Reichian Character Structures #3.2 Hysterical

Rigid subtype – Female


Something that is interesting to note in these Rigid sub-types is that the male and female personality develops quite differently from a similar childhood. This is partly due to cultural conditioning, esp around sexual expression, but mostly due to the fact that the characteristic trauma that creates these types comes after the beginning of the “genital” phase.

Appearance & Behaviour

  • Invariably female
  • Proud and determined, concerned with status.
  • Prone to drama creating behaviour and sometimes hysterical outbursts.
  • Love of gossip and intrigue. May recount their life like a soap opera.
  • Rigid, locked upper body, esp jaw and neck.
  • High pelvic mobility, good dancers, easily make sexual movements. 
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs to discharge excess emotional tension.
  • Seeks validation through status of friends and partners.
  • Their grasp of reality is good and they can intuitively sense dangerous situations.
  • Like Phallic Narcissists, they often perceive the whole world as highly sexualised. 
  • Teasing behaviour with men to create intrigue.
  • Strong fear of vulnerability, being hurt, or their status dropping.


  • The drama-creating aspect of their personality seems to exist to release the surface level of emotional tension, to block deeper feelings from rising.
  • One rigid parent who laid his or her trip on her around ages 3-6, perhaps made to feel guilty by parent around early sexual behaviour
  • Father rejected infant sexual impulses, creating a fundamental distrust of men and a determination never to be hurt like this again.
  • Mother may have been competitive
  • Like Phallic Narcissists, they tend to separate sex and love.
  • Teasing followed by submissive behaviour to attract Phallic Narcissist males and get sex. This behaviour is actually undertaken with an aggressive attitude, to maintain control.
  • They have a core of deep neediness which they are terrified to feel or show, believing it would diminish their status and leave them with no chance to get the partner or friends they want.
  • Like Phallic Narcissists, they have a strong charge in both head and genitals. Similarly they seek to control their sexuality through fear of social consequences, typically rigidifying their upper body.
  • Like the Phallic Narcissist, they are in many ways the archetypal Westerner, the woman that the culture is intending to create to perpetuate itself.


  • Will usually only seek help when in crisis. 
  • Mobilizing the suppressed rage towards the father, or men in general, will be the fastest way for the 3-2 to move forwards.
  • Massage to areas of deep armouring, esp jaw (masseter muscles) 
  • Allowing vulnerability will create deep healing
  • Tantra, sexual work that supports intimacy is good.

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