Leslie Bourne, PhD - Behavioral Health

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“Each patient is a unique individual and I try to help them set realistic goals for themselves.”

Dr. Leslie Bourne almost became a lawyer instead of a doctor. “I went to Cornell University as an undergraduate because they had a good law school there. However, I took a great course in psychology in my junior year and decided that’s what really interested me. So I decided to change course and go into the field of psychology.”

In her work as a behavioral psychologist, Dr. Bourne always respects the patient and tries to encourage their strengths. “For example, in helping people lose weight, what I try to do is teach patients to trust themselves and find their own inner resources. Each patient is a unique individual and I try to help them set realistic goals for themselves. Treatment in behavioral medicine is collaborative, and we work not only with the patient, but all of the physicians and multidisciplinary teams that are available to help them.”

One of the key reasons Dr. Bourne practices at Reliant Medical Group is that she is a behavioral medicine psychologist who is interested in working with patients dealing with medical issues. “Many of the problems we treat have a behavioral element that must be addressed before the patient can get physically better. Some of the diseases we see here include diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, obesity, sleep problems, cancer, neurological conditions and headaches. Our main interest is helping patients to improve their health and quality of life.

Dr. Bourne has taken a special interest in treating sleep problems, a common problem for many people. “I am very interested in treating insomnia, child and adolescent sleep issues and other sleep disorders. Insomnia is the biggest problem people have when it comes to sleep. We often treat patients with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and we have an excellent success rate. I really enjoy helping people overcome sleep problems.”

In addition to sleep disorders, Dr. Bourne also treats many patients suffering from obesity. “I am on the Bariatric Team here at Reliant Medical Group. We conduct evaluations for patients that are interested in bariatric surgery. In addition, we do a tremendous amount of work to prepare people for future surgery. We also do a lot of behavioral therapy with people who want to lose weight without using surgical methods. We will work with people no matter what option they choose for themselves.”

Dr. Bourne is also on the Pain Management Team at Reliant Medical Group, which meets to help patients dealing with chronic pain. The Pain Management Team includes physicians from Neurology and Internal Medicine, as well as case managers and physical therapists. “By bringing everyone together to discuss each case, we can find the optimum treatment for each patient.”

Most of Dr. Bourne’s patients are referred to her from other physicians. “We receive referrals from both primary care and specialty care physicians. A lot of the time it is someone presenting with physical symptoms that is referred to us. Once the physicians know it is something that we can help with, they send the patient to us. Once we have done an evaluation, we will begin a course of treatment.”

Dr. Bourne also does a lot of work with patients who are having other types of problems. For example, she works with patients who are having anxiety or stress symptoms, relationship issues, and who just aren’t happy with the direction of their lives.

In addition to helping her patients, Dr. Bourne also offers seminars and lectures on behavioral medicine at area companies. “We talk about sleep, headaches, back pain, depression as well as family problems. For example, if we are conducting a talk about heart disease, we will invite someone from Cardiology to come with us, or if the seminar is about back pain, we will have someone from Physical Therapy go with us. It’s a great way to help people with their problems right at the workplace.”


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