Goodbye, Joe Bauserman

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.

Obituary from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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11 thoughts on “Goodbye, Joe Bauserman

  1. I too am so terribly sorry about this man’s passing.

    What you described here:

    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.

    You would hope that would be the standard, but I know it’s not.

    That Joe touched your life so – what a gift.

  2. Marcy… Your post was shared on http://www.bausermancottage.com where Joe posted a lot during his battle with brain cancer that lasted from June 2008 – Jan. 2009. Hope you will go there and be blessed by his writings under the category “on the porch” and “by the fireside”.

  3. Lindsay,

    Thank you — my friends did tell me about Joe’s blog, which I’ve been very slowly wading through. I have written a little about some of what I’ve read there so far.

  4. Marcy, many people in Richmond are grieving Joe’s loss. He was one of those people who got referred to friends by other friends and friends of friends, so I actually have several people who have gone through this loss with me. It has been devastating to us all. Someone has put candles in the windows of Joe’s office on Forest, which is a bit comforting as one drives by. He cannot be replaced, but we are all searching for someone who is helpful.

  5. It’s 3 Feb 2012 now, and I come across this blog informing me, irrevocably, of my friend Joe’s death. There can be no other Joe Bauseman, tall, flip, beautiful, orderly on South 4, the respirator floor at UVA Hospital in 1972, July, that provided me with his incandescent, mordant, irreverent wit and yes, wisdom, as I went through the beginning trials of internship.

    We became friends that year, and I melded with Nuffer, his magic St. Bernard. We hiked Old Rag Mt. near Charlottesville; we enjoyed &$#%+¥€ while the TV played Marx bros films, with the sound off; I learned to crave Duke’s mayonnaise. I have never had better; I trust you’ll agree.

    It pleases me to read of the effect Joe has had on your lives; it grieves me I cannot visit him, and enjoy his company as I did 40 years ago. (holy shit! 40 years!)

      • I just now discovered Joe’s passage and am shocked to learn of his death. I went by his office on Forest to make contact as I couldn’t find his number. He helped
        me long ago and his influence is everlasting…….I wish I could meet someone like him now to share my thoughts as I did with him…If anyone has a good recommendation……

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