Общая психология, психология личности, история психологии | Мир педагогики и психологии №11 (28) Ноябрь, 2018

УДК 37.032

Дата публикации 30.11.2018

Measures against professional burnout of a university teacher

Банарцева Арина Владимировна
старший преподаватель кафедры иностранных языков, Самарский Государственный Технический Университет, РФ, г. Самара, agnetha@bk.ru
Калинина ЛюбовьВладимировна
преподаватель кафедры иностранных языков, Самарский Государственный Технический Университет, РФ, г. Самара, lu-vl-ka@mail.ru

Аннотация: Современная реальность ежесекундно создает стрессовые ситуации. Чтобы выжить и нормально функционировать человеку необходимо обладать навыками преодоления стрессовых ситуаций. Данная работа знакомит с некоторыми технологиями развития личности, которые используются в современной психологии для повышения стрессоустойчивости, помогают разобраться в себе и способствуют личностному развитию. Профессия преподавателя (не только ВУЗа, но и средней школы), наряду с врачами, военнослужащими, полицейскими и т. п., относится к такому роду деятельности, который особо подвержен такому явлению, как профессиональное выгорание. Это явление чаще всего возникает потому, что представители данных профессий особенно подвержены стрессу. Краткий обзор трудов ведущих специалистов в области когнитивной психологии, НЛП и нейротрансформинга, представленный в данной работе, может способствовать преодолению личностных и профессиональных кризисов не только у преподавателей, но и у представителей других профессий, которые находятся в зоне психологического риска.
Ключевые слова: стресс, развитие личности, современная психология, профессиональное выгорание, личностный кризис, преодоление личностного кризиса

Banartseva Arina Vladimirovna
Senior lecturer of Department of Foreign Languages, Samara State Technical University, Russia, Samara
Kalinina Lubov Vladimirovna
Lecturer of Department of Foreign Languages, Samara State Technical University Russia, Samara

Abstract: Current reality at every moment creates stressful situations. To survive and function normally, a person needs to have skills to overcome these situations. The work presents personal development technologies that are used in modern psychology to improve stress tolerance, help to sort ourselves out and contribute to personal development. The profession of a teacher (not only at university but also in secondary school), along with doctors, military personnel, police officers, etc., belongs to the activity subject to such a phenomenon as professional burnout. This phenomenon most often arises because representatives of these professions are particularly susceptible to stress. A brief overview of the works of leading experts in the field of cognitive psychology, NLP and neurotransforming, presented herewith can help to overcome personal and professional crises affecting teachers as well as representatives of other professions who are in the area of psychological risk.
Keywords: stress, personality development, modern psychology, professional burnout, identity crisis, solution to the crisis

The modern reality implies that a person is every second under the influence of stressful situations. We constantly have to cope with problems, overcome the obstacles, and sometimes make difficult decisions. Moreover, problems, as a rule, do not come in turn, but several at once and it is necessary to react to them immediately.

Problems in the family may cause divorce, problems at work discourage the desire to work and can lead to professional burnout. And if health problems are added, a person just gives up. As a rule, such situations end miserably.

Therefore, in order to survive and function normally in modern reality, a person must have the skills to overcome stressful situations.

The profession of a teacher (either at a university or at a secondary school), along with doctors, military personnel, police officers, etc., belongs to the activity subject to such a phenomenon as professional burnout. This phenomenon most often arises because representatives of these professions are particularly susceptible to stress.

In this paper, we, therefore, propose to scientifically define the term stress and consider the initial cause of its occurrence; to make out the nature of a human being and to introduce some methods and technologies of personal development, which are used in modern cognitive psychology to increase the resilience, help to sort yourself out and contribute to personal development

For the first time, the term stress was mentioned in 1935 by the famous Canadian scientist Hans Selye to denote “... the state of nonspecific stress in a living organism, manifested in real morphological changes in various organs, and especially in the endocrine glands controlled by the pituitary gland”. [3, с.23]

Whatever changes in the body stress causes and regardless of its origin, the body has to adapt to the difficulties that arise, thereby restoring its normal state.

The organism can cope with the arising difficulties with the help of two basic types of reactions: active, or struggle, and passive, escape from a problem, or readiness to tolerate it. “If poison is introduced into the body, escape is impossible, but the reaction can still be of two types: either chemical destruction of the poison or peaceful coexistence with it. Equilibrium is established by removing poison from the body, or the body learns to ignore poison. ” [4, с. 13]

Throughout its existence, mankind has tried to formulate various ideas on how to achieve peace and happiness, by following paths of technical and political progress, with the help of a high standard of living, enforcement of laws or strict commitment to the principles and teachings of a leader, sage or Prophet. But history has proven over and over again that none of these tools can be considered reliable and effective.

Man needs more natural ideals than those he is guided by. Selye’s Codex is based on the belief that in order to achieve peace of mind and self-fulfillment, people must work in the name of a goal that seems ambitious to them. People of any profession, creative or technical, as a rule, suffer greatly if they are prevented from the opportunity to do their favorite work. One can only imagine how hard it is for energetic persons to endure forced inaction, for example, in case of illness or after retirement. Although not all people are designed this way. There are types of people that only need simple contemplation, without active participation. And that’s normal too.

Contrary to popular belief, we should not - and cannot - avoid stress. But we can use it for our own purposes. We only need to know its mechanisms and develop an appropriate philosophy of life.

According to H. Selye, motivation is one of the ways to overcome stress. Living beings are prompted to action by various impulses, among which the natural desire to procreate, to survive and be happy occupies a central place. Satisfaction of instincts, the need for self-fulfillment, the desire for wealth and power, engagement in creative work, the achievement of goals - all of these motives in combination with many others determine our behavior.

“Lack of motivation is the greatest spiritual tragedy, destroying all life foundations.” [4, с. 73]

There is also such an important concept as a life goal. Whatever goals we strive for, the link between stress and goal achievement is obvious. Mental stress, failure, self-doubt - these are the most harmful stressors. They often cause migraines, peptic ulcer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, mental disorders, suicides, or simply a hopelessly unhappy life.

Neither immediate nor distant goals are the ultimate goal that would justify all our actions. We shouldn’t aim too high or overburden ourselves with impossible tasks. Everyone has their own limits. But within the frame of our innate qualities, we should do our best and strive for the excellence. Achievement of excellence is a wonderful goal, which, among other things, brings respect, recognition and love of those closest to you and strangers. [4, с. 98]

A man with his highly developed nervous system is particularly prone to mental trauma. There are many techniques to help avoid or minimize them. Here are some of the most helpful ones offered by Hans Selye.

First, it must be recognized that perfection is impossible. Every achievement has its peak to strive and we should be content with this.

Secondly, whatever life situation you face, you should first consider whether it is worth fighting. It is important to focus on the bright side of life and on actions that can improve your situation. Arbitrary distraction is the best way to reduce stress. You must learn to appreciate the joy of genuine simplicity of life.

It should also be remembered that nothing discourages more than failure, and nothing encourages more than success. Even after a crushing defeat, the best way to fight with the depressing thought of failure is to think of past successes. [4, с. 121]

An important, but unpleasant business, if it is necessary to achieve a goal, should not be postponed. The faster you complete it, the less it will act negatively on you.

It is necessary to take into account that people are not born equal, although they, of course, should have equal opportunities. In a free society, the progress of a person depends on his achievements.

Finally, do not forget that there is no ready-made recipe for success, suitable for all. People are different, and our problems are different too. Our only common feature is obedience for the biological laws that govern all living organisms, including humans. [4, с. 123]

Personality development is part of overall human development. Human development is a complex life-long process. In addition to personal development, this process includes both physical and mental development.

Discourse on the development as a process is a discourse on the dynamics of this process, about its various mechanisms. The development is carried out in a joint activity of a child and an adult, in the process of studying or training; development can be the result of resolving internal contradictions, etc. This process is many-sided and complex. [7]

The subject of personal development attracted many researchers, both domestic and foreign. In this paper, we consider the approaches to this process of such specialists in cognitive psychology as T. Trobe, S. Kovalyov and A. Ellis.

If you think about it, in our culture it is difficult to remain completely unfamiliar with the problems of stress and the crises to which it leads. More and more people experiencing personal transformation experience a spiritual crisis when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. It seems to them that the familiar world is collapsing, the old value systems are losing their meaning, and the very basis of personal reality is undergoing radical changes. Such people can be deeply anxious, have difficulties in everyday life, work and relationships with others, and even worry about their mental health. [1]

However, there is a different view, already quite widespread among mental health professionals and researchers of spiritual development. The crisis is viewed as “... transformation, the possibility of physical and emotional healing, as the path to higher levels and new ways of being.” [1, с.3]

In his book “Beyond Fear. The Transformation of Negative Emotions” T. Trobe addresses the problem of the destruction of internal behavior scenarios that hinder our happiness. In his opinion, this is the underlying problem that we face in a relationship. It affects almost all aspects of our life. It is difficult to destroy old models of behavior, and the main problem is how we see and represent ourselves. [5]

Infant psychological traumas analysis is the first step in the process of personality transformation. We identify ourselves with “…our wounded internal Emotional Child”. [5, с. 3] Troub gives such a name for this emotional state, because of the strong emotions being beyond our control and consciousness.

The second step is to realize that the internal Emotional Child is not the real self. When we realize it, our life will change. [5, с.3]

The fact that Emotional Child rules our life may show itself in many ways. One of them is that we repeat the same behavior models and do not understand the reasons of it. Another may be any kind of addiction. There also may be different accidents or diseases that influence negatively our organisms and emotional state. As a result, we disengage ourselves from life and reality and start feeling despair and futility.

Being in such state of mind, we do not realize that there is something more inside.

Deep infant psychological traumas make us constantly feel fear, shame and distrust. It is necessary to reconcile it, learn how to live and cope with it, submit it and not to be submitted.

T. Troub suggests several efficient ways.          

Meditation. Everyone has the internal ability to observe and understand. Much experience is required to maintain it. Practicing meditation, our consciousness is getting more mature. It is very important to observe without judgement. As our internal observer becomes more experienced, we will be able to control our feelings. It is possible to learn how and why we react in different situations, why there is so much fear and need for love and concern, and why it is so difficult to let anyone become closer. Meditation helps us perceive everyday life. [5, с.9]

Reconciliation with expectations. Expectations are the search for something ‘outside’, while that something can only be found ‘inside’. Expectations are the attempt to fill in our ‘energetic holes’ with anything external to alleviate internal emptiness. Every expectation is a psychological trauma, but we often do not recognize it. All unfulfilled expectations make us feel desperate and disappointed. [5, с.23]

Internal compromises struggle. It is impossible to avoid compromises if our consciousness is under the influence of fear or shame. The internal Emotional Child believes that our environment controls our well-being. If a person adheres this belief, his actions will be under control of other people’s opinions and actions. Thus, a person cannot live his own life. [5, с.28]

The major challenge of compromises is the profundity of this internal process. We are not aware of our compromises. Meanwhile, we can have a feeling that something is wrong. The internal compromise includes the process of destruction of our self. The way out of compromise is to acquire the ability to be yourself.

Troub suggests three stages of discontinuing of nonvoluntary iteration of similar reactions:

  1. Stage of acknowledgement. Comprehension of our identifications; and beliefs and expectations as a result of this process.
  2. Stage of immersion. Willingness to feel pain and fear following identifications.
  3. Stage of risk. Willingness to take risks and dare to lead yourself out of identifications.

Neurotransforming is another universal method to manage both internal and external realities. It is based on the Law of Implementation. According to it, our success and failures are already in our mind. [2, с.15]

In his book “The Basis of Neurotransforming and Psychotechnologies of Managing the Reality” S. Kovalyov represents the unique method of both contact approach (when a person first thinks correctly, then acts correctly) and distant approach (when a person only thinks correctly) to the conditions and circumstances of one’s life with the aim of positive changes. [2, с.5]

S. Kovalyov states seven principles of neurotransforming:

1. Integrity with yourself.

2. The importance of having clear, sound and reasonable aims accepted by your subconscious mind. The only goals can be achieved are those accepted by one’s subconsciousness.

3. Sensitivity or (and) sensibility of the Way Signs perception.

4. Mental flexibility in adjustment and alteration of your behavior according to the situation.

5. Mental process of positive transforming the circumstances.

6. Importance coordination, i. e. decreasing and holding it on a low level.

7. Abandoning of any kind of addictions. It contributes to taking one’s own decisions and helps to control your life. [2, с.71-78]

In conclusion, it is necessary to mention the conception of Albert Ellis, the founder of sustainable emotive therapy. According to this conception, a person is defined as “…self-appraised, self-sustained and self-speaking”. [6, с.10] Furthermore, a person is born with a certain potential including two aspects: rational and irrational, constructive and destructive, aspiring to love and personal development and aspiring to destruction and self-accusation, etc. As A. Ellis affirms, psychological problems appear when a person tends to follow primitive preferences (yearning for love, approval, etc.) and wrongly assumes such preferences to be indicators of his welfare. A human being is extremely subjected to any kind of influence. Therefore, Ellis is undisposed to consider the labile complexity of human nature as a primitive subject, whether a psychoanalytic reduction or a favourable psychological climate of a therapy focused on a client is concerned.

The main idea of his book is rather original and perfectly responds to the aim of this article. It can be defined as follows. For the most part, human afflictions and deep emotional disorders are utterly reasonless and, moreover, unethical. When we allow our anxieties and depressions rule our lives, we act against ourselves and consequently treat ourselves unjust and dishonest.

In summary of this research, the following conclusions can be made. Human personality is an utterly complicated and vulnerable system. To attain psychical equilibrium and self – expression, a human being must work hard for the sake of an ambitious goal. A person engaged in any profession, either creative or technical, must have the opportunity to do what he (she) really loves. Any occupation must bring an emotional satisfaction. Therefore, it is necessary to establish working conditions encouraging personal growth and internal development.

Список литературы

1. Гроф С., Гроф К. Духовный кризис. Когда преобразование личности становится кризисом. Независимая фирма “Класс”, изд-во Трансперсонального института, Москва, 2000 г.
2. Ковалёв С. Основы нейротрансформинга или психотехнологии управления реальностью. Изд-во “Профит-стайл”, Москва, 2009 г.
3. Селье Г. На уровне целого организма. Изд-во «НАУКА», Москва, 1972 г.
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