Professional help is no longer the mystery it used to be. Nor does it bring the stigma it used to. You do not have to wait until you have a serious problem or addiction to seek professional help. It may be beneficial for you to if you find help as soon as you feel you or your family needs it. Even if that just entails keeping that work insert handy with the number for the EAP on it. Professional counseling gives you the tools you need to live an optimal life. These tools may include: increasing coping skills, providing stress relief through talking to someone impartial, decreasing unhealthy thought patterns and relationships, PTSD, attention deficit and school/work strategies, problem solving skills, decision-making and building self confidence. I hope my article assists you in this process. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and have researched this topic for several years.

Things You Will Need


Insurance Card (to get the referrals)

United Way number

Hotline number

EAP number

Referrals from family and friends

Internet to look up therapist reviews

Step 1

Check out EAP or Employee Assistance Program benefits at you or your spouses place of employment. This is the employee assistance program I mentioned in the intro. This is a wonderful place to start, it's all confidental and your employer will not find out. Sometimes you can get up to six visits free and continue on seeing the same professional counselor using insurance benefits or on a private pay basis.

Step 2

Call the number on the back of your insurance card that states Mental Health or Substance Abuse or go online to find out what your benefits are and what professionals are in your plan. Be advised there may be penalties if you choose a counselor that is not in your plan. This is known as out of network.

Step 3

Join support groups in your area that deal with the issues that you are facing such as bankruptcy, unemployment, depression, anger, eating/weight loss, Attention Deficit, divorce and more.

Step 4

Mental health phone hotlines offer a variety of referrals and resources, including local support groups mentioned previously. United Way also sponsors many free or reduced cost mental health agencies. Many cities can access this free resource by dialing 2-1-1. Check your local phone book listings or call your local
United Way

Step 5

Ask your primary care doctor, hospital or OB/GYN for referrals to a therapist. They are often well connected and can set you up right away with someone who will be effective and helpful for you. Also, they can prescribe meds for you if you cannot see a Psychiatrist.

Step 6

Ask for help from above! What I mean is the pastors or clergy can either offer confidential guidance themselves or refer you to agencies who can. This will only be effective if you are comfortable talking to your pastor(s) and is not meant for the long haul. Even if they cannot help, they can pray. You do not have to belong to a church to take advantage of this.

Step 7

Check with county social services to see if you would qualify for any of the programs they currently offer if you have few other options. Medicaid recipients can almost always find a program or service they need, along with low income individuals for a variety of issues. Get help, don't wait! Waiting only prolongs your stress and takes away from the peace you could enjoy.

Tips & Warnings

Call your EAP first, as you may need to contact them to receive insurance benefits.

Have the whole family involved in counseling, if possible.