Art turned 90!!!

Art turned 90!!!
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

Friday, July 23, 2010

What Is a Feeling?



(DEAR READER

This article "What is a Feeling?" is badly written and I apologize. I am still out of the country and don't have all my tools here. art janov
)

I hope I am not drowning the fish; I want to explore the nature of feeling so we can judge whether we are feeling individuals or not. What does it matter? Having access to feeling means access to a good part of yourself and that access means health; it means less repression and less unconscious forces nudging at you from inside.

Let us go back to some basic points: When the very first traumas occur in the womb (if they do), they are set down in many ways and in many brain structures. They also seem to be set in a certain wave length or frequency, (This is my hypothesis, not proven science. The science is not against it; it is just not “for” it). The traumas I discuss are nearly always deprivation of need. And those needs appear according to a genetic plan. They do not change; they do transform. Those needs are first biologic, next emotional and finally intellectual. They correspond in my scheme to the evolution of the brain from primitive brainstem to limbic to prefrontal cortex. The heaviest pain is the instinctual/biologic, those very early needs that mean life and death. Proper nutrition for the carrying mother, no smoking, no drinking or drugs and no anxiety (that is often hard to avoid), and subtly, really wanting the baby. As the brain grows new traumas build and evolve (elaborated) out of the first memory of pain (or noxious stimuli, if you wish). They enlarge the frequency base. The original imprint is compounded.

Deprivation of emotional need, to be held, caressed, looked at, talked to, won’t necessarily be a life and death matter but emotional deprivation can rob us of our humanity. Then we add more and more similar kinds of pain, say, constant parental rejection or indifference and we get a deeper pain, that I believe joins the frequency parade and intensifies it. That is, the new pains are compounding the original pains laid down near the start of life in the womb. These similar pains join together add to the imprinted frequency set down at the start of life. I believe that is one way they can recognize each other; old friends who band together. It seems that pain is pain, and the system doesn’t much distinguish among them; it spurs itself into action to hold it down, to repress. Just as the brain doesn’t seem to care what we believe so long as we have beliefs to suppress feeling. As deprivation of need continues and compounds it reaches more and more areas of the brain, including the cognitive, understanding the pain. More of the brain is committed to repression. The brain becomes a pain-dealing engine (see Morpugo and Spinelli’s work).

What happens then? The feeling centers may send up all types of pain to the thalamus, the switchboard of the brain, for forwarding to the frontal brain to helps us understand our feelings, but if there is too much pain it is rerouted into the lower brain centers, the unconscious, if you will, where it creates havoc and physiologic symptoms. But the pain is always knocking at the door of the frontal cortex, trying to connect and resolve because that is the only thing that can let us relax—connection. But the gates against pain won’t let it happen. Unless the gates weaken (constant deprivation and neglect) and then a flood enters and overwhelms the thinking cortex, scattering cohesion and interrupting concentration, producing strange ideas and uncalled for suspicions. What makes the gates weaken? Too much additional load of pain. Don’t forget, the gates are always trying to keep pain away from conscious-awareness. That is what they do. We can talk about synapses and transmitters, but those are the details for what is an overarching reality; we block pain so as to function. And when we cannot, we stop functioning.

We may spend a lifetime trying to fulfill needs; to be touched, sexual act-outs is one example. Or we may overeat based on starvation of proper nutrients while in the womb. Or drinking to kill the pain. Those basic drives to overeat, drink and drug often mean an attempt to quell first-line physiologic trauma, deprivation of life-sustaining input by first-line means. The most basic of all drives. First-line trauma (in the womb and at birth and just after), provokes first-line symptoms, and first-line attempts to repress---that is, feeding the body any sort of pain-killer. How many alcoholics have told me that drinking relaxes them and gives them that feeling of warmth they never had? No one takes drugs continually who is not in pain. Why would they? Drink and drugs would not “stick” because they are serving no great biologic purpose. We need to understand that in neurosis (heavy load of pain)they do serve a purpose and that is obvious; to help them get through life, even to function. Normals do not function well on drugs but neurotics (where pain dislocates the biologic system) can. They are attempting to fulfill a need, so basic that it makes any therapy or treatment feeble in response. Of course, for some it is considered a disease. It is so refractory, so difficult to treat, so early to start that if we are not armed with a theory of womb-life and infancy-life we can never understand it.

So attempts at fulfillment are what I call symbolic. We are trying to fulfill a need so early that later attempts only pall. But of course, the person goes on trying to fulfill need, as he must. He never gives up, and if he does his body will give out from the effort to hold it all down. So the good-hearted in 12-step programs deprive him even more; deprive him of an attempt at fulfillment, even symbolic but at least it is an attempt. He is doing it because he is not feeling, not feeling the need and the pain that comes from deprivation. I know we have stop him drinking but how about feeling!?
That is where we come in. We help him do that. As he becomes feeling he has less need for symbolic fulfillment. Doesn’t that make sense? Pain = pain-killing efforts. No pain, no pain-killing efforts. It isn’t done in a day but our direction is always right. Feeling means no more blockage from parts of ourselves. It means access in all directions including the deep physiological. I have seen patients who have had no interest in eating, nothing gives them pleasure. When they recapture feelings they recapture taste and joy.

The unconscious is constantly moving upward and forward at an attempt at connection and integration. It is trying to be whole. The deeper the pain and the earlier it occurred the stronger the force of the memory and the more it battles against the defense system; and the more it provokes the thinking brain into action. Sometimes the person needs more thinking brain to help out, hence cognitive/insight therapy. The joint thought combination of therapist and patient helps push down feelings. But it is a lifelong affair.

We have seen and measured patients whose brainwaves are extremely fast. For them to even get close to feeling they have to be able to slow down to get down into the feeling/primal zone. They do that either by feeling some of the compounded aspects of feelings and/or taking painkillers and tranquilizers to push back the force of the feeling. It seems like for these individuals the brain is racing away from feeling as fast as it can. Her thoughts are going and going and she cannot seem to stop them.

In each part of a traumatic memory lies a group of busy neurons working to join up with other likely neurons to coalesce into a feeling that is liberating. We smell mothers perfume, see the earrings she was wearing, the look on father’s face, the cloudy day, etc. I treated one young man who remembers that kind of scene; he could smell her perfume and saw her earrings so clearly. When he told his mother about this memory she was surprised at the accuracy of his memory as she lost the earrings when my patient was four years old. The more elements of the memory the deeper, more profound the feeling. “I remember when I was crying in my crib and daddy came in and had angry eyes and shouted at me to shut up. “ That whole memory came back to my patient only after he had felt many later less painful memories. It was a start of a lifelong fear of his father, and then of authoritarian men, in general. He was afraid to contradict his boss at work, a fear the worked against him, as he became anxious in his presence, and never knew why. So as all these pieces of a memory come together in a feeling, say, of hopeless and helplessness. The person is getting more and more of herself back, the self that was barricaded behind the repressive gates. What I have noticed is that those two feelings are behind so much early misery in my patients. We can theorize about what our basic feelings are but I have seen this over and over. Hopelessness/ helplessness is often the feeling when death or harm is in the offing and there is nothing the person can do about it. When we are strangling on the cord during birth, for example, or when mother smokes while carrying. They are the lifelong consequences of very early trauma. So when we say that depression over time can lead to cancer, we mean that the very repressed feelings involved in depression are also involved with the development of cancer. These are not two distinct maladies, in the primal sense, but different manifestations of the same cause. We can find this medicine for this disease, treating or finding many other avenues to treat a person, say for high blood pressure. but if we do not recognize the key fact of pain and repression we have a lifelong, unending task before us.

So when a patient is fully plugged in she has a complete feeling; when it starts in the present goes back to childhood, then to birth or before, there is full access. She will then generally come back through the same route; back to childhood and into the present. I call this the three two, one, event, and a trip back to a two and three, This is what I mean by access. Often patients are blocked on the route backwards, as they should be. Defenses were setup at the time to keep the memories from completely disrupting consciousness. They come up again to hold back deeper aspects of the feeling. That is when we know the patient has had enough. Often, if the therapist has a stake at producing deep feelings in the patient so he can look good, the patient will be pushed beyond her ability and suffer. You know, a primal is a very dramatic event. And to be able to produce that in a patient seems to make the therapist seem omniscient and omnipotent. Someone who has himself doesn’t need that. It is like making the baby talk before he is ready so that the parent will look good; having such a smart baby.

Incidentally, I have discussed the biologic critical window, the time when needs must be fulfilled. A small aside: when the child is allowed to go on fulfilling a need that has ended its timetable we may find a neurotic result; that is, the child goes on nursing for too long due to the mother’s need, and becomes imprinted with it. Becomes fixated on breasts and sucking. But this is just a slight interruption in what I want to say. A feeling means an experience, and that means all aspects from psychological to the physiological to the neuronal; they all join in to make it a feeling. And to cure someone of pain and repression we again need an experience, not just a mental exercise bereft of those emotions that are stored in the brain. Some of us have almost full access to feeling; those who were fully loved with few great traumas in early life. They never come to us.

The switchboard of the brain seems to be the thalamus, strategically positioned to inform the prefrontal area of what we are feeling. But imagine if you will that the operator is constantly plugging in aspects of the memory, the context of our feeling lonely and all alone. The brain is the operator doing what it can. It is unplugging emotional aspects of the memory because of their valance, and storing them for the future. It is plugging in certain aspects of the feeling while unplugging the emotional component. We need to plug emotions/feelings back in. Once we lock into a frequency where all three levels of brain function are joined, then a whole feeling means experiencing the pain on all three levels, the instinctual/physiologic, the emotional/feeling and the intellectual/comprehension; the feeling with its bodily dimensions meets feelings and and intellectual overview— putting it all together.

Some of us can remember the details of our early lives but they are not plugged into the emotions. Others are permanently plugged into emotions with little cerebral counterpart. They are awash in pain that remains unconnected. Normally, the overall feeling gathers up all the disparate aspects and binds them into a whole, into what I call a feeling. If there are still aspects of the memory that are not reachable, such as the first-line, brainstem base of it all, then there is more to feel. To get well we need to stay on that frequency/memory until all parts are experienced and integrated. In psychoanalysis someone can remember every little detail of her early life but be bereft of its emotional component. Once there is access to the feeling it will largely take care of itself. That is, no special techniques by the therapist are necessary. But if we try to force a feeling or decide we know where the patient needs to go, then failure looms. I teach my therapist never, never to claim to know what a patient means when she says, I feel lonely. I feel afraid, etc. Because there are specific feelings underlying the sentences and only the patient and her feelings knows. That sentence may be linked into right after birth when she was not touched or held. Or at age one my mother died. Or at age four I was sent to preschool, etc. If we think we know what the patient is feeling then it means we know all the details of her life and what exactly was meant by the phrase, “I feel lonely”. If we think we know exactly where the patient has to go in a session and try to lead her there, there will be no cure. We can make notes in our head but we need to follow the patient, not lead her.


So to help someone to feel we of course need the entrance to the feeling centers, the amygdala, hippocampus and finally the prefrontal cortex to bind all separate elements into an emotional whole. It is not enough to watch the patient cry and cry and think we have done some good; that crying must be in context and needs connection. All aspects must be linked together; linked by neuronal rhythms in the brain. Otherwise it is abreactive discharge which just releases the energy of feeling without its essence; the person is running off the energy portion of the feeling without knowing what it really is. Still, for the moment there is some relief so the patient thinks she is getting somewhere. She is going nowhere, literally. And we have measured the vital signs in feeling and in abreaction. In feeling the vitals move upand down in coordinated fashion, ending up near or below beginning baseline. In abreaction it is all sporadic, vitals moving in jigsaw fashion up and down but not going to baseline or below. When all elements are joined by specific oscillations of neurons we are on our way to health. The problem is that when the patient is repressed and suffers from this affliction or that, we go about treating the elements of the feeling, the manifestations, the grinding stomach or shortness of breath; we ignore the whole organizing principle which is feeling. We omit the repressed feelings that give rise to the symptoms. We omit the humanity of the person.




Monday, July 19, 2010

Stop The World I Want to Get Off

I wanted to re run this article:

When will the madness stop? Above all, the madness in the name of science and medicine. In the N.Y. Times today (Nov. 26-09)is a story about places like Harvard, of all things, are doing surgery for obsessive disorders, depression and other psychologic maladies. Here is what they do: In cases of obsessive rituals and thoughts which have been intractable to psychotherapy, they have decided to cut out those pesky afflictions with brain surgery, cutting out pieces of the emotional brain to ease the problem


This surgery, they warn, is only for those obdurate psychologic problems that do not respond to any sort of psychotherapy. It involves drilling four holes in the brain and inserting wires deep down. From there the procedures differ but in one key surgery, cingulotomy, they pinpoint the anterior cingulatedfor partial destruction. The rationale: they want to destroy some of the brain tissue that forwards emotional messages to the thinking brain, the prefrontal cortex from the feeling areas such as the cingulate. The claim is that this area is overly active in cases such as obsession in inputting emotional messages to the thinking, intellectual centers. There are variations to this theme but in nearly all cases the attempt is to suppress emotional pain from its apprehension higher up.


The claim is that standard therapy cannot touch the problems such as deep depression . This is brain surgery, remember. The result, according to the surgeons, is about sixty percent satisfactory, although we do not know the ling-terms consequences of brain surgery. There is one follow-up study which indicated that these patients seem apathetic and lose some self-control for years afterward. It is no wonder since we have cut out the person’s passion. But what if we could do exactly what the surgery does? What if we could avoid a very serious surgery? I believe we can because primal is the only therapy to be able to go deep in the brain purely by psychologic means. Because other conventional therapies do not have this possibility in their theories or in their therapy they think that the only other solution is surgery. And of course deep depression sometimes is being helped by this surgery. Deep depression means just that; origins deep in the brain. So again, a therapy that probes the depths, the antipodes of conscious/awareness should work as well or better than to have one’s brain cut into. I have not kept our therapy a secret but it is up to those who do this surgery to investigate what is out there before burning out brain tissue. What is sad is that this kind of “way-out” procedure can have positive stories on it in the New York Times and many other respected journals, while a “far-out” psychotherapy such as ours, cannot get a line printed in any newspapers. It is not “safe.” But here is a surgery that is decidedly dangerous and obtains cache in our country. So someone who compulsively washes her hands needs brain surgery? This, it seems, is recommended because, I think, the pain imprinted down low was too much for the usual tranquilizers. So, ergo, we cut out the relay mechanism that sends terrible emotions to the understanding cortex. So, no relay, no pain and no symptoms. If anything about this procedure is enlightening is that we see how compulsions and obsessive develop out of pain surging up from lower brain centers, and how ordinarily, the gating system keeps symptoms from showing. The pain is still doing its damage, however; only we are no longer aware of it. Certainly, the surgeons did not cut out the origin, the emotional imprint, they cut out the circuit that forwards the message to our awareness. In this highly respected scientific atmosphere the most outrageous modes of therapy are taking place.

On Avoiding Murder (final version) (Sorry!)



There is a story in the press today about Raoul Moat. He just killed himself after a police chase for over a week. Before this final confrontation he managed to wound his ex-girlfriend and a policeman, and to kill her boyfriend. Just before he killed himself, as the police were closing in, he said, “I had no dad and nobody cares about me.” To me that is the beginning of a primal. He was sure it was “their” fault that he suffered. Maybe if the police could have said, “We care about you, Raoul,” it would have helped, and maybe not. But instead of shooting him there are options if we only we consider them. One option is to let the family talk to him and express their caring, which the police seemed not to allow. While the dialogue was going on Raoul was holding a shotgun to his chin. His brother told the police that Raoul was having a nervous breakdown. That is an old notion to explain that his defenses were breaking down; in a way, there was a breakdown, and it involved nerves but it was the defense system that was crashing. Let me explain.

When we hurt early on, and that means in infancy, at birth and even before we have a defense system that hurries to contain the pain. For every major trauma there seems to be an equal and opposite defensive force to contain the pain. I call this defense system the gating system. Those familiar with my writing understands that defenses are abetted by biochemical means where neurotransmitters are secreted by the brain into the gap between cells so that the message of pain cannot travel to high centers, enabling us to remain unconscious. We humans usually manage to hold down our most painful feelings by a neurologic system that was built for it. The greater the pain the earlier in evolution (ontogeny=personal evolution) it occurred because it is in the first weeks of life in the womb that life-threatening events occur; mother is depressed or anxious, takes drugs or drinks alcohol and is not careful with her diet. As life goes on there is a compounding of pain due to parental neglect, indifference and not caring. The gates again shut to hold down the feelings/pain. But sometimes life deals such harsh blows that the gates crack or weaken; the result is that there aren’t enough repressive chemicals such as serotonin in the synapse to keep repression going.

In Raoul’s case there was the lack of a loving father, and love is love, when it is missing there is a “hole” in the person and a constant need for fulfillment. Raoul was only speaking the truth when he said he was not loved. But that alone would not lead him to murder unless, unless, there was an old pain/need below the current situation; something that might have been overwhelming even while living in the womb of mother. The current rejection, then, can activate earlier pre-verbal pains so that the combined traumas weaken the gating system. The boyfriend had to die because he symbolized the hopelessness of Raoul ever being loved again. He took away the only person with whom there was hope for love.

There is nearly always a compounded feeling and need behind violence. Otherwise, there is disappointment, terrible hurt; hurting a lot, but not murder. Rage is organized deep in the brain and it is that rage which is galvanized and incorporated into the anger in the present. What is compounded is a feeling of abandonment, of great neglect and indifference and, in general, a lack of touch, caress and hugs; in short, a lack of love. Some lose love, go into despair and then find God. They have been saved, saved by the idea of God, unless we really think he comes out of wherever he is and literally lends a hand. But the reaching out for God is hope again to be loved, even this time only in fantasy. Others start to feel the pain and reach for the bottle. Still others may reach for the neck of the departing lover and strangle her. But what they all have in common that makes the act-out obligatory is the reawakening of early deprivation by a current situation. Rejection gives it power. Raoul killed the only person who could, he imagined, make him feel loved again. Someone who could bandage the wound. Someone who could stop his suffering. But his violence ensured that would never happen. The act-out is always a symbol of the real feeling. The fact that Raoul was a bouncer in a club gives us an idea that he might choose a violent way of acting-out.

It is rare to get such a precise indication of the problem. Raoul felt unloved. When his girlfriend left it set off the feeling; and when she went with someone else, the “crime” was complete. It was clear that he had lost her. There was no more hope. Without help, he could not know that he was in a feeling of hopelessness, nor could he know that he was acting out a feeling. So long as his ex was single there was hope. Once she went with someone else hopelessness set in. The needs and feelings have to go somewhere. His faulty gates allowed an upsurge of a lifetime of emotional deprivation. It saturated his perceptions so that he was lost and enmeshed in feelings. His feelings were explosive; he tried to deal with them in the only way possible; directing them outward, projecting the source of his pain toward others. Had he been able to repress, had his internal repressive system been adequate to the task, he might have later develop cancer because of the massive shutdown required for such overwhelming pain. The system will always pays the price for no love. He was acting out in deadly fashion. My guess is that had he been able to feel at that moment about the hurt inside him he might not have started his rampage. But it was all too overwhelming. It is one thing to feel unloved in our childhood; it is quite another to be totally rejected as an adult, compounding one’s latent feeling. Someone like Raoul has no idea what that current situation had triggered off.

His feelings were of lack of love; the fact that it was his father whom he needed was almost beside the point. He was feeling terribly unloved irrespective of who did it or did not. His gates were blown because we all have just so much gating capacity. His pain exceeded that capacity. So instead of feeling, “I am not loved. There is no more chance of love. Love me, please daddy!” He started shooting. He lost his hold on reality; that is, he was inundated by another (imprinted) reality. He began shooting because he had no access to what he was feeling. Yet the feelings had access to him; that is, they were surging up from the lower depths because his past and present coalesced so that he could no longer repress them. When pain mounts above our defensive structure we suffer. And Raoul suffered and wanted others to suffer too. His defenses were no match for years of neglect.

If we could have got to him earlier we would have him discuss his girlfriend leaving, the new boyfriend, and then once locked into the beginning of “I feel unloved. Dad never loved me. I need a daddy,” he could go back and beg for that love. Fervently begging for love is what would have allowed him to feel the deprivation. Raoul could not do that; he had no idea there was someplace to go. He was then faced with the hopelessness of it again. If the patient doesn’t beg with every fiber of his being he can never feel the depths of the rejection. I am rounding it out for simplicity’s sake but obviously, it is not that simple. What I have omitted to point out is that when terrible feelings are involved we need someone there to support us. We can only terribly alone when we have someone close to attenuate the pain and make it feelable. We can only feel alone when we are not alone. Raoul could not feel unloved in the past so long as he was rejected and unloved in the present. It was all too much.

The principle is that simple; to feel your pain and resolve it leads to the integration of feeling and the extirpation of the pain. Once Raoul killed he had no place to go. The difference in our therapy is that once the patient has pounded the walls and expressed her hate she does have somewhere to go: deeper into the feeling; the need below the rage. It is need that engenders the pain of deprivation. It was then on the eve of being captured that he confessed, “I was not loved.” He made his primal statement without being able to feel it. That was his major statement to the police, as if to say, that’s the reason I acted-out. They were about to shoot him when he did it himself. It is too bad he could not have felt that before he began his rampage. We have seen it many thousands of times so that we consider now a primal law. We have measured patients in many ways after having primals (a total reliving of an early trauma) from neurologic to the physiologic; from the immune response to the neurochemistry, and have consistently found resolution and a significant change in key indices of normalcy. For example, we have measured stress hormone (cortisol) levels in patients after one year of therapy and found a considerable drop in stress levels. It is a high level of stress hormones that also play a part in acting-out. It means that the memory/trauma is exerting a constant force against the defense system. And after one year of therapy there is considerably less acting-out of our patients; less exhibitionism, less overeating, less alcohol and drugs. Less pain.

How many times have we seen in a pre-primal session the patient pound the wall and cry in anger, “I hate you. I want to kill you!” This releases some of the pressure and can prevent killing. It can then lead the patient to the real need and feeling of not getting it. You cannot get there if you are not immersed inside the feeling. Feeling the need with all one’s body is the best antidote. Releasing rage in a benign way is obviously preferable to releasing it on the unsuspecting. The force of the rage may be childhood neglect. It is forceful because lack of love as an infant and young child is devastating. To compound the pain his girlfriend gave her love to someone else. If we put all this in its original context we could understand the problem better; we would see that it isn’t enough to cry and scream; it has to be done in context, the early context; going back to that early need. It means going back to origins, and only the embedded feeling knows where that is. No one else can possibly know. Raoul would have to go back in time to what went wrong. It sounds banal, a cliché, but he needed a loving parent. There is no real life without it.

If that kind of terrible force were ruminating inside Raoul’s system and he could effectively hold them down with his internal painkillers he might well have ended up with cancer; a death sentence decreed by a system that could not release the pressure of pent-up feelings. He would pay one way or the other. Catastrophic pain often leads to catastrophic symptoms. It is one way we know how deep the imprinted pain is.

The heavier and earlier the pain the more deviation from normal there is in all domains, the blood vessel system, the neurologic/psychologic and physiologic. Some of us choose act-outs that are not so deadly. We stalk the exiting lover. We call her all of the time and plead. Then after she says, “no” enough the threats begin. It follows the primal sequence, without the act-out. We are desperate and plead, then furious that they did not love us, then hopeless again as we feel the utter pain of it all. And most important, afterward, relief.

If we could have learned in school about how to gain access to our feelings some of us would not be so helpless before rising feelings. There would not be an endless depression as a result of losing a lover. At least we would know what feelings were and how they force us to do crazy things. If we just took the act-outs of kids in class and used them as a platform for discussing feelings and how they drive us, we would be so much better off.

Raoul had to die because he could not feel, “there is no more hope. It is the end of the line.” He had acted-out his rage and there was nothing more he could do. He was reared by a stepfather with plenty of problems between them. A stepfather is never what a father means to a child. The reality is how he really felt. Feelings rarely lie. No one is going to love him. He kills and then kills himself; such a classic denouement. We hate parents for not loving us and treating us so badly, and then we sense all is hopeless. Somehow, rage keeps the hope alive: “Why don’t you love me!” Once he kills that is the end of it. Raoul’s mother, not surprisingly, said he would be better off dead. How about, he would be better off being loved. Raoul needed to get help early on. And what that means is not soporifics and rationales about his feelings. Not pills to push down his feelings. Not cognitive ideas to explain and change his feelings. He needed to feel all of his terrible deprivation; he needed to experience and feel his feelings; that is getting help.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Avoiding Murder (rewritten)


There is a story in the press today about Raoul Moat. He just killed himself after a police chase for over a week. Before this final confrontation he managed to wound his ex-girlfriend and a policeman, and to kill her boyfriend. Just before he killed himself, as the police were closing in, he said, “I had no dad and nobody cares about me.” To me that is the beginning of a primal. He was sure it was “their” fault that he suffered. Maybe if the police could have said, “We care about you, Raoul,” it would have helped, and maybe not. But instead of shooting him there are options if we only we consider them. One option is to let the family talk to him and express their caring, which the police seemed not to allow. While the dialogue was going on Raoul was holding a shotgun to his chin. His brother told the police that Raoul was having a nervous breakdown. That is an old notion to explain that his defenses were breaking down; in a way, there was a breakdown, and it involved nerves but it was the defense system that was crashing. Let me explain.

When we hurt early on, and that means in infancy, at birth and even before we have a defense system that hurries to contain the pain. For every major trauma there seems to be an equal and opposite defensive force to contain the pain. I call this defense system the gating system. Those familiar with my writing understands that defenses are abetted by biochemical means where neurotransmitters are secreted by the brain into the gap between cells so that the message of pain cannot travel to high centers, enabling us to remain unconscious. We humans usually manage to hold down our most painful feelings by a neurologic system that was built for it. The greater the pain the earlier in evolution (ontogeny=personal evolution) it occurred because it is in the first weeks of life in the womb that life-threatening events occur; mother is depressed or anxious, takes drugs or drinks alcohol and is not careful with her diet. As life goes on there is a compounding of pain due to parental neglect, indifference and not caring. The gates again shut to hold down the feelings/pain. But sometimes life deals such harsh blows that the gates crack or weaken; the result is that there aren’t enough repressive chemicals such as serotonin in the synapse to keep repression going.

In Raoul’s case there was the lack of a loving father, and love is love, when it is missing there is a “hole” in the person and a constant need for fulfillment. Raoul was only speaking the truth when he said he was not loved. But that alone would not lead him to murder unless, unless, there was an old pain/need below the current situation; something that might have been overwhelming even while living in the womb of mother. The current rejection, then, can activate earlier pre-verbal pains so that the combined traumas weaken the gating system. The boyfriend had to die because he symbolized the hopelessness of Raoul ever being loved again. He took away the only person with whom there was hope for love.

There is nearly always a compounded feeling and need behind violence. Otherwise, there is disappointment, terrible hurt; hurting a lot, but not murder. Rage is organized deep in the brain and it is that rage which is galvanized and incorporated into the anger in the present. What is compounded is a feeling of abandonment, of great neglect and indifference and, in general, a lack of touch, caress and hugs; in short, a lack of love. Some lose love, go into despair and then find God. They have been saved, saved by the idea of God, unless we really think he comes out of wherever he is and literally lends a hand. But the reaching out for God is hope again to be loved, even this time only in fantasy. Others start to feel the pain and reach for the bottle. Still others may reach for the neck of the departing lover and strangle her. But what they all have in common that makes the act-out obligatory is the reawakening of early deprivation by a current situation. Rejection gives it power. Raoul killed the only person who could, he imagined, make him feel loved again. Someone who could bandage the wound. Someone who could stop his suffering. But his violence ensured that would never happen. The act-out is always a symbol of the real feeling. The fact that Raoul was a bouncer in a club gives us an idea that he might choose a violent way of acting-out.

It is rare to get such a precise indication of the problem. Raoul felt unloved. When his girlfriend left it set off the feeling; and when she went with someone else, the “crime” was complete. It was clear that he had lost her. There was no more hope. Without help, he could not know that he was in a feeling of hopelessness, nor could he know that he was acting out a feeling. So long as his ex was single there was hope. Once she went with someone else hopelessness set in. The needs and feelings have to go somewhere. His faulty gates allowed an upsurge of a lifetime of emotional deprivation. It saturated his perceptions so that he was lost and enmeshed in feelings. His feelings were explosive; he tried to deal with them in the only way possible; directing them outward, projecting the source of his pain toward others. Had he been able to repress, had his internal repressive system been adequate to the task, he might have later develop cancer because of the massive shutdown required for such overwhelming pain. The system will always pays the price for no love. He was acting out in deadly fashion. My guess is that had he been able to feel at that moment about the hurt inside him he might not have started his rampage. But it was all too overwhelming. It is one thing to feel unloved in our childhood; it is quite another to be totally rejected as an adult, compounding one’s latent feeling. Someone like Raoul has no idea what that current situation had triggered off.

His feelings were of lack of love; the fact that it was his father whom he needed was almost beside the point. He was feeling terribly unloved irrespective of who did it or did not. His gates were blown because we all have just so much gating capacity. His pain exceeded that capacity. So instead of feeling, “I am not loved. There is no more chance of love. Love me, please daddy!” He started shooting. He lost his hold on reality; that is, he was inundated by another (imprinted) reality. He began shooting because he had no access to what he was feeling. Yet the feelings had access to him; that is, they were surging up from the lower depths because his past and present coalesced so that he could no longer repress them. When pain mounts above our defensive structure we suffer. And Raoul suffered and wanted others to suffer too. His defenses were no match for years of neglect.

If we could have got to him earlier we would have him discuss his girlfriend leaving, the new boyfriend, and then once locked into the beginning of “I feel unloved. Dad never loved me. I need a daddy,” he could go back and beg for that love. Fervently begging for love is what would have allowed him to feel the deprivation. Raoul could not do that; he had no idea there was someplace to go. He was then faced with the hopelessness of it again. If the patient doesn’t beg with every fiber of his being he can never feel the depths of the rejection. I am rounding it out for simplicity’s sake but obviously, it is not that simple. What I have omitted to point out is that when terrible feelings are involved we need someone there to support us. We can only terribly alone when we have someone close to attenuate the pain and make it feelable. We can only feel alone when we are not alone. Raoul could not feel unloved in the past so long as he was rejected and unloved in the present. It was all too much.

The principle is that simple; to feel your pain and resolve it leads to the integration of feeling and the extirpation of the pain. Once Raoul killed he had no place to go. The difference in our therapy is that once the patient has pounded the walls and expressed her hate she does have somewhere to go: deeper into the feeling; the need below the rage. It is need that engenders the pain of deprivation. It was then on the eve of being captured that he confessed, “I was not loved.” He made his primal statement without being able to feel it. That was his major statement to the police, as if to say, that’s the reason I acted-out. They were about to shoot him when he did it himself. It is too bad he could not have felt that before he began his rampage. We have seen it many thousands of times so that we consider now a primal law. We have measured patients in many ways after having primals (a total reliving of an early trauma) from neurologic to the physiologic; from the immune response to the neurochemistry, and have consistently found resolution and a significant change in key indices of normalcy. For example, we have measured stress hormone (cortisol) levels in patients after one year of therapy and found a considerable drop in stress levels. It is a high level of stress hormones that also play a part in acting-out. It means that the memory/trauma is exerting a constant force against the defense system. And after one year of therapy there is considerably less acting-out of our patients; less exhibitionism, less overeating, less alcohol and drugs. Less pain.

How many times have we seen in a pre-primal session the patient pound the wall and cry in anger, “I hate you. I want to kill you!” This releases some of the pressure and can prevent killing. It can then lead the patient to the real need and feeling of not getting it. You cannot get there if you are not immersed inside the feeling. Feeling the need with all one’s body is the best antidote. Releasing rage in a benign way is obviously preferable to releasing it on the unsuspecting. The force of the rage may be childhood neglect. It is forceful because lack of love as an infant and young child is devastating. To compound the pain his girlfriend gave her love to someone else. If we put all this in its original context we could understand the problem better; we would see that it isn’t enough to cry and scream; it has to be done in context, the early context; going back to that early need. It means going back to origins, and only the embedded feeling knows where that is. No one else can possibly know. Raoul would have to go back in time to what went wrong. It sounds banal, a cliché, but he needed a loving parent. There is no real life without it.

If that kind of terrible force were ruminating inside Raoul’s system and he could effectively hold them down with his internal painkillers he might well have ended up with cancer; a death sentence decreed by a system that could not release the pressure of pent-up feelings. He would pay one way or the other. Catastrophic pain often leads to catastrophic symptoms. It is one way we know how deep the imprinted pain is.

The heavier and earlier the pain the more deviation from normal there is in all domains, the blood vessel system, the neurologic/psychologic and physiologic. Some of us choose act-outs that are not so deadly. We stalk the exiting lover. We call her all of the time and plead. Then after she says, “no” enough the threats begin. It follows the primal sequence, without the act-out. We are desperate and plead, then furious that they did not love us, then hopeless again as we feel the utter pain of it all. And most important, afterward, relief.

If we could have learned in school about how to gain access to our feelings some of us would not be so helpless before rising feelings. There would not be an endless depression as a result of losing a lover. At least we would know what feelings were and how they force us to do crazy things. If we just took the act-outs of kids in class and used them as a platform for discussing feelings and how they drive us, we would be so much better off.

Raoul had to die because he could not feel, “there is no more hope. It is the end of the line.” He had acted-out his rage and there was nothing more he could do. He was reared by a stepfather with plenty of problems between them. A stepfather is never what a father means to a child. The reality is how he really felt. Feelings rarely lie. No one is going to love him. He kills and then kills himself; such a classic denouement. We hate parents for not loving us and treating us so badly, and then we sense all is hopeless. Somehow, rage keeps the hope alive: “Why don’t you love me!” Once he kills that is the end of it. Raoul’s mother, not surprisingly, said he would be better off dead. How about, he would be better off being loved. Raoul needed to get help early on. And what that means is not soporifics and rationales about his feelings. Not pills to push down his feelings. Not cognitive ideas to explain and change his feelings. He needed to feel all of his terrible deprivation; he needed to experience and feel his feelings; that is getting help.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On Avoiding Murder



Raoul Moat (left) with his brother
There is a story in the press today about Raoul Moat. He just killed himself after a police chase for over a week. Just before he killed himself, as the police were closing in, he said, “I have no dad and nobody cares about me.” To me that is the beginning of a primal. He shot his ex-girlfriend and a policeman, killing her boyfriend, instead of feeling the pain. He was sure it was “their” fault that he suffered. Maybe if the police could have said, “We care about you, Raoul,” it would have helped, and maybe not. But instead of shooting him there are options if we only we consider them. That is what police negotiators are for. Killing is what those do who cannot feel. Feeling is what those do who react properly before killing. How many times have we seen in a pre-primal the patient pound the wall and cry in anger, “I hate you. I want to kill you!” This prevents killing. It is the best antidote.

Raoul lost his last chance at love when his girlfriend left and began a romance with someone else. That was the trigger. So instead of feeling, “I am not loved. There is no more chance of love; love me, please!,” he started shooting. He began shooting because he did not know that he was into old feelings of deprivation and he had no access to what he was feeling. He was acting out in deadly fashion. My guess is that, had he been able to feel at that moment, he might not have started his rampage. This is all theory now but it points to a current societal problem. Some lose love, go into despair and find God. They have been saved, saved by the idea of God, unless we really think she comes out of wherever she is and literally lends a hand. Others get into feeling and reach for the bottle. Still others, all too often, reach for the neck of the departing lover and strangle her. But what they all have in common that makes the act-out obligatory is the reawakening of early deprivation. Otherwise there is no violent act-out. But when a lover leaves and it reawakens mother leaving the family early on, there is a compounded feeling which has incredible strength. Without help, without knowing one is acting out a feeling, the only alternative is the act-out.

But if we discussed feelings in class at school, if we learned about the act-out and the necessity for access to our feelings, some of us would not be so helpless before rising feelings. At least we would know what feelings were and how they force us to do crazy things. Raoul had to die because he could not feel, “there is no more hope. It is the end of the line. I have acted-out my rage and there is nothing more I can do.” We kill and then we kill ourselves; such a classic denouement. We hate them for not loving us and treating us terribly and then we sense all is hopeless. His mother, not surprisingly, said he would be better off dead. How about, he would be better off being loved. He was reared by a stepfather with plenty of problems between them. A stepfather is never what a father means to a child.

Some of us choose act-outs that are not so deadly. We stalk the exiting lover. We call her all of the time and plead. Then after she says, “no” enough we get threatening. It follows the primal sequence, without the act-out. We are desperate and plead, then furious that they did not love us, then hopeless again as we feel the utter pain of it all.
Raoul needed to get help early on. And what that means is not a bunch of soporifics and rationales about his feelings. Not pills to push down his feelings. Not cognitive ideas to explain and change his feelings. He needed to feel all of his terrible deprivation; he needed to experience and feel his feelings; that is getting help.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Timetable of Feelings


There has been an apotheosis of the thinking cortex in most current psychotherapies. The idea is when you change your ideas and beliefs thefeelings will follow suit. It is not the case; quite the contrary. The limbic system, particularly the amygdala has many more
neural pathways, hence more influence, to the neocortex than the reverse. Ideas and beliefs are weak arms to battle feelings; remember our feelings are important survival mechanisms and should be permanently strong. They should not be easily turned off in by ideas. In psychotherapy we need to pay closer attention to the structure and function of our brains so that we don’t concoct sham theories. Insights are not the powerful weapon we once thought they were. In fact, the major part of the twentieth century psychotherapy relied on insights as the principal focus. Feelings were too often neglected; again thinking that ideas could control and change feelings. What we need is a proper balance between thinking and feelings. We cannot have runaway feelings or cemented-in ideas that refract feelings. When a psychotherapy has ideas as its principle mode of operation there is bound to be an imbalance.

Animals can feel without attached ideas. But in humans, feelings have an ideational, comprehension counterpart that helps integrate the feeling. But we should not confuse ideas about feelings with the feelings themselves. A therapist who tries to “correct” a patient’s feelings is dissuading a biologic/feeling memory. Neurotic ideas are deviated based on historic feelings of the person. They are in line with feelings; only an outsider can diagnose them as deviated or neurotic. He can do this because he cannot easily see buried feelings that drive the beliefs. When the therapist and patient see and understand the feelings, the ideas will no longer be considered aberrant. But those feelings drove deviated ideas for survival. It is not whimsy or caprice that one chooses ideas. In fact, ideas are chosen by the feeling, not the reverse. “I hate women,” is one idea that a person can have due to a harridan mother who smothered her child. He hates his mother and then generalizes to all women. He is generalizing early experience and feelings with his mother. Hating women is our carte d’ entrée, allowing us to probe deeper. Once we lock-into the patient’s hate and then allow the patient freedom to express and feel it, he will automatically be taken back to origins of the feeling. And there lies integration and resolution. Comprehension is the last stage in the experience of a feeling.

When a patient begins to resolve a long-standing feeling (imprint) she has been liberated. When we rely on the therapists’ comprehension of what the patient may be feeling, all is lost. If the therapist talks more than the patient all is really lost; there is no hope of a cure. If the patient is feeling, she has greater involvement of more brain systems than with insights or ideas. It is deeper and more profound. For that we need a therapist who has access to her deep unconscious. For therapists who spend years perfecting the intellectual side of psychology to the detriment of feeling, it is a daunting task.

In our psychotherapy we help the patient to take the general and reduce it to the specific (hate women, hate mother), From this we can produce general laws that apply to a broad band of individuals, hence helping those others to feel, integrate and resolve. All patients need to experience a feeling and integrate it. Most all of us have the same brain system. There is no other way to produce a cure for neurosis; no shortcut to health. But to state that we must understand the role of ideas and feelings in our ancient history and in the history of the evolution of the brain. And when a patient abreacts and does not feel completely we can be sure there will be no progress. We have a very large feeling brain system; we cannot ignore it in a psychotherapy and help the patient to get better. I should add that the only time an insight can help is when the patient does not have sufficient access to his comprehending brain and needs help; that is not often. Some people really do need to enlarge their thinking capacity to help control metastized feelings. I am thinking of habitual impulsive-laden behavior. In any case, feelings generate brain states, not the opposite, at least not in the way I am discussing it. If we want to expand consciousness we all must feel what lies in the subconscious. When we become conscious of the unconscious we are on the road to health. I did not say “aware,” because awareness without feeling is just another belief system. Awareness is simply
gobbled up by the top level cortex and lies impotent in the brain. “You know you’re acting impulsively all of the time?” I know, but now what?

As I note elsewhere, when the patient is locked-into a feeling, history will present itself. When she is engulfed by rage we know that the origin is first line where rage began its life. When the vehicle of feeling begets anger we know that we may be dealing with events later in childhood. When the patient is triggered by mild fear in a session into terror we know it is first line in origin. When her feelings lead to fear we know there is a limbic/feeling origin, and it is there that we must focus. We cannot skip evolutionary steps and help the patient. We cannot ignore the deep feeling because it is there and needs to be experienced, but in a correct biologic timetable. If she is locked-into anger and then rage in a session we need to take the feeling with the least valence to work on. It is that lesser powerful feeling that has the best chance of resolution and integration. Taking a feeling (rage) out of evolutionary order in a session usually results in overload and lack of integration. Ours is not a theory of random psychological states but of a hierarchy of integrateable feelings. Rage and terror tells us where to focus a patient. It unerringly turns us to the page we must address and to the era where it all began.
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