Body-oriented therapy of Wilhelm Reich: techniques, techniques, exercises, feedback

Among methods of psychological impact on alcohol and drug addicts, bodily-oriented therapy is favored. It involves the elimination of mental problems through bodily contact and, as a rule, gives excellent results.

Body-oriented therapy - what is it?

The founder of bodily-oriented psychotherapy is a scientist, Dr. Wilhelm Reich, Freud's assistant. This direction in psychiatry is intended for the treatment of patients with neuroses, psychoses, various kinds of dependencies and presupposes an impact on the psyche through conducting bodily contact procedures. Reich, unlike his teacher, moved away from standard psychoanalysis and paid more attention to the impact on the body. Reich had and has many followers. In Russia, a similar method of psychotherapy is also widely used - the Feldenkrais method.

Body-oriented therapy is a whole science, an art that helps to directly influence experiences, complexes, irresistible craving through the realization of one's body sensations. A person who practices according to this technique can understand how his feelings and emotions are expressed by different bodily states. He will be trained in real ways of resolving internal conflict with the help of simple tricks.

The essence of the

methodology While conducting the research, Wilhelm Reich drew attention to the fact that the majority of patients are closed, are in strained positions, nervous. He considered that physical "clamps" can give not only muscular, but also internal tension, which prevents a person from exercising control over the state and thoughts. Specialist called this isolation "muscular shell", which was able to break through massage and special exercises. The results pleased the researcher: a more rapid recovery of patients was observed, rather than after the application of standard methods of psychotherapy.

According to the doctor, people who abuse drugs are experiencing a certain psychological trauma. It is daily maintained and intensified, a chronic tension occurs. It blocks free energy flows, there is a "shell".This "shell" does not allow a person to show his true "I", he becomes limited, completely depends on the situation.

According to Reich, only the release of internal energy will help to realize the error of his life, correctly prioritize, return to normal existence. Since all the clamps are created with the participation of neurotic reactions, it is necessary to begin to influence them precisely, for which exercises from the course of bodily-oriented therapy will be useful. Thus, the body will become an instrument for healing the soul of an addicted person.
On the video of what the body-oriented therapy is:

Techniques used by

There are several approaches( techniques) that form the basis of bodily-oriented therapy.


To reduce muscle tension, the patient is offered to relax and stretch different muscle groups in turn. After such a reception, the muscles become tired, and, in the end, relax greatly. The result is complete relaxation of the body.


Autosuggestion is perfectly suited for the treatment of all kinds of addictions. Even taking medications, the patient should accompany positive phrases in relation to his health. This has a striking effect. The patient can well cure the confidence in improving health and refusal from the drug( alcohol).The technique of auto-suggestion is usually recommended for execution not only in the doctor's office, but at home, and as often as possible.

Meditative psychotechnics

The meaning of meditation is to completely stop thinking and concentrate only on one's own feelings. It is not difficult, as it may seem at first, and meditation can be practiced in any conditions.


This technique consists in performing the technique of associated breathing. This means no pause between exhalation and inspiration. The method helps to completely relax, which allows you to survive the negative feelings and get rid of them, surrender to joy. Breathing techniques also include holotropic breathing, when hyperventilation of the lungs occurs to remove emotional and bodily blocks.

Music treatment

It is proved that music positively influences people suffering from addictions. Such a session implies that a person is given time and hearing, and other physical sensations. The result is a calming effect and relaxation.

Aims and objectives of

During the sessions of body-oriented psychotherapy with alcohol and drug addicts, the following goals can be achieved:

  • Improvement of perception of sensations from one's own body.
  • An opportunity to learn how to love your body and yourself.
  • Getting rid of complexes that interfere with living a normal, full-fledged life without "doping".
  • Finding the cause, prerequisites for the problem, and help in solving it.
  • Reduces aggressiveness, anger, irritability.
  • Help in overcoming physical dependence, reducing lumps.
  • Reduction of mental dependence through knowledge of one's own feelings, thoughts, sensations.
  • Treatment of psychosomatic problems acquired over time.
  • Improve sleep, reduce fatigue.
  • Exit from the crisis situation.
  • Efficient use of body resources.

Of course, with a serious degree of dependence, Reich's body-oriented therapy should be used only in conjunction with other narcological techniques, including medications, and the exercises themselves will be powerless.

How is the psychotherapy session?

There is no single standard for classes on this technique, each doctor has his own principles of work. The beginning can be laid with a conversation with a dependent, but often starts right away with different types of exercises. During the session, the patient is touched, his legs, hands, head are involved in the work. Touching is usually smooth, not sharp, gentle( stretching, touching, stroking, tingling, etc.).

Below are some exercises that are used within the framework of a body-oriented psychotherapy course:

  1. Earthing. To spread the legs by ΒΌ meter, the socks turn inside, in the belt bend forward. Knees slightly bend and touch your fingers to the floor. Try to straighten your legs to feel the tension, while breathing deeply. Hold the pose as long as possible, straighten very slowly.
  2. Free posture. All members of the group sit in a circle, one of them seats the rest more comfortable - unclasping his hands, removing the cross legs, lowering his shoulders, etc.
  3. Moo. Choose any melody, then moo it, while applying your hands to your legs, stomach, back, to feel their vibration.
  4. Scream. Draw air into the chest, cover your mouth with your hands, scream as hard as you can. Repeat to the feeling of devastation.
  5. Discharge of anger. Make a list of those who cause anger. Sit on a chair, lean forward, put your hands on your knees, close your eyes. Slap yourself on the knees, making a growling sound. Repeat, thinking about a person who is negatively perceived, until all the rage is poured out.
  6. Release of motor activity. Stand up, close your eyes, think completely of your body. Move, shake the body, especially in the neck, chest, repeat until relaxation.


Those who tried this treatment Reich as an auxiliary note that they had a unique chance to get to know themselves and their body closer. Usually, sleep quickly normalizes. A person can pay attention to what used to be out of sight, to find inner opportunities for relaxation without bad habits. Some understand the methodology does not come immediately, but with regular classes it still happens.

Doctors also give positive feedback on this therapy. In a difficult period, when there was a rejection of drugs and alcohol, the mood at zero, there are unpleasant physical sensations, mastering the technique of relaxation and complete removal of blocks will come at an opportune time. Therefore, many psychotherapists use an integrated approach to group and individual sessions, including in them techniques of body-oriented therapy.

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