Online cognitive-behavioral therapy of students' emotional distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords:online cognitive-behavioral therapy, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, resilience, 3D SAM.
Purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic is currently being transformed into the second wave, associated with mental health. Notwithstanding the fact that students have not been considered a vulnerable group for a long time during the pandemic, recent research shows that they experience acute stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression under the circumstances of forced social isolation. The study aims to examine emotional distress in students during the pandemic COVID-19, and to develop online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for students.
Methods. The study applies Ryff Scale for Psychological Well-Being, Beck Depression Inventory, Protective Factors for Resilience Scale (PFRS), Beck Anxiety Inventory. The computer program Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) was used for thematic analysis.
The results of assessing psychological well-being indicate that subscales of environmental mastery, the establishment of quality ties to other, self-acceptance, and the pursuit of meaningful goals and a sense of purpose in life are represented at the lowest levels. Therefore, developing an online CBT for students was focused on these aspects of students’ psychological well-being. The results of linear regression analysis indicate that anxiety, depression and resilience taken together is a significant predictor of psychological well-being. However, only depression is an independent significant predictor of students' psychological well-being. Considering anxiety and loneliness as the key themes mentioned in the students’ essays, as well as social anxiety, aligned with the deficit of communicative situations during pandemic, online CBT aims to reduce depression and loneleness, anxiety and social anxiety. Therefore, the online CBT is called 3 -D SAM. The content and structure of online CBT for students are aligned with key categories of cognitive processes, affects, time, represented in the students’ essays, and the methodological foundations of CBT.
Conclusions. The online CBT is an important innovative psychological self-support for students during COVID-19 pandemic.
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