chapter  7
GROUNDING AS COMMUNICATION Steps to transfiguration
Pages 14

GROUNDING AS COMMUNICATION Steps to transfiguration The newborn child discovers many groundings. It lies across the mother’s abdomen and is grounded on the outside of her body, sensing the same rhythms and heartbeats it has previously experienced inside. It holds and is held; encloses part of her in a hand, or the curl of its body, and is enclosed by the contact with her. When it sucks at the breast, it could be said to be grounding its mouth. When it looks at her face, it can be said to be grounding its eyes. In the flow of developing language, it begins to ground its ideas. In all the progressive movements from lying prone, to holding its head up, through crawling and squatting, to standing, it learns good or poor contact with the physical ground. All this takes place in an emotional environment which forms the background for the child’s organisation of its activity.Grounding is concerned with what happens when energy flows out towards the surface of the body and the quality of contact it finds there. Because these various forms of ground­ing have gone wrong for so many people, therapeutic work involves experiences of re-contacting the ground. The discovery involved is both how one has learned to communi­cate and the possibility of new ways of communicating. In doing therapy we want to establish a series of experiences in which the person comes to feel his own inner thrust in the social situation; how he has constructed himself in the past and what new grounding may be possible.