Treatment of a Stuttering Child

 This case history demonstrates the value of immediate treatment at the onset of stuttering. In this situation a young boyʼs stutter was permanently relieved with one orgone therapy treatment. Such a quick resolution of stuttering illustrated here cannot always be achieved but, as this case demonstrates, it is possible.

In 2009, Michael, age three and a half, suddenly developed a severe stutter. He became stuck on parts of words whenever he spoke. This frightening turn of events began the day after breastfeeding had been abruptly discontinued. I saw Michael two weeks after the onset and treated him once, for about two minutes. His stutter immediately, and completely, disappeared and has not returned.
Before the brief session I explained what I would do would help him speak more clearly, but that it would hurt some, maybe a lot, but I hoped it would not be too much. I told him it would not be so bad if he shouted out as loudly as he could. I had him shout at me a few times to get him ready, and to help open his throat even before I began the biophysical work. I then explained I would press on his jaw and on the back of his neck to get the tightness out of the muscles, as that was causing him to not speak as he had before. When he agreed to the treatment I held his jaw down (to keep his mouth open wide) and pressed on his jaw muscles. They were spastic and tender, the right more than the left, and the pressure I exerted, though slowly, caused pain. Also, at the same time, I squeezed his neck muscles to relieve the spasms in those areas.
As I was working I told him to shout out as loudly as he could, and kept encouraging him to shout louder and louder as I applied more and more pressure. He did as I said. The treatment was painful, but it had to be to break the contractions in his jaw and neck, and to release the emotions held in the areas of armor. Shouting out did more than relieve his pain; it opened throat, and this, in turn, enabled him to breathe more easily. This led to sobbing. When Michael cried I consoled him, apologizing for having had to hurt him. He understood that what I did was to help him, and he seemed to forgive me--at least to some extent.
Although this boyʼs stutter completely resolved after the treatment, some residual difficulties in articulation persisted. Speech therapy appears to have helped him, but there is question whether his improvement would not have continued without it.
The dramatic success in eliminating a severe stutter with psychiatric orgone therapy goes far to confirm the validity of Wilhelm Reichʼs theory of armoring and the treatment he pioneered. It also speaks against the prevailing medical theories that the disorder is genetic or secondary to brain pathology--the mechanistic explanation that now dominates virtually all of medicine. Most importantly, a serious, lifelong disability that might not have resolved over time was averted. Finally, a word of caution is in order. Although I have described my treatment in detail, one should not think it can be applied without training and a great deal of experience. Harm can be done. Additionally, there is only one opportunity to treat a young child. If not successful, the child will not cooperate with subsequent attempts, and an effort to treat one who is scared and resistant will necessarily fail.

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.