Examining Character Typologies : The Passive Feminine Type

Following on in our series on Character Types, (Last month’s focus was on the Hysterical Type), we will take a brief look at another type this month : the Passive Feminine.  These 2 examples of character types differ from each other in many ways, and are structured on very different energy dynamics.  You may want to review the previous articles in this series to re-acquaint yourself with the general understanding of how character types work (automatic and unconscious habitual perceptions, behaviours, and reactions), and how we approach them in treatment.

The Passive Feminine is a sub-type of the general area of blockages linked to the anal stage of development.  The most predominant characteristics of the passive feminine are:

  • Excessively polite and compliant
  • Passive
  • Orderly
  • Cautious
  • Feelings of inferiority

However, these surface characteristics are a very strong cover-up for some deeper emotions of anger and hostility.  When this outer shell is penetrated (either in therapy, or in other informal life situations), a deeply rooted outburst can emerge, which may include qualities of spitefulness, or contempt.  With the passive feminine, however, these underlying emotions are usually very successfully buried, and it takes a tremendous amount of therapeutic force to penetrate to this hidden depth.  These patients usually suffer from a degree of exhaustion, as their energy is used up to a large degree in the maintenance of this repression of emotion.  It is instructive to read some of Dr. Reich’s published cases, and how intensive and lengthy the treatment would be in order to get to the breakthrough, and then beyond.

The general therapeutic goal in breaking through this strong character defense, is to find ways of provoking the patient enough that their hatred and rage becomes mobilized, and can begin to be discharged within the therapeutic context.  Within the context of Medical Heilkünst, we are very fortunate to have both homeopathic and homotonic remedies at our disposal, which are able to get at, and begin to transform this energetic core, without needing to engage for weeks and months at a time in psychological battles with the patient’s  defenses.  The fact that Dr. Reich meticulously documented these battles in his case studies gives us a very precise map of this territory, and we are now able to traverse it at speeds that would never have been possible for him as he pioneered these methods.

What I see unfolding with patients on the basis of their treatment, is consistent with the map the Reich laid out, but which happens on a completely sped up time frame.  One very valuable remedy in passive feminine cases is the Homotonic remedy Staphysagria.  I recently treated a patient with this, and before their following visit, they experienced a period of extreme exhaustion – this was their healing reaction from the remedy, which means that a particular disease layer has been destroyed, and is a sign that the body is pushing the debris out to the surface, which is experienced as a temporary worsening of their condition.  After this healing reaction cleared for the patient, they came back to their next session in a state of energy and joie de vivre which I had never seen in them.  This is always the type of evidence I’m looking for to verify that a given remedy has hit its target, and the patient has been able to move to an increased level of health.