Circle Tree Ranch

By The Fix staff 02/15/15

Circle Tree Ranch provides residential addiction rehabilitation services for men and women over the age of 18, including pregnant women, and parents undergoing drug and alcohol treatment whose children reside with them on the campus.

Circle Tree Ranch
Location : Tucson, AZ
Phone : 800-381-3318
Price : 90 days: $25,000, 7 months: $35,000 children: $1,200 per child/month
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : No

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Perched on the cusp of Tucson, Arizona, Amity Foundation's non-profit Circle Tree Ranch provides an affordable, family friendly, holistic approach to rehabilitation on a lush, 60-acre campus. Serving up the best of both worlds, Circle Tree Ranch sits tucked away between the Catalina and Rincon mountain ranges, and is surrounded by calming desert scenery. Those looking to embark on a long-term rehabilitation journey within a supportive community that focuses on the individual’s strengths and self-esteem—while also addressing the trauma and underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse and alcohol addiction—will find solace and recovery at Circle Tree Ranch.

Upon entering Circle Tree Ranch, residents can look forward to being greeted by rustic decor and a tranquil landscape. In contrast to the luxury rehabilitation centers, Circle Tree Ranch immerses its residents in community and nature around campfires, in seasonal gardens, on rocky mountain hikes, and to finish the day off –  breathtaking sunsets.

Circle Tree Ranch is home to, and a safe place for, every person. As one alumnus puts it, there are people from “all walks of life, young and older, all races and all religions.” This center welcomes all who suffer from substance abuse, alcoholism, other forms of addiction, eating disorders, depression, trauma or PTSD and other co-occurring disorders, and victims of violence. The most important factors for people seeking treatment at Circle Tree Ranch were price, an ideal location, food and treatment quality, accommodations, and amenities. For the most part, Circle Tree Ranch scores high on all of these criteria.

At the ranch, residents can expect a well-rounded experience. Committed to their curriculum, strong sense of community, and group sessions, ranch life starts with a morning gathering to frame each day. After that, tenants are off to complete their assigned chores. By giving everyone tasks to complete the residents (or students) learn responsibility and accountability. Each resident is given a chore around the dormitories, and a job on campus for three or four days a week. These jobs are usually switched off throughout the stay. Between chores and group sessions, days are filled with curriculum and seminars on various topics such as healthy eating, navigating life and other worldly concerns, and interpersonal and mindfulness meditation.

In a community that needs and values structure and stability, Circle Tree Ranch enforces strict rules that, when broken, result in consequences. However, all infractions were treated fairly and sensibly. Rule violations were handled in group circles. Devoted to the personal growth of residents, Circle Tree turned infractions into personal and emotional learning experiences for the students. In certain instances, staff had students reflect on the infraction in solitude. According to one alumnus, disciplinary action was always handled in a creative and unorthodox way that promised growth and education.

During down time residents can spend time in the gym or pool, and explore off of the property. The ranch also allows students to take advantage of their location – weekly hikes, yoga, organic gardening, outdoor volleyball, among other sports, are among the many other amenities available to those at the center. For those less interested in nature, there are also art classes, therapy, and the freedom to start programs of their choosing provided that they plan for it and build a fan base for it. TV and phone privileges are limited, but allowed, while Internet use and off-site job searches are reserved for long-term residents.

Between packed schedules, residents can enjoy an excellent range of healthy food options. In the dining room, most meals are organic. Coffee and ice cream, which are only available in the morning and on Wednesday nights respectively, are two exceptions to the otherwise healthy menu. As far as sweets are concerned, options are limited to fruits and other natural sugars. Among past residents’ favorite menu items were the salad bars and fresh fruit juice options. Alumni also enjoyed fish tacos, pozole, quiche, and assorted pasta dishes.

As a rehabilitation center, medical treatment services were among the top concerns of the patients there. Most alumni gave Circle Tree Ranch a 4-star rating, with a few awarding it 5-stars. A psychiatric doctor makes weekly visits to the facility to check up on patients, and a nurse is available around the clock. In addition, residents indicate that although there is a lack of doctors on-site throughout the week, there are medical clinics and hospitals in close proximity to the ranch.

Non-medical treatments, which are integral to the rehabilitation process, were met with mixed, but generally positive, reviews. Unlike some treatment programs, Circle Tree’s program is focused on personal and emotional growth rather than a 12-step program. The experience is spiritual, rather than religious, but all cultures and belief systems are welcomed. Amity’s program boasts week long, community-wide workshops on “Tending the Heart's Garden,” which many participants describe as transforming. Circle Tree stresses philosophy, the values of being honest, and the importance of community and friendship building. These groups are, according to participants, the most memorable part of treatment because it allows for the most growth and learning.

Circle Tree’s treatment programs are multi-faceted and work to accommodate different learning styles with a mix of a tough love and permissive approach. A large part of treatment is handled in group settings. This includes confrontations, but also lessons full of tenderness and authenticity.

The less conventional, holistic method of rehabilitation appears to be successful; not only do alumni boast sobriety, but complete independence from medications to manage their respective addictions or problems. Of course, the experience is not the same for everyone, but previous residents describe their time at Circle Tree Ranch as life changing. “It was there that I found the strength to live with a passion and serenity I had never known before.”

The staff to patient ratio at Circle Tree Ranch is 1:12 with staff qualifications ranging from entry level behavioral health professionals to those with BHPP or other professional accreditation.

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