Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Does Oxytocin Play A role In Orgone Therapy?

Dear Dr................................... ,                        ,

Recently I had a conversation with a biologist who had never heard of Reich or orgone therapy, I was explaining to her what orgone therapy is and what it does, and she had no problem with any of that, but then I mentioned a drawback to orgone therapy, that in many cases it takes so many years, essentially forever, and that many people effectively remain in treatment for a lifetime. 

She suggested that could be due to the deep abdominal breathing practiced. There is sound scientific evidence that deep abdominal breathing increases secretion of oxytocin in the body, and this is the chemical responsible for bonding between mother and infant, between mates, and in other situations. She thought it could be that a patient whose system is flooded with oxytocin from the deep breathing in orgone therapy becomes bonded to, or "hooked" on the therapist and unwilling to leave therapy. 

It is well-known in orgonomy that the transference relationship in orgone therapy is much stronger than in conventional psychotherapy and that patients frequently take on the political orientation of the therapist. Some therapists have even stated that successful therapy makes a patient "more conservative" and consider a conservative political position healthier than a liberal or leftist one. It ocurs to me to wonder if at least some of the change in political orientation to match that of the therapist on the part of some patients could be due to identification with the therapist caused by the bonding effect of oxytocin.

These un-looked for results of orgone therapy significantly resemble the worshipful relationship between a chela and his guru in traditional Indian yoga, where the same deep abdominal breathing is practiced, accompanied by the same uncritical willingness to accept the doctrines advocated by the guru. I know the deep breathing methods in yoga and orgone therapy are not the same, but the difference between them is in the spontaneous, autonomic breathing encouraged in orgonomy, vs. the formally prescribed regulated breathing rate used in yoga, and the common functioning principle, as Reich would have called it, is that deep abdominal breathing is common to both.

 I must now suspect on the basis of scientific evidence that the deep breathing employed in both yoga and orgone therapy increases oxytocin levels and triggers the bonding to the guru or therapist.

I have not personally ever been in orgone therapy, and cannot speak from personal experience on this, but I have known many who have and in many, perhaps most, cases they have seemed addicted to therapy, often remaining with it for many years, long after a critical thinker would have been expected to give it up as not working and and decide to try something else. 

And many have also seemed emotionally dependent on the therapist to a degree incompatible with mental health as the term is usually understood in modern western societies. I have several times seen people who had concluded therapy years ago run to their former therapist for advice on if they should marry a particular person, if they should have children or not, and other highly personal situations that a healthy, indendent-minded adult should be able to decide for himself.

So, as a psychologist familiar with orgone therapy, do you have any opinions on a possible role of oxytocin in orgone therapy, please? 


No comments:

Post a Comment