Why Arivaca?

Why Arivaca?

How We Facilitate Lasting Change


At Arivaca Boys Ranch, our program teaches young men the natural rewards of choosing to spend time being productive and responsible. Young men who graduate from our program have come to learn the valuable lesson that hard work is its own reward.

One of the ways that we instill values in the young men we serve is through Arbinger. Arbinger is a relationship philosophy we use that helps boys learn accountability and empathy. Discipline and rewards systems are often ineffective at promoting lasting changes in behavior.

Alfie Kohn, a revolutionary scholar on human behavior and childhood development states that:

"Threats and bribes can buy a short-term behavior change, but they can never help kids develop a commitment to positive values... To help kids engage in such reflection, we have to work with them rather than doing things to them. We have to bring them in on the process of making decisions about their learning and their lives... Children learn to make good choices by having the chance to choose, not by following directions."

At Arivaca Boys Ranch, we agree! Many other programs which rely on rigid discipline, are unsuccessful at bringing about lasting change. We have engineered a therapeutic environment that facilitates real growth and real transformation.

Our founder, Ron Searle, is a certified Arbinger instructor and long-time advocate of the healing power of equine therapy and natural horsemanship. He developed the Arivaca Boys Ranch program after working with teenagers and young adults for over 30 years.

He explains that, "We have developed a program that builds on positive experiences while the young men learn to see themselves as they are, and visualize themselves as they might become... We believe change comes from the inside, and is not externally motivated."

‚ÄčEvery aspect of our program is geared toward building a young man of integrity.

Men that are emotionally whole and morally complete. Our program is carefully designed to provide an experiential therapeutic experience, not just in equine therapy, but in the opportunity to participate in a rewarding daily schedule, of academics, work projects, uplifting classes, and service projects, as well as fulfilling recreation time. All of our classes and activities are centered around facilitating opportunities for each of our clients to grow.

Some of the classes and available activities include:

  • Weekly Arbinger Class, as well as peer-run Arbinger discussions several times a week
  • Morals & Values Class once a week
  • Cowboy Church (a non-denominational morals-driven meeting optional for boys who are interested)

The healing journey of our clients includes a carefully structured care plan from mental and behavioral health professionals.

This includes:

  • One-on-one therapy at a minimum of once a week with a Masters-level therapist
  • Process Group twice a week
  • Group therapy four times a week, with a Masters-level therapist
  • Family therapy once a week
  • Monthly visits with a psychiatrist for boys who need it
  • Equine therapy for 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week
  • Access to AA meetings and a thorough addiction recovery plan for boys struggling with substance abuse