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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 84-85

Adopted group therapy approach for coping with sadness among medical students


1 Department of Psychiatry, JSSMC, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission08-Sep-2019
Date of Decision30-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance31-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M Kishor
Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_71_19

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  Abstract 

Medical students are upcoming doctors, and their wellbeing is important for society. Mental health issues particularly depression is a matter of concern among the doctors in general as it usually not talked about. Medical education is considered stressful, and depressive symptoms are commonly reported among medical students across the world. There is need to address mental health issues at the earliest in medical colleges for students' well-being; more student-driven approaches should be incorporated. Group interventions are well recognized intervention strategies. An adopted single session of group approach is presented here.

Keywords: Coping with sadness, group therapy, medical students, mental health


How to cite this article:
Kishor M, Prabhu P, Bhargava S, Jayaram R, Sundararajan R. Adopted group therapy approach for coping with sadness among medical students. Int J Health Allied Sci 2020;9:84-5

How to cite this URL:
Kishor M, Prabhu P, Bhargava S, Jayaram R, Sundararajan R. Adopted group therapy approach for coping with sadness among medical students. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 15];9:84-5. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2020/9/1/84/275654



Medical students are upcoming doctors, and depression is a matter of concern among the doctors in general as it usually not talked about.[1] Medical education is considered stressful, and depressive symptoms are commonly reported among medical students across the world.[2] There is need to address mental health issues at the earliest in medical colleges for students' well-being; more student-driven approaches should be incorporated.[3] Group interventions are well-recognized intervention strategies.[4] Joseph Hersey Pratt is considered as the father of Group therapy for his pioneering observation that a group of people discuss their common problem in health-related issues and positive results emerge from such approach. Here, we have presented a brief adopted approach in group intervention for medical students on “Coping with sadness.” A total of 23 interested students were involved.

Students were divided randomly into groups of 6–8, along with a moderator. There were totally four groups each with a moderator. The moderators were oriented in preparation and had been exposed to a similar group session few days earlier, in which they themselves had been participants and psychiatrist moderated a session on “dealing with anger.” The psychiatrist only supervised the group approach in “coping with sadness” and facilitated the summarization of learning at the end without active participation in any of the groups on the day of event.

The groups were informed about the rules of the group approach. Maintaining confidentiality of not revealing the discussion outside the group was agreed upon. Such measures ensure congenial atmosphere of mutual trust among the group members. Apart from this, students were also asked to narrate only their own experience of sadness and coping with it. They were informed to avoid taking specific name of an individual in any of their narratives. To reduce distractions, the students agreed not to use mobile phones so has to have uninterrupted conversations. Students were also advised to be nonjudgmental, while listening to narratives, instead, they were asked to reflect upon from each person's experience.

The first round had each member of the group, including the moderator, introducing themselves and to talk about their experiences about sadness and coping with it. Each member was given a maximum of 3 min in the first round. If, in case, the member wished to speak more, he/she was encouraged to do so in the subsequent rounds. This was done to ensure equal participation time among all members and to ensure that the session would take place within the stipulated period. The first round also acts as a process to develop rapport among the members.

Members were instructed not to interrupt during a narration, hence guaranteeing an uninterrupted flow of thought for the speaker. Following the first round, the second round further had 3 min to each member. In this round, the members could continue narrating their experiences from the previous round or ask questions to any other member on the experience shared. This round particularly saw many members resonating similar experience or methods of coping and that further led more members opening up about their experiences.

In the third round, members were asked to reflect upon what they had learned and how they had felt through the course of the session. Many positive responses were recalled from every member, deeming the session was useful. The students even suggested that they would prefer to have such sessions frequently. The thoughtfulness of the session was reflected upon. Many coping methods were recalled by the students, and they found the group approach as a safe space for their emotional experience.

At the end of the session, one member from every group summarized the shared experience. It was noted that the feedback from each group was similar and positive, with suggestion for more such sessions on different issues.

Some of the matters related to the group approach, in general, discussed at the end were students recalled that some raised significant emotional problems which members felt, professional consultation was needed, and it was encouraged. Gathering of students in more number would need more number of moderators. Moderators need to be exposed to such sessions before and trained. Time constraint poses a major problem as place and specific time for such sessions need to be after college hours. Maintenance of confidentiality was considered vital to the success of a group session. If violated by any member, the trust in such initiatives will be hampered. Certain topics such as relationship issues are sensitive and may require separation of groups based on gender, to allow all students to feel comfortable.

To conclude, “A problem shared is half solved.” The adopted group approach managed by students themselves is a promising method to encourage students to mutually share their experiences and coping mechanisms that they have utilized to overcome their problems. Such methods when carried out periodically in every college can greatly benefit students both in academic and nonacademic aspects.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Chandran S, Kishor M. Depression in doctors – Unsaid, untold, unexplored. J Med Sci Health 2017;3:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Rotenstein LS, Ramos MA, Torre M, Segal JB, Peluso MJ, Guille C, et al. Prevalence of depression, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation among medical students: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2016;316:2214-36.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Kishor M, Vinay HR, Kusuma KS, Kantanavar P. Young minds: A proposed model for students' wellbeing in educational institutions. Int J Health Allied Sci 2018;7:123-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Ezhumalai S, Muralidhar D, Dhanasekarapandian R, Nikketha BS. Group interventions. Indian J Psychiatry 2018;60:S514-21.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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