A Typical Vegetotherapy Session.
We have seen that in yoga poses Freud’s theory of the cathexis of drives, a drive can be invested, underinvested, or overinvested. In yoga poses the context of the psychoanalytic technique, it mostly consists of the psychological sensation of an affect (anger, sadness, need, etc. ) and its object (the mother, the brother, one’s children, a colleague, etc. ) when a drive has a secondary structure.
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52 Reich takes up this model to analyze the vegetative dynamics. A partial drive builds itself from the vegetative dynamic structures, which are overinvested or underinvested:
1. Overinvested physiological mechanisms: Strong muscular tensions, rapid respiration, very warm skin, red skin and greasy hair, sweat, constant useless movements, expressions that are more intense than is appropriate, loud voice, recurring thoughts, and so on.
2. Underinvested physiological mechanisms are characterized by the impression that there is a withdrawal of vitality: weak muscles, poor respiration, cold skin, pale skin, dry skin and hair, persistent functionless immobility, lack of expression, weak voice, penury of thoughts, and so.
A typical session therefore begins with an inspection of the distribution of the energetic charge in yoga poses the patient’s organism and the impact of this charge on the organism of the therapist. Then, if the patient is not already in yoga poses an extreme state of overinvestment or underinvestment, the Vegetotherapy of the 1930s increases the charge of the patient’s organism by having him move (for example, hitting the mattress with hands and feet) and by mobilizing deep breathing. Once the vegetative charge of the organism has become more intense, the therapist looks for what this increase has provokes as a counterreaction: which parts of the organism react by becoming overinvested and which react by becoming underinvested. Having detected these reactions, the therapist concentrates on those that are nearest to the cranium, while avoiding making requests that would awaken thoughts and affects the patient is not able to integrate. For example, if the fists are extended with a furious urge to hit, but the patient does not have an image of the person whom he has the urge to hit, the therapist can change to a more verbal style of exploration, seeking to discover who might be the object of that anger, or focus on another part of the organism. The goals sought by this session are twofold:
1. To have repressed memories and feelings return to the surface in yoga poses its entirety. That implies that a repressed affect finally take its place in yoga poses the dynamics of the organism and coordinates the dimensions of the organism in yoga poses such a way as to be able to express itself fully and completely. The physiological and psychological mobilization is complete.
2. To thus permit a restoration of the organism’s mechanisms of auto-regulation: metabolic and physiological auto-regulation on one hand, but affective on the other. The organism learns, by these sessions, to dare to live its emotions in yoga poses the face of others and of oneself.
Reich Picks the Wrong Enemy: What Fenichel Would Have Liked to Discuss with Reich with Regard to the Body and Psychotherapeutic Technique.
Fenichel never wanted to commit himself unequivocally to my scientific platform. He did not want to be just one of the “Reich group” (Reich, 1994, Beyond Psychology, 11). Yesterday, Fenichel presented his “criticism” of my technique and everybody was against him, including most of his own analysands (Nic Hoel, Raknes). Did you know he’s leaving Oslo? Things have been hard for him lately because the superiority of character analysis had become obvious to all. He’s going to Prague. Unfortunately, he believes that this will solve his problems. The whole Norwegian group has sided with me, except for some who doesn’t know what it is all about, and two people who are honestly trying but are structurally incapable. (Reich, 1994, Beyond Psychology, 41)
Reich finally admitted that Fenichel was a loyal friend who was against his expulsion from the International Association of Psychoanalysis. 53 But he could not stand that Fenichel attempted to defend him against everyone without understanding what was at stake in yoga poses his endeavor and that he permitted himself to criticize certain aspects of his work. 54 For Reich, Fenichel became the kind of friend one prefers to have as an enemy. Fenichel could not accept that Reich had left psychotherapy to the psychoanalysts and was now passionately involved in yoga poses something that was an unknown territory on the continent of therapies. Fenichel thought he was honoring Reich by guaranteeing his ability as a psychoanalyst, but he did not want to recognize that Reich’s genius went beyond psychology by following a road that led to regions in yoga poses which psychoanalysis is part of a distant horizon left far behind.