Aucouturier thinks that these children have neither experienced joy and pleasure, nor a reciprocal transformation within a relationship. Perhaps the external object was absent in early infancy because of illness or lack of interest in the child. Also constitutional factors can prevent the external object being internalised. These children are often very isolated and lonely and are yearning for strong affective relationships ( for example with the therapist, who they equally adore and try to destroy). They have not been able to learn that their action has a transformative effect on their inner and outer world. This , though, is an essential prerequisite for thinking. One is more likely to find difficulties in the development of cognitive abilities, with children who have been impeded in their ability to move and have not learnt to be active on their own.
But how are action and thought related? How does the child reach mental representation? How does she re-actualise the schema of action?

Aucouturier gives an example which can frequently be observed in early infancy: A one-year old child is playing with her mother. The mother is building a tower out of building bricks. After a short while the child knocks the tower over. The bricks tumble down and the mother builds a new tower which the child knocks down again. It would be a mistake to tell the child off for knocking down the towers. Instead the mother rebuilds the tower again and again because she knows that her child enjoys destroying the tower. Together they share the experience of building and destroying, of appearing and disappearing.
But the mother- for whatever reasons- will not always be present and will not always be available to share this enjoyable dynamic interaction with the child. But once the child has experienced this, she will be able to build the tower herself. Then she is not only going to find herself but also her mother in the tower: in building a tower I experience our mutual experience, I let both, me and you re-emerge.
Action always also involves somebody else.

Therefore the child's action is seen as a representation of the other person, a representation of the action with another person, which has been deeply inscribed into the child's unconsciousness.

Swinging, spinning, falling, destroying and creating, filling and emptying, hiding and emerging, climbing and jumping, balance and imbalance, separating and finding ( hide and seek), and later games of devouring, for language development ( wolf, crocodile games), etc. are actions, which are symbolical expressions of past experiences.
Connected to these actions are emotions and phantasms, which spring from the first physical relationships and which re-actualise the experiences of pre- peri and postnatal lifetime. These archaic emotions and phantasms are expressed through the body. They are representations of primary experiences with others. For example, when children are playing hide and seek and are disappearing and appearing again, the game is about ensuring themselves that there is stability despite temporary separation. Even if the mother ( carer) can not always be there, there will be a re-union after the separation. The child is hiding, in order to be looked for. The child wants the evidence, that she is that important for the other person, that s/he is looking for her: if you are looking for me, I am important to you, if I am important to you , you love me…
Swinging, spinning, climbing, falling, and games including balance and imbalance, are related to the child's unconscious memories. Memories of how they were held and carried, how secure or insecure they felt, etc..

As previously explained the child is repeating these actions to find and represent the joyful unity, which it had with the other person or to avoid being confronted with the connected anxiety.
By engaging in those games the child can find unity again, an unity where the other person is present, but where she also experiences herself as independent. Aucouturier sees in this the evidence that the child has developed a representation of herself, which is so consistent that psychological stability is ensured ( »contenant psychique«).

The following example illustrates Aucouturier's thoughts: Games involving falling, letting oneself fall down, with the feelings of joy and fear involved are already played by children aged 15–18 months. In a protected environment, e.g. in a psycho-motoric room, the child can unconsciously play with her anxieties by falling into soft mats or by running fast, stopping and suddenly falling on the floor. During those games the child is not only dealing with her anxieties of physically falling down but also of being let down by someone, to be emotionally left alone.
Repeating those anxieties during play is helping the child to reduce her tensions and anxieties. Therefore Aucouturier calls those tonic-emotional games »games of deep re-insurance«

This game of falling down shows that the child has a feeling of unity; the child has to have an image of her physical self in order to fall down, in other words to let go. This representation of herself makes her physically strong, thus she can detach herself from others, resulting in physical maturity.