Interview with Marta Guerri, psychologist and director of PsicoActiva
Today we have the pleasure of sharing a talk with a person who has dedicated a lot of effort and work to promote and coordinate a psychology website. This is Marta Guerri, director and content manager of Psychoactive . Nurse and training psychologist, has an extensive and multidimensional curriculum. He combines his presence on the internet with lectures and conferences in different universities.
Psychology and Mind: First of all, Marta, thank you for sharing this conversation with us. We want to start by asking you about the web address, PsicoActiva. How and when did the idea arise? With what objective did you create the web?
Marta Guerri: Well, the idea of creating Psychoactive It arose a long time ago, while I was studying psychology first. At that time all this world of the web pages was beginning to grow, Internet was already very popular, but not remotely as immense as today. I'm talking about the year 1998.
The idea of making a psychology page came more from my husband than from me, he is a computer scientist and he told me that it would be a good idea to make an informative page on this topic. And in the end he convinced me, although I hated computers! So he started doing the programming and all the technical part of the web and I the contents. Think that at that time there were no blogs as we know them, it was programmed mainly in HTML, which is how he developed our homepage. Later we made the blog, our most dynamic and current section and the services section with other tools.
It has always been a joint work between the two, but he has preferred to remain in the shade and not leave as co-founder or collaborator, so that I only appear as the director of the web, but it is not like that.
Our purpose was primarily informative and entertaining, for me more the first and for him more the second, because he loved programming psychometric tests and games of ingenuity, hence subtitling our page as: "intelligent psychology and leisure web". In fact, he likes this field so much that he wrote several more pages on his own just for mental training.
Psychology and Mind: I guess that, over time, your expectations about what you wanted to be Psychoactive have been modified.
M.G .: Effectively our expectations have been varying, for many years we only had it as our own entertainment, to do in our spare time, entering informative content to be accessible from anywhere in the world, we had no more expectations than this. Keep in mind that the boom of Google's advertising business and the famous SEO is later.
Sincerely, we realized that we could get something useful in terms of advertising on the web in 2009, after the call of a publisher who wanted to put a banner because we had many visits. We were not aware! We did not do anything at all in that sense, and that's when we started to move the subject of advertising through Google AdSense, at least we began to cover hosting expenses, which were starting to be high. Although as you know, it is difficult to obtain a reasonable income even if you have numerous visits.
In any case, we are still focused on our initial objective of spreading and entertaining, we like to do what we do, it is a creative process, a personal project that you set up and manage your way, without anyone telling you how to do it or how not to do it, and that is something that fills a lot, because it becomes a process of continuous growth at a personal and professional level.
Psychology and Mind: Let's talk about your professional facet. In what areas have you worked? Tell us a little about your professional career. Because besides being a psychologist you are a nurse. Interesting. Surely knowing both disciplines has been a positive point when it comes to understanding health in broad terms.
M.G .: Interestingly my professional career is somewhat varied, because as you comment, I had previously studied Nursing, and in fact I had been working as such in a hospital for a few years before starting a career in Psychology. But it is that since I studied nursing I was very interested in the whole subject of psychology and mental health, in fact my end-of-course practices I chose in the specialty of psychiatry and I did them in the psychiatric emergency ward of Bellvitge, experience that I loved and with which I learned a lot. On the other hand, I must admit that I did not feel fulfilled as a nurse, that's why I pulled the blanket over my head and asked for a year of leave to start psychology.
Psychology and Mind: A courageous decision.
M.G .: Good, and necessary.I was already married and with a mortgage behind my back, so, although I started studying the first year in person, I had to switch to virtual mode after becoming pregnant with my first child. I assure you that it is not easy to work outside the home, study a career, attend the web, work at home and be a new mother. I think it has been the hardest time I've spent in this regard, I do not recommend it to anyone!
In short, it is not easy when you already have financial burdens such as mortgage and children, leaving a stable job like the one you had, to launch yourself into the adventure of trying to live exercising a new profession. There are times in life when you have to know how to make the right decision not only for yourself, but for those around you.
Of course, having knowledge of both disciplines, nursing and psychology, has given me a lot of experience, I have been working alongside psychiatric doctors, I have dealt with all types of patients and everything is learned.
I finally left the infirmary now four years ago, for reasons of family organization, since I could not stretch my schedule or my time to get everything. That's why my husband and I talked about it and decided that from then on I would only dedicate myself to the website, to have more time to take care of the children.
Psychology and Mind: Going back to the web, it will have taken you a great effort to write articles on a regular basis to supply the updated content site. How important is disclosure when it comes to shaping a professional profile in social networks? Has online presence helped you professionally?
M.G .: As I said before, when I dedicate myself now to the page, I have more time to elaborate content, although I still lack, do not believe. Luckily we also receive requests from professionals who wish to publish with us, which provides us with very interesting material in a more or less periodic way.
It is clear that social networks today are essential to obtain a good presence in the network. We started using them somewhat late, but I think you have to work regularly and professionally to achieve a good profile, interesting and at the same time open and trustworthy for users, this is how you get to know your brand in some way .
On the other hand, I personally do not currently dedicate myself to psychotherapy, partly due to lack of time and hours of training in this field, because as you can see, my career has not been the most common and, honestly, I have not been able to be in everything . But now I have set up an online clinic where some reliable collaborators offer their services and I can tell you with sincerity, which is more difficult than it seems to get patients, even if it is well known. On the internet, most content is free and if you do not sell a product that you can "see and touch", then people are reluctant to pay for it. Many people write to us asking for psychological help, but at the time of contracting a payment service they back out, it's that simple.
Psychology and Mind: One of your specialties is emotional intelligence. What are the fundamental keys for a person to develop this capacity? Why is emotional intelligence so important to successfully face day to day?
MG: The key to the development of any capacity, whether emotional intelligence (IE) or any other, is of course first want to do it, and then follow the advice that you can give the professional as many times as necessary until it occurs the change. For me it is like the phrase "Genius is made with 1% talent, and 99% work", this is true and valid for practically everything we want to learn or achieve, regardless of what it is.
If we define emotional intelligence we will see that it refers to the human capacity to feel, understand, control and modify the emotional states of oneself and also of others. It is a type of psychological aptitude that governs and directs our emotions in all senses. It is a way of knowing how to enjoy the events of life from a state of understanding and self-acceptance. It also allows us to know how to act on our shortcomings and at the same time expand our strengths. All this allows us to become aware of our emotions, understand the feelings of others, tolerate the pressures and frustrations we endure both in work and in daily life, accentuating our ability to work as a team, for example, allowing us to adopt a more empathic and social in our interpersonal relationships. An adequate IE will give us, in short, more possibilities for personal development in all senses.