One of the most useful tools in understanding our early conditioning, our hidden motivations, our core wound and how to heal it, and the dynamics of our relationships with others is called Characterology. This system of analyzing the personality was elucidated by Wilhelm Reich, M.D., a psychiatrist and student of Freud. Dr. Reich is the father of Mind-Body medicine, and coined the terms orgone, armoring and blocks. His system of character analysis describes the defensive structures the ego creates in response to birth trauma and parental wounding. The five primary wounds being terror, deprivation, humiliation, betrayal and rejection.
Our response to these wounds shapes our bodies as well as our personality. A healing response to the core wound gives us the qualities and strength we need to bring our unique gift to the world. The ultimate purpose of this work is to become less defended.
Personality growth can be seen as a process where the child becomes progressively conscious of its rights. There are five character types:
- Schizoid - The right to exist, to individuate. Can be conception to one month, although birth trauma is classical. Any threat to the child's existence results in uncertainty of his right to be which produces a schizoid tendency. READ MORE »
- Oral - The right to be secure in one's support and nourishment from the mother. The first month of life up to 18 months of age. Insecurity around nurturing produces an oral tendency.
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- Masochistic - The right to be independent. The "terrible twos", 18-36 months of age. Established by child's self-assertion and opposition to parent. The parent's crushing self-assertion and opposition produces a masochistic tendency. READ MORE »
Psychopathic - The right to be autonomous - not subject to parent's needs. Early childhood, typically 3-7 years of age. When opposite sex parent is unconsciously seductive, the child avoids parental control by being seductive rather than yielding to parental seduction. "You can be close to me" rather than "I need to be close to you" produces a psychopathic tendency.
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- Rigid - The right to want and to attempt to satisfy these wants directly and openly. 4-12 years of age. Rejection by a parent of the child's love creates a defense in which the child guards against expressing love openly, so as to avoid another heartbreak. This parental seduction followed by rejection of the child's love produces a rigid tendency. READ MORE »