Monday, May 17, 2010

About the Act Out

We keep busy and doing things to keep from feeling there is nothing I can do.

We keep having new projects to give us hope to keep from feeling there is no hope.

We keep controlling things to keep from feeling I am helpless.

We keep making phone calls to keep from feeling I am all alone.

Now why would we do that? Because the feeling I am all alone isn’t just something from yesterday or today; it is the primal aloneness in the first minutes or weeks of life when mother, who was sick at childbirth, abandoned her baby. It became a life and death matter. It is a devastating aloneness that can be triggered off in the present whenever we are left alone for a time.

We are acting-out against the pain, so that the act-out is unconscious; we do not know what drives us and we usually don’t even know that we are driven. It is all automatic. We keep from sitting still by much travel all to keep from feeling confined at birth, stuck in the canal, then later stuck in a tense and depressed household which was again “suffocating.” So we drag along our past but never know it is there weighing us down. One reason we know the pain is there is by the act-out, obsessive, continuous behavior that seems irrational. We are acting-out the feeling/pain, trying to get over the feeling but never knowing what it is or how to get rid of it.

Check your act-out and you will get a good idea of what your pain is. Now the tough part: feeling it.

If the lack of act-out makes you anxious, you cannot sit home today, then you know you are usually dealing with a very early first-line feeling. That is, if for any reason you cannot act-out, say you’re are sick and cannot keep busy, the anxiety will be your companion. The act-out has a purpose, a relief valve from importuning feelings. It lowers tension levels and allows us to function better.

The most universal act-out seems to be keeping busy, never a minute to think or feeling, just keep going, usually to feel there is no where to go and nothing to do. When we cannot act out we most often act-in. We suffer from cramps or high blood pressure or worse, epileptic attacks. I treated a woman who needed constant sex, to keep from feeling having never been touched by her parents early on. When she could not act out her blood pressure rose dramatically. The pain has to go somewhere, so let us not moralize about it. No one is obsessively sexual without that pain; not even Tiger Woods.

So what is it we must do! No we now what our deprivation was early on. If you need the windows wide open or else you get anxious you know you lacked oxygen. If you cannot be enclosed, say in a locked car for any time, you may well have been an incubator baby. So the act-out is usually what we call neurosis. It is not the behavior that is neurotic; it is logic in the extreme. It is our feelings that have been deviated and not normal. When we feel our pain we then normalize along most parameters from blood flow to sperm count, to the speed at which sperm move, to how fast our heart beats. So we see why it is so useless to do Behavior Therapy, treating the logical extension of pain instead of the pain itself underlying the behavior. If someone is awkward and often pushes us and we fall we know to avoid that person. But if we do not know what is pushing us we may tend to focus on the fall instead of the push, missing the point entirely. Behavior therapy is extremely superficial and deals only with what anyone can see instead of focusing on what is not obvious and cannot be seen. It doesn’t take a shrink to figure out Behavior Therapy; it takes a real shrink to go deeper. And that will only happen when someone has reached into her feelings and has complete access to herself. Then she won’t misfocus; then she will understand what drives her and therefore what drives others. She understands the “push” of feelings. No more mystery.


  1. “We keep busy and doing things to keep from feeling there is nothing I can do.
    We keep having new projects to give us hope to keep from feeling there is no hope.
    We keep controlling things to keep from feeling I am helpless.
    We keep making phone calls to keep from feeling I am all alone”.
    I read this for Aida today… she said… “This is exactly what I am doing”… and that with a smile on her face… just for the tears to come.
    This is what feeling is about. Those words “nothing I can do… there is no hope… I am helpless and I am all alone” is so easy for the child in us to recognize … because that is all what there is.
    The question is how to get there... how to give it up. This is the task of Primal Therapy.

  2. Art, all this is so, so, so simple. If only we could convince ALL Obstetricians, mid-wives AND a huge portion of potential mothers (yeah! and even fathers), then we could be well on the way to a global RECOVERY. What, to me, is so, so, so sad is that the obstetricians won't even look at it, let alone consider it.

    Can't resist re-quoting; "And that will only happen when someone has reached into her feelings and has complete access to herself. Then she won’t misfocus; then she will understand what drives her and therefore what drives others. She understands the “push” of feelings. No more mystery."

    Therein is the WHY so few are able to accept Primal Theory until they have experienced it. I would love to add to the end of your comment Art ".... but way more MAGIC"

  3. Great concept! I can really relate.
    I'm sure my abandonment issues came from the standard practice in the 60's (in my part of Australia) of removing freshly newborn babies to a nursery with other babies, rather than leaving them with mother. I am convinced that this contributed to the aloneness, hopelessness and nihilism of Generation X - feeling abandoned and there is no point as nobody cares and nothing will change.
    It also helped with peer group bonding, I probably bonded more to pain and suffering of the babies around me than to my own family.
    I was breastfed at least, so that meant going to mother every few hours for a feed, then being abandoned by her again as I went back to the nursery.
    What a way to traumatise an entire generation! Thank goodness nowadays they put the newborn straight onto mother's chest for bonding, goop and all. Much better for all concerned.
    I'm curious about other childbirth practices around the world. It was certainly a hospital efficiency focussed production line where I was born.
    Robyn, Australia

  4. Hi Dr Janov,

    Good post.

    Correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I think the best way to get an idea of what's behind the act-out is to simply stop before you act-out and ask yourself: "How will I feel if I don't do this?"

    That feeling that you may begin to feel will probably be the real reason for your behaviour - that is, the negative feeling that you can then see you are running away from.

    I think it's a good introspective trick, because like you basically said: we tend to be too consumed with the run (away from our feelings) to stop and recognise *why* we are running.

  5. Andrew: RIGHT The act-out is as unconscious as the feeling that drives it. In order to stop you have only to feel the driving generating feeling. art janov

  6. Frank: Sorry we cannot move therapists around at some whim. We need concrete plans to do so. AJ

  7. Robyn, here in New Zealand we don't always put the baby on mother's chest, for fear of overheating the baby. We are not smart enough to think of using a cool wet cloth on the mother or something like that.

    Here's some good news - Andrew (my brother) helped a pregnant friend by giving her some of Dr. Janov's advice. Andrew suggested she should request a comfortable room at a temperature that suited her, dim the lights down low, no drugs, no loud noise, baby on chest immediately...and do whatever feels comfortable.
    She did EVERYTHING he suggested. She was determined to have a good birth. She said the pain was like someone punching her in the abdomen, but she coped without any drugs. The hospital staff responded to all of her requests.
    The birth went for three and a half hours without complications. The midwife said she had never seen a newborn baby so relaxed and peaceful. The midwife was excited by the whole event and said she was going to recommend the techniques to her superiors for all future births. Andrew says he hasn't heard more about that.

    How's that for a bit of good news?

  8. Dr. Janov,
    The reason for acting out is now partially explained. I appreciate your writing.
    Now please tell us/me, how we approach the ones who act out.

    Daily, we meet one who acts out and blames, non stop, others for their misery instead of facing the original pain.
    They stay in abusive relationships. Man using their wife’s as servant, as doormats, demanding sex from them at anytime to release their growing tension. Another becomes co-dependent; cling to a person with all might (mother replacement). In their pain, they overstep their friend,s boundaries and demanding explanations about why they try to end the relation/friendship. These neurotics cannot and will not, accept a simple NO. They would rather make life miserable for others, stalking and disgracing everybody who is not in their corner.
    Most of their energy goes into finding a new someone (cognitive therapy) who coaches them in repressing the constant impending pain, just so they can blame them in return for their never ending misery.

    Life is full of them. I rarely cross the road with a “healthy” person.
    Empathy and understanding about their underlining pain is not enough. PT, so they say, is too expensive. Projecting their needs and pain onto others becomes their way of life. People with prenatal and birth-pain can’t and won’t face there underlining pain.

    To seek PT would include responsibility for one self - exactly this is what the act-out neurotic is not willing to do. They will (subconsciously) go on blaming others for what has happen before or shortly after birth.

    In my despair I ask, is the stock of healthy humans dieing out? Will neurotics in pain control the future?

    Dr. Janov, if all the neurotic people I know would see you, your center would be filled for years to come.

  9. Art
    I believe that primal therapy needs to be seen and heard ... not from the U.S. but here in Sweden. Seen and felt here... here in Sweden… so close that it would be within the framework of opportunity to participate in primal therapy ... so that people can come to an institution here.

    People who need your help may not feel that it is possible ... you are too far away. They have financial problems ... are very sensitive to leave an area ... an area as functions therapeutic ... they feel at home here… home they were tautened to by not have any. Then Art… it’s not easy to pack your bags ... amass a lot of money and go across the Atlantic ... everything feels just too much… too far away.
    Art… you need three or four times as much money as your therapy cost just to come to USA.

    If we could show the results here in Sweden… with a clinical trial… trail done by you with media to show... You probably would begin to have a finance proposal… if shown to people that care and now begin to realize what primal therapy is about.

    We have done a lot to make primal therapy up to date with information here in Sweden that is hard to avoid.

    I suggest you come to Sweden with a team of two ... maybe three or four therapists and… be seen for what you are doing what happens in primal therapy. Media may attend... to show the clinical trial. I do not think we can fail if we do it all right… well thought through. TV ... University with a clinical focus ... that might be useful and also appear for those who do not want to see.
    For us to help you in the USA is impossible but here in Sweden we can do a lot. We have our rights here and that is something you probably don’t have and know about in the USA.

    What can we do for you to see that this possible here in Sweden?

  10. Sieglinde: Years ago I tried to give my therapy away to the Governments of France, England and Sweden. None of them was interested. I really don't think health, and mental health, should be profit making but governments won't cooperate. We are not in practice to make money, since we make very little, but we make money to keep in practice. artjanov

  11. About Richard's comment:

    the trouble is that usually "natural birth" is suspected of being promoted by all kind of sects and guru's (in France at least)which is unfortunately the case sometimes. So it doesn't help expectant mothers in their choices (if only they knew there is alternative choices to the "full medical birth process"...). By the way it's almost the same about all the mock primal therapies.
    I live next to a "maternité" (birth hospital?)where one can see everyday expectant mothers full of anxiety waiting for the result of their medical examinations. I guess it takes a lot of guts and strenght for a woman to choose natural birth in our western world.
    They wil have to cope with their child birth and their own birth feelings at the same time.
    My birth was a short one (about 4 hours) and my mother didn't received any pain relieving drugs/peridural but she gave birth in an hospital. My act out is mostly about "being a loner" I guess where it comes from and I never really liked hospitals (I knew people who only feel safe in that kind of place).

  12. Art
    You got my rights in your hands ... you got the science to argue which I understand is crucial here in Sweden ... “if we can get a foot in the door” meaning that they can’t close us out. This is nothing we can give up. Primal therapy it's clear and obvious… amazing and fantastic. If only we could have people to lift of the intellectual explanations on depression ... anxiety and so on… then the physiological presence is a tracing of the psychological interpretation ... what more can be said?
    We need a compelling form about answers of what they see as wrong? We must go on… we cannot do enough until we reached our goal ... psychology an interpretation of a physiological content … which because of that… can't explain it. Thoughts... words can't explain the content because they aren’t a tracing of the physiology... they could be.
    Thoughts forcing words that help protect against pain that binds physiologically… an equation to solve…similar to Einstein's theory of relativity…but of much greater magnitude.
    Art…give us your suggestions?

  13. Frank: I do love Sweden. They did a 3 hour special on us for your TV but we do not have the resources to go there. We have to take care of our patients here in LA. AJ

  14. In all cases Art... if you come into any country in Europe... in a matter you talk about that The primal center do at different times ... to help people in need. We are a few that I know about who would be very happy to participate. We would gladly travel to any country in Europe where we as Europeans can operate in all matters. Of course… we will ensure that the financial need will be provided.

  15. Yann, she was in hospital, but she organised everything well before she went into labour. They warmed the room up and they dimmed the lights. Her family was with her and they all agreed to stay quiet for the baby's sake. She didn't use the stirrups either. Everyone listened to the mother! I think that's great.

  16. Dr. Janov,
    Your answer comes as no surprise to me.

    Governments are not interested in helping people - they control people.
    The best way to control is keep their pain alive.

    I know PT would be less expensive than insurance paid cognitive therapy, because it is effective.

    I offered the German Government an outline on how psychologically healthy people can contribute to a stable and flourishing society. As evidence I presented the 800 000 institutionalized victims, where 70% of them depend today on governments subsidies.

    The controlling power of governments would drastically reduce if society were free of underlining pain. Psychologically healthy people can’t be controlled!!!!

    Like I say, neurotics control the world.

  17. Just so I have a better theoretical understanding of all this, I have completed each of the first 4 lines of Dr Janov's fine article with some additions. Am I right in what I added (below)?:

    " We keep busy and doing things to keep from feeling there is nothing to do...Once that is felt, then we can go on to be truly productive and creative."

    "We keep having new projects to give us hope to keep from feeling there is no hope...Once that is felt, then we can be truly hopefull"

    We keep controlling things to keep from feeling I am helpless...Once that is felt, then we can truly make a difference"

    We keep making phone calls to keep from feeling I am all alone...Once that is felt, then we can truly connect with other people"


  18. Hi Art,

    I really liked this post. The only part I felt was incomplete was the last paragraph, where the lead-in seemed like there was some practical advice going to follow, but then none did. But Andrew's post seemed to fill that gap nicely. So, the first step is to identify some behaviors as act outs, and the next one is to be able to convince yourself, either during or before you act out, to not. And the next step would be to pay attention to what it feels like to decline that action. Does this sound right?

    It can be very hard to disconnect yourself from your act out or even see it as an act out when you are powerfully triggered. It takes a certain "Something" to be able to do that. True?


  19. Frank. your letter reminded me that in more than 40 years of my writing in books, magazines and scientific journals, there has never been a reference to me in the psychology media. Not a mention in the official journal of the APA both in psychiatry and psychology. Since there is well over 200,000 shrinks don't you think that is amazing? art janov

  20. Marco: I would say you got it. AJ

  21. Walden: You cannot stop the act-out until you feel the feeling. Yes it helps to pay attention but that cannot last. I have another article coming out in the next week or three that you will like on the Unified Field Theory in Psychology art janov

  22. Frank check with someone who speaks english. I have no idea what you are saying. art janov

  23. Art:I think Frank from Sweden wants you to come to a European country to get the ball rolling for
    Primal Therapy. I believe he is saying that he would pay the costs. There are alot of people really keen on your therapy, maybe even millions, but isolated without support or means. Your books and the blog are fantastic but the knowledge cannot be utilized and implemented to bring about real change, you are like a star cook with one little snack bar. Why not send out some of your therapists into the world. Have them offer recurring workshops at cities of importance. If there were crying rooms in major cities it would make a big difference. A person ready to act out in a destructive way could save himself and others by relieving himself of his pain.

  24. Art
    I do not know what part you did not understand? I am sorry about my English ... I try to ask questions and make myself heard ... heard of something I am sure is more worth then anything else... Primal tharapy . I can only regret and try to correct my English the best I can.

    You should have stayed in Sweden when you were here in the seventies and paved your own way ... it had been better for you considering what political system we have.Then you also my hav spoken Swedish :)
    I do not know what reason you think you should come here… wine for wave as you say… when we ask you for help. Art ... you do not know what we can do.
    That you should leave your Science in the hands of others… you have shown is impossible… my with all rights. But if you think… that you not should take any chances… then… way let anyone know about it? To chow only science has not been of any help. To chow our human reaction could probably be something… you should think about. I am shore about primal therapy… and it’s “potentially among the most important of any research in any field over the past century” do you rely know that Art?

  25. Eddy. We don't have the resources to do what you all desire. We need to take care of our patients here in Santa Monica. I wish I could be more social or more political but I cannot. If the Swedish government wants to pay my way I will go there and make a presentation. I did that once and got nowhere so I am reluctant. The best way I know is writing......a blog and yet another book coming out soon. If you have better ideas let me know. art janov

  26. Frank and Eddy: What I need is help from outsiders and not necessarily primal staff. we cannot do it all. art janov.

  27. Dr Janov: You say in a post adressed to Frank and Eddy (above)that you need help from outsiders. What help do you need? And what personal qualities are you looking for in this help? I would like to help out but, really, I don't know what to do; and , most importantly, whether I can do anything constructive.


  28. Marco: What you all want is to spread the word about us. I do not know how to do that apart from my blog and my books. I need suggestions. art

  29. Frank: I don't understand any of it. AJ. do you know someone who speaks English who can help you?

  30. Dr. Janov,

    I'd be willing to help with the "open sourcing" of Primal Therapy. Many important software systems have been developed and maintained by open communities of developers. The Apache Foundation is a big example of this. Not too long ago, Sun Microsystems turned the Java programming language over to Open Source as well. There are other examples of community efforts which have taken high quality custodial responsibility seriously and done well. Ward Cunningham's Portland Pattern Repository (the original WikiWikiWeb) is an intriguing example of that. Anyone with internet access could have destroyed Ward's Wiki, but no one did, because the community at an organic level didn't allow it.

    This is really the next step for you, I'm convinced. It just means a slight change in your writing orientation. People can already take your guarded words and do wrong with them. Write for the "other" audience, please.


  31. ....somehow I missed the end of this thread just now.

    It's not about spreading the word, Art. You're already doing that quite adequately. You need to concentrate on the next part of the process, which is how to handle the interest when it does appear. That's the part that's broken, because people quickly get the idea that you need it all on your terms. It's called "high barrier of entry". Lower it.


  32. Frank, I also have difficulties in trying to understand what you write. I can help if you write it in Swedish to me and I'll translate it in English, if it's not too long. I live in Sweden as well and I remember seeing a clip of Arthur when he was on Swedish TV, where they showed a group of people howling away in a large room. As I see it, science is not the problem in spreading Primal Therapy, it's the defenses people have against trauma. Everyone. People want to avoid the pain at any cost. I would say, especially intellectuals and academics. That's why there's only one Primal Center in the world.

    A big step towards a more natural birth would be for mothers to have birth in their own home. In Holland 40 percent of all births are at home (the highest rate in the world). The lowest rate of childbirth at home is in Belgium and the US, with each 2 percent.

    Contact me through or its forum.


  33. Hi everybody,
    I have been offline for a while. I just want to clarify some points about the little girl that I helped to have a primal.

    I did not perform any “procedures”, such as putting her into any position of sorts.

    I simply allowed her to cry and I listened, together with her mother, by sitting quietly
    next to her.

    As I saw it, her little body was pleading for someone to let her cry or feel. She had been indulged by a well-meaning mother, who wanted only the best for her child, but she did not know that she was robbing the little girl of her feelings. She was constantly trying to
    pacify the kid. Neurotics forever rob children of their feelings by shaking them, talking, distracting them (Ooh, look at the moon...) etc. A crying child triggers the parents’ anxieties, causing them to suppress the crying by any means.

    Neurotics also rob other adults of their feelings in a myriad of ways.

    By the time one has been in PT for one year, you have seen and done so much crying that it doesn’t bother you at all. It starts to feel good to see someone have a deep connected feeling or primal.

    Children are so much closer to their feelings than adults. The average twenty-year old adult has often buried her feelings away down deep.

    The little four year olds’ father had left them when she was three. She missed him but couldn’t say it. She had some earlier trauma as well. Her primal was a classic 3-2-1.
    She wasn’t pushed, urged, talked to or controlled in any way. I simply said NO once, in a firm voice, and she started crying. Her body did the rest, because it was allowed to.

    She was cured in the full sense of the word. She stopped whining altogether and was able to cry in a real way about her daddy that she missed so much.

    I met the mother and child app. ten years later, and she was indeed a young teenager with a very healthy disposition, or basic sense of well-being.

    Perhaps what I did could not have been easily done by someone who was “in his head”, and who would have had all sorts of ideas, thoughts, theories and anxieties running around up there. In other words, disconnected.

    By simply listening to one another, humans could bring about some big changes to the immense amount of suffering in this world. Primal therapy, is of course, the ultimate
    form of listening, i.e. “active listening” , by which a patient is then gently, sometimes firmly, guided towards painful feelings.

    I think that phrases such as “keeping the patient safe” and “preventing out-of-sequence feelings from surfacing, does not apply when it comes to very small children, toddlers or babies. They will simply cry their pain out if allowed to, with no danger at all. The baby or child should NEVER be locked in a room to “cry it out” which is a common practice.
    That only doubles up the pain-load. It has to be done with compassion and love, so that the infant knows that a caretaker is right there next to him or her.

    Art, I always express my opinion on this blog with deference to you with your vast knowledge, so please yay or nay what I have said here or add to it.


  34. Hi art,

    this blog is so great that i can't wait a next topic.Hey, maybe you try in Slovenia.

    In my opinion, pharmaceutical industry is too strong in influence on mental healt - a great number of psychiatrist and other mental workers had been trained and acept just some models of true # scientific" help like : antipsichotics, antidepressants itc...They mass prescribe this medication and it's done.Doctors can that kind of work avoid real work with people.They have contracts with pharmaceutical industry - they prescribe pills - some commercial - that industry can max. their profit - and doctors get some benefits in return : tours around the world, nights in luxurious hotels, skying around, good prices for buying the houses itc...It's not just ideology but real material benefits - who can refuse this?

    great blog ! thanx art

  35. Walden: I still have no idea what you are saying. This is all computer talk; not my thing. A change in my writing? how? AJ

  36. Walden: I have no idea what that means. AJ

  37. Patrick. far be it from me to.......AJ

  38. Dennis

    Thanks you for your offer. My email is larsson.frank @

    I also think science is sufficiently round primal therapy to be passed on to others… but far from the sophisticated physiological ... biological evidence that it will be very interesting to follow.

    Yes people want to avoid pain to any price ... but it is of ignorance. There are countless of people who would participate ... with the knowledge about the existents of primal therapy… which is not widely known so far… and especially not among the needy… and if they do know the information is so scant that it is more misleading.

    Academics and intellectuals have an active defense by just being busy with what they do ... a gigantic problem.

    I am looking for a compelling form for answering of questions ... at a meeting with the Social Board who should answer questions such as ... "Isn’t a physiological process that we feel ... see and hear… a psychological how we interpret with it? A query that contains clear answers ... when we look at the evolutionary process of the development of the brain. One issue that I believe that intellectuals and academics have difficulties to deny… as it actually affects their own field… when the equation solves the issue ... the question is to make then se the equation?

    I hop you all will understand my English?


  39. "I think that phrases such as “keeping the patient safe” and “preventing out-of-sequence feelings from surfacing, does not apply when it comes to very small children, toddlers or babies. They will simply cry their pain out if allowed to, with no danger at all."

    What if a child's hands and feet start to turn blue while her throat fills with mucus. What if there are no tears. What if your love and patience is not enough. What if you are required to do something quickly - without causing her feelings to deviate into psychosis?

    Do you think it is impossible for things to go wrong? I experienced temporary delusions and hallucinations when I was five. Children are close to their feelings, but hey, let's not forget how big those feelings can be.

  40. Patrick,

    I thought your post was beautifully written, and it elegantly makes a point that I try to make over and over, which is that there are simple and safe ways of using the core principles of primal in a very "common sense" way, ways which are not much more than pausing to respect and observe nature at work. Why does all of this get hyped out of reach the way it does?

    Patrick, there is also a dark side of what you describe, and that is that it can be sadistically misapplied. That's not to discount it, but to emphasize the importance of never, ever imposing a "primal" intent for the good of another. Putting someone you don't know into a fetal position, for example, would be an example of imposing, and should never be done.

    Good letter.


  41. Walden, when you say there are simple and safe ways of using the core principles of primal, you are failing to realise the limits of your knowledge.

    I will tell you what I think you are doing. You are grabbing some knowledge in your head, such as: "People need love and freedom to feel" and you are convincing yourself that those principles are the essence of Primal Therapy. Now that you think you know the essence of Primal Therapy, your assumption causes you to wonder why the "love and freedom" has not spread to other therapies.

    All the while you continue to miss the real essence of Primal. The word Primal means Source or Origin. Getting down to the very cause of all that neurotic behavior is a complex task. Sometimes a primal therapist may choose to put a hand on the patient's forehead. This action might have nothing to do with "love and freedom". Rather, it might be in response to a birth action exhibited by the patient.
    Is the therapist imposing? Imposing on what? What would be a dangerous time to put a hand on the forehead?

    Art wants his therapists to be "sensitive" because it's impossible for them to learn the subtleties of therapy if they can't get a feel for their patients. But the therapists are blind without scientific knowledge. They don't just sit beside the patient only to provide a loving and "understanding" presence, hoping the patient will self-heal. Ultimately, the therapist must KNOW how to actively help the patient get to the source of a feeling and resolve it.

    Patrick says he has cured a girl. He DOES NOT KNOW that. He does not realise the limits of his knowledge.

    Other so-called Primal Therapists fail to realise the limits of their knowledge. They think they know it all, and then they stop learning.

    And then you, Walden, accuse Art of hoarding his knowledge. He has made information available to professionals, and universities, it's available at public libraries, and this blog. He can't write a "Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Primal Therapist" because it can't be taught that way. You believe it can. You believe there is room for compromise. You believe there are therapists out there who are sensitive enough to apply Primal techniques like a magic ointment based on the essence of "love and freedom".
    YOU DON'T KNOW what it feels like to relive your birth, and then to be free from it's influence. You don't know what it's like to have unbiased and accurate feelings towards your patients. You don't know the primal techniques.

    You don't know JACK!!! See what I'm saying? :)

  42. Richard: Hey brother. I absolutely could not say it better. And what you say Richard is absolutely true. AJ

  43. Art, that was a lovely piece of writing which just cut straight to the chase. It reminded me of some of your earlier writing, from the time of the Primal Scream to Prisoners of Pain, the latter book being one of your best in my opinion, very clear and concise, and for people like myself, a powerful but painful read.

    Art, I have always wanted to ask you how you feel about Primal Theory and the world we live in today. I think it was Jack Waddington who said in your blog that “science has for ever been searching for a Grand Unified Theory, but it turns up NOT in physics, but in psychology. Primal Theory IS a Unified Field Theory. Why???? How???? Because we now know what is wrong with us humans, period, end. And we now know how to prevent it.” And I have always known that to be true, yet that is the really hard part, for the world is just not interested, and lets be honest, it never will be. Not really.

    How does it feel Art, to have discovered a truth, a truth about our very own species, a truth that explains why we really suffer and how that suffering can be brought to an end while all the time the world is just not interested in listening.

    I feel a sadness for humanity. . . but maybe that is just me acting out a feeling.

  44. Well stephen It used to bug and frustrate me but now I know what the world is like and what real intelligence is about. I have written a lot about this in my coming book. But in fairness to my publisher I cannot release too much now. I swear that once in comes out in a few months we can all discuss all this, and I want you to hold me to it. I must say that several hundred thousand professionals have managed to ignore what they are all looking for.
    When I have people like you writing to me I know that I am doing something right. art janov


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.