Do you want to obtain counseling or other mental health support for you or your child? Perhaps you . . .

  • want to help your child recover from abuse or bullying,
  • need help healing from abuse or trauma in your own past,
  • want to address marital difficulties,
  • need support in resolving your child's behavioral problems,
  • are struggling with anxiety, depression, addictions, or other mental or emotional health concerns (or your child is), or
  • want to help your family cope with a traumatic event such as a car accident, fire, severe illness, parent's death, or job loss.

Because there are so many avenues of treatment available, it is sometimes challenging to know where to start in finding the counseling and cost that are right for you. Below, we're sharing some easy first steps.

How do I find counseling?

Focus on the Family's counseling consultation and referrals service

Visit Focus on the Family's counseling page to request a free consultation with their counseling department or search their directory for Christian counselors near you.

Psychology Today online directory

Visit the Psychology Today website and select “Find a Therapist” in the menu at the top. You will be able to search for therapists, psychiatrists, treatment centers, and support groups by geographical location.

Your job

Some employers offer a benefit called an employee assistance plan that includes free, short-term counseling. Ask your HR department if something like this is available to you. Check also with your trade association or union, which may provide mental health resources.

Your church

Churches, denominations, and related ministries offer a range of faith-based mental health support, from pastoral and peer counseling to referrals and helplines.

Your health plan

If you have health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, find out what mental health services your plan covers. You can search your provider directory for mental health professionals and services covered by your insurance.

University training clinics

Some universities with counseling-related degree programs offer low-cost mental health services via community clinics. This setting allows their students, who are trained and supervised, to practice their skills in preparation for licensing.

Just ask!

Reach out to a trusted friend, doctor, or colleague. You do not have to provide details about your situation unless you feel comfortable doing so. Ask if there is a counselor they recommend.

What if I can't afford counseling?

Counseling options range in cost from free to very expensive. Many providers are sensitive to the difficulty clients may have in affording their services. If a therapist is out of your price range, ask if they offer discounts, sliding-scale fees, or payment plans.

You can also explore alternatives such as these:

  • Search for nonprofit organizations that help people afford therapy. You may be able to apply for financial aid or gain access to a network of low-cost counselors.
  • Support groups are often free or have a minimal cost. Consider 12-step groups, grief groups, and therapist-led groups. Some meet online or by phone.