Conversations on the Couch with Fraser Smith

Fraser Smith is a counselling psychology doctoral trainee in Glasgow, Scotland. He's passionate about psychology and for helping others in therapeutic contexts. This passion has developed into his career and hobbies, so much so that he started a YouTube channel called GetPsyched where Fraser looks into all different concepts and theories in psychology and illustrates how you can apply them to your own life. 
If you’re interested in more you can follow him on his social media channels and subscribe to his YouTube channel for weekly uploads. You'll find all of the links are at the end of this interview. In the meantime, read on because this is one very special Conversation on the Couch. Thank you Fraser! x
Fraser final
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I try and make gratitude one of the centre pieces of my life. I have to say firstly that I am most grateful for my wife and my mother, the two most important people in my life. I am also grateful for my faith, and the journey I have been put on in psychology. I am also extremely grateful for my studies and the additional opportunities I have, including writing guest posts like this.

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

This is a hard one, but I would have to say mind-set. I feel there is so much opportunity in the world, and at any point someone can make the sacrifices and commitments required of them to get what they desire. I’m a great believer in a change in mind-set equalling a change in circumstances. When things go wrong, I like to think that my mind-set is strong enough to see the opportunity and learning available as a result. I also feel I see the opportunities in different situations. This has paid off well when I look at my career in psychology. I was willing to work voluntarily to develop experience and willing to spend money on courses that would get me more qualified.

Has your greatest fear ever come true?

Yes. My fear of failure. I feel this needs clarification. There are two types of fear of failure, fear that makes you want to work harder to not experience that long-term failure, and fear that makes you avoid something you might fail all together. I feel I am in the first category, where I try and work harder to not experience that long-term failure. However, I have been in the position where I thought that was my reality. I didn’t always have drive, belief and a decent work ethic. I remember the times where I didn’t work and let that failure almost consume me, I don’t want to go back to that time.

Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

This is a very relevant question for me. Five years ago, I was a very different person to who I am now. I nearly dropped out of my first degree at university because I simply wasn’t working hard enough. As a result, and due to a number of other things, I went through a period of depression. It was a very difficult time in my life. I would have to say that yes, it does matter now. This is due to the fact that it fuels me somewhat to do better today. I reflect often on that time in my life, particularly when I am down or demotivated. I remember that time and that helps me push forward, so yes it does matter now to me.

When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

I think risk and reward is always a balance that needs to be considered, especially when you have high responsibilities. However, there is a time when that balance, although still considered, needs to take a back seat and going forward to what you know is right comes first. I think primarily that comes when you stand up for injustices or something you believe strongly in. I always want to encourage people to do what they think is right, I feel that is something that people are lacking more and more in today’s society.

We learn from our mistakes, yet we’re always so afraid to make one. Where is this true for you? And which mistakes do you wish we would all stop making?

I have a bit of an issue with perfectionism, in most things I do. Sometimes this has manifested itself into avoiding making mistakes, which I feel is the greatest mistake in itself. I wish we would stop making the mistake of viewing mistakes as bad or wrong. The most profound learning and development comes from making mistakes. We live in a world where we view the most successful people as having never made a mistake, often those successful people try and take on this identity also. Those with the most profound success, with success that is likely to last, have experienced mistakes on a daily basis. Mistakes are not something to hide from, they are things we need to seek out. I think it’s the biggest mistake when we don’t appreciate this.

Are you doing what you believe in or settling for what you’re doing?

I feel I am doing what I believe in. What I do now takes a lot of work and sacrifice. I am doing a counselling psychology doctorate, I host my own psychology YouTube channel ‘GetPsyched’, I work as a lecturer and a research assistant and work as a therapist on placement. Doing all of this requires a great deal of belief in knowing I am on the right path for me.

Thank you so much Fraser for your insightful answers. We look forward to collaborating with you more in the future.
You can find more from Fraser by following the links to his website and social media below and be sure to look out for his YouTube clips and articles that we share from time to time on our Facebook page.

GetPsyched YouTube Channel  

GetPsyched Instagram 

GetPsyched Twitter 

GetPsyched Facebook page 

Fraser Smith LinkedIn

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