Character Analysis

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Character Analysis
The German edition
AuthorWilhelm Reich
Original titleCharakteranalyse
LanguageOriginally German, translated into English
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date
Media typePrint

Character Analysis (German: Charakteranalyse) is a 1933 book by Wilhelm Reich.


Reich finished the manuscript in January 1933. He submitted it to the Psychoanalytic Press in Vienna, presided over by Sigmund Freud, who initially accepted it for publication. However, Freud cancelled the contract, wanting to distance himself from Reich's politics. Reich borrowed money and published the book privately in Vienna.[1]


Reich argues that character structures were organizations of resistance with which individuals avoided facing their neuroses: different character structures — whether schizoid, oral, psychopathic, masochistic, hysterical, compulsive, narcissistic, or rigid — were sustained biologically as body types by unconscious muscular contraction.


Harry Guntrip wrote that Freud's The Ego and the Id only gained practical importance when Reich's Character Analysis and Anna Freud's The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence were published, as these books first placed ego-analysis at the centre of psychoanalytic therapy.[2] Character Analysis is referenced in A Thousand Plateaus (1980), by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.[3]


  1. ^ Kevin Hinchey, The Legacy of Wilhelm Reich, M.D. Archived 2016-06-23 at the Wayback Machine, First International Congress on Wilhelm Reich, 30 October 2010
  2. ^ Guntrip, Harry (1961) Personality Structure and Human Interaction, London: Hogarth Press, quoted in Boadella, David (1985) Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution of His Work, London: 54.
  3. ^ Deleuze, Gilles; Guattari, Félix (1993). A Thousand Plateaus. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 534. ISBN 0-8166-1402-4.

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