Skan Reichian Therapy
with Lydia Becker
San Francisco Bay Area and Germany
What is Skan?
Skan body-psycho-therapy has its origin in the Orgone-Therapy of Wilhelm Reich and has been further developed by Al Bauman and Michael Smith.
Skan is a word from the Lakota people and means "That which moves", also known as Prana or Chi. Wilhelm Reich was the first in the West to scientifically prove the existence of a cosmic energy that infuses all living organisms. He named this energy “orgone”.
Reich defined bodily, mental and emotional health as the ability to feel and surrender to the free flow of the body’s own life energy. He named this sensation "streaming" which can be felt whole bodily as a pleasurable feeling of being alive and emotionally as love, enjoyment and happiness.
It is this state of unobstructed energetic pulsation in the body’s every cell that the Skan process reestablishes as your natural everyday state of feeling. It promotes security and ease in relating to others. Skan promotes naturally enhanced awareness and being in touch with yourself and your true feelings.
In other words, the orientation of Skan is to reconnect you with your own living core and all the natural and loving impulses that move you from within. You learn to trust ‘that which moves’ you and live your life out of these ‘e-motions’ and be creative.
The foundation of Skan is the ability to be in relationship based on the energetic identification or superimposition of two or more energetic systems. As a Skan ‘therapist’ I have learned to be impressed and moved by each ‘client’ primarily in a human way, to be touched at the heart and respond spontaneously by ‘that which moves’ or wants to move specifically in you.
“In simple terms, Skan methods focus on awakening the heart. This is not the heart of ‘nostalgia’ and sentimentality; rather it is the heart of sensitive clarity and warm, natural aliveness, the heart of hearing, the heart of vision, the heart, which is the center of the self, that which reaches out to the ‘other’ and comes into intimate contact with the fundamental pulsation of all living things.”
- Michael Smith, founder of Skan
To successfully disarmor the body-mind through Skan, individual sessions are a necessity. We address bodily blocks and patterns of withholding that are directly related to unprocessed emotional experiences of present time or childhood trauma. With the release or melting of the bodily armor, emotional expressions that have been bound in stiffened muscles, organs and tissue are liberated and thus can be expressed in the safe and supportive setting of a Skan session.
It is critical to work in close relationship with another to heal old trauma. The context of a healing relationship is needed to break the old patterns of ‘I am not seen’, ‘I am alone’, ‘Nobody cares’, ‘I am not worthy’, ‘It’s all my fault’, ‘This can’t be true’ ,‘I shouldn’t feel the way I feel’, ‘I am bad’, and other false beliefs. We come up with various methods to cope with intensive emotions as a child, when perhaps we were not supported in feeling and expressing our true feelings. The resulting contractions and wounds become our unconscious patterning.
Skan enables us to bodily understand ‘I am not that child anymore’, and to incarnate fully into the adult body through streaming and experiencing our own energy in a more complete manner.
Individual sessions open and deepen the unobstructed flow of the body’s own life force and sexual energy. This often results in developing a deepened enjoyment of life in relationship. Seemingly fixed character patterns open up and create the option for free choice and new possibilities.
In addition to individual sessions, Skan group workshops greatly enhance and support the integration of new freer patterns of being into daily life.
In the process of Skan we learn to experience breath as a healing, purifying and vitalizing force and rediscover the natural flow of a deepened, rhythmic breathing.
Fueled by the energy of rhythmic breathing, the individual often finds that they are able to process and release so called ‘difficult emotions’.
The habitual patterns of armoring that are deeply stored in the biological reality of the body-mind can be felt, expressed and released in safety.
We follow the Reichian teaching of successively dis-arming the seven segments of the body, from head to pelvis.
When this disarming occurs, the organism is in an integrated state and is seen as an indivisible, pulsating whole. This pulsation can be seen and felt with every breath.
Skan offers a unique combination of individual sessions and group therapy. Al Bauman enriched Reich’s Orgone Therapy through the process of ‘Streaming Theater’ and many other ways to work with ‘Streaming’ in a group setting.
“Bodywork is an art, not science. The poetry of longing is its language, not the prose of the clinical report. It takes place in relationship, not in treatment, in the ‘human’, not in the 'therapeutic' relationship.”
Skan Instructor and author of “Intuitive Bodywork”