After seconds your should be redirected to new site.

Primus inter pares

Masterclass: a crash course in dealing with stress

Masterclass: a crash course in dealing with stress

Sechenov First MSMU hosted the training workshop "Partnership in education. Facilitation of relationships between students and teachers" starring Max Schupbach (Ph D., USA, clinical supervisor) and Nadezhda Tvorogova (Doctor of Psychology, professor, psychotherapist, Head of the Department of Pedagogics and Medical Psychology).

Initially, it was assumed that this would be a master-class by American psychologist Max Schupbach, but, due to the difference in mentality, our guest at first decided that we are discussing the professional burnout. So, the matters required moderation of the Russian psychotherapist.

 The organizer of the masterclass – Nadezhda Tvorogova – acted as an assistant coach of the masterclass. As a result, the audience was presented somehow bright and up-interactive training for students and teachers, making them aware of how to deal with the stress, associated with introduction of new technologies into the routine work and studying.

 Opening the workshop Nadezhda Tvorogova systematized the actual stressors for teachers and their students. In particular, previously the training was carried out mainly at the patient’s bedside. Teachers not only taught how to diagnose, collect medical history and prescribe treatment, but also how to approach a patient while talking to him, when tactile contact is available, how to reveal a diagnosis. The focus of the studying was the matter of communication between teacher and student, tutor and apprentice. The teacher acted as a guide to the professional environment, translated motivation, values, specific communication to his students. In the words of Plutarch: "The apprentice is not a vessel to be filled, but a torch to be inflamed, and only those who are inflamed themselves are capable of doing this". Traditionally, this was the basic principle of teaching techniques in Russian higher education.

 Times they are changing: the educational process is being more and more automated. Lectures, webinars may be delivered via Internet or by correspondence. The computer testing is also being implemented, along with so-called e-learning programmes. The simulation centers are replacing the training at the bedside.

 The European quality management system of 47 items has been implemented. One of the key objectives of the system is to improve the quality of products (services) and consumer satisfaction. This covers only the activities related to shaping of desired result, valuable to the customer.

 Teacher, tutor, lecturer in the sublime sense of these words, who develops true spirituality and keen professionalism, now seems to be remodeled into the service industry agent using this or that way of teaching. There is a lot of doubts, questions and worries if we lose the accumulated potential of the Russian healthcare system. Don’t we chase up for yesterday? Today, there are still more discussions on personalized medicine. Should we leave behind the personalized education? Why do we need changes? What will be the new role, duties and workload of the teacher? So, the teacher is getting stressed, which affects his students.

 What could be the solution? Apparently, it’s crucial to be bold taking responsibility, turning thus challenges and problems into opportunities. And then, the changes will be right for the better.



Max Schupbach does not offer ready-made answers, but he helps to derive conclusions on one’s own. You can consider a real case and utter the problem you are concerned with to work in a group moderated by the leader helping to find the way out. He explains that even in a stressful situation it is possible to make the right decision rendering his model as three-dimensional space – a geometric model of the world. But instead of three homogeneous reference axes or vectors representing height, width and length he proposes the other coordinates: consensus (mutual satisfaction), dream (the desired outcome) and essence (external challenges and events causing the stress).


X - consensus

Y - dream

Z - essence

 It is necessary to accept the changes, to look for new solutions and ways of development. Man lives and works some certain way, manufacturing his product. All of a sudden, some external or internal challenges and shocks could emerge, urging for changes. That’s why it is crucial to change the individual conscience, enabling thus operating under somehow new conditions. To do this, one should analyze the successes and failures, draw conclusions, harmonizing, embedding one’s activities, dreams and aspirations to the actual reality, reaching a consensus, after all. Challenges and changes facilitate the self-development process and the self-transition to a new level, becoming thus "the stimuli to revival".

 The event continued with the group work: on the third hand it looked like an exercise called "the box of apples." Everyone could imagine what he was like an apple in a box occupying some certain position, say, in the center or surrounded by other apples or even cornered; and then, to discuss one’s vision of why this is the case, to determine the direction that would lead to positive resolution of the situation, helping to overcome the troubles.

 Max Schupbach and Nadezhda Tvorogova outlined the psychological techniques of coping with the stress. And this was a great job of both Russian and American psychologists – the masterclass on the skills of living, experiencing the stress in an appropriate manner and effective communications in this eternally changing world.