Having engaged in several bouts of varied neo-Reichian bodywork sessions, I'd like to offer a few insights regarding the value of Wilhelm Reich's work.

For Reich, psychopathologies manifest themselves in the body of the patient; a man's body and his psyche are one. Neuroses, for Reich, have their foundation in patterns of chronic muscular tension which serve to block unpleasant feelings or traumatic memories... the "down side" of this process is that for every bad feeling which is thus contained, one's capacity for pleasure is similarly blocked, ipso facto. Thus the neurotic, engaged in a lifelong battle against his pain, dooms himself to never experience pleasure. The purpose of Reichian therapy is to re-mobilize the blocked areas of the patient's soma/psyche, so he can experience pleasure-- and genuine pain-- again.

Reich's great contribution to the Freudian tradition is a scientifically verifiable (even tangible) mechanism for unconscious repression: it lies in one's musculature, and, insidiously enough, the patient isn't even aware how tightly and habitually he represses himself. Being liberated, even for a short time, from this chronic state of repression is an explosively cathartic experience, which is, unfortunately, ineffable.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.