Modification of Fyodor Vasilyuk and Elena Sheryagina’s Technique of Comforting Strategies



The article highlights the importance of exploring comforting strategies in the context of the modern social situation of development in young people. The authors emphasize its dramatic negative effect on young people’s mental health and describe current trends in psychological research to resist destructive social processes and to value comforting, compassion and self-compassion strategies as important for psychological well-being. The article presents a modification of F. Vasilyuk and E. Sheryagina’s Comforting Strategies Technique. The key element of the modification is a new methodology of data processing which relies on the concept of social support and the reflection and activity approach to dealing with learning challenges. The authors discuss outcomes of a validation study which used independent expert ratings and correlation analysis on a sample of 282 subjects that included school and college students, students of university programmes in psychology and teacher training, practicing psychologists and IT-specialists. The modified technique can be used to carry out differentiated evaluation of the support quality in different age and professional groups by identifying the correlation between the types of support differing in the efficacy to normalize emotional state and to create conditions for the development of mind.

General Information

Keywords: experiencing (perezhivanie), comforting, empathy, social situation of development, social support, types of support, antisupport, formal support, reflective support, instrumental support, emotional support, compassion, self-compassion, reflection and activity approach, cultural-historical psychology

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Kholmogorova A.B., Zaretsky V.K., Klimenkova E.N., Volozhanina N.S. Modification of Fyodor Vasilyuk and Elena Sheryagina’s Technique of Comforting Strategies. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2019. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 79–92. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2019150109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Victor K. Zaretsky, PhD in Psychology, Professor, Chair of Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elizaveta N. Klimenkova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Lecturer, Department of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, State professional educational establishment Complex «South-West»,Psychologist, school psychologist, the structural subdivision "Sevastopol", Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Natalia S. Volozhanina, Student, Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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