Reich, Wilhelm

Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957) was an Austrian psychiatrist and a major thinker who combined psychoanalytic and political frameworks in order to understand human behavior. While still a medical student at the University of Vienna in 1920, Reich joined Sigmund Freud’s Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. He was a brilliant and controversial figure from the start. By 1924, he had assumed the role of assistant director of the Ambulatorium, the free psychoanalytic clinic, where he treated the emotional problems of poor and disenfranchised groups like laborers, farmers, students, and others with wages too low to afford private treatment. However, Reich was especially interested in helping adolescents cope with the pressures of family, work, and society.

Because he believed that both the rearing of children and family problems were inseparable from ...

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