7. More Information about Contacting our Authors

Readers often ask if their own personal psychological questions can be answered by article authors, or if they can hire our authors to give them direct advice. Our staff signs a comprehensive agreement with us waranteeing that they will not make contact with our readership, and if our readership contacts them, they are not to represent any association with our Company, Pioneer Development Resources or our publications, of which SelfhelpMagazine is only one. Our use of the term "Staff" is a loose one, and not to imply that we know anything about these authors beyond what they have represented to us and the articles they have submitted. We do not track them down or verify their stated credentials.

Communicating without the benefit of face-to-face contact, that is, by telephone or by email is often fraught with mis-interpretation and errors, especially with regard to emotionally-related material. This is especially true of people you do not know in real life.
Our Contributors are strongly discouraged from answering questions from readers to minimize liability regarding the answers they may give. Similarly, our readers are discouraged from asking authors to give them specific responses to questions. Rather, readers are encouraged to use this magazine as they would any print magazine, that is, to print our articles and bring them to local professionals for face-to-face discussion of questions related to how the article may be relevant to their personal situations.
It is our policy that the Staff of SelfhelpMagazine does not offer direct response to email questions. If one of our Authors violates our policy, and their written agreement with us regarding this matter, you and they are soley responsible for your collective actions. Readers making direct contact with authors are advised to proceed at their own risk. We DO NOT indemnify or attest to the ability of any author to respond appropriately or at all to you.

8. Confidentiality

Who has access to anything you post online through our magazine? Everyone. Since the Internet is not secured for privacy in many ways, it is uncertain who may have access to your private message to us. To protect yourself, please don't leave any identifying information on our pages. If you choose to send us email or leave information in our Discussion Zone,  make your comments general, and don't expose information about yourself that you wouldn't want others to know.
Private answers cannot be guaranteed. Over the years, people with less-than-good-intentions have taken the liberty of collecting our email addresses and re-sold them to spammers. We therefore get thousands, yes thousands, of spam emails per day. We have been forced to protect ourselves from their self-serving efforts by equipping our servers with anti-spam filtering software. Sometimes, you email simply isn't going to get through to us. If that is the case, use one of the forms created for communication with us on the website and or leave a message for the SHM Staff in the 1 Time Announcement Forum in the Discussion Zone
If you are concerned about anonymity, please be advised that many servers (ours included) get hacked. Hackers are known to be able to collect addresses of people who visit sites on the Internet. Your anonymity could be compromised when you communicate with us.
If you are have a general question about our publication, please call the magazine's founder at 858-277-2772 and leave a full description of your question on the voicemail system. Also include all possible information about how and when to best reach you. An effort will be made to return your call if you live in the United States. Please remember, we are not available to answer your personal questions.

9. Getting Professional Help You Can Afford

What if you need help from a professional but don't have the funds to pay for it?

If your employer does not offer mental health benefits, here are a few suggestions. (This is not an exhaustive list.) Talk with your physician. Often, a physician can give you an appropriate referral. Many communities have low-cost psychotherapy available at mental health agencies, affiliated with religious organizations (churches or YMCA's, YWCA's,) or through local universities (especially those that train psychotherapists). The United Way is often a good source of community resources. Give them a call and ask for specific referrals for the type of issue of concern to you.
Also, feel free to contact the national professional agencies, such as the American Psychological Association (800-374-2723), American Psychiatric Association, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (202-429-1825,) the American Association of Social Work, or a chapter of mental health professionals in your local county. Ask for referrals in the price range you can afford.
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