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Professor Asya Berberyan Addresses Psychological Support in Academia during the Pandemic at Psychotherapy Congress
On June 24-29, Head of RAU Department of Psychology Professor Asya Berberyan participated in the Online Pre-Congress Program “Balint Conference New possibilities of balint groups. Coronainnovations” of the IX World Congress for Psychotherapy. There, Professor Berberyan delivered a welcoming speech on behalf of the Armenian branch of the Psychotherapeutic Professional League, which she chairs, and presented her research “Distance Learning in Higher Education System during the Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities” at the plenary meeting.
The Online Pre-Congress Program, held through the support of Russian-Armenian University, brought together about 100 experts and 1000 participants from all over the world into the realm of psychotherapy, where they discussed new professional opportunities and challenges and shared their ideas and experience. Among the topics of discussion were Psychotherapy to aid residents, families, groups, society in whole in times of pandemic caused by the coronavirus, Disturbances in mental health and psychological wellbeing and new opportunities for personal growth in the world during and after the pandemic caused by СОVID-19, Psychotherapeutic aid for children, families, societies in the world during and after the pandemic caused by СОVID-19, Readiness of psychotherapy for upcoming global challenges.
Prof. Berberyan highlighted that the drastic change in the educational sphere caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has turned to an overwhelming challenge and experiment for the majority of universities, which in its turn accelerated the digitalization of the higher education system.
Her research introduced some of the psychological difficulties that can emerge in distance learning, such as lack of communication, organizational issues related to working hours and working space, psychoemotional problems, anxiety, negative thoughts and decrease in mood. Through various research methods, including survey and analysis, the paper proposed several methods of psychological support. “When managing a crisis, it is important to track the borderline between your Self and circumstances and ask, 'Am I managing the crisis or my anxiety does?' In difficult times we need to find support in our Selves,” she said.
The Pre-Congress Program was organized by World Council for Psychotherapy, All-Russian Professional Psychotherapeutic League and Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis.