Ozark Guidance offers Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) in seven locations throughout northwest Arkansas. With facilities in Bentonville, Berryville, Huntsville, Fayetteville, Siloam Springs and Rogers, their main campus is located in Springdale, a growing industrial city in the Ozarks Mountains. Ozark Guidance was founded in the early 1970s by two doctors who received government seed money to provide local mental health services. The doctors began seeing patients in a basement with the aim of helping those with mental illnesses function well in society. Ozark Guidance has now treated thousands of patients of all ages with chemical dependency and mental illness and works aggressively with local schools and businesses to provide early intervention.
Treatment and Staff
After an initial assessment, chemical dependency clients are prescribed a treatment plan that may include admission to the IOP, a 24-week program consisting of three group sessions per week, one individual session and community AA/NA meetings. Clients also take a life skills class and are required to keep a journal of their activities outside of treatment. The journal is reviewed by their counselor to facilitate a dialogue about habits, choices and self-sufficiency.
Groups are both 12-step oriented and psychoeducational, and individual therapy sessions use CBT among other modalities. Dual-diagnosis support and medication management is offered in individual therapy, and patients are referred to Ozark Guidance’s on-site medical staff for physician care and prescriptions. There are seven staff members in the Springfield IOP. With groups containing between five and seven attendees, most patients experience a one-to-one staff-to-client ratio. Life skills classes are slightly larger, with 12 to 14 attendees. After clients complete the 24-week program, step-down plans are customized, with many clients choosing to attend one weekly group therapy session and/or a bi-weekly individual therapy session.
The counseling staff are LADCs who are able to draw on a wide regional network of local inpatient facilities, doctors and other professionals to meet client needs.
Ozark Guidance also offers programs in anger management, grief counseling and a full-service pharmacy at its Springdale location. Several of its locations also offer treatment in-home and in-school. After developing programs for local businesses, Ozark Guidance launched Guidance EAP (employee assistance program) in 2000, the first program of its kind in northwest Arkansas.
While Ozark Guidance’s outpatient programs may not feature trendy, cutting-edge or alternative modalities, its treatment is well-tested and its understanding of the needs and resources of its communities is impressive. With over 40 years of experience with clients of all ages and backgrounds, Ozark Guidance is committed to improving lives and erasing the stigma of mental illness and chemical dependency. It accepts insurance, Medicaid and Medicare and sees patients on a sliding scale.
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