The Ranch Pennsylvania

By The Fix staff 07/09/19

The Ranch offers adventure-based therapies, trauma-informed treatment, gender-separate facilities and 12-step programs.

The Ranch Pennsylvania
Location : 1166 Hilt Road, Wrightsville, PA 17368
Phone : 717-696-0498
Price : $20,000 - $30,000 / month
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

The Ranch in Pennsylvania is a multi-service treatment center with a particular focus on overall mental health with specific emphasis placed on the treatment of co-occurring and underlying disorders. According to their website, “Over half of people with addictions also have mental health disorders.” In order to address this, the Ranch offers individual, group, and family therapy, both traditional and alternative approaches, outpatient treatment, and extended aftercare to prevent relapse. They believe that addiction treatment is only “the first step in recovery.”

They offer adventure-based therapies, trauma-informed treatment, gender-separate facilities and 12-step programs. Family involvement is greatly encouraged.

All are welcome at The Ranch. One alum described their fellow residents:

“All ages, all different occupations, we all got along really well! All completely different personalities, income, employment but came together as one.”

However, a couple of graduates described a population that skewed young:

“Mostly young people were there, in their 20’s and maybe some in their 30’s,” wrote one individual. “I was in my 50’s. Didn’t feel that terrific to me as I felt I had aged out.”

“There was mostly younger people with only drug/alcohol issues, which most of the programs and therapy was geared to.”

Alumni mostly reported having roommates at the Ranch during at least some of their stay and described daily life as highly scheduled and focused on routine, which some liked and others described as “boring.” Some would have liked more “rest time/free time to be alone to simply reflect on therapy and such.” Residents are given chores to do but they were described as “easy and reasonable.”

Reports on accommodations were mostly positive, often depending on how much people liked their roommates (most did). As far as activities go, The Ranch offers yoga, meditation and use of a gym. Residents enjoyed “art, basketball, obstacle courses, team building.” Off-campus excursions and other privileges are earned when clients "level up" in their program. There were a couple complaints about the gym being small and one alum complained that there was no archery.  Alumni had good things to say about the staff. A couple of former residents specifically mentioned “activities led by Ryan” as particularly outstanding.

Food at the Ranch is served cafeteria style, and received mostly positive reviews. “There is always multiple options which was great,” wrote one individual. “Coffee was always available and the cafeteria staff was amazing. I was having trouble eating so the cook made me smoothies for my first few days!” Another thought "the chefs did amazing job preparing 'home cooked' meals." Favorites mentioned were the salad bar, dessert, and chicken casserole. A few residents bemoaned a lack of vegetarian and healthier options.

Residents felt there was a good blend of tough love and permissiveness although they do have pretty firm rules about keeping genders separate. One alum said: "It was fairly permissive, besides the gender stuff (which is pretty silly for LGBT+ people)." Another felt it was more strict, but valued the guiding philosophy: "Treatment seemed to be more tough love but there was a lesson in everything we did. Everything was a learning experience and it was usually a valuable lesson learned."

TV, internet and phone time were limited: “Every other night I believe we had a five or ten-minute phone call.” Internet was made available “on an as-needed basis, i.e. attorneys or jobs or paying bills.” 

Most alumni liked how the Ranch’s staff handled infractions, saying they were “always professional and courteous” and generally “fair” in their enforcement of the rules. Staff are given discretion and their styles sometimes varied: “Depended on staff member - ranged from tough love to coddling; clients were treated differently, some got away with more than others.”

Medical staff at The Ranch was described as “very helpful” and “knowledgeable." However, some felt they weren't available enough: "Medical staff were understaffed and at times they were not available to hand out our scheduled medications (such as anti-anxiety meds) due to short staffing and some other job they had to do (i.e., paperwork catch-up, new intake, meetings with the doctor)." Another echoed this complaint, saying: "Never met my doctor. Only the nurse. Very poor communication with me in this endeavor." The nurses were described as "amazing," "awesome," and "off the chain."

The Ranch offers both traditional and alternative 12-step programs. “Refuge recovery is what really made an impact for me,” said one individual. “I loved everything about it. I love that there are so many alternative ways to recovery. Not just AA.”

Others enjoyed morning meditation, productive group meetings, “honest conversations that the facilitators would lead,” and something called “maze day” that sounds particularly intriguing. One individual was disappointed that there was "not as much trauma treatment as I was expecting.”

Most surveyed alumni have remained sober since leaving the Ranch, in some cases for years. Overall, residents described their time at The Ranch as a positive experience, with some calling it life-changing.

“I think every human being should go to the ranch at least once in their life,” wrote one happy graduate. “The world would be a better place.”

Some former residents had minor suggestions for improvement such as more snacks, more one-on-one therapist time, and time off on weekends. One alum was disappointed that he or she couldn't move to the Tennessee facility:

“I wanted to leave but was told insurance would not pay if I left [against medical advice]. I honestly felt trapped and that the program was not fitting for me..."

However in the case of one former client, the only desired change was more outdoor activities, because they were so integral to their successful recovery: “There was not one outdoor activity that did not impact me so profoundly. It also made me overcome my social anxiety by making me work, talk, and interact with my fellow residents. And it worked.”

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