You are on page 1of 23

Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol.

43(4), 337–359 Fall 2007 Published online in Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI 10.1002/jhbs.20272 © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’
IAN NICHOLSON

Nude psychotherapy is one of the most flamboyant therapeutic techniques ever developed in American psychology. Largely forgotten today, the therapy was an academic and popular sensation upon its introduction in 1967. Developed by psychologist Paul Bindrim, the therapy promised to guide clients to their authentic selves through the systematic removal of clothing. This paper explores the intellectual, cultural and ethical context of nude therapy and its significance as a form of unchurched spirituality. Although nude therapy has an indisputable tabloid character, it is also rooted in a long-standing academic search for authenticity and ultimate meaning through science. Bindrim’s career demonstrates the historically long-standing interweaving of spirituality and science within American psychology while simultaneously highlighting the field’s extraordinary capacity for adaptive reinvention. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Something is happening and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones? —Bob Dylan Nudity in itself may represent a symbolic and factual lifting of the mask —Paul Bindrim (1968, p. 187).

In 1933, psychologist Howard Warren published one of the most socially unorthodox articles ever featured in a mainstream psychological journal. Provocatively entitled “Social Nudism and the Body Taboo,” Warren’s paper was a qualitative and largely sympathetic consideration of the social and psychological significance of nudism (see Devonis, 2002). Warren, a distinguished Princeton psychologist and one-time president of the American Psychological Association, described nudism in therapeutic terms, highlighting the “easy camaraderie” and lack of “self-consciousness” in the nudist park, in addition to a “notable improvement in general health” (1933, pp. 179, 182, 166). At the heart of Warren’s paper was an idea central to the nudist movement in Germany and United States: nudism as a therapeutic return to “nature.” Pioneering nudists such as Richard Ungewitter and Maurice Parmelee (1927) articulated a complex metaphysics of the body with nudity as a symbol of modernity, nature and liberation from a decadent civilization (see Barcan, 2004). Inspired by such work, Warren painted a portrait of Americans psychologically hemmed in and perverted by repressive taboos and “Anglo-Saxon standards of decency” (p. 164). In contrast, life in the nudist camp was “natural and unconstrained” (p. 174) with a “saner sex outlook and more natural relations between men and women (p. 178). Although Warren’s scholarly interest in nudism was not widely shared by many of his contemporaries, his paper is not without historical significance nor did it mark the end of social scientific engagement with nudism. In the post-World War II period, there was a small but energetic scholarly literature on nudism that echoed many of the positive, ‘therapeutic’ themes that Warren identified. Articles sympathetic to nudism appeared in a number of mainstream journals including the Journal of Social Psychology (Casler, 1964), Psychiatry

IAN NICHOLSON is Professor of Psychology at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. A graduate of the History & Theory of Psychology Program at York University, he has published widely in the history of psychology including Inventing Personality: Gordon Allport and the Science of Selfhood (2003: APA Press). E-mail: Nicholson@stu.ca.

337

338

IAN NICHOLSON

(Weinberg, 1966), Psychological Reports (Blank, Sugerman, & Roosa, 1968), Social Problems (Weinberg, 1965), and American Psychologist (Lawrence, 1969). The scholarly culmination of this work came in 1970 with the publication of Nudist Society—a 400-page scholarly investigation of nudism in America. The book’s first author, William Hartman, was a sociologist at California State College and like most of his social scientific predecessors, he presented nudism through a discourse of psychological health, sexual enlightenment and personal liberation.1 Despite its flamboyant character, provocative claims, and some high-profile participants, the social scientific study of nudism has generated little historical interest. There is an impressive literature on the history of nudism—especially German nudism—but the history of social scientific studies of nudism in the United States and nudism as a psychotherapeutic technique is largely unexplored.2 This paper provides a preliminary analysis of this uncharted terrain through a consideration of the most notorious application of nudism in psychology: “nude psychotherapy.” The technique was developed in 1967 by psychologist Paul Bindrim, and he actively promoted the method in a series of conference papers, journal articles, and media appearances. Although Bindrim was an astute self-promoter with a keen awareness of popular tastes, nude psychotherapy was never simply a prurient, popularized perversion of traditional therapy. Bindrim himself was a licensed psychologist with academic qualifications from Columbia and Duke University and he was careful to package his therapeutic innovations in the language of scientific advancement. Moreover, his therapeutic discoveries drew heavily on the work of the then president of the American Psychological Association: Abraham Maslow. World renowned as one of the fathers of humanistic psychology, Maslow had a long-standing interest in nudity dating back to his graduate work as a primatologist in the 1930s. Although he had never written extensively on the topic, Maslow’s work was the inspiration for nude psychotherapy and as APA president he publicly endorsed the technique as an innovative avenue for growth. The present study explores the intellectual and social origins of nude therapy and it considers how the therapy came—however briefly—to a position of prominence, and why it failed to establish itself in the long term. I suggest that nude therapy’s appeal lay not strictly in its tabloid character or sexual suggestiveness but in its spiritual possibilities. Ordained as a minister in the Christian Science inspired Church of Religious Science, Bindrim’s psychology drew on a long standing discourse of nudity as a vehicle for spiritual transformation, and in the cultural context of late-1960s and 1970s America, he discovered that many were ready to leap from their “tower of clothes” in the hope of securing meaning and fulfillment. Bindrim’s flamboyant career reveals a deep and historically long standing spiritual undercurrent in American psychology while simultaneously highlighting the curious and largely unexamined way that psychology incorporated one of the twentieth century’s more eccentric therapeutic movements. PAUL BINDRIM, ESP AND THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF “PSI” The first session of “nude psychotherapy” was held on June 16, 1967, at a nudist resort in Deer Park, California. Designed as a form of group therapy, the session featured 24 participants

1. For more information on the career of William Hartman, see his autobiography (Hartman, 1997). The autobiography of Marilyn Fithian (1997) appears in the same volume. See also Bullough, 1997. 2. For a discussion of nudism in Germany, see Hau (2003), Jeffries (2006), Ross (2005), and Toepfer (1997). Goodson (1991) provides a book length consideration of the “therapeutic use of nudity through the ages.” Goodson’s book is useful but it is journalistic in style and is written more in the spirit of advocacy than historical analysis.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

339

who were encouraged to “disrobe” in order to facilitate “emotional intimacy [and] transparency” and decondition “distortions . . . associated with body image” (Bindrim, 1968a, pp. 180, 187). Conscious of the sensational nature of the method, Bindrim was alive to its public relations potential. He alerted the media and he was soon inundated with requests for interviews and television appearances including such prominent media outlets as Time and Life. Bindrim enjoyed the attention and he basked in his new found celebrity status. However, as the self-proclaimed “father” of a radical new therapy, he faced a skeptical public and some tough questions. Joseph Dyer (1967), a reporter for CBS News, put the matter bluntly: “Mr. Bindrim, let me ask you this: aren’t you running the risk of being called an off-beat, or a quack, or, well, a nut?” It was a legitimate question, and one that would have likely given other psychologists pause. As Benjamin (1986) has noted, psychology has had a problematic image from its inception as an independent discipline, and most academic psychologists have gone to considerable lengths to portray themselves as “respectable” purveyors of scientific truths (see also Morawski & Hornstein, 1991). However, Bindrim had spent most of his career on the edge of professional respectability and he was thus not especially troubled by the idea of being at odds with mainstream psychology. Born Edward Paul Bindrim on August 14, 1920, in New York City, he enrolled as undergraduate at Columbia University in 1937 where he distinguished himself as Freshman Class President and participated in the Pre-Medical Society, Chemistry Club and Psychology Club (Columbia College, 1967, p. 64). Graduating with a B.A. in 1941, Bindrim studied medicine at the New York Medical College before moving to Duke University for graduate studies in psychology. Disinterested in the behaviorist psychology popular at the time, Bindrim was drawn to the exotic world of parapsychology. He enrolled as a graduate student at Duke University where he studied extrasensory perception (ESP)—under the direction of J. B. Rhine, the psychologist who had coined the term in 1934 (Rao, 1982). What is important to emphasize at this juncture is not the empirical validity of ESP, but the spiritual agenda that informed the entire research project. Rhine’s parapsychological interests were not animated by a tawdry desire for special powers or an interest in the occult. Rather, his parapsychology was born out of a broader current of religious disenchantment that swept through many American middleclass families in the 1910s and 1920s (Lears, 1981). Rhine wanted to find a “satisfactory philosophy of life, one that could be regarded as scientifically sound and yet could answer some of the urgent questions regarding the nature of man and his place in the natural world” (Rhine, 1937, p. 51).

FIGURE 1. Paul Bindrim at Columbia University, 1941.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

340

IAN NICHOLSON

Rhine’s search led him to parapsychology—a field he viewed as the most promising source of “new insight into human personality and its relations to the universe” (Rhine, 1937, p. 199). His detailed investigations—involving by 1940 33 experiments and nearly one million trials—led him to conclude that parapsychological phenomena were manifestations of psi— a nonphysical energy of the mind. For Rhine, the existence of psi was a refutation of determinism and materialism and proof positive that there was something “extraphysical or spiritual in human personality” (Rhine, 1947, p. 206). Mainstream psychologists were skeptical of ESP and psi, but the public had no hesitation in taking the topic to heart. Bindrim was among those caught up in the popular excitement and revolutionary potential of psi. Enrolling as a student in the Parapsychology Laboratory in 1945, Bindrim undertook an experiment on ESP for his Master’s thesis in psychology.3 Unfortunately for Bindrim, ESP lost its institutional base in psychology at the very time he graduated and an academic career as a psychical researcher seemed unlikely. Abandoning the scientific search for psi, Bindrim retained his fascination with metaphysical energies of the self and he relocated to California. For someone with his unorthodox interests, California was a good place to be. The state had been a magnet for unorthodox thinkers since the nineteenth century, and in the 1950s and 1960s its openness and experimental ethos were widely celebrated. Psychologist Will Schutz recalled feeling that “California really is different from the rest of the world.” It is “pretty unlimited and very tolerant . . . there was something wonderful about the freedom to express whatever you felt like expressing” (Leal, 1992, p. 471). Bindrim reveled in this world of unconventionality and unlimited possibility. He purchased a “Frank Lloyd Wright-type circular home” in Hollywood (Lawrence, 1971), and was ordained as a minister in the Church of Religious Science—a variation of New Thought that freely blended the language of scientific psychology with a spiritual vocabulary of personal growth and “limitless power” (Holmes, 1938, p. 29). Bindrim also established a private clinical practice in Hollywood and it was this work that set the stage for the emergence of nude psychotherapy. RELIGIOUS SCIENCE, PSYCHOLOGICAL SPIRITUALITY, AND PEAK EXPERIENCES When surveying the history of “nude psychotherapy,” it is almost impossible to avoid seeing it through the larger moral prism of nudity. As the historian Rob Cover (2003) has noted, “nakedness across a vast array of representations in the history of western culture has been inseparable from sex and sexuality, and has been hence located adjacent to the indecent, the obscene and the immoral” (p. 55). Many of Bindrim’s contemporaries saw the method in largely moral terms, and as will be discussed later, more recent commentators have tended to equate nudity with sexuality. Given the powerful and largely negative moral context surrounding nudity, it is important to emphasize that therapeutic nudism has a distinguished academic pedigree in academic psychology, most notably the humanistic psychology of Abraham Maslow. A highly respected figure with impeccable academic credentials, Maslow had been a critic of mainstream psychology since graduate school days in the 1930s, but it was not until the publication of his influential text Motivation and Personality (1954) that his ideas began to gather momentum (Nicholson, 2001). He was convinced that mainstream psychology placed too much emphasis on psychopathology and on the capacity of the environment and
3. Bindrim’s Master’s thesis was entitled “Consistency of Displacement Trend in ESP: Methods and Results,” and it was completed under the supervision of J. B. Rhine and J. G. Pratt. A version of the thesis was published in the Journal of Parapsychology (Bindrim, 1947).

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

341

sexual instincts to influence human nature. What was needed, Maslow insisted, was a psychology beyond the self-limiting determinism of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Without completely abandoning either of these approaches, Maslow argued that Americans needed a positive theoretical orientation that would emphasize the higher levels of human nature—the potential for growth, agency, and transcendence. Maslow’s emphasis on the human potential for growth appealed to Bindrim, and the humanistic message was compatible with the New Thought that he had cultivated in the Church of Religious Science and the transcendental power of psi. In his clinical practice, Bindrim found Maslow’s concept of “peak experiences” especially helpful. A “peak experience” was a secular sounding, psychological term for a mystical experience. Likening the experience to a “visit to a personally defined heaven,” Maslow (1968) described peak experiences as moments of maximum psychological functioning. “He feels more intelligent, more perceptive, wittier, stronger, or more graceful than at other times” (Maslow, 1968, p. 105). Not only was a person generally enhanced during a peak experience, but he also felt a heightened sense of oneness with himself and the world around him. “The person in the peak-experiences feels more integrated (unified, whole, all-of-a-piece) . . . and is more able to fuse with the world” (Maslow, 1968, p. 104). For a psychologist nurtured on the soulful language of psi, the “peak state” was a seductive concept and Bindrim quickly assimilated it into his therapeutic vocabulary. He described the peak state as a “spiritual experience of total union . . . [that] goes beyond sexual union which is genitally focused, and carries with it a sense of joy and aliveness” (Bindrim, 1972, p. 145). Enamored with the ideal of a higher state of being, Bindrim (1967) developed his own clinical approach that he termed “peak oriented psychotherapy.” Maslow had said relatively little about the clinical applications of peak experiences, but Bindrim reasoned that they might serve as a useful therapeutic focal point. The challenge was to somehow transform something that was seemingly fleeting and mysterious into an experience that could be reliably induced and therapeutically managed. Maslow had speculated on the viability of LSD as a means of inducing peak states, but Bindrim was convinced that the desired state could be achieved using psychological techniques.4 “Peak states of varying intensity are not purely spontaneous occurrences” Bindrim argued, “but apparently can be fostered in a therapeutic setting with some degree of predictability” (Bindrim, 1967, p. 3). In the mid-1960s, Bindrim began experimenting with techniques to facilitate peak experiences in a diverse range of subjects. Presenting a summary of his research at the meeting of American Association for Humanistic Psychology, he cautiously reported success in inducing peak experiences in a wide range of subjects. His method involved a four stage process of recollection of past peak experiences (preferably in a group context), identification of peak-inducing stimuli and activities (e.g., music, art, food), controlled immersion in the stimuli and finally the extension and elaboration of peak experiences through dreams. Bindrim concluded that his method allowed for the possibility of “basic personality changes . . . to occur with little effort” (Bindrim, 1967, p. 9; see also Bindrim, 1968b). Although Bindrim’s “peak oriented psychotherapy” was packaged in the language of novelty, its ethic and structure was similar to that of the encounter group movement. The encounter group concept was developed in the 1950s out of social psychological research into

4. Maslow (1980) was initially impressed by the research potential of LSD: “It looks as if these drugs often produce peak experiences in the right people under the right conditions, so that perhaps we needn’t wait for them to occur by good fortune. Perhaps we can actually produce a private personal peak-experience under observation and whenever we wish” (p. 27).

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

342

IAN NICHOLSON

group dynamics (Back, 1973). In contrast to psychotherapy where the emphasis was on psychological problems, encounter groups stressed self-discovery and human potential. As encounter group pioneer Frederick Stoller (1972) noted, “the basic assumption is not that you have a problem, but that you’ve come to learn something about yourself ” (p. 126). The typical encounter group consisted of a leader and a small number of people who came together in search of openness and honesty, self-awareness, self-responsibility, awareness of the body, attention to feelings and an emphasis on the “here and now.” A wide variety of techniques were employed in pursuit of these qualities, but at the heart of the encounter experience was the manipulation of group processes in order to produce powerful emotion. Group exercises such as the “trust fall” (where participants fall back into the arms of a partner) and sensory concentration (focus one sense organ such as hearing) often produced extremely strong emotions, which were then echoed back into the group through intensive discussion and orchestrated self-disclosure. The emotions expressed were often unpleasant, but despite or perhaps because of this, participants often came away with the sense that something important had happened and that they were the better for it. Catering to a demand for intimacy and intensity, encounter groups created a psychologically inflationary environment and increasingly novel techniques were employed to deliver the expected emotional kick. Nude psychotherapy was to be the most flamboyant twist on the encounter group concept to date and it represented an intensification of the “marathon”—a concept that was itself designed to add more emotional sizzle to the encounter experience. The psychological “marathon” was a time-extended encounter group, usually lasting from 18 to 36 hours. The lengthier format and sleep deprivation was thought to allow participants to build up a psychological momentum. “It’s almost like once you start to run, it takes a while to build up the speed, and it takes a while to build up an intensity of feeling about oneself, about the other people” (Stoller, 1972, p. 133). Bindrim was impressed with the marathon technique and he used the method extensively in his own workshops. “Such round-the-clock pressure” he noted enthusiastically, “leads the participants to take off their social masks, stop playing games, and start communicating openly and authentically” (Bindrim, 1969, p. 25). A NUDE PSYCHOLOGY Searching for a fast track to meaning, Bindrim equated intensity with insight and like many in the encounter movement he was always willing to consider dramatic new stimuli that might facilitate peak experiences. The idea to add nudity to the marathon experience occurred to him after witnessing marathon participants spontaneously disrobe for a swim: I had just stopped being a minister of Religious Science and didn’t see myself being involved in nudity or sexuality. It was the furthest thing from my mind. But after having met in a standard session in the woods at Limekiln, we went to the Esalen baths. . . . I saw something very profound happening there, something I never would have predicted— and I had not encouraged any of it . . . so the thought occurred to me that maybe, instead of going to the baths after the weekend, it would have been better to reverse this procedure and have them go nude at the beginning. Maybe they would emotionally open up even faster. (Bindrim cited in Goodson, 1991, pp. 252–253) Bindrim may have been impressed by the psychological potential of these spontaneous displays of nudity, but orchestrated “nude marathons” were a whole other matter. What transformed the idea from speculation to reality was the imprimatur of Abraham Maslow. In his influential text Eupsychian Management, Maslow (1965) commented approvingly on the therapeutic value of nudism. “I still think that nudism, simply going before a lot of other people, is itself a kind
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

343

of therapy, especially if we can be conscious of it, that is, if there’s a skilled person around to direct what is going on” (p.160). Not only was nudity psychologically valuable in and of itself, Maslow thought that it could provide a powerful boost to existing group based therapies. I wonder, as a matter of fact, what would happen as an experiment if these T-groups remained exactly as they are but only added a physical nudism. Suppose all these same people at Lake Arrowhead were required to take all their clothes off for the two weeks they were there. I suspect that the results would be even faster, more startling, and more beneficial. People would go away from there an awful lot freer, a lot more spontaneous, less guarded, less defensive, not only about the shape of their behinds . . . but freer and more innocent about their minds as well. (Maslow, 1965, p. 160) Maslow’s interest in nudism was not just a passing fancy, and as we shall see he played a crucial role in the establishment of nude psychotherapy. His interest in the topic dated back to the 1930s and was linked to his graduate training. Maslow’s Ph.D. dissertation examined the relationship between sexuality and dominance and was designed to test the merits of psychoanalysis and Alfred Adler’s individual psychology (Maslow, 1932). Unable to undertake direct laboratory experiments on human sexuality, Maslow embraced a belief that a number of researchers came to share in the 1930s and 1940s: the idea of primates as “mirrors” of human nature. As Donna Haraway (1991) has noted, primates were viewed as rudimentary or “pure” humans, Homo sapiens uncomplicated by culture and language. “I always felt about the monkeys and apes” Maslow later recalled, “as if I were seeing the ‘roots of human nature laid bare’” (Maslow, 1979, p. 331). The logic of primates as basic humans suggested that humans could themselves become more authentic by acting like primates. The shedding of clothing would reveal a truer and more “natural” human self. In his journal, Maslow noted that he preferred people “naked physically and spiritually. No fakes. . . . That allows me to see the real reality without any veils or soft-focus lenses or rose-colored glasses” (Maslow, 1979, p. 814). Maslow played down his interest in nudity in his published writing, but the idea of a “true self ” beyond culture (and clothing) was central to his theorizing (Nicholson, 2001; see also Daniels, 1988). Intrigued by the beautiful simplicity and transformative power of a nudist psychology, Bindrim readily envisioned himself in the role that Maslow had spoken of: a “skilled person” who could make explicit the psychological benefits of nudism in an encounter group context. “My concept” Bindrim remarked, temporarily forgetting his debt to Maslow, “was that physical nakedness could facilitate emotional nakedness and, therefore speed up psychotherapy” (cited in Goodson, 1991, p. 19). It was a provocative idea, but in an increasingly liberal disciplinary context it was not entirely implausible. In addition to Maslow’s endorsement, Bindrim could look to a small but significant scholarly literature on nudism for support. As we have already seen, in psychology the best-known early study was undertaken by Howard Warren who spent a week at a nudist camp in Germany in 1932 studying the psychological aspects of nudism. Postwar psychological research on nudism echoed many of the positive, “therapeutic” themes that Warren identified. Describing his experiences at an American nudist resort for the Journal of Social Psychology, Lawrence Casler (1964) argued against popular stereotypes of nudists as maladjusted sexual deviants and he maintained that nudism could actually facilitate the development of positive attitudes and behaviors. Nudists had a more “realistic outlook toward sex” he maintained and nudist children were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful” (p. 322). Impressed by psychological benefits of nudism, Casler was convinced that it had potential as a method of therapy. “In short, the most interesting thing about nudism seems to be not that it exists, but that so little has been done to learn what it has to teach” (p. 323). The benefits of nudism were also highlighted in sociologist
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

344

IAN NICHOLSON

Martin Weinberg’s (1966) analysis of the process of becoming a nudist that appeared in the journal Psychiatry. Weinberg observed that nudism promoted a feeling of camaraderie and freedom from oppressive social conventions: “The nudist camp does effectively break down patterns common to country clubs, resorts, and other settings in the outside society” (p. 21).5 Viewed against the background of existing research on nudist camps, Maslow’s musings about psychological nudism appear far less daring than they might initially seem. If the largely unstructured nudist camp could help the individual shed inhibitions and facilitate personal growth, it seemed reasonable to conclude that an organized, scientific, psychotherapetuic nudism could produce even more stellar results. The cultural fragmentation of the late 1950s and 1960s invested nude therapy with an additional element of legitimacy. During this period, the narrative of moral and sexual containment was coming undone. Normative codes that had defined sexuality as exclusively reproductive and heterosexual were challenged by the Kinsey Report, the legalization of oral contraceptives, and the extraordinary success of Playboy and similar men’s magazines. In the late 1950s, nudism received an affirmation of sorts from the U.S. Supreme Court when it cleared nudist magazines for distribution through the mail. The Court ruled that “social nudism constituted a viable system of belief and was therefore defensible under the First Amendment” (McCarthy, 1998, p. 36). In the 1960s, Americans were exposed as never before to naked bodies and alternative ways of imaging desire. The “naked” theme became increasingly visible across a wide spectrum of cultural contexts including art, rock music, cinema, and the theatre (McCarthy, 1998). In iconic plays such as Hair (1967) and films such as Easy Rider (1969) public nudity was used to symbolize truth and authenticity. Nudism was used to similar effect by avant-garde performance artists such as Yayoi Kusama, who famously choreographed a 1968 election day performance in front of the Board of Elections in New York City featuring nude actors wearing masks of Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon (McDarrah, 2003).6 The increasing visibility of nudity was apparent even in “mainstream” media such as Life magazine who ran a feature on public nudity in 1967: Nakedness seems suddenly to have achieved acceptability in the U.S. It might even be safe to say that is has become a sort of social concept, a valid rather than invalid aspect of our culture, among a great many segments of society which would have rejected it two or three years ago. (O’Neil, 1967, p. 107) Bindrim was not a practicing nudist, but he was sensitive to liberal social currents and he had an ever expanding appetite for “authenticity” and transcendence. With Maslow as a direct inspiration, Bindrim was determined to put nudism on a professional footing, and he discussed the idea with the California sociologists William Hartman and Marilyn Fithian—themselves avid students of sexuality and nudism. In the summer of 1967, the three began organizing what would be the world’s first “nude psychotherapy marathon.” CONSTRUCTING AN AUTHENTIC SELF: THE TECHNIQUE OF NUDE THERAPY In her thoughtful discussion of American nudism, Ellen Woodall (2002) highlighted the gap between the movement’s rhetoric and its reality. Historically, American nudism was

5. Similar results were reported in research by Blank, Sugerman, and Roosa (1968), who reported that “nudist behavior is not necessarily psychopathological and may serve adaptive purposes for certain individuals” (p. 964). 6. The work of artist and performer Carolee Schneemann (1991) provide additional illustrations of nudity’s growing cultural cachet. Schneemann made extensive use of nudity as a symbol of liberation.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

345

promoted as a means of enhancing social equality, body acceptance and a “natural” way of being. However, the actual practices of nudist resorts have typically been very much in line with conventional social class divisions, beauty ideals, and behavior. What nudism has succeeded in doing, Woodall argues, is not to challenge the core values of the wider culture but to provide a site where one may purchase the values of nudism-intellectualism, progressivism, equality, and environmentalism—without actually practicing them. “In the same way that ‘primitive’ goods are mass marketed for tourists in developing nations as safe symbols of exotic travels, nudist resorts are symbols of enlightenment, individualism, and élan that can be acquired without risk” (p. 278). The rhetoric-reality gap described by Woodall was evident right from the very inception of “nude psychotherapy.” Bindrim was convinced that the “natural state” of humanity had been lost and that disrobing would peel back layers of modernist artifice and alienation and reestablish a healthy connection with one’s body and the true self. Ironically, although a selfdeclared enemy of the inauthentic, Bindrim sought psychological deliverance through the very artifice he decried. Far from being spontaneous returns to “nature,” his marathons were carefully orchestrated performances of psychological ingenuity and financial opportunism. Where possible, the sessions were held at sites that contained just the right blend of modernist comfort and mystical possibility. Bindrim sought out locations that combined “abundant trees and wildlife” with all the conveniences of a “high class resort hotel” (Bindrim, 1968a, p. 181). Drawing on his experience as an encounter group leader, he carefully structured the marathon and alternated the pace. The marathons usually consisted of 15–25 participants who paid $100 per person for the weekend or $45 for a 24-hour marathon—a “bargain price” Bindrim remarked, “especially considering you stand a good

FIGURE 2. Bindrim leading a nude psychotherapy session in Toronto, Ontario, 1971. Bindrim is the balding man in the center.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

346

IAN NICHOLSON

chance of having a peak experience” (Howard, 1970, p. 88). Like other encounter groups, nude marathon participants traversed culturally anomalous emotional terrain. Most of the participants were strangers to each other, yet they were expected to share an unparalleled level of emotional and physical openness with the group. Aware of the anomaly, Bindrim moved quickly to create an ersatz community. “Basically, I conceive of the first half of the marathon as a means of producing a good functioning group in the nude” (Bindrim, 1972, p. 145). Bindrim began this process by employing familiar encounter group techniques. Participants were invited to “eyeball” each other (stare into each other’s eyes at close range) and then to respond in some physical way (hugging, wrestling, etc.). After this ice-breaker, participants disrobed in the dark to musical accompaniment before joining a small circle to perform a “meditation-like” hum. This process, Bindrim felt, gave rise to the “feeling of being all part of one human mass” (1972, p. 145). Like a psychological impresario, Bindrim carefully walked his “human mass” through a series of emotional displays. Freely blending psychoanalysis and Maslovian theory, Bindrim told his participants that they needed to reenact the hurt and frustration in their life in order achieved a psychologically hallowed state. “The idea is to regress, if possible, to the trauma that caused the distortion. That’s the way to start toward a peak experience” (cited in Howard, 1970, p. 95). Under pressure to disclose, participants offered up their intimate secrets and Bindrim masterfully sought out those human dramas that could deliver the greatest emotional payoff. During the first marathon, a participant “Bob” complained that his wife didn’t give him any love: Paul grabbed a rolled package of magazines, pulled over a bench, shoved the package into Bob’s hands, and screamed to him, “Hit her, hit her, get it out. She wouldn’t give you any love.” Bob in a frenzy, started to hit the bench harder and harder, screaming and swearing vindictively. Paul cried with him. The group cried with him. We were all swept into it. . . . When it was over, we were all limp. (Goodson, 1991, p. 24) Nude therapy was based on the idea of the naked body as a metaphor of the “psychological soul.” Uninhibited exhibition of the nude body revealed that which was most fundamental, truthful, and real. In the marathon, Bindrim interrogated this metaphor with a singular determination. Bodies were exposed and scrutinized with a science-like rigor. Particular attention was paid to revealing the most private areas of the body and mind—all with a view to freeing the self from its socially imposed constraints. “This,” Bindrim asserted gesturing to a participant’s genitalia and anus, “is where it’s at. This is where we are so damned negatively conditioned” (cited in Howard, 1970, p. 96). Determined to squelch the “exaggerated sense of guilt” in the body, Bindrim devised an exercise called “crotch eyeballing” in which participants were instructed to look at each others genitals and disclose the sexual experiences they felt most guilty about while lying naked in a circle with their legs in the air (Bindrim, 1972; cited in Howard, 1970, p. 94). In this position, Bindrim insisted “you soon realize that the head end and the tail end are indispensable parts of the same person, and that one end is about as good as the other” (Bindrim, 1972, p. 146). Increasingly enamored with the transformative potential of nude therapy, Bindrim focused more on technique than theory and he kept the meaning of the therapy deliberately open ended. For more pragmatically minded clients, nude therapy was simply a new technique to achieve old, earthbound aims: a happier marriage, better communication, greater selfacceptance. For more spiritually restive clients, nude therapy promised not only a new self, but a “higher” self with a richer and more fulfilling emotional life and an enduring connection to a transpersonal power. Bindrim noted that many of his nude therapy participants,
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

347

reported a sense of going out, a traveling through and beyond the boundaries of ordinary experience and an approach to something variously called “God,” “warm, white light,” “birth,” “the beauty of the whole thing,” “the stream of the universe,” “a white nirvana,” and so on. The experiences seemed to have a lasting effect on the post-marathon attitudes and behavior of many of the participants. An increased sense of inner worth, a sense of having completed a crucial psychic or spiritual cycle. (Bindrim, 1970, p. 105)

“STRIPPING BODY AND MIND”: PUBLIC, POLITICAL, AND SCHOLARLY REACTION TO NUDE THERAPY Anxious to promote the transformative potential of nude therapy, Bindrim had little difficulty selling the idea to the media. The technique had an obvious tabloid allure, and Bindrim was a skilled promoter with a “warm, outgoing, charismatic personality” (Lawrence, 1971, p. 287). Nude therapy received extensive coverage in the local news and it eventually became a national and international story. Although Bindrim had worked hard to package his therapy as a legitimate science, reporters approached the topic with a combination of prurient fascination and skepticism. Information about the size, duration, and gender composition of the marathon was reported in detail as was the policy on sexual activity. At the same time, many reporters had difficulty taking the issue seriously. Bill Sluis (1968), a reporter for the SantaBarbara News, concluded his story on nude therapy by asking facetiously whether Bindrim might have discovered the way to end the Vietnam War. “How about getting Ho Chi Minh and LBJ together?” Sluis asked. “I’d love to,” Bindrim said. “I would love to have them experience each other in a nude therapy session.” The nude marathon lent itself easily to satire, but early presentations of the therapy were, to quote Bindrim, “surprisingly favorable” (Bindrim to Maslow, March 1, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). Time magazine devoted a full page to nude psychotherapy along with a photograph of a group of nude participants captioned “touching hands and talking out repressions.” Bindrim was portrayed as a responsible pioneer on a new frontier of the mind and the story was featured in the magazine’s ‘Medicine’ section (“Psychotherapy—Stripping Body & Mind,” 1968). Favorable reports also appeared in the British Daily Mail and Bindrim took calls from reporters in Japan and Germany. Life magazine devoted a two-page photo spread to nude therapy as part of a larger feature on Esalen and the Human Potential Movement (Howard, 1968, July 12) and the Canadian national newsmagazine Macleans ran a five-page feature on Bindrim and his work (Annesley, 1971). In addition to the print media, Bindrim also found his way onto popular television talk shows. He appeared on the “David Susskind Show” and on the “Alan Burke Show” where the host congratulated him for his “efforts to spread brotherly love” through nude therapy (Bindrim to Maslow, March 1, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). Bindrim’s work may have been appreciated by a liberally minded media, but the reaction among political conservatives was predictably hostile. Nude therapy was repeatedly attacked in Congress along with other forms of sensitivity training. Louisiana republican John Rarick included Bindrim among a group of psychologists “devoted to challenging and discrediting the Judaic-Christian value system.”7 Within academic psychology, nude therapy provoked a range of responses. To Sigmund Koch, a well respected critic of mainstream psychology, nude therapy was an intellectual and moral outrage. Koch (1969) was skeptical of the therapeutic value of “total self-exposure” and he was disgusted by Bindrim’s technique
7. See Congressional Record, June 10, 1969, p. 15327.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

348

IAN NICHOLSON

of “crotch eye-balling” (p. 67). In a widely circulated article in Psychology Today, Koch (1969) accused Bindrim specifically and the human potential movement more generally of constituting a “threat to human dignity . . . [that] challenges any conception of the person that would make life worth living” (p. 67; see also Koch, 1971). Many psychologists shared Koch’s reservations. In a witty comment to the practitioner-focused journal Professional Psychology, the psychologist Roland Tharp (1970) lamented the growing recognition of nude psychotherapy as psychology and the apparent abandonment of science and intellectual rigor for the social values of “openness and permissiveness”: So I rather wish the Naughty Group Therapists would doff the last vestment: the one with “psychologist” written on it. And take down the sign that says “therapy.” And tell it like it really is. (Tharp, 1970, p. 202) Although nude therapy had its critics, many psychologists were prepared to give the technique a hearing. At the 1968 APA meeting, Koch himself noted that “by far the largest audience showed up at a symposium in which Paul Bindrim . . . spoke” (Koch, 1969, p. 67). The internationally renowned clinical psychologist Carl Rogers took note of Bindrim’s work, commenting that he “didn’t really object, basically, to people trying various approaches— Zen, mysticism, even nude groups if they want to” (cited in Evans, 1975, p. 33). Sensing a trend, and undoubtedly anticipating a spike in newsstand sales, Psychology Today put nude therapy on its front page using a racy picture of a naked woman with large breasts and the caption “The Quest for the Authentic Self.” The issue featured two articles on nude therapy, one by Bindrim and the other by psychologist Leonard Blank (1969). The editors provided further legitimation for Bindrim by placing his article immediately ahead of distinguished social psychologist Stanley Milgram’s piece on the “Lost-Letter Technique.” The final indication of nude therapy’s “arrival” in the psychological mainstream was its appearance in the professional journal American Psychologist. In 1969, the journal featured a highly favorable description of nude therapy by psychologist Stephen Lawrence. “Our very preliminary evidence” Lawrence (1969) noted enthusiastically, “suggests that nudity as a facilitator in the group process can be significantly effective” (p. 479). Bindrim’s ability to get a serious hearing for nude therapy was due in no small part to the method’s principal inspiration: Abraham Maslow. Bindrim traded heavily on Maslow’s prestige and he quoted the famous humanistic psychologist extensively in his promotional literature and during therapy sessions. The press took notice and all the early reports of nude therapy made reference to Maslow’s support for the technique. “That sure shows,” one exuberant reporter noted “how one great guy at the top can cut everybody loose right down the line to do their thing” (cited in Bindrim to Maslow, October 31, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). With Bindrim constantly mentioning his name, Maslow was soon fielding calls from reporters curious to know whether he was indeed behind this radical departure from mainstream psychotherapy. It was a delicate issue for Maslow, intellectually and professionally. In addition to his own scholarly reputation, Maslow was the president of the American Psychological Association (APA) and thus had the best interest of the entire field of psychology to consider. Contacted shortly after the first nude marathon in June 1967, Maslow expressed cautious support for nude therapy, but quickly added that he “was not aware that such experiments were actually taking place” (Dyer, 1967). However, as Bindrim’s public profile increased and more information about his marathons came to light, Maslow was obliged to take a more defined stance. Pressure to respond built quickly. The APA’s Committee on Scientific and Professional Ethics were alarmed by the introduction of nudity into therapy and in July 1967 the
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

349

Committee’s chair indicated that Bindrim may be subject to formal investigation and possible expulsion from the association. Initially, the Ethics Committee was concerned that Bindrim may have violated Principle 3 of the APA’s “Ethical Standards of Psychologists” (APA, 1963, p. 56). This principle concerned “moral and legal standards” and it directed psychologists to show “sensible regard for the social codes and moral expectations of the community” on the assumption that “violations . . . may involve his clients . . . in damaging personal conflicts, and impugn his own name and the reputation of his profession” (APA, 1963, p. 56). After conducting a review in the fall of 1967, Bindrim was notified that he was to be the subject of a formal investigation by the Ethics Committee. However, in the socially fluid circumstances of the late 1960s the ethical case against Bindrim was not clear cut. Was consensual nudity in therapy a violation of the “social codes and moral expectations of the community?” Nudity was certainly unconventional, but standards seemed to be in flux and as previously noted, Americans appeared to be adopting more permissive attitudes with respect to nudism. Members of the Ethics Committee may have been troubled by Bindrim, but it was unclear if a case built on Principle 3 could hold up. Legally uncertain but professionally concerned, the Ethics Committee opened a formal investigation of Bindrim, but no mention was made of Principle 3. Instead, the Committee raised a number of relatively minor technical issues concerning Bindrim’s research measures, mailing list, use of testimonials, and quotations from Maslow. “In opening this case,” Bindrim was informed, “the Committee was concerned with the methods and media of solicitation of participants, advertisements, description, and reporting” (Golann to Bindrim, Jan. 25, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). Sensing that a campaign was afoot to have him ousted from the APA, Bindrim wrote to Maslow complaining that the Ethics Committee “seem to be using any technicalities that they can dredge up to build a case against me” (Bindrim to Maslow, Feb. 3, 1968). The case was a “major problem,” Bindrim wrote gravely; could Maslow help? Although Maslow was not a member of the Ethics Committee, his professional stature and role as APA president made his support crucial. Unfortunately for Bindrim, Maslow had begun to receive disquieting reports about nude marathons. An anonymous participant told Maslow that the marathon “I attended . . . wound up in a sex orgy. . . . I go to nudist camps sometimes and enjoy myself, but this thing with Bindrim left me angry and hurt inside” (A nudist to Maslow, Feb. 3, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). Maslow did not comment on this letter, but in his private journal he did express reservations about being associated with “nuts, fringe people, and borderline characters. . . . I feel uneasiness about all of this, and about Bindrim” (Maslow, 1979, p. 883, emphasis added). Despite Maslow’s reservations, he could not bring himself to abandon the idea of nude psychotherapy nor the person most responsible for putting the idea into practice. “Nakedness is absolutely right,” he noted emphatically (original emphasis). “Nudism is the first step toward ultimate free-animality-humaness. . . . Must encourage it” (Maslow, 1979, p. 883). Convinced of the link between physical nudity and the “true self,” Maslow championed Bindrim’s cause. He publicly supported Bindrim in his case before the Ethics Committee and gave Bindrim permission to use pro-nudist quotations from Eupsychian Management and other publications in his defense. “I must say,” Maslow told Bindrim, “that I consider the taboos on nudity to be entirely a matter of folkways and customs rather than a matter of ethical or moral principle” (Maslow to Bindrim, Feb. 13, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). In addition to this scholarly endorsement, Maslow also provided Bindrim with tactical support and an avuncular message of presidential reassurance. Maslow directed Bindrim to an attorney experienced in psychological ethics cases, and he assured his nudist disciple that “I’d guess that the whole business is unlikely to result in charges by the Ethics Committee” (Maslow to Bindrim, Feb. 13, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). As events unfolded, Maslow’s assessment of the
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

350

IAN NICHOLSON

case against Bindrim proved accurate. The case was dropped although the Ethics Committee did indicate that they would be revising the ethics code to cover “new procedures” like nude therapy (Bindrim to Maslow, Oct. 31, 1968, Maslow Correspondence).8 FROM NUDE MARATHONS TO “AQUA-ENERGETICS” With a largely sympathetic media and the ethical controversy out of the way, Bindrim felt that nude therapy had “gained some degree of respectability” (Bindrim to Maslow, Oct. 31, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). Public interest in nude therapy remained high and by October 1968 Bindrim had conducted 23 well-attended weekend sessions featuring nude therapy (Bindrim to Maslow, Oct. 31, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). Fellow therapists were taking the topic seriously, and as psychologist Ray Corsini recalled, Bindrim was the “star” participant of the psychology conferences he attended: “Some years ago,” Corsini (1981) noted, “I was invited to be the presenter at a workshop on group psychotherapy in Southern California. Out of an attendance of some 200 people with a dozen workshops going, Bindrim attracted at least 100, with the other 11 professionals having to share the remaining 100” (p. 32). Although Bindrim may have been a curiosity for some, there were therapists prepared to implement his nudist techniques. After learning of Bindrim’s work, the Philadelphia-based psychologist William Swartley began incorporating nude psychotherapy into his therapeutic program. Swartley subsequently trained a number of other therapists in the technique at his “Center for the Whole Person” (Goodson, 1991).9 Bindrim was also a likely influence for Carolyn Symonds’ (1971) work on the psychological significance of “bodily contact.” In 1970, Symonds established a nude encounter group to “encourage skin contact” based on the idea that “normal sexual aggressiveness, desire, and behavior is in fact a desire for bodily contact with human beings” (pp. 127, 126).10 Determined to expand the horizons of “nude therapy,” Bindrim now confronted a challenge was one not unlike that faced by his former mentor J. B. Rhine: how to transform an initial burst of public and professional interest in a new topic into a viable scholarly project that could be sustained. Rhine had a prestigious university affiliation and the active support of the world-famous psychologist William McDougall to assist in his project. Bindrim did not have a university appointment and despite his limited scholarly forays into “peak oriented psychotherapy,” he had little understanding of how to go about converting nude therapy from a titillating novelty into a legitimate psychotherapeutic technique. “A solid research effort needs to be organized” Bindrim noted earnestly. The problem, Bindrim admitted to Maslow was that “I haven’t the faintest idea of how to write a proposal for a grant or how to recruit

8. Bindrim was well aware of the debt he owed to Maslow. “Without the backing of Abraham Maslow,” he remarked “it is doubtful that I could have run nude marathons and now be a member [of the APA] in good standing” (Bindrim, 1972, p. 146). 9. William Swartley (1927–1979) opened the Center for the Whole Person in Philadelphia in 1963 and later opened branches in New York, Toronto, and London. Swartley is best known as the founder of “primal integration”—a type of therapy that emphasizes early trauma as the cause of neurosis. Clients were encouraged to regress back through a variety of techniques including nudity. Swartley founded the International Primal Association in 1973. Swartley was well acquainted with Bindrim and one point the two collaborated on a nude therapy workshop entitled “Consciousness Expansion Without Drugs” (see Goodson, 1991, p. 54). 10. Symonds did not include references in her article on the “Nude Touchy-Feely Group,” but she did discuss her connection to humanistic psychology, indicating that she had initiated weekly discussion groups as part of her “humanist counselor training” (p. 126). “We decided that after a certain hour in the evening we would all disrobe and continue the discussion in the nude” (p. 126). Like Bindrim, Symonds also linked her work to Maslow. “Perhaps I feel that our touch needs are among the early needs of Maslow’s hierarchy that stresses sex as a biological need.”

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

351

personnel. . . . I need help in establishing in-depth research” (Bindrim to Maslow, Oct. 31, 1968, Maslow Correspondence). The challenge for Bindrim went beyond the procedural matters of grant-writing and personnel selection. At issue was a tension that informed the encounter group movement as a whole: how to reconcile the discrepancy between ends and means. Bindrim hoped to foster a personal transformation of the self through an intense, religious-like spiritual experience. However, his means of achieving this end involved the language, methods, and ritual of scientific work. As historian Kurt Back (1973) has noted, encounter groups are a process where “science is used to overcome the scientific view of man” (p. 202). Like many others in the encounter movement, Bindrim discovered that it was difficult to maintain the scientific and spiritual strands of his work. The intense, immediate emotional impact of a nude therapy session made it difficult to distinguish between meaningful change and fleeting excitement. The very intensity of the group experience facilitated a religious rather than scientific sensibility, and Bindrim was easily seduced by glowing testimonials of many his participants. “I think it is a shame,” one participant declared, “that my daughters have to wait until they’re twenty-one to be straightened out by Paul Bindrim” (cited in Howard, 1970, p. 97). Feasting on a steady diet of zealous enthusiasm, Bindrim became increasingly enamored with his own therapeutic skill. He was convinced that he had the ability to “somehow release the deepest cry in the human soul to love and be loved” and his therapeutic claims came to rival the most outlandish boasts of nineteenth-century medical quacks: Frigid females, impotent males and sexual exhibitionists have become, at least temporarily symptom free. Arthritics have been relieved of pain. Long standing bachelors who could not commit themselves emotionally have married. Depressed individuals have been freed of suicidal tendencies. Psychotics in remission have lost their compulsive gestures and behaved normally by the end of a session. (Bindrim, 1969, p. 28) Such grandiose claims made good copy in promotional literature, but they did little to solidify Bindrim’s reputation as a serious therapeutic innovator. As criticism mounted, Bindrim tempered his bold claims with declarations of personal responsibility and coolheadedness. He assured skeptical psychologists that he was not one to be “seduced” by power, nor was he the sort of “individual who thinks it’s a ball to run nude marathons because he thinks it is an easy way to find women” (Bindrim cited in Elliot, 1971, p. 242). Unfortunately for Bindrim, many psychologists and psychiatrists continued to question his motives and the legitimacy of nude therapy itself. In a letter to the widely circulated Modern Medicine Journal, the American Psychiatric Association publicly stated its strong opposition to nude therapy (see Goodson, 1991, p. 63). The task of making nude therapy mainstream and sustainable was further complicated by the death of his principal patron: Abraham Maslow. Maslow died of a heart condition in June, 1970 (Hoffman, 1988). Although Bindrim’s profile had risen considerably through the media coverage of nude therapy, he still relied on Maslow to give nude therapy the imprimatur of academic respectability and a toehold in mainstream psychology. Selling nude therapy would be a much more difficult task without the active support of a living psychological legend. To make matters worse, the media had began to turn against nude therapy and the human potential movement as a whole. The coverage of Bindrim in Time magazine is a case in point. In 1968, Bindrim had been praised as a legitimate “medical” innovator. Two years later, he was portrayed as an extremist among an oddball assortment of therapists who offer “pseudo intimacy—an instant and unreal form of closeness . . . one which has no commitment to permanence” (Human Potential, 1970).
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

352

IAN NICHOLSON

FIGURE 3. Searching for the “true” self, Bindrim “eyeballs” a participant at the start of a nude therapy session.

Undeterred, Bindrim pressed on, innovating as he went. Nudity remained at the heart of his project, but his Maslow-inspired therapeutic vocabulary was gradually eclipsed by that of Wilhelm Reich.11 In keeping with his earlier enthusiasm for scientifically unorthodox energies like psi, Bindrim was drawn to the most controversial aspects of Reich’s theorizing: the concept of “orgone energy.” Reich argued that the universe was suffused by a previously unknown life energy that he termed “orgone”—a neologism derived from the terms “orgasm” and “organism” (Sharaf, 1983, p. 276). Bindrim bypassed Reich’s complex natural science based explanations of the “orgone” and simply adopted the basic concept of “life energy” for

11. A one-time psychoanalyst and protégé of Freud, Reich was a highly controversial figure in his own right and his sensational claims and questionable therapeutic devices eventually landed him in prison in the United States, where he died in 1957 (Robinson, 1969; Sharaf, 1983). In his early, analytically-oriented work, Reich embraced a vision of human nature very similar to that of Maslow. Like his American counterpart, Reich argued that men and women had become alienated from their bodies and blind to an ever present array of bodily messages. “The average human being of today” Reich (1971/1942) declared, “has lost contact with his real nature, with his biological core, and experiences it as hostile and alien” (p. 48). Unlike Freud who viewed instincts as potentially destructive, both Reich and Maslow idealized impulses while locating the source of neurotic maladjustment in society. The social constraints of modern life caused people to become “armored” against their true, biological selves, a process that involved a potentially debilitating physical inhibition of the musculature. Reich’s therapy was designed to break down the layers of “character armor” in order to reunite the person with their true biological self—which Reich interpreted in largely sexual terms. His ideal was the “unafraid individual [who] satisfies his strong libidinal needs even at the risk of social ostracism” (Reich, 1949, p. 161).

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

353

his own therapeutic purposes. Life energy was what sustained all that was good and pleasurable in human experience—peak experiences, sexuality, love, kindness, and health. However, life energy could be blocked by character armor and changed into DOR or negative energy. Because Reich had argued that DOR was absorbed by water, Bindrim surmised that pool-based nude therapy would be an ideal vehicle for breaking down character armor and facilitating the flow of life energy. Enamored with the idea of life energy, and increasingly sensitive to the public relations obstacle posed by the phrase “nude psychotherapy” Bindrim recast his approach and by the late 1970s his promotional materials made only a passing reference to nudity. Asked if he was still using nude psychotherapy, he quipped “oh sure, but I no longer call it nude psychotherapy” (cited in Goodson, 1991, p. 37). “Aqua-energetics” was the label Bindrim now used, but the new moniker reflected more than a cynical marketing strategy. Bindrim now proposed to do what Freud, Jung, and countless other psychological theorists had been unable to accomplish: develop a theoretical framework that could address the totality of human experience. “Today there are so many kinds of therapy,” Bindrim (1978) observed, that “it is hopeless to try to be eclectic or to attempt to discover the best method.” And yet, in a bizarre twist of logic, Bindrim proposed to do just that. “Aqua-energetics is a holistic approach that resolves this problem by attaining a balanced integration of the six fundamental vectors of human experience: the rational, the neuromuscular, the interpersonal, the fantasy, the transpersonal, and the biochemical.” Laying out his therapeutic vision in a 1975 Ph.D. dissertation, Bindrim’s private practice flourished and by the early 1980s he estimated that “over 6000 persons” had experienced nude therapy (Bindrim, 1981, p. 50). However, the “aqua-energetics” moniker did not seize the public or professional imagination the way that “nude psychotherapy” had done.12 PSYCHOTHERAPY, LIBEL, AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT Ironically, Bindrim’s slide into a lucrative if not ignoble obscurity was temporarily averted by the very thing that he had most feared: freelance accounts of nude therapy by sensationseeking writers and journalists. “What worried me,” he recalled, “was that a writer might slip into the group pretending to be a participant and later make unauthorized disclosures that could be damaging to other members”—and himself (Bindrim, 1980, p. 24). Bindrim’s run-in with the APA Ethics Committee had made him very aware of nude therapy’s legal and ethical volatility, and he went to considerable lengths to protect himself from lawsuits and misrepresentation and to safeguard the privacy of the participants. Before starting a nude marathon, participants had to sign a lengthy contract that stipulated, among other things, that they agree not to “take photographs, write articles, or in any manner disclose who has attended the workshop or what has transpired” (as cited in Harris, 1979, p. 87). To his dismay, the strength of this contract was soon put to the test. In 1971, Gwen Davis published Touching, a novel about an exististentially adrift woman who tries to find herself in a nude therapy session. Davis was a well-known author whose previous novel The Pretenders had been a top ten best-seller in 1969. She had attended one of Bindrim’s nude therapy sessions and her experience appeared to have informed the content of Touching. Bindrim was not mentioned by name—the novel’s therapist was called Simon Herford—but the book’s description of nude therapy was in places a near-verbatim account of what actually transpired. “I was amazed at the accuracy of the details,” Bindrim (1980, p. 24)
12. Bindrim completed his dissertation at the International College, Los Angeles, California, an institution described in a brochure as having “no classrooms, no lecture halls, [and] no resident faculty” (Oliver, 1998).

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

354

IAN NICHOLSON

remarked later. What troubled Bindrim, however, was not the factual reporting of his therapeutic techniques, but the dramatic license that Davis took with his character. Not content with simply describing Bindrim’s flamboyant methods and personality, Davis embellished them, painting in her own words a “devastating portrait of him” (cited in Slaff, 1980, p. 104). Bindrim was portrayed as a vulgar and sadistic bully who causes the death of one of the participants. Although works of fiction are typically exempt from libel law, Bindrim sued Davis for defamation. The case generated intense interest across the United States and Bindrim was once again propelled into the media spotlight. Writers feared that a ruling for Bindrim would lead to a chilling effect and inhibit future novelists from engaging controversial topics. Gore Vidal argued that a ruling against Davis would be a “hunting license, a declaration of open season on almost any sort of novelist” (as cited in “Writers’ rights and wrongs,” 1980, p. 45). Davis’s lawyers argued “that there could be no defamation in a work of fiction . . . provided only that the author changed the name and physical characteristics and appearance of the defamed person” (cited in Slaff, 1980, p. 104). For his part, Bindrim pointed to the contract Davis had signed, and to strengthen his case he marshaled extensive transcripts of tape recordings he had made of the session and compared them to passages in Touching. Never one to underestimate the importance of the body, Bindrim also altered his courtroom appearance to match the description in Davis’s book. The once lean, clean shaven Bindrim appeared in court just as Davis had described Herford: a “fat . . . singularly Santa-Clausy-looking man, pudgy rosy fingers toying with his long white sideburns” (Davis, 1971, p. 18). The jury found Bindrim’s evidence convincing and in a landmark 1976 decision they ruled in his favor and awarded him $75,000 in damages. Davis appealed the decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case, effectively upholding the ruling of the California Court of Appeal, which had concluded that “there is overwhelming evidence that plaintiff [Bindrim] and ‘Herford’ were one” (Slaff, 1980, p. 104). CONCLUSION In the final chapter of Nudist Society (1970), Bindrim’s former collaborators William Hartman and Marilyn Fithian sounded optimistic about the future of nudist social science. Writing at a time when public acceptance of nudity appeared to be growing, they confidently predicted that “the future of nudist research is assured . . . the day will be not too far distant when this field will be a more widely pursued topic of inquiry for behavioral scientists” (p. 333). As events unfolded, Hartman and Fithian’s hope for a nudist future sanctioned by social science proved to be misplaced. From the mid-1970s to the present, academic work on nudism has tended to be quite critical (see Bell, 2000; Schroer, 2001; Smith, 1980; Woodall, 2002). In the case of the nude therapy, the change has been even more dramatic. Where the topic of nude therapy had once been a matter of lively debate and intense interest, by the mid-1980s it was simply “unethical” and “obviously” wrong. In 1987, a former Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association indicated that it was “very doubtful that any publication advocating the use of nude . . . therapy sessions would be favorably received.” The American Psychiatric Association was even more emphatic: “The APA Ethics Committee and most practicing psychiatrists would consider the use of nudity in a therapeutic session as synonymous with sexual contact” (cited in Goodson, 1991, p. 61). Bindrim’s inability to sustain his early momentum with “mainstream” psychology was attributable, at least in part, to his therapeutic zeal. Enthralled by the emotional power of his technique, he neglected to consider one of the core ideas that had sustained the nudist
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

355

movement since its establishment in America in the 1930s: the uncoupling of nudity and sexuality. Historically, nudist camps have gone to extraordinary lengths to reinforce the idea that nudity and sexuality are unrelated. Nudists were not permitted to discuss sex or tell “dirty jokes” and there was a strong prohibition against bodily contact. Accentuation of the body such as the shaving of pubic hair was also prohibited. Over the years, this “management of respectability” was crucial in maintaining the idea of nudism as a philosophy of physical and spiritual well being rather than an expression of sexual deviance (Weinburg, 1970). With little appreciation of the history of the American nudist movement and a near messianic sense of therapeutic mission, Bindrim did little to separate nudity from sexuality. As a consequence, his “therapy” appeared to many in psychology to be not a virtuous return to the “real” but an implausible excuse for self-indulgence and sexual titillation. Nude psychotherapy’s claim to professional legitimacy was further damaged by a gradual shift in public attitudes in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The social upheavals and political discord of the 1960s had prompted many Americans to turn inward in the 1970s, concentrating on personal improvement and self-expression. “Having no hope of improving their lives in any of the ways that matter,” the historian Christopher Lasch (1979) remarked “people have convinced themselves that what matters is psychic self-improvement” (p. 29). Bindrim found a ready market for his ideas in this self-obsessed era, but the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 symbolized a gradual resurgence of conservatism and a yearning for a return to an idealized moral order of the 1950s. Although Bindrim’s private practice continued to flourish, the mood in psychology and the public had clearly turned and socially transgressive techniques involving nudity seemed increasingly anachronistic and “unethical.” Bindrim made one last effort to promote nude therapy in 1981 in a well-presented and highly detailed chapter on “aqua-energetics” in the Handbook of Innovative Psychotherapies (1981). The chapter was favorably characterized by the book’s editor, Raymond Corsini, as being “probably the best developed [technique] both in theory and in process” (p. 32), but unfortunately for Bindrim his most scholarly offering to date had little impact within the discipline. Although his work had once been greeted with enthusiastic endorsements and outraged denunciations, there was now silence. With no fresh ideas, and with therapeutic nudism now constructed as an “unethical” sexual act, Bindrim was soon forgotten by a field that he had formerly enthralled. His death in 1997 was unacknowledged within psychology and provoked only a sharply worded obituary in the Los Angeles Times (Oliver, 1998). Although contemporary psychologists may view Bindrim as an “unethical” figure, a quick dismissal of his experience ignores the social and historical embededness of psychotherapy’s methods and ethics. The emergence of the “nude” in American culture of the 1950s and 1960s reflected a pervasive sense of alienation, uncertainty, and a loss of individuality. There was an extensive popular and academic literature on the “decline” of the selfmade “inner-directed” man and the emergence of a feeble, mass produced self who passively responded to the blandishments of consumer culture (see Gilbert, 2005). Nudist motifs and nude therapy in particular promised deliverance from modern despair through a nostalgic invocation of an idealized biological self. Taking off one’s clothes would restore “authenticity” by taking the self back to its precommercial, biological foundation. As we have seen, this was hardly a new idea, but in Bindrim’s hands it gained a much wider audience. The coupling of older nudist ideals with the quasi-medical cachet of clinical psychology invested the nude body with an enhanced therapeutic force and, at least for a time, a measure of legitimacy. What made the connection between nudism and psychotherapy plausible was Bindrim’s use of long-established therapeutic narratives of “disclosure” and “authenticity.” Nude therapy drew on a psychoanalytic imagery of “unveiling”—a gradual removal of repressions and a
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

356

IAN NICHOLSON

confrontation with that “authentic” part of the self that had been denied. In making clothing a symbol of repression and the nude body a symbol of the self, Bindrim’s work represented an elaboration rather a radical departure from an existing psychotherapeutic logic. Bindrim made his “name” as a champion of therapeutic nudity, but his background in ESP and humanistic psychology highlights the broader religiocultural dynamic that has influenced important elements of American psychology for much of the twentieth century. As a number of historians have noted, American religious culture has undergone a profound transformation in the last 75 years (Fuller, 2001; Roof, 1993, 1998). Driven by a complex process of social and technological change and population redistribution, many Americans have come to define themselves less in terms of church and religion and more in terms of spirituality—a “direct, inward and present religious experience” that is more “internal than external, more individual than institutional, more experiential than scriptural” (Paul, 1993, p. 677). Although academic experimental psychology has remained largely indifferent to this change, humanistic and clinical psychology have emerged as important providers of symbolic resources and rituals for the spiritually hungry. Bindrim is a vivid case in point. With degrees from prominent American universities, and official standing in the professional guild of the APA, Bindrim used the conventions of science—academic papers, degrees, reports—to minister to the growing numbers of spiritually disaffected Americans. If Bindrim’s career illustrates the appeal of psychology to the religious imagination, it also highlights the field’s extraordinary capacity for adaptive reinvention. Largely unfettered by history or tradition, psychology is constantly reinventing itself, generating a near limitless vocabulary of spiritually suggestive terms and practices which require little commitment to embrace and even less to discard. Over the course of his career, Bindrim took up a bewildering array of psychospiritual terms—psi, ESP, peak experiences, nude marathons, orgone energy, and aqua-energetics—to name but a few. These were empirically questionable concepts, but despite ethical and academic criticisms, they resonated strongly with a significant number of Americans for whom the language of church and religion had grown stale and inauthentic. If nude therapy represents a reminder of the historical contingency of psychotherapy, it also illustrates some of the contradictory ways in which therapeutic psychology impacts on the wider culture. Like many of his colleagues in the encounter movement, Bindrim played off a discourse of transgression. Civility was an obscenity, personal restraint was psychological repression, and the “sinful” body was truth itself. Nude therapy thus posed a challenge to existing conceptions of what was acceptable and to an older vision of the self that valued privacy, subtlety, and self-denial. However, for all its cultural subversiveness, nude therapy also reflected and partially reinforced the changing social landscape and consumerist value structure of post-World War II America. As the historian Philip Cushman (1990) has noted, a complex network of social and economic changes weakened ties to family, community, and tradition. The absence of these connections produced an “empty self ” that is “filled up” through the continuous consumption of products and experiences—what Cushman (1990) has described as the “life-style solution” (p. 606). Psychotherapy is embedded in this context, and its theories, values, and personal style “fill up,” its existentially empty clients. Bindrim’s work is one of the most striking examples of psychotherapy as a “life-style solution.” Like other forms of sensitivity training, Bindrim turned “authenticity,” “individuality,” “naturalness,” and connection into a commodity. His psychological ministry catered to the upwardly mobile and existentially and spiritually dispossessed, providing rootless clients with an instantaneous, virtual community and a temporary “fix” for modern malaise. The spiritual impulse that helped inspire nude psychotherapy has, if anything, quickened since Bindrim first made his dramatic entrance onto the American cultural stage in 1967.
JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

357

As Roof (1993) has noted, and as Oprah Winfrey dramatically illustrates (Taylor, 2002), the language of spirituality has a renewed cultural power, and psychospiritual rituals of wholeness and renewal are a compelling draw to alienated youth and legions of aging baby boomers alike. Bindrim’s experience serves as an historical lesson not of the foolishness of this spiritual search, but of the need to understand and evaluate psychology as a spiritual undertaking. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Portions of this paper were presented at the 2006 meeting of the American Psychological Association and at the 2005 meeting of the Cheiron Society. Thanks to David Baker and Dorothy Gruich of Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron and to my research assistant, Melissa Harris. I am also indebted to the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful input. Support for this research was provided by a standard research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. REFERENCES
American Psychological Association (1963). Ethical standards of psychologists. American Psychologist, 18, 56–60. Annesley, P. (1971, February). Eighteen people in the nude—And why they matter to you. Macleans, 84, 28–32. Back, K. (1973). Beyond words: The story of sensitivity training and the encounter movement. Baltimore: Penguin Books. Barcan, R. (2004). Regaining what mankind has lost through civilization: Early nudism and ambivalent moderns. Fashion Theory, 8, 63–82. Blank, L., Sugerman, A., & Roosa, L. (1968). Body concern, body image and nudity. Psychological Reports, 23, 963–968. Bell, D. (2000). Naked as nature intended. Body & Society, 6, 127–140. Benjamin, L. T. (1986). Why don’t they understand us? A history of psychology’s public image. American Psychologist, 941–946. Bindrim, E. P. (1947). A new displacement effect in ESP. Journal of Parapsychology, 11, 208–221. Bindrim, P. (1967). Peak-oriented psychotherapy: A method for evoking peak states and furthering emotional health and self-actualization. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Association for Humanistic Psychology. Virginia Glenn Papers, Kent State University Archives. Bindrim, P. (1968a). A report on a nude marathon: The effect of physical nudity upon the practice of interaction in the marathon group. Psychotherapy, Theory, Research and Practice, 5, 180–188. Bindrim, P. (1968b). Facilitating peak experiences. In H. Otto & J. Mann (Eds.), Ways of growth (pp. 115–127). New York: Grossman Publishers. Bindrim, P. (1969). Nudity as a quick grab for intimacy in group therapy. Psychology Today, 3, 24–28. Bindrim, P. (1970). Naked therapy. In P. Nobile (Ed.), The new eroticism: Theories, vogues and canons (pp. 98–107). New York: Random House. Bindrim, P. (1972). Nude marathon therapy. In A. Bry (Ed.), Inside psychotherapy (pp. 141–162). New York: Basic Books. Bindrim, P. (1978). Aqua-energetics in a body temperature pool. Unpublished manuscript, Travis Papers, Archives of the History of American Psychology. Bindrim, P. (1980). Group therapy: Protecting privacy. Psychology Today, 14, 24–28. Bindrim, P. (1981). Aqua-Energetics. In R. Corsini (Ed.), Handbook of Innovative Psychotherapies (pp. 32–50). New York: John Wiley & Sons. Blank, L., Sugerman, A., & Roosa, L. (1968). Body concern, body image and nudity. Psychological Reports, 23, 963–968. Blank, L. (1969). Nudity as a quest for life the way it was before the apple. Psychology Today, 3(18–23). Bullough, V. (1997). In memory of William Hartman. The Journal of Sex Research, 34(4), 427–428. Casler, L. (1964). Some sociopsychological observations in a nudist camp: A preliminary study. Journal of Social Psychology, 64, 307–323. Columbia College Alumni Register (1967). New York: Columbia University Press. Corsini, R. J. (1981). Handbook of innovative psychotherapies. New York: Wiley. Cover, R. (2003). The naked subject: Nudity, context and sexualization in contemporary culture. Body & Society, 9, 53–72. Cushman, P. (1990). Why the self is empty: Toward a historically situated psychology. American Psychologist, 45, 599–611. Daniels, M. (1988). The myth of self-actualization. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 28(1), 7–38.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

358

IAN NICHOLSON

Davis, G. (1971). Touching. New York: Doubleday. Devonis, D. (2002, August). Howard C. Warren: The Naked Truth. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association. Dyer, J. (Reporter). (July 15, 1967). CBS News—Los Angles [Television broadcast]. Maslow Papers, Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH. Elliot, J. (1971). The nude marathon: A conversation with Paul Bindrim. In L. Blank, G. Gottsegen & M. Gottsegen (Eds.), Confrontation: Encounters in self and interpersonal awareness (pp. 223–244). New York: Macmillan Company. Evans, R. I. (1975). Carl Rogers: The man and his ideas (1st ed.). New York: Dutton. Fithian, M. A. (1997). The sex history of an average American housewife. In B. Bullough, V Bullough, M. Fithian, . W. Hartman & R. S. Klein (Eds.), How I got into sex (pp. 141–149). Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. Fuller, R. C. (2001). Spiritual, but not religious: Understanding unchurched America. New York: Oxford University Press. Gilbert, J. B. (2005). Men in the middle: Searching for masculinity in the 1950s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Goodson, A. (1991). Therapy, nudity & joy: The therapeutic use of nudity through the ages. Los Angeles: Elysium. Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs, and women: The reinvention of nature. New York: Routledge. Harris, H. (1979). A handbook for aqua-energetics. Unpublished Master’s thesis, California State University, Northridge. Hartman, W., Fithian, M., & Johnson, D. (1970). Nudist society. New York: Crown Publishers. Hartman, W. (1997). Life as a sexologist. In B. Bullough, V Bullough, M. Fithian, W. Hartman & R. S. Klein (Eds.), . How I got into sex (pp. 204-214). Amherst, NY: Prometheus. Hau, M. (2003). The cult of health and beauty in Germany: A social history, 1890–1930. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Hoffman, E. (1988). The right to be human: A biography of Abraham Maslow. Los Angeles: Jeremy Tarcher. Holmes, E. (1938). Science of mind. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. Howard, J. (1968, July 12). Inhibitions thrown to the gentle winds. Life, 65, 48–65. Howard, J. (1970). Please touch: A guided tour of the human potential movement (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Human Potential: The Revolution in Feeling. (1970, November 9). Time. Jeffries, M. (2006). For a genuine and noble nakedness?: German naturism in the Third Reich. German History, 24, 62–84. Koch, S. (1969). Psychology cannot be a coherent science. Psychology Today, 3, 66–68. Koch, S. (1971). The image of man implicit in encounter group theory. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 11, 109–128. Lasch, C. (1979). The culture of narcissism: American life in an age of diminishing expectations. New York: Norton. Lawrence, S. (1969). Video tape and other therapeutic procedures with nude marathon groups. American Psychologist, 24, 476–479. Lawrence, S. (1971). From Zazen to videotape: Encounter group innovations. In L. Blank, G. Gottsegen & M. Gottsegen (Eds.), Confrontation: Encounters in self and interpersonal awareness (pp. 273–299). New York: Macmillan Company. Leal, A. (1992). Joy, 20 years later: A conversation with Will Schutz. Journal of Counseling & Development, 70, 467–474. Lears, T. J. J. (1981). No place of grace: Antimodernism and the transformation of American culture. New York: Pantheon Books. Maslow, A. H. (1932). Journal of Abraham Maslow. Maslow Papers, Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH. Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row. Maslow, A. H. (1965). Eupsychian management; A journal. Homewood, Ill.,: R.D. Irwin. Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand. Maslow, A. (1979). The journals of A. H. Maslow. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Maslow, A. (1980). Religions, values, and peak experiences. New York: Penguin. McCarthy, D. (1998). Social nudism, masculinity, and the male nude in the work of William Theo Brown and Wynn Chamberlain in the 1960s. Archives of American Art Journal, 38, 28–38. McDarrah, F. (2003). Anarchy, protest & rebellion: And the counterculture that changed America. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press. Morawski, J., & Hornstein, G. (1991). Quandary of the quacks: The struggle for expert knowledge in American psychology, 1890–1940. In J. Brown & D. V. Keuren (Eds.), The estate of social knowledge (pp. 106–133). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Nicholson, I. (2001). Giving up maleness: Abraham Maslow, masculinity and the boundaries of psychology. History of Psychology, 4, 79–91. Oliver, M. (1998, January 8). E. Paul Bindrim: Father of nude psychotherapy. Los Angeles Times, p. 22. O’Neil, P. (1967, October 13). Nudity. Life, pp.107–116. Parmelee, M. (1927). Nudism in modern life. New York: Alfred Knopf. Paul, G. (1993). Why Troeltsch? Why today? Theology for the 21st century. Christian Century, 110, 676–677. Psychotherapy—Stripping body & mind. (1968, February 23). Time, p.68. Rao, K. R.,(1982). J. B. Rhine, on the frontiers of science. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs

BARING THE SOUL: PAUL BINDRIM, ABRAHAM MASLOW AND ‘NUDE PSYCHOTHERAPY’

359

Reich, W. (1949). Character-analysis (3rd, enl. ed.). New York: Orgone Institute Press. (Original work published in 1941). Reich, W. (1971). The function of the orgasm: Sex-economic problems of biological energy. New York: World. Robinson, P. A. (1969). The Freudian left: Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim, Herbert Marcuse. New York: Harper & Row. Roof, W. C. (1993). A generation of seekers: The spiritual journeys of the baby boom generation (1st ed.). San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco. Roof, W. C. (1998). Modernity, the religious, and the spiritual. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 558, 211–224. Ross, C. (2005). Naked Germany: Health, race and the nation (English ed.). Oxford, New York: Berg. Rhine, J. B. (1937). New frontiers of the mind: The story of the Duke experiments. New York, Toronto: Farrar & Rhinehart Incorporated. Rhine, J. B. (1947). The reach of the mind. New York: W. Sloane Associates. Schneemann, C. (1991). The obscene body/politic. Art Journal, 50, 28–36. Schroer, S. (2001). Completely immersed and totally exposed: Sexuality in social nudism. Paper presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Problems. Sharaf, M. R. (1983). Fury on earth: A biography of Wilhelm Reich (1st ed.). New York: St Martin’s Press/Marek. Slaff, G. (1980, February 2). In libel, fiction is no defense. The Nation, 104–106. Sluis, B. (1968, January 27). Psychologist says you’re not really you with clothes on. Santa Barbara News. Maslow Papers, Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH. Smith, H. (1980). Does shedding one’s clothes imply shedding one’s culture? A cross-cultural test of nudism claims. International Review of Modern Sociology, 10, 255–268. Stern, S. (1961). The truth and nudism. The Bulletin of the American Sunbathing Association, 10, 1–3. Stoller, F. (1972). Encounter group therapy. In A. Bry (Ed.), Inside psychotherapy (pp. 124–139). New York: Basic Books. Symonds, C. (1971). A nude touchy-feely group. The Journal of Sex Research, 7, 126–133. Taylor, E. (1999). Shadow culture psychology and spirituality in America. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint. Taylor, L. (2002). The church of O. Christianity Today, 46, 38–45. Tharp, R. (1970). Therapies, buff and blue. Professional Psychology, 1, 202. The nudity problem. (1974, July 29). Time. Toepfer, K. E. (1997). Empire of ecstasy: Nudity and movement in German body culture, 1910–1935. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Warren, H. (1933). Social nudism and the body taboo. Psychological Review, 40, 160–183. Weinberrg, M. (1965). Sexual modesty, social meanings, and the nudist camp. Social Problems, 12, 311–318. Weinberg, M. (1966). Becoming a nudist. Psychiatry, 29, 15–24. Weinberg, M. (1970). The nudist management of respectability: Strategy for, and consequences of, the construction of a situated morality. In J. Douglas (Ed.), Deviance & Respectability: The Social Construction of Moral Meanings (pp. 375–403). New York: Basic Books. Woodall, E. (2002). The American nudist movement: From cooperative to capital, the song remains the same. Journal of Popular Culture, 36, 264–268. Writers’ right and wrongs. (1980, March 17). Time, p.45.

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES DOI: 10.1002/jhbs