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Welcome to the Modern Orgonomy Method

“Why Modern Orgonomy?”

hysterical character,

Modern Orgonomy is an outgrowth of the current therapeutic call to harness the power of Character work and Biophysical Interventions in these treacherous modern times. Character work is a distinctive, enlivened form of therapy that softens and dismantles the rigidified armoring born from coping strategies due to chronic misattunement, neglect and/or trauma and adversity. Biophysical Interventions work directly with the body to dissolve blockages from head to the pelvis while vitalizing respiration. As our capacity to sustain increased respiratory expansion builds, long-suppressed emotions can make their way to the surface to be worked through and resolved.

We have historically defined Orgonomy as the full field of Reich’s therapeutic work inclusive of Character Analysis and Biophysical Interventions. Reich’s Character types masterfully concentrated on the post-Oedipal neurotic presentation. Modern Orgomomy updates Reich’s character typology to include the pre-Oedipal stage of development, referenced by Reich as the “Oral Character”. We now understand the nature of the Oral Character through research in developmental psychology delineated by Masterson and his extensive work on Disorders of the Self. In tune with James Masterson’s seminal work, Modern Orgonomy embraces the full spectrum of Character Development and Attachment through all stages of development.

Modern Orgonomy integrates Jungian Psychology and Mindfulness to access the rich terrain of the personal and collective subconscious; a fundamental therapeutic means to facilitate the emergence of the real self. Bridging Character work with Jungian Depth work provides a comprehensive therapeutic process that takes one from the false armored self to the spontaneous and creative expression that is the real self.

August 2020 Reich’s Phallic Character: The Compulsive – The Case of Brewster

compulsive character type Compulsive Character Type

Brewster is the epitome of the compulsive character type in that he rigidly controls all of his personal habits and attempts to control all the basic actions of his family members, particularly his wife Sara. The function of his behavior is an unconscious attempt to manage the deluge of anxiety through over-managing every detail of his life in an exacting manner. He chronically fends off the fear of chaos as if his life is guarding against a pending tsunami, as he furiously sets-up bulwarks. Terrified feelings underwrite this character but are out of view due to the compulsive behaviors that mask them. For example, if all surfaces are immaculate, he is relieved; if there is extreme order, he feels “better”.

Brewster, 50 years old, is an intelligent, responsible and dedicated accountant whose methodicalness is appreciated by his clientele. He is the breadwinner of the family and supports an ample lifestyle.

His wife, Sara is not a devotee of tidiness and cleanliness, so finds his preoccupations stifling. She has outbursts of rage in response to his constant requirements and demands. Yet his other attributes keep her somewhat content in the marriage. Brewster’s daughter Chelsey is 12. Sara protects her daughter from his over-controlling behaviors and fortunately limits his infringement. Chelsey has a both a playroom and a bedroom which are officially off limits to Brewster. This containment is important as it will help her grow up without developing her father’s compulsive habits.

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July 2020 Reich’s Phallic Character: The Paranoid- The Case of Sandra

manic depressive

Sandra, 42, was a highly intelligent wiz with numbers who has excelled in mathematics since she was a youngster. She was accepted into an Ivy League university and ended-up with a lucrative position in a top-tier brokerage firm in Manhattan.  Sandra’s relationship with math had always been straight-forward and involved no interpretation; it was a pure and simple proposition. As long as her mind focused on numbers she managed well.

The problems arose in other areas of her life and there she did not cope effectively. Sandra was known among her work associates to be difficult, and, at times, stridently combative. She misread cues, created “stories” in her head about other people’s trespasses; and was convinced they were calculating ways to undermine her. Frequently, she would provoke others in a misguided attempt to prove that her suspicions were correct. She couldn’t resist setting up others and relishing the sense of vindication.

Paranoid Symptomology

She often squinted her eyes, peering out through tiny slits – a sign of ocular holding or eye armoring. ( ). Particularly, at those times her perceptions were compromised as she could not accurately assess reality through her eyes. With an ocular block, one’s vision can be blurred, resulting in less visual acuity and the mobility of the eye is diminished. Sandra’s eyes looked frozen, wide-eyed with alarm and terror. Her eyes also expressed anger as she peered into her alienated landscape.

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June 2020 Reich’s Phallic Character: The Manic Depressive – The Case of Delia

manic depressive

Delia, 40, has been called “high-strung” for most of her life; one might say she is “wired”. She expresses predominantly the manic side of this character type although she can fall into depressive episodes. She is known to over-talk, over-eat, over-shop, as she flits from topic to topic during conversations, and is chronically over scheduled. She moves from event to event, project to project — on good days. Delia thrives on impulsive ideas and manifests them quickly without sufficient contemplation, manifesting a textbook manic depressive personality.

Delia has a disorganized quality that permeates her life although she is perceived as functioning well at her job as a sales manager in a start-up.

She is excitable, eccentric and mimics a hot-air balloon that stays up indefinitely until she performs a crash-land. She experiences panic when her instability moves to a breaking point and she feels like she is spinning in circles. She has difficulty maintaining any type of schedule, tends to be undisciplined and “unregulated”, and is not likely to calm down unless she drops from sheer exhaustion. Over time this up-and-down process is wearing her thin as she unravels more with each bout.

She has been married for fifteen years and although he is patient with her ups-and-downs, she causes problems; her hyper-quality creates havoc as she moves about the house at record speed with a mile-long to-do list. She lapses into irritability; she is easily frustrated and impatient, and at times becomes caught in obsessive thinking that traps her in spirals as her thoughts take over and she becomes immobilized and confused.

Delia’s style is volatile. The chaotic elements spin her into a depression where life feels meaningless and empty, and her body becomes laden with exhaustion and pain from the extreme tension. Then she might stay in bed, tossing and turning, throughout her day, in a restless stupor.

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May 2020 Reich’s Phallic Character: The Chronic Depressive – The Case of Bob

chronic depressiveLife in Quarantine – the Global Pandemic

We are living and dying in the midst of an historic, once-in-a-century event — a global crisis, the proportions of WWII with stark reminders of the food lines and poverty of the Great Depression. Many of us are facing immediate financial ruin as businesses collapse, and jobs are lost; the anxiety of faltering resources pervade our consciousness.  We read the news and know we are tumbling into a free fall, over the cliff of uncertainty; the unknowable surrounds us, leading to chronic depressive tendencies.

We struggle through a multitude of feelings as they bounce off each other on our own psychic pool table. The early morning might elicit depression: “I will stay in bed, I feel too lethargic to move. I feel like I am sinking, I don’t want to face another day feeling low”; the next moment invites some energy with the thought of an inspired activity: “OK I am going to clean house today, or plant flowers in my garden, I will feel better if I do something, anything productive. I must stay in the moment”.

Mid-morning: “I need to sign in to my remote work as I am lucky to have a job”. Exhaustion sets in from Zooming. “I feel angry and irritable by late afternoon and my mate is getting on my nerves.” “You are too controlling, demanding – please stop and give me some space”. Tempers flare like sizzling fireworks only to fizzle leaving a kind of emptiness and feelings of abandonment. Later a realization emerges: “I could be alone going through this, that might be challenging too. Is it happy hour yet?“ “OK! I feel better, it is time to watch Netflix”. “I better turn off the TV that compels me to watch for hours.” “Time to sleep except I am up at 2:00 tossing and turning for what feels like hours – thoughts of everything crowd my mind. I am sick of staying home; I miss my extended family; I yearn to hug them. I feel a panic in the middle of the night, I have a cough –do I have the virus or is it my allergies?” Sleep deprived I start yet another day in quarantine. “I hope we continue to flatten the curve but the politics of all of this is making me crazy. I am furious at the government’s response – grrrh!” “One positive in all of this is I am perfecting my cooking, eating, cooking, eating, cooking, although it is exhausting – oh if only I could go to a restaurant and eat with others.” The beat of the quarantine goes on.


Many of us can be prone to chronic depression which may have existed all our lives. A few suffer from a biological, endogenous depression that therapy and medication can lift. Many have had significant trauma that has resulted in a lifelong battle with depression. Depression can manifest as lethargy, difficulty finding meaning and purpose, feeling waylaid through various significant periods in a life until the losses accrue, the missed opportunities pile up and strong depressive symptoms weigh us down; insomnia, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness to conquer rather than collapse in the battlefield. We may feel historic loss from early trauma that haunts us; a loneliness that is at the base of our existence.

This blog is about a character type called the Chronic Depressive which is a style that differentiates a situational depression as a character marker, from the tendency to exist in a semi-state of depression.

Bob has suffered depression all his life to varying degrees. He has been successful in his career as an engineer and advanced to managing ten people in a successful start-up.

He is married and has two children, 5 and 8, and enjoys family life, although at times he feels he doesn’t meet the expectations and lacks the energy to sustain all his commitments. He feels guilty with his wife and his kids. He simply can’t do enough and falters, feeling badly about himself. He is not measuring up.

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March –Reich’s Phallic Narcissistic Character: The Case of Mark

Mark, 48 moves aggressively in the world with a swagger. He wants what he wants when he wants it. He is an accomplished VP of sales in a successful start-up. Colleagues gravitate toward him, not for his intrinsic likeability but because he has a glow that they attempt to use to their advantage– he has charisma and is boastfully confident so they need to keep in his good graces. (Frequently some business cultures are based on using others for gain without the cultivation of more meaningful values.)

Mark is an opportunist who positions himself well and strives to maintain a top-dog position. He can charm a room with his blazing smile of perfectly aligned white teeth and trendy yet seemingly careless clothing.

Mark has a wife, two kids, a home in a posh neighborhood; he has all the trappings of ultimate success. He has succeeded because of his strong energy system, drive and discipline. He is heading for a fall, though, as his attitudes of grandiosity and inflation give him a false sense of untouchability, as if he can get away with anything, soaring above the clouds without consequences. However, he recently spread himself too thin by purchasing a vacation home while making poor investments, causing him anxiety, an unusual state for him to experience.

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February –Reich’s Hysterical Character: The case of Melanie

Reich’s Hysterical Character: The case of Melanie

Melanie, 41, is an active, vibrant, heterosexual woman with an abundance of energy coursing through her body. She has had a successful career as an executive and is financially secure. In spite of her career success, she suffers from debilitating anxiety that manifests in compulsive nervous habits, for example, chewing her nails or obsessively twisting her long auburn hair.  Her defensive style of laughing over everything, entertaining with a dramatic flair coupled with a chattery superficiality, leads her down an empty path. She focuses on her appearance and has a seductive flair obvious to those around her to the detriment of developing depth. Melanie over-exercises and is hyper busy; these character patterns are wearing thin internally and with her friends and colleagues. She lacks a central core, is suggestible, and can be easily influenced. She stands out as attractive and charming, yet embodies a sense of frantic frenzy that bubbles beneath the surface.

As she moves into her 40’s, aging issues are surfacing. She is in a transition from the young, driven woman climbing the ladder of success to one that is crossing over to critical junctures that are underdeveloped. She is externalized and has little connection with her interior. Melanie’s character patterns are no longer functional.

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Healthy Qualities of Mind/Body—Reich’s The Genital Character

healthy qualities of mind/bodyReich’s character type typology gives us a map of how developmental passages combine with nature and nurture to influence formation of our defensive structures and, over time, define our consistent way of being. This system of organizing character types is functional in that it does not pigeonhole people in a black and white way. Most people fit into a defined character type with some consistency, yet we are also all unique, therefore adding shading to an individual’s description. Reich’s character typology creates an elegant map that correlates with his schema of body armoring. This is a comprehensive and integrated approach to the mind/body: the character types organize the body structure and vice versa, affecting the entirety of the body, including the autonomic nervous system.

In classical analytic theory, it is understood that development is a complex interaction between our genetic, energetic template combined with early attachment progress, family dynamics, external situations (i.e. war, death, relocation, medical issues, etc.) and other influences that effect how our lives progress. Reich wove all these factors together and defined the inevitable fixations and resulting armoring as they occur during various developmental stages. This tapestry defines how and where the energy can get concentrated or blocked. Symptoms occur when there is blockage at various points of development.

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The Art of Character Analysis

Character analysis, as defined by Wilhelm Reich, is an essential component of my method. I often quote Reich as his explanations make vividly clear the nuances of his clinical approach. I picked a selection for you that describes an aspect of character analysis and how it works in practice.

We stated that character analysis begins with the singling out and consistent analysis of the character resistance. This does not mean that the patient is enjoined not to be aggressive, not to be deceptive, not to speak in an incoherent manner, to follow the basic rule, etc. Such demands would not only be contrary to analytic procedure, they would be fruitless… In character analysis we ask ourselves why is the patient deceptive, speaks in an incoherent manner, is emotionally blocked, etc.; we endeavor to arouse his interest in the peculiarities of his character in order to elucidate, with his help, their meaning and origin through analysis.  In other words, we merely single out from the orbit of the personality the character trait from which the cardinal resistance proceeds, and, if possible, we show the patient the surface relation between the character and the symptoms….we isolate the character trait and put it before the patient again and again until he has succeeded in breaking clear of it and viewing it as he would a vexatious compulsive symptom” (Reich, Selected Writings, 1973, 56)

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Contact: Our Suffering Planet

This post was originally written in May 2017 around the time the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Agreement and mysteriously it was not posted. As I revisited this post in light of our current roiling planet, it made sense that I publish it now.

In the last few weeks many of us have been experiencing an apocalyptic foreboding as fires rage through brittle dry trees creating falling ash and dark skies filled with smoke resulting in unbreathable air; violent hurricanes dismantle islands and pummel cities — storm surges create overwhelming deluges as hurricanes, one after the other, batter our cities tearing up lives and structures as if they are weightless toothpicks to be tossed aside; earthquakes flattened areas in Mexico and we watched all of these events with deepening alarm. One could not help but feel the climate chaos and our sustained blindness to planetary suffering. (See: This Season, Western Wildfires Are Close By and Running Free; New York Times, 9/16/17.)

My son, Kyle Lemle, published a potent and psychologically provocative article titled in June 2017: Beyond America & The Paris Agreement: Eco-Cultural Regeneration as Climate Justice.

Kyle writes of our country’s climate denial: our contactless relationship to planet earth, our habit of squandering vital resources as it relates to our historic and current American psychology of consumption, manifest destiny and chronic absence of collective responsibility. Currently, American leadership is but an exaggerated parody of our enduring American style of plundering the weaker; a culture that preserves selfishness, self-centeredness and greed and harbors a delusional, non-inclusive attitude that we are not all in this together. We have always lacked reciprocity, “the process of giving back what we have taken.” Kyle reminds us that this has been a continuous cultural mandate and we must not deny and fall into the current blame game. Rather, we must look deeply within to alter the ways we interact within our environment. I encourage you to read his article.

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