On Falling, Holding, and Grounding


  • Gerald Perlman




bioenergetic analysis, early trauma, fear of falling, grounding, hang-ups, holding


Building on the theoretical and developmental history of the fear of falling, holding and grounding in bioenergetic analysis and other psychodynamic theories, this paper presents some of the expressions, experiences and anxieties of falling and the defensive/adaptive, characterological, intra-psychic and interpersonal correlates of holding. In addition the importance of grounding is discussed for setting a foundation and a space/relationship in which it feels safe enough to surrender to the fear of falling. This yields to one’s understanding of the need to hold, in whatever adaptive form it takes, in order to maintain attachments and protect the life force within.

Author Biography

Gerald Perlman

Dr. Perlman is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. He is a former Director of Internship Training at Manhattan Psychiatric Center and is in his fourth year of training with the New York Society of Bioenergetic Analysis.
041-073 36063


How to Cite

Perlman, G. (2016). On Falling, Holding, and Grounding. Bioenergetic Analysis, 26(1), 41–73. https://doi.org/10.30820/0743-4804-2016-26-41