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“What Should I Do with My Pregnancy?”: Psychological Counseling Strategies (As Reflected In Online Discussion) 172
Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of Human Psychology, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg, Russia
PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Human Psychology Department, Institute of Psychology, The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg, Russia
The paper addresses the problem of psychological counseling provided to a woman trying to decide whether to keep her pregnancy or terminate it. The authors argue that in modern Russian psychological counseling practice dealing with abortion-related issues there are two main approaches: pre-abortion counseling (aimed at abortion prevention) and reproductive choice counseling (trying to make it possible for a woman to come to her own autonomic and responsible decision regarding her own future). The paper analyzes the strategies of psychological counseling on the issue of keeping or terminating the pregnancy. The data was obtained from open online consultations on a Russian professional psychological platform b17.ru. We analyzed 36 consultations that consisted of 1335 posts in general, including 295 posts from the professional counselors. Inductive content analysis and cluster analysis methods were applied. As a result, five strategies of psychological counseling were defined: transmitting negative attitudes to abortion, transmitting the acceptance of abortion, infantilizing of the client, rational analysis of the situation and regulating the client’s emotional state. The issues of assessing the consequences and the effectiveness of these strategies are discussed.
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