Patients 18 and over will generally be seen the first time for approximately 55 minutes. This diagnostic evaluation may also include a review of any outside information, including information from a referral source, hospital records (if provided), and any psychological testing which may have been done. “I may not be able to arrive at a complete diagnosis in complicated cases during this first session, but I can generally develop an initial plan that will get the patient started toward the goal of good health.”
Patients may be asked to complete brief screening assessments, as well as discuss the importance of signing consents if other therapists or physicians are involved. If certain symptoms indicate a need for laboratory (blood) work or an electrocardiogram (EKG), Dr. Bauman can order that and send a copy to your primary care physician if you would like. Her medical background provides a strong fund of knowledge about medical illness “masquerading” as depression or anxiety, for example. More than once has a case that was presented as depression turned out to be driven by an underlying thyroid abnormality or other medical issue.
Always warm, respectful and compassionate, Dr. Bauman will work with a new patient to establish some initial objectives. “I will always work to act as a partner in treating your mental health needs. I will work with you to develop a unique and comfortable therapeutic approach designed to address your specific needs.”
Please note that at the present time, Dr. Bauman is providing primarily medication management on an on-going basis although she does have some psychotherapy patients. In part this is due to the structure of many health insurance plans, but also reflects the tremendous need in our community for experts in psychopharmacology.
“Given the tremendous number of requests for medication management, I am not able to do traditional weekly psychotherapy with every patient myself. Fortunately, there are many excellent therapists in our community that I have worked with frequently, people I trust to give excellent care. We can discuss possible recommendations for therapists if you do not already have one. And in each and every session, I do provide brief, goal-directed psychotherapy.”
Note that you will never feel pressure to start or add a medication, but it is important to know that the option is available under Dr. Bauman’s care. If continuing care or medication management is needed, you and Dr. Bauman will work as a team to determine the best course of action and frequency of visits.