Hanging onto Our Heads at the Office


. . . I have seen men who are very armored in the Reichian sense. Their body defenses, physical and emotional, often have several layers.  While they often have a hard time getting through all that, there are plenty of men that have done it.  Not all of them, of course.  You can't expect every man or woman to be open to this sort of thing.


         It can be very hard because letting these things go often brings up nightmares. In general, people doing body work start dreaming more.  They also get more in touch with their vulnerable side, and don't feel as cranked up when go out to compete in business. The normal first response to this is fear, like they are walking into the High Noon sun without their six-shooters. But if they can get past that, things usually get better. Even the mainstream media, with quirky shows like Ally McBeal, for example,  is beginning to acknowledge the existence of this sort of process. Admittedly, as that show also demonstrates, the results can also be confusing.


         What does often happen, though, and this is so great, is that those first fears turn out to be unjustified.  I witnessed a great example of it last year. This particular client was self-employed, a consultant. He was successful in his business, he had a lot of accounts, but wasn't happy with himself. When he started in therapy, he was still actually very afraid of competition and had a real fear of violence. But as we progressed in the bioenergetic work, he became much freer in himself and with others, and  much more productive. Now his business is doing even better, because he's happier with it. The bioenergetic work helped him to break loose in a good way.


 . . . All this applies to what goes on inside the large corporation as well. Contrary to some kinds of conventional wisdom, the average person is now very interested in developing this sort of self-awareness, even though they might not think of it in bioenergetic terms per se.  But they are usually tied to a desk or the equivalent for five or six days a week, and then maybe, if they are lucky, get to work out or do a sport.  Within that context, finding a way to express oneself emotionally and connect up more deeply with either positive or negative feelings just doesn't seem likely.


         The barriers are both economic and social.  Not so long ago, I ran a table in the lobby of a big corporation during National Depression Screening Day. People were scurrying back and forth into their little offices. I had a general sense of everyone being under a lot of pressure,  being unnerved and rather insecure, but still knowing they had to go back and do their thing and do it in a timely way. Yet, many of them still made it over to my table long enough to say things like, "Hey, are you giving out free Prozac?"


          I had very little chance to talk to them about anything of substance because they were in such a hurry. But I could see there were plenty of people who would have liked to really talk. You could see a real longing in them for some kind of connection.


         So they are interested in the process. But I don't know if they think it's possible for them. Between their family responsibilities and their jobs, they don't feel they have the time.