How to Select a Therapist
Selecting a therapist can feel overwhelming, especially if you have never experienced therapy before or have not had a specific clinician recommended to you by someone you know and trust. Choosing a therapist does not need to be intimidating, but it is helpful for you to understand the different types of service each kind of clinician provides. It is also important to keep in mind that anyone can hand out a business card and call themselves a "therapist" or "counselor." Even a licensed individual can label themselves an "expert" in an area in which they are not necessarily trained. But there are qualifications, specific levels of education, board certifications and state and federal licenses to help assure you that you are receiving the service that you have requested.
All of the clinicians at Evansville Psychiatric Associates are appropriately educated, board certified and licensed in their particular fields. Our intake department will be happy to speak with you about any of our clinician's qualifications. Your call is confidential. If you are unsure of what you need, or you feel you need more than one type of mental health service, one of our clinicians can assess those issues and refer you to the practitioner(s) who can most appropriately help you.
After the therapist's name there are initials. What do these initials and titles mean?
A Psychiatrist is an "MD," Doctor of Medicine, who has undergone the same basic rigorous education as your family physician, internist and other doctors you know. In most cases medical school requirements are 4 years additional schooling after college and an internship requiring an additional year hands-on training rotating through all of the major medical specialties. After a physician's intern year, they choose and are selected for a residency training in a specialty field, which requires 2 to 6 years of additional hands-on and classroom training. Instead of a residency in internal medicine, obstetrics or surgery, etc., your psychiatrist has had extensive training in psychiatry - the branch of medicine that deals with the science and art of understanding human emotions, behavior and thinking. They are trained in diagnosing mental, behavioral and emotional disorders and treating these conditions with special consideration to the mind-body interaction. An MD holds a State Medical License and has a Federal DEA license enabling them to practice medicine and to prescribe a full range of medications. After each type of residency or fellowship training, (with its inherent years of education,) a physician is eligible to take a detailed examination given by an organization of senior specialists in that field, often verbal and written, proving their competency in that particular field or sub-specialty. If someone is "board eligible" it means they have completed their residency training, but have not taken, passed or "sat" for their board certification. The preeminent organization for national board certification of MD Psychiatrists is The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Indiana Psychiatrists are regulated by Indiana Code IC 11-10-3.
A Psychologist may have the initials "PhD" or "PsyD" after their name. PhD stands for "Doctorate of Philosophy" in a particular field - in this case, Psychology. PsyD means "Doctor of Psychology. Both identifiers refer to the requirement of 4 or more additional years of post-college training in the science and art of Psychology. These clinicians are also addressed as "Doctor." They may hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology and their post-graduate training may be in a wide variety of areas - from animal studies to group dynamics. Most psychologists who work in private practice are clinical psychologists who have special training in human emotions and thought processses. An "HSPP" designator is awarded by The Indiana State Board of Psychology and stands for "Health Services Provider in Psychology." This designator requires appropriate education, hours of supervised clinical experience, continuing education and the passing of a strict examination. The Indiana regulatory codes are IC 25-33 and IC 25-1-9. Psychologists often specialize in individual therapy for certain types of clients, or family and group therapies. Clinical Psychologists are also experts at Psychological Testing. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, this kind of testing is invaluable to diagnosing and treating the fine details of an individual patient's condition. These are not the kind of tests that you can study for, nor can you "cheat" or fool the test-giver. Psychologists do not prescribe medications or order medical tests, but they often work with a psychiatrist who finds their professional opinions invaluable.
In private practice, LCSW stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. These therapists are master's level social workers, which means they have completed 4 years of undergraduate work plus at least 2 years of master's level training (MSW.) To receive the LCSW designator they must complete an additional 2 years of supervised clinical work. They may also elect for an education track that trains them in specific age groups or diagnostic categories. For example, an LCSW may elect for special training in children, adolescents, marriage counseling, geriatrics, addiction or general adult counseling. The award of ACSW stands for membersip in the "Academy of Clinical Social Workers." This designator is awarded by the National Association of Social Workers and requires lengthy supervised post graduate work and the passing of tests that support ethical and competent independent practice standards. LMFT stands for "Licensed Marital and Family Therapist." The LMFT has special training in relationships and has a state license supported by educational background, continuing education, and written and oral examinations. The State regulatory codes are IC 25-23, 6-8.
John C. Bambenek III, MD
Dr. Bambenek finished his undergraduate work in psychology at Macalester College in Minnesota. He completed medical school at the University of Minnesota and went on to internship and a general psychiatry residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Dr. Bambenek also completed a Child and Adolescent Fellowship at Walter Reed. Dr. Bambenek served as the Chief of Psychiatry at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. After serving 10 years in the Army, Dr. Bambenek left the military and held Medical Directorship positions at 2 free standing psychiatric hospitals. He has also served the Evansville community as Medical Director of Deaconnes Cross Pointe. He has been in private practice since 1994. Dr. Bambenek is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He works with all ages, and especially loves working with ADD/ADHD children and autism / Aspergers clients.
Henry B. Kaplan, D.O.
Dr. Kaplan completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at The City University of New York and his master’s degree at Texas Tech University. He earned his medical degree at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas. He began his medical career as a family practice physician in private practice. In 1990 Dr Kaplan was commissioned in the United States Navy where he completed additional training and served as a Naval Flight Surgeon. As a flight surgeon he discovered that psychiatry was his true passion in the medical field. He completed his general psychiatry residency at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Cherokee Mental Health Institute. He also completed a Child and Adolescent Fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Kaplan was in practice at Welborn Clinic in Evansville for more than 10 years prior to joining Evansville Psychiatric Associates in 2007. He is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in both Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Areas of special interest include ADHD throughout the lifespan, mood and anxiety disorders, developmental disorders, and disruptive behavior disorders.
David M. Holajter, MD
Dr. Holajter graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in physiology. He graduated from Indiana University Medical School in 1977 and from the Indiana University Psychiatric Residency Program in 1981. After 6 years in the private practice of psychiatry in Evansville, Dr. Holajter joined the psychiatric staff of the Southwestern Indiana Mental Health Center where he worked for the next 14 years. In 2002 he returned to the private practice of Psychiatry in his current position at Evansville Psychiatric Associates. He is board certified in Adult Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Radha S. Tatineni, MD
Dr. Tatineni earned her medical degree in the country of India and completed her Psychiatric Residency Training in 1986 at The Chicago Medical School. She has twenty years of clinical experience working with clients in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry settings. She worked with the Missouri Mental Health Department and later joined the Veteran's Health Care System. She served the VA for 15 years in Hampton, Virginina and later here at the clinic in Evansville. She practiced at Deaconness Cross Pointe in 2005 and 2006. She joined us in private practice at Evansville Psychiatric Associates in the fall of 2006. Dr. Tatineni is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both Adult Psychiatry and in Geriatric Psychiatry.
Bruce E. Hust, PhD
Dr. Hust is an Indiana Licensed Psychologist who attended the University of Connecticut for a Bachelor's Degree, and then earned a Master's and PhD from Ohio State University. He completed a clinical internship in child and life-span psychology in Columbus, Ohio, and then a second clinical preceptorship in psychology while working for 13 years as a staff psychologist and supervising clinical coordinator at Southwestern Indiana Mental Health Center in Evansville. He has been in private practice for the last 13 years in Evansville, and is currently happily affiliated with Evansville Psychiatric Associates. He lives with his wife and two teenage daughters on six and a half acres of westside land. He is an avid antiquer and collector, and is a soccer enthusiast.
Pat Easley, LCSW
Pat Easley has over twenty years of psychiatric social work experience with individuals and families who are confronted with medical, emotional or relational crises. She has a Masters of Social Work (1981), is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (1983), and has licensure for private practice (LCSW) in Kentucky (1988), and Indiana (1992). Pat specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, couples relationships, abuse, post-traumatic stress, grief issues, women's issues and borderline personality disorder. She uses cognitive and family systems therapy, has worked with E.M.D.R. and incorporates her concepts of humor as a therapeutic way to relieve stress.
Michael Eatmon, LCSW
Michael Eatmon obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Meinrad College in 1980 and his Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois in 1984. He received his LCSW in 1991 and ACSW in 1992. He has been working in the field with emphasis upon substance abuse, young adult and mid-life issues. He has also been involved in men's issues since the late 1980's, working with individuals, groups and weekend gatherings. Mr. Eatmon has appointments available on Fridays only.
Carol J. Hastings, LCSW
Carol J. Hastings, MSW, LCSW completed her undergraduate work at Purdue University in W. Lafayette, Indiana with a double major in psychology and sociology. She went on the earn her Master of Social Work degree at the Indiana University School of Social Service, located on the Indiana University Medical Center Campus, Indianapolis, IN. After graduate school training, Ms. Hastings worked as a clinical social worker at Larue Carter Hospital, on the adult and adolescent units, also located on the Medical Center Campus. During her 7 years tenure at Larue, she assisted in the training of graduate level social work students and interns in the mental health professions. She has twenty years experience in private practice, is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Julie Kahre, LCSW
Julie Kahre, MSW, LCSW completed her undergraduate (1994) and graduate (1997) degrees at the University of Southern Indiana. Since 1997 she was employed as a private counselor at River Valley Behavioral Health in Henderson, KY. She joined Evansville Psychiatric Associates in January 2006. She works with children, teenagers, families and adults experiencing a variety of mental health issuers including ADHD, family issues, depression, PTSD and anxiety / panic. We are honored to have her join our team. Her warmth and wisdom are much appreciated by her clients.
Paul S. Mefford, LCSW
Mr. Mefford is a 1984 graduate of the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. He has over 25 years of experience in a variety of mental health care settings and comprehensive training in marriage and family counseling, depression, anxiety, panic disorder, 12 step recovery, eating disorders, PTSD, child and adolescent counseling. He has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups from preschool age through elderly clients and Hospice counseling.
Leigh Baldwin, APN
Leigh Baldwin earned her BS in Nursing from the University of Southern Indiana in 1996 and her Masters in Science degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 1998. She previously served as the Nurse Practitioner for the Urology Surgery Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 1998 - 2001. She has also worked in the family practice and OB-GYN areas as a supervising nurse. Leigh received her Family Nurse Practitioner certification in 1998 and completed her Post Master's Option as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University in 2009 after practicing as an RN for 30 years. She is Board Certified by the ANCC. Leigh has begun her private practice at Evansville Psychiatric Associates as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and is available to see patients ranging in age 15 through 60 for all their medication and therapy needs.