In Balance

First Responder

 Intensive Outpatient Program

In Balance recognizes that First Responders have dedicated their lives to the betterment of their communities and country and have sacrificed a great deal in this process. As tensions in the country continue to rise First Responders are being asked to do more, often feel less supported and safe and dutifully continue to show up to protect and serve.  In Balance Outpatient feels compelled to give back to them and create a program to assist in mitigating the trauma, isolation, and personal losses incurred in the execution of these heroic duties.    



In Balance Intensive Outpatient has been open and operating since 1996 and has established an excellent reputation throughout the Tucson and broader community.  Groups have traditionally served those individuals suffering from the diseases of addiction and alcoholism.  We have now created an Intensive Outpatient Primary Substance Abuse and Trauma recovery carve out group focused on  the unique needs and challenges faced by First Responders. Criteria for admission into this program will include an identified, maladaptive relationship with drugs or alcohol. This group will address workplace stressors, sleep hygiene, Post Traumatic Stress Injuries, impacts their jobs and traumatic experiences on the job affect their family members, substance abuse, mental health, trauma education, healing and family reintegration and a career timeline.  We have a highly specialized team with years of combined experience and first hand knowledge of the unique stressors woven into first responders professional and personal lives.  In Balance recognizes the need to have staff who are currently or have been a First Responder as an integral part of this program.  We have included these special folks on our team.  


Focused treatment plans will be created that incorporate several modalities such as psycho-education, positive peer support, Cognitive Behavioral therapy, mindfulness, family systems, emotional wellness, physical wellness, and tools to navigate relationships with both fellow first responders and civilians that may not always understand or be able to relate.  



The goal of this group is to assist members in feeling an increased confidence and stability in work, family, self, and living a joyful, balanced life.  We feel honored and privileged to serve First Responders as they have diligently served our community. This group will be open only to Law Enforcement, Fire, Medical (EMT and Paramedic), Dispatchers, Corrections Officers, military and Border Patrol. 


The Program Schedule will be as follows:

Monday - First Responder participants will be integrated with the Substance Abuse group and will run from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Tuesdays - Group will include only First Responders and curriculum will be geared towards these specific needs and will run from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. 


Wednesdays - First Responders are invited to participate in the Peer Lead 12 step based meeting at 6:00 pm 


Thursdays - First Responder participants will be integrated with the Substance Abuse group that will run from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


In Balance currently accepts Blue Cross Blue shield, Cigna, United Healthcare and Aetna insurance 


If you are interested in more information or would like to schedule an assessment please contact our office at 520-722-9631 


Candace Shelton

Primary Therapist

Candace Shelton has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and is a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) in the State of Arizona. She has been a clinical supervisor and a behavioral health director for American Indian organizations specializing in substance abuse treatment and trauma. She is a member of the Osage Nation from the Gray Horse District near Fairfax, OK. Currently she is working as a subject area expert to the Office Head Start for the Center for Health, Behavioral Health and Safety.  Candace was a consultant to the CDC on a Native aSBI and CHOICES grant for 5 years. Prior to her work with CDC, she was the Senior Native American Specialist for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence for over 12 years.  She provided training, technical assistance, workshops and conference presentations about trauma and addiction in Indian Country. She has worked with First Responders healing from the traumatic events in their lives in her capacity as a trainer for the CDC and SAMHSA. She has been a panel member on four Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPS) for SAMHSA, published a chapter on American Indian Alcoholism, consultant to the National Leadership Institute, grant reviewer and a national/international presenter at conferences and workshops dealing with trauma and substance abuse.  She maintains a private psychotherapy practice which includes equine therapy, Healing The Trauma workshops and experiential psychotherapy.

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Owen Hardy

Peer Facilitator

Mr. Hardy served 23 years with the Reno Nevada Fire Department having risen through the ranks to retire as a Training Captain/Safety Officer.

One of Owen’s great accomplishments in the Fire Department was his founding of the Reno FD Peer Support Team.

Owen and his wife of 25 years have raised 2 daughters. Owen has been in recovery since October of 2018 and is an active member of a 12 step program. He also attended the Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health in Upper Marlboro Maryland as an inpatient along his journey to recovery.