Davis's understanding of the role of connective tissue in development and defense grounds Reich's muscular armor concept in modern day biology and neurology elaborating his original insight and enhancing our understanding of psychosomatic functioning.

Dr. Richard Blasband, Former President of the College of Orgonomy


With Functional Analysis I found a very innovative and non - invasive approach, which led me to a deeper understanding of the embodiment of early traumatization. Will Davis's pioneering concept of the Instroke was an inspiring source for my development in the Field of Parent - Baby – Body Psychotherapy and Emotional First Aid.

I appreciate the creative way Will Davis took the Reichian Models and combined it with modern research in connective tissue and neurology. Thanks so much for all the good and solid work!

Thomas Harms, Director of the European Institute for Emotional First Aid, Bremen, Germany

Will Davis is the founder of the modality, Functional Analysis Body Psychotherapy. This has its origins in the work of Wilhelm Reich, and of Charles Kelley, but challenges many assumptions of some therapists within the Neo-Reichian movement, in particular the over-emphasis on too much cathartic discharge and induced emotional release.

Davis described the polarities within the natural energetic pulsation within the organism, and has developed the deeply sensitive concept and practice of working with the “instroke” . This leads to a healing contact with quiet inner rhythms of the embodied self and to organic processes of self-recognition and self-valuation.

Together with his wife, Lilly, Will has developed an important understanding of the flow of energy through the connective tissues of the body: this is an enrichment to body psychotherapy in general and forms a bridge between subjective experience and objective anatomy.

Will Davis' book Funktionale Analyse: Grundlagen und Anwendungen in der Körperpsychotherapie is a collection of important articles he has written over many decades, which I can recommend as an extensive and valuable contribution to our field.

Will Davis is one of the best writers in the field of body psychotherapy, in my opinion.

David Boadella: Founder and Director International Institute for Biosynthesis

Dear Will,
I read your article with great interest.
You have your own personal style of writing which is alive and very readable
The theme is complicated but you support your view by many helpful quotes.
I was grateful to see your reference also to the “inner ground”,
Your diagrams were very helpful also.
My principle suggestion for improvement is that you might consider
some additional subheadings to help the reader understand what you mean
and integrate it better.
The endo self and the instroke, and your distinction between desire and need,
offer such a positive view of the nature of mankind (and even insects !).
I am grateful your deep work is available in the world.
With strong appreciation, David

David Boadella: Founder and Director International Institute for Biosynthesis

A Study of the Effectiveness of Functional Analysis Body Psychotherapy

Does Functional Analysis improve/promote wellbeing? Some evidence – strong even – following an experimentation/trial on young people.

The study has shown that Functional Analysis produces an improvement in the state of well-being linked to the emotional and affective spheres of the experimental subjects who report higher values regarding both the overall composite indicator, and in regards to the individual dimensions of anxiety, depression, positivity, well-being, self control, health and vitality.

Bolzan M - Department of Statistical Science – University of Padua


The Instroke work developed by Will Davis significantly enriches my every day work as a relational Bioenergetic Analyst. Especially patients who suffer from early developmental disorder benefit greatly from this approach.

Gathering energy at the very center of the patient's organism is building structure, which is usually too low. As a result they can better standup for themselves. I am very thankful for having discovered this wonderful work and for participating in training workshops as well as individual sessions with Will. It also elaborated my personal developmental process.

Olaf Trapp
Certified Bioenergetic Analyst (CBT) International Body Psychotherapy workshop leader and trainer


Will Davis is an interesting body psychotherapist, but not so easy to define from a traditional materialistic world view if you analyze his work more deeply. Yes, he has the body in focus and yes, integrates verbal therapy usually from a Rogerian perspective, but all in his own way. Yes, he belongs to humanistic psychotherapy and yes, has over the years done a lot of research within his own created field of body psychotherapy, Functional Analysis. However, in a wider sense he belongs in the boarder land between psychotherapy and science. The new exciting and developing field of Biofield science. Here we find a meeting ground with, for example, Yoga, QiGong, Body psychotherapy, energy work, physics and PNI (psychoneuroimmunology) where we hold the view that it is the up-stream perspective on holistic health which must be integrated as a new field of knowledge in medicine and psychology. The human being must be allowed to be a human being and a living system full of energy and consciousness. But we have a long way to go. Will has been in the forefront for many years already.

Bosse Arhenfeldt, Psychiatrist and author

Functional Analysis is a valuable elaboration and deepening of Reich's original pioneering discoveries and developments in psychotherapy. Taking the concept of pulsation to its logical conclusion, Davis developed the method of working with not just its outward expressive movement, but the power of the inward, gathering force, the return to the self, which is better adapted to themes of early disturbance and trauma.

In addition, his emphasis on the role of connective tissue in development and defenses updates Reich's original concept of muscular armor, how resistances become somaticized deepening our understanding of the body/mind relationship. This approach changed and deepened my work with patients since 1990 and has become the focus of my treatment modality.

Dr. MED Heike Buhl, Orgone Therapist -- Director of the Wilhelm Reich Center Berlin and The Institute for Energetic Medicine


To your introductory chapter of Connective Tissue: The Psychosomatic Matrix, I was so often shaking my head in agreement and upon finishing my reading left hungry for more. In your introduction you, with crystal clarity, help the reader understand Reich's functional identity of psyche and soma. Far from an easy task in my experience. And what came across to me was how to do so because you know it so well. Not something I often encounter in my readings from those who wish to explain Reich.

I appreciated your discussion of types of touch and the functional identity between emotional touch in the realm of psychotherapy and physical touch in Body Oriented Psychotherapy and I look forward to reading more. Long ago I gave up using forms of physical touch (and emotional touch) in my work with clients that led to unnecessary biophysical contraction on their part. IE. unnecessary pain. Pain in why we come to therapy in the first place is it not? It is in the field. I don't need to contribute to it intentionally.

Being deeply rooted in the humanistic frame I found your introduction to the discussion of the nature of healing/growth/plasticity and change most relevant. "What do we think we are doing in our therapy with patients and how will that be accomplished?" Such an important question. A question I ask myself and the students I supervise so often. Is there an undamaged self, the true self to be rediscovered and brought forth? Or is it more a matter of engaging the process of 'selfing' than the archeological find? Or both?

And finally I was touched by a sense of humility that permeated your writing. A sign of wisdom?!

Dan Schiff, Psychotherapist Orgone Therapy, adjunct faculty member in psychology Lewis and Clark College, Oregon, USA


Functional Analysis, a non-invasive, self-oriented approach is especially suited to working safely and respectfully with early disturbance. In relation to trauma work, Davis recognizes that since splitting off the traumatic experience was lifesaving it would be dangerous to charge or push the expressive outstroke that leads back into the world of catastrophic memory which the body still holds – or in other words to retraumatization.

The function and the effect of the instroke is meant to be the opposite by centering and gathering the self organizing desire to stay in existence on a level before the differentiation of body and mind. Davis considers the self and not the other as the primary organizing agent of experience.

Will Davis has made significant theoretical and clinical contributions to the field in understanding early developmental injuries in general, and the schizoid (fragmented) character in particular.

Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar, InTouching the Relational Edge