Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Sierra Tucson to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Sierra Tucson.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Sierra Tucson and EAGALA: Making connection through horses

Sierra Tucson – Ranked #1 in Newsweek’s list of Best Addiction Treatment Centers in Arizona for 2020!

By Jessica Miceli, MAC, LSC, EAGALA Certified Professional

On January 19-21, 2017, Sierra Tucson will host the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association’s (EAGALA) “Training the Trainers” workshop. Founded in 1999, EAGALA is a nonprofit organization that has set the global standard in offering a fully developed, professionally endorsed treatment model for mental health professionals practicing equine-assisted psychotherapy. EAGALA has over 4,500 members in 50 countries (“The EAGALA Model” 2009-2010).

Since 1983, Sierra Tucson has been internationally renowned for its effective therapies, dedicated staff, and extraordinary setting. Sierra Tucson provides integrative treatment to identify and resolve underlying issues. This supportive path has led to recovery for over 30,000 individuals who have suffered from alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, chronic pain, and other mental health disorders (Sierra Tucson 2016).

Sierra Tucson is one of the first facilities in the nation to use horses as therapeutic partners in residential treatment. Equine therapy at Sierra Tucson was founded by Barbara Rector, a pioneer in the field, and Wyatt Webb, who has written books such as “It’s Not About the Horse.” In 1981, before the adult unit opened in 1983, Sierra Tucson’s Integrated Riding Resource Program’s (STIRRUPS) purpose was to elevate the troubled adolescent’s self-esteem through therapeutic work with the horse and the horse experience.

Horses are large and powerful creatures. This creates a natural opportunity for some individuals to overcome fear and develop confidence. They are social animals, with defined roles within their herds. They respond with unique insight into exactly who we are in the moment. Because horses can read and respond to the nonverbal messages we are always sending, they begin to act in ways that feel familiar to other relationships or dynamics in our lives. The lesson is that by changing ourselves, the horses respond differently. They provide this immediate feedback to real changes that we make – not what we just talk about (“So Why Horses and No Other Animals?” 2009-2010).

Sierra Tucson’s equine services have evolved over the years to include EAGALA-based practices, and both entities share much of the same philosophies. Both models involve:

  • No riding or horsemanship
  • Client-centered and solution-oriented
  • Team approach (always two co-facilitators)
  • Horses are an integral part of the treatment team (they are our counselors!)

Working with horses on the ground enables clients to better perceive the horses’ actions and reactions as they work to process and solve their life challenges. Horses offer clients an understanding of how their processes and actions affect others and impact their lives (“The EAGALA Model” 2009-2010).

Additionally, Sierra Tucson and EAGALA see the clients as best at determining the kinds of life changes they need to make to improve their lives. The job of the staff is to engage the intuitive power of horses to help them understand their process and practice the changes they want to make in a safe, supportive setting (“The EAGALA Model” 2009-2010).

Sierra Tucson is hosting the “Train the Trainers” workshop January 19-21, 2017, because it allows for a unique exchange of ideas between the two pioneers in their respective fields. Sierra Tucson sees the value in paying it forward by providing a beautiful setting to a nonprofit organization that certifies equine therapists all over the world. Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the breathtaking views, helpful staff, warm climate, and wide variety of horses make Sierra Tucson an ideal location.


Sierra Tucson. (2016)

The EAGALA Model. (2009-2010). Retrieved from