My friend called last night to let us know that Joe Bauserman had died.
He had a brain tumor. He was able to spend his last days at home.
He was my therapist, for a few years when we lived in Virginia, and again when I was going through PPD.
When we moved from Virginia, first in NY with the PPD, and again last year with another major depressive episode, I looked around for a decent local therapist. I didn’t look very hard, because I knew Joe was there — and that it would be more cost-effective to stay with someone with whom I already had a solid therapeutic relationship, than to keep searching and have to work through all the beginning stages again with each new therapist. I tried two folks in NY before returning to Joe by phone. Here in IN, I tried one person who lasted a few months — at the time it would have been a burdensome financial stretch to go back to Joe — when I decided that therapist just wasn’t working well for me, I was stable enough to just quit instead of looking for another.
Now Joe is gone. If I ever have another major episode — not unlikely given the nature of depression and my history — I will have to look harder to find someone new.
Theoretically, I know there are other good therapists out there — people who have integrated faith and psychology in a solid, cohesive, thorough, sensitive, reflective way, and not just pasting one on top of the other — people who can think and listen and relate and talk in paths that I think and listen and relate and talk in, so that we’re really hearing each other — people who understand and respect the subconscious and the emotions and don’t just tell patients to try harder or stop thinking that way.
I hope I will, if it becomes necessary, find one of those people.
Meanwhile, I remember Joe — with deep gratitude for his service to me, with grief for his family, and with prayers for his clients that they would likewise find new therapists who will serve them as well.