A Guidance Center Welcome

The Guidance Center welcomes you to contact us, should the need arise,  to provide you quality behavioral healthcare.  Please visit the website pages for more information about our many services and programs for men, women, adolescents and children of all ages and incomes.

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We serve

  • The Guidance Center offers counseling services for children at our six clinics in western Arkansas.  We also provide medication management, testing services and school-based services.  Specialty services for children include a preschool-aged program and a therapeutic foster care program.

  • Outpatient therapy is available for teens which include individual, group and family services.  The Horizon program is for adolescents with both a psychiatric and a substance use disorders. The residential program is available for adolescences ages 13-17 throughout Arkansas and the U.S. 

  • Adults


    For over 44 years, The Guidance Center has provided services for adults with depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia and other mental health disorders. In addition to outpatient counseling we offer group therapy, substance use treatment, day treatment and testing services.

Mental Health Programs & Information

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Therapeutic foster parents needed:
WATCH Offers Extensive Training

contact: melanie taylor (479) 471-5950

Therapeutic means healing, and to foster is to nurture. Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) does just that: provide children with mental health needs and an opportunity to heal in a nurturing and supportive environment. WATCH is the Guidance Center's TFC program and is currently looking for caring and loving foster parents. For more information on becoming a WATCH foster parent, please click here.

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Preschool program at The Learning Center

contact: The Learning Center at (479) 471-5950 or Fort Smith Clinic at (479) 452-6650

 LEAP, Learning Enrichment & Appropriate Play, is a preschool program for  children ages 3-5 years old. The program focuses on behavioral concerns and peer interaction in a structured classroom environment.  LEAP is now in Van Buren and Fort Smith for qualifying students. Click or call today for more details.

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Talking about Mental Health:
A Critic Discussion for College Students

visit: nami.org

As you head to college this fall, you will face several exciting decisions. From choosing a meal plan to registering for classes, you will have a say in all things big and small that will shape your day-to-day life on campus. But one subject that tends to get overlooked in the back-to-school planning process is mental health. Starting a conversation about your mental health with your family members is a critical part of preparing for college - click here for full story. (information courtesy of nami.org)

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Mental Health is Ageless:
Dealing with Depression

visit: nimh.gov

Depression is not a normal part of aging. Yet depression is a widely under recognized and undertreated medical illness. Good mental helath can help you enjoy life, handle difficult situations, stay better connected to family, friends, your community and keep your body strong. For more information on good mental health at any age visit http://www.nimh.hih.gov/health/topics/older-adults-and-mental-health/index.shtml.

Guidance Center Resources

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    Suicide prevention

    If you know someone who is considering suicide, do not leave him or her alone.  Contact the nearest Emergency Room or call 911 or call The Guidance Center's Emergency After Hours Number800-542-1031 or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number listed above.

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    Guidance Center Locations

    The Guidance Center has six county locations in western Arkansas which include Fort Smith, Van Buren, Booneville, Ozark, Paris, Waldron and Mena.  Other facilities are Horizon, The Learning Center and the NEW Center.  For a complete list of locations, please click here.

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    Links to Community & Mental Health Info

    The Guidance Center is an active member in our local, state and national healthcare communities. We support local agencies with sponsorships and by attending community health, career and information events throughout the six county area.  Contact us at 479.785.9432 or at wacgc@wacgc.org to schedule us at your community event or function.  

Contact the guidance center

Help is available. Please contact us today by completing the Contact Us Form.

  • About Us

    The Guidance Center, also know as Western Arkansas Counseling & Guidance Center, has been providing hope and healing for those with mental, emotional, behavioral and substance use disorders for over 44 years...

    Know more

  • Hours of Operation





  • Accreditation

    Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center is accredited by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities.  Its mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served.

  • Contact Us

    Mailing Address: 

    PO Box 11818, Fort Smith, AR, 72917

    Please click here for complete list of clinics and other service locations.

Directions to Our Clinics

  • Fort Smith

    From Oklahoma:

    Take I-540, Exit 8 for AR-22/Rogers Ave.
    Turn right onto AR-22 East/Rogers Ave.
    Turn right onto S. 70th St.
    Destination will be on the left

    From Van Buren:

    Follow I-540 to AR-22 E/Rogers Ave.
    Take Exit 8B
    Continue on AR-22 East/Rogers Ave.
    Drive to S. 70th St.
    Destination will be on the left

  • Van Buren

    From Fort Smith:

    Take I-540 North ramp to I-40
    Merge onto I-540
    Take Exit 2A to merge onto US-64 West toward Van Buren
    Turn right onto Oak Ln.
    Turn right to stay on Oak Ln.
    Destination will be on the left

  • Ozark

    From Fort Smith:

    Take I-540 north ramp to I-40
    Merge onto I-540
    Take Exit 1B for I-40 East/I-540 North toward Little Rock
    Merge onto I-40 East
    Take Exit 35 for AR-23 toward Ozark/Huntsville
    Turn right onto AR-23 South

  • Booneville

    From Fort Smith:

    Take Interstate 540 South
    Take Exit 12 toward US-71 South to Texarkana
    Turn left onto US-71 South (signs for Greenwood/Texarkana)
    Turn left onto West Center St.
    Continue onto AR-10 East to North Welsh Ave.
    Turn right onto North Welsh Ave.
    Destination will be on the left.

  • Paris

    From Fort Smith:

    Take I-540 South
    Take Exit 8B to merge onto AR-22 East/Rogers Ave.
    Keep left to continue on Rogers Ave.
    Continue onto to Fort Street
    Continue onto AR-22 East/West Central Ave.
    Turn right onto South 4th St.
    Turn left onto East Academy St.
    Turn right onto South 6th St.

  • Waldron

    From Fort Smith:

    Take I-540 South
    Take exit 12 toward US-71 South/Texarkana
    Turn left onto US-71 South (signs for Greenwood/Texarkana)
    Turn left onto Dayton Rd./Old Fort Smith and Waldron Rd.
    Turn left onto US-71 South
    Turn right onto Rice Rd.

  • Mena

    From Fort Smith:

    Take I-540 South
    Take Exit 12 toward US-71 South/Texarkana
    Turn left onto US-71 South (signs for Greenwood/Texarkana)
    Turn left onto Dayton Rd./Old Fort Smith and Waldron Rd.
    Continue to follow Dayton Rd.
    Turn left onto US-71 South
    Turn left onto South Cherry St.

Our Clinic Locations

The guidance center Fort smith, ar 3111 South 70th Street
Fort Smith, AR 72903-5017
(479) 452-6650