About Us

To commemorate our 70th anniversary in 2016, we sat down with our CEO, Patricia Costales, LCSW, a few of our therapists and several families we serve to talk about what mental health and The Guidance Center means to them. We invite you to experience their stories. Thank you for being a part of the hope that treatment brings.

Mission and Vision

The Guidance Center provides comprehensive mental health treatment to our community’s most disadvantaged children and their families struggling with mental illness and abuse, leading them toward a positive and productive future.

The Guidance Center envisions a community where all children have the help they need to be healthy and happy.


The Guidance Center has been providing quality mental health services since 1946. Formerly known as The Greater Long Beach Child Guidance Center, the agency was founded by a group of local public school teachers and counselors who were concerned about the mental health needs of children with behavior and learning problems in school. A relatively small clinic for many years, the agency became affiliated with the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital and moved its offices to the grounds of the Medical Center.

During the past 15 years, the agency enjoyed considerable growth and increased the number of programs, clients served and community-based locations significantly. Between 1995 and 2001, The Guidance Center grew from a relatively small clinic in Long Beach with a satellite office in San Pedro, to a major community mental health service provider employing more than 130 mental health professionals, support staff, administrators, and interns. Today, the Center provides services to children and families at three sites within Long Beach and its surrounding communities.