Bauchman Hired as LGBTQ Coordinator

Randall Lieberman

Jewish Journal

Jan 11, 2016

Chris Bauchman, Psy.D. joins JFS as LGBTQ Coordinator.

Chris Bauchman knows the pressures those in the LGBTQ community can face.

As someone who identifies as a gay male himself, Bauchman decided to make a career of helping others in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning) community.

Bauchman, 32, said in a recent in-person interview: "When I came out to my parents in college, it was good to bounce ideas off people not involved in my life. I definitely got help from the college counseling services. As I was studying psychology, I knew counseling would benefit me.

"Now that I am a counselor myself, I know that when someone is coming out as transgender and thinking of changing their identity — or maybe questioning their sexual orientation — this is a time when they may need some extra help."

Bauchman — who was born in Miami and attended high school in Vero Beach — recently returned to South Florida last March to set up a private counseling practice in May in Palm Beach Gardens.

According to Bauchman, a sizable percentage of his practice consists of individuals within the LGBTQ community.

Bauchman also has been hired as the part-time LGBTQ outreach coordinator for Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) — the Boca Raton-based Jewish social-services agency.

Through this new position, Bauchman — who said he lives in Lake Worth with his husband — plans on helping any individual or couple looking for help that identifies as LGBTQ and live in the JFS catchment area of Boca Raton, Delray Beach or Highland Beach.

Bauchman said: "You don't need to have a stigma attached to you because you go to counseling. You don't need to have something majorly wrong in your life to seek a little extra help.

"We want to create a safe and comfortable place for the local LGBTQ community to come discuss what they need to talk about."

According to his website, Bauchman received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Spanish at Xavier University in Cincinnati; his Master of Science in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University in Baltimore and his Doctor of Psychology at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.

Bauchman is now a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Florida — after previously being licensed in both Oregon and Washington.

As a Cuban-American, he is bilingual — speaking both fluent English and Spanish.

About Bauchman, Danielle Hartman — JFS president and CEO — said in an email: "We are excited to welcome Chris to our JFS family. Because of his background working with the LGBTQ community — particularly with the geriatric and transgender populations — he is uniquely qualified to spearhead this new program. As a licensed psychologist, he has the experience to provide clinical services to those in our community."

According to a JFS press release, the agency — through Bauchman's leadership — will now be able to assist those in the LGBTQ community and their families with:

•Individual & Group Counseling

•Life Skills Development

•Strengthening Interpersonal Relationships

•Sensitivity Training

•Learning to Cope with Bereavement

According to the press release, Bauchman's new position resulted from a task force which JFS developed this past spring comprised of a diverse group of community representatives.

The task force's objective was to help identify the unmet needs of LGBTQ individuals and their families, and to develop an action plan to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community.

Hartman said in the release: "We have incorporated the valuable information gathered through our task force to provide needed clinical and social programs for the LGBTQ community.

"We are most thankful to the late Shirley Gould, who recognized the need for services to the LGBTQ population and provided us with the funds to help."

This expansion of services has taken place due to two endowments by Gould earmarked for the care of the LGBTQ community, according to the release.

Several years ago Gould established two funds — the Edward S. Gould Fund for Outreach for Elderly Lesbians and Gay Men, and the Edward S. Gould Fund for the Special Needs of Gay and Lesbian Clients. These funds have helped supplement counseling services to the LGBTQ population for several years.

However, additional amounts were available in these funds and the JFS Board challenged the agency to enact an action plan to best utilize the funds.

Judi Donoff, JFS Board chair, commented in the release: "It was very important to the Board that — when this very generous gift was left to JFS for the purpose of assisting the LGBTQ community — we made sure that Shirley Gould's legacy would be utilized to its full and complete mission, as we do for every legacy gift."

According to Bauchman, JFS counseling services are available on a sliding scale according to income.

For additional information about LGBTQ programs and services at JFS, contact Bauchman at chrisb@ralesjfs.org or 561-852-3333.

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