« Back
Psychological e-volunteering among Russian speakers
Poster Title: Psychological e-volunteering among Russian speakers
Submitted on 30 Dec 2014
Author(s): Olga Bermant-Polyakova PhD
This poster was presented at 10th World Conference of UNESCO Chair in Bioethics BIOETHICS, MEDICAL ETHICS AND HEALTH LAW at Jerusalem 6-8, Januar 2015
Poster Views: 3,364
View poster »

Poster Information
Abstract: Thousands of Russian speakers from 65 countries engage in collaborative work online that provides psychological support and psyho-educational help nonstop. An archive of transcripts at counts 20,000+ group discussions, subdivided into 100 categories.

During the last twelve years the amount of participants has grown significally, and now there are 30,000 Live Journal users, 120,000 participants from other social networks, more than one million comments on the site. We have about 400 posts and 2,8 million watches of post’s discussions per month.

Group dynamics ravels are never-ending story online. Looking through psychological glasses, within the community a group of trolling people, a work group and a basic assumptions groups (according to Wilfred Bion, 1970) of dependency, fight-flight and pairing are involved in the complex interplay. Maintainers put group dynamics into discussion in Processing post weekly.

We have also faced the phenomena of polyphony of ethical attitudes which are brought into e-volunteering. For more than twenty five centuries European culture has formed the number of rules and principles, so today four positions on this matter co-exist in the social-cultural reality. Their prototypes have come from medicine and may be viewed in historical sequence as follows:
Model of Hippocrates
Model of Paracelsus
Model of Jeremy Bentham
Bioethics by Van Rensselaer Potter

The most discussed topics in psychological e-volunteering are dealing with ‘conflicting loyalties’ situation. We find that the process of decision making in such case increases within the person the contradictions between different internalized ethical attitudes. Ambitendency leads to emotional discomfort, which could be worked through.
Summary: An ethical message is delivered to society, into the mind and into daily life and behavior, by traditional educational and legal ways. This task may be realized by a novel way of e-volunteering.
We report about setting, psychotherapeutic effects, management issues, ethical dilemmas in our work, based on seven years practice of co-directing the community “Be Your Own Shrink” on Live Journal.
References: Bermant-Polyakova O.V. (2014) Psychodiagnostics and existence. – Concept. 2014. Modern science researches. Issue 2. ART 54461. – URL:
Bermant-Polyakova O.V., Krasnoshtein E.A. (2011) Group Psychotherapy Online: Phenomena, Dynamics, Group Process Management // Psychotherapy, 5 (101): 73-78.
Donath J. S. (1998) Identity and deception in the virtual community // Kollok, P. and Smith, M. (eds) Communities in cyberspace. London: Routledge.
Hedman E., El Alaoui S., Lindefors N., Andersson E., Ruck C., Ghaderi A., Kaldo V., Lekander M., Andersson G., Ljotsson B. (2014) Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Internet- vs. group-based cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder: 4-year follow-up of a randomized trial // Behaviour Research and Therapy, 59:20-9.
Li X. (2011) Factors influencing the willingness to contribute information to online communities // New Media Society, 13:279. – URL:
Report abuse »
Ask the author a question about this poster.
Ask a Question »

Creative Commons