Traveling therapists chase away student malaise

Solange wears a white sweater over floral leggings. Her scent is reassuring, her look relaxed, when she walks towards a student loaded with shopping bags. They are in the hall of the Crous at the Porte de Clignancourt (Paris 18e), beaten by the cold wind of early April.

” How are you ?, begins Solange.

– It’s okay…

– You’re going to have a good dinner with all that!

– Yes…

– But, if not, how are you?

– Well, I’m stressed.

– Is that so ?

– Actually, I’m depressed. “

The young student saw the label “Psys du cœur, Solange” hanging on the latter’s chest. They will sit down away from the passage, on a bench. The consultation begins.

While the government distributes “psychological support checks” (CAP), which offer three free consultations to students, paid 30 euros each for the therapist, the Psys du cœur work, themselves, on a voluntary basis, by going in contact with youth.

With the health crisis, the direction of social action, childhood and health (DASES) of the City of Paris finally obtained a budget and decided to appeal to Psys du cœur, an association which intends to make the therapeutic care accessible to all.

Therapists focus on the derailed voice, wet eyes, writhing hands despite a “I’m doing great!” “.

In 2009, the organization opened a permanent office in the house of associations on the Place des Fêtes, in the 19e Parisian district. Today, anyone can come and confide anonymously, free of charge, without an appointment, in one of the six branches of the Psys du cœur, scattered throughout France.

At the same time, its members launched the first consultation experiences in the open air, during health forums and vaccination campaigns. “They offer immediate listening, teach gestures to take care of oneself and direct towards long therapies if necessary,” explains Nacer Leshaf, head of mental health and resilience at DASES. They are shrinks without being too much. It is better for a population which does not go to consult because of questions of money or of stigma. “

Go to the other

The actions of heart shrink nomads began in November 2020. About ten times a week, in student food distributions in Paris, 25 therapists face the challenge of approaching people who are barely aware of their need to be heard. The majority of them practice Gestalt therapy, the guiding principle of which is to reach out to the other.

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