August 26, 2015

Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science

Volume 12, No. 1, (2014)

The latest issue this valuable journal is now available. It is dedicated to the science of orgonomy and the work of Wilhelm Reich, M.D. Since 1984 it has been providing information to the public on topics related to all aspects of the science of orgonomy.

This volume of the Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science is reasonably priced and available online.

This issue includes the following five articles and one major book review:


•  Toward a Scientific Study of the Healthy Child: The Orgonomic Infant Research Center (1948-1951)

Philip W. Bennett, Ph.D. reviews the background,   development, promise, and achievements of this   research project on infant and child development that   was initiated by Reich and his professional colleagues.   He also describes the factors that ultimately led to the   project’s demise.

  The Relevance of Wilhelm Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism to the Struggle Against Fascism, a Project Shared by Herbert Marcuse

David Brahinsky, Ph.D. describes significant parallels between the social visions of both men, while also detailing the potential significance of Reich’s later discoveries for achieving these goals; discoveries which were, however, dismissed by Marcuse.
   • Orgone Therapy: Functional Method, Creative Art, and Open Questions

Dorothea Fuckert, M.D. describes marked changes in the nature of armoring and character structure in her patient population in recent decades, and the modifications of therapeutic technique that she has introduced to address the needs of her patients.
  •  Emotional First Aid: Applications of Orgone Therapy in a General Medical Practice

Drawing on clinical vignettes from her medical training and from her long-term private medical practice in rural Maine, Eva Reich, M.D. movingly describes her therapeutic use of expression of repressed emotion in patients presenting with acute somatic symptoms.
  •  Addressing Disturbances in Contact in the Beginning Phases of Orgone Therapy

Daniel J. Schiff, Ph.D. employs a case study to illustrate the essential role of contact in the early phases of therapeutic process, describing a pivotal session in which the client was encouraged to maintain contact with emerging emotion in his eyes by means of focused awareness and direct expression of feelings toward a distinct object.
   •  Adventures in Defamation

Morton Herskowitz, D.O. provides a detailed review of journalist Christopher Turner’s recent book Adventures in the Orgasmatron, and its historical antecedents in the distortion and misrepresentation of Wilhelm Reich and his work.
     In Memoriam

Memorial tributes to two late founders of the Institute for Orgonomic Science, Courtney F. Baker, M.D and Louisa Lance, M.D.

Communications and Notes:
Recent lectures and publications by members of the Institute

Announcements of forthcoming conferences and educational programs involving members of the Institute

Listings and / or brief descriptions of recent orgonomy – related books

An announcement of the Training Program in Orgonomic Therapy offered by the Institute

Manuscript preparation instructions for papers submitted to the Annals

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Psychiatric Orgone Therapy

One of Wilhelm Reich’s most important and lasting contributions is a unique treatment for emotional disorders called psychiatric orgone therapy. Reich began as a psychoanalyst and was a member of Freud’s inner circle, but moved away from Freud’s method of free association when he developed a more effective verbal approach he called character analysis. Later he came to recognize the existence of a specific biologic energy in living organisms that he called “orgone,” which was coined from the word “organism.” With this discovery Reich was able to combine his verbal method with a technique that could normalize a person’s energy. The result was an entirely new approach to treating emotional disorders that he named orgone therapy.

Reich’s work with patients convinced him the disturbance in an individual’s energy state is caused by contractions in the body, especially in the musculature. He called these contractions “armor,” and established that they begin to develop in infancy as a way to block out emotionally painful events.

Past traumatic experiences are locked in the body--and they remain throughout life. How this happens is not fully understood, but there is no question that anxiety, anger and sadness, as well as the other upsetting feelings and emotions from childhood are not forgotten. Armor not only holds the disturbing past, causing it to remain alive but out of consciousness awareness, but it also affects how one feels and functions. Because living a natural healthy life depends upon whether a person’s energy flows freely or is blocked, the aim of psychiatric orgone therapy is to free up energy by breaking down armor. As these areas of holding dissolve, patients release their long buried feelings and emotions in the safety of the therapist’s office. They most usually surface spontaneously with the specific method Reich innovated, without the need of urging or any intervention on the part of the treating psychiatrist. However, occasionally, pressure needs to be applied to spastic muscles, or other techniques used to normalize the body. Because this treatment combines a verbal approach with a physical technique, it addresses both the mind and the body to bring about profound changes in how one thinks, feels and functions.

Today almost all people seeking treatment from a psychiatrist are given medications to reduce their symptoms. However, with psychiatric orgone therapy it is usual that patients, over time, find themselves able to wean themselves off medication and function without pharmacologic treatment. Reich’s therapy is unique in that it not only relieves distressing symptoms, but also does much more. It enables individuals to expand and feel pleasure, and better enjoy the many satisfactions life has to offer.

There are people who claim to practice some form of “Reichian” or “orgone” therapy, even though they have had no formal training in medicine or psychology. Often the techniques used by these self-proclaimed therapists have little or nothing to do with the very specific methods Reich developed and taught. The value of such therapies is questionable and may even harm those who get involved in them.

Qualified psychiatric orgone therapists have extensive training. They are physicians who have gone on to specialize in psychiatry and then in the very unique subspecialty of orgone therapy. They practice in much the same way as Reich did more than a half century ago. Ph.D. Psychologists who have had proper training can practice a form of orgone therapy safely and effectively. However, it is crucial they have supervision by a qualified psychiatric orgone therapist.