Home Concepts Managing Stress & Challenges Oiling the Tin Man’s Armor and Healing His Heart III: Reich’s and Feldenkrais’s Treatment

Oiling the Tin Man’s Armor and Healing His Heart III: Reich’s and Feldenkrais’s Treatment

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The Tin Man is waiting alongside Dorothy and the Scarecrow. Toto is racing around beneath their feet and in the nearby forest restless to get on with their journey. These characters of the legend of OZ are patiently waiting for Wilhelm Reich and Moshe Feldenkrais to show up before restarting their trip to Oz. Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man have taken a few moments to reflect on the validating of the Good Witch’s claim that the Wizard can solve everything. Even though she is a “good” witch, Belinda is inclined like all witches to distort reality and place everyone in the “absolutely good” or “absolutely bad” category.

Our thoughtful colleagues concluded that anyone who is ruling an entire city (especially if it is Emerald in color and perhaps in substance) can’t be all good or all bad. Mayors, emperors and other rulers are likely to be a bit dishonest in declaring their capacity to solve all problems. As a resident of Kansas, Dorothy suggests that they call in two experts regarding the matter of armaments and the healing of hearts. She recommends Wilhelm Reich and Moshe Feldenkrais.

Neither Reich nor Feldenkrais are politicians. Rather, both are noted experts on these matters – though each is quite controversial. Dorothy and the Scarecrow convince the Tin Man that it is worth a try. If either Reich or Feldenkrais are successful, then the trip to Oz can focus on the Scarecrow’s acquisition of a brain and Dorothy’s return to Kansas (possibly bringing Reich and Feldenkrais along with her). With his new mobility and heart, the Tin Man can be of great service to both Dorothy and the Scarecrow. If they can only get Toto to calm down a bit . . .

Reich: Healing the Heart

We can first introduce Wilhelm Reich—though we have already introduced him in the first and second of our essays (Bergquist, 2023a, Bergquist, 2023b) and have listened to his own initial account of armor and the healing of hearts. To begin with, Wilhelm Reich (1972, p. 42) is aligned with Freud in offering a topographical point of view. The technique being used is dependent on the particular element of the psyche being addressed (Id, Ego, Super-Ego). Reich, however, moves beyond Freud in his expansive perspective on the dynamics operating in a psychoanalytic program. He believes that unconscious matter can’t become conscious until such time as the resistance of the patient has been addressed. Dr. Reich isn’t done. He offers a third point of view that he identifies as economic and structural. It concerns the distinctive strategies to be used with each patient—depending in large part on their character structure.

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