The Amity Foundation’s Circle Tree Ranch was founded by a group of local teachers and community leaders in 1969. The goal of the ranch is to provide a tranquil atmosphere where clients can heal the mind, body and soul. Located on the outskirts Tucson, Arizona, Circle Tree Ranch looks more like its own small southwestern town than a hospital or treatment facility.
Accommodations and Food
The facility sits on 56 acres and is surrounded by mountains and lush trees. It’s a guest ranch rather than a working ranch, with nine ranch-style houses for the clients. There are three extra buildings on the property: the executive building, dining hall and office building. The dining hall contains additional offices, and the counselor’s office is located in the office building. The ranch accommodates a total of 124 clients. Most dorms contain four rooms, but there is a larger cabin that accommodates more people.
Each cabin has two or three twin beds or a single bunk bed set, with showers and toilets located in the hallways. A business center is available, along with two media rooms for TV and movies, which clients are allowed to use three to four times a week.
The recently refurbished dining room, with its high vaulted ceilings and round tables, feels more like a restaurant than a cafeteria. Circle Tree has professional chefs on staff, all serving GMO‐free gourmet food. Mondays are reserved for vegetarian meals, while items served on non‐vegetarian days include beef tacos, chicken tacos, clam chowder and nachos. Cakes and strawberries are also on the menu, and chefs serve fish‐based meals on Fridays. A salad bar is available, and a different soup is served each day for lunch; sugar and caffeine are forbidden.
All electronics are prohibited, and calls are restricted to once a week for the first month, though additional phone privileges are granted as clients progress in recovery. There are no community phones, but reception and office phones are available for clients to make calls. Visitors are not allowed for the first month, after which approved family and friends are allowed to visit the first Sunday of the month, from 10 am to 4 pm; smoking is allowed only in designated areas.
Treatment and Staff
Circle Tree residents are all assigned chores, such as kitchen or reception duties, with typical days beginning at 6 am. Breakfast is hosted in the dining hall at 7 am, and the entire community gathers after eating for the first meeting of the day at 8 am. Work time, including chores and other duties, is from 9 to 11 am but this is substituted with curriculum studies on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Following lunch at noon, residents are encouraged to do step work, meet with sponsors or complete other therapy‐related sessions from 1 to 4 pm.
After dinner, which starts at 5 pm, there’s a community meeting at 6 pm. At 7 pm, there are rotating activities (such as a movie night) depending on residents’ schedules. Residents are also regularly taken to cultural events including operas, museum tours and plays. Bed time is at 9 pm, at which point all clients must be in their rooms with lights out.
Circle Tree Ranch uses group work to get to the heart of the causes and conditions surrounding substance abuse. The family program is open to residents, alumni and their families and offers family weekend workshops and support groups. In some cases, parenting classes or cultural arts seminars are included in treatment as well. There are two 12‐step meetings each week, with no AA alternatives offered. While clients are required to attend AA meetings, they are not required to get sponsors. Clients also have individual meetings with staff members, though these are limited to twice a month.
Circle Tree has 12 staff members, with 15 or 16 additional support personnel (including interns, intake coordinators and janitorial staff). While one staff member lives on‐site on a 24/7 basis, others are mostly on‐call. A psychiatrist is available by appointment every two weeks, or in cases of emergency. Unfortunately, Circle Tree has no on-site detox, so residents have to take care of that themselves ahead of time.
Circle Tree extras include swimming, volleyball, mixed martial arts and an on‐site gym that has elliptical machines, stationary bikes, weightlifting equipment and treadmills. There is a separate building for doing Mixed Martial Arts, with an MMA teacher available when requested and no extra charge for training. Circle Tree also offers sweat lodges, lodge circles and Medicine Wheel therapy. These influences are meant to nurture spiritual growth, and the ranch maintains close ties with Native American groups, with culture aspects including art, music and story‐telling sessions.
Circle Tree Ranch approaches treatment with alternative methods that focus on the root causes of addiction, and seems to tackle addiction in a way many recovery facilities don’t. Those struggling with an addictive or emotional affliction will also find the Circle Tree Ranch quite affordable considering what it offers.
Circle Tree Ranch Location
10500 E. Tanque Verde Rd
Tucson, AZ 85749
Circle Tree Ranch Cost
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