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Characterology Wilhelm Reich is considered the Western originator of the science of Body Mind Psychotherapy. Freud and early psychologists discovered that there is a childhood developmental process that is now known to be windows of plasticity in the brain where the developing child has their beliefs, feelings and attachments to parents, others, and objects influenced in a positive or negative way. Wilhelm Reich explored, analysed, and first proposed working archetypes of 5 key types of individual personality groups develop from this process, where developmental arrest occurs. Reich explored how the early patterns of relating and attaching to others, if problematic, interrupted, or subject to trauma, can get “wired” into the brain and the body, and then repeated as recreations in adulthood. The literal posture, body shape, muscular and fatty deposits as held in the body, as well as sense awareness organ functioning (e.g. eyesight), are affected in this process, and there develops an outcome of a correlating body structure/shape to a personality with its emotional and mental defences or adaptations towards life. This is what Reich called Characterology. The section on Reichian Segmental Armouring explains more about armouring and the interrelationship between the 7 segments that exist in the human body. The 5 Reichian Character Types There are 5 primary Character Types, each with sub-types, as no person is one character type. We are a blend of all of them at some level, but typically one or two of them pre-dominate and reveal our primary bodily, emotional and mental personality defence or posture towards life. More information on each of the Character Types can be found in each of these sections.

The Unwanted Child (Schizoid)

The Needy Child (Oral)

The Endurer (Masochist)

The Controller / Leader (Psychopath)

The Perfectionist / Obsessional (Rigid


Reich's Segmental Armouring Theory Wilhelm Reich was a major contributor to the bodymind sciences of the early 20 th century, and is credited as being the key driver of this form of scientific enquiry in the West up until the 1940’s. Reich proposed a model of the human condition that postulated a theory of energy being a primary component of all matter and space, a concept he called the orgone energy. This energy was important for living organisms as in effect it was a “life force”. Reich who was trained as a scientist, devised ways in which quantified this orgone as being electro-magnetic in nature, and that it could be measured, sensed and worked with in therapy. Reich had developed some key concepts about the human condition that fell under his theories of Orgonomy. Reich delineated armoring concepts during the Character Analysis and Orgasm Theory period of 1928-34. Reich defined Orgonomy as being the science of cosmic orgone energy (Reich:1934). Reich (1934) further defined orgone energy at that time as being “primordial cosmic energy; universally present & demonstrable visually, thermically, electroscopically, and by means of Geiger-Mueller counters, in the living organism”. From this place, Reich was interested in how this orgone energy interacted with the human condition, and expressed itself in the body and the mind. Reich established orgone therapy from this place as being the “Mobilisation of the orgone energy in the organism, ie, the liberation of the biophysical emotions from muscular & character armorings with the goal of establishing, if possible, orgastic potency”(Reich:1934). Reich stated that we develop muscular armouring to block this orgone energy. He stated “Armoring is the condition that results when energy is bound by muscular contraction and does not flow through the body”(Reich:1936) . He saw that there existed character armouring which he defined as “the sum total of typical character attitudes, which an individual develops as a blocking against their emotional excitations, resulting in rigidity in the body, and lack of emotional contact ”. He defined muscular armouring as “the sum total of muscular(chronic muscular spasms) which an individual develops as a block against the breakthrough of emotions and organ sensations, particularly anxiety, rage and sexual excitation” (Reich:1936). The overall effect of muscular armouring with character armouring created the individual. Alexander Lowen, who was an associate of Reich, best summed up this overall effect as “The character of the individual as it is manifested in his typical pattern of behaviour is also portrayed on the somatic level by the form and movement of the body. The body expression is the somatic view of the typical emotional expression which is seen on the psychic level as character. Defences show up in both dimensions, in the body as muscular armoring. ” (Lowen:1976). This theory was contained within Reichs overall theory of energy economy. This theory stated that “Economically speaking the character in ordinary life and the character resistance in the analysis serve the same function, that of avoiding unpleasure, of establishing and maintaining a psychic equilibrium – neurotic as it may be – and finally, that of absorbing repressed energies. One of its cardinal functions is that of binding “free-floating” anxiety, or, in other words, that of absorbing dammed up energy in the body.(Reich:1934).


Reich then established a theory of segmental armouring to explain how the body establishes its psychic equilibrium. In this Segmental Armouring theory, seven segments of the body exist where armouring or muscular tensions develop or takes place, and where the segmental contractions are at right angles to the flow of “life force” or orgone energy in the body. In fact Reich's concept of 7 segments also has a correlating overlay of the 7 chakra system of eastern Philosophy, and in many ways has a premise that is basically the same as proposed by eastern philosophy but in a western manner that attempts to be more quantitative and deductive. This theory as re-interpreted and updated under Bioenergetics and Core Energetics sees the 5 primary Character Structures as the fixation of the energetic movement in the body of a person. The organized vertical energy flow is antagonistic. The fixation of movement keeps the body in the sympathetic nervous system. When flow stops or is constricted, form develops with muscle or fat or stress develops and affects bone, muscle and fascia development. According to Core Energetics therapist Lisa Loustaunau (2004), when in childhood, a muscle contraction responds to a fearful situation, this is healthy, however, if the muscle stays contracted and gets stuck there, this becomes unhealthy (the body loses some of its natural, or core, wisdom). These are the 7 segments that were delineated by Reich: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Ocular or Eye Oral Cervical Thoracic Diaphragm Abdominal Pelvic

The characteristics of the 5 basic archetypal character structures are predictable outcomes based on Reich's armouring theories, and tell us much about a person’s personal history which is written into the body. Reich also delineated the concept of a physical block held in the body, which may show physical manifesting signs. Blocks often show one of the 7 segments as overcharged, an adjoining segment undercharged, and tension is in both the boundary of the 2 segments, and also the overcharged segment. The undercharged segment often shows atrophy of muscles and skin turgor. Reich also believed that the left side of the body revealed feminine self identity issues, and the right side of the body revealed masculine self identity issues. This interaction of the 7 segments forms the etiology of the 5 Primary Character Structures. The 5 Character structures are not formed in isolation to one segment ,but relate to Energy economy and the regulation is between segments and also believed to be via chakras as proposed by Eastern philosophy. Dr. Anodea Judith has written a very good book, called "Eastern Body, Western Mind", which attempts to map chakra system concepts, to Reich's Segmental Armouring and Character Structures. Further information can be found on this interaction on her Sacred Centers website.

and also a cognitive and emotional set of equivalent issues. and find our place within these and with a sense of safety about life. We develop to our DNA inheritance but signals from our environment . This is an important concept which overturns the old mechanistic science that states we are hardwired from our DNA and develop to a fixed template of some sort. touch. The Unwanted Child (Schizoid) Wilhelm Reich introduced the notion and science of Characterology and its 5 basic character types. Farrar Publishing. 1973. The child develops and grows in the womb. This is now understood to be partially wrong. 1971. Bioenergetics. which typically is represented by the mother. but for existing at all. New York. Each character type has a set of bodily postures. as a hostile reception where they were rejected not just in their own nature and humanity.4 References 1. or what is happening to the mother. turns hostile against the vulnerable and totally dependent foetus or child. 3. Alexander Lowan. Wilhelm Reich : The Evolution of his Work. Bioenergetics. New York. Reich Wilhelm. Language of the Body. 4. and John Pierrakos tended to use in Reichan therapy. muscular skeletal structuring. and may have wanted to die rather than continue in life. In fact it serves the same purpose as a cellular membrane in that it translates the stimulus of the outer environment of the mother into transcription signals that then affect the physical development of the foetus. Chicago. 1975. The Unwanted Child essentially perceived or experienced their earliest life. New York. plus a mask or presenting appearance to the world. We are born and designed to be part of a family and a community. and contact presentations to the world. The need to be wanted and accepted is a primary safety need of every person. This character structure is also referred to as the “Unwanted Child” or the “Dreamer” when working with clients in a more archetypal way that is less pathologising. Lowen Alexander. Boadella David. 2. The child felt threatened and unsafe. 1976. from conception till birth and beyond. The childhood dynamics that setup a person to have an Unwanted Child Personality outcome are typically those where the environment. MacMillan. The process begins at conception when a child is first physically entered into a relationship to its environment. Penguin books. Vision Press. feeling. Lowen Alexander. and Core Energetics respectively. We cannot progress far in our survival needs unless we satisfy these basic needs of having connection with someone who safely helps us feel wanted and included. The “Schizoid” term is the old Reichan and psychiatric derived term that Wilhelm Reich. Its world is contained in the mothers belly inside the placenta which is like a large cellular membrane. Character Analysis. 5th enlarged edition.

In a foetus regularly experiencing this effect from the mother. In adults these chemicals produce hyper-vigilance. The net effect is the foetus develops with thinner and more undeveloped limbs. We know how alcohol ingested by mothers during pregnancy can corrupt and cause mutation in the developing child.5 affect the cellular replication process using parts of the DNA. Likewise the mother also produces a range of hormones. broken. torn or torn off in the fight. The mother in a Sympathetic or “fight or flight” state of ANS produces a child who has somatic or bodily issues. This same ANS process also interrupts the developing baby's limbs and body in the same way once the baby is born and outside the womb. This is primarily due to the physical substances that are ingested by the mother reaching the child and being ingested by the child. or is “unsafe” in the world. and who often has a difficult birth. in case there is a fight. When the mother goes into the Sympathetic or “Fight or Flight” state of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The toxic substances wreak havoc to the fragile developmental processes that are building the child in the womb. especially where there is already a malnourishment problem. an outcome known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. From case studies with the “Unwanted Child” . chemicals and substances that regulate her own bodily system. Here the babies own ANS will create the same effect as the child is regularly put into a “fight or flight” state from the many ways mentioned in this article. happens to the child. about the state of the environment “out there”. neurotransmitters. anxiety. This can only be received by the child as a hostile act or from a hostile environment. and also the signals reaching the foetus from outside the womb. However research shows that for the developing foetus their reception of these same chemicals from the ANS starts to shape its own developing body. Likewise babies born to drug addicts and smokers often have the baby born with a pre-existing addiction of the same type. and we develop in adaptation and response from our environment. is often underweight. and her perception of her place in the world. and also toxify the child. firstly the placenta and womb. or toxicity from drugs. It follows that whatever is going on for the mother affects the perception of the foetus. The most obvious effect is from the physical state of the mother and her physical inputs while pregnant and soon after birth. This is because whatever happens to mother then in some translated way. We believe that the developing foetus which evolves under the Sympathetic ANS state gets “wounded” beyond its physical self to have a sense of being “unwanted”. or junk food and drink. which may be elongated. aggression or perform such functions as draining the blood supply from the limbs into the trunk of the body. it starts to starve the developing limbs of the foetus of nutrients and blood which are needed for normal limb development. If the mother is not caring for herself properly in pregnancy with proper diet and supplements. alcohol. The mother in a parasympathetic or relaxed ANS state produces a happy and well developed child who often births easily. It would appear that the foetus developed an evolutionary code for translating the mothers ANS produced chemicals into bodily outcomes. No -one knows when a foetus develops consciousness. “rejected”. Remember that the environment of the foetus is the mother. “hated”. “unloved”. then the wider body of the mother. The baby is affected by both the mother's physical state. If there is a fight then the mother will not lose so much blood if a limb is bitten. emotional state. they release key chemicals from their HPA Axis which reach the foetus through the blood stream. then the impact will be probably felt directly on the foetus in some negative way.

or get post-natal depression. The mother may have been a single parent. a drug addict or alcoholic. All this is interrupted by caeserean births which are now accepted and promoted by doctors.6 personalities they appear to have a deep sense of alienation. The fad of mothers having a caeserean birth creates numerous issues for the child. safe and can be relaxed or stressed. and so force their separation. already had numerous other older children to look after. and also compresses the lungs to drive out amoebic fluid. crying and wanting attention and love and nurturance. or were in poverty or survival consciousness due to lack of resources or from living in a war zone or disaster. Children are born with strong instinctual and encoded intelligence for both socialisation and for reading people’s faces. or attack or rage at the mother and therefore the child. By default. The natural birthing process has been shown to coat the child with Oxytocin which then helps forge the mother-child bond at birth. quickly had another child close before this one. be unable to communicate emotionally in general with the mother. The child quickly learns whether in fact it is wanted. or have problems getting the breast feeding process going. may then continue once the baby comes home from hospital. All of these can add to the negative dynamics and experiences of the child. In fact some dynamics worsen as the child is now present. and a long labour. what affects the mother and makes them upset or unsafe. Whatever may have gone in the world of the mother and her environments. The mother may not bond with the child at birth. so affecting the mother-child bond. cold traumatic events for many mothers and their children. The interruption of this process has been linked to mothers post natal depression. In many ways our Western hospital births of the last 50 years have been depersonalised. loved. either internally or externally. Their history will normally show the mother was also often not able to be there for the child. gestures and other cues. The problem for the child is that it only has a few primitive nervous system and psychological options or strategies with which to deal with perceived threats or hostility from its caregivers and/or environments. horror. chances are that little has changed. If the mother was depressed or unhappy when pregnant. As with all the conditions and circumstances I have mentioned. The child’s birth causes it to have its head slightly compressed which activates its brain to set off certain survival functions such as breathing. . The birth of the child may also be traumatic and create the sense of hostility and the world being unsafe in the child. The mother may be in a unsafe or abusive relationship. demanding. and create the initial vacuum that triggers the lungs to start breathing. and hostility from their time in the womb where such conditions existed. breech or other complications such as tearing of the uterus may lead to hospitalisation of either the mother or child. few get resolved or changed by the act of birth. was an unwanted or difficult pregnancy. This disconnection or self-obsession can occur where the mother may have been depressed. or the mother’s partner may be emotionally shutdown or resent the unborn child’s presence. Birth can be traumatic for either mother or child. voice intonations. will then make the child feel unsafe or unwanted. was forced to work long periods of time rather than rest and nurture the child and themself. unable to cope with the pregnancy. fear. not support them.

and retreat into imaginary mental day dreams or worlds. and at least they operate from their own internal summation of others from this intuitive place. or virtual worlds on the internet. it assists in making the person feel safe. Social activities are terrifying for many such individuals. and within which they can operate safely. impulses and urges. They may also forget things and panic when trying to recall information. and will now do the same hostility to themselves from their unconscious. The Unwanted Child tends to recreate their perceived hostility in choices they make about themselves. desires. This will then be the negative disposition and anticipation that the baby will carry into childhood and then into adulthood. leaving them anxious and hyper-aroused or shutdown and hypoaroused. Refer to my article on Trauma on this website. contemplation. and it will be particularly triggered in social settings. virtual reality. and which is not safe to them as they often feel threatened by their own feelings. They may compartmentalise their thoughts away from their feelings. They may enter abusive relationships with harsh and critical partners who are emotionally shutdown or have unresolved anger issues. and not be able to link their feelings to their thoughts. solitude. The typical compensation for the Unwanted Child is the escape either into spirituality. At this early stage in life there appears to be a generalisation made by the foetus and baby that all life in general is unsafe as a consequence of a single major. and this unsafe or hostile feeling is more conscious and manifest around people and crowds. that being from their caregivers. As they suffered the ultimate betrayal of trust. They report feeling an affinity with spirit and wanting to leave this life and return to spirit which they see is their true heritage. As the world is harsh and hostile to the Unwanted Child.7 Basically the baby has only the ability to dissociate or “split off” from a terrifying or threatening dynamic in order to survive negative stimulation or threats. or repeated traumatic episode(s) that encountered. a source of pain and suffering. and it may trigger a panic attack. and when done in isolation. They only trust the truth and are vigilant for when the truth is betrayed as this proves that trust cannot exist in this place or person. The problem is they often project their . The adult will typically be hyper-vigilant and live almost continually from the Sympathetic state of the ANS. Escapism is a form of dissociation. They may feel part of them is possessed or evil. They particularly fear any resemblances to that which constituted the original traumatic form and experience. They are often intuitive. They may have unresolved trauma issues that see them triggered and descend back into a trauma re-enactment if their childhood was severe. that will help avoid or escape any stress. escalating their anxiety. and in the relationships and environments they choose. they tend to idealise and seek out spiritual refuge in dissociative spiritual practices like meditation. withdrawal. They may have suicidal ideation and wishes to stay out of their body which they see as alien to them. Terror is the primary feeling that always appears close to the surface in these individuals. or a narrow vertical form of skill specialisation which they master in a rigid perfectionistic way. The net effect of whatever dynamics are playing out is the child grows into an adult who still feels unsafe in the world in general. truth and trust are major issues for the Unwanted Child. particularly of a social nature. some would say psychic. and retreat activities away from life. This is an attempt to turn away or avoid the situation and escape it by mentally “going away”. They tend to compensate as adults via social isolation. The Unwanted Child as an adult will have tended to have internalised the hostility reactions of caregivers.

the tight intercostals muscles between the ribs which constrict breathing. They shut down and become deadened in the body. They may appear cold. energetically dead. The Unwanted Child person often shows an accompanying restriction in the throat which can produce a high pitched voice.8 internalised terror and disowned hostile feelings onto others. or who looks like they were in a concentration camp. In this distortion they then perceive good and safe people and environments as being unsafe. with a possible spine twisting either as some form of Scoliosis. Expression and release of the blocked impulses is equated to the illusion that this will annihilate them and others around them. some feeling. These chronic contracted muscles then affect posture and possibly affect bodily system regulation and proper function. They are not in contact with their impulses which are repressed and so often are not aware of own hunger. The resulting outcome of the bodymind of a predominant Unwanted Child personality can be summarised as a person in shock. The key way we shut these down in the body is by restricting our breathing. whose is now frozen and compromised. pain and negativity coming its way. and adopt spiritual giving as a defence against vigour and energetic release. heat or coldness of the body. and peaceful in movement and mind. and could invite further punishment or abandonment. and feelings are cut-off between the body and the head. This will be found in the tightness and constriction of the chest muscles. The person shuts down across itself. and moves mechanically and with prior awareness of the person who ensures it is safe to do so. stiff. and terrifying. hostile. In some Unwanted Child persons they manifest a malnourished body that resembles someone who needs to eat more. frustration. The body therefore appears deadened. They have a sinewy body. The person loses spontaneous movement. and behaviour as a result. Lordosis or Kyphosis. which produced sheer terror and pain. The throat is constricted. as an expression of turning or twisting away from the terror. faced intense attack and hostility. The body tends to show the contraction of the muscles and movements that led to the original impulses that resulted in hostility. and out of touch with themselves and others. often from the caregivers. and survives. . thirst. The Unwanted Child can end up in Narcissistic psychological and spiritual based cults and churches and feel strangely at home. In this way their discrimination can be faulty. they can adapt and make sense of such settings. muscles and bones are prominent. To stay present and to resist or protest were both too painful to bear. and raised sinewy neck muscles. and then “read” this information back from the other as if it exists on the side of the other person. so reinforcing their blocks. still. thereby creating a constricted and extended chest. The Unwanted Child character has shallow breathing. They likewise can be fooled by unsafe people and environments and as these are somehow familiar. veins. the person chokes when excited or anxious. They often dress inappropriately and do not align to their environment. This trade-off occurs to minimise feeling pain. The person often has an under developed chest. and a raised set of shoulders. The child had to undergo a self-negation process where they disowned their impulses. deadens.

The net effect is the child develops with limbs that may be locked and braced. There will be chronic tensions across the shoulders and back. The blocks also prevent grief and sobbing from occurring. be enlarged. be cold to the touch. The body may not present as a unitary whole. The feet may be larger than the ankles and out of proportion. which is a gesture of arms outstretched. or poor parenting skills in understanding proper diet or nutrition for infants. and be thinner and more undeveloped limbs. They are ungrounded and this shows in the feet and legs. or are unresponsive. particularly the rhomboid and Terres muscles. This is often termed the “Terror Response look”. The trunk of the body may appear out of proportion to the limbs and head. Their joints also suffer from the freeze effect in the body. and be subject of Rheumatoid Arthritis later in life. projects the classic frozen stance of a startled person. especially where there is often already a malnourishment problem from under-feeding. . Likewise this personality often develops bruxism or the grinding of teeth due to the rage and terror held in the jaw from the baby needing to suppress the need to cry out in horror or to get its oral nurturance needs met. They appear ungrounded and may walk awkwardly. and facial muscles that are painful when pressed. and coupled with the raised shoulders. and a general asymmetry may show up in the overall body. and go classically vacant when the person dissociates or “splits off”. Their pelvis is often locked and frozen with lower back tightness present. As a consequence they may wear glasses or have sight issues. Masceter. Also this personality will have developed deep blocks to reaching out with their arms for what they want. and it is speculated that the foetal stage of developmental growth may have suffered interruption due to the internal hostile environment inside the womb. and may have hip problems due to higher back Scoliosis. thin and under-developed due to the previously noted effect of the Autonomic Nervous System(ANS) chemicals and hormones affecting the developing child. The thinning effect is seen in the limbs. and stay frozen or fixed. and may hold tension. The eyes are striking in this personality as they normally deeply express the frozen shock of the terror that they faced in the womb and from whatever and whoever traumatised them. reflecting the terror reflex where their toes are clawing into the earth like a cat. which also may show a pale colour and be cold to the touch in their extremities such as feet or hands. with a slight tilt to the side. They often have deep blocks in the jaw as seen in the Mastoid. and between the shoulder blades. as blood flow may still be a problem in adulthood. The eyes lack warmth. The abdominus and lower abdominal muscles will be tight to prevent full breathing and sobbing. a deeper hollow in the bottom of the throat. This is the visible part of a deep block that runs around the whole ocular segment of the head(refer my article on Reich’s 7 bodily segments). the pectorals. and the head may be stiffly held. This block is considered to function to prevent the person becoming conscious to feelings and also so as not to actually see the outside terrifying object of hostility. Kyphosis or Lordosis. or left and right sides may be different sizes. a narrow and sinewy throat. or thrust backwards slightly in terror. The limbs of the Unwanted Child personality are weak. have gnarled toes and poor circulation. The Unwanted Child personality often has hammer toes and a raised arch in the feet.9 There may be a more prominent Adams Apple in the throat.

and Core Energetics respectively. Farrar Publishing. Bioenergetics. Mountain of Love/Elite Books. and contact presentations to the world. Scotland. which reflects their fragility in the world. Characterological Transformation – The Hard Work Miracle. feeling. muscular skeletal structuring. 7. Core Energetics. Alexander Lowen. and they feel the tension of this blocked energy wanting to flow as an alien force or possession by some entity that makes them go into terror. New York. They may suffer supination or pronation of the feet which makes them unsteady on their feet. Alexander Lowen. 1976. 9. and to compensate they tilt their pelvis forward in a locked or frozen position. In infancy. Anodea Judith. Biology of Belief. posture or leg/feet issues which reflect their struggle in life. also show a bracing or stiffening of the knees. 2005.W. 3. 4. 10. Alexander Lowan. 2005. Western Mind. Character Analysis. Bruce Lipton. Stephen Johnson. plus a mask or presenting appearance to the world. and also a cognitive and emotional set of equivalent issues. 1975. to a place of more or less basic autonomy and separation at the physical and some emotional level from the parents. This character structure is also referred to as the “Needy” when working with clients in a more archetypal way that is less pathologising. New York. Language of the Body. Each character type has a set of bodily postures. John Pierrakos. Eastern Body. 2005. and John Pierrakos tended to use in Reichan therapy. 1994. References 1. W. Penguin books. Annie Marquier. Findhorn Press. USA.WW Norton & Co New York. 6. New York. fear their own rage. 5th enlarged edition. All humans have needs and wants all through their lives. Bioenergetics. Scotland. Norton & Co New York. 1971. Celestial Arts. . The “Oral” term is the old Reichan and psychiatric derived term that Wilhelm Reich. Character Styles. 11. from birth till the age of about 3 years. touch.10 Their legs. Free Yourself 1 – Releasing Your Unconscious Defence Patterns. Free Yourself 2 – The Power of the Soul. 2004. They often struggle with balance. The Needy Child (Oral) Wilhelm Reich introduced the notion and science of Characterology and its 5 basic character types. USA. the child is on a journey of slowly going from a place of complete dependence. while thin. However energy exists and is dammed up. Annie Marquier. Findhorn Press. W. A key developmental stage in childhood is the evolution from dependence to independence. Wilhelm Reich. 5. This occurs in stages and at different levels in all of us. 8. We describe the Unwanted Child as being “blocked” in an energetic sense. 1985. This reflects in their neglected or malnourished bodies. which in turn affects chronic tension they already hold in their backs. LifeRhythm Publication. 2. Stephen Johnson. 1990. and feel evil. MacMillan.

It is only in the collapse do they make contact with their unmet needs and wants. loving eyes. In some it is primary and defines their body and their personality whilst in others it is secondary and may only show a secondary effect in the body and personality. quickly had another child close to this one. and become needless and wantless. This reflects the pain of having had needs and wants once which were painfully not met. Two main outcomes result. and then usually collapse. and becomes a “caretaker” or co -dependent personality. stimulation in their environment. In this variation they experience their needs as alien and wrong. They do this from a depleted energetic self. dependency and dependency gratification. but the mother is the key defining relationship that shapes the child at this stage of development. The needs may have been physical in terms of enough breast feeding and therefore nutrition. the Needy personality may disapprove of the neediness. and who abandon them when the . This classic version of the Needy personality then focuses intently on the needs of others. Typically there was deprivation or unreliability of the parents towards the child’s nurturance needs. and so now it is better not to admit them. The Needy personality gives the impression of being undercharged. A narcissist is a classic personality who seeks out co-dependent types like this for self gain. were in poverty or survival consciousness due to living in a war zone or disaster. weakness or dependency. thinness. The mother may be emotionally shutdown or resent the child’s neediness. and verbal coo-ing to the child. or emotional such as mothers touch. already had numerous other older children to look after.11 The “Needy” character encountered some developmental arrest or interruption to their satisfaction of early needs. The net effect of whatever dynamics are playing out is the child then grows into an adult who still feels dependent and needy. The mother may have been depressed. be unable to communicate emotionally in general. or “takers” who use caretaker personalities to their own end. presence. “not filled up” or deprived of energy and their body shows a corresponding undercharge. They are still looking for someone or something to “fill them up”. As such it is stated that this Oral or Needy wounding shows up in us all in Western society at some level. and be stubborn in admitting they are needy of others in some way. The problem arises in that the people they typically have gathered around themself are either needy themself and so unavailable. but as a society we practice abandonment and neglect of the child’s needs at the same time. clothing. and may then reach out for support and nurturance themself. Their history will normally show the mother was not able to be there for the child. or rage at the child or make the child feel unsafe or unwanted. was forced to work and be away long periods of time up until age 3 of the child. The childhood dynamics that setup a person to have a Needy personality outcome are typically those that result from a lack of mother-attunement with the child. a drug addict or alcoholic. The father plays a secondary but still important role of both support and nurturance to both child and mother at this stage. been a single parent. In one outcome. deflated. love. enough physical needs such as touch. In any event the Needy personality has effectively recreated their childhood dynamic by having unavailable “mothers” around them who cannot give back. and so tend to take on more than they can sustain. and fail to deliver. than to have them and be hurt again. unable to breast feed. We understand today more than ever the importance of the presence of the birth mother to the infant.

Underneath the anger lies deep grief which is so painful and intense it has been repressed into the unconscious. and the people they now serve. over commit.12 Needy person expresses their own needs and wants. In both types of the Needy personality. The Needy child in childhood may have noticed that their needs were met when they were ill as children but not when healthy. They are a bottomless pit and often drive away partners who feel suffocated by their neediness and endless demands that never cease. and so they typically suffer self neglect as adults. There is a grandiose quality to the Needy personality. they were not mirrored or raised by the parents in nurturance. This Needy personality can be addictive to food. and tend to try and sabotage others genuine attempts to give to their needs. They are acting out(giving) what they really want to receive(to be given to in the same way). and will show and demand their needs quite readily and often. but soon forgives and fears being abandoned by pressing their needs and wants onto others. drink. The receiving person on the end of the giving process often feels manipulated by the Needy “giver” and this is often true as the giver is often unconsciously giving in order to get. drugs. A second form of the Needy personality are not adjusted or compensated to disown their impulses of neediness. Many Needy personalities learn that sickness brings attention and as adults will unconsciously manifest illness and depression in order to get attention and nurturance. They can become obsessive and addictive in this consumption which never equates to enough because they are trying to fix an inner emotional problem with materialistic “out there” objects or substances. Secretly the Needy personality resents the role they have placed themselves in. leading . as their immune system and bodies are often both suppressed and malnourished. In these times they take on too much responsibility. collecting in some shape or form. They will be demanding of others. Deep grieving and anger work is part of their healing. They make plans and start grand projects which are way beyond their capacity to execute and finish. and have endless needs and an inner void than cannot be filled up by whatever they get or consume. The Needy person has a social mask of being an “Unconditional Giver” or “Martyr” but this often hides deep anger and resentment. They also manifest sickness and depression from burnout in caretaking others. smoking. They often have poor diets. The Needy person will at this point become resentful at being “used” or not having their giv ing reciprocated. Children respond to negative attention as much as positive attention and in attention starved families a child will adopt a negative strategy as a way of getting love and approval. hostility and rage at the people they caretake but who return no similar favours. They may also develop psychosomatic illness as a compensated response to getting their needs met from others. Whenever the Needy person gets self gratification they feel immense guilt and feel they “do not deserve it”. and so shuts down again. and start on ventures which soon start to drain them. Depression in the Needy personality also relates to their suppression of their anger. The parents gave them love and attention in these times. Their malnonrished bodies find that easy to manifest. which may be both medicating or self-soothing their pain and feelings by these externalised strategies and addictions in order to fill an inner emptiness. and proves to themself it’s not safe to have needs and wants. or relationships. They can suffer from both depression and recurring minor physical illnesses.

illness and abandonment of the vision. under developed chest. or the baby was a nipple biter. Masceter. and facial muscles that are painful when pressed. This often leads into depression and an exposing of their real vulnerable. The eyes are striking in this personality as they normally deeply express the longing of needing someone to care for them. grief and hostility at the caregivers when their needs were not met. Others have the pencil thin lips or turned down lips. and a hunching forward of the shoulders. and ungrounded energetic nature of this personality. we noted that the child had to undergo a self-negation process where they disowned their anger. Studies have shown that the oral sucking and feeding process in babies has an important developmental outcome in aligning and developing the upper and lower jaw in the baby. veins. and could invite further punishment or abandonment. which society finds attractive and shows up in many of our female models who are often the Needy personality in their size 8 malnourished classic shape and form. and with the female having small. the tight intercostals muscles between the ribs which constrict breathing. with the big “puppy dog” eyes. a deeper hollow in the bottom of the throat. They have a sinewy body. To have kept these active was both too painful to bear. which is a natural posture of a baby looking to feed from the mother. The Needy character has shallow breathing. a narrow and sinewy throat. and the head may be thrust forward as if looking to feed from the breast. or are pencil thin. and the subsequent collapse into fatigue. The key way we shut these down in the body is by restricting our breathing. This is the arrested developmental need or unmet need from childhood still running the adult. bringing disapproval or removal from the breast. show the essential undercharged. jaw and throat of the Needy personality can be traced to disturbances in the oral tract feeding process. The Needy person often shows an undercharged. The pencil thin type often have deep blocks in the jaw as seen in the Mastoid. The resulting outcome of the bodymind of a predominant Needy personality can be summarised by looking at both the eyes and the bodies of this personality. Underneath all this is a deep unconscious belief that it is still “someone else’s job to take care of them”. They resent and resist being responsible for themself and their own needs. The theory is that the big full lips shows the baby got breast feeding or oral nurturance but wants more. or who looks like they were in a concentration camp. with rounded shoulders. thereby creating a constricted and shrunken chest. and hence over develops this orifice for that reason. In others there may be a thick but flabby fat layer all around the trunk and limbs which covers up and “nurtures” or “mothers” the body. The jaw may show either an over-bite or an under-bite.13 ultimately to a collapse. which is equated to the baby who had anger at the mother over a frustration at the oral nurturance process. Their oscillation between this optimistic and grandiose vision of themself. perhaps lack of milk. This will be found in the tightness and constriction of the chest muscles. These . depression. and the oral issues in teeth. muscles and bones are prominent. There may be a more prominent Adams Apple in the throat. child like natures. The lips are often big and full. In some Needy persons they manifest a malnourished body that resembles someone who needs to eat more. This is not the thick musculature of the Endurer personality but “baby fat” that wobbles and is flaccid. This is often termed the “Puppy dog look” of the big pleading eyes. or flaccid or droopy breasts.

The invoking of the ANS causes various hormones and natural substances to be released into the bloodstream as part of our “fight or flight” function. grief and a shutting down. as blood flow may still be a problem in adulthood. then progresses its cries to dismay. The thinning effect is seen in the limbs. which in turn prevents full orgasmic feelings from developing. that often results in the ANS invoking a parasympathetic state that causes the child to sleep. in an attempt to develop independence in the face of abandonment of their needs. if still not met with relief. which are evoked from a Sympathetic state of the ANS. The abdominus and lower abdominal muscles will be tight to prevent full breathing and sobbing. which also may show a pale colour and be cold to the touch in their extremities such as feet or hands. thin and under-developed. Likewise this personality often develops bruxism or the grinding of teeth due to the rage and terror held in the jaw from the baby not being able to get its oral nurturance needs met. which may be elongated. its experience of its environment affects and shapes its developing body. The limbs of the Needy personality are weak. and between the shoulder blades. also show a bracing or stiffening of the knees. it starts to starve developing limbs of nutrients and blood which are needed for normal limb development. Many people report that around them that they feel energetically “drained” by them after contact with them. but in a child regularly expressing this effect. In an infant the Sympathetic state produces such substances that have an effect of protecting us by constricting blood flow to our limbs. This apparently relates primarily to the Sympathetic state of the Autonomic Nervous System(ANS) in the developing child. to an angrier cry. This reflects in their neglected or malnourished bodies. posture or leg/feet issues which reflect their struggle in life. They prefer child-like holding and nurturance instead of adult sexual intimacy and do not find sex satisfying. They may have flat feet which signals a “giving up” stance to the world. or poor parenting skills in understanding proper diet or nutrition for infants. Their pelvis like the rest of their body is often under-developed and does not hold a strong charge. which reflects their fragility in the world and dependence on others who are a “crutch” to lean on. Also this personality will have developed deep blocks to reaching out with their arms for what they want. the pectorals. which is a gesture of arms outstretched. There will be chronic tensions across the shoulders and back. The blocks also prevent grief and sobbing from occurring. which in turn affects chronic tension they already hold in their backs. The infant.14 disturbances represent blocks and under-developed aspects of the body of this personality. particularly the rhomboid and Terres muscles. In an adult this effect passes. This is a defensive function to fend off the painful feelings and trauma of abandonment. or suffer supination or pronation of the feet which makes them unsteady on their feet. They often struggle with balance. and to compensate they tilt their pelvis forward. especially where there is often already a malnourishment problem from under-feeding. Their legs. When a child starts to cry it goes through identifiable stages from the alerting cry. The Needy personality often walked early as an infant. We believe energetically that indeed the Needy character has some way of “feeding” off another’s energy field as part of their neediness . The net effect is the child develops with thinner and more undeveloped limbs. and bringing it back into our limbs where the major organs lie. while thin. For the developing infant. We describe the Needy personality as being “undercharged” in an energetic sense.

5. Western Mind. John Pierrakos. Character Styles. Language of the Body. Stephen Johnson. responsibilities and obligations to others. Penguin books.WW Norton & Co New York. Bioenergetics. Characterological Transformation – The Hard Work Miracle. Bioenergetics. Annie Marquier. We are born and designed to be in free expression of our unique characters and live within that freedom by learning appropriate boundaries. This character structure is also referred to as the “Endurer” when working with clients in a more archetypal way that is less pathologising. Scotland. 1994. Scotland. LifeRhythm Publication. Biology of Belief. plus a mask or presenting appearance to the world. The childhood dynamics that setup a person to have an Endurer outcome are typically based around the need for a child to separate from the parents. and contact presentations to the world. References 1. 8. Wilhelm Reich. There is a constant ongoing dynamic within us all to be free and to find acceptance within the community or group or family we are part of. 2005. 1975. Annie Marquier. 1990. 6. or to regulate and control the child to some idealised set of values or outcomes. USA.W. Bruce Lipton. 5th enlarged edition. Findhorn Press. 3. 4. muscular skeletal structuring. Character Analysis. Eastern Body. touch. feeling. The “Masochist” term is the old Reichan and psychiatric derived term that Wilhelm Reich. Each character type has a set of bodily postures. 10. Alexander Lowan. Anodea Judith. Alexander Lowen. W. 2. Findhorn Press.15 and unmet feeding or nurturance needs. The Endurer (Masochist) Wilhelm Reich introduced the notion and science of Characterology and its 5 basic character types. Free Yourself 1 – Releasing Your Unconscious Defence Patterns. 9. New York. . till they became docile and compliant. Free Yourself 2 – The Power of the Soul. New York. USA. 2005. New York. and Core Energetics respectively. 2005. and form their own unique identity. Celestial Arts. control. and humiliating subjugation at the hands of one or both parents till they gave up their free will and freedom. to individuate. and John Pierrakos tended to use in Reichan therapy. 1971. One common unresolved issue in parents in children is their need to be in total control of the child. and also a cognitive and emotional set of equivalent issues. Alexander Lowen. 1976. Farrar Publishing. 1985. The highly aggressive responses that occurred along the way in this losing fight for their separate existence were eventually eliminated and disowned. Stephen Johnson. It has no psychological precedent but the reported experiences by others of this effect cannot be dismissed as a random or non-existent phenomenon. The Endurer personality essentially underwent ongoing intrusion. Core Energetics. 7. MacMillan. Norton & Co New York. Mountain of Love/Elite Books. W. 2004.

Other people get fooled at first by the pleasing presenting face of the Endurer. but will then relapse. Basically if you corrupt the intake and/or elimination processes in the child they can start to lose their will and control over such processes. and seeks instead to be guided and directed by the parent instead. The Endurer resists change and has negative pleasure in their own stuckness. docile. or that the child would be thrown out of home and abandoned by the parent. but are seething inside. Sometimes the child starts to “hold in” and the body will start to take on a “pressure cooker” look which matches the inner psychic world of the Endurer who fears intrusion. This can involve such dynamics as the threat of punishment. In many cases it is “smothering” rather than “mothering” that occurs. instead intruded and abused them. and bodily elimination impulses(Excretion and urination). to complain. when to go to the toilet. and to reject their own nature and humanity. but it can also occur around bodily intake impulses(eating & drinking). The parent may threaten the child to force compliance to the adult’s expectations. These people trust no-one as those who should have loved them. The absence of trust in others and in the world promotes helplessness. and a sense of suffering or absence of real joy. meaning too much intake of food or drink under coercion of the parent. compliant. and leads to a spiteful retaliation against the helper. how much to eat etc. and so now the parent must be defeated. being late. In this sense the child learns to no longer trust. In this dynamic. Wilhelm Reich noted this personality had a condition known as the “Masochistic morass”. and loss of freedom by other people. the threat the parent would leave the home and abandon the child. forgetting. from non-compliance via inaction. and then quite triggered by the underlying spite and resentment bound in this person. They are good. In therapy the person may make a breakthrough and improve. and capitulate to the parent. self-defeating. There is often then an interruption to the “flow” of these processes. and in their suffering. as the helper is more powerful and therefore the parent. and falsely happy all the time. anyone who tries to help this individual will be defeated and frustrated by the Endurer’s helpless immobility.16 Resistance was futile and squashed till it stopped. They may also at the same time present with a fixed smile which is what they were forced to put on for their parents as a child. their disowned rage and anger “leaks out” in passive aggressive way. or a hundred other ways of resisting passively. The child starts to no longer trust their own impulses about when they are hungry. smothering. This unconsciously relates to the fact they distrust the help. the helper. In this stance. The rage at this suppression went underground and into the Childs body. and often self torturing or self humiliating individual who seems to have a need to suffer. control. This personality type will have a need to whine. and is now unconsciously in them the “expected thing to do”. and by their passive- . torture others. or pressure to eliminate according to dictated timetables. and occur s at the socialisation skill level of the child. pleasing. The Endurer presents in life as a self-depreciating. They lose self determination and self direction. Trust invites humiliation in their world. simply not answering a question. which in fact is a passive-aggressive stance towards others and towards life itself. for all this is now under the control and direction of the intrusive parent(s).

as they are both suppressed from above. The muscles are tight and not floppy. with tight. as the gluteus muscles are tight and shortened to reflect the humiliation and shamed nature of their sexuality. one also sees this cut-off affect. which brings them great relief and satisfaction from all the pent-up energy their carry around inside themself. If one looks at a scolded dog. In the buttocks there is often a “cut -off bottom” or no bottom. and creates a heaviness and slowness in the person to reflect this energetic posture. All these constrictions block feelings from the body reaching the head.17 aggressive and defeating gestures. The resulting outcome of the bodymind of an Endurer personality can be summarised as the formation of thick musculature that is designed to create a chronic holding back of the unacceptable or distrusted impulses that are their birthright. but were squashed during childhood by the invasive and controlling parent. actions and inactions. There are thick Trapezius and tight muscles in the Rhomboids. and this appears related to the notion of being “squashed” in childhood. The Endurer has a mind and cognitive style that is slower. The Endurer often suffered a scolding. when they put their tail between their legs. heavy muscular development. They also have enormous strength and energy. There are blocks in the belly to hold back the soft feelings from rising into consciousness. This block is the last major line of defence from feelings making it . Terres muscles and neck attachments and rotators such as Scalenes which suppress feelings. and less imaginative or visionary than most. They are often identified and work as the “helper” to a strong authority figure. There is a block in the rear ocular segment just behind the neck. yet the stuckness of their energy sees them complain of a lack of energy and being tired. and into the head. and pulled in to prevent being controlled. and a desire to be “free” and hence alone. and serve to hold in the tension and restrain the impulses no longer allowed. duller. when they were defeated in having their “No”. The Sterno-Cloido-Mastoid on the side of the neck will be thick and flared to lock or bind in rage which this personality tries to suppress within themself. This in turn often triggers others to retaliate and be hostile towards the Endurer who then gains apparent justification that you cannot trust anyone who claims they want to help you or befriend you. The shoulders are heavily armoured and pulled back to prevent the Endurer being able to vent their aggressive impulses which were squashed in childhood. Others are alone and aloof due to their trust issues. and this shows the held in spite and resentment. They are negatively self-reinforcing in this dynamic. At this point the Endurer feels permission to vent their held-in rage and anger. where the base of the skull meets the spine and neck. They may suffer chronic low grade depression due to the repression of their own rage and anger. They normally lack spontaneity and can endure pain and suffering very well. setting up a recreation of childhood dynamics. The neck is thick and short. and the principle of being cowed. Instead the trapped energy is heavy and stuck inside. and leave the person “living in their heads”. The Endurer will often be seen to have thick trunk and thick arms and legs. They then complain of being victimised. In many people they are shorter. who may also abuse or demand and control them.

Wilhelm Reich. USA. 4. 1971. and cold areas(site of blocks). 8. They may also have flat feet as a sign of having “given up” the struggle with the world. and contact presentations to the world. The childhood dynamics that setup a person to have a Controller/leader outcome are typically those that follow. Each character type has a set of bodily postures. The “Psychopathic” term is the old Reichan and psychiatric derived term that Wilhelm Reich. Characterological Transformation – The Hard Work Miracle. Bioenergetics. 2005. They can take pain and appear dull to pain in the body. New York. Findhorn Press. 1985. and also a cognitive and emotional set of equivalent issues. In general there is a lack of feeling in the body due to the heavy musculature preventing the flow of energy in the body. showing the spite and resentment that lurks below the surface of the personality and the muscles. Mountain of Love/Elite Books. Their body does not move easily but more as a total unit. 7. Western Mind. 5th enlarged edition. The Controller / Leader (Psychopath) Wilhelm Reich introduced the notion and science of Characterology and its 5 basic character types. 2004. or they can be vacant and pleasing and show a complete surrender and submission. Alexander Lowen. W. Farrar Publishing.18 from the body into the head. Bruce Lipton. Annie Marquier. 10. References 1. 5. Character Styles. Annie Marquier. LifeRhythm Publication. in different parts of the body. but other dynamics can also lead to this same outcome. Scotland.W. Anodea Judith. a rigid dense mass which has lost a lot of its flexibility. Language of the Body. and now no longer show emotional affect beyond a type of pleasing innocence. Likewise at the front of the face the Maceter and facial muscles are often tight and the mouth pulled into a permanent but false smile to show compliance. Stephen Johnson. Stephen Johnson. plus a mask or presenting appearance to the world. John Pierrakos. and they may have both hot(emotionally charged). The basic need of every . Free Yourself 1 – Releasing Your Unconscious Defence Patterns. and Core Energetics respectively. touch.WW Norton & Co New York. 3. New York. The eyes either are small and beady. waiting to erupt. Bioenergetics. Biology of Belief. 1990. Free Yourself 2 – The Power of the Soul. Core Energetics. This character structure is also referred to as the “Controller/Leader” when working with clients in a more archetypal way that is less pathologising. W. New York. feeling. Scotland. 1994. Alexander Lowan. Character Analysis. Norton & Co New York. 6. muscular skeletal structuring. Alexander Lowen. Penguin books. 9. Findhorn Press. Celestial Arts. 2005. MacMillan. and John Pierrakos tended to use in Reichan therapy. 2. 2005. 1975. Eastern Body. 1976. USA.

Self esteem issues are at the core of this personality type. The common ground is often that the self-esteem is fragile and is typically propped up by perfectionism and an extreme reliance on achievement. and so a triangle develops. This personality finds from this internal chaos and lack of self acceptance a need to be constantly moving. excitement or meaning for the parent than was possible. The parent essentially rejects their child’s own nature and humanity. disapproval or failure. The difference is the rejection came explicitly from the parent who constantly puts down and “narcissistically injures” the child. Not all attributes will be present and not all Controller/Leaders are Narcissists. Often one parent is a Narcissistic personality themself in this dynamic. “Narcissists : People Without Feelings”. As the real authentic self was squashed or disowned. The child normally fails to live up to the grandiose false idealised image that the parent compels them to be. and lived from. the person has low self esteem. or on the go. this person creates a false self to cope with a rejection of their own nature and humanity. The false self is often typically constellated around the 20 defining characteristics of a Narcissistic personality. reinforced. and start to live from the false self created for it by the parent who is effectively using the child for its own narcissistic or unmet needs. They effectively create the idealisation of the child via their own projection of a false idealised and narcissistic self. They may have been able to “get love” by being beautiful. and a degree of inner chaos that may or may not breakthrough into externalised behaviours and the acting out of self-soothing addictions. and the attention that is happening between them. doubts themself. and is now sensitive to criticism. unless self-medicating with an addiction. but as it is the only remaining source of self-esteem. There is a degree of chaos and instability operating here in the parents. They ask the child to join them on their pedestal where they can worship each other and be worshipped by the other. or the parent demanded the child provide more gratification. The frozen out parent starts to resent both the parent and the child. the winning athlete. Often the other parent is frozen out of this relationship. This creates a “puffed up” self. that I have summarised in my article on this website. The false self is evident later in life both by others and internally by the now grown child. one in which grandiosity and a form of perfection is the only choice in all aspects and dimensions of life. The adult does not operate to the truth that we are born and designed to be human and live within that humanity which is the paradox of perfection within imperfection. self-loathing present. the intellectual. The parent judged and belittled the child’s authentic self expression as either “not enough” or “too much” for the parent. including the body structure that we will touch on again. and further and more directly narcissistically injuring the child. and to inflate those parts that were highly valued and demanded of them. unable to relax or be still. and seeks instead to force the child into an idealised version of themself. Like the Perfectionistic character. or a combination of all of these. and all Narcissists have a base structure that includes the Controller/Leader characterology to some degree. Internally there is always self-doubt. There .19 person is to be healthily esteemed. The child learnt to restrict those parts of themself that were not reinforced. it is guarded. or a combination of performing roles. Because the child needs and wants love it will give up its authentic self. This parent may then humiliate and shame the special child. but some alignment exists. and pull them off the narcissistic pedestal.

to control the parent. and ultimately where possible. They learn techniques to calm the parent. What is the difference? Well there are similarities but one obvious difference is that the psychopathic personality is often more emotionally chaotic. From this place over a number of years they learn about the power of being able to manipulate both parents and this sets them up to become manipulative. hurts. The narcissistic injury is more severe and the torment more ongoing in these type of homes. and liberal with lying and the truth. In these dynamics the child may be both “raised up” and then “smashed down” by the same parent in terms of their personality and self-expression. and so are always primarily working to empower themselves at the expense of others to feel safe. The parent lashes out at the child from this state and belittles. humiliates or crushes the child. aggressive and seductive personality that is unfeeling but feigns any feeling. The child approaches them and is welcomed. In some of these same homes. direct. A common dynamic that exists is an alcoholic. It is also true that another type of household exists that gives rise to this Controller/Leader personality. They are left with a hyper-vigilant. where just before the deadline they go into a chaotic frenzy to avoid failure and the missed deadline. to comply with the parent. a fluid personality that moves with environments and events. The child also becomes a performer. to attend to the parent. and learns to watch and sense the verbal and non verbal cues of the either psychopathic. rested and reasonable. to the other pole of inferiority and worthlessness. and also emotionally reactive. They give up their values and authenticity to survive and become selfish and entitled within themself. creating direct narcissistic injury. but also safety issues for the child. They often have underlying addictions to drugs. and financial issues and pressures may exist. The same child comes home that evening and the same parent when they arrive home is drunk. The child adopts this stance to feel safe. and will lash out physically without proper boundaries and restraints. They trust no one and kill their own painful feelings to cope with the pole of inferiority and worthlessness. this parent is more psychopathic in nature.20 may be procrastination of starting and finishing projects. controlling. It is the same dynamic as the Narcissistic parents home except the injuries in the psychopathic home are often more gross. For instance in the morning they are typically sober. In middle class and wealthy homes the parent who creates the idealised child is often a Narcissistic personality. and to prevent abuse. and in many lower socio-economic homes. and can read another person’s . and possibly physically injurious to the child. esteemed and possibly elevated and made special. street-wise. alcohol or some other substance. The child’s home environment was fluid and shifted within a chaotic framework that called upon the child to perceive and adjust quickly or be annihilated. workaholic or drug abusing parent. The child constantly shifts inside themself between a sense of power and grandiosity. In this home the child becomes hyper-vigilant and wary. Physical and sexual abuse may be present in this dynamic. traumatising. They identify with the association between power and feeling safe. and works with them to create their own safety and advantage. and deepens the primary self-esteem wound. stressed or drugged. to deceive the parent. They can perform for anyone. psychotic or somehow unstable and unsafe parent.

threaten and engage through their eyes which always attract attention. and over time may start to have trust issues with the people they are engaged with. and increasingly controlling. Their body presents an ideal look but hides blocks and chaos internal to the self. which come up into smaller and tighter thighs. emotional and mental violence against others when imposing control over them. and driven achievement. with a small set of buttocks. as the eyes represent an orifice for energetic discharge. wilfulness. and this personality has an overcharge of energy in the upper body. which some writers refer to as the “closet narcissist”. The head is often large. They often saw violence and had it acted out upon them. but often lack a moral fibre and so will resort to deception. In both types of Controller/Leader personalities. and now as adults will resort to physical. lying. The reasons for this formation and representation relate to the expression of female creativity and sexuality of the feminine as power . In this person they often have a “puffed up” look. The eyes are often magnetic and dazzling. Basically what we see in the body is one of these two principles. especially for a man.21 verbal and non-verbal cues with amazing accuracy. compel. hips. they often held their breath in terror at being made wrong. Their currency is power and status. or a body where the enlargement is downwards oriented in the thighs. and may be jutting slightly or prominently forward on the neck. and they may become accusing. then become controlling. In terror in childhood situations. We firstly often see an upward displacement energetically and in the bodily composition of bulk and muscles. This insecure base then supports a character or body of exaggerated power. The uniform and ideal shape reflects the false idealised self that is presented to the world that hides the inner chaos. and manipulation to get what they want. At the same time the bodily expressions of character also can reflect the ideal or false self presented to the world in compensation for the original narcissistic injury. In the second type of embodied narcissistic personality. or a combination of both. criticised or punished. and they will compete with others for it. which is an ominous posture to the world. The female versio n of the Controller/Leader personality may also show an inverted “V” shape. A large set of breasts may also be present. as energetically they breathed in and held their breath. They seduce. aggressive. especially when in leadership roles or in relationships. the resulting outcome of the bodymind of this personality can be summarised as the development of blocks in the body and musculature that restrain or render unconscious those impulses and reactions that are unacceptable or result in punishment or abuse. and a form of paranoia creeps in. By this we see weak or thin legs. The overall “V” shape also energetically represents the personality built on narcissistic development. where the base or foundation(legs) are ungrounded and weak or unstable. The body then starts to flare out from the mid back into a wide set of shoulders where there is more bulk and compensating musculature. and the most appealing shape. buttocks and upper leg muscles. They have the classic “V” shaped build that is put up in society as a heroic archetype. They are often either seductive at first. one finds a more Rigid-Perfectionist style of body which shows few bodily disturbances.

There is a block in the rear ocular segment just behind the neck. leaving them with an angular or chiselled look to the face. However they can flood this block with energy and “use” their eyes with feigned . and the intercostals muscles between the ribs hold tension to keep the breathing shallow. This constriction which is often visible on the body.22 centres within their female body. They objectify and use their body to achieve their ends. also inhibits the awareness of the ungroundedness in the person and leaves them “in their heads”. and only useful as a power or seduction object in objectified or sexualised dynamics. This suppresses their real self and their suffering or chaotic inner life. The SternoCloido-Mastoid on the side of the neck may be thick and flared to lock or bind in rage which this personality tries to suppress within themself. versus the masculine power centres of aggression of power and status via the intellect which constellate in the head and upper body of a man. used or punished/shamed for their sexuality. In all these cases there are muscular blocks in the body which prohibit full feeling awareness from operating. the tension blocking awareness and release of the sexual charge. whilst also constricting and so undercharges them in the lower half of the body. Terres muscles and neck attachments and rotators such as Scalenes. All these constrictions block feelings from the body reaching the head. or denial of the other person’s humanity. There is often present a constricting band around the waistline that further inhibits the awareness of sexual impulse. Uniformly there is rigidity and constriction in those areas of the body that block natural flow of feelings and emotions. The shoulders are often broad but also raised. just as they use others and any other resource to their own end without compassion or empathy. where the base of the skull meets the spine and neck. This personality type was often also either objectified. and dams energy in the upper half of the body. and instead assist in the objectification of the other person. The eye block also allows them to dissociate from others. There are normally constricted and atrophic muscles in the diaphragm area of the chest. The body is our real self and in a sense these people try to live from their heads. and hence energy since the word emotion means (Energy in MOTION). with tight muscles in the Rhomboids. Likewise at the front of the face the Masceter and facial muscles are often tight to prevent facial emotional expression from giving them away. The jaw line may be thick and broad showing deep blocks in the muscles which bind in the suppressed rage which wants to erupt through the mouth and eyes. Trapezius complex. as they identify with their masculine principles. and not in their body. This block is the last major line of defence from feelings making it from the body into the head. Shallow breathing is a key bodily method used to suppress feelings and is a major block in this personality. Their pelvis shows a posture that is rigidly held. and block empathy and compassion arising. A woman who disowns their feminine and adopts a masculine false self that is driven into achieving often demonstrates the classic “V” shape of a man. and disown their feminine except as weak. and leave the person “living in their heads”. This makes the person “ticklish” but this can quickly turn to rage if tickling persists and threatens the bodily blocks.

Anodea Judith. Character Analysis. 6. Stephen Johnson. and Core Energetics respectively. can start and finish projects. and seeks instead to be an idealised version of themself. The need to be perfect is a false illusion. Wilhelm Reich. 2. MacMillan. 1985. 2004. muscular skeletal structuring. Findhorn Press. Bruce Lipton. Free Yourself 1 – Releasing Your Unconscious Defence Patterns. There are a number of terms that were used to describe the various types of this personality types in the old Reichan and psychiatric derived language that Wilhelm Reich. Language of the Body. Stephen Johnson. Celestial Arts. They are visionary. one in which perfection is the only choice in all aspects and dimensions of life. and John Pierrakos tended to use in Reichan therapy. 3. fearless. and also a cognitive and emotional set of equivalent issues. Characterological Transformation – The Hard Work Miracle. Alexander Lowen. USA. Core Energetics. We are born and designed to be human and live within that humanity which is the paradox of perfection within our imperfection. . USA. 2005. and contact presentations to the world. They are very gifted individuals in this healed form. New York. Alexander Lowan. Scotland. 2005. 1975. Penguin books. 7. and inspire others to do the same. The Perfectionist / Obsessional (Rigid) Wilhelm Reich introduced the notion and science of Characterology and its 5 basic character types. Their body is a form of camouflage portrays innocence but this deception hides a chameleon of a personality who is predatory and cunning in their approach to life. John Pierrakos. Norton & Co New York. Bioenergetics.W. New York. Mountain of Love/Elite Books. Western Mind. Eastern Body. The “closet narcissist” may not show so much embodied defence as they will have compensated in their personality via a smooth but slippery way of navigating through life and with people. 8. 9. Each character type has a set of bodily postures.WW Norton & Co New York. W. Alexander Lowen. The rigid person essentially rejects their own nature. 1971. 1976. using others for their gain. Free Yourself 2 – The Power of the Soul. This character structure is also referred to as the “Perfectionist” and the “Obsessional” when working with clients in a more archetypal way that is less pathologising. Findhorn Press. 2005. W. Biology of Belief. 10. Farrar Publishing. 4. Annie Marquier. Annie Marquier. Scotland. can think on the run. Character Styles.23 emotion to seduce. very intelligent. LifeRhythm Publication. plus a mask or presenting appearance to the world. threaten and compel others. as this was a survival technique needed from time to time that has precedence over the eye block’s primary objective. Bioenergetics. is able to sum up people and situations with accuracy within seconds. and who can protect others. 1994. In their healed form this personality is a natural leader who is normally charismatic. References 1. touch. 5. sexuality and humanity. 5th enlarged edition. New York. 1990. and be their advocate. feeling.

and start to compensate by wanting to please the parent and win love in other ways. This process sees the child become vulnerable and fully open-hearted to this parent.24 The childhood dynamics that setup a person to have a Perfectionistic outcome are typically those where in the emerging oedipal stage from age 3 to 4 up to about age 7. One parent may use the child ’s love interest in them as a tool to trigger reactions and anger in the other parent. The real authentic child is lost in all this. used. punished or shamed for having natural impulses of the heart and their sexuality. or humiliates or punishes them for these previously encouraged behaviours. When it becomes too much. A parent may also feel uncomfortable with a child’s infantile sexual behaviour and shame them for this. so leaving the child to believe there is something wrong with this part of themself. Many such parents may also be narcissistic and want “trophy” children they can trot out to others and show off. who by definition. or in early teenage years. In this first dynamic. and by splitting themself in this way. The child will start to control themself so their impulses and urges do not lead them into painful outcomes. the manipulator withdraws from the used child. and will adopt now as the substitute for the disowned natural sexual love feelings which have been rendered unsafe. The responsibility of this parent is to be aware of this emerging dynamic and work skilfully with it. In any event the adult parent will dismiss or criticise or punish or reject the child who approaches them out of love. or react angrily. the wounding parent will often be critical and perfectionistic themself. and is threatened by others feelings. At this age the child will have natural instinctual impulses to gravitate to the parent of the opposite sex. and becomes a false idealised self in order to survive and be accepted. and being at an oedipal stage. and whom they can boast about their sporting and academic achievements. perfect academia and sporting achievement from the child if the child is to please the parent. and effectively uses their own children to promote the false ideal of perfection in the family. The wounding parent is often a Perfectionistic person themself. such that the child is not rejected. it may also involve having infantile sexual impulses towards that parent. Here one parent plays a cruel game where they encourage and exploit the sexuality and love of the child in order to create competition with the other parent. The child learns that it is unsafe to love sexually with an open heart and to experience natural human rivalry. lives in their head. or threatens the relationship with the spouse. and possibly also of the same sex. and will undergo an innocent and infantile falling in love process with that parent. This stance by the parent is abusive and wrong. In one type of outcome. which every child does. the child was continually rejected by the parent of the opposite sex. This crushes the child who will learn from such repeated attempts to form a defence that prevents them from being rejected and from feeling the painful feelings at all. they disown these impulses and feelings into their unconscious. This stance was commonly labelled “The . because they feel flawed and wrong for having their natural impulses they decide to become fully in self-control and to become “perfect” and to achieve at whatever will win them praise and love and positive attention. has a closed heart. Another outcome is a person who uses over dramatisation and expression of their feelings in order to prevent them feeling their true feelings. and so demand perfect behaviour.

or the Histrionic role. and will have a deep conviction of being superior to others which they may not publicly admit. The resulting outcome of the bodymind of a predominant perfectionstic person who adopts either the classic “perfectionist” role.25 Hysterical Woman” as the literature tended to associate this behaviour with women. with the men having either a graceful boyish manful look like actor Jude Law. They can be particularly beautiful and graceful. Both sexes will have a good uniform breathing pattern that involves the chest. but the breathing will be shallow in order to suppress feelings in the body. It is often considered as well that this outcome can also be the result of the previous early life wounding occurring that we know as the “Unwanted Child”. Their bodies reveal their attempt of achieving perfection more than it does revealing major blocks or flaws or somatic wounding beyond the key points noted here. or rejected for speaking their opinion or truth. order and perfection to the world. and may be “Daddy’s little Princess” or “Mummy’s little Man or Her Prince”. creating a more squared off physique. Yet another outcome was the person distracts themself from their feelings by preoccupying themself in their heads with obsessional thoughts and/or compulsive rituals and behaviours. and unable to compete with the child for the spouses attention or affection. This also explains why these perfectionists as adults often . wronged. This outcome is often related to a history of inappropriate encouragement and exploitation of the child’s sexuality and the resulting competition it fostered with the other parent. with symmetry to their bodies. diaphragm and belly. These 2 types of Perfectionistic persons have pride as a key fault. despite being encouraged to do so. possibly with a squared off jaw. or the muscular armouring may be more angular and plate-like. A person such as the model Megan Gale typifies this outcome. This outcome is often related to a history of inappropriate encouragement and exploitation of the child’s sexuality and the resulting competition it fostered with the other parent. while the face is youthful. or a more rugged countenance like actor Daniel Craig. This relationship speaks of this infantile triangulated and sexualised relationship that may still be in place decades later even when the child has grown into an adult. Both sexes may have problems with their throats either physically or at least as a communication channel. can be summarised as a person who presents harmony. resentful of both of them. It is not uncommon for this childhood or early teenage origin dynamic to still operate when the child is an adult. leaves many Perfectionistic persons with a block in their throats to represent this fear of speaking up. The female typically follows the physical outcome of a harmonious. It also carries the label of the Histrionic personality. attractive body and face where there is good symmetry in the body. They may still have a strong connection to the parent of the opposite sex. as the unconscious fear of being criticised. and pronounced facial muscles. This is because the muscular armouring in the Perfectionistic person may be visually subtle and athletic due to its mesh-like configuration in the chest and back. athletic. Both sexes show an athleticism and harmony in their bodies. and will effectively still create a triangle as the spouse of the parent in this dynamic is often sidelined. scorned. See the related article on the Unwanted Child on this website. but in addition there was actual punishment as well of the child for having these thoughts and feelings.

negative and fear based thinking. The Perfectionstic character presents beautifully in body and in mind. Nothing must challenge their thus far achieved status and level of perfection. which contrasts with the Leader/Controller who focuses control on those around them. after all these years of living it in a family system. and through the self control and adherence to the highest stands of bodily image via grooming. a win-lose equation for most of them. The Perfect ionistic personality fears the “grey” of subjective and interpretive careers and subjective debates as they fear being wrong. and the Perfectionistic personality is very competitive within themself. To be perfect means to always be in control of the situation at hand. and made to seem less than perfect. Perfectionistic characters are in total self-control. They are already focussing on the next challenge(s) and items to be ticked off in life. or being criticised or exposed as less than competent . as this dynamic may be normalised to them now. punished. and take in their achievements. or expose them to inadequacy or not being perfect. and where they feel the hostility of that parent towards them. sets up that Perfectionistic character to be effectively like a mouse on a treadmill. dress. intense recurrent thoughts in their heads. Even when they win. driven to be constantly achieving and striving for perfection and yet seemingly getting nowhere as they constantly encounter their true but rejected less than perfect natures. Perfectionistic persons therefore do not cope well with unforseen events or circumstances that spoil their plans that see them lose control that expose them to criticism. accounting and administration of rules and policy. They seek to work out the best way forward and anticipate the consequences and outcomes so they can steer a path away from anything that will see them again humiliated. exposed. This can be the archetypal “mother-in-law” who criticises the new girlfriend as not being “good enough for my boy!!”. their underlying anxiety gives them little time to stop and smell the roses. and are reliable. The obsessional form of this personality learns to retreat into this world as an escape from guilt and other feelings. This personality develops a form of “analysis paralysis” where they go to endless lengths in thinking in “what if” outcomes abo ut any planned action or project. They may still triangulate their own adult love relationship by still having the original parent “on a pedestal” where their current relationship partner is in competition with that parent. and physical health and fitness. formal work and intellectual frameworks in order to make them feel safe. They must secretly try to win. This mental gymnastics sees them prone to fall into procrastination. cannot please that parent. It’s a life or death struggle for many. Life to them is essentially a checklist of ongoing external challenges and accomplishments to be conquered. they cut a stunning near perfect figure to the world. deportment. and so results in them having procrastination in life as an issue. Likewise they attempt perfection via the intellect and are normally very intelligent and disciplined in study and work. law. but often require black and white. and secretly with others. The adoption of the “need to be perfect” stance towards life by this personality type. The Perfectionistic person is constantly checking in with themself to ensure they are maintaining their mask of perfection and control to the world. They are over-represented in “black and white” industries and careers such as engineering.26 created triangulated relationships. hard working.

The Perfectionistic personality suffers from an intense “inner critic” or internalised critical voice of the parent(s) or authority figure that made them feel unlovable in their humanity in the first place. often across a number of reference points. The Perfectionistic personality tends to value thinking above feeling. but must always be doing something. Generalised Anxiety Disorders(GAD). but to the Perfectionistic person themself. In a sense. the best house. and they often struggle with anxiety based sleep disorders and workaholism. feel bad and they then criticise themself again. they are normally unable to feel or truly be happy within themself or with their own achievements. the most connected friends. This inner voice typically is constantly scanning others and noting if the Perfectionistic person is better or less perfect than that other person. where they cannot sit still and just do nothing. . as a larger fear of true failure causes mobilisation to occur. more sensitive to criticism than others. and having the most degrees and achievements. due to their real inner low self esteem. the right suburb to live in. and will often suffer a lot of anxiety in this procrastination period. they compensate via what is termed outer or other-esteem by achieving everything possible. but underneath the water the little ducks legs are kicking furiously to keep the appearance going and the duck afloat. This then makes the Perfectionistic person loathe themself. So what is wrong with all this you say? Nothing except that it hides a high level of social and general anxiety. or burnout long term in an attempt to keep this lifestyle going. and are often envious of their achievements. and living to an image versus living from their hearts. Outsiders imagine the Perfectionistic character has it all in life. the mandatory holiday. The Perfectionistic person will often overwork and may sacrifice socialising for work. the right accessories that fashion trends dictate. In reality the Perfectionistic character is more focussed on failure than success. displaces and mistrusts positive feedback with their own internal critique of how things could have been better. and then chases after that ideal. They work out what society values as important in all areas of life. Like the little black duck on the pond they look so cute and peaceful from afar. The Perfectionistic personality will often procrastinate over a new task or discipline they have not mastered for the same reason. and start to get anxious when they feel frustrated that they are wasting precious time.27 or perfect in this place. Partners must share this outlook on life and it is not uncommon to find two Perfectionistic personalities living together in their attempt at living “the dream” together. The Perfectionistic person often then feels sick inside when later alone that they have then within their own private thoughts just done a character assassination on that other person from such a critical mind. it often results in Depression. and being seen to socialise in the trendiest settings and with the right people. Addictions. being right above being in truth. This cognitive distortion means they stop being a human “being” and instead become a human “doing”. thus perpetuating the cycle of criticism and low self esteem they try to escape through perfectionism. or they “should” be doing something more substantial. Many ducks drown over time as the illusion of perfection cannot be maintained and the motto “what is not in truth collapses” shows up. and try harder in the future. The Perfectionistic person only can then put happiness out into the future and often has a form of thinking based on outcomes like “once I achieve x then I will be happy”. before the looming deadline kicks in a rush of activity right near the end of the deadline.

and became the basis for humiliation. However once in power they often demand perfection from others who do not understand this insane drive to achieve at the expense of happiness and life balance. The parent wounds the child through their perfectionistic demands. This type of boss may micro-manage and be unable to trust others via delegation. they split their love and sexuality between two people in all future situations. with little emotional connection. The partner and the children will feel unseen. either the same sex or other sex parent. and so unconsciously split their love and sex. application. By this they will tend as adults to have a “confidante” which whom they can have “heart to hearts” but no sex. Staff turnover and absenteeism due to stress is high in workplaces where a Perfectionistic boss rules and sets the tone for the workplace culture. was made wrong.28 The Perfectionistic person is often ruled by black and white thinking where they often live to rules and other black and white constructs. and where they displace their heart needs. For some they will cultivate a “friend” outside the relationship at this stage. At home the spouse or partner may suffer as the Perfectionistic person is normally emotionally unavailable. weak or incompetent. shame. or try to impose such frameworks on others. with either one or both parents. and will typically withdraw and start to either avoid the Perfectionistic person. The Perfectionistic boss will launch angry judgemental tirades at staff who they judge as lazy. When this person enters a relationship this split stance towards sex and love can be confusing for partners. is mentally often not present. unappreciated or unloved. stupid. and shame the family who are expected to present Brady Bunch perfection to the world. The first born child often becomes the “perfect” child and goes down the path of being the “good one” or the “achiever perfectionist” themself. At work the Perfectionistic person will achieve and get promoted through a combination of intelligence. having the same Perfectionistic personality that they then as parents then create in one or more of their children. betrayal of the child’s sexual love. thus creating a triangle which resembles their childhood triangulated dynamics. In the long term either the Perfectionistic person or their neglected partner may start to have an affair outside their relationship. whilst the second born is often unseen. As part of shutting down their feelings and creating defences against being hurt again. . or please them via perfect achievements at sport or academia in order to be “seen” or to get “love”. and criticisms and judgements they visit on their children they are supposed to love. and then have a separate partner to whom they submit sexually but will withhold their heart. As a child their united sexuality and love. but as they fall in love they face the internal tension of being betrayed again. punishment and exploitation. overwork. as symbolised by their pelvis and heart. statistics and only view success through financial or other empirical Key Performance Indicators. and competitiveness. or pelvis and heart. For many this will mean giving the partner sex. and may rebel and act out the negative disowned qualities that horrify and shame the Perfectionistic parent. and will typically introduce many rules. becomes critical and negative and judgemental of others as their inner critic starts to surface and be manifest in their personality. but withdrawing and relating “from their heads”. It is common that these personalities show a generational link. They often speak in terms of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” and their rigidity mi xed with perfectionism gives them little heart and little compassion in how they live. black and white reporting systems. harsh black and w hite thinking. They may start a relationship with a strong libido. The Perfectionistic person often mistrusts their feelings and so retreats into “living in their heads” . and living in their head or are still in their office in their heads.

the recent Global Financial Crisis saw Adolf Merckle. sacrificing the heart and its feelings. since they actually fear emotional intimacy. The Perfectionist personality often has triangulated relationships. but maintain the facade to friends and the world of the “perfect couple”. They become more like “brother and sister” emotionally and with no sex. In Australia. typically their thinking intellect and sexuality and keep their heart closed. What occurs is either they keep their hearts closed and live in the status quo of having a sexual and intellectual bond. Unfortunately this can also lead to the person who shuts down their sexuality then being tempted in fantasy or in reality to having an affair where it’s purely sexual and where they never intend to leave their partner. drop down the rich list to number 94. Once the heart shows up in the relationship for one or both of them then they live a dilemma of how not to get hurt. They instead only offer part of themself to a partner. This person gets all their needs met through two different persons in a triangulated dynamic. or indeed even feedback said from an empathic place can be perceived and received in an overall sensitive and personal way. and was in her . achievements and resources beyond what all of us will not see in this life. In a relationship the person tends to shut their heart down and be actively sexual for a period but not really open their heart. is they connect sexually and mentally or intellectually well in the first stage. The Perfectionistic personality struggles with constructive criticism or negative criticism. In his world the perceived loss of face and loss of control was unbearable and he threw himself under a train in his own perceived sense of failure and shame. the worlds 44th richest man. and in extreme examples where they get publicly exposed or they perceive shame there are well known examples of such successful person’s suiciding. In a well known example. and so can better cope with betrayal or criticism or judgements from the loved one. If a Perfectionistic personality was to be fully vulnerable to another person again then they could be hurt and betrayed again which is too big a risk to take. The two ways of being. In our work we describe this as a pelvic/heart split. or the sexuality shuts down as the heart in one or both of them opens. but shuts down their pelvis or sexuality and libido leaves the relationship. are normally never expressed through a single person or partner. and too much of a fear to live with. In either dynamic they cannot get fully hurt as they are not fully open or fully vulnerable to the other person. with other persons existing outside the relationship to whom they have their heartfelt relations with. In this dynamic the Perfectionist or their partner may eventually act out a sexual affair in order to satisfy their unmet sexual needs. Some authors also note that some people become perfectionistic in order to thrive or survive in their careers. The Perfectionistic person experienced the painful rejection and criticism in childhood as heart breaking and so as a defence is now closed off to being hurt in that vulnerable way again.29 Sometimes the relationship will progress where the Perfectionist gives their heart and head to their partner. in the heart and the pelvis. They can get overly wounded and withdraw. What often happens in a relationship with either one or both persons having a Perfectionistic personality present. Charmaine Dragun was an attractive Australian television presenter who had both the pressure of being a well known public figure on Television. For 99% of the population this position would still see themself as a vastly wealthy person with opportunities. and affairs whilst inside relationships can be a major issue in their life.

cold personalities who were threatened and disgusted by the spontaneity of the child. The child must enact self-control to suppress their instinctual behaviours and become the . that being one’s spontaneous thoughts. voice or evil possessing them. or suffer Chronic Fatigue or burnout or an illness related to a suppressed immune system. media celebrities often are looking over their shoulders at upcoming talent who no doubt covet their job. The Perfectionistic personality may collapse into an Anxiety or Depressive disorder. I mentioned earlier a third type of Perfectionistic personality that uses obsessional thinking. the pressure to be perfect and sexual and beautiful on camera was a benchmark by which they were judged. Coming from an Unwanted Child and/or Perfectionistic child background where the world and parents were hostile. The parents of this Obsessional type are found often to be stern. Here it is believed that the Obsessional type redirects their own will towards controlling what is uncontrolled. desires and feelings. Often it is only after their own self-controlling efforts to run their life to the illusion of perfection have failed. admonitions. impulses. Charmaine had reportedly been struggling with Anxiety and Depression for which she was receiving help. and who punished and threatened the child until the child gave up their true self and became a “perfect” child. where the idea of an affair may be acted out in reality. This is becoming more common in our society with terms such as Executive Stress or Executive Burnout often describing this dynamic. exacting. and/or from the situation where they were punished or used or humiliated in their own sexual love feelings. The Obsessional believes they are compelled to obey the directives of this sentinel. or compulsive ritualised actions as a defence and distraction from being in their forbidden thoughts and feelings. Charmaine was reported to be “emotionally troubled”. The Perfectionistic personality often resists entering therapy due to the notion that they must be perfect. This type of Perfectionistic personality often had the “Unwanted Child” wounding in the womb. directives and warnings. or in early life. and possibly suffered Bipolar Type 2 disorder. commands. She was reported to have had a solid relationship. Charmaine had some suicidal feelings during all this and eventually committed suicide when she became overwhelmed with her life circumstances.30 own words strongly perfectionistic. Also the Perfectionistic personality may end up in counselling due to being unable to remain faithful in romantic relationships. This sentinel can be believed by the Obsessional to be an external alien force. as they are unable to keep up with their own relentless demands to achieve more and more. which is a common feeling that Perfectionistic personalities feel with the perfection trap they create for themselves in life. rule based. In the competitive world of television and media. and these disorders are a common issue for the Perfectionistic personality. the Obsessional develops an inner sentinel which issues internal dialogue warnings. Refer to my related article on the “Unwanted Child” for details about this personality type. The sentinel is a more severe form of the classic perfectionists “inner critic”. image is everything and in recent accounts of female media personalities who once worked in Australian TV. but reportedly felt “empty”. rigid. and doing therapy or getting counselling is an admission of failure. In media. She reportedly was beset by negative thinking and feelings of hopelessness. and not understood or accepted to be part of their inner life. that they enter therapy in crisis.

Here they will obsess more. behave. The Perfectionistic personality is also partly present in the related development of the Narcissistic personality. and so sets up possible trans-generational wounding in this type in families. feel and think the right thing. will normally be present. Their intense and narrowly focused attention. and imperatives they must live up to. and fends off any impulse to sidetrack off into spontaneous and therefore unsafe territory. it only leaves them with a strategy of more of the same. and what . or regain control and punish the “bad” part of themself for having such thoughts. the facial and jaw muscles. expected niceties. The person imposes a self-will in order to maintain order in the face of internal chaos and this must be maintained as their internal life is often threatening to fragment. self-regulation. and the two tend to share some similar outlooks on life. and self-vigilance. with others seen as the personification of the social rules. be more compulsive. At this point they may act out their darker thoughts. and procrastination. Where the person has an Unwanted Child background there is often a more survival oriented need for this rigid Perfectionistic outcome. as they feel threatened or stressed or overwhelmed. coupled with their noted doubt.31 false perfect self demanded of them by the parent(s). Over time the suppression. pedantic and rigidly correct in social settings. If they have the earlier Unwanted Child wounding their bodies will show that characterology or bodily characteristics. and which principally shows in the eyes. have proper attitudes and values. being an observer more than involved. indecision. particularly to detail. This Obsessional personality does not typically exhibit the harmonious body of the classic Perfectionist personality. In their world. coupled with their feelings of their internal self collapsing into chaos if they do not keep their obsessions and rituals going. The ocular segment block. The Obsessional based perfectionism prevents the collapse and fragmentation of the person occurring. Commonly one or both parents are either threatened or competitive with the child’s often intelligent and creative original nature . increase rituals and behaviours. self. They attempt to control their own feelings and motivations so they are the right kind of person and do not offend. They may also collapse or act out if exposed by someone else in a way that humiliates or shames them as wrong or uncovers an aspect of them they have tried to suppress and hide. and punishing to those below them who must comply and follow the rules. which results in the person ”living in their heads”. The order and structure is maintained through this internal sentinel that keeps watch and uses ritual and rules to make the person functional. and creates a split between the head and the body. they impose on themself. which is found in other personality types. This acts to repress feelings coming from the body into the head. or for acting them out. and often at this point there intrudes into consciousness some repressed thoughts of a sexually sadistic or somehow otherwise hostile nature. This subjugation of those below them is the basis for them recreating their childhood wounds. and the rear neck line where the skull meets the neck. Regardless of their background the Obsessional type typically is a person under constant internal pressure to do. This keeps them busy behaviourally and cognitively. can create depression. The Obsessional personality shows itself more in their mental life and behaviours than it does in the body. and so are submissive to those above them. The Obsessional can be quite stilted. keep them safe from making mistakes.

Biology of Belief. Anodea Judith. USA. Character Styles. Alexander Lowen. Bioenergetics.W. 2. LifeRhythm Publication. USA. 9. Wilhelm Reich. 1975. Free Yourself 2 – The Power of the Soul. 1994. 3. Saturday October 16. . New York. 1971. W. Alexander Lowen. Annie Marquier. Free Yourself 1 – Releasing Your Unconscious Defence Patterns. 1976. References 1. 11. Annie Marquier. John Pierrakos. Mountain of Love/Elite Books. Western Mind. 1985. Gabrielle Knowles . 8. 2004. Character Analysis. Celestial Arts. 2010. 4. Core Energetics. Refer also to my articles on Narcissism in the Articles section of this website. Stephen Johnson. The West Australian newspaper. Stephen Johnson. 10. 1990. Norton & Co New York. W. 2005. “Dragun’s Suicide “Preventable”. Eastern Body. Scotland. New York. Characterological Transformation – The Hard Work Miracle. 6. 2005. Findhorn Press. 2005. 5. Language of the Body. New York. Most Narcissistic personalities also tend to have a developmental background that involves the dynamics shared by the Leader/Controller personality type which is outlined elsewhere in this section of the website.32 drives them in life. Farrar Publishing. Penguin books. Findhorn Press. Bruce Lipton. Scotland.WW Norton & Co New York. MacMillan. 7. 5th enlarged edition.