Treatment Approach

Risk-Needs-Responsivity Model for Assessment and Planning

Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. incorporates a risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model for assessment and planning for rehabilitation. RNR states that the risk and needs of the youth should determine the strategies appropriate for addressing the individual’s criminogenic factors. The risk-need-responsivity model is based on the following principles:


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Risk Principle is defined as the probability that an offender will commit additional offenses. Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. seeks to match the level of service to the offender’s risk of reoffending, based on static factors (e.g. age at first arrest, history of arrest, and current age) and dynamic factors (e.g. substance abuse, antisocial attitudes and relationships) Higher risk offending youth receive more intensive intervention.

Need principle is defined as the factors that research has shown have a direct link to offending and can be changed. Therapists assess criminogenic needs and target them in treatment. High-risk offenders receive intensive treatment, while moderate-risk offenders receive basic levels of treatment. Criminogenic needs are changeable risk factors. These factors include:

  • Antisocial values, beliefs, and cognitive emotional states.
  • Rage, anger, defiance, criminal identity.
  • Antisocial friends.
  • Isolation from prosocial others.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • Impulsive behavior.
  • Family dysfunction, such as criminality, psychological problems, abuse, neglect.
  • Low levels of personal education.

Responsivity principle matches a youth’s personality and learning style with appropriate program settings and approaches. We seek to maximize the youth’s ability to learn from a rehabilitative intervention by providing cognitive behavioral treatment and tailoring the intervention to the learning style, motivation, abilities, and strengths of the offender.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Bob Belloni Ranch believes that focused on cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective way to treat criminogenic needs. Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. incorporates a cognitive behavioral model of treatment in a social learning model. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps youth understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addiction, depression and anxiety.

Cognitive behavior therapy is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior.

The underlying concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a fundamental role in our behavior. For example, a person who spends a lot of time thinking about plane crashes, runway accidents, and other air disasters may find themselves avoiding air travel. The goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to teach youth that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment.

People often experience thoughts or feelings that reinforce or compound faulty beliefs. Such beliefs can result in problematic behaviors that can affect numerous life areas, including family, romantic relationships, work, and academics. For example, a person suffering from low self-esteem might experience negative thoughts about his or her own abilities or appearance. As a result of these negative thinking patterns, the individual might start avoiding social situations or pass up opportunities for advancement at work or at school.

In order to combat these destructive thoughts and behaviors, a cognitive-behavioral therapist begins by helping the client to identify the problematic beliefs. This stage, known as functional analysis, is important for learning how thoughts, feelings, and situations can contribute to maladaptive behaviors. The process can be difficult, especially for patients who struggle with introspection, but it can ultimately lead to self-discovery and insights that are an essential part of the treatment process.

The second part of cognitive behavior therapy focuses on the actual behaviors that are contributing to the problem. The client begins to learn and practice new skills that can then be put into use in real-world situations. For example, a person suffering from drug addiction might start practicing new coping skills and rehearsing ways to avoid or deal with social situations that could potentially trigger a relapse.

In most cases, CBT is a gradual process that helps a person take incremental steps towards a behavior change. Someone suffering from social anxiety might start by simply imagining himself in an anxiety-provoking social situation. Next, the client might start practicing conversations with friends, family, and acquaintances. By progressively working toward a larger goal, the process seems less daunting and the goals easier to achieve.

CBT is one of the most researched types of therapy, in part because treatment is focused on highly specific goals and results can be measured relatively easily.

Cognitive behavior therapy is often best-suited for youth who are comfortable with introspection. In order for CBT to be effective, the individual must be ready and willing to spend time and effort analyzing his or her thoughts and feelings. Such self-analysis can be difficult, but it is a great way to learn more about how internal states impact outward behavior.

Cognitive behavior therapy is also well-suited for people looking for a short-term treatment option that does not necessarily involve pharmacological medication. One of the greatest benefits of cognitive-behavior therapy is that it helps clients develop coping skills that can be useful both now and in the future.

Social Learning Model

Skills are evaluated in the context of a social learning model. Learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement. In addition to the observation of behavior, learning also occurs through the observation of rewards and punishments, a process known as vicarious reinforcement. The theory expands on traditional behavioral theories, in which behavior is governed solely by reinforcements, by placing emphasis on the important roles of various internal processes in the learning individual.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse - Southern Oregon Coast

Cape Blanco Lighthouse – Southern Oregon Coast

Within that social learning model of cognitive behavioral approach, coping skills are developed through evidence-based and research-validated curriculums. Skillstreaming is a highly acclaimed, research-based pro-social skills training program. Skillstreaming employs a four-part training approach—modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, and generalization—to teach essential pro-social skills to children and adolescents.  Beginning social skills includes listening, starting and having a conversation, asking a question, saying thank you, and giving compliments to others. Advanced social skills includes asking for help, joining in, giving or following instructions, and apologizing. Skills for dealing with feelings are also emphasized in knowing and expressing your feelings, understanding the feelings of others, dealing with someone else’s anger, expressing affection, dealing with fear, and rewarding yourself.   Skill alternatives to aggression are also taught including skills in asking for permission, sharing, helping, negotiating, using self-control, standing up for your rights, responding to teasing, avoiding trouble with others, and keeping out of fights. Skills are also covered for dealing with stress that include making or answering a complaint, being a good sport, dealing with embarrassment or being left out, standing up for a friend, responding to persuasion or failure, dealing with contradictory messages or an accusation, getting ready for a difficult conversation , and dealing with group pressure. Planning skills are also address with skills in deciding on something to do, deciding what caused a problem, setting a goal, deciding on your abilities, gathering information, arranging problems by importance, making a decision, and concentrating on a task.

Aggression  Replacement Training

Aggression Replacement Training® (ART) is a research-based, proven-effective approach for working with challenging youth. ART® concentrates on development of individual competencies to address various emotional and social aspects that contribute to aggressive behavior in youths. Program techniques are designed to teach youths how to control their angry impulses and take perspectives other than their own. The main goal is to reduce aggression and violence among youths by providing them with opportunities to learn prosocial skills in place of aggressive behavior. The program is targeted at youths with a history of serious aggression and antisocial behavior.

ART® consists of a 10-week, 30-hour intervention that relies on repetitive learning and transfer training techniques to teach participants to control impulsiveness and anger so they can choose to use more appropriate prosocial behaviors. In addition, guided group discussion is used to correct antisocial thinking. The program consists of three interrelated components, all of which come together to promote a comprehensive aggression-reduction curriculum: Structured Learning Training, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning. Each component focuses on a specific prosocial behavioral technique: action, affective/emotional, or thought/values. During program implementation, youths attend a 1-hour session each week for each of the three components.

Structured Learning Training (action component). This component is intended to teach social skills through social interaction and is disseminated using direct instruction, role-play, practice, and performance feedback. This is intended to give participants the opportunity to practice prosocial responses to potentially difficult situations, such as responding to failure, dealing with an accusation, and responding to the feelings of others.

Anger Control Training (affective/emotional component). This component is intended to help youths recognize their external and internal triggers for aggression, aggression signals, and how to control anger using various techniques. Participating youths must bring to each session one or more descriptions of recent anger-arousing experiences (hassles), and over the duration of the program they are trained to use specific skills to better control their angry impulses.

Moral Reasoning (thought and values component). This component is intended to address the reasoning aspect of aggressive behavior, and is specifically designed to enhance values of morality in aggressive youths. Techniques in this component allow participants to learn to reason in a more advanced manner in regard to moral and ethical dilemmas, providing youths with opportunities to discuss their responses to problem situations, taking perspectives other than their own that represent a higher level of moral understating.

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Behavioral Management

Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. incorporates a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® behavioral management approach in the social learning model. This behavior management system ensures that care and services are delivered in a respectful and safe environment. This approach offers a foundation to structure prevention and intervention approaches based on a philosophy of providing the best possible care, welfare, safety, and securitySM for staff and those they are responsible for, even during crisis situations. Strategies taught in the program provide staff members and/or staff teams with a framework for decision making and problem solving to prevent, de-escalate, and safely respond to disruptive or assaultive behavior. The program philosophy to promote the best Care, Welfare, Safety, and SecuritySM expands throughout the continuum of interventions necessary when working towards reduction or elimination of restraint use. The program addresses the serious issue of physical intervention through careful assessment of risks and an evaluation of what may constitute a last resort.

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Coquille River (Bandon) Lighthouse – Southern Oregon Coast

The primary goals of the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® are to:

  • Teach staff members how to defuse challenging and disruptive behavior before an incident escalates to a crisis situation.
  • Reduce the risk of injury to staff and those served by decreasing physical interventions.
  • Improve communication among staff by establishing a common language.
  • Increase staff confidence to intervene both verbally and physically.
  • Alleviate the staff’s stress and anxiety associated with confusion or uncertainty in crisis moments.
  • Help staff feel safer at work.
  • Minimize the risk of potential liability.
  • Improve staff retention by providing the skills necessary to manage difficult situations.
  • Help an organization comply with legislative mandates and regulatory/accreditation guidelines.
  • Create and maintain a safe, caring, and respectful environment for staff and those served.
  • Help an organization demonstrate its commitment and contribution to a safer community.

Gender-Based Services

Bob Belloni Ranch ensures that the curriculums  delivered with an approach that is sensitive to the female gender. To that end, the Wineva Johnson Center for Girls provides a strength-based, relational approach to services offered.  Girls Circle is a strength-based 12-week support group that addresses the unique needs of teenage girls. The goal is to encourage the development of strength, courage, confidence, honesty, and communication skills.  The program is designed to foster self-awareness and self-confidence, and help girls maintain authentic connection with peers and adult women.

In addition to the Girls Circle, the Wineva Johnson Center for Girls presents a present-focused therapy to help people attain safety from trauma/PTSD and substance abuse. Some of the tropics covered are taking back your power, setting boundaries in relationships, getting others to support your recovery, healthy relationships, taking good care of yourself, and detaching from emotional pain.

Adventure-Based Counseling

Bob Belloni Ranch provides Adventure-Based Counseling (ABC) as a group-based, adventure-based approach to personal development and as a therapeutic activity.  Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. developed a ropes course in 1998 under the standards and training of the Association of Challenge Course Technology and utilizes the publications of Project Adventure.

Community Service Experiences

Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. provides meaningful community service experiences for youth offenders to complete their court-ordered restitution requirements, allowing them to make symbolic atonement for their infractions while providing intervention services at a critical juncture in the lives of at-risk youth to include exploring and focusing on career options. In addition to payment of restitution, youth have an opportunity to earn money for savings.

On-Campus School

In partnership with Bob Belloni Ranch, the Coos Bay School District #9 provides educational classrooms at the Belloni Boys Ranch and the Belloni Shelter and Evaluation Center through Alternative Youth Activities, a local 501(c)3 alternative education organization.  Bob Belloni Ranch, Inc. provides the building, utilities, transportation, food service, and janitorial services. Alternative Youth Activities provides the staff, equipment, supplies, and the curriculum.   Special services continue to be provided by the Coos Bay School District #9.   Students are enrolled with Marshfield High School or Millicoma Middle School when appropriate. The focus is on providing an environment where learning is project based and at a student’s academic level.

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The Belloni On-Campus classroom serves the residents of the Belloni Boys Ranch and Wineva Johnson Center for Girls for a 12-month school year. Each resident is individually evaluated and a education plan is developed to assist the resident in getting back on track for a high school diploma. If the resident is too deficient for a diploma, then they can begin a track for GED attainment. Alternative Youth Activities provides the Odysseyware online curriculum for grades 3-12, which utilizes a customizable core, assessment & remediation tools for individualized education. Residents can work as far back as 3rd grade to learn missed concepts, finish courses at previous schools, and move ahead to earn as much as 12 credits in one school year, or attain the GED.

The alternative school at the Shelter Care and Evaluation Center is also provided by the Coos Bay School District through Alternative Youth Activities. The year-round school operates just 4 hours per day and seeks to keep youth that in crisis and transition in the habit of learning by strengthening basic core subjects of math, reading, writing, and a general knowledge in science and history.

Ongoing Assessment, Planning, and Counseling

Within the program, residents are initially and comprehensively assessed using a risk-need-responsivity model.  The assessments are used to develop initial and master service plans of rehabilitation services that will be offered.  According to their individualized service plan, youth weekly receive individual and group counseling and skill building services.  Family counseling is additionally offered as families are available to participate.  Service plan goals are reviewed weekly to document progression, and focus the behavioral rehabilitation services that are offered.  Every 90 days, families, caseworkers, probation officers, and teachers are consulted for input as the service plans are updated.

Individual and family services are available for assisting with a wide array of personal challenges including, but not limited to: anxiety, trauma, phobias, depression, relationship problems, grief/loss, stress management, anger management, eating disorders, psychosomatic complaints and chronic illness.  Services are available to assist with child and adolescent concerns including, but not limited to social & school difficulties, self esteem, bed wetting/soiling, mood disturbances, hyperactivity/attention deficit disorder, abuse,  and coping with divorce/separation.  Challenges that have an impact on the resident’s family, such as marital/relationship conflict, communication issues, adoption, step blended families, and parenting styles, could also be addressed with involvement of the family.

Adolescent Sex Offender Treatment Services

Residents are involved in individual and group therapy on a weekly basis as provided by Coastal Center.   Treatment plans emphasize relapse prevention, understanding the cycle of abuse, sincere victim empathy, accepting full responsibility, emotional development and improving social skills.

Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services

Bob Belloni Ranch seeks to create lasting change in the lives of teens struggling with addiction. Youth begin to believe in themselves, develop a clear vision for their future and become empowered to face life’s challenges without the use of substances.  Youth are guided through the process of change by helping them acquire essential skills, personal accountability and rediscover values necessary for leading a more productive life. Services provided include individualized case management and service delivery of drug and alcohol prevention education; need and risk assessment; treatment planning; individual, group and family therapy; community safety planning, and on-going support through 12-step support groups and sponsors.