Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Role Of Oxytocin In Orgone Therapy

                                                THE  ROLE  OF  OXYTOCIN  IN ORGONE  THERAPY

In orgone therapy, the victim frequently forms an unacceptably strong bond with the therapist. In many cases, this bond remains throughout life, preventing the victim of orgone therapy from ever regaining his emotional independence from the therapist. This is one reason I have always thought of orgone therapy as more destructive than other forms of psychiatric assault. 

 There is a much stronger transference in orgone therapy than in any other kind of psychological treatment, and Reich never did realize this or figure out how to desolve it. So the pateint becomes emotionally dependent on the therapist for life. Even long after ending therapy, I have seen them run to their ex-therapist for advice on who to marry or what to invest in, and to ask for permission to talk to me. 

I know one man who has been in therapy for 22 years and still thinks he needs more of it. I would think, after 22 years of it, that he should conclude it is not working and it is time to try something else. 

Recently, in conversation with a biologist, it was suggested that the techniques used in orgonomic attacks by a therapist might result in increased levels of oxytocin, and that this well-studied biochemical substance could explain the unacceptable effects of orgone therapy that render it so destructive to the mental health of persons who are so ill-advised as to enter into this form of psychiatric manipulation. 

Upon further study, it does indeed look as if oxytocin secretion accounts for the harm to the emotional independence of the patient done by orgone therapy and this danger should be brought to the attention of potential victims.

The deep breathing induced in orgone therapy results in increased levels of oxytocin, and that leads to intense bonding with the therapist. The effect leads to emotional dependence upon the therapist, often for life. 

This phenomenon can be found in another context. The inflated respect and admiration of the chela for the guru in traditional yoga as long practiced in India. In yoga, as in Reichian therapy, unusually deep breathing is induced. And the same results follow. The student become emotionally attached to the teacher for life, to an irrational degree, permiting the teacher to interfere at will in his life, his values, his other relationships, and every other aspect of his life. 

Just as the dependence on the orgonomist can cause a patient to abandon long-held values and attitudes and substitute those of the therapist in science, politics, etc., the chela in traditional yoga training become firmly convinced of anything he is told by the unimpeachable source. Reincarnation, karma, etc., all come to seem unquestionable because of this chemical bonding due to the deeper breathing. 

In orgonomy, the therapists of the ACO, a viciously far-right organization, consider anyone even slightly to the left of the political spectrum to be exhibiting symptoms of psychopathology, so they cannot consider anyone to have been treated successfully until he has given up any leftist tendencies and replaced them with the far-right orientation of the orgonomist. This explains why the patients and former patients of orgonomist so often can be found on the far right. 

If the therapist is a member of the ACO, no patient would be considered cured and ready to end therapy unless he agreed with the politics of the therapist since the ACO position is that their own political positions are "healthy" and others are "sick". So in that context, that "set" and "setting", orgone therapy amounts to a form of brainwashing of the patient into accepting the political beliefs of the therapists. And in the case of the ACO, those are the political beliefs of the late Ellsworth Baker, since he was the training therapist of most of the ACO therapists. This is the unrecognized fact behind a public statement I once heard by a prominent orgone therapist that "Successful therapy make a person more conservative". 

The uncritical acceptence of other claims frequently made in Reichian circles, such as the alleged "communist plot" against Reich, or the claim that the earth is under attack by UFOs, are also accepted not on a basis of any evidence, but only because the honored and respected therapist proclaims them. People who have been in Reichian therapy and accept such ideas should be regarded as if they had been subjected to hypnotic drugs, as indeed they have been. 

The breathing exercises in orgonomy are tailor made to bring about this dependency via the elevation of oxytocin levels and this should be taken into account by anyone contemplating entering this form of therapy. And a lot of research needs to be done on the apparent relationship`between the effects of orgone therapy and the effects of oxytocin. 

The dependency is missing in modern New Age yoga students in the West because in the West, yoga is normally engaged in only a few sessions a week, and often in a group instead of in a one-on-one situation with a student spending daily time alone with the guru. 

This is the same in Reichian therapy situations. With an orthodox orgonomist, such as a member of the ACO, the patient is alone with the doctor, but in other situations, such as the group workshops introduced by Charles Kelley and Alexander Lowen, with a lot of other people present, usually strangers, the transference is less intense. 

That is why I have frequently been impressed with the ( relative ) sanity of the people who have been through Kelley's Radix training program compared to the former patients of orgonomists. They usually seem more independent-minded people and less subservient to their therapists. 

Reich never got around to doing group sessions, and neither has any of the orgonomists. Kelley and Lowen introduced this inovation, among others, and it seems to help reduce the dependency caused by the elevated levels of oxytocin brought on by the practices. 

This idea is consistant with the known bonding effects of oxytocin. It helps bonding of a mother to her child at birth, but does not make a kindergarden teacher bond to her charges . Both yoga and orgone therapy show the same tendency to dependence developing in one-on-one situations, but not when the practice is done in a group setting. 

In exploring the possible role of oxytocin in the transference experienced in orgone therapy, I came across another possibile connection. According to research findings, oxytocin can also stimulate what is called "lordosis behavior". 

The descriptions of this are nearly identical to what Reich refered to as the "orgasm reflex" or "breathing reflex" and considered the criteria of success in therapy. 

So it would now appear the breathing reflex is triggered by the secretion of oxytocin, the same chemical that results in the extreme transference of the patient to the therapist and which explains the frequently life-long emotional dependence on the therapìst that so often occurs in orgone therapy. 

Reich thought the breathing reflex was due to simple removal of obstructions that were preventing it from occuring, and that it represented a fundamental natural behavior that would happen anytime the blocks that were preventing it were removed. It is usually thought that the reflex is only obtained towards the end of therapy, and that it is an indication the treatment has been effective. But there is now plenty of solid research that shows similar behavior can be initiated by a secretion of oxytocin, and by no coincidence, this happens to be the same chemical that brings about the transference relationship between patient and therapist upon which success in therapy is said to depend. 

This further bolsters my contention that orgone therapy is more a matter of deep breathing and other practices that stimulate production of oxytocin than of any theraputic potential of the techniques. 

 If it is true, it fits right in with the hypothesis outlined above, that there is an elevated level of oxyytocin stimulated in orgone therapy, and that has the effect of producing the exceptionally strong transference seen in this form of therapy compared to any other form of psychiatry. Oxytocin has such a long and varied list of effects that  I thought there was a possibility that it could also account for some of the other results of orgone therapy as well. 

But if that is not so, and only further research could show if it is or not, the hypothesis of elevated oxytocin causing elevated dependency on the therapist still will stand on it's own, independently of if oxytocin is involved in production of the breathing reflex or not. . 

I know there are differences between the deep breathing seen in orgonomy and that in yoga, but there is a common denominator, or what Reich would call a "common functioning principal" in that both alter the normal concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, changing the blood ph and other aspects of blood chemistry.

 The neurological difference between spontaneous, involuntary autonomic breathing as done in orgonomy and controlled breathing according to a rigid fixed rate determined in advance as is done in yoga is not at issue here. The chemistry of the blood is what would determine if excess oxytocin is produced. And to judge from the information avalable on-line about oxytocin, both would have the effect of altering blood chemistry in a way that would produce more oxytocin than normal blood chemistry would.

And the fact that so many medical doctors have apparently failed to recognize this over the now more than three generations in which orgone therapy has been promoted shows how strong their own indoctrination in the psychological paradigm of orgonomy has been.

 Prior to attempting wider publication, I would welcome comments on this hypothesis from orgonomists and others with experience in this area.

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