Why does connecting on social media matter to you?
Connecting on social media matters to me because it gives me the chance to share solid mental health educational information with a much wider audience than I can reach in my office. Also, there is so much questionable information out there that I believe all health professionals have a responsibility to provide solid information in their own specialty. I have also learned so much from patients, advocates and other health professionals. I feel like my time online is an ongoing professional education.
Can you really counsel patients online?
No way. My interaction with patients online is education and supportive, but is not therapeutic. I am clear about stating this difference and about the limitations of online settings for clinical education. This may be a special limitation for psychology.
What is your responsibility beyond the patients you see in your office?
I passionately believe that being part of the larger community, both locally and online, is a piece of my responsibility as a practicing psychologist. I think, for those of us who support brain health, being visible is even more important because of the stigma that is often connected with depression, anxiety, and other brain health concerns.
Where can patients find reliable information in your specialty?
There is very solid information about psychology and mental health at the website of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the Mayo Clinic, and, of course, my website.
How important are second opinions?
Second opinions are a powerful tool for clients to gather information and to increase confidence in their own treatment. They help you feel more comfortable in facing difficult courses of treatment.
How can a patient switch doctors?
This may be a different issue in my specialty. I tell clients at the beginning of all of my therapy appointments that the connection between client and psychologist is a critical component of therapy, and so they need to interview several potential therapists before choosing one. So, from my perspective, switching doctors is as simple as choosing to sit with the person who makes you feel most comfortable.
Dr. Ann Becker-Schutte is a licensed counseling psychologist practicing in the midtown area of Kansas City, MO. Dr. Becker-Schutte’s goal in therapy is to create a safe, supportive environment for her clients. She works to provide therapy that is beneficial to her clients. She will help you explore challenging life issues while being a caring, neutral listener–someone whose only agenda is your overall health. She supports her clients in exploring difficult experiences by creating a safe setting. Find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @DrBeckerSchutte.