As time goes on and I learn more about the human condition, I have decided to share some of my thoughts on what we are all about. I will publish my reflections on this blog, hopefully to enlarge our understanding of what makes us human. Art Janov

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Being a Psychopath


We have all met them; they are the conscience-free, manipulative, unfeeling and uncaring humans (if I may say that)that leave a well of destruction wherever they go. They know nothing of love or helping and above all, of gratitude. Once you give they want more and only see you as a sucker and pigeon who can be worked for more. How did that happen?

I could quote statistics. You know that a recent study of psychopaths found that they have damage in their feeling centers; no surprise there. (see “A Brain Gone Wrong.” Scientific American/Mind. 3, Sept. 2010). But we get that. They cannot feel and they cannot empathize; they do not seem to have the capacity for it. They have the shell of a human without the internal mechanisms that gives us our humanity. They have learned how to act charming, the better to manipulate others by obtaining their trust first. But it is short-lived and then the truth comes out. They care about no one. There are partial psychopaths who have some of these traits but manage to care once in a while, sporadically and with no depth of feeling. Nevertheless, they seem to be human. They do not scam or cheat others but they are not against it if they have to. Look at the driving business man or politician for examples. They raise prices, the rent, anything, because they care about themselves and profits and not others. They need to get 10% return not matter what it means to others. They don’t hate others but they love themselves more. That is not exactly true since they really have little love to give even to themselves. The politicians care about votes and staying in power; we all know that. They will say anything to stay in office; they are master manipulators and are able to twist other’s needs to make them vote against themselves and their needs. They all care not about others. It is no doubt the sine qua non of going into politics. There are some exceptions and you know who they are. They tell the truth, which is why they cannot stay in office.

This damage to the limbic/feeling structures can happen during womblife and is highly exacerbated right afterward when there is an absence of close human contact; perhaps weeks in an incubator with little or not human warmth. Then to compound matters there is indifferent unloving parents who never touch the child. I say that there is an “emotional band missing.” They seem to be short on feelings. It can begin when the mother is chronically anxious or depressed while carrying; they baby suffers and is already damaged before coming onto this planet.

So what about morality? Psychopaths seem to be immoral, but they are unfeeling; that is what the research evidence shows. They cannot feel or empathize with others so they, as Clinton said in reverse, cannot feel their pain. So anything goes. They cheat their closest friends, a la Bernard Madoff. They don’t feel bad about this “immoral behavior” because they cannot feel the pain they are causing; cheating people out of their life’s savings without a hint of caring. Their feeling band is missing and nothing anyone can do can put it back. That is why when they are caught they can never confess to their crimes; it is always someone else’s fault. We in Primal Therapy cannot treat them because they incorporate the therapy into their psychopathy and often decide to become therapists with no training. They harm many people and advertise so well that they con many. They scream and yell (we have taken them out of prison for the court) but never feel; they go through the motions of being human without being human. We cannot give them back a full brain. The damage is too early and too severe.

A research study at King’s College, in London, came out explaining the origins of the psychopath. He remains as I have described him (and psychopaths are mostly males) but the origin of the personality disorder needs to be pushed back a few weeks. In the study,[1] the investigators used an imaging scan (MRI), on psychopaths (killers, rapists, etc.), and concluded that there were differences in their brains from those in the general population. Two of the culprits were the prefrontal area of the cortex, and aspects of the amygdala. There was an impairment between the connections in those two areas. In a normal brain, when there are emotionally stimulating events, the amygala responds. But in psychopaths there is a breakdown in this response.

The grounds for this condition, set up before birth, are exacerbated by birth trauma and lack of human contact right after birth. It would seem that in psychopaths the neural circuitry that connects feelings to higher level brain processes is deficient. Another way to put it is that feelings are not part of the conceptual, day-to-day cortical functioning. So while the person can be charming on the exterior, there are no sincere feelings underlying this facade. It is all a dumb show. Perhaps if the trauma did not exist before birth to damage the connection between nerve cells responsible for feelings and those in charge of comprehension the lack of touch after birth would not have such disastrous effects. However, when there is a pre-birth impairment of the connections between feelings and thoughts, the lack of physical contact right after birth is catastrophic. The result can be someone who not only has no control over his impulses but also has no means to experience his feelings. There may be learning but not emotionally integrated learning. The implications of the study were that psychopathy, in fact, could be a brain disease. I think it is more likely explained by epigenetic trauma.

The important lesson, though, is that psychopathy, much like other aberrations in development, bears the signature of what went wrong earlier in our lives. Memories are made indelible in our biology because they form guides to our future, instructions on how to behave in order to survive. That is, they become part of our “apperceptive mass;” always ready to serve our interest for survival.

Here is what one of my students wrote:



Psychopaths shed light on a crucial subset of decision-making that's referred to as morality. Morality can be a squishy, vague concept, and yet, at its simplest level, it's nothing but a series of choices about how we treat other people. When you act in a moral manner—when you recoil from violence, treat others fairly, and help strangers in need—you are making decisions that take people besides yourself into account. You are thinking about the eelings of others, sympathizing with their states of mind.

This is what psychopaths can't do. . .They are missing the primal emotional cues that the rest of us use as guides when making moral decisions. The psychopath's brain is bored by expressions of terror. The main problem seems to be a broken amygdala, a brain area responsible for propagating aversive emotions such as fear and anxiety. As a result, psychopaths never feel bad when they make other people feel bad. Hurting someone else is just another way of getting what he wants, a perfectly reasonable way to satisfy desires. The absence of emotion makes the most basic moral concepts incomprehensible. G. K.Chesterton was right: “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”



[1] Reported in Science Daily, August 5, 2009. D. Murphy, Marco Catani and Michael Craig. Aug, 2009. See also, Michael Craig, “Altered Connections on the Road to Psychopath.” In Molecular Psychiatry, 2009. DOI 10. Pg 1038.

54 comments:

  1. Comments on Reflections on Being a Psychopath.

    Like always when I read your Reflections I try to feel what’s in it for me. I felt both good and ill and I agreed, and I disagreed. Having been a neurotic epileptic with some degree of success in business and management, I may have more experience than most therapeutists and psychologists regarding what it takes to be both successful, human and to survive. I’m no psychopath, however, I have ocasionally manipulated and charmed my way through to achieve a result which I could live with.

    The American Dream is something, wich was born long ago, and it developed over time into an almost conditional demand for all americans to try to become a millionaire. If you threaten the fullfillment of that dream you create pain so strong that no politician can resist. Hence being a politician in your great country in times of crisis is impossible for a feeling person. They are bound to be more or less psychopathic due to the voters. You tend to blame only the politicians. The voters have in my eyes a very big responsibility and since most of them are neurotic they egoistically vote for the politicians that they believe will make their dream come true.

    Madoff’s chain letter model is an old classic, and he became the badman all needed, both those who deliberately played with and kept a good face on the bad business and those who were betrayed because of their greed to make 20-30% annually, which was far above what was reasonable... Madhoff got to taste his own medicine when the tremendous American Junk Bond Bubble burst and one crime revealed another in the chain.

    Psycophaths is fore sure an interesting target group and knowing that the American capitalism was built by men with many traits in common with Madhoff, they will influence us, if we allow them to, for generations to come. Your letter includes indications that in psychopaths the amygdala does not respond. However, we do not know, wether this is applicable on some of those which on alleged grounds are considered psycophaths...

    We look forward to spreading an attitude among authorities, science and potential customers of Primal Therapy, which is based on the fact that prenatal pain causes later disturbances, depressions and neurotic behaviors, which through PT can be altered and healed, so why do you focus on the group of psychopaths (even if they both from psychological and medical reasons may need help) when you say: “We in Primal Therapy cannot treat them because they incorporate the therapy into their psychopathy and often decide to become therapists with no training.”

    The one who lives will find out where the evolution will take us. Competition and survival of the fittest are still valid facts worldwide. Let’s go for that mentally healthy people is a prerequisite for survival in the long run.

    Jan Johnsson

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  2. Psychopaths can be charming because they don't show any unattractive facial expressions. I know lots of girls who are attracted to semi-psychopaths. I actually feel disgusted when I see girls flirting with those types of guys. I hate both the girl and the psychopath. I hate her for being so blind not only to him, but to me, especially when I try to tell her she is being used. Of course my hatred/disgust is utterly selfish and neurotic.
    WHY are psychopaths mostly male????? Are girls biologically hard-wired to be more emotional than males...therefore more resistant to limbic damage? Young girls hug each other. Boys don't.
    I can't help thinking that girls are more compassionate than guys. They are designed by nature to be more loving, especially to love their babies. Males are designed to be more creative and daring, and that is why we see mostly male-written comments in this blog. Most major inventions are created by males.
    Girls enjoy romantic books and movies. It's all fictional, but it is enough to make a girl cry. That romantic stuff is excruciatingly boring to me.
    I hope my hypothesis is totally wrong! I want to find a girl to love and I want to love her as much as she loves me.
    hmmmmm....I think this comment has a 20% chance of making it past the Janovian quarantine.

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  3. Interesting post Dr Janov.

    You say: "It is no doubt the sine qua non of going into politics. There are some exceptions and you know who they are. They tell the truth, which is why they cannot stay in office".

    Very true. Politics is a competitive system and the winner takes all, which in turn means "survival of the most ruthless". You're not going to beat a man that just says everything the voters want to hear; the ability to just shit on people is a powerful tool in the competitive world. Indeed, the best politicians are probably the one's you never even heard of - they (usually) won't even get to first base.

    This is one reason why I think we need to seriously consider clinical brain tests for all prospective politicians. It's a just a matter of being realistic about human corruption and, also, the dynamics of competition.

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  4. Also autism is mostly male.On discovery channel I once saw that they think (or are they sure?) that there is a connection with the X-chromosome.

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  5. Dr. Janov:

    How do you understand the psychopath's urge to dominate? Isn't the lust for power what sends people into government "service"?

    Those are my thoughts anyway. Every day when I take the train into DC, I wonder about my fellow travelers. I smile around the people in the hallways and in the office, but also look them in the eye, reading their faces for their feelings.

    When it comes to morality, I believe my five-year old granddaughter is more moral than any of the politicians/psychopaths we see in the news. She knows it's wrong to take other people's things, and knows that giving it to others isn't an excuse for the taking.

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  6. Hi,

    So what do I make of myself when I'm stuck in my head being analytical about something or someone?

    When I'm not fully present (particularly emotionally)I can later discover how I've hurt someone elses feelings or (more often) sabotaged my best intentions. Sometimes this can look like deliberate and unapologetic exploitation of others (or blind stupidity toward my own needs)but it's not only that.

    I can feel remorse, I can break down and cry for my problems and for the way that impacts on others; it's a complex manoever because there are thoughts, memories and feelings coming together. What is remorse Art, what's happening in the brain?

    I think I know what guilt and blame is. . . (the raw material of my neurosis). Is guilt a misplaced 1st or 2nd line anxiety? Condemned to die or be abandoned (or to condemn and expell). So what is going on in my brain when I realise the truth in a situation I have caused and feel remorse (toward others or myself)?

    The word has been bastardised to mean the same thing as guilt, particularly in religious or judicial context.

    If there's a connection between feelings and memory in remorse then could remorse be a key to effective therapy? Has anybody connected a patient up to monitoring equipment whilst they experience remorse?

    I have been involved in some "panel work" where groups of people come together to narate their testimony on things we have discovered about our own "recurring pattern" of fixated behaviour and beliefs (personality style/type).

    Sometimes this has resulted in some of us breaking down and crying with remorse about specific aspects of our selves we have previously been blind to that are revealed in the context of certain predictable patterns. This isn't the same as connecting specific feelings to memories (ei: re-living)but on balance I sense it has contributed to recoving some feelings with insight and memories for me.

    At that time I was doing this type of work I did not know about the Primal work Art has developed but I feel if I knew then what I now know, that work would have gone deeper.

    I can see this is work only on 2nd and 3rd line stuff. Through what Art calls resonance I wonder if these feelings of remorse (in the context of personal recurring patterns) can begin a process of access to the 1st line stuff?

    Trying to assemble a trauma history is difficult, so much confusion is involved in recalling past events involving other people and their complicity (or omission), so many different personal interests muddy the water and confusion about what happened and what was significant blocks the way.

    Is there some value in "knowing thyself" (and others)as a recurring pattern (or style) of surfacing unconscious behaviours in order to help reconnect feelings with actual memories? Maybe as Art says this isn't rocket science and at first we can work without Primal as a form of preparation for it later. From this blog I now know why a point must come where witnessing and scientifically developed guidance is crucial to enter my earlier traumas.

    Perhaps my remorse is most effective when I see what I am doing to myself in my particular pattern. Even without access to Primal therapy this "personal responsibility" toward myself keeps me in touch with my feelings and those of other people.

    There is empirical study and research work on recurring personality types and their recurring causes in early childhood (ei: certain traumas at certain times lead to certain personality styles which are themselves identifiable according to empirical analysis of statistical research). I wonder if this could offer a key to building trauma histories for future primal patients? Some of the things said in past entries to this blog appear to support this generic idea.

    PG

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  7. Goodness, this is moving so fast now,

    I'm not sure how or exactly what I have to offer a task force to help a group of us get funding but I am willing to help. There are probably others in UK I know who would like to join.
    There are ways to appeal to the NHS for outside provision and there are grant making trusts which give money but it's all a lot of paperwork and research. "Match Funding" is a possibility.

    I would like to help my 19yr old son who is on antidepressants.

    In an earlier blog entry a man from Germany said he was involved in a charity that helped institutionally abused people get funding for therapy, I can't find that reference now.

    I am willing to share my email address at some point to this end.

    How could past patients help inform us?

    Lastly, it's good to know that LA is affordable. . .

    PG

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  8. Picking up on Richard's comment about psychopathy being a mainly male condition I think it also shows that males (their development) are more sensitive to environmental conditions than females. This makes sense from an evolutionary point of view where the male is the provider who must adapt to conditions to hunt and provide for the group.
    I recall Art saying before that PT was not useful in treating psychopaths. It makes me wonder if any therapy is? Would a Reichian or structural approach be more successful, whereby the therapist targets his attetnion on how the person manifests himself physically. e.g. curved spine, the way the joints are not fluid e.g.'broken ankle'effect
    Clearly temperament is a factor and the early environment. Not being held, touched, listened to or responded to properly are key I would have though. The psychopath is someone who has not developed a self that is adequately connected to the world around him. In other words, he and his environment simply do not cohere, he is not rooted properly or firmly embedded. He is essentially disconnected and has to survive by manipulating others. To put it differently, rather than trying to inhibit his feelings in order to fit in with people around him he has the opposite problem of finding how to exhibit the appropriate responses. In this way, he becomes expert in an almost behaviourist sense of knowing which responses produce rewards and which do not. That is my understanding anyway.
    But if the psychopath is doomed to remain this way without any help from psychotherapy then I find that very tragic for him and those people he will encounter.

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  9. Art,

    When I wrote my comment re. your Reflection on Psychopaths, I felt confused over your exposition of the phychopaths’ morality. Many of them are really proud of avoiding a “immoral behavior”. Their behavior and lack of morality is according to the Webster dictonary amoral: Examples: “He is an amoral, selfish person persuing his own goals”, “A cynical and amoral way of competing for business and politics”
    I suppose that many of the psychopaths you are thinking of are having both immoral and amoral behavior. However those you mentioned in connection with Primal Therapy to me belong to the amoral category. The former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer acted in an immoral way, when he used prostitues, in his moral ambition to support hes voters. He broke the american moral code. This immorality is very american, in Spain and France they are having a hard time understanding the immoral regurgitations "over there". They look in general with sympathy and understanding at Clinton and Spitzer with their own presidents in good memory.
    Jan Johnsson

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  10. Arthur, this was a truly useful and interesting subject. Relevant to many today, for in the work place and all around, I have meant many psychopaths. They are not uncommon anymore. More and more people are turning out seriously damaged.

    (just for fun, there is a music group called “Primal Scream” and if you go to YouTube and check out their song, “Damaged,” your bound to like it. I think its great)

    I have noticed myself that many psychopaths often can not read people well for they can not feel the empathetic response that allows reading and responding to visual and sound cues. Some of them are susceptible to some blind spots.

    But most scary, as you point out, is there is no feeling at all. Murder or anything else means nothing.
    Now its true that I promote both intellect and feeling, but I am not unaware that feeling is important and yet at times, the intellect can be helped by temporarily suppressing interference from the feelings below. But only temporarily. But even in science, hunches and intuition as they have been called, are often those feelings that say, hey, there is something there in the info or result. Lets look at it closer.

    I recall a dream way back in the 80s, maybe like 84 or so, when I had an understanding of psychology and how small aspects could reveal large amounts of info. It was incredible and I tried to struggle to consciousness to write it down in a brief summary but the words I found in the morning were not good. Too simplistic. By the little things people do, you can tell much. It was not the statement but understanding behind it that I saw in the dream and could not bring with me to consciousness. It took nearly 20 years to gain in consciousness and understanding what I saw in that dream.

    Arthur, can I ask, what are the chances of psychopaths recovering or is it possible. My experience is that the damage almost impossible to reverse. But I have had no experience in treatment. Just observations and “hunches.”

    Given the preponderance of psychopaths, maybe a few more articles on this subject might be useful to many, who are now constantly affected by such people.

    One more thought. Psychopaths beget more psychopaths. They are attracted to each other and find each other useful as allies. Powerful psychopaths attract weak ones who kiss you know what and suck up to the more powerful ones. They network and climb the ladder together. Little wonder our world has become what it is. Cheers!

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  11. Will: tragic but true. To me they are not treatable. The damage is severe early and he no longer has the emotional equipment to make a change. art janov

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  12. I got this comment in an email:
    "Wow Art,

    That was deep and so very well written. I have thought about teaching others what gives me relief because it has meant so much to me, but perhaps it's too risky. We talked about "wounded healers" in Christian circles but perhaps that is just people trying to feel better and more loved by irrationally trying to help others in the same boat. Perhaps its a mistake, or could be, and implies an irrational belief in some magical saving force which is nothing more than psychological "snake oil". Being really hurt you want to help others but perhaps cannot. I am not sure how to categorize that. I know I have done things out of my fear and neediness and wasn't as able to feel for others as perhaps I should have. I believe even for those of us who are not psychopaths there is still something similar going on, in that we don't repent of things we do feel guilty for in a complete and changing way because we have never felt the hurt others and life had done to us before. You can't really repent if you can't feel. There is a bit of monster in all neurotics? Perhaps it is all a matter of some degree, but it does seem from what you are saying that some truly are hopeless. Sometimes I feel that way because the hurt I feel the more I see needs to be felt. That may be why so many want to believe in magical repentance, because they cannot accept the hopelessness of another without feeling hopeless themselves.

    The more I feel the less I want to try to help others and wonder amazed at those that want to take the "wounded healer" route. So much more peaceful to just sweep floors. Yet, I understand the desperate need to survive which can be driven as much by poverty in what I perceive to be a very unfeeling and psychotic form of society, as by an inward lack of the ability to feel. Such societies create circumstances that make otherwise good people do desperate things.

    I wonder too about other forms of virtuous disconnect between feeling and higher functions. I see people use your Primal Therapy name and then twist it's meaning or completely change its meaning from what you had intended. Recently the IPA sent me a letter asking about keeping my membership and I called them and tried to politely tell them that they should save their money on postage because I could not afford to go to any of their get to together meetings around the country where they get their money. Yet as he probed further I was compulsively honest with him, perhaps a sign of my own neurosis, and I told the guy that I felt they accepted things that were not real, or helpful, and which were not primal therapy at all. Then something triggered in me and I felt anger about their stealing another person's creative labels and words. I told him that the earlier court decision that removed your right to exclusive use of the name Primal Therapy was regrettable, and that I thought it was a low blow to steal another person's creative ideas and that it eliminated their opportunity to be truly creative themselves. I felt some compassion for you and told him I liked you and that it was wrong of them and even ridiculous to take your therapy's name, change what it stood for, and continue to practice under it without your permission. My point is this: creativity is another kind of virtue that is lost because of an inability to feel. Creativity gives us the ability to appreciate life, others and ourselves even in the midst of great difficulties and gives birth to "art", which is like "goodness" or "truth" two other virtues based on higher reflective abilities. Yet, if these abilities don't connect to feelings which are the seat of our motivations, then they are empty gestures, acts without substance.

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  13. email continued:
    "Thus I see empathy without feeling which is little more than symbolic care, objectivity without feeling which is only a form of conniving, and creativity without feeling which is not art but the ability to play roles and imagine life in ways that can excuse the worst of behaviors. Feeling is the beauty that all virtues serve or else they cease to be virtues. Yet, also there seems to be connections even between the higher virtues so that when I feel empathy I can still be objective and let that guide my empathy. I once said that I would love to be rich and help others but that I would want to do it selfishly. Yes, I wanted not to have to actually be involved in raising kids which is exhausting, or try to help in more efficient ways such as by giving to large institutions that do more good, but just wanted to be a traveling grandfather adopting whole families and dropping by just long enough to check on them and buy them cars etc. then take off. I even thought I might like to be self aggrandizing by changing an entire village from impoverished to wealthy. Yet, in the end, one's empathy need education to do the most good and a lot less egotism, an egotism that doesn't come so much from feeling as from wanting to symbolically feel good.

    In conclusion I think that there is some bit of monster in everyone, "wounded healers" is an unreal idea, even virtues without feeling fail in isolation, people who steal creativity kill it, and the more you see how hard it is to be a good primal therapist the more you consider not being one, in addition, we have psychopathology in our human institutions and governments, and from my meetings with politicians I am convinced I wouldn't like to be one as they seem to be unrealistic egomaniacs or else unelectable or unelectable the second time, and "normal" even educated and "normal" shouldn't qualify anyone to be a therapist.

    I wanted to give people relief from their pain by training them in what I have come to know and then encouraging them to go to your clinic if they could afford it. I have never craved wealth, but rather saw it as a burden, but I have tried to survive albeit in my neurotic state and perhaps that is itself a drain on society. All I have left, as someone who would be a better person, is to try to feel more and do less harm in my world. Perhaps that is all some of us can do. Yet, with all my desperate poverty and lack of useful skills I have never claimed to be a primal therapist so perhaps there is some good in me. It saddens me that even my attempts to help others was perhaps, in part, a sad attempt to feel worthwhile.

    I would like to be able to go to your clinic just to try to be a better person, but I have to try to stay where I am, because even if my friends are all neurotic, or most of them, and even if they don't always know it, they need me right now. Art, please understand that some of us just don't have that much to give, aren't that smart, aren't that skilled in ways that help them survive, and perhaps in order to just stay alive in this society of the cheaters and the cheated we might have to work for corporations that abuse humanity and the environment and ourselves and be a part of neurotic relationships that are slowly killing our planet now, and yes be cheating even our own children out of the love they might need.

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  14. email continued:
    Even though I have received some substantial monies, I owe some of it to others, and also must stay where I am. I could wish that I could get therapy via skype from your clinic, but alas, I may be too hurt for that, so now I am seeing a rope just a few feet too short to reach me and pull me to a better more feeling life. I hope that others with the funds and time will go to your clinic. I will perhaps have to feel comforted by sending you a small donation for your clinic in hopes of helping others, and I hope that some others might do the same.

    Thanks for all you do Art, you and your wife and your team,
    David Mitchel Stow (the bootleg primal preacher from the sad red state of Texas)

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  15. Another comment by email:
    Hi Art,
    Just wanted to send you a link about work going on here at Helsinki Univ. on telomeres
    length. I have written to the person featured (Iiris Havotta) in the article and proposed your hypothesis
    (though I did not mention you by name) about the link between it and Alzheimers. Have a
    read - i am sure you will be interested.

    http://www.helsinki.fi/hub/articles/?article=162

    Not sure if you had a chance to think of any ideas that relate to evolutionary theory and
    changing clinical practices? I know this is very close to your own practice so maybe you
    dont wish to say too much. But any ideas appreciated.

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  16. Yeah,

    I fell for the wounded healer trip. . .

    It's like sweet Jesus.

    We all want to be a little more robust than that, don't we? Tragically and romantically fused with pain and failed growth.

    Yuck!

    PG.

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  17. Another comment in an email:
    It is amazing to experience the connections between lifelong tensions in my arms and legs and the feelings when I’m stuck during the birth process. How the brain in an effort to make the fetus survive created tensions and anesthesia which still is working. (My arms and legs are relatively seen considerably shorter than those who have the same trunk size as I have.)
    Certain habits, for example, how I tend to lift my left arm are old reminiscences from long ago. In a normal, healthy person, the arm is lifted from the fingers and hand and the trunk and shoulder don’t move. However, I lift my left arm by tensing the arm and pulling my shoulder as the main method. Jordi, my Rolfer, changes with simple instructions and advice my habits.
    Suddenly, I can understand why it hurts to see people move in a tense and awkward way. I have, for example, for some years suffered when I see the Spanish Prime minister Zapatero walk in a very jerky fashion. By the way, he speaks (in a similar jerky way) in staccato. Funny enough I mentioned this to Jordi, and he then told me that he had written to Zapatero and offered him a Rolfing treatment... We also talked about some sport stars who have an extremely relaxed posture and facial expression. One outstanding example is Andres Iniesta, favorite to win the prize as the best soccer player in the World 2010. It is a pleasure to see him move on a soccer lawn with full coordination. No wonder that he is the darling of many European soccer enthusiasts.
    In stead of keeping my head upright and take in sounds by my ears I have a tendency to bend my back forward and to bow my head and to close my ears. If I try to put down and extend my heals, let the floor/ground come to my feet followed by my toes and feel the contact all the way up to my stomach, to walk straight with my head uplifted and feel the weight of my hands and move both arms and legs when I walk, then I walk as a free man. It is a very nice and liberating feeling, and my brain can start to unlearn its tensing habits and let me relax. When Jordi did relatively painful (positively) restructuring of my muscles in my upper arms and thighs, I felt so relaxed that I fell asleep.
    I am curios what kind of mental changes I will experience when I succeed to let my body and extremities relax and the imprinted cramps in my muscles and fascia are gone. Without any specific decision l have surprised myself by taking a more relaxed and emphatic attitude towards Isabel. My earlier rigid attitude has been connected to my tensions in my fascia and my muscles.
    Jan Johnsson http://epilepticjourney.blogspot.com/

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  18. My reply to Jan's email:
    Rolfing may help but I am not for it because it pushes the muscles to release tension without proper connection to the brain. The brain should first give instructions and then the muscles release as a result of a memory or imprint. It is mindless and I am not for that. art janov

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  19. A comment by Apollo which I couldn't get to publish the normal way:
    "Hi Richard! Liked many of your insights. My own personal experience with psychopaths is quite extensive by my view. But I have seen many psychopaths among women as well. Notice those nasty 14 year old girls viciously devouring one another. Ouch. Hollywood has made many movies about them. As well, Art appears to be letting up a bit on that delete button. I am most grateful and am open to constructive criticism of my comments if and how to avoid tender spots if I know what they are.

    But as you have observed, there is much damage in people and if you have some feeling left as you seem to, it is frustrating, for sure. But the girl who falls for the psycho, she can’t see it. She can’t feel it. And mom and dad never explained anything or offered the affection that might keep their interpretive abilities alive, right? Neither have these girls analyzed anything. They don’t know that a smooth character is often one who has practiced and rehearsed many hours in order to gain the look and strut and cool ways that charm. It is that polished impression that is so dangerous. Ted Bundy was one of the most charming and charismatic guys you would ever meet, according to those who knew him.

    Girls will not recognize that genuine reality, unslick and unpolished, is best. You see this in job applications and interviews. There are those who have all the right answers and sound so slick and cool. So good, in fact, that some are put off from hiring them because ithey sense is just a show. A real flawed performance can often be more trustworthy and telling. But many bosses can’t read a person so they go by the rule book which says hire that suck up who speaks so smoothly and will kiss your . . . well, you know how that goes, right. But like you, I feel the pain ;-) But I like hearing your observations.

    ReplyDelete
  20. More comments on a complicated world and pshycopaths

    During more than 30 years I have been working with management and recruitment in Europe and in the USA (to a lesser degree) and I have seen people covering the full range of different mentalities - from very sensitive persons with deep sympathy and respect for others to the opposite of reckless, egoistic, unsympathetic individuals with a disturbed personality. If the latter were untreatable psychopaths, I’m not the one to judge. However, these emotionally disturbed persons, after having managed to slip through the filter and being hired, after some time, were repelled almost that of a law of nature when the organization became aware of their shortcomings. The people I’m talking about were middle and top managers with responsibilities for rather extensive units. Those persons constituted an extremely small part of the total people I worked with over the years.

    Why do I bother to participate in this, in a sense, fuzzy debate? Because I think the way we judge and see the world has very much to do with our background and how close we are to the different realities. I have been part of the realities which produced, sold and distributed the goods which make the world turn around and create the wealth which hopefully should be reasonably fairly divided - but it certainly is not always like that. Over half a century, I have witnessed and been part of how the whole world has changed radically three times, from agricultural, to industrial and to the present days' knowledge and digitally based economies. During this time you psychologists, as Art has stated, have continued with the same couch as usual and similar methods. However, I never heard of a serious debate in which respect therapists could change to meet the new paradigms.

    The changes in international wealth creation will be even more dramatic. Art himself will not have the possibility to do much to create this new paradigm but the Primal Principle can fit very well into a universal, digitally run world. In the future you will be able to have a primal in a cottage in Aspen, where you can have all the peace you need to be private and feel and 3-4 hours later you can lead a videoconferencing in a multinational company. This lifestyle is no utopia it is already a reality.

    These are the facts we need to prepare to meet and don’t let worries eat us because we cut ourselves off from realities taking place around us right now. The politicians are just a mirror of the international power change taking place. The world is not turning mad, mainly because of psychophatic politicians. Technological, educational and economic evolution and redistribution are the driving forces and in the footsteps of that we need good Primal Therapy to sustain and relive pain and to peel off neurotic behavior.

    I cannot understand why it is so complicated. Why are psychologists among the most neurotic intellectual people I have met? It exist a tremendous need for practical Primal Therapy. There may be a lot of psychopaths around but at the same time there are more sane, fine, feeling and caring people on the earth than ever, who at times suffer and need help. However, Mother Earth has limited resources, and we are some 9.000.000.000 inhabitants who want to survive, to get our fair share and a just treatment. We have some exiting and rough restructuring to go through during the next decades and Primal Therapy belongs to the international humanity (for which you receives evidence every day) and not only to the American West Coast, which for a long time has grabbed more than their fair share of the existing resources.

    Jan Johnsson

    ReplyDelete
  21. I had more thoughts on psychopaths. Why are people often susceptible to them? Well, we love the things they tell us. We do not bother to look the gift horse in the mouth. In fact, we try hard to ignore the obvious phoniness and insincerity because we want to believe the lie and believe that all those nice things and smiles are real because we are so hungry for it.

    A psychopath does not respond out of empathy. He just knows the mode to get into and hopes it works on you. He it putting out stuff but has no idea what is coming back. He just tries his tricks and hope they work. I am thinking about Richard's observations of women falling for lying users.

    Many people make perfect victims. They want to be lied to and that suits the psychopath just fine. I read in one book, (TOny Visconti I think) that the best way to not get hurt by psychopaths is to have nothing to do with them and fire them as soon as you can. Problem is, with so many who are psychopaths or damn close to it, its hard, yes, even impossible to completely avoid them. Sort of reminds me of The Body Snatchers or a zombie movie.

    For me, I try not to impose what I want on what I am seeing. I need to see it for what it is. We can't be hurt by cons unless we want to be conned. Self deception is truly the worst enemy. But surely being able to feel helps by letting us read people and maybe respond with genuine feeling as opposed to "how can I manipulate this person."

    If psychopaths are truly damaged, then they can't ever read or feel. Its all been cut off. Nothing genuine comes in or out. All communication between the inside world and outside world is gone. You might as well try to relate to a rock.

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  22. Part 1 of 2

    very interesting article Dr. Janov, some thoughts:

    ____________________

    "Look at the driving business man or politician for examples. They raise prices, the rent, anything, because they care about themselves and profits and not others."

    Not sure about that, if they could, then no business would ever fail. They would just do anything their heart desires to stave off bankruptcy.

    ____________________

    "They need to get 10% return not matter what it means to others."

    If someone is doing wrong, thanks to competition people can go to where they'll be happier. Capitalism equalizes to a survival of the nicest. Crappy products and services have a very short lifespan in the market. By contrast its the exact opposite in government especially with no term limits, as you said its the sine qua non.

    ____________________

    "They will say anything to stay in office; they are master manipulators and are able to twist other’s needs to make them vote against themselves and their needs. They all care not about others."

    ??????????????????? Exactly, then why on earth would should people surrender liberty or responsibility over to them? Especially for something so crucial as one's health.

    ____________________

    "as Clinton said "

    He and the web of deciet he had to spin to try not to be impeached runs parallel to: "That is why when they are caught they can never confess to their crimes; it is always someone else’s fault."

    ____________________


    "Bernard Madoff. They don’t feel bad about this “immoral behavior” because they cannot feel the pain they are causing; cheating people out of their life’s savings without a hint of caring."

    yup Ponzi scheme artists are scum. Same thing for government which is will be doing to countless number of people in the future. This comic says it well:

    http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/3928/whatapikercolor1.jpg

    also it was the private sector who took down Madoff, they constantly blew whistles since 2005, while the SEC did absolutely nothing.

    http://mises.org/daily/3260

    "Due-diligence firms use the fees collected from their clients to hire professionals to meticulously review hedge firms for signs of deceit. One such firm is Aksia LLC. After painstakingly investigating the operations of Madoff's operation, they found several red flags. A brief summary of some of the red flags uncovered by Aksia can be found here. Shockingly, Aksia even uncovered a letter to the SEC dating from 2005 which claimed that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. As a result of its investigation, Aksia advised all of its clients not to invest their money in Madoff's hedge fund."

    ____________________

    "Once you give they want more and only see you as a sucker and pigeon who can be worked for more."

    Sounds like the talk that can never put any limits on the efforts of taxpayers. Despite the top 1% paying more than 40% of total taxes, still it should be more.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Part 2 of 3

    "They know nothing of love or helping"

    I think I may be sensing tinges of overlap between voluntary charity and forced altruism. Just in case, there's nothing wrong with the intentions, lets be sure to look at real life results as well. Let's remember that the highest amount of charities per 1000 people in the US was before the income tax.

    Milton Friedman (who used to have lots of socialist views early on) once wrote for the National Taxpayers Union that 'Eliminating taxes will lead to higher economic growth which is the MOST IMPORTANT variable in determining the level of charitible giving.'

    http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/1070/drfriedmanntu.jpg

    As it happened when JFK brought down the highest tax bracket from 90% to 70%. Here are some results of charity when President Reagan brought it down from 70% to 28%

    -According to a report by Richard B. Mackenzie, professor at the University of California, Irvine, the annual rate of growth in total giving in the 1980s was nearly 55 percent higher than in the previous 25 years. Americans gave 2.01% of their income to charity in 1992, the highest rate since 1971. Overall, donations totalled $124.31 billion, up 6.4%, after inflation. Individuals gave $109.98 billion, representing the greatest percentage of total family income given to charity since 1963.

    -For the poorest 1/5th of Americans, real income grew by almost 12%.

    -Families earning more than $50,000 went from less than 25% of families in 1980 to 31% in 1990.

    -Taxpayers were five times more likely to increase their income than to have it fall.

    -Federal Reserve data show that families with annual incomes between $10,000 and $50,000 experienced a higher percentage of growth in net worth than those in the top 1/5th income group.

    -The Top 1% paid more than 25% of all federal income taxes in 1990, a 40% increase over 1980, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bottom 60% of income earners paid 11% of federal taxes in 1990, 20% LESS than in 1980.

    -Minorities in middle class grew rapidly, from 2.6 million households with incomes of $25,000 or more in 1979, to 3.9 million in 1989.

    -Between 1983 and 1989, the total population under the poverty line decreased by 3.8 million people, with an unprecedented number of poor entering the work force.

    -the proverbial Misery Index took a nosedive: USA experienced sustained economic growth without inflation, low unemployment, and low interest rates. Also, some 20 million new jobs were created, 82% of which were in the higher-skilled, higher paying occupations.

    -Between 1978 and 1982 the number of poor minorities rose by more than 2 million; between 1982 and 1989 the number of poor minorities fell by 400,000.

    -All income groups from the poorest to the richest experienced real income gains. Yet during the Carter Years only the income of the top 1% grew. The same of income gains going to the top 1% of income earners was 160% higher under Carter than under Reagan. Between 1982 and 1989, real after-tax income per person rose by 15.5% and real median income of families, before taxes, went up by 12.5%

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  24. Part 3 of 3
    ____________________

    "So while the person can be charming on the exterior, there are no sincere feelings underlying this facade. It is all a dumb show."

    Reminds me of Karl Marx, despite the rhetoric he was a horrible person on the inside. Here's a great article on Marx's thoughts on minorities to a private letter to Engels. I can't post the quotes, its too horrible.

    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50724

    Probably why as you say people still do what Freud did 100 years ago, the same for Marx 150 years ago. Despite all the progressive discoveries and all the groundbreaking Nobel prizes in economics.


    ____________________

    G. K.Chesterton was right: “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”

    I'm may be about 60% sure that Chesterton here was defending creationism. Anyways, this is a good one too:

    So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
    -Benjamin Franklin

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  25. It would seem to me that the genuine psychopath would, in fact, be totally harmless. With no desires, passions, or even interests to motivate them into action they would be walking ghosts, nonentities, completely disconnected from the experiential world. People with advanced brain tumours often exhibit such a disconnect(see Oliver Sacks), and as he suggests they are completely harmless, unable to even care for themselves. It is giving the psychopath some access to feeling that would create the monster, as Walden has already suggested. Most of the damage in the world is caused by non-psychopaths, people who feel all too much, and are driven to act on their feelings. These people are capable of being whipped into a frenzy by false sentiment,and manipulated by their emotions. These people are the real dangers, and they are everywhere.

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  26. Interesting post on psychopath but still do not see much difference between psychopath and neurotic. I remember the difference between neurotic and psychotic is more about quantity pain and not quality.Having myself some psychopathi features is hard for me to be so hard on them as they are the most
    of you including Arthur Janov, which surprise me .My father was a psychopath and when I think about it makes me mourn the lack of love that was missing in him. You don't talk either about the simpathetic autonomous system I imagine is the one that prevails in the psychopath and can be also one of the reasons why they are so difficult to treat. As an example I will say that i try to heal a man like Hitler if I had the chance, for moral reasons.

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  27. I counted 6708 words already.
    Can you limit the size of the reactions?

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  28. Speculating:

    I think psychopaths always have an underlying scripted flavour in their expressions - a flavour (from a reality) that makes them hard work to listen to for after the first 30 seconds or so.

    I think they learn to hide that scripted flavour (or more specifically our would-be reaction to it) with heavily exaggeated "niceness" or "excellent manners" or just preaching the rubbish that they know we want to hear.

    I think we can sense the psychopath if we just don't take the bride - maybe.

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  29. Hi Art ,i wonder whether there is r e a l l y that clesr distiction between neurosis ,psychopathy and psychosis... My friend -deceased -had in m y lay person´s opinion/diagnosis.. had all three features in him !!
    And were those bastard!!! of a small town here in Germany -members of a brass band -who raped (an euphemism... I want spare You and others the details!- all drunken neurotics or psychopaths? By the way nobody was charged because of the investigators´fault.
    My point how can I know i am not a psychpath -hence -incurable?... Yours emanuel

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  30. I got this question in an email:
    "Can psychopaths go back to womb life,feel it and get better??or healed??
    or is it impossible??"


    My answer:

    Not that I have ever seen. They seem to me to be damaged beyond repair. I have never seen any one of them change. art janov

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  31. I got another question in an email:
    "What is the greatest/deepest human need?"

    My answer:

    LOVE IS THE GREATEST NEED AS I DEFINE IT IN MY BOOKS. ART JANOV

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  32. Chyron:
    There is a world of difference. Read my blog again. art janov

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  33. I got this comment in an email:
    "hummmmmmm. hummmmmmmmm. There is such a thing as the fallacy of line extension. Starting with one premise, approach, method, etc and extending it to more and more ventures. Its a marketing expression. Scientific American once ran a long study on the necessity of the infant feeling the pain of childbirth to kick off the hormonal systems functioning. I have it somewhere. So its more than birth pain...it's birth trauma...Sci. Am. is kind of feeble anyway but what catches my attention is once upon a time Primal used to be about Neurosis. Now its Psychosis too....and personality disorders....and psychopaths (did we forget Sociopaths here?). I just feel cantacorous because no one told me where all the CERTIFIED PRIMAL THERAPISTS are."

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  34. My answer:
    The certified Primal Therapists are at the Primal Center in Santa Monica.
    You are so interested in the therapists you can always join and learn. art janov

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  35. Duncan: The hallmark of a psychopath is the damage and destruction he leaves everywhere. He is never ever benign. art janov

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  36. Kaz: I found your comments particularly on Karl Marx (and I read the link) very unfeeling. His writings were brilliant IMO, though I was only able to read translations. Marx was trashed by the McCarthy hearing on Un-American Activities. I thought the whole McCarthy hearings were insidious and put the US in bad favor around the world.

    That Marx might not have been a 'nice' person and, if so, put him in company with Dickens, Churchill AND Sen McCarthy, should not detract from the brilliance of his writing that gained great favor around the world for many years. To me, the tragedy of the communist experiment was in the implication of it by Lenin then Stalin.

    Righteousness and wrongteousness are value judgments. A feeling person, IMO, would say they either 'liked it' or did 'not like it' and leave it for what it is:- their feeling.

    Feeling-full beings, neurotics, sociopaths, psychotics, schizophrenics and catatonics are gradations from a person having all their childhood needs met, all the way to having almost none met. The baby Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Joseph McCarthy et al are sad, sad stories indeed, leading to eventual attempts by them, to resolve their early hurts.

    The question I most ask is; can we prevent those insidious hurts in the children of tomorrow? Karl Marx, IMO, had an idea towards that end; but sadly had no understanding of Primal Theory. Quelle domage.

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  37. Emanuel: psychopaths don't ask that question. art janov

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  38. I found some of the latter responses sort of interesting. I may be wrong, but I gather some might be a little upset over our discussion of psychopaths. maybe we touched off a nerve? I am not sure if these are new visitors or maybe silent watchers for a while. All I know is that if one has to work for a psychopath, whose every words is a complete lie and consistently lies to everyone 24/7. They don't even know how to tell the truth or want to tell the truth. Much easier just to lie and deny.

    but what makes me wonder even more is those over them who hired them, protect them, and reward them. Some may or may not object to my suggestion that there are lots of psychopaths, possibly because it is a very uncomfortable truth to confront or admit, for what do we hide or go to escape them? There is no visible escape to find.

    Or is it that if we admit psychopaths exist and may even be quite common, then perhaps we are getting just a little too bit close to the real truth. And as we know from PT, most mainstream "doctors" want nothing to do with PT, anymore than their patients do. Those kinds of patients like being lied to and let off the hook and those lying to them. And everyone conveniently avoids seeing any truth about themselves or the world. Self-deception if often the greatest obstacle to recognizing PT. Or put another way, Truth hurts. And ignorance and denial falsely feels like bliss. Bury it and ignore it. Ah, to watch those wheels spin, huh?

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  39. Dr. Janov,

    It looks like I was surrounded by psychopaths all my life. Or was it, that I was aware of their manipulative, cold, action even as a child.
    My parents, my father’s mother, later two of my brothers and then continuing with my mother in-law etc…..At the age of 14 I wondered why other people gave in, agreeing with the controlling behavior, continued worshiping the abuser’s rigid views, lowering their eyes in shame instead of defending themselves.

    Perhaps I should include the biggest psychopaths next to politicians - priests and preachers.

    Finally, this sentence, “…and often decide to become therapists with no training” exactly fits two therapists I walked out in the middle of therapy.
    Even in CT therapy we face fanatical, self-righteous, self-empowering money-makers, where a hour is over after 55 minutes, leaving you stuck with a horrible memory, unable to face the traffic driving back home. One tried to label me as bipolar because I refuse to accept their manipulative, identity altering approaches.

    If there is no therapy for a psychopath, how do we deal with them?
    My approach so far is – cut them off – let them know that you see through their manipulative game – and throw them out of the house.
    The funny part is, as soon as you set boundaries, they are the first to call you “non-empathetic”.
    The article “Inside the Mind of a Psychopath” says: “Are psychopaths made or born? The answer is probably both. If, as investigators believe, genes account for 50 percent of the variability among those who exhibit adult antisocial traits, that means life circumstances may be just as important as biological inheritance. Some psychopaths are scarred by rough childhoods, but others are the “black sheep” of stable families.
    http://www.themindinstitute.org/docs/kiehl_buckholtz_sam0910022_final.pdf

    This explanation is insufficient and biased. There are no black sheep in a family; there are children deprived of their needs, neglected, the reason why they become rebellious. If we don’t know for sure how a psychopath is created, we can’t help. And, if we can’t help, we pay for their existence. Either, they are in prison costing money or moving about in society, preying on the already damaged.

    Should we look into how these psychopaths became psychopaths? Most writings, many books on the subject are not addressing the cause. Labeling is no solution!

    I must admit, I have some “left-over” issues (regressive, defensive anger) with psychopaths.
    Sieglinde

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  40. Hello all - some thoughts:

    When I was around 12 years old I remember watching a documentary which showed (as part of it) the (then) Russian practice of childbirth. Immediately once the baby was born it was wrapped up tight in cloth and then taken away from its mother - apparently this was normal prctice. My instinctive reaction to the sight was that it was a horror story. It also looks like a good way to help create a society well-endowed with psychopaths. (no offense to Russia - just making the point).

    Maybe this practice of taking the baby away from its mother is part of the reason why Russia could become a socialist society? Create a powerful isolation-imprint and you get a society of people who want to "dissolve themselves into the collective" as an adult? Just a thought.

    That isolation-imprint might also explain why so many of us just can't put our cellphones down too i.e. always needing to be "connected".

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  41. Andrew

    In many European countries, the total wrapping of babies was common practice.
    They did it to me and my brothers - the whole town did it to their children. They did it to Alice Miller. The native in the USA did it and the same practice was tradition in the southern state. Naturally, this child-rearing mindset (black pedagogy) came with the traumatized, who immigrated to the USA.
    50 years ago, a baby was wrapped tight all the way to the neck, for the first 4 weeks. We are talking about here implementing phobia!?
    Beginning 1960, the torture about demobilizing the child in Germany loosened up. Today, they leave at least the arms out. They call it, keeping the baby save and warm.
    Sieglinde

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  42. Epigenetic trauma may be the cause of psychopathy, hermaphroditism and many other conditions more commonly seen in violent cultures. The spotted hyena may be a good example of epigenetic mutation. The female is larger than the male. She has a penis and scrotum but no testicles and no vagina. Her narrow, six inch penis is virtually identical to the male hyena's penis. Her large cubs pass through her penis during the extremely traumatic birth which will often kill a cub and/or mother. Mating is difficult as the male must ejaculate into the female's penis. There is one alpha female per clan. The alpha female is dominant and will severely bite any male that has not licked her penis enough times. Each male tentatively takes his turn to lick it to confirm his lower ranking. Throughout the day, spotted hyenas visciously growl and nip at each other, regardless of their gender or situation. Cubs attack and kill each other from the moment they are born. Up to 25% of cubs die this way. The level of aggression displayed by cubs is determined by the amount of masculinizing hormones in the womb. Studies have shown that these hormones can be affected by changes in the pregnant mother's environment. The mother will not attack her surviving cubs, and will attack any hyena that gets too close to them, but her behaviour is more like a crocodile than a loving mother. Hyenas have a very developed cortex. They are far more intelligent than cats and dogs, and many scientists consider them to be as intelligent as chimpanzees. How did the female's body go through this radical transformation without it leading to the species' extinction? The hyena's intelligence may have helped the species to survive during a succession of fatal mutations. The human race seems to be in the middle of a similar type of transition. In the past, it may have been easy for people to primal and return to their normal hormonal set points, but today neurosis is so widespread, I fear we might be looking at the dawn of a new species.

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  43. Richard: ay ayay you can breed hostility and gentleness in a few generations so that it looks like genetics. They have done it with wolves and another species and made that species kind and tender. It is the direction of the breeding and of course epigenetics. a big chapter in my new book. hang on. art janov

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  44. Art, as you know, people who have suffered severe frontal lobe injury have trouble regulating their feelings. they erupt impulsively. and they show a lack of empathy.
    i'm just curious, when you tried to treat psychopaths, did any of them erupt?
    i watched a documentary on a psychopath and he was certainly capable of showing some emotion. well, actually, he got very annoyed....that's the only feeling he showed.

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  45. Richard: We treated very few psychopaths. One became dangerous but I never saw the eruptions. AJ

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  46. Glad you missed that. Please put a way to make donations easy using credit or debit cards to further your research and to help others become therapists or to take the therapy. Some of us just want to help and we don't have the ability to do too much. I am a mess but I could send you 20 dollars and feel good about that. Hey, I bet I am not the only one wanting to do this. Ok?

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  47. Mitch: That is so kind of you but I think if you so little keep it for yourself. We have the Primal Foundation which uses donated money to help poor people have the therapy. We are about to turn out of money, however. AJ

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  48. What about narcissists?Can PT cure them?

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  49. I am a prime example of one of "God's greatest creations". I am experienced as a pool ball is smoothed round, grounded as a hummming bird only need be, I posses the energy and force equivalent to that of a 5000000 tonne nuclear bomb, only my core is set to "idle", and I have yet to find reason to ignite this destruction on my fellow brothers and sisters.

    I love, I trust, I hurt. I repeat painful process after "pain-fueled" process in an attempt to remind myself I'm no better than the rest. I self destruct, and it eats away at me, tearing at my "soul" choking me and society is to blame, slipped through the cracks, a lost cause, a "passing of the buck" no mater who I call out or how I call out I am an old dog... like a 2yr old that can not speak but can not tell you his car restraints are too tight, barely able to breath, wondering why this world is torturing him, why these people that speak of love and unity, here before him, would not think ahead to check the restraints; smarter not harder.

    I am human, but I am still child, not man not woman, not adult, because no boy is truly a man in the eye of infinite knowledge & wisdom, and no mind ever grows old only "un heard".

    I am human, we are equal, but only to the point of which the rest of you wish to think equally, accepting, understanding, forgiving. I am no criminal, I have done criminally at times, in a means to survive, I am a "parent" in the eyes of the children that come here after my arrival, and a "deadbeat" only in the eyes of corporate leaders which lead worlds having been placed on such a "stage" by the efforts and hard work of those that foolishly do only as they are TOLD to by these leaders. Such a glass house we all live in. Each of us placing titles and obligations on one another forgetting our true being is to resolve and over come personal obstacles... yet we continue to hide in our fears, and rule with a barb handled Gauntlet.

    I speak so many words of experience and wisdom, I hold high my expectations of others, and act fearlessly in their calling most any time of day or night, yet I am restricted to seeing myself as anything more than a sexually abused sac of shit that passed on this devil's touch; if only for the sake of trying to bring the being which put my soul in this box, out to so I could say "I told you so...!"

    My blood is red, my "heart" (though weighed down with years of anger and frustrations, betrayals, regrets, loss) pounds for love, adventure, chance, evolution...

    I am one in/of billions... I am DeGrinch

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  50. Wow. that's an interesting read. I had no idea the female had a penis... I'm going to have to read up more on the Hyena.

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Yahoo News!

Arthur Janov Suggests that Stress During Pregnancy Leaves a Distinct Cellular Imprint that Predicts Mental Illness and Serious Disease


In his new book, 'Life Before Birth' (NTI Upstream, Nov. 2011), Arthur Janov makes the case that events during pregnancy and the first years of life leave a distinct cellular imprint that predicts mental illness and serious disease.



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.
Editor
About our Therapy

Our therapy is constantly evolving. If a therapist has not had additional training in the past 3-5 years she is not up to date. The basic principles are the same but the actual therapy has taken a radical turn. It is much more precise, predictable and mathematical in practice. We have tried to tighten up what we do in keeping with current neurology and physiology. It is a constant learning experience. It is finally for the well-being of the patient who now has a much better chance of doing well. Yes, it was good before, but there is less time wasted now because the techniques are honed and the theory takes on more and more precision. We see patients from some thirty countries in the world, each with different cultures. It is up to us to continue the refining process so that the patient has the best chance of improving.

Training in Primal Therapy

The clear understanding and application of the theoretical and clinical aspects of Primal Therapy are essential in order to provide effective therapy. Citing the most current findings from the field of neurology, trainees will learn the role that the physiology of the brain plays in the shaping of mental illness. The training will thoroughly examine the scientific basis for Primal Therapy and discuss the unique clinical approaches employed in the treatment of various emotional and personality disorders.
For our first year students, the training will entail extensive work in the understanding of the basis for Primal Therapy. On the theoretical level, there will be an examination of issues that range from the nature of the unconscious to the nature of traumatic imprints and their lifelong effects on physical and mental health. On the clinical level, trainees will have the opportunity to learn proper diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as they relate to Primal Therapy.
Furthermore, first year students will be mentored by our third year students in order to ensure that the key concepts in Primal Therapy are clearly understood. There will be an extensive library of training notes and taped lectures from the past two years available as well.
For our second year students, the training will provide a unique and varied opportunity to gain more clinical experience. Through closely supervised clinical sessions, trainees will gain a deeper understanding of the various applied therapeutic methods and hone their skills as future therapists. In addition, second year trainees will have the opportunity to work with first year students thru discussion groups, tape reviews, and clinical sessions.
Our third year students will continue to hone their clinical skills through a rigorous series of didactic clinical sessions. These sessions will be video taped and will be reviewed by Dr. France Janov and our senior therapists.
Dr. Janov’s books have been translated in some 26 languages, have been bestsellers in many countries, and his theory is taught at many universities. He has combined decades of clinical practice with the latest in research. It is the therapy of the future.

To apply, please visit our website at http://www.primaltherapy.com/primal-center-application.php and select the ‘trainee’ option when filling out the questionnaire. For further information, please feel free to call us us at (310) 392-2003 or email us at
primalctr@earthlink.net


We look forward to another exiting year of training. We hope you will join us.

My best,

Dr. Arthur Janov
Founder & Director