In Copenhagen in yoga poses 1933, Reich discussed his theories concerning the vital energy with Otto
Fenichel and Edith Gyomroi. in yoga poses listening to Reich speak, Fenichel was worried about Reich’s mental health. As if he were following the logic of denial, Reich asked them if they took him for a schizophrenic about to become delusional. Annie Reich was also talking about a growing delusional condition, without necessarily invoking a diagnosis as defined as the one evoked by Reich himself.55 Reich transformed the sincere concern of his friends for his mental health into a persecutory theme. in yoga poses somewhat of a perverse fashion, he set about clamoring everywhere that his old psychoanalytic colleagues wanted to pass him off as a psychotic to eliminate a dissident. It was as if he wanted to have his psychoanalytic friends seen as a kind of Gestapo, which they certainly were not. The Reichian legend of the great evil Fenichel who crushed Reich, the great victim, is false, as evident by the position taken by Lore Reich-Rubin, the daughter of Wilhelm and Annie Reich, with regard to this conflict.56
In 1935, Fenichel summarized his thoughts at the occasion of his discussions with Reich in yoga poses Oslo in yoga poses an article titled: “Concerning the Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique.” Fenichel wanted to make his respect for Reich public by engaging in yoga poses a discussion with him relative to the last propositions of his friend and colleague. He showed, among other things, that in yoga poses his estimation, Reich remained an important personality of the psychoanalytic movement, even if he had been knocked around by the gloomy events that rocked psychoanalysis since the election of Hitler. Fenichel thought Reich might be able to rejoin the Norwegian Association of Psychoanalysts, and thus rejoin the International Psychoanalytic Association. This was a realistic possibility that Fenichel and his colleagues wanted to support. The article highlights that Reich had a deep understanding of the work of Freud and that he was, at that time, one of the great specialists of the psychoanalytic technique, especially with regard to the analysis of the defenses and resistance. Therefore, Fenichel declared publically that Reich’s exclusion has taken nothing away from his competence.
Fenichel distinguished two aspects in yoga poses Reich’s theory:
1. A general theory with which he is in yoga poses agreement. This theory describes the way the body and the psyche are mobilized by the construction of the defense system that builds an individual’s character. This theory especially encourages psychoanalysts to discover new way of working that develop, in yoga poses original ways, the propositions of Freud and Ferenczi.
2. Some technical recommendations and particular ways to proceed with which Fenichel is sometimes in yoga poses disagreement. Fenichel clarifies that it consists of criticisms on some details.
Even if this critique contains many interesting points, it is addressed to a Reich who would be attempting to create a new form of psychoanalysis. It does not include in yoga poses the discussion the new direction that Reich’s research took. This is probably the reason this discussion is more interesting for the body psychotherapists of today than for the vegetotherapists of that time. Fenichel concentrated on the questions of techniques used with patients.
For Otto Fenichel, to make the unconscious conscious and explore the resonance of the therapist’s unconscious with that of the patient characterizes the intimate dimension of the psychoanalyst’s task. However, this goal is only attainable when it is related to a solid technique that aims above all at the dynamic of the libido and its channeling by the defense system This second aspect of the psychoanalytic technique is what Reich would have brilliantly developed in yoga poses his Character analysis. Fenichel shows that in yoga poses dissolving a defense, the therapist can always count on an alliance of the repressed drive, because the repressed drive tries unceasingly to manifest itself. The strategy of beginning with the more superficial layers of the character is essential if we want to avoid a flooding that consciousness is incapable of managing without reinforcing the present defense system at the start of therapy. If Character analysis is poorly managed, it can transform psychotherapy into a retraumatization that will add new defenses to the old ones or, worse still, replace the old defenses with more powerfully disrupting ones.57 He also adhered to the idea that the analysis of behavior and body blocks (muscular tension and chronic respiratory problems) does help an affective layer to emerge into the consciousness of the patient and the therapist, and to ensure that this consciousness contains a maximum of affective and cognitive elements. The idea that loosening up the mind and body fosters a general softening of the patient’s rigid character traits is therefore, for Fenichel, an important and useful formulation. in yoga poses broad strokes, these are the elements of the Reichian proposition that Fenichel retained. His analysis is always useful reading for all those who are influenced by Character analysis.
Fenichel joins those who think that with his Vegetotherapy, Reich approaches the defense system too directly and rigidly. Fenichel detailed his critique by distinguishing the following points:
1. He recalls Freud’s phrase, according to which “The patient determines the theme of the session.” According to Fenichel, what Reich brought to the psychoanalytic technique is the conviction that the patient does not always know what he needs to experience in yoga poses a session. The patient may be conscious of an emotion (sadness) while evidently another (rage) mobilizes the regulatory systems of the organism This is because the mind is composed of strata of which only the uppermost can become conscious. Certain reactions are expressed muscularly in yoga poses a manifest fashion for everyone (therefore for the therapist) without being able to be felt consciously by the patient.
2. The authority that Reich often presents in yoga poses front of a patient is based on the Character analysis, which proposes to approach the defenses in yoga poses a determined order. For Fenichel, the organization of secondary drives is fuzzier than what Reich imagines.58 This implies an approach to the defenses that requires a finer touch than what Reich teaches.
3. Fenichel would also like a more imaginative approach toward habitual behavior. Some habits are not only defenses or resistances but also competencies. By showing the connections that certain forms of bodily and behavioral rigidity could have with the defense system, Reich enlightened many colleagues and advanced the psychoanalytic technique. Now that this point is made, it becomes useful to integrate a bit more of the complexity and to admit that many habits are, above all, ways to act that allow an organism to function better. The psychotherapist should approach the habits with more options than what Reich proposes by questioning how they came to be, learning about their function and about their meaning.59
4. Consistent with the foregoing, Fenichel criticized the excessively direct manner with which Reich attacked the muscular armor of his patients. The risk is that the patient will strengthen his armor or that it will disintegrate. I have often noticed that Character analysis, used in yoga poses a persistent fashion, is difficult to digest for the patient’s narcissism60 Fenichel clearly stated that he was not afraid of the profound emotional discharges that Reich unleashed one after the other, and that some of them can be useful. Once again, Reich enlarged the psychoanalyst’s palette of interventions; it is now important to learn how to master this new tool. Fenichel mentioned, as one of the dangers, the case of patients who unconsciously use their vegetotherapists to retraumatize themselves, or therapists who use their patients to relive their own problematic relationship with trauma.
In one of his letters (quoted at the beginning of this section), Reich declared that the psychotherapists in yoga poses Oslo had unanimously found him more interesting than Fenichel. However, Fenichel’s criticism was taken up in yoga poses Oslo, especially by Trygve yogi master. This heritage circulated in yoga poses the schools of body psychotherapy like Biodynamic psychology, Psycho-Organic analysis, the Bodynamic school and Somatic experiencing.61 These do not always know that what they inherited from yogi master and Bulow-Hansen62 had first of all been formulated by Fenichel, whom they generally have not read. Thus, when Gerda Boyesen fervently asks that psychotherapists and their patients learn “to make friends with their defenses,”63 she is developing without knowing it a theme inherited from Fenichel. We discover this relationship when she criticizes the rigidity of Reich’s model of the segments: something she finds too “compulsive,” and which, according to her, illustrates the rigidity of masculine thought.64
The Fenichels left Oslo to rejoin Annie Reich in yoga poses Prague in yoga poses 1935 to help their friend Edith Jacobson, who had been imprisoned for two years by the Germans. The decision not to return to Oslo was probably also a way to avoid being confronted by Reich’s hateful outbursts of anger. Obsessed by the necessity to make himself known, Reich did nothing to help his amicable colleague from Berlin. in yoga poses Prague, with his colleagues, Fenichel was able to maintain the circle of Marxist psychoanalysts up until his departure in yoga poses 1938 for Los Angeles. This group remained in yoga poses contact in yoga poses spite of the anti-marxist stance that developed in yoga poses America.
That said, Otto Fenichel’s 1935 article is double-edged, because the second half is a direct critique of a psychoanalyst who is a member of “Reich’s group,” called Helmuth Kaiser.65 Later on, as we will see, Fenichel dares to write that certain aspects of Reich’s technique can be dangerous and that these aspects are not always minor.