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Melehin A.I. (2020). Remote cognitive behavioral therapy for viral anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 13(3), 39–47. doi: 10.11621/ npj.2020.0306

Abstract

Relevance. The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the mental health of the population leading to an increase in anxiety disorders, depression, sleep disorders, eating disorders and alcohol abuse. This situation urgently demanded the introduction of a new method of providing psychological assistance, taking into account the inaccessibility of its full-time forms (“face to face”) in an epidemic.

The objective of the article is to acquaint Russian mental health professionals with the specifics of the application and the effectiveness of short-term distance cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy in minimizing viral anxiety associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Results. The general specificity of conducting distance cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is described, its advantages and disadvantages are highlighted. The components of remote examination of the mental state of a patient with viral anxiety are described. The modules are presented and the effectiveness of the E.M. Anderson short-term protocol of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is shown. It is aimed at influencing the patient’s anxiety caused by the virus by minimizing dysfunctional strategies for regulating negative emotions (anxious rumination, catastrophization, health anxiety) and replacing them with more flexible ones (acceptance and responsibility, a sense of optimal awareness, a positive time perspective for the future, decatastrophization).

Conclusions. The available data show that in the digital age, the use of adapted distance protocols of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy can be an effective tactic for reducing dysfunctional viral anxiety by promoting adaptive emotion regulation strategies, which has significant potential for improving public health in Russia.

Received: 09/01/2020
Accepted: 09/16/2020
Pages: 39-47
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2020.0306

Sections: Psychology and Medicine;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no39-2020/npj_no39_2020_039-047.pdf

Keywords: cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy; anxiety; health anxiety; cyberpochondria; viral anxiety

Available Online 30.10.2020

For citing this article:

Melehin A.I. (2020). Remote cognitive behavioral therapy for viral anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 13(3), 39–47. doi: 10.11621/ npj.2020.0306

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