Reichian Therapy | Muscular De-Armoring, Somatics, and Talk Therapy

Published: Apr 23, 2024 | Revised: Jun 15, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Somatic therapy for woman on a floor mat

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Reichian Therapy is a common denominator (i.e. umbrella term) for a range of therapeutic treatment modalities that were developed or predominantly inspired by the psychotherapist Wilhelm Reich (1897 – 1957).

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Reich is considered the “Godfather” of Body-Oriented Psychotherapy (or Somatic Psychotherapy), which in his particular case was heavily based on identifying and releasing a patient’s Body Armor (or Muscular Armor as he called it), alongside regular Talk Therapy (i.e. Psychotherapy).

Reich’s influence on the further development of psychotherapy and mind-body therapies (somatic therapies) can hardly be overestimated, and many psychotherapists, but also a broad range of somatic therapy, breathwork, massage and bodywork treatment modalities and practitioners use the fruits of his insights and work in their practice.

In fact, nowadays — with the increasing number of new somatic or body-oriented treatment modalities being developed on a continuous basis — it’s often not even any longer clear that they are actually based on Reich’s concepts or on work developed by his early disciples and students.

In a general sense, we could safely say that most emotional and trauma release therapies that have a somatic approach — either implemented as somatic education or somatic therapy — draw more or less from Reich’s work.

Think, for instance, of numerous Body De-Armoring and breathwork therapies, Somatic Experiencing, Sexological Bodywork, TRE Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises, the BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System, and Jin Shin Do, to just give some examples.

At any rate, here below we’ve listed the most important therapies developed or directly inspired by Wilhelm Reich. Just follow the links to learn more about these modalities.

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