The Practice of Intuitive Drawing in Overcoming the Consequences of Traumatic Stress in Combat Participants



The conditions of modern professional activity of special units of internal affairs bodies are characterized by a significant intensity of mental stress, as well as a wide variety and heterogeneity of circumstances that can lead a person into a state of affect, complete disorientation in the environment. Employees need to assess the situation impartially and make adequate decisions taking into account its unpredictability. In such conditions, the ability to self-control over your feelings and behavior is very important. A special role in this process is played by the mental state, which is an important part of the regulation of behavior and is significant in any kind of activity. Extreme conditions of service create the need for a psychological study of the emotional states in which the fighters are after participating in hostilities in order to provide them with timely and necessary psychological assistance. The purpose of this work is to find the most effective methods of restoring vital resources, especially in conditions of transformation of society and the growth of social tension. The author adheres to the hypothesis that the art-therapeutic practice of intuitive drawing is effective in the psychological correction of negative states. The proposed experience of working with negative emotions of police officers is effective as a way of expressing personal problems, which makes it possible for a psychologist not only to determine the direction for psychological work, but also to use this practice in correcting the negative mental state of an employee. Art therapy, as a creative process, allows you to feel and understand yourself, express thoughts and feelings freely, get rid of negative experiences. By drawing, the employee gives an outlet to his feelings, desires, dreams, rebuilds his attitude to various situations and traumatic images, and also plunges into positive feelings for a while, distracting himself from negative thoughts and states.

General Information

Keywords: professional activity, mental states, regulation, special units, intuitive drawing

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


Received: 07.03.2023


For citation: Sbitneva O.Yu. The Practice of Intuitive Drawing in Overcoming the Consequences of Traumatic Stress in Combat Participants. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2023. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 425–436. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2023.309. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Azevedo, G., Filippovich J. S. (2020). How art therapy supports development of self-consciousness. Collection of Humanitarian Studies, 3 (24), 18–22. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

Olga Y. Sbitneva, senior psychologist, Mobile Unit of Special Purpose (OMON) “Berkut” Donetsk People’s Republic, Russia, e-mail:



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