Jung and Reich

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I found it difficult to understand how Reich and Jung had never met; they had so much in common, and each came separately through different methods to the same realisations.

Although Reich and Jung approached their study from uniquely separate paths, they both sought to understand the dilemma of the innate conflict within Man. They both recognized the need for self awareness, Reich in body character structure, and Jung in the personal, and collective unconscious. They both recognised the ego as needing to learn to be of service to the Self, or Soul, and man’s dilemma in believing the ego to be King. There is a strong connection between Reich’s “primary layer of personality” and Jung’s “persona”; Reich’s theory of Body Armour, and Jung’s theory on Shadow,

They both recognized Nature as part of the soul, and believed it imperative for man to integrate the cycle of nature in order to have a life of quality. They recognized the soul within man as being Nature or God itself and its drive to make itself conscious through and in man.

They both dedicated themselves to the service of the psyche and saw the necessity for the integration of Archetypal forces in nature, because of their search for knowledge they both suffered condemnation from the outside world.

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While training and working as a Hospice nurse I also encountered some Jungian concepts and quotes. When I trained as a Biodynamic and Integrative Psychotherapist, much of our training was steeped in Jungian psychology. Jung’s teachings had an influence on Gerda Boyesen, the founder of Biodynamic Psychotherapy. Although her method and approach was focused on the emotional body mind split, her concepts were parallel to Jung’s thoughts and concepts in Psychotherapy.

Gerda having researched and discovered her own conclusions relating to the emotional body, met William Reich, and having studied with him for a time, she went on to develop her own work. Although Gerda did not train as a Jungian analyst, she integrated Jungian concepts into her teachings.

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Jung and Reich had lived in the same era and I find it sad that they had never met, as they, while being very different in approaches and personality types, had a lot in common.

Both arrived through their studies, research and personal journeys to the realization of the psyche, the self. Jung through the concept of the collective unconscious, and Reich through his concept of the Cosmic flow in nature, orgone energy.

Reich worked with the Body, Jung with images and symbols latent within the psyche, which is held in body armour. They both at the same time moved from working with just verbal, and cognitive techniques, to bodywork and active imagination with a focus on the encounter with and to the deeper foundation within man.

Both men also had transference issues with Freud, and conflict regarding theory brought each to part ways with Freud.

Biodynamic I believe has brought the concepts of these two great men into it’s work. Through experiential learning both Jungian and the Reichian concepts are internalised.

Jung happened to me because of my identification with his Spiritual Journey, from there I became interested in Depth Psychology.

Reich happened to me because of my interest and belief that our personalities are character and body mind based.

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