Fifteen Years After: Methodology and Ethics of Psychological Help to Young Adults Who Survived Terror Act at Beslan School in Their Childhood



Main concepts of a theory of psychological trauma including seeing trauma as «a double-edged sword», and a concept of posttraumatic personality growth are outlined. Some new data obtained from the most recent (2017—2018) qualitative study among young adults who survived terror act at Beslan school in 2004, are presented. Issues of potential long-term sequels of unmetabolized trauma; of a probability of a secondary traumatization of a patient under conditions of a directive psychotherapy; and probability of unconscious transmission of unmetabolized trauma to the next generations are raised. Fundamental differences between medical and psychological models of psychotherapeutic help including the differences between discourse of «impact» vs discourse of «reciprocity» are discussed. Fallacy of equating of mental suffering and illness is stressed. Psychological counseling and psychotherapy are considered as a transformation of a latent potential of suffering into strengthening of the ego.

General Information

Keywords: multiple trauma, shock trauma, strain trauma, alienation, disorganization, posttraumatic personality growth, metabolization of trauma

Journal rubric: Psychological Practice

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Gulina M.A., Ramonova A.A., Karlova A.A. Fifteen Years After: Methodology and Ethics of Psychological Help to Young Adults Who Survived Terror Act at Beslan School in Their Childhood. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2019. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 46–55. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2019150105. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Marina A. Gulina, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Methodology of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor, CITY University, London, United Kingdom, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Alena A. Ramonova, Psychologist, Counselor, Head of Department of Inclusive Education, Faculty of Psychology, Khetagurov North Ossetian University, Vladikavkaz, Russia, e-mail:

Anastasia A. Karlova, Psychologist, Researcher, Psychology Department, City, University of London, London, Great Britain, e-mail:



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