The Team of In Balance


Dedicated Staff with a History of Successful Experience in

Substance Abuse Recovery, Education & Mental Health Counseling

The staff members at In Balance Ranch Academy are the foundation of the program. Patrick J. Barrasso, LCSW, founder and Executive Director, has brought together a caring staff with years of professional experience and personal characteristics that bring out the best in young people. Patrick’s team has been a leader in intensive outpatient services for young people for over 13 years, and the Ranch continues the tradition of excellence that is seen in all aspects of the In Balance programs.

The In Balance Ranch Academy staff currently consists of eight therapists with over 122 years combined experience in the field, six wilderness staff, three teachers and four specialized tutors, a registered nurse, six group leaders with specialized training, four equine staff, two milieu managers, twenty-five life coaches, a family liaison and a full-time chef.

The Ranch is a family owned and operated business, consistent with the ideals of the Ranch that support within the family is of the utmost importance. Patrick and Betsy Barrasso, their children, and extended family are involved with the daily aspects of the program, as well as the long-term direction of the Ranch.

 

 

Patrick J. Barrasso, MSW, LCSW
Owner/Director, Executive Director

Patrick is the founder and Executive Director of In Balance Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program, and the In Balance Ranch Academy. He is a noted psychotherapist with over 25 years of extensive training and experience in adolescent and adult substance abuse and mental health treatment. He is the "heart and soul" of the In Balance programs. His dedication, direction and personal commitment to helping adolescents and their families is demonstrated in all aspects of treatment. His extensive experience makes him a frequent presenter at both local and national conferences. He has presented at the U.S. Journal Training National conferences, and the FACES, Family and Addiction Conferences and Educational Seminars on a variety of adolescent treatment topics including the challenges of overcoming the culture of adolescent substance abuse.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Barrasso
Co-Owner/Founder, Admissions Director

Along with her husband, Patrick Barrasso, Betsy has been instrumental in the founding and operation of the existing In Balance operation. Betsy brought to In Balance her experience of over 10 years as a legal assistant and office administrator. She oversees all communications, contracts, document preparation, and has constant contact with clients and referrals. She is in charge of all admissions, client billing and all financial reporting. Additionally, she supervises all administrative and accounting staff and consultants.

Once Upon a Dream

"My husband Patrick and I had a big dream. One we had been planning for at least 20 years. We wanted to open up a program for teenage boys, where they could live and grow and work on their sobriety in a safe and healthy environment. After putting together our clinical team and staff and hours of endless preparation, we were ready. However, we didn’t have a place to call home to open our In Balance Ranch Academy."

"We spent a lot of time searching for the perfect property and had actually settled on a place, but the deal fell through and we were sincerely disappointed - but we did not give up. One morning I awoke from a good night’s sleep and told Patrick I had a dream about a property. I told him it was a little “town” with lots of little buildings on the property. There was a lot of land around it with no neighbors for us to make nervous. He smiled at me lovingly and asked, 'Really? And where would we find a little town? And how much is that going to cost us?' I smiled back and said, I’m not sure.'"

"One week later, a friend of ours put us in touch with his realtor located in Cochise County. She called me and said our friend told her about us and what we were trying to accomplish. I did not share with her about my dream. She said she had a very “unique” property to show us, she did not know if it would work for us, but she thought it might be worth a look. Patrick and I drove out with our key staff to see this property. As we drove out towards Tombstone, down the San Pedro Valley, I thought, “Where are we going?” It was so beautiful, lots of open range and beautiful wild flowers. We turned down a dirt road. She explained that most of the property around there was state-owned, not a lot of neighbors around. As we drove up to the property, there were horses running alongside our car down the pasture. What a magnificent sight! Once on the property, I looked around and here was a little town called “Tumbleweed.” There were 21 buildings on the property, including a main lodge with a full-size commercial kitchen, several small buildings used for tenants, even its own Chapel! I started to cry as I realized we had just found our town. They were more than happy to hand over the Deed. The work was going to be enormous; staff and friends needing to work hours upon hours to get it to a place of healing and pride. I smiled at Patrick and said, 'Welcome to In Balance Ranch Academy.'"

~Betsy Barrasso

 

 

Anthony P. Barrasso, MPA & MLS
Chief Operating Director/Controller

Anthony has quite the eclectic background, he graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's in Philosophy in 2004 and then again in 2006 with a Master's in Public Administration and Policy.  After which he continued his education at Sandra D'Oconnor Law school where he received a Master's in Legal Studies.

Anthony's relevant work experiences includes: 7th&8th grade boys and girls basketball coach, Wilderness Staff for Aspen Achievement Academy and Intern for the Department of Defense in the Office of Force Transformation.

Anthony's relevant life experience includes: Journey of Hope, a 4,000 mile cross country bicycle trek to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities; 3 months study abroad program in Urbino, Italy; and 22-day excursion to South Africa with 14 In Balance students.

Anthony is functionally important to In Balance in that he has set up systems of accountability that have allowed the ranch to reach levels of efficiency that is unusual among "mom and pop" businesses, enabling In Balance to be more competitive in an increasingly corporate environment.  However, this is not where Anthony's real passion lies.  When he participated on the Journey of Hope he experienced a summer that changed him forever.  He realized the importance and impact of true service, it is this gift that he hopes to share with the rest of the students of In Balance.  Anthony will be transforming the wilderness program into a more service oriented direction.  So far he has planned and participated in two trips to South Africa, one trip to Kenya/Tanzania, one trip to Nepal, and most recently a 22 day trip to Peru. In Peru the boys of In Balance had the chance to trek to 15,000 feet, watch the clouds roll over the cliffs of Machu Picchu, take a canoe ride in the Amazon, celebrate service at two orphanages that service kids with special needs, and build a school in a town that otherwise had no access to education.

 

 

Daniel Barrasso, M.S.W.
Outreach Director

Daniel Barrasso joins In Balance with a Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Social Work degree through Arizona State University. He comes to the team with plenty of relevant life and work experience. He previously worked at In Balance during its early stages, for 6 years, as a life coach at In Balance Ranch Academy, a group facilitator at In Balance Intensive Outpatient and as a life coach for In Balance Transitional Living. He decided to take a three year hiatus in which he worked for a nationally recognized leader in adult residential treatment, where he proved to be a vital member of their team. After becoming lead of their Intake department and garnering extensive professional experience he has chosen to come back to In Balance to further his career. His primary role initially will be to set up systems of admission for our Intensive Outpatient program, our Sober Living homes, and our Transitional Living program. This is a huge responsibility and an integral part of the overall operation of In Balance Continuum of Care. He will also serve as our Outreach Coordinator, for which his primary role will be to establish relationships in Tucson, nationally, and internationally. The feedback from professionals all across the country has been that he is outstanding in both his clinical knowledge of what clients need, and in his ability to develop relationships and be authentic in his desire to get help to those in need.

"I am extremely excited about my return to In Balance. I grew up with an intense passion to help others, whether that meant volunteering at the Children's Hospital, staying overnight at a homeless shelter every Thanksgiving or helping a stranger on the side of the road. I've always known that I wanted to make a significant impact on young peoples' lives specifically; I just didn't know how I wanted to do it. I started off my college career looking to get a degree in education, become a teacher and have the ability to make a positive change in my students. My career path took an unexpected turn when I was asked to come work at In Balance one summer 6 years ago. From the second I came into contact with the population we serve and the dream that is In Balance I absolutely, positively knew that I could not see myself doing anything other than this. I believe full heartedly in the vision of In Balance and am thrilled to be part of the team again."

 

 

 


Clinical Team

Shannon Petrovich, LCSW, LISAC | Garry Nix, MS | Sarah Ochoa, LPC | Dr. Brian J. Ramirez, PsyD, NP |
Landon Rush, BHT | David Lavin, MS, NCC, LAC, LPC | Michael Palosaari, MA | Nick Eckley, MSW |

 

Shannon Dexter, LCSW, LISAC - Clinical Consultant/Equine Program Director Shannon Petrovich, LCSW, LISAC
Clinical Consultant/Equine Program Director

Shannon has specialized in working with youth and families for over twenty-four years. Her experiences include developing and directing a long-term residential rehabilitation program; being the Clinical Coordinator for a day school for emotionally and behaviorally disordered youth; and over eight years in private practice. In addition she brings a lifelong love of horses and fifteen years of training and experience in equine assisted psychotherapy. She left her busy practice in Tucson for this opportunity to weave together all of the best practices of residential, individual, group, and family therapy, equine experiential therapy, and 12-step work in our beautiful ranch setting.

"My parents were both very committed to their work and specifically to improving the lives of others; they have always inspired me to have a positive impact on some small part of the world. I have focused on working with teens with substance abuse issues because my teen years were derailed by addictions, and I often felt I had to find my own way through the mess and confusion I created. During graduate school, and the twenty years since then, I’ve sought to learn and grow in my own recovery, develop a knowledge base, the skills, and the communication strategies, as well as a myriad of experiential methods, to help heal and transform the lives of youth and their families."

"I met Reed Smith, (the consultant Patrick hired to help develop the Ranch,) while volunteering at an equine therapy retreat for children with cancer. Reed told me about the development of the Ranch and introduced me to Patrick and the management team. The camaraderie, the similarity of vision, values, and the ease with which we talked, convinced me this was the opportunity of a lifetime and the culmination of my life’s work. "

"One of the values of the Ranch is that we believe sobriety has to be more fun than using drugs and alcohol. We are always on the lookout for interesting, exciting activities and outings, and as a result, working at the Ranch is a lot of fun! Beyond that we try to practice what we preach in all aspects of our work at the Ranch; valuing each other as staff, helping each other, and doing our best to create a healthy family atmosphere. Sharing all of this reminds me daily of the key components of my own balance, health, and ongoing growth."

"Being many years in my own recovery and a strong believer in 12-step fellowship, I can show rather than simply tell our students that life in recovery is great! They know I’ve been where they are and can show them how to create a happier, healthier life for themselves. Students often say that I challenge them to dig deeper, and that although this can be frustrating at times, they learn a lot about themselves. They discover the old beliefs and choices that get in their way, and they strengthen the best aspects of themselves, so that gradually they begin to believe and experience that they can succeed in anything they strive to do. "

 

 

 

Garry Nix, MS
Clinical Consultant/Positive Peer Culture Leader

Garry Nix is a graduate of National University in La Jolla, California receiving a Master’s of Science in Human Behavior. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Fort Hayes State University majoring in Justice Studies with a minor in Juvenile Delinquency. Garry spent 20 years in the United States Navy. While in the Navy he traveled many places throughout the world, learning and sampling many different cultures. Once Garry retired from the United States Navy Garry when on to Law Enforcement in the State of California, where he spent 10 years, working for the City of Oxnard, California. During his time in Law Enforcement he worked with young men and women, encouraging life changing strategies, in an effort to help the make better decisions. Unfortunately, Garry was retired from Law Enforcement after being injured while serving in a Law Enforcement capacity.

Garry was raised in Texas where he learned to love horses and understands the great therapeutic value they offer in teaching us about ourselves. Garry also works closely with our Equine Staff and is a part of our Wilderness program. Garry came out of retirement because of his passion to see young men make decisions that aid them in living as men of great character. Garry’s belief is that if you give young man an opportunity to learn how to make and see change through making the will continue to make good decisions.

“Give a people food they can eat for that day, teach people to grow there own food, they eat for life.”

 

 

 

Sarah Ochoa, LPC
Clinical Director

Sarah Ochoa graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, TX with her Masters Degree in Counseling. She is a Licensed Counselor (LPC) in Arizona. She has over 16 years of experience working with adolescents. She has worked in a variety of settings, including outdoor education, wilderness therapy and residential programs. She has been with In Balance since 2010. Prior to that, she spent 6.5 years working at a co-ed emotional growth boarding school in Montana. There, she learned to value the positive peer culture and how it can teach students to take pride in their relationships, their school and their own growth. She has gained years of experience working with a diverse group of teens and their families. She has designed a transition program, family workshop weekends, and gone on several community services trips with students. She has experience facilitating a variety of types of therapy, including: equine, adventure, group, family, and individual. She is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). She has extensive knowledge of Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) and has trained our staff and assist them in working with students who struggle with learning disorders. Sarah enjoys getting involved in whatever the task at hand is. She does not sit back and watch life pass her by. She enjoys photography and spends most of her weekends off roading in her Jeep with her husband, dog, and friends. She loves to travel around the U.S and has also been to New Zealand, Australia, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Ireland. She grew up in Missouri and has since lived in Texas, Wisconsin, Utah, Montana, Idaho and now Arizona.

 

 

 

Dr. Brian Ramirez-Psy.D, N.P. Dr. Brian J. Ramirez, Psy.D, N.P.
Clinical Psychologist & Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Brian Ramirez is a clinical psychologist and psychiatric nurse practitioner. He uses his expertise and experience to treat the students on campus at In Balance Ranch Academy every other Tuesday. Dr. Ramirez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology from Wright State University. He completed his predoctoral psychology internship through the American Psychological Association-accredited Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium and did his postdoctoral residency in child and family clinical psychology at La Frontera Center in Tucson, Arizona. Recognizing the acute need for mental health clinicians with the ability to prescribe psychiatric medication, Dr. Ramirez completed advanced practice nursing training as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. He received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from New Mexico State University and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Vanderbilt University. He is a licensed psychologist and registered nurse practitioner in Arizona and board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner.

Dr. Ramirez has specialized training and over 10 years of experience working with child and adolescent populations including substance abuse treatment. In addition to working with In Balance Ranch Academy, he maintains a full-time private practice in Tucson. Dr. Ramirez specializes in the integration of psychotherapy and the prudent use of psychiatric medication. He has worked in community mental health centers, private and public psychiatric hospitals, private substance abuse residential treatment centers, an international refugee mental health clinic, primary care medical clinics, and universities providing both inpatient and outpatient services for diverse populations across the lifespan.

 

 

 

Landon Rush, B.A., B.H.T. (PhD Candidate)
Primary Therapist

Landon Rush joins the clinical team at In Balance Ranch after a year working in the Intensive Outpatient program in Tucson. During this time he has not only shown us the breadth and depth of work he can do with young people and their families, he has also been a tremendously professional, creative and inspirational member of the IOP team.

Landon is an Arizona native and resides in Tucson. After high school, Landon joined the Active Army component as an artilleryman. He fought on Route Irish, in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003-2004, during the beginning of the Iraq War (OIF 1). After completing his term of enlistment in 2006, Landon left his duty station in Strassburg, Germany and returned stateside to start college. During this time, he joined the Army National Guard and is currently in Officer Candidate School to become a second lieutenant. After OCS, Landon's end-state will be as a psychologist in the Army National Guard.

Landon graduated from Prescott College with a Political Science B.A. He found his calling in psychology when he looked back on his life with the military and some other personal experiences, and realized that help is needed for those who suffer. Landon then redirected his education and is now in his academia for counseling psychology at Prescott College. He is near completion of his Master’s degree and starts his Ph.D. in August of 2013 for clinical psychology, with a neuropsychology concentration. He is creating a psycho-educational based website for war veterans, www.TheWarIsNotOver.org, to help educate about PTSD and the related issues. His human subject research stretches from Equine Facilitated Therapy to Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET). He prefers a CBT approach with his counseling work, but researches the cognitive neuroscience of behaviors and disorders, as well. As for his personal perspective, Landon believes that building from life experiences, whether negative or positive, to create coping strategies is highly valuable. His philosophy is, ”life is the greatest educator of all.” Landon is dedicated to his work and believes that helping those who struggle, is a necessity as a human-being.

As for passions and hobbies, Landon has a history with sprint to ultra distance endurance events. His passions are triathlon, duathlon, running, swimming, cycling (on and off-road), motorcycles, classic cars and nature. Landon was on Team USA in 2011 and competed in Gijon, Spain for the United States in the Duathlon World Championship. He believes that physical fitness is an important part to recovery and life.

”I can understand what these young men are going through. I dropped out of high school and struggled with substance abuse myself. I joined the Army as a teenager and thought my troubles were over, but when I returned from war I found myself struggling again. The Army missions I ran while on deployment and my time on the streets of Baghdad, Iraq changed me forever. After losing my best friend in 2008 to a D.U.I. related motorcycle accident and further reflections of friends that I lost through combat, substance abuse and suicide, I found myself changing career paths. I originally wanted to be a federal agent and my B.A. was geared towards that. I realized that I do not need to be in the fight anymore, but want to help those who are currently fighting with substance abuse, PTSD, depression and any psychological issues. After seeing myself change through education and self-work, I believe that all the young men in this program can make a change, as well. The lessons of life are there, we just have to realize what they are, and use them to help us.”

 

 

 

David Lavin - Primary Therapist David Lavin, MS, NCC, LAC, LPC
Primary Therapist

David Lavin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Fordham University, and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). David has over 12,000 hours of practical working experience in the helping field. In addition, he has a degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling,

David’s work experience includes the following settings in NY, MT, CT and CO; acute detox, outpatient, inpatient, intensive inpatient, short term and long term residential, crisis intervention, chemical dependency intervention, prevention, family, group, and individual therapy, equine therapy, and wilderness therapy. He also consults on court cases assessing client dependency and providing treatment recommendations as alternative to incarceration. This work has been conducted with all ages, but predominantly young adults.

David comes to In Balance Ranch with nine years of front line experience in the field of addiction and mental health treatment. He is thrilled and humbled to have found a place where he can combine both of his passions in counseling and horsemanship.

David’s role models in the field of psychology have been Albert Ellis, Irvin Yalom, and Viktor Frankl. His personal philosophy is this; "We wake up in the morning and decide that day to do the right thing, or not". This simple idea when executed consistently equates to a balanced internal peace. David uses his innate ability to connect with others, his education, and experience to guide each and every client he encounters to their fullest, purest versions of themselves. David enjoys spending time with his horses, dog, and family. He has also recently taken up cooking and is becoming less of a novice.

 

 

 

 

Andre Mixon Michael Palosaari, MA
Primary Therapist

Michael received his Bachelor’s degree from Augsburg College, in Minneapolis, majoring in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology and with a Minor in Communications. He completed his Masters Degree in Addiction Counseling from Hazelden’s College of Graduate Studies. Michael decided to focus his attention on youth when he realized that the best way to make a change in our culture is to work with the population where addiction typically starts. He believes that once the message of recovery is taken in at a younger age, the chances of a life without the problems of active addiction are greatly enhanced.

Prior to obtaining his Masters degree in counseling, Michael spent many years in the fitness industry primarily as a personal trainer. During this time, he developed and managed programs to serve the 1000’s of clients under his care. Michael has served many different populations from youth to seniors and has found a deep passion for helping teens gain self-confidence and self-esteem through exercise and knowledge about healthier food choices.

Michael discovered equine therapy in 2007 while working on his Master’s degree at Hazelden. He volunteered for 2 years at an Equine Assisted Therapy farm in Minnesota and became certified as an Equine Assisted Coach in 2011. In his practice as an Equine Assisted Coach he has developed a passion for helping teens who struggle with chemical abuse/addiction issues and finds that in bringing the horses into the therapeutic relationship, a deeper connection to self can occur as well as deepening healing from the traumas of abuse and addictions.

"The magic that happens between horse and human is remarkable. I became fascinated with how horses help people get real with what is happening for them." "My own recovery also became more enhanced while working with the horses. All the therapy that I had gone through really came together once I started working with horses. My own horses have helped me tremendously get clear about what I want out of my life and how I want to present myself to the world. My recovery has had bumps along the road and the power of the AA program, along with a strong support system that includes my amazing family, my son, my long time partner Deb, close friends, our horses, Cody and Archer, and our yellow Lab Elliot has served as a strong foundation to meet the challenges of daily life that we all experience. Without recovery, I simply would not ever be so blessed in this life"

 

 

 

Nick Eckley Nick Eckley, MSW
Primary Therapist

Nick comes to In Balance Ranch Academy with diverse experience in community mental health and residential substance abuse treatment centers in Arizona. Nick has over four years experience providing clinical care to teenagers and young adults. His primary focus has been treating substance use and co-occurring disorders. Nick has experience using CBT and other therapeutic modalities in treating substance use and co-occurring disorders in outpatient, residential and in intensive outpatient settings. Most recently Nick has been a primary therapist at In Balance Transitional Living. Nick obtained his Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Social Work degree through Arizona State University. Nick has seen the effects of substance abuse on individuals and families and strives to restore the lives of those affected by this disease. His energy, relational skills, life experience, and desire to help those in need will make him an amazing addition to the already stellar In Balance staff. Nick and his wife have recently given birth to a beautiful baby boy!"

 

 

 

Scott Reinhardt

Shandi Hoey, MS
Primary Therapist

Shandi was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. Shandi's first experience working in the behavioral health field was as a volunteer for C.A.S.A. as a court advocate for abused and neglected children in 1999. As the wife of a Marine, Shandi was able to travel to different states and gain a better understanding of different populations and their needs. As the mother of 5 children Shandi knew that going back to school would be difficult, but her passion for helping others was a driving force that could not be ignored. Shandi graduated with an Associate's in Business in 2009 and then again in 2011 with a Bachelor's in Human Services and Management. During the completion of her bachelor's degree Shandi recognized how much she enjoyed learning about the human services aspect of the degree, and decided to continue on with her Master's degree in a similar area. In 2016 Shandi graduated with her Master's in Mental Health Counseling.

Shandi's work experience includes working as a court advocate for children, program coordinator for special needs children, crisis intervention counselor, and short term and 30-day residential program for substance abuse. Shandi is the president of the board for 3 recovery homes in Sierra Vista, AZ that are currently helping approximately 50 men break the chain of addiction, and become contributing members of society once again. Shandi's personal experience of growing up in a substance abuse household, and her own past struggles with addiction are what Shandi believes helps her connect and empathize with the individuals she works with. "Everyday I am amazed by the strength and determination of the individuals I work with as I watch them become aware of who they truly are, and what they are capable of. Some have told me that I was a part of their change, and they are thankful, but they will never understand how thankful I am that they allowed me to be a part of their change."

 

 

 

Scott Reinhardt

Matt Hawe, MSW
Primary Therapist

Matthew Hawe graduated from Arizona State University with a Master of Social Work. He has a diverse background working in behavioral health treating substance use and mental disorders. Since 2008, Matt has been assisting adults and adolescents address barriers to living an independent, functional life while learning coping mechanisms to combat the symptoms of their illness. Matt has been an active member in the Tucson recovery community by working a 12-step program, participating in fellowship, and dedicating himself to service work. Matt has witnessed the devastating impact of addiction on the addicted individual, the family system, and the community and has found purpose in devoting his life to the field of substance use disorders. Collaborating with young people who have addictions can be very challenging and overwhelming without an intentional approach. Working at In Balance Transitional Living, Matt has learned the importance of building relationships to the degree that a level of trust is established that enables these young men to be genuine in their journey of recovery. Matt is trained in Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT). The combination of these two modalities assists individuals in moving away from sustain talk and focuses on the factors that motivate them to make an adjustment regarding their disruptive behaviors and substance use. CBT offers a path to modify negative thinking patterns that affect emotions and behaviors. Matt was born and raised in Tucson, AZ and has an extensive knowledge of the surrounding area for hiking and camping. He has utilized his knowledge base and passion for the outdoors through leading the weekend hikes and camping expeditions at In Balance Transitional Living. The wilderness offers an environment to find solace while unplugging from the stresses of everyday life. John Muir lived a life of exploration as he advocated for the preservation of the wilderness. He stated, "everybody needs beauty...places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike." The healing component of the wilderness combined with evidence based practice and the 12 steps is a method for a new way of living while recovering from the heartaches of addiction.

 

 

 

Scott Reinhardt

Laura Bailey, MA, LMHC
Primary Therapist

Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Temple University in Philadelphia, and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe. Prior to moving to Arizona, Laura worked in the community mental health field in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, she served child, adolescent, and adult populations. Laura has a passion for treating addiction, trauma, and co-occurring disorders. She works largely from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, believing that each individual has control over his/her thoughts, behaviors, and actions, and therefore is capable of change. Her training includes Interpersonal Neurobiology and Somatic Action Methods, Sandtray, Family Therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), and Transformational Ecopsychology. She brings with her a unique perspective as a Registered Yoga Teacher, offering mindfulness and somatic awareness as vital therapeutic tools. Laura is passionate about all forms of art and the potential for creativity in all areas of life and recovery.

 

 

 


Academic Faculty

Wendy Morgando, B.S., M.A.T. | Jim Reynolds | Scott Meinhardt |
Jason Jarvis | Mark Hixon

 

Wendy Morgando - In Balance Ranch Academic Director Wendy Morgando, B.A., M.A.T.
Academic Director

Wendy has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, an M.A.T. from Simmons College and nearly 20 years of teaching experience. For 17 years she taught History at an independent college preparatory boarding school in California and upon leaving became the first recipient of an award, named in her honor, which is given annually to a member of the faculty who exhibits “enthusiasm, leadership, and dedication to students.” Before moving to Sierra Vista, she taught both English and Social Studies at a college preparatory charter school in Nevada.

Wendy has chosen to work in schools which strive to maintain high standards while stressing an individualistic approach. She models passion for learning and strives to create a positive student-centered environment, using a “teacher as coach” approach. Her primary goal is to help students learn how to learn by providing them with a variety of tools and options so they can figure out what works best for them.

Wendy enjoys spending time with her husband and teenage daughter, reading, taking walks in the Arizona sunshine, listening to what her family thinks are “boring” podcasts about archeology, history, and currents events, and watching endless playlists of British detective series on YouTube.

 

 

 

Jim Reynolds Jim Reynolds
Academy Teacher

Jim Reynolds comes to us from New England. He has 37 years of teaching experience with youth and adults. He has over 25 years of experience as principal and administrator in private schools at both K-12 and college levels. Jim also has used his teaching skills on construction sites over the past 30 years as Site Supervisor and Project Manager. He has been noted not only for his supervisory skills, but his high-end finish carpentry.

In 1967, his father founded a center for men dealing with addictions, so Jim grew up in a family that was centered on service to others. As an adult, he served as Director of the center for six years. Volunteering his time and skills, he has helped to design and build ten churches along the East Coast. He also has enjoyed doing missionary work in Colombia, South America. For twelve years, he has served as Activities Director and Head Counselor for Juniors (8-12 year olds) at a one-week, Virginia youth camp, and for the past six years has been honored to be Dean of Students at the annual Northeast Regional Student Convention.

He and his wife recently relocated to Arizona. Jim has always had a special place in his heart for teenage boys who are dealing with the recovery process and is very happy to be a part of In Balance Ranch. Jim enjoys playing his guitars, hiking, camping, maintaining his personal library of 2000+ books and spending time with his wife.

One of his favorite quotes is, "My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

 

 

 

Scott Reinhardt

Scott Meinhardt, A.A.S., (B.A.S. in progress)
Academy Teacher

Scott has an A. A. S. degree in Computer Science from Cochise College and is in the process of getting his B. A. S. degree through the University of Arizona. Prior to In Balance, he has tutored math students at all levels both privately and through Cochise College.

Scott has three children that all happen to have dyslexia. This has made learning in a school environment quite difficult for them. Conversations and disagreements with their school helped him understand the complications that arise with certain learning disabilities and, for the most part, how to overcome them. Of course, all three kids are gifted in the area of math.

Scott stays busy outside the classroom by playing video games with the kids, bowling with the wife and brother, hiking the local mountains with friends, and the occasional carpentry or landscaping "honey-do" list.

 

 

 

Scott Reinhardt

Jason Jarvis
Academy Teacher

Jason Jarvis is the Social Science teacher. Jason was raised in Germany, where he participated in the German school system and as a result speaks fluent German. He has spent time travelling around Europe and visiting countries such as France, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Great Britain.

Jason came to the United States in 2004, where he finished high school at Buena High School and went on to Wayland Baptist University to earn his Bachelors Degree in History and in Education.Jason has a passion for the Social Sciences, and spends time reading historical non-fiction/historical fiction and Psychology in his spare time. Particular topics of interest are military history and nonverbal communication. He believes that Social Sciences can be exciting if it is taught in an interactive manner and if students are given the opportunity to discover the subject for themselves.

Jason enjoys being a part of a community that is centered on assisting youth. Prior to coming to San Pedro Valley Academy, Jason worked as a mentor/BHT providing skills training and therapy services for children within the behavioral health system. He has 15 years experience working with children of varying ages and the same amount in voluntary work with children.

 

 

 

Scott Reinhardt

Mark Hixon
Academy Teacher

Bio Coming Soon Please Check Back!

 

 

 


Milieu Team

Peter Doyle | Jeff Summy

 

Robert Olivarez Peter Doyle, BA
Operations Director

Peter Doyle is an alumni of all three In Balance programs and has worked for the In Balance Continuum since 2008. Peter has his Bachelor's degree and is also a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. Peter graduated Cum Laude in May 2015 with his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Peter has been active in the local 12-step fellowship since 2006. He assists with the daily living, milieu support, staff supervision and recovery of the In Balance boys and also assists residents in meeting their program fitness goals. He is a Certified Personal Trainer and can deadlift over 600lbs. Being an alumni of In Balance allows Peter to bring a unique perspective to the staff and program management as well as the residents because he has had direct experience with what the residents encounter as they go through the program.

 

 

 

Jeff Summy-Alumni Coordinator Jeff Summy
Alumni Coordinator

Jeff began working for InBalance July, 2010. Jeff is an Alumni of the program who struggled with his own addiction upon arriving at the Ranch. After graduating, he felt obliged to give back to the students in the same way he was mentored and cared for by the staff of InBalance. Jeff is our Alumni Coordinator, he is responsible for Alumni outreach and organizing two annual events which brings Alumni together to share in fellowship and comradery. Jeff has a unique skill set that allows him to lead these young men down a path of success. As a former student Jeff has the ability to understand and empathize with students, recognizing the difficulties and challenges of finding recovery at an adolescent age.

 

 

 


Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Associate Member - NATSAP Woodbury Reports Award of Excellence Woodbury Reports Award of Excellence North Central Association SEVP
AdvancED Accreditation

This school is accredited by North Central Association/AdvancED, "THE KINETIC CATALYST AND MARK OF QUALITY DRIVING POWERFUL SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT" Click for information on our accreditation


A proud program of In Balance Continuum of Care
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