This section is from the book "Melting Armour: Some Notes On Self-Help Reichian Therapy", by William West. Also available from Amazon: Melting Armour: Some Notes On Self-Help Reichian Therapy.
There isn't an ultimate therapy or a therapist that works best for you, though I have found that Reichian therapy for me approaches closest to it and likewise there isn't an ultimate method or set of techniques. So by all means try out other therapies if you haven't already, though be aware of overdosing on too many conflicting approaches, or of getting hooked on consuming therapy—beware of white bread therapy that fills you up without really satisfying you. Each therapy seems to have its own internal logic, its own way of interpreting and looking at things, and therapeutic methods can't always just be lifted from one therapy and incorporated into another, e.g. Reichian work is different to Bioenergetics, and both are different to body work co-counselling although there is much overlap between each of the three.
Also I think that a self help approach to therapy is the most politically sound way of doing therapy, though it is certainly not the easiest and may probably not be the most effective. However, at present I receive one to one therapy and find it important not to have to give back in like manner to my therapist.
I feel strongly that deep therapy can only be fully realised with one other person as therapist. Groups can help especially with blocks in the therapy and can speed up the therapy, so can trying therapy with another partner, but in the long run I feel one needs to trust and be vulnerable for the therapy to work within a long term therapy relationship. Certainly there are effects after say one year which are hard to achieve outside of such a structure. This makes it very important who one works with, although if you can stay week in and week out with someone for that long it usually means it is going well. Also such a committment on both sides is important when very scary feelings arise which will have to happen if genitality is to be reached. Without sufficient trust and committment the therapy remains blocked. But if this sounds very dour let me once again emphasise the enormous liberating sense of joy and pleasure that comes up after each heavy therapy session.
There is much similarity between Co-counselling International and self-help Reichian therapy especially if the co-counselling uses bodywork. However, there are some important differences which if not recognised can lead to problems:
1) Reichian therapy has a different theory which not only involves probably a different end point of therapy, but which will also interpret what happens differently, e.g. use of the segments, orgone energy flow, armouring and character structure, the concepts of genitality and the orgasm reflex, etc.
2) Reichian breathing, which in an unarmoured person is natural, is unique and different to any used in co-counselling where abdominal breathing is usually emphasised. Reichian breathing places special emphasis on the chest as well as the abdomen and any pushing of the breathing comes from the helper not the client.
3) In Reichian therapy we are not just aiming for emotional discharge, we are looking for core feelings and energy flow, and in so doing working with the three layers of character structure, and recognising that one feeling can be used to prevent another feeling from arising.
4) Reichian theory presents us with a complete view of the person, the personal and political. It also presents us with a view of the whole cosmos and a view, to my mind unique, of the link between the person and the cosmos through the orgone and the orgasm and cosmic superimposition theories. On the basis of fascism, and all political attitudes, cancer, weather control and UFOlogy, etc.
5) The person playing the part of therapist in self help Reichian therapy takes more control and is more invasive (in search of the involuntary) than in general in co-counselling and this produces more transference and counter transference. This control leads the therapist to determine to a greater extent what is explored during a Reichian session. However, the same stuff 'on top' will probably come up in both co-counselling and Reichian work.
Co-counselling is a valuable and valid form of therapy and much of it can be integrated into Reichian work and vice versa, but at some stage most people seem to have to decide whether they are first off a Reichian or a co-counsellor.