We are so thrilled to be able to feature the incredible Fraser Smith from GetPsyched as our blogger spotlight this week. Fraser’s journey to create his blog in psychology focussing on topics around mental health and depression has been an intense journey of discovery. He shares some of his dos and don’ts for blogging that he hopes you can learn from.
GetPsyched started for me as an opportunity to network and develop my outreach in the field of mental health, therapy and psychology.
I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I wanted to establish something that was front facing, my knowledge of developing websites and blogs was limited and so I decided to develop a YouTube channel.
The first few weeks were tiring, challenging and brought numerous barriers. Establishing and developing material to speak on was actually the easiest bit, although this was what I was most nervous about at first.
The actual production of my content brought the most difficulty. I struggled with camera angles, editing, balancing audio and even uploading.
However, I was determined to take advantage of what I thought was an underutilised medium in psychology. I wanted to create front facing content about psychology, and open up discussions about mental health in a way that was interactive and interpersonal.
Running a blog in psychology, therapy and mental health brings with it some unique challenges I feel.
As a trainee doctoral counselling psychology, my work is research based. I hold ethical and professional responsibility for the content that I write and communicate with others. As a result, I had to be extremely careful of some of the things I was saying and in the manner I said them.
In addition to this, I was hopefully going to be reaching a much bigger audience as GetPsyched grew, and so I knew I needed to keep the empirical backing of my content at the centre of GetPsyched.
I also had an ethical responsibility for the content I was creating. Mental health is so subjective and it would be easy to make huge generalisations about topics such as anxiety and depression.
Therefore, ensuring that I avoided this and gave brief overviews and emphasised the subjective nature of the work I was doing was paramount.
As time progressed, growth was slow but steady. I was seeing engagement from others who were enjoying the content. I even had people suggesting topics, giving encouragement and asking me to write guest posts.
As the months progressed this engagement grew more. I was starting to speak to established psychologists from across the world and working on numerous projects out with what I was just doing at GetPsyched.
No opportunity was greater or more overwhelming than being asked to speak at a conference on psychology and therapy in the Philippines early in the summer of 2018. After just a year of GetPsyched, I was an international speaker, speaking on topics I loved.
I also was asked to key note at a conference for the British Psychological Society later in 2018. The opportunities seemed to keep coming.
Since starting, GetPsyched has developed its YouTube channel, started getpsyched.org.uk and created more of a social media presence. In addition to this, GetPsyched will be established as a limited company in the coming months and will be developing and distributing online courses and e courses for psychologists and students.
The purpose of this article is not simply to illustrate what GetPsyched is or how it has developed. I want to engage more with a bigger audience, I want to encourage those that are considering blogging in mental health and sign post them to the things I have done well and things I wish I could have done better.
So, here are some of the do’s and do not’s of psychology and mental health blogging
- Be ambitious and think outside the box with how you develop and distribute your content
- Engage with other services first. Tell them about what you are doing. Ask them if they would be interested in engaging more and perhaps sharing your content.
- Be personable and try to make the content easy to absorb. Some psychological research and topics can be challenging to understand at times.
- Make it fun and interactive.
- Encourage viewers and readers to reach out to you. Be as helpful as possible.
- Don’t be scared to share your opinion. Make sure to illustrate the subjectivity of your argument though.
The do nots
- Don’t try and make your blog academic. Leave that for published articles, blogging is different.
- Don’t give massive generalisations, remember that you will likely be communicating to a bigger audience, especially as you grow, than you ever have before.
- Don’t pretend to be an expert on everything. Do your research beforehand!
My passion now for blogging is almost as intense as my passion for psychology and mental health. We need psychologists to be more in the public awareness in today’s society with mental health issues, growing suicide rates and depression, and people that want to understand their psychology better. There are few better ways to reach the general public that through blogging I feel.
We just want to say a huge thank you to Fraser for his insight and passion into his blogging journey. We hope you learnt a lot and got something out of it! Make sure you follow Fraser over on Instagram.