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Also known as The Schizoid or The Unwanted Child, the most basic aspect of this character type is that they avoid emotional triggering by escaping into the world of the mind. When something starts to provoke a feeling that has been designated internally as “unsafe,” they simply dissociate, taking their attention out of the body and up into the head. They are usually unconscious that this is happening.

It is believed that this pattern frequently has its origins in the womb of the mother. The environment did not feel fully safe or welcoming and they learned to distrust the feeling of the body.

The goal for this character type is to re-occupy the body and to learn to stay there, even when triggering events are occurring around them.


Appearance & Behaviour

  • They may have an emaciated, malnourished appearance
  • There may be a somewhat frozen or shocked look in the eyes
  • Their body may appear disjointed, perhaps not symmetrical
  • Their arms and legs often appear thin
  • Their shoulders may be habitually raised, as though in shock
  • They may nevertheless still be quite athletic and stronger than they look
  • Their skin colour may be excessively pale
  • Their hands and feet may be cold
  • Their chest and throat may appear constricted
  • Their feet may appear to be clawing into the earth
  • Their movements may appear somewhat mechanical
  • They may be highly intuitive
  • They may experience panic attacks, nightmares, sleep disturbance or bursts of rage
  • The flow of energy in their body may appear to be disrupted at the joints
  • For some there can be a history of self-mutilating behaviour
  • They may experience difficulty dressing appropriately and fitting in with their environment
  • They may have a strong attraction to spiritual beliefs
  • They may be very interested in abstract worlds like mathematics and philosophy
  • They may exhibit considerable spiritual or mental arrogance



  •  Even when in the womb, they may have had a sense of not being wanted, or that the environment was simply not safe for them
  • They may have experienced their mother as not wanting them in early life.
  • They may have received inadequate eye contact from the mother
  • They dissociate from their body and their situation easily.
  • Their inner world is usually marked by anxiety, possibly including suicidal thought or inner rage
  • They may be hyper-vigilant
  • It’s hard for them to be emotionally spontaneous
  • They are more likely to get into abusive relationships
  • They will likely get more pleasure from fantasising than from the body


Treatment Notes

  • They need to slowly learn to re-inhabit their body and to be able to remain there, emotionally present, even when something is triggering them.
  • Practices which evoke too many feelings may simply take them out of the body and not be useful, especially when starting with therapy. For example, whilst Rebirthing can be great for Dreamers, it won’t achieve much if they simply leave their body and stay out for the whole session.
  • Working around the throat is good for Dreamers. This region is the main area that hardens when awareness leaves the body and goes up into the head.
  • It’s great for Dreamers to learn and to practice self-love
  • Massage may be useful for them to feel more at home in their body
  • They can strive to develop a deeper sense of belonging in the world
  • It can be great for the Dreamer type to be more playful, especially with others
  • As with all character types, working on grounding and feeling the lower body is especially useful

Find my book on Reichian Character Structure here