Today there are more alternatives than ever when it comes to finding psychological help. Your first stop should be at the medical doctor's office to rule out any medical problems. Its also important to get a referral with certain types of health insurance providers.
Your primary care physician is experienced in working with other professional health providers and should remain in the loop in case medication is required. Psychologists do not (typically) write prescriptions; two states allow it with prior consultation with a psychiatrist.
If you need to find a psychologist, for your self or a family member there are several alternatives depending upon what type of help is needed.
Family therapists are a great resource in counseling those with marital problems. Their expertise is in relationships and family.
Pastors often provide counseling sessions with marriages that are in distress. Many of these counselors have specialized training. If they aren't able to help you, they can refer you to a psychologist who has the same value systems that you have.
Depression, and other disorders
Support groups add a body of support for people who may not be able to afford a psychologist. However, if you live in a metropolitan area, you can also find mental health treatment at clinics that charge very small fees.
If you have health insurance, the best referral will come from your physician. If you're an HMO patient, you will choose from within a network of providers. Your physician must provide a diagnosis before the insurance will pay.
If your child has ad/hd, bipolar disorder or other behavioral problems that interfere with school and family life, he may need counseling. Depression and self harm is often a partner with lack of impulse control.
School psychologists and social workers can provide help and information for alternative resources. Additionally, the school will work with the child and the family.
Low cost clinics are also an alternative for children of families with low incomes.
Employee Assistance Program
Some employers supply help for their employers through EAP. EAP can provide help and insight on health, wellness and even stress on the job. All communication with EAP is confidential.
If you want to know more about a disorder, there is an abundance of information on the Internet. The best sites for disorder information will come from a medical website.
Psychologists are available on the Internet for consultation. If the problem is not deep rooted, the online psychologist can probably help. This idea hasn't caught on completely, but for certain problem solutions, it might work well.
Whomever you choose, if you have a doctor and insurance, you should make the doctor your first stop.