Resource Description

This is a summary of the previous two handouts on one page - both a description of the 5 steps of character formation and Reich's diagram of an impulse 'turning back against itself', using terms from Transactional Analysis. This early version is in line with a traditional conceptualisation of character which does not pay much attention to the ego (which historically was just oversimplified and reduced to the defensive ego and its repressive functions). This traditional version fits with Reich's aim to ""liberate the life force/animal"", inclining the body-oriented therapist to construct their role as an ""enemy of the client's ego"". This construction of the therapeutic position was recognised and challenged as a one-sided trap by formulating the 'relational turn', and then the formulation of the 'conflicted ego in conflict with a spontaneous conflict'. This then resulted in a later, more complex version, of the character formation diagram which includes the conflicted ego.


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