for 2 weeks, which my employer needed in order to approve short-term disability. Because of this, I returned home to an empty bank account rather than to 3-4 weeks worth of disability pay.

    Seabrook was very accommodating in regard to picking me up and dropping me off at their inpatient facility (which was over a 2 and 1/2 hour drive one way), however, Case Management failed to tell me until just days before my completion and discharge that if I don’t attend an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) within their network (which I could not because I lived over an hour’s drive outside of this network) that they would not provide transportation back home. They were ready to drop me off at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere with no money in my bank account and just bid me farewell, even after I went to the top more than once explaining the very tough situation that would have put me in had they done that. I was lucky to have found someone in the 11th hour to make a 6 hour round trip at the drop of a hat during a workday. They were well aware weeks before my discharge that I was not attending an IOP within their network (I even notified them of which IOP I was planning to attend). Had they simply notified me of their policy then, I would have had an ample amount of time to make my own arrangements for a ride home.

    In addition to that, if your insurance doesn’t cover 21-30 days of treatment and you cannot afford to pay out of pocket, you are forced to leave “Against Medical Advice”, or AMA, meaning you do not complete their program. This can lead to significant legal consequences for some people, because there is no distinction between a patient who wants to stay but must leave for insurance/financial reasons and a patient who simply decides to go AWOL and relapse.

    All in all, I still contend that Seabrook played a critical role in my recovery, which I could not have done without them. Informing patients of certain policies beforehand or at least very early on could prevent many of the above issues for patients and their families. That said, if you go in knowing about these issues and you’re prepared to address them early on, they can be avoided, in which case you’d be very hard pressed to find a place better than Seabrook House.

  6. Seabrook House has helped me along with “spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical growth.” All tools that will help me succeed in recovery.

  7. I thought my son was never going to get the help he really needed. To many years went by with me jumping when the phone would ring past 10pm, worried about my son. Seabrook House was my families last hope in getting my son clean. First days rough on him as well as me wondering if this rehab will help him. I attending the family program, and did my “homework” to help myself get better along with understand what to do once my son is back. The experience from my view saved me as a mother of a addict, and I’m happy to say saved my son as well. The support Seabrook House gave us has been uplifting and truly words can’t express what I owe to having my son back.

  8. Seabrook House not only helped me but my family. I no longer wanted to to called a drunk. I wanted to be called a mom, a wife and now a grandmother. Alcohol is no longer in control me. It doesn’t do damage on me and my family anymore. Years of in and out of treatment centers Seabrook House had the staff to keep me and guide me towards my new life of sobriety.

  9. Seabrook provided me with a comfortable atmosphere to explore myself and addiction, while helping me develop the tools I need to live life without drugs.

    • Seabrook house is about money and not recovery for my child. They houndded me for money and once all was paid they decided that treatment was very much still needed and they could give us a name of a treatment facility. What did I pay Seabrook house for ?? They then left my child out side in the cold with no money or way to get home, No treatment plan. No discussion with us the parents, who does this? ! I have never experienced such a terrible treatment facility!

      • We had a similar experience and I am now speaking with a lawyer about our options. Hope your son is recovered. Ours has because we found the answer After he left Seabrook ,3 yrs and 25,000 later!

    • Seabrook House has given me the tools and strength towards my recovery. It helped me mend bonds with my family during family matrix and helped me set goals for my life.

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