Dr. Marcia Alves Tassinari, Wagner Durange


Thinking about aspects of contemporaneity as representatives of a new order of life, of fluid dimension, implying a dynamization of subjectivity and society becomes a difficult endeavor in the search for understanding modern man. In addition, it requires a (re) evaluation of the concept of health to get healthier practices. In this context, it is essential the questioning of the role of psychology to adapt to new counseling practices that are most appropriate to respond to social demands. The Psychological Guard (Plantão Psicológico) emerges as a powerful proposal from the Psychology service for XXI century challenges, especially the proposals based on the Person-Centered Approach. An example of this type of counseling is offered.

KEYWORDS: contemporaneity; Person Centered Approach; Psychological Guard.



We enter the second decade of the XXI century and we can see how our lives are quickly changing. This situation demands constant effort and attitudes to face new problems and challenges that lead us to search for personal and professional alternatives. This work was developed with four hands, from the review of one of its authors’ course completion work and the reflections of the other. The teacher-student coupling mixes in the text weaving the strands which form the network. The purpose of this article is to reflect about the practice and theory of a psychological care modality which has been called the Psychological Guard (Plantão Psicológico), to list its attributes and some areas of application and to consider it as a possibility of intervention with a lot of potential to promote the health of our contemporary society. In order to do this, we will try to build a road with some reflections on the paradigms that health, psychology and contemporaneity have faced. The choice of this topic is relevant because it shows the challenges psychology must face as health promoter. It challenges (as science) and to itself (in contemporaneity) asking for a continuous (re) assessment (both in theory and in practice) in order not to succumb to the complex and rapid movements of this era.

Through supervised practices in clinical humanistic psychology where one of the authors works as an intern in the guard and the other as a supervisor and coordinator of Psychological Guard (Plantão Psicológico), we realized that this type of psychological assistance can offer significant contributions: as health promoter with big social amplitude, economically viable, with political flexibility - the availability of the service adapts to the reality of the institutions, in general. An independent service ("free of time and space") adapted to emergency situations and responding according to the time.


Perhaps the main feature and challenge of this time are the rapid and intense transience of phenomena. This process involves and penetrates biological, psychological and social life sometimes setting, sometimes defacing the reality of persons and throwing them to uncertainties and anxieties.

We found in Bauman

“Liquid -modern " is a society where the conditions on which its members act change in a shorter time than the required for consolidation of habits, routines and forms of action. The liquidity of life and society feed and reinvigorate each other. Liquid life, as well as the liquid -modern society cannot maintain the shape or stay on course for too long.

Therefore, changing society won by a landslide to the stagnant society (Masi 2000). One dimension of fluidity (liquid), and not a stronger one, has radicalized the dynamics of life, embracing and taking us to the rough currents of contemporary chaos. In this sense, it has been important to think over the psychological way of doing and the social demand and also to question and critically analyze the exercise of the profession.

Psychologists’ work in health care institutions dates back to the beginning of the Twentieth Century and emerged as a proposal to integrate psychology to medical education. At that time,

The main cause of morbidity and mortality were infectious diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Currently, diseases are more related to lifestyle, environmental and ecological causes and to behavioral patterns (MARTINS, ROCHAS JR, 2001).

How could we respond today to health issues related to lifestyle, environmental and ecological causes and behavioral patterns? How can we work their promotion in this context? What would be the contributions of psychology? Maybe an important aspect is the reinvention of the role that rests upon Psychology (and science) in the XXI Century to transpose the emerging paradigm


Health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not consisting only of the absence of disease or illness " broadened the concept to other instances. And to map / relieve actual health status and living conditions of societies, the WHO, with the intention of helping government agencies to create more efficient policies, presented the Report on the World Health (2001) which outlined a number of social factors that directly and indirectly influence the way of life (and health) of people.

This report identifies seven factors including the nature of modern urbanization and stress factors, such as congestion and environmental pollution, poverty and dependence on a cash-based economy, with high levels of violence and reduced social support (DESJARLAS et al. 1995). Increasing poverty of urban population, causing high unemployment indexes and poor living conditions, exposing thousands of migrants to social stress and an higher risk of mental disorders due to a lack of social support networks and the conflicts, wars and social unrest, are associated with high rates of mental health problems. They also point out the isolation, the lack of transport and communications and limited educational and economic opportunities.

Among the different economic strata, the multiple roles played by women in society put them at higher risk than other people of the community in relation to mental and behavioral disorders. Besides, this woman has "on her" the task of educating her children; education that often falls short of what it is necessary for the healthy development of young people who later will create values in society, based on that relationship.

A radical change in the design of the family also happened. A provider stopped existing and this role was divided between the couple. It became easy to undo a marriage. The aim of both, father and mother, agreed on the provision of material resources for the supposed "training" of children. And the original bond came in second (or third) level. The school, with some exceptions, did not adapt to that new social demand, continuing a fruitless effort to provide "contents" besides sharing the love of children. The result is that the personality of children is being structured dysfunctional and the incidence of violence in major cities raised further than expected. Moreover, the school (and all of us) has shown negligence in the treatment of a "contemporary cancer" called bullying. Acts of intimidation and violence occur mainly in elementary school. It is true that every day, who knows, millions of children and teenagers around the world are affected by bullying; whether victims or perpetrators, the trend is that the victims become aggressors. Although some areas are still reluctant to discuss the racial and ethnic prejudice in the context of concerns about mental health, psychological, sociological and anthropological research has already shown that racism is linked to the perpetuation of mental problems.

Continuing with the transformational stage, we find one of the most significant changes of the -Twentieth century: the introduction of a network of telecommunications and information (with large contribution of the Internet). This device can be considered as the most important phenomenon of the century facilitating the advent of globalization. And from that, contemporary life and its derivatives assumed speed as a sine qua non condition, the breakdown of time and space, categories that are being transformed in a radical way (MASI 2000).

Evidence suggests that representations in the media influence the levels of violence, sexual behavior and interest in pornography, as well as exposure to violence in video games increases aggressive behavior and other aggressive tendencies (DILL, DILL 1998).

Today, advertising expenditures worldwide are overflowing by a third the growth of the world economy. Aggressive marketing is playing a substantial role in the globalization of tobacco and alcohol use among youth, increasing the risk of disorders related to substance use and associated physical conditions (Klein, 1999).

We can see through just a few topics of the report on World Health (2001) how the global crisis has being affecting all aspects of our lives, that is health, environment , economy, social relationships, technology, politics. The crisis reaches intellectual, moral, spiritual and scientific dimensions. Capra (1995) highlights as an impressive landmark the fact that specialists in various fields are not able to respond to inquiries, to the urgent problems arising in their respective areas.

These mechanisms are combined into complex with "two noticeable contemporary attitudes”: individualization and social apathy.

Bauman (2001) , in a sociological analysis says that

The new time immediacy radically changes the shape of human society - and the highlight is the way in which humans care (or do not care, if applicable) of collective chores, or rather the way they transform (or do not transform, if applicable) certain issues in collective matters (p. 146-147)

Finally, through the media, health as a human and existential issue can be shared by all sectors of society. For those social segments, health and disease involve a complex interaction between physical, psychological, social and environmental impacts of the human condition and their meanings, express a relationship that permeates the individual and social body, the human being as a whole. Therefore, health and illness are categories that bring a historical, cultural, political and ideological burden.

We conclude that we need to understand the present man - holder of a liquid life, immersed in the dynamics of a liquid -modern society- to begin displaying a more assertive and healthier conception of health. If, in fact, we understand this man as a whole being engaged in contemporaneity issues, we then need to promote health based on this understanding. It would be unwise to deny or even underestimate the deep change that the advent of "fluid modernity” produced in the human condition (Bauman, 2001).


While writing this paper, some events emerged in the dynamics of our lives, causing reflections, questions and pain.

We refer to disasters in the region Serrana / RJ, the war in Libya, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the slaughter at the school of Realengo / RJ , and the tornado in Alabama in the United States. The result of these fatalities was thousands of dead and wounded persons, exposed to the weather, refugees and homeless. In all these cases underlies a phenomenon - the emerging suffering.

In a report in the newspaper it is stated that the row to treat mental illnesses, such as the one of the author of the slaughter of the school of Realengo / RJ, lasts up to four months. (O Globo Journal - April 17, 2011). Watching the reactions of the Ministries of Health and Education, we perceive the total lack of preparation of the institutions for urgent situations and emergencies, showing, for example, ineffective psychological and social care to affected families.

We know how much this emerging suffering is impacting the life of these people (and ours); then we could ask how could psychology help?

Since the 1980s, we saw the emergence of a new issue in Psychology which came mainly from its insertion into the public network . Until that time, public institutions did not have psychologists in their networks, with rare exceptions, such as some psychiatric hospitals, for example. Torn from his technical and scientific role and supported by a supposed unity of Psychology, the Brazilian psychologist faces a series of political and social issues that cross the psychological duty and point to the alienating character of traditional practices.

Questions now change focus and problematize the proper role of psychology. Should this continue working from theories and imported techniques in a pseudo-college or should it try to listen to the actual demand of the Brazilian population? How to build practices that meet this demand in order to contextualize emerging issues in each community, developing transformative work of unfair and exclusive relations and not reproducing the dominant social system? (CFP, 1988.1994) Tassinari (2009, p. 174) presents the following question: "Is it that psychotherapy is evolving to include social needs and to be helpful for most people who look for it? Have our psychotherapy models been effective in alleviating, terminating or modifying the suffering of the majority of the Brazilian population? And we emphasize: have these models been effective for most people in the care of their urgencies and for what they need in emergencies?

The author (op. cit.), says that,

Psychology, for a long time, through its practitioners, has almost invariably responded to the people in a way, with individual psychotherapy, two or three times a week for a long period. And almost as if Psychology was identified only as Clinical Psychology, it is understood as individual psychotherapy with psychoanalytic foundation, performed in the private practice two to four times a week for five years. It seems very poor to reduce Psychology to this understanding, excluding in this way other efficient possibilities of counseling, as well as different psychotherapeutic proposals.


The term of Clinical Psychology was used for the first time in 1896 by Lightner Wittmer who imported the word from medicine for considering it as the best term to indicate the character of the method of examination and validation of the mental and physical development of children. Thus, Wittmer was protesting against philosophical speculations and the results of laboratory experiments, as the clinical psychologist should be mainly interested in the individual child in order to discover the relationship between cause and effect in the application of the several educational treatments for the child suffering of general or special mental retardation and even for the normal child.

The etymology of the word "clinic”, of Greek origin, refers to "bed" and "to lean" and it designates the medical care dispensed to bedridden patients.

Augras (1981) considers that denomination unhappy because it is immediately associated with the idea of disease. Expanding a little his original definition while maintaining its evaluative dimension, the American Psychological Association divulged the following statement:

Clinical Psychology is intended to define the behavioral abilities and behavioral characteristics of an individual through methods of measurement, analysis and observation and on the basis of an integration of these results with data received from physical examinations and social histories, it provides suggestions and recommendations for the proper adjustment of the individual (MACKAY, 1975, p . 75)

The classical or traditional conception was influenced by the medical model through Psychoanalysis, where the professional acted as an expert and restricted his clientele to the fortunate social classes, with an intra-individual approach, emphasizing the psychological and psychopathological processes, making psychodiagnostics and individual and group psychotherapy (this one, rarely)

The study of the Federal Council of Psychology (1994) presents the vectors that prompted the breakup of the classical conception of Clinical Psychology: broad cultural changes, changes in the field of Psychology, socio-political changes in the country and the need of a transformative practice hatched transformative practices and theoretical revisions that would meet the new demands and new conceptions of health and mental illness, justifying the inclusion of Psychology into the Health field.

The assumption here is the understanding of Clinical Psychology as belonging to the Health area, with its performance into the social context, being also able to act in the area of prevention (primary prevention), using different theoretical orientations, promoting health in different contexts, besides the private practice, general hospital, psychiatric hospital, prisons, kindergartens, health posts, schools, slums, work with street children, with families of domestic violence victims in family courts, children and youth, only to quote some of its current possibilities.

Recently, the Ministry of Health (2004), in their program Humanizases,

published the record on Extended Clinic stating "that the values that guide this policy are the autonomy and the importance of individuals, the co-responsibility among them, the establishment of supportive bonds, the collective participation in the management process and the inseparability between healthcare and management (p.4). The Extended Clinic suggests

that health professionals develop the ability to help people, not only to fight disease but also to transform themselves, so that the disease, being a limit, does not re-prevent them of living other things in their lifes. The implied Ethics in the Extended Clinical deeply converges with the proposals of the Humanistic Psychology.

Based on the failure of the psychological practice in clinical experience, we try to understand the contemporary malaise, insistently pointing to human suffering in a troubled world. The issue is imposed as urgent as that practice questions the transition from scientific paradigms, fundamentalist and nihilistic attitudes next to the globalization of the economy, the technical advances promoting an intense approach of mixtures and crushing differences. As a result of this transition, references that supported the understanding of the modern subject, anchored by consciousness and rationality, are being questioned.

Similarly, subjective figures are also questioned, designed to be relatively stable to support the construction of a way of being, showing the order connected to balance, by the clear separation between inside and outside through which the subject is the foundation of his own existence: he founds his freedom and builds his essence.

Such understanding, beginning of the clinical experience demands resignification (Andrade,1996).

Suffering as dis-ease represents a current disturbing phenomenon which involves considering the "transformation" ("reviravolta") subjective to reality, directing the focus to the processes of constitution of subjectivity and the obstacles experienced in contemporaneity. It includes to consider "flipping" ("reviravoltear") to subjectivity, outside the scope of identity and representation, requiring multiple processes of subjectivation generated in the social, cultural and temporal dimensions.

It refers to questions like: ¿do comprehensive instruments in psychology incorporate new forms of registering contemporary subjectivities?

It is clear that the social, political, economic context and contemporary culture call for changes in the approaches involved in both the design and implementation of health and education and in the pedagogy of professional training of their agents. To suggest technical alternatives and theoretical considerations for professionals who manage a population resulting from a new world order comes as a challenging task for psychologists.

In view of this approach to reality, gradually and forcefully imposed and in a sharp way, the following question fits: would it be possible to open other possibilities of clinic-pedagogical practices in health and education, to the contemporary dis-ease? (ANDRADE, 1996; MORATO, 1999).

In the post- war context, Psychological Counseling / Counseling emerged as a form of clinical psychology pointing to the promptness in caring of other’s suffering (MORATO, 1999), showing the need of psychology in assisting, suffering and transforming, accompanying social changes such as the creation of methods to search for the well-being of those who demanded beyond scientific research, interventions and theories. In the functioning of that practice it was found the link between the reference points -theoretical and methodological - as an ethical value in the psychologist’s scientific and social commitment: an epistemological positioning and another on scientific explanations and its relevance as a destination for the well-being of mankind (MORIN, 1990), redirecting researches beyond the walls of the University (interventional actions of the laboratories in the field), as this change of course could promote a more humanizing practice of psychological care in institutions, recognizing their professionals as social agents in the field.

In this sense, the Person-Centered Approach, by emphasizing health in all human endeavors, inaugurates in Psychology the notion of psychotherapy not as a treatment but as a work for growth, promotion, development. That means health and mental illness are conceive as belonging to the same continuum. The understanding here adopted for the design of health refers to Roger’s point of view / conception (apud WOOD, 1994) of the fully functioning person. The human body continually strives to develop, even in adverse conditions.


Carl Ranson Rogers, founder of the Person Centered Approach (PCA), was born in 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois, and died in 1987 in California, where he spent the last thirty years of his life. He documented his life through articles and books and he became a Doctor in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University. He began his life as a psychotherapist for children and families in a public clinic for children in Rochester, New York State, and his clinical work helped to legitimize the practice of psychotherapy as a task not only for physicians but for psychologists in the USA. Author of numerous books on psychotherapy groups, on teaching, on learning and on social conflicts, he defied science when he eminently adopted a humanist stance and he emphasized the thesis of the Actualizing Tendency.

Rogers proposes a basic aspect of human nature that leads the person to greater coherence and to realistic operation. Moreover, this trend is not limited to human beings, it is part of the process of all living beings. This is the trend that appears in all organic and human life: to expand, to extend, to become autonomous, to develop, to mature the tendency to express and activate all the capacities of the organism to the extent that such activation appraises the organism or the Self. Rogers (1983) suggests that in each one of us there is an inherent tendency oriented to become competent and to be able to where we are biologically capable.

Like a plant tends to be healthier, like a seed contains within itself the potential to become a tree, a person is forced to become a whole, complete and self-actualized person, too. The tendency towards health is not an overwhelming force that overcomes obstacles through life, instead it is easily dulled, distorted and suppressed. It appears like the dominant driving force in a person who is freely functioning, not paralyzed by past events or current beliefs that support incongruence.

The Actualizing Tendency acts and it is present in all organic beings and tends to the complexity of both favorable and unfavorable situations for the body.

According to Rogers (1983), that tendency is the one that operates and makes us realize when a body is alive or dead.

In the first 30 years, Client-Centered Therapy was called Client -Centered Approach, and in following years it has been named Person-Centered Approach. At first, it contributed more specifically to the practice and theory of psychotherapy and humanistic psychology, later Rogers extended the theoretical and practical concepts derived from virtually all types of relationships, always with the implementation of the three necessary and sufficient conditions (quoted Perches, 2009) to other fields such as education, organizations, groups, families, communities and psychiatric institutions.

The term Person-Centered Approach is suitable for all contexts, however, we must understand Rogers’ work as eminently clinical, not only because he has started his personal career this way but because the analysis of the proposed interventions is revealed as an extremely consistent psychological practice applied to people in different contexts and forms of relationships - psychotherapist and client, teacher and student, employer and employee, parents and children, members of groups with inter-racial, religious, political and ideological conflicts.

Wood (2010) proposed seven elements to describe the Person-Centered Approach as "a way of being in certain situations", "an existential positioning in its attitudes" and there is also "a phenomenological perspective in its intentions", although it is not a philosophy, as the author states. The elements are:

1. Positive perspective of life;

2. The belief in a formative directional tendency, "it is an evolutionary tendency toward greater order, greater complexity, greater interaction";

3. The intention to be effective in the own goals, to facilitate the process of constructive changes in the psychological dynamics;

4. The consideration of the person, in his/her singularity, his/her autonomy and his/her capacity of self-determination;

5. The flexibility of thought and action not repressed by theories

6. Tolerance to uncertainty and ambiguity;

7. Sense of humor, humility and curiosity.

Rogers (1951) prioritizes, thus, his concern about the importance of the therapist’s position as a person in the relationship with the client and also the application of this philosophy of Counseling through concrete actions, even though they may be psychotherapy techniques. Therefore, it is necessary that the psychotherapist becomes detached from his/her theories and psychodiagnostics and he/she allows him/herself to experience intersubjective reality of the relationship of psychological help, taking into account the client’s context of the life and values, as well as his/her own subjectivity in the relationship (O'HARA, 1983).


We introduce the Psychological Guard (Plantão Psicológico) - based on the Person-Centered Approach- as a form of contemporary service for its "nature", capable of responding to the many levels of society and their demands, enabling large-scale changes. As with a rare musical instrument, it has a proper plot – powerful for health promotion, the therapeutic intervention and the care of psychological urgencies and emergencies.

We saw at the beginning of this article that the global, complex, multidimensional crisis, and the liquidity of society and life are affecting every aspect of our lives, i.e. health, environment, economy, social relationships, technology, politics, etc.

In the same way, we see the expansion of Clinical Psychology, leaving the merely curative line of treatment inside the various individual offices, long-term treatments mainly based on Freudian psychoanalysis to work with groups and/or individuals in different contexts, or short term treatments based on different theoretical approaches considering the preventive dimension and personal growth, and having the psychologist as an agent of social change.

However, the access to psychological services is not guaranteed for everybody, especially in countries where development is still precarious. Hegenberg (2004) argues that in today's world, making several brief psychotherapies in several different moments of a person makes more sense that a single analysis for a long period of time. He also states:

The social exclusion phenomenon occurs in countless ways: economic, social, cultural ones. We see in our country, as part of this process, many people living in a situation of great suffering without having chances of finding the help they need for thier type of ailment. It is urgent that we can count on clinical practices of quality that have been developed with the accuracy requested by the scientific community, so that they can be inserted into the public mental health policies (p. 12).

The proposal of assistance at the Psychological Guard (Plantão Psicológico) partially fills this gap to meet the needs of the person who requires to talk to a professional who can help him/her to better understand his/her own reality, in his/her time of distress. Waiting in a long queue and/or undergoing screening interviews of assessment and referral procedures seems to complicate the commitment to psychotherapy, especially for people who are interested in the reconstruction of personality but who need special attention in certain times of their lives.

According to Mahfoud (1999), this Service called Guard Psychology (Plantão Psicológico) was created in Brazil inspired by the experiences of the model of walk-in clinics in the United States for immediate attention to the community in the decades of ‘70s and ‘80s, and it offered emergency care at the time of demand. Rosenberg (1987) describes the trajectory of the first Psychological Service Guard (Plantão) which is registered in Brazil . And it is installed in the Institute of Psychology of the University of Sao Paulo (IPUSP) in 1969 in the Counseling sector.

Cury (apud Perches, 2009) emphasizes that the psychological guard was originated, therefore, as an institutional practice that met the satisfaction of emotional demand of clients in emergency, practiced by available and qualified physicians, and it worked usually in a single session with the possibility of one or more sessions, as required by the client and the operating rules of the service to which he belonged.

A first definition of Psychological Guard is offered by Mahfoud (1987):

The expression Guard (Plantão) is associated with a certain type of service, exercised by professionals available to anyone who needs them for predetermined periods of time without interruption. "From the institutional point of view, the attention of the guard requires a systematization of the offered service. From the professional person, this system requires a willingness to face the unplanned and the possibility (sometimes remote) that the encounter with the client may be unique. And from the client's perspective, it means a reference point at some time of need (p.75).

This definition is complemented by Tassinari (2010) who proposes the Psychological Guard as

A type of counseling that is complete in itself, performed in one or more consultations without predetermined duration in order to receive any person at the exact time (or almost exact) of his/her need, to help him/her to better understand his/her emergency and, if necessary, to make a referral to other services.
Both, time of consultation as subsequent sessions depend on joint decisions of the professional and client during the consultation [ ... ] the professional and the client will seek together "in the moment" the unexplored possibilities that can be activated from a warm relationship, without judgement criteria, in which sensitive and empathetic listening, professional expressiveness and his/her genuine interest in helping play the primary role (p.176).

For May (1999, p 222), the best way to secure man’s future is to face his present in an authentic way, with courage and in a profitably way, but he warns that: "Facing the present reality sometimes causes anxiety. [ . .. ] This anxiety is a kind of vague feeling of being "naked", or of facing a reality from which he cannot escape, go back or hide himself".

Supporting this man in such conflict is part of the proposed psychological care of the Psychological Guard, that creates a space where he can seek help when needed.

According to Mahfoud (1999), the psychologist in this type of service is not there to solve problems, but tries to be present and accepting, centered in the person and not in the problem.

Then, the psychologist provides a space in which the person will express his/her feelings, he/she feels received to rethink and revise his/her questionings. And, once achieved (and experienced) this experiential relationship, the client’s actualizing tendency can restart its original course, and then the flows of growth and self-actualization will put the organism in its way to greater harmony and better performance. Thus, the potential for life will widely extend promoting health processes in the person.

The Psychological Guard can be an efficient service with the application of Psychology and the Person-Centered Approach, crossed by the facilitating attitudes of the professional which provide an "ideal" environment and the possibility that, in one session, the person can enlighten his/her demand, i.e. a clearer (and true) understanding of how he/she understands him/herself in a given situation. We can find several works validating the effectiveness of the Psychological Guard, offered in different contexts such as schools, public and private organizations; General Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital, Community, Military Organizations, Clinical School, Socio- Educational Institutions, in situations of emergency, and others.

We believe its potential application has unimaginable possibilities, suggesting new research efforts. As for the mobilization of the structures, both individual and institutional, Psychological Guard allows significant and enriching changes, if not surpassed by "discomfort" and "threats" as we are not always prepared to deal with what comes through this service.


In the second half of 2010, the author-intern had the opportunity to join a team in the pilot project of Psychological Guard in the Community in the "morro da Mangueira" (hillock of Mangueira) in Rio de Janeiro, through a partnership between the Clinical School of Humanistic Psychology of the University and Cartola Cultural Center.

The story of care was as follows: The guard room "was" in a library on the second floor of the building, and I attended on Wednesday at 4.00 pm (16.00 hrs). One of those days, I received a P. of nine years old who was attending fighting activities (judo and capoeira) held in the CCC and it was accompanied with the offered psychotherapy on site.

I remember him going into the room with a malicious way, challenging (chewing gum) and I noticed him a little mistrustful. I told him he could get comfortable and that I was available to talk with him about what he wanted to

P. told me he had a band (they were more than three) and he was the boss. They fought and beat their "colleagues" because they had no money and they were foolish (“sissy”) . His band was always with enough money (about R$ 200 reais –Brazilian currency- in the pocket) and were stronger. Because of this behavior he had been suspended a few times, and he was segregated by everyone at school.

He lived with his maternal grandparents since his mother left him to their care, and she was in her second marriage, where she had two more children (of 6 and 2 years old).

My position was to try to understand and accept him in all his complexity, in what he was expressing in our encounter. What it really mattered was that there was a person who was there looking for something.

During our encounter, I realized that as I was looking to be more present in his "inner self", more close and confident we were with each other. As we were in a library, P. looked at the details, then I offered him the chance to visit the space. Then he took a piece of paper and he wanted to draw (with silences and conjectures), mixing with our experiential conversations provided by his drawings; he drew a car (passion of his younger brother). Then he rose from the table and glanced through some books. He said he liked reading the Adventures of Narizinho and that he had the entire collection (we explored the senses). Our encounter lasted 40 minutes that day, and P. asked me if he could come back the following week (feedback).

The following week, P. walks through the door saying, "Hey man, I arrived, may I come in?". That day we mainly talked about his grandparents (whom he lives with). He said that he loved them, and that he always helped his grandmother with the household chores (sweeping the house, mopping the floors, washing dishes, etc.) which leaves her very happy. Our encounter lasted 20 minutes that day.

An enriching service, two encounters, that showed me the mobilizing potential of the Guard and its purposes (of welcoming, understanding, experimentation, freedom, [ .... ] ). In the beginning a child showing his aggressiveness and "manliness" and who during the assistance was mobilizing and experiencing its warmness. I witnessed how the movement of the actualizing tendency can work quickly. Providing an enabling environment, trust, unconditionality and empathy, we were allowed to talk in a significant experiential level. This "ideal" environment allowed P. to be what he is, not what he should, and then to live, even for a few moments, with his truths in freedom, which would facilitate new experiential possibilities.


We can not deny the new reality, the fluid dimension of life that is presented in the new contemporary scene, where several experiential splits have implicated and "transformed" subjectivity and the way of being of people, in a relational root which builds a dynamic of society and it is built by it.

In this context, it is also important to "transform" the Psychology (and Science) to truly (co)respond to the social demand - mainly in promoting health and emerging conflicts. Overcoming the concept of Clinical Psychology beyond the office, redefining - theory and practice- the psychological help is, perhaps, the most pressing challenge of this era.

Therefore, thinking about the practice of the service in the Psychological Guard as a possibility of intervention with great potential for mobilizing health promotion in contemporary society becomes an ethical attitude compared to paradigms in which Health, Psychology and Contemporaneity have gathered. We believe that the Person-Centered Approach provides sufficient resources for Psychological Guard proposals. In addition, the PCA as ethical stance of humanism (AMATUZZI, 2010) provides significant and powerful contributions to contemporaneity. We are also aware of the need to further explore this fertile ground of the Guard (Plantão), which can be useful in disasters when the reception of the urgency can be a milestone in the life of a person or a community. Therefore, this article invites to move forward with the seeds planted here.


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