Authors & Presenters

Dr. Alexander Lowen

Dr. Alexander Lowen, a student of Wilhelm Reich's in the 1940s and early 1950s in New York, developed the mind-body psychotherapy known as bioenergetic analysis with his then colleague John Pierrakos. He is the founder and former executive director of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis in New York City.

Dr. Lowen received a bachelor's degree in science and business from City College of New York and continued on to receive an LLB from Brooklyn Law School. His interest in the link between the mind and the body developed during this time, and he ultimately enrolled in a class on character analysis with Wilhelm Reich. After training to be a therapist himself, Lowen moved to Switzerland to attend the University of Geneva, which awarded him an M.D. in June, 1951.

During his career, Dr. Lowen published fourteen books, including:

With his wife Leslie he wrote The Way to Vibrant Health: A Manual of Bioenergetic Exercises in 1977. Lowen published his autobiography Honoring the Body: The Autobiography of Alexander Lowen, M.D. at age 93. In 2007, Dr. Lowen established the Alexander Lowen Foundation, which is now directed by his son, Frederic Lowen. Dr. Alexander Lowen passed away October 28, 2008, at the age of 97.


Dr. Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich, (born March 24, 1897, Dobrzcynica, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now in Ukraine]—died Nov. 3, 1957, Lewisburg, Pa., U.S.), Viennese psychiatrist who developed a system of psychoanalysis that concentrated on overall character structure rather than on individual neurotic symptoms.

Reich was trained at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute and joined the faculty of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute in 1924. In The Function of Orgasm (1927), he argued that the ability to achieve orgasm, called orgastic potency, was an essential attribute of the healthy individual; failure to dissipate pent-up sexual energy by orgasm could produce neurosis in adults.

In Charakteranalyse (1933; Character Analysis), Reich called attention to the use of character structure as a protective armour to keep the individual from discovering his own underlying neuroses.

He believed that repressed feelings were also manifested as muscular tension and that this mental and physical armour could be overcome by direct manipulation and by making the individual aware of the tension. Reich used this approach to treat patients whose neuroses had proved resistant to more orthodox psychoanalytical techniques.