Reich, Wilhelm

An early disciple of Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957) was a major, but controversial, figure in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Having advanced character analysis theories and sexual theories, Reich applied these theories to politics and society. Later in his career, Reich developed a therapy for harnessing one’s cosmic energy as a treatment for mental and physical ailments, a therapy that was attacked by the medical and scientific establishment. Reich was born on a farm in Bakovina, now part of the Ukraine. His early life was marred by tragedy. Reich’s mother died of an apparent suicide when Reich was only 13 years of age. His father died only 4 years later of tuberculosis, an illness that Reich later contracted and survived. The family was Jewish but ...

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