Alexander Lowen

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Alexander Lowen (2002).

Alexander Lowen (born December 23, 1910 in New York , † October 28, 2008 in New Canaan , Connecticut ) was an American lawyer , lawyer , doctor and psychotherapist .

He is considered the founder of bioenergetic analysis .


Lowen (originally Löwenstein) was born into a family of Jewish immigrants who came to the United States from Russia around 1900 .

In 1940 he attended a seminar of the former psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich in New York . Reich had further developed Freud's “speech cure” into “ vegetotherapy ”: In this form of therapy, the entire organism is included in the therapeutic work, especially the musculature of the locomotor system (see also body psychotherapy ).

In 1942 he began teaching therapy with Reich, which he successfully completed after three years. After two years of therapeutic work, he went to Switzerland to study medicine and graduated from the University of Geneva in 1951 .

Back in America, Lowen founded the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA) in 1956 with his colleague John Pierrakos, who was also trained by Reich . The bioenergetic analysis developed by both is a body psychotherapy derived from Reich's method. However, they renounced the (in their opinion to be restricted) therapeutic goal of " orgastic potency " by Reich and his cosmological theory of orgonomy, which had been developed since the 1940s .

Instead, the focus of the therapeutic work is on the solution of blockages ("armoring" or "safety movements") that hinder self-expression. Working while standing with the aim of improving the flow of energy in the legs and in the pelvis (work on the so-called “grounding” or “grounding”) was seen by Lowen as the basis for this

  1. Clients feel more anchored in their adult reality and can better develop their potential
  2. Clients can perceive and relieve the impairment of their self-expression through (chronic) tension.

Alexander Lowen died on October 28, 2008 at the age of 98. The Alexander Lowen Foundation , founded in 2007, is committed to his scientific legacy .


  • 1958: The language of the body. - Body expression and personality. Kösel, Munich 1981.
  • 1965: Love and orgasm. - love and orgasm. Kösel, Munich 1980.
  • 1967: The betrayal of the body. - The betrayal of the body. Scherz, Bern and Munich 1980.
  • 1970: Pleasure: A creative approach to life. - lust. Kösel, Munich 1979.
  • 1972: Depression and the body. - depression. Kösel, Munich 1978.
  • 1975: Bioenergetics. - bioenergetics. Scherz, Bern and Munich 1976.
  • 1977: (with Leslie Lowen) The way to vibrant health: A manual of exercises. Harper & Row, New York. - Bioenergetics for everyone. The complete tutorial . Kirchheim, Munich 1979.
  • 1980: Fear of life. - fear of life. Goldmann, Munich 1989.
  • 1984: Narcissism. - narcissism. Goldmann, Munich 1992.
  • 1988: Love, sex, and your heart. - love, sex and your heart. Kösel, Munich 1989.
  • 1990: The spirituality of the body. - The spirituality of the body. Heyne, Munich 1991.
  • 1995: Joy: Surrender to the body. - joy. Kösel, Munich 1993.
  • 2005: Honoring the body: The autobiography of Alexander Lowen, MD
  • 2006: The voice of the body: The role of the body in psychotherapy.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jürgen Kriz : Basic Concepts of Psychotherapy . 6th edition. Psychologie Verlags Union, Weinheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-621-27601-6 .