Psychological Self-Help

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47
MentalHelp.net (http://mentalhelp.net/ (under Services, click Find a
Therapist or Find an online Therapist), Find-a-Psychologist.com
(http://www.find-a-psychologist.com/), 4Therapy.com
(http://www.4therapy.com/), and others. After finding a therapist, you
usually work out arrangements for treatment directly with the
therapist. 
If you don't have insurance/HMO coverage or other means of
fully paying for therapy, your best bet is likely to be your Community
Mental Health Center. Their charges will usually be based on your
ability to pay. Get their number from the phone book. You can also
find the location and phone number of your MH Center by going to
(http://www.samhsa.gov/) site. Then click on "Looking for Help," and
you will get to a Directory of Service Providers and to Referral Help
lines (try that). Then click on CMHS Mental Health Directory or on
Mental Health Consumer Resources where you will find KEN's state by
state listing. Eventually, you will get to your state and your local MH
Center. In general, you will find over-worked MA-level practitioners--
Social Workers and Psychologists--in state funded Mental Health
Centers. Most of these helpers know what they are doing, however, so
don't be bothered that they are not "doctors." 
If you live near a major university or hospital with a large
psychiatric service, there will be psychotherapists-in-training. They are
usually well supervised, so as a patient you get the benefit of two
therapists. And the cost is minimal. Likewise, in a very large
metropolitan area, like New York City, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, LA,
San Francisco and so on, there are many specialized treatment
centers, e.g. for phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Borderline
Personality, Bipolar, addictions, headaches, etc., which always have
interns and residents who need patients. Likewise, there are
advanced training institutes, such as Psychoanalysis, Adler,
Gestalt, and many others. Ask any of these institutions for a low-cost
but competent therapist specializing in your kind of problem. 
It is a good idea to carefully investigate your therapist before or
immediately after starting to see him/her. The degrees and state
licenses should ordinarily be hanging on the wall. If they aren't on the
wall, ask where and when the therapist graduated and got licensed. Be
sure to get his/her complete name and perhaps even the license
number, then you can call the state licensing office and confirm their
license (note that my biography on the title page of this book makes it
easy to confirm my credentials). Ask how much experience they have
had treating people with your problem. If they are in training or just
starting practice, ask how much supervision or consultation they will
be getting as you work together. If anything seems amiss or out of
line, bring it up for discussion with them (don't pussyfoot around, YOU
are the boss here; your therapist works for you). If you remain
doubtful about the therapist's experience, training, or ability to help
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