Daniel Schiff PhD Somatic Psychotherapy Training
Daniel Schiff PhDSomatic Psychotherapy Training                

Studies in Somatic Psychology                  Contemporary Orgone (Reichian) Therapy Training Program

Mitch Singer MA and Daniel Schiff Phd



An in depth training program for psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, and other health professionals who desire to become fully grounded in the theoretical and procedural fundamentals which are used in somatic psychotherapy and contemporary Reichian therapy practice. These fundamentals embody an integration of classical Reichian therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and contemporary developments in the fields of attachment and affect theory.


Course of study:  The program of study is spread over four years.  In each year there will be

six 7-hour full day meetings held either in person or via video and five 2-hour video-based meetings. Additional ongoing supervision and workshops available both during after completion of the four years.  


Format:  Meetings will include discussion of assigned readings, presentation of clinical case material, clinical demonstrations and group experiential work.  Participants will be expected to: a. read the assigned readings and come prepared to each meeting with questions to be addressed,

b. work as therapist and client in front of the group, and c. present clinical work to the group in the form of clinical presentations and audio or video recordings.


 Group size limited.



Learning objectives:


1. Develop an understanding of and ability to apply Reich’s functional conceptualization of the relationship between psyche and soma in the process of individual counseling.

2. Develop the ability to use contact and emotional attunement as a ground from which to engage clients in individual counseling from a somatic perspective.

3. Learn to apply characterological and somatic interventions with clients in individual therapy to help them address problems with estrangement from somatic experience and identify and lessen defenses against emotional contact, experience and expression.

4. Learn to work in the ‘here and now’ and track and respond to clients’ moment by moment responses to changes in their emotional state by observing somatic changes evidenced by body movement and gestures, changes in respiration and facial expression, and changes in vocal tone and prosody.


Prerequisites:  a. A graduate degree in the field of mental health or other heath profession or current enrollment in such a graduate program. b. Prior or concurrent somatic psychotherapy, preferably from a Reichian perspective.  


Fee: $2200/year; $1975 for students enrolled full time in a graduate program who have financial constraints.  Payment options available.  


Further information: contact me at my e-mail address:  dschiff@dschiffphd.com. 



Four year program outline:


I. Year One: Contemporary Orgone (Reichian) Therapy - basic theory   


A. Theoretical Underpinnings

  • Somatic Psychotherapy and Contemporary Reichian Therapy – an overview
  • The life and work of Wilhelm Reich
  • Character, Character Formation, and Character Analysis: as originally laid out by Reich
  • Character, Character Formation, and Character Analysis: contemporary viewpoints and approaches– self psychology and intersubjectivity  
  • Character Styles as originally laid out by Reich
  •       The Hysterical (Passive-Feminine) Character 
  •       The Compulsive Character 
  •       The Phallic Character 
  •       The Masochistic Character 
  • Character Styles: Contemporary Viewpoints
  •        Shapiro on Neurotic Styles
  • The Development of Orgone therapy: 
  •        The Biophysical Armor: Its nature and development
  •        Biophysical Armor and the Primary and Secondary Drives 
  •        Functional Antithesis of Sexuality and Anxiety
  •        Biological Pulsation and Autonomic Function 
  •  The Orgasm Theory
  •        Orgonotic Pulsation 
  •  Contact and its Disturbances: Contactlessness and Substitute Contact 
  • Orgonomic Functionalism
  • Orgonotic Pulsation and the Cycle of Experience 
  • The Expressive Language of the Living - Emotion and the Armor 
  • The Segmental Arrangement of the Armor 

B. Practical Underpinnings

  • Making contact:  The basis of therapeutic interventions
  •  Fossage: Listening Styles
  • Therapeutic techniques for working with the character armor
  • The body and emotions:  observing emotional changes in the biophysical realm
  • Observation of biophysical armor – the biophysical exam
  • Therapeutic techniques for working with respiration

II. Year Two:   Practice of Contemporary Reichian Therapy - introduction to therapeutic technique.


A. Theoretical Underpinnings
  • Contemporary Reichian Therapy – key concepts
  • Character Structure and the Segmental Armor
  • Orgonomic Functionalism
  • The Orgasm Theory, Orgonotic Pulsation and the Cycle of Experience
  • The Segmental Arrangement of the Armor
  • Respiration: Mechanics, Physiology, Bioenergetics
  • The Ocular Segment: Characterological and Biophysical presentation
  • Emotion and the Body 
  • Attachment theory and Emotional Regulation
B. Practical Underpinnings
  • Making contact: The basis of therapeutic interventions
  • Listening Styles - Observational vs. Reflective Interventions
  • The body and emotions: observing emotional changes in the biophysical realm
  • The beginning phase of therapy: 
  • a. the biophysical exam
  • b. the characterological evaluation
  • c. forming a tentative road map
  • Therapeutic techniques for working with the ocular segment
  • Therapeutic techniques for working with respiration
  • Therapeutic techniques for working with the armor as a whole – biophysical character analysis
  • Tracking Biological Pulsation (T-C-D-R) during the session
  • Dimensions of touch


III. Year Three:  Theory and Therapeutic Technique - intermediate studies


IV. Year Four: Refinement of therapeutic understanding and technique






Contact information

Daniel Schiff PH.D.
1033 SW Yamhill Street

Suite 402

Portland, Oregon 97205

Phone: 503 290-4655

E-mail: dschiff@dschiffphd.com

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