Counseling at SouthArk

College Counseling Services

Counseling is the psychological equivalent of visiting one’s family doctor for medical illnesses. The counseling department treats illnesses and disorders of the psyche, including depression and anxiety. The counselor also helps students with adjustment disorders related to change and stress. These may include being a first-time college student; juggling school, work, and parenting; peer conflict; poor academic performance; or a life change such as a relationship ending. Other reasons to see the counselor may include low self-esteem, poor communication skills, or learning effective problem-solving. For those who need specialized or long-term treatment, referrals will be made, with student permission, to a local provider in El Dorado.

The college experience can be challenging for students. The counselor can help students face these challenges in a compassionate, caring way. The counselor can help students cope with personal, interpersonal, and academic challenges they may face in college. Rest assured, SouthArk deeply cares about the well-being of each of its students and provides counseling to students free of charge. 

Students may be referred to the counselor through the Early Alert, disciplinary, or SouthArk Cares processes following a complaint or concern for a student’s wellbeing. Faculty or staff can also refer students non-formally for issues that do not pose a serious threat to the student or others. The counselor will then contact the student and set up an appointment.

Students who want to learn more about counseling can email counseling or call SouthArk’s counselor at 870-875-7235. To schedule a session, click on the "Schedule Appointment" button above. The counseling office is located in the El Dorado Conference Center in Room 263.

Mission Statement

The principal goal of SouthArk’s counseling program is to empower students to have successful and fulfilling careers in a field appropriate to their individual strengths and interests. The counselor helps students set reasonable and appropriate goals and present themselves in a manner that will maximize their strengths. SouthArk’s counseling department promotes an environment that values diversity both in a college setting and the community at large. The counseling program strives to help students maximize their full potential while taking proactive steps to live healthy emotionally, spiritually, and physically.


Arkansas law protects confidentiality for those in a counseling relationship, age 18 and older. It also requires or permits some exceptions, including the following:

  • If the counselor has cause to believe there is a probability of imminent physical injury to the student or another person

  • If the counselor has cause to believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, neglected, or exploited

  • In response to certain court orders

These exceptions do not occur often. SouthArk is not legally obligated to discuss releasing a student’s confidential information with that student before doing so if doing so would prevent SouthArk from securing the student’s safety or the safety of others.

A student’s interactions with Counseling Services can be disclosed to others only with their written permission, except under the circumstances described above. A student’s confidential counseling file is not part of their academic record.

Informed Consent

All students receiving counseling services have certain rights. These include the right to participate actively in developing alternatives for addressing concerns. A student may terminate counseling at any time for any reason, preferably only after discussing such termination with the counselor. The student is encouraged to ask questions about anything they do not understand.

The counseling program utilizes a brief counseling model that is solution-focused. A counseling session can last up to 60 minutes. Generally, a student may receive up to 3 sessions per semester. 


Because email is never fully confidential, SouthArk asks students not to use email to communicate with the counselor about personal matters. If a student contacts the counselor by email, they implicitly give permission to the counselor to reply by email if the counselor chooses to do so. The counselor will not provide counseling via email under any circumstances. Email should never be used to communicate an urgent or critical message. Please remember that emails sent to or received from the College are subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Ark. Code Ann. Sec. § §25-19-101 et. Seq.

SouthArk strives to ensure a safe environment for its students and employees. If you notice a concerning or potentially dangerous behavior, or you are a student who needs assistance, please click the button and send a Cares Report. A member of the team will reach out to the student and offer assistance.

SouthArk Cares Report Button

Vanessa Williams
Director, Counseling and Disability Support Services