Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wilhelm Reich on Character Armoring

"In the analysis, the neurotic character traits as a whole prove to be a compact defense mechanism against our therapeutic efforts, and when we trace the origin of this character 'armor' analytically, we see that it also has a definite economic function. Such armor serves on the one hand as a defense against external stimuli; on the other hand it proves to be a means of gaining mastery over the libido, which is continuously pushing forward from the id, because libidinal and sadistic energy is used up in the neurotic reaction formations, compensations, etc."

Wilhelm Reich (1945/1972). Character Analysis, 3rd Edition. New York: Touchstone.
(p. 48)

1 comment:

  1. i find this really important. the economic function must never loose importance from awareness of the psychoanalyst. trying to understand the economic function to me holds the key to the very core pf psychoanalytic understanding in everyday psychoanalytic practice... i quite like the word "armor" since it depicts in a pictoresque way the defense in which the patient comes "clothed" into the analytic hour.

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