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Secondary Drives in Orgonomy


Secondary Drives in Orgonomy (1)

The concept of secondary drives in human psychology is an important discovery which is unique to orgonomy. This itself is the consequence of the discovery of the process of armoring in the human structure. Dr. Reich discovered that in the process of chronic contraction of the organism, the physical and psychological contraction becomes permanent and constitutes the armor which then prevents the expression of primary impulses. Armor, in orgonomy is defined as, “The total defense apparatus of the organism, consisting of the rigidities of the character and the chronic spasms of musculature, which functions essentially as a defense against the break-through of the emotions – primary anxiety, rage and sexual excitation.” (2) The primary impulses, such as love, fear, anger, and hate as a result of the armor are unable to be expressed in their original form. An alive organism, however, continuously produces the bioenergetically charged primary impulses from the core toward the periphery, from the inside toward the outside. These impulses continuously push and demand discharge. Armor eventually becomes unable to hold these impulses and the impulses take turns at this point. It may turn back and move in an opposite direction, from periphery toward inside, which will be experienced by the organism as a sense of anxiety. Or, it may go through countering and opposing forces that operate in the armor and emerge as their resultant force as a distortion of the initial primary motive which in orgonomy is called “secondary drives”. Secondary drives are basically distorted forms of primary drives that at times might have the opposite content what the initial primary drive. Examples of them are sadistic impulses, deviated sexual impulses, kleptomaniac impulses, fake altruistic behavior, irrational hate and irrational anger and so on…

The following is a schematic depiction of the unarmored orgonotic structure, versus armored organism, and production of secondary drives as a consequence of armoring.

Figure 1

Unarmored Orgonotic System (3)
Figure 2

Figure 3

The same functions in an armored organism. The inhibition of the primary impulse produces a secondary impulse and anxiety (4)

In psychology and psychoanalysis there is a concept which is called “displacement.” This term is originated by Sigmund Freud to underscore the fact that psychic energy can be redirected from one idea to another (5). However, in psychology and psychoanalysis there is no concept of the mechanism of the shift or redirection of the psychic energy from one idea to the other. Orgonomy by the virtue of discovery of the process of armoring, is able to provide a theoretical basis to explain this shift, and consequently provides a systematic treatment approach for eliminating the secondary drives and restoring the organism’s ability to express the natural and logical primary drives as nature has ordained.

There are ample clinical examples in orgonomy literature that substantiates the elimination of the secondary motives and restoring the ability of the patient to express his primary motives by psychiatric orgone therapy and successful elimination of armoring. Two of these examples are posted in this Journal under the title of Kleptomania, a Case Discussion and Annotation on Dr. Reich’s Case: The Orgasm Reflex.

Although the armor can be dissolved accidently by different events or consequences of life incidents, the systematic dissolution of it at present time is only possible by character analysis and vegetotherapy, (psychiatric orgone therapy) which is described in orgonomy literature, particularly in the book Character Analysis and The Function of Orgasm by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.

References

  1. Reich, W. (1949). The Theoretical Basis of Orgone Therapy. Clinical Lectures, CD. Audio recording.
  2. Rapheal, C. (1973) Orgonomy Glossary. Selected Writings, An Introduction to Orgonomy.
  3. Reich, Wilhelm. Ether, God, and Devil (p. 120). Original edition was published in 1949.
  4. Reich, Wilhelm (1973). Function of Orgasm Second Edition (p. 294). Original edition was published in 1942.
  5. Akhtar S. Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis.

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A HYBRID IN-PERSON/ONLINE CONFERENCE – AUGUST 2 TO 5, 2022

The Living Body: Wilhelm Reich’s Influence on Contemporary Psychotherapies

 

In pursuing the development of psychosomatic medicine and an energetic model of health which respected the importance of psyche and soma equally, Wilhelm Reich created the foundation for what ultimately came to be known as the fields of Body Psychotherapy, Somatic Psychology and others.

Building upon the conference we presented in the summer of 2021, Wilhelm Reich and Psychoanalysis, the goal of this conference is to map the field of body-centered therapy today. Speakers from the Americas, Europe and Australia, representing Reich’s Orgone Therapy as well as a variety of schools which are heirs to Reich such as Radix, Bioenergetics, Biodynamic Therapy, Biosynthesis, Gestalt, Navarro, Core Energetics and other modalities based in important ways on his approach, will present and describe their respective theories, training processes and therapeutic methods.

Historians will present an overview of Reich’s evolution from psychoanalysis to character analysis, to the more body-centered character analytic vegetotherapy, and beyond.

By exploring this field through the common denominator, the theories and techniques developed by Wilhelm Reich, we hope to generate interaction and exchanges and highlight the similarities, differences and relationships between traditions.

With so many schools of therapy represented, there are bound to be some differences of opinion about theory and practice. By bringing them together, we hope to give participants a comprehensive overview of the field and build bridges between individuals and groups who have much in common and might benefit from direct, respectful interaction with one another.

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Wilhelm Reich – Founder of Orgone Therapy

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