Training Topics

I like to teach in ongoing small group or individual tutorials. This affords greater interaction between you and me, a deeper learning experience, and a more individualized learning environment. Before you can participate, the minimum requirement is a license to practice psychotherapy in your state or be enrolled in at least a Masters level graduate program in an accredited institution leading to state licensure.

The material itself is challenging; however, the actual practice of this very comprehensive and systematic approach is far more challenging. This is what makes the approach so rewarding for you, the clinician, and also produces visible and far-reaching results for your patients. Students who wish to move into the somatic level of this work will need to have experienced the approach first hand (suitable referrals will be made for this), and will need to gain experience in direct work with the body as well as instruction in basic anatomy and physiology.

Please be aware that the extension of Reich's original character analytic method to include Masterson's object relations character analytic understandings and techniques is a result of Dr Patricia Frisch's integration of the Masterson Group's work with Reich's work, extended now to include the types of problems more currently met in the practices of today's therapists. Other Reichian therapists are bringing in developments and techniques to further expand the work.

Character Analytic Training Topics

  • Setting and maintaining the therapeutic frame

  • Establishing the therapeutic alliance

  • Stages of therapy: beginning, working through, and termination

  • The definition of healthy functioning from Reichian and Mastersonian perspectives

  • Structural diagnosis and its contrast to DSM symptom diagnosis

  • Developmental psychology, including early attachment

  • The development of character armor

  • Reich's, Masterson's, and Baker's diagnostic typology

  • Segmental armoring (defensive zones in the body)

  • Brain (ocular), oral, anal, phallic, and genital types and sub-types

  • Masterson' structural understanding of Borderline, Narcissist, and Schizoid characters

  • Transference and counter-transference and Masterson's concepts of transference and counter-transference acting out

  • Interventions for each diagnostic category

  • Case management: an especially needed skill given the complexities of contemporary multi-layered defenses

  • Differential diagnosis

  • Individually tailored diagnosis: διαγνωσις as a deep understanding of the patient

  • Working with powerful forms of affect

  • Working with trauma in character analytic treatment

  • Managing acting out

  • Understanding and working with addictive processes

  • The fun stuff: using artwork, dreams, music, imagery in any stage of treatment

Somatic/Orgone Psychotherapy topics

  • Working the character while working the body

  • Stages of therapy in Reichian body therapy

  • Body reading: the body reveals its history

  • Working with respiration, and how to recognize a healthy respiratory wave

  • Reich's concept of contact

  • Maintaining contact while the patient is on the couch

  • Systematic work on the segments: ocular, oral, cervical, thoracic, diaphragmatic, abdominal, and pelvic

  • Specific interventions for each segment

  • Observing and sensing energy flow and blockages, both physical and non-physical

  • Working with pre-verbal affect

  • Physical work on the character armor

  • Different forms of physical armoring as manifested in the quality and appearance of tissue

  • Sympathetic, parasympathetic, and vagal systems and responses

  • Organic versus functional blocks/pathologies