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Reich’s Character Types: Phallic Character Types & the Manic Depressive Character

This post continues our discussion of Phallic Character types. In our last post, we described the Chronic Depressive Character , a phallic type distinguished by repression in the oral segment. The Manic Depressive also has an oral block, but it is the unsatisfied type. Please refer to my post on the oral segment as it discusses the oral repressed and unsatisfied types that color all the major characters.

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Reich’s Map of Body Armor: Oral Segment


I discussed the ocular segment in my last post and will now move on to the oral segment. This segment includes the mouth, jaw, throat, and back of the head. Presence of armoring in this segment can be quite apparent both in behaviors and physical symptoms.

In infancy, our first critical need is to obtain nourishment, which is met through our mouth with milk from mother’s breast or bottle. As we pass through the oral stage developmentally, we can experience degrees of satisfaction, frustration, or deprivation. This stage, with its emphasis on feeding, includes contactful nurturing; a warm, relaxed, and secure bodily and emotional context; and a resonant bond with the mother or caretakers that allows for abiding trust to establish and grow.

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