Quintino Aires Institute,
This article illustrates the process of reaching conversation in the case of Anna, a 10- year-old girl, in a countryside Portuguese primary school, through neuropsychological habilitation and psychotherapy. This case identifies the theoretical and methodological concepts from Vygotsky’s cultural historical conceptualization in psychotherapy practice. Vygotsky introduced a new form of thinking in psychology, the concept of play, as a cultural and relational tool on a child’s (consciousness) development. During psychotherapy, Anna progressed through the following stages: 1) not playing (deploying the toys, with no relations between them or awareness of social rules); 2) worldplay (building worlds using wooden blocks and other toys, establishing relations between the characters and their possessions); and 3) imaginary situation (with no toys). At the end of this process, she was able to talk about her issues, communicating in a more adaptive way, especially in a schooled society. When she reached conversation, Anna’s activity was also changed. Therefore, there was a qualitative change regarding her needs, motives and ways of acting and reacting to herself, others, and cultural tools or events.
Keywords: Vygotsky, play, activity, consciousness, language