My name is Karen Baumann, LCSW. I am licensed in California, North Carolina, and Texas. I am a cognitive behavioral therapist who treats a variety of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse and addictive behaviors, chronic worry, trauma, and grief and loss.
My approach to therapy involves first listening, a lot, and gathering information on what has been going on in a person's life that has led them to therapy. I focus on providing a safe space for expression of feelings and emotions. I use cognitive behavioral therapy and some acceptance and commitment therapy for depression, anxiety, stress, chronic worry, substance abuse, and addictive behaviors, along with motivational interviewing. I used trauma-based therapies for my clients with trauma issues and grief therapy for those struggling with grief and loss.
Most of the clients I work with are struggling with depression, anxiety, chronic worry, and trauma. I teach a great deal of neuroscience in the treatment of anxiety and trauma. I am also very comfortable in treating addictive behaviors (drugs and alcohol, food in particular). I also have clients with grief and loss issues.
My communication style
I try to create a space for talking about difficult feelings and emotions. This may be the only space in their life where they can express themselves. I provide support and feedback without judgment. I hope that my clients feel like they can say whatever is on their minds without fear of being misunderstood or judged.
My journey to therapy
I have an adopted brother. When we were young, he had a social worker who helped him. She made an impact on my life because she was committed to helping others to get the support they need to be happy and healthy. I thought, "How great would it be to be a social worker?" Now, I get to connect with fantastic people every day who are brave enough to share the struggles in their life. I consider it an honor and privilege to do this work.
My goals for you
I typically work on goal-setting with the client on the second visit. I typically ask them to describe what areas they would like to work on our improve, in addition to reducing negative symptoms. I have them put this in their words, rather than using clinical jargon. This way when we review their treatment goals, they are read back their own words about what they have worked on or have accomplished. I believe this makes a bigger impact.
My first session with you
In the first session, I review a few important confidentiality and important telehealth information. Then I turn it over to the client to start where they would like to start about why they made an appointment for therapy. If they are nervous or crying, I reassure them that they can just be themselves and this frequently happens when they are opening up their lives to a stranger. We then talk about if they want to schedule a second session to continue.