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Grounding techniques - the 54321 method

Updated: Mar 1



This technique is incredibly effective for bringing anxiety levels down. It does so by engaging the senses, and anchoring us in the present moment. I have practiced this with adults on my diploma course - it's a commonly used safety and stabilisation tool in trauma therapy, and I've since also used it with my children who really engaged well with it.


It could be a nice, accessible activity to do within the classroom to support regulation during the school day, and the more it's done, the more likely a child is to start to access it independently themselves as and when they need it.


Some tips for using this technique:

  • Focus on as much detail as you can (e.g. I can see a big, dark blue chair with a high back).

  • 'Notice out' loud (though this isn't essential, especially since you might use this in a group).

  • If you can't really taste something, imagine eating your favourite food and how that would taste.

  • Don't rush through it - inhale and exhale slowly as you focus on each of the senses.

Feel free to print off this A4 pdf for your personal or classroom use...

My 5 steps to a calmer me
.pdf
Download PDF • 157KB

Emma Spillane is an education trainer and consultant who specialises in attachment and trauma. She is currently taking bookings from primary school settings for 'trauma-informed approach to wider school reopening' training sessions (co-delivered with Bristol Lead Practitioner (Theraplay South West) Catherine Eveness).


Further information about training and consultancy services.


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