Frequently Asked Questions


Below are answers to some frequently asked questions by parents. Please call Betsy Barrasso, our Admissions Director, at 520-722-9631 with any additional questions you may have


[1]What makes In Balance Ranch Academy program unique?
[2] What about the In Balance staff?
[3] What are the qualifications of the In Balance staff?
[4]What is the student to staff ratio?
[5] What does the program include to help my son seek and maintain sobriety from alcohol/drugs?
[6] What else should I know about the In Balance Program?
[7] Is the In Balance program based on the 12 Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous?
[8] Is the academic program accredited and can my son gain course credit toward graduation?
[9]How are behavioral issues and problems addressed?
[10] How often do parents receive updates on our child's progress?
[11]May I speak with parents of present and/or graduated students of In Balance Ranch Academy?
[12] What is the cost of the program and is this all-inclusive?
[13] What is the minimum length of stay?
[14] How are parents involved in the program?
[15] What are the program guidelines related to the internet, phone calls, visits, mail, e-mail correspondences and money?

 

What makes In Balance Ranch Academy program unique?
The program focuses on a comprehensive recovery from substance abuse with a strong 12-step foundation, a powerful and individualized academic program that meets the learning and educational needs of each student, and dynamic, engaging equine, wilderness and personal growth programs.
Recovery is the first step in everything we do; sobriety is the cornerstone upon which we build our lives and ultimately reach our personal potential. This is the first of the 7 Guiding Principles of the In Balance Program, and we believe that once the negative and self-destructive effects of alcohol and/or substance abuse have been addressed, a more positive and fulfilling lifestyle may be learned and attained.

 

What about the In Balance staff?
In Balance Ranch Academy has brought together the best, most dedicated professionals in their fields. The core of the program is the leadership and vision of Patrick Barrasso, LCSW. He is creating and directing a program that is dedicated to the mission of helping young men and their families. Wendy Morgando, Academic Director, has created an engaging, inspirational, and individualized program of instruction that challenges students to achieve to their fullest potential. Shannon Petrovich, LCSW, LISAC, Clinical Director, coordinates the therapy team and bridges the treatment services with the goal of helping our young men break through denial and blind spots, gain insights, attain recovery from substance abuse and make emotional and interpersonal growth.

 

What are the qualifications of the In Balance staff?
All of our therapists have Master's Degrees. In Balance Ranch Academy therapists have years of experience working with adolescents who have chemical dependency problems. For more information on our staff, please take a moment to meet our staff.

 

What is the student to staff ratio?
A maximum of 10 students to each staff member

 

What does the program include to help my son seek and maintain sobriety from alcohol/drugs?
Our primary guiding principle is the recovery and continued success of each young man. We are committed to providing high-quality services for students and families. Our research and experience working with young men has shown that the rate of successful recovery will be enhanced by participating in the following therapeutic programs, which are all included in our monthly tuition:
-Individual, group and family therapy
-Community-based AA/NA meetings (at appropriate level)
-Weekly Family Therapy
-Weekly Individual Therapy
-Wilderness Experiential Therapy
-Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy
-Individualized Academic Education
-Challenge Course and Adventure Therapies
-Work Ethics - Chores, Personal Responsibilities
-Exercise and Nutrition - Cooking Skills
-Special Projects - Academic and Recovery-Based
-Follow-up Sessions After Discharge
-Service to others

 

What else should I know about the In Balance Program?
The In Balance Intensive Outpatient Program has been working with adolescents and their families for 10 years prior to the opening of In Balance Ranch Academy. The In Balance program and staff have successfully served over 500 families since that time. The Ranch Academy is a natural extension of the stellar help and services that Patrick Barrasso, LCSW, and his dedicated staff have provided for that last 10 years. (Read what others have said about the In Balance Program.) The In Balance Ranch Academy incorporates all the successful components of the In Balance Intensive Outpatient Program and has expanded to an even more intensive model incorporating the best in research-based recovery practices and staff.

 

Is the In Balance program based on the 12 Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous?
The principles of the 12 Steps are represented in almost every aspect of our program, as well as a daily focus on 12 Step groups, recovery meetings, and application of the 12 Step principles. We use a combination of the 12 Step model and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies in our treatment approach. Current research validates this approach as being most effective with adolescents and provides for the most successful long-term recovery from chemical dependency.

 

Is the academic program accredited and can my son gain course credit toward graduation?
The In Balance Ranch Academy academic program is tailored to meet the individual needs of our students. Upon enrollment, our Academic Director, Wendy Morgando, works with the student and his parents to develop a detailed educational plan. For some students this plan may include completing courses started at his home school, taking a blend of high school and college courses to best challenge his academic strength, or may involve designing an accelerated program to help a student make-up missed credits. Our unique blend of self-paced classroom and environmentally-based courses allows students to enroll in our academic program any time of the year. Our experiential learning and one-to-one tutoring model ensures success for many students who have struggled in more traditional school settings.Our courses are fully accredited; students may choose to earn a high school diploma while they are with us, or transfer their earned credits to another school to complete their educational program. College courses are also offered for those students who complete their diploma while at the Ranch. In addition, elective courses in a variety of areas are available to enrolled students. These courses may include culinary arts (a very popular course with our boys), photography, computer graphic design, web-page design, art, music, etc. These courses are often developed through the interests of the students; they are continually encouraged to develop their passions and talents, many of which are untapped when they are struggling with chemical dependency. Our goal is to help each student reach his personal potential and become a successful student, a life-long learner and open up the door to academic and occupational satisfaction and success

 

How are behavioral issues and problems addressed?
The development of personal responsibility, honesty, and integrity are core values of In Balance Ranch Academy. Students are expected to work diligently. Students are encouraged to be leaders, and to help their peers attain the highest program Levels.The use of profanity, substances, tobacco and caffeine is prohibited. We have found, and the research has confirmed, that while they are in our program is the best time to recover from all mind and mood altering substances other than prescribed medications. We believe it is hypocritical to have them recover from alcohol/drugs and not address dependency on cigarettes and nicotine products which are life-threatening compulsions and addictions.In accordance with the principles of a Positive Peer Culture, natural consequences for inappropriate behaviors are determined by the peers and staff members. For example, misuse of student privileges may result in the suspension of that privilege for a period of time. More serious offenses may result in a student losing his earned Level. Running away, sexual acting out, physical harm to self or others, verbal threats or threatening behaviors to property, staff or peers is considered a serious infraction that may result in early discharge and/or transfer to another program.

 

How often do parents receive updates on our child's progress?
Therapists update parents once per week via telephone and/or e-mail. Academic updates are sent every two weeks. We are always available for phone conferences in between updates as requested by the parents

 

May I speak with parents of present and/or graduated students of In Balance Ranch Academy?
Yes. We strongly encourage parents to talk with the parents of our students before enrolling their son. The decision to enroll your son in our program is a difficult decision. We have found it invaluable to have parents talk directly with parents who have boys in the program or who have graduated the program. Please call our Director of Admissions, Betsy Barrasso, at (520) 722-9631 for parent contact information

 

What is the cost of the program and is this all-inclusive?
Our tuition is $9,400 per month, which you will find is a very competitive price for the quality of our program. Our tuition is all-inclusive. Our program tuition includes the equine program and riding lessons, wilderness excursion trips, therapeutic and academic services, family weekends and hygiene products. The only additional cost is for special medical treatment and additional academic tutoring services provided outside of the regular school day or transportation into Tucson.We require a one-time gear fee of $1950 per student. All wilderness equipment, boots, tent and a sleeping bag will be purchased for your son's use. Also included in this fee are purchases of equine equipment, bedding, and first course of schoolbooks. Upon admission, the first and last two month's tuition and the gear fee will be due. Your tuition payments thereafter will be monthly, starting with the second month of attendance.

 

What is the minimum length of stay?
Our primary goal and guiding principle is the student's successful recovery and reintegration back to his home and community. Students typically stay at the Academy between 10 and 14 months with the average being about one year. The length of stay depends on the student's therapeutic progress. According to the current research in the field of adolescent recovery, this is the minimum time necessary to give your son the best chance of sustained recovery from chemical dependency.

 

How are parents involved in the program?
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend Al-Anon meetings. We have found that students do better more quickly if parents are involved in Al-Anon because it assists with the recovery process. Parents are required to participate in Family Weekends and read several books on recovery and the family. We also suggest that families attend family counseling sessions in their hometowns at least twice a month. Families will have weekly sessions with their son via the telephone or in person if possible. The importance of healing the family is a primary concern and focus of our program.

 

What are the program guidelines related to the internet, phone calls, visits, mail, e-mail correspondences and money?
Internet - Students use the Internet to conduct research for educational purposes only and with one-to-one supervision.
Phone calls - Students at the appropriate level are allowed weekly phone calls to parents and/or other family members. Students at higher levels may also be permitted to have phone calls with approved peers.
Visits - Visits are scheduled by the student's primary therapist. Frequency and duration of on-site visits depends on the therapeutic progress of the individual student. Your son's therapist will discuss and arrange visits so they optimize his progress and successful return home.
Mail - Students are encouraged to write letters to family members and friends as outlined in our Level System. Since space is limited and we want to minimize differences among students, we ask that you not send packages to your son, unless the gift is for a birthday or holiday. Any food items sent will be shared with the entire student community. Your full support and encouragement are the best gifts you can give your son.
E-mail correspondence - E-mail correspondence should be sent directly to your son's primary therapist. E-mail addresses for the staff are listed in the staff contact information page in the In Balance Parent Manual.
Money - Since your tuition is all inclusive, your son will not need any spending money while at the Ranch, and there is no reason for them to ask you for money.


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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