In Balance Ranch Academy
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In Balance Ranch Academy is a program that FamilyLight sm holds in high regardWe are currently placing abbreviated reviews on as many high quality schools and programs as possible, in response to the utilization pattern we see on this website.  We want to indicate our confidence in as many good programs as possible, planning to return with more detail later.  

Guest reviews are invited.

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FamilyLightsm is an educational consulting firm specializing in work with families with a young person with behavioral, emotional or psychological difficulties.  We offer in-depth personal guidance to families on a fee basis and free guidance on the internet. FamilyLightsm attempts to be fully objective and accepts no advertising nor referral fees.

In Balance Ranch Academy is a clinically intensive program for boys in the mid teen age range, focused on twelve-step recovery. We believe it comes closer to meeting our 2010 Guidelines on Addiction and Substance Abuse and 2010 Guidelines on Twelve Step Programming than any other school or program. Input from Patrick Barasso, founder of In Balance Ranch Academy, strongly influenced the development of those guidelines. The services are comparable to what in most states would be designated a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or in New York or Pennsylvania a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF).

In Balance Ranch Academy is actually a converted guest ranch, set up to look like a satirized village of the old west. Its location is on a very remote tract of desert land about an hour south of Tucson. The mailing address we see on the In Balance Ranch Academy website is actually the day treatment program in Tucson operated by the same management.

While we welcome that In Balance Ranch Academy operates very closely to our current Guidelines on Addiction and Substance Abuse Programming and our Guidelines on Twelve Step Programming, we are uncertain that we are fully aligned especially with respect to the manner the program supports young people who are at the milder end of the addiction spectrum and are not initially finding support in twelve step work. We have not heard anyone representing In Balance Ranch Academy to refer to the distinction between addiction-1 and addiction-2 that figures prominently in our guidelines, although we also have not heard specific disagreement about the thinking behind it. We will learn more as In Balance Ranch Academy learns of this preliminary review and has the opportunity to review our guidelines.

We have learned that In Balance Ranch Academy usually operates at or near capacity and normally reports a waiting list when initially approached. We suggest contacting In Balance Ranch Academy admissions at the earliest moment you are considering a referral or enrolling your son, and being politely assertive about your needs. The sooner you are on their waiting list the earlier you will be able to secure an admission.

While you wait for us to present a more complete review, please look around this website.  Look at our Guidelines -- a fairly comprehensive statement of what we believe quality is all about.  If you come to a search and planning process with limited experience, this is an opportunity for you to find some principles to measure schools and programs against.  

Official web site of In Balance Ranch Academy

Woodbury Reports on In Balance Ranch Academy

Return to Individual Schools and Programs Index

Feedback is invited. We will publish feedback in good taste, consistent with our standards.  Email

Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


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Last updated  1-21-2011

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