Need Help Now?

Give us a call. The Guidance Center has people on staff to speak with you 24/7


Fort Smith Office


Non-Emergency Warm Line


Primary Care Clinic


 24 Hour Hotline



Five West

Crisis Stabilization Unit

5 West CSU is a program of Western Arkansas Cousenling & Guidance Center, Inc. that was established upon the passing of Act 423 to help improve public safety and reduce criminal justice system costs. 5 West CSU serves counties Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott, and Polk. The CSU is a 16 bed unit, serving individuals 18 and older, who are experiencing a psychiatric and/or substance abuse related crisis; and who may pose an escalated risk of harm to self or others. The average length of stay is 72 hours. Most referrals are made by Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained law enforcement officers. Referrals may also be initiated within the community or voluntarily by a medically stable individual seeking help. WACGC may make referrals for individuals seeking help utilizing our emergency crisis line. CSU incorporates a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of behavioral health and co-occurring disorders. Our staff is trained to provide quality, culturally competent, trauma informed and co-occurring capable treatment. Our program integrates evidence based therapy and intervention approaches, as well as trauma informed care. Our treatment team includes a staff psychiatrist, APRNs, RNs, licensed mental health professionals, including licensed substance abuse treatment providers. CSU provides aftercare planning for all individuals who are either completing treatment or transitioning to other services.

Fort Smith, AR

3113 South 70th Street


Outpatient Service

Counseling is a form of learning: learning about yourself. No one is born knowing how to manage life well. It is a process of learning to deal with relationships, emotions, stress, setting goals and boundaries, and it is all unique to you! That’s where we can help. A Licensed Mental Health Professional and counselor helps you navigate these issues.

For your behavioral health needs, The Guidance Center has offered outpatient counseling for children, teens and adults for over 47 years. Our professional staff includes licensed mental health counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and psychologists who will work with you to develop a treatment plan specifically designed for you. The Guidance Center offers continuum of care and discharge transition occurs in collaboration with your treatment team. The Guidance Center strives to implement services to support the overall well-being of the persons or families served. Our services are designed to enhance quality of life, reduce symptoms, improve functioning, and support your path of integration into your community.

Below is a list of some of our outpatient services that we provide:

  • Individual, Group, & Family Therapy
  • Co-Occurring Alcohol & Substance Use Programs
  • Medication Assisted Treatment
  • Community Integration Programs
  • School Based Therapy Services
  • Therapeutic Day Treatment for School-Aged Children
  • Crisis Intervention 
  • Medication Services
  • DCFS Programs
  • Early Intervention
  • Psychological Testing

Fort Smith, AR

3111 South 70th Street


Therapeutic Day Treatment

There are times that the mental and emotional needs of a students overwhelm his or her ability to perform well in the mainstream public school. When a family is confronted with this issue, Therapeutic Day Treatment may be the answer for addressing these combined needs.

Mental health professionals along with certified teachers join efforts help students with all of these needs. In addition, we partner with families addressing the entire needs of the system. It is designed to help when nothing else has worked.

Therapeutic Day Treatment programs operate in two locations. Our Fort Smith program is for 7th through 12th grade and our Van Buren program is for 1st through 6th grade.

Van Buren, AR

2705 Oak Lane



Children come to our therapeutic foster care program abused and frightened, experiencing emotional and behavioral problems. A therapeutic environment is needed to help these children heal from experiences which threaten to rob them of their childhood. Western Arkansas Therapeutic Children’s Homes (WATCH) provide temporary substitute family care for children when their own families are unable or unwilling to care for them. The goal of the program is to successfully prepare children for their “forever home”, which can include either reunification or adoption. The key to WATCH is the therapeutic foster family. Through well-established networks, foster parents receive 24/7 support and specialized training from the WATCH staff. Together they work with the foster children and in some cases their natural families. You can change the world of a child by becoming a WATCH parent.


What is Therapeutic Foster Care?

Therapeutic Foster Care is a method of treatment for children and youth with emotional/behavioral disturbances which uses the home as the treatment. Therapeutic parents are specially trained and the WATCH staff provides intensive backup services.

What is a Therapeutic Foster Parent?

Therapeutic foster parents are singles or couples and are paid a non-taxable fee for service plus expenses for a child’s care.

Who Will Work With Me?

The treatment team is specific to the individual child who will develop a personalized plan incorporating the child’s and the therapeutic foster parent’s input. A unified approach allows the child to resolve emotional/behavioral difficulties.

Am I Really Needed?

There is always a need for foster parents. Children are waiting for you to open your heart and your home. Call The Guidance Center at 479-452-6650 for more information about the WATCH program.

Children need nurturing, education and LOVE. Unfortunately, there are children who are not getting the love and care they need. That is where YOU can help! By becoming a therapeutic foster parent, you can change the world of a child.

Fort Smith, AR

3111 South 70th Street



Learning Enrichment and Appropriate Play (LEAP) is a pre-school aged, child-centered program that focuses on behavioral concerns, peer interaction, and compliance within a structured classroom environment. The main goal of LEAP is to aid children to be actively ready to attend kindergarten. The staff includes a licensed clinical Social Worker/Play Therapist, a mental health paraprofessional, and an adult assistant who all have knowledge and experience working with children.

Children Who Qualify?

  • Pre-school age children in the Fort Smith, Van Buren & surrounding area.
  • Children, ages 3-5, who present with behavioral concerns such as defiance, disruption, anxiety, maladjustment to current living situations, grief, mood disorders, and verbal/physical aggression.


Children will attend twice a week for two hour sessions. Sessions will run throughout the school year and for eight weeks in the summer. Outings are scheduled to various facilities, restaurants, and historical sites around the Fort Smith and Van Buren area.
Each group may have up to 9 children per session and the program can accommodate up to 36 members per session. Children who quality will be added to a waiting list after the maximum number is reached.

The Guidance Center has been serving western Arkansas for over forty years. Our mission is to provide quality behavioral health care services for children and families in need.
If your preschool-aged child presents with behavioral concerns, please consider LEAP. For more details or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Fort Smith, AR

3111 South 70th Street


Van Buren, AR

2705 Oak Lane


WestArk RSVP

WestArk RSVP is a proactive volunteer clearinghouse that recruits and connects active adults who are 55 years of age or older with a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout eight counties in the northwestern corner of Arkansas. Direct services to the community are provided through the RSVP Community Outreach program which provides free tax preparation assistance and advocates for Medicare recipients, enabling RSVP volunteers to make a difference in the lives of veterans, seniors and struggling working families.

Fort Smith, AR

401 North 13th Street


Rogers, AR

114 North 34th Street


Translate »