Daniel Schiff PhD Somatic Psychotherapy Training
Daniel Schiff PhDSomatic Psychotherapy Training                

Beginning in Fall:  September 2022 thru June 2023


Studies in Somatic Psychology

Contemporary Orgone (Reichian) Therapy Four-Year Training 


Year 1: Relational and somatically focused character analysis 

Year 2:  Working with the somatic armor 


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, twenty 2-hour video or in person meetings per year, consisting of two meetings per month for ten months (September thru June).  Forty hours per year total.


Format:  Meetings will include discussion of assigned readings, presentation of clinical case material, clinical demonstrations and group experiential work.  



Learning objectives:


1. Develop a thorough 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 a thorough understanding of the evolution of contemporary Reichian therapeutic practice from its origins in psychoanalysis to its current form.

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

4. 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.

5. 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.


Topics covered:


 A. Theory:

  • Contemporary Orgone (Reichian) Therapy – foundational principals
  • Gestalt therapy theory and technique 
  • Orgonomic functionalism
  • Emotion, armor and the expressive language of the living
  • The biophysical segmental armor
  • Character structure and function
  • Contemporary character analytic theory
  • Self-psychology and intersubjective theory
  • Contemporary emotion and attachment theory as applied in therapy


B. Therapeutic Practice:

  • Use of contact and emotional attunement in therapy
  • The orgonomic functional approach to working with armor:  characterological and somatic interventions
  • Process oriented character analysis
  • Working with transference and countertransference
  • Working in and with the 'here and now'
  • Addressing varying presenting problems
  • Therapist's use of self and finding one's therapeutic style


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.  


Times/Dates: via Zoom:  Alternate Wednesdays, 4:30 - 6:30 PM PST, beginning in                                                   September, 2022.  Go to the syllabus link for specific dates.


Fee: $2400/year; $2200 for students enrolled full time in a graduate program who have financial constraints.  Payment options available. Some scholarships available.


Continueing Education:  40 CEU's  - NASW.


Group size limited to 12 participants


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



Four year program outline:


I. Year One: Relational and somatically focused character analysis   


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
  •        Character styles from the perspective of affect theory
  •        Character styles from the perspective of self psychology
  • The Biophysical (somatic) Armor: 
  •        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 
  •  Orgonotic Pulsation and the Cycle of Experience 
  • The Expressive Language of the Living - Emotion and the Armor 

B. Practical Underpinnings

  • Making/facilitating contact:  The heart of relational and somatically focused character analysis
  • Listening styles and forms of contact - a self psychological and intersubjective perspective
  • Facilitation of contact through awareness, movement, and breath
  • Present centered therapeutic techniques for working with the character armor
  • The body and emotions:  observing emotional changes in the biophysical realm
  • Working with awareness, movement, and breath


II. Year Two:   Addressing the biophysical (somatic) armor 


A. Theoretical Underpinnings
  • Contemporary Orgone (Reichian) Therapy – key concepts
  • Character Structure and the Segmental Armor
  • Orgonomic Functionalism
  • The Orgasm Theory, Orgonotic Pulsation and the Cycle of Experience
  • The Expressive Language of the Living - the Biophysical Armor
  • The Segmental Arrangement of the Biophysical Armor
  • Respiration: Mechanics, Physiology, Bioenergetics
  • The Ocular Segment: Characterological and Biophysical presentation
  • Emotion and the Body 
  • Attachment theory and Emotional Regulation
B. Practical Underpinnings
  • 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 – relational character analysis in the somatic rea
  • 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.
945 NE Hazelfern Place

Portland, Oregon 97232

Phone: 503 290-4655

E-mail: dschiff@dschiffphd.com

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