Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a complex beast, and can be quite intimidating to someone trying to learn
the basics. Fortunately, there are some great resources out there for learning! Unfortunately, I think a lot of beginners don't know what those great resources are, or where to find them.
One example of a wonderful, but I fear under-used, resource are the SEM tutorial videos created by the AMOS Development Team. The AMOS Development Team tutorial video page features 17 different videos, covering a variety of topics, including (but not limited to): estimating indirect effects, fitting growth curve models, fitting models with categorical and ordinal variables, working with censored data, Bayesian estimation, and mixture modeling/latent class analysis.
If learning the mechanics of running an SEM model seems like putting the "cart before the horse" to you, because you are still trying to grasp SEM on a conceptual level, check out Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling by Rex B. Kline, PhD. Dr. Kline's book is well written and easy to understand (relative to the topic).
Page for SEM tutorial videos created by the AMOS Development Team:
Guilford Publishing's Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling page:
Amazon's Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling page: