Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Transforming Feelings Through Resonance

This article was first published on June 1, 2009. I just want to run it again, as it is so important.

How do we transform sadness into depression? Anger into rage? Fear into terror? RESONANCE. The deeper we go in the nervous system the more unreasoned, out of control, impulsive feelings/sensations there are. For good reason. The deeper we go, down into the brainstem the more survival, animalistic, immediate reactions are elicited. Rage and terror are there to help us react quickly to save our lives. Also there is deep hopelessness (the basis for severe depression). It is all there and can be triggered off in the present through resonance. It seems to me that all basic feelings are held together through specific frequencies which unite such feelings as anger and rage. Rage and terror are the first line components of feelings that are triggered off, resonate, with/by current feelings which are far less severe. Nothing in the present is ordinarily meant to be terrorizing. Yet giving a speech can be just that. Why? Because when one’s childhood is ridden by constant lack of love and neglect and often hatred by parents, the defense system is weakened and resonance can go deeper without impediment because of weakened or leaky gates. Those early traumas when early and severe damage our ability to develop a good gating system.

So giving a speech elicits terror, which actually has nothing to do with what is going on in the present. But what is resonated with is real and tells us a lot about what lies down there in that primitive salamander brain. Is there an immediate life-threatening event? Often yes. A mother smoking or drinking or taking drugs. A pre-psychotic mother can do it due to her high levels of mobilizing chemicals. The excessive vital signs speak to us in the language of the body, and they tell us how severe the early event was. This is particularly true in psychotics. I treated a young man who was born on a marine base to parents who were divorcing. The mother abandoned him and he was reared thereafter by a father who was nearly always absent, sent to war zones. There was trauma after trauma, meaning no love.

The problem is that we often do not recognize the resonance factor and treat the top level as the problem. In cognitive/insight therapy the patient is convinced that there is nothing to be afraid of. Ay ay ay. There is a lot to be afraid of only we cannot see it. It is like anger management. We treat rage through top level cortical pleadings when the real rage lies sleepily but stealthily down deep ready to pounce. Here is where words are but a weak, weak weapon for dealing with it. We must understand resonance, for that is what we must treat. We must attack what we cannot see; the imprint that has been there for decades, something that will eventually give us cancer or a heart attack, and we will wonder why?

How can we be sure about all this? One way is through vital signs. We systematically measure all patients’ sessions before and after. As the resonance factor kicks in, we find that the deeper we go in the brain the greater the vital sign measures. So down in the brainstem where much of our birth trauma and prenatal trauma is registered is where we find the long slow-wave brain signatures in our patients as they approach the deeper levels. It is where we see blood pressure of 200 over 110, and of resting heart rate of over 100.

Thus, the terrific impact these very early imprints have is demonstrated every day in almost every session. A patient comes in very hopeless and depressed and her blood pressure is very low. Another comes in with great anger and his heart rate is exceedingly high. It is of a piece, and we literally see the contribution of each level of consciousness during the session. We rarely if ever find a patient down on the brainstem level without resonance. This alone should guide us in the therapy of those who are ridden by out-of-control impulsiveness.

Someone comes to a doctor with chronically very high blood pressure and they immediately give blood pressure medication. And they should offer medication. It must be controlled. In our therapy, we have an idea already of where the origins lie because we are a therapy of genesis, of genotypes, not phenotypes. In fact the phenotype (appearances) is one way to arrive at the genotype. If we suppress the phenotype with medication we can almost be sure the patient will not get well. We know very little of the minute details of a malady but we know a great deal about genesis. This tells us a great deal about the status of the gates, how leaky they are, how solid and impenetrable or refractory they are. As soon as the patient comes in her body is sending out information. If she is awash in first line input we know where we have to go in therapy. Either help her into the imprint or perhaps helping with the gating system through the temporary use of tranquilizers.

A new patient with very low blood pressure and body temperature already signifies parasympathetic excess. We may have to boost her vital functions for a time with energy boosters. We may have to offer something that enhances stress hormone output. As I have pointed out, in our therapy we attack the conductor of it all, not the individual players such as blood pressure or heart rate. And that is the difference between what we do and what other therapies do. We have an overview. We know the music and it often has no lyrics.


  1. What is significant to me is how the therapist must often administer help in the form of target drugs to boost or reduce certain signals and modify the gates. Trying to get to feelings is not something you can do on your own. It is not simple or easy from a patient’s standpoint. For a well trained therapist, it is fairly easy.

    What I would love to see more research into, is the possible relation between what is affected and where in the brain, vs what trauma causes it, as suggested by German New Medicine (GNM). In other words, not only can you tell about how weepy or weak gates might be, but perhaps there is a brain organization or other tell tale signs that might also point to what sort of trauma. GNM suggests that certain categories of trauma always affect the same regions the same way. This is a fascinating proposition.

    I know it is not necessary in order to treat someone, but it is still fascinating to know how many correlations there might be in us. Can our brains (scans, and similar) reveal what sort of traumas we are to find? Do diseases also reveal what sorts of traumas await to be felt?

    The possibility is that while certain frequencies may signal types of pain or locations, that locations also are indicative, and so are, possibly, types of diseases as indicated by GNM. So that what appears to be random illness and random behavior is not random at all. Its very specific and patterns will often be similar for common types of abuse. Specific Illnesses may often have a common cause or be a frequent cause. So much of what seems mysterious or random is possibly nothing of the sort.

    What I am at it, I might suggest at outside patterns in the world may also not be anywhere near as random or chaotic as they seem. If one digs down deep, one may find many relations not previously understood or perceived. I would suggest that this is the case.

    A healthy perfect mind, which none of us possess but could exist in theory, were conditions right, would seek understanding and search out anything interesting and our curiosity might be far stronger. It is not natural to not want to know. Life begs us to look more closely at it and unravel its mysteries, which once sought out and found, cease to be mysterious or invisible.

    There are those who would like to convince us that many things happen for nothing or are just coincidence. But this is one of those very big lies told to us so that we stop questioning and searching. Non-inquiring minds are preferred by those who want to control us. Hungry minds are the ones most feared.

  2. I thought I would offer some things I have found, that show how powerful chemicals can be and how supplying them can help boost defenses until one can obtain Primal therapy. Being likely a para-sympath, alertness and energy can be problematic at times. I find supplemental iodine/iodide and the amino acid Tyrosine very effective in boosting both to very comfortable levels of stimulation. One can overdo it as well so you have to find your optimal balance.

    As well, sometimes, there is more demand and usage internally than at other times. Some days, I might take only 250 mg of Tyrosine. There can be days where I will need 1000 mg. Average is around 500-600 mg. Iodine varies as well. I take a high dosage form called Iodoral. Sometimes a full tablet, sometimes a half.

    There are different types of sedative aminos and other nutrients I use as well. Tryptophan can help with sleep and used to affect me like a sledge hammer when I was say, 30. But its mild and I have to take much more now than then. 5HTP is a step closer to serotonin than Tryptophan and I use much less of it. I use to take 5 mgs and was fine. Its more like 20 or 25 now. 50 and 100 mg caps are common. I use a portion of 1 capsule.

    I could go on and on. But the point is that while primal pain wreaks havoc inside, many nutrients can offset a substantial amount of pain and physical/mental dysfunction. That is why science and thinking can do for you. When PT is finally available, then you can discuss what you do with the therapist so they can advise what to stop, reduce or increase to help.

    But governments have been hard at work to make all food components illegal. They have ruined our diets so that we can not think or function. they hate it when clever SOBs like me find a way around it all. The more you look at their not so subtle actions, the more you realize nothing happens by accident or ignorance. They really are out to get us all. And there is a reason for that as well. Bury your head in the sand only at your own peril.

  3. Art, i woke up last night. my heart was pounding. i was close to a dark feeling. i wanted to stay there for a while because i could sense the real world all around me. i started to think about some of your comments to other blog readers. immediately everything was clear and obvious. i could see the true meaning and your true intentions behind your words. you were saying things that any concerned person would say if they were feeling reality. you were coming from a good place, and i could sense the good place even though i was in a dark place. i could sense everything real.
    i have had this experience before and i wrote about it. i am glad that my brother has had this experience too. it's not a primal. it's just a spontaneous awakening into reality. i wish my right brain would switch on more often. i can put up with the racing heart. i am so dumb and so insane most of the time. i need to feel reality. whenever i do, i know it won't last for long. i know i will be distant from myself in the morning. gone again.....working hard in my numb illusion. i am in the numb illusion right now. i wish i could show people the difference. this is a VERY BIG DEAL people.
    the right brain is not half of your mind. it is not the occasional deep feeling. it is virtually ALL of YOU. it is HUGE. it's the look and sound and smell of the entire world. when you CAN feel....even when you are not feeling any particular are still feeling the entire world.

    it's a BIG BIG DEAL.

    Apollo!! Marco!! you guys are really stuck in your heads! everything you say has logical merit. SO WHAT. You are missing EVERYTHING

  4. Dr. Janov,

    I discussed the issue “Sublimation” a few days ago in a meeting with a therapist, after he told me that I have much positive energy.

    As a reference he gave the direction to Freud’s “Sublimation”

    The explanation:
    Childhood abuse/neglect results in anger and anger is redirected to a positive outcome.

    I argued: if most of the pain is solved, we will naturally generate positive energy.

    How would you argue about “Sublimation”?

    Thank you,

  5. Sieglinde: My next series on my blog will be a multi-part series on psychoanalysis. In there you may read about all that. AJ

  6. Richard,

    If we are not stuck in your head… it does not look as though primal therapy will ever be introduced to people who don’t know about it. There are hundreds upon hundreds who have undergone primal therapy… through Art's Center but none of them has made them self known for that one is willing to help even when we all live in a world that is suffering terribly. So…Richard ... maybe it's our chance to be in our heads so that we can react… so that the rest of humanity will learn about PT. With a bit of "hatred" we my can present the most important discovery mankind has ever done... it my not get done otherwise. Of cause we hope for help from Art.
    To me Richard I am surprised that not more is done… I tell you and all the rest of you… We can not lose a lawsuit ... if we do so… it is not completed correctly.


  7. An email comment: Dear Dr. Janov,

    In today's newspaper - fortuitously for me passed on by my neighbour.

    Mental Health Departments (globally) will kick themselves for not having sat up and taken notice of you Oh so very long ago.

    Serious though this is I found myself with derision laughing, and thinking GOOOOOOD MORRRRRNING!!!!!!!

    Pity they still have somethinggggsss to learn re the rest of the article.

    Pity about us still battling with depression, stress, anxiety, suicidal feelings and and and and and

    And getting nowhere fast.

  8. Frank, it is 100% legal for a court to rule in favour of flawed evidence.

    i watched a documentary recently;
    a humble stay-at-home mom was outraged when her friend was convicted of murder. the court ruling was based on ballistics evidence (scratches on bullets). the angry mom decided to study the evidence, and quickly pointed out an obvious flaw in their 'scientific' method. super-mom saved her friend's life and forced a rethink in the science of ballistics. for decades, this 'science' has been wrongly convicting murder suspects.

    'experts' are still trying to surgically remove bad feelings. they have been trying that method for thousands of years. the evidence is not conclusive. never has been. duh....
    their lawyers don't need real evidence.

    who will understand the difference between bogus evidence and real evidence? primal evidence is more complex than a bullet scratch, or a patient who doesn't cry any more.

    the world is stupid, Frank. don't fight it. build a new one.

    Primal Island. you can buy a cheap island in the pacific for a couple of million dollars. the cheap ones look like shit but that's only because coconuts don't make it to their shores. plant some coconut trees and you will have paradise. a new country. a new culture. a new legal system. Google Earth images would show an island of bikini-clad girls, and fit-looking guys. who would want to go to war against a country like that?

  9. There's so many people in the world today, if someone survives by "being in their head", and feels strong that way, what's wrong with that?Suppose they can't build a new life? A person who had gone through birth trauma may find it difficult to give a speech or oral report; for various reasons (but nothing can be pinpointed). When assigned to do so, he feels sick. The audience critizes the speaker for not having enough confidence, but he knows better. The speaker has been labeled as "shy" and untrustworthy throughout his life; neither of which he is. Even the classes on public speaking didn't help him much. In order for him to even speak before a group, he has to tell himself that he is not all the ludicris rumors, made up characteristics that some people think or say about him. He tries to get his defenses up and it's hard. He knows, in a way, that he would do much better if he just had arrived in a foreign town; where he is a stranger. His defenses are down and the pressure is too much. Probably after the report, he feels like it was a waste of his time because so many things were going through his mind at first. So he gets a bad start at first, one can only imagine how the rest of the speech went. He feels like he didn't do good and knows some primal therapy would help. So that is what a lot of people, myself included, have to keep in their minds; primal therapy can help.

  10. Well Richard,

    I am clearly retarded and it shows, doesn't it? ;-) but if you want me to reject evidence, logic, and reasoning in favor of "feelings," count me out now. Western society, our courts, and science are based upon the solid foundation of evidence since those attempt to discern and separate feelings and prejudices from what is reasonable from an objective point of view. Sorry that seems to escape you, a common problem with those who seem to favor PT. That concerns me significantly.

  11. Richard,
    How do you insulate yourself from a world that surrounds you? It sounds real nice but not very realistic. I agree the world is stupid and not possible to reform. But take the Amish for example. Despite no problems from within, a nearby neighbor killed a schoolhouse full of Amish girls. He had more sinister things in mind but lost control and just killed them. Amish are unusual in that they are neutral and even isolated and yet they represent no threat at all which causes the government to begrudgingly allow their isolation which allows them to school themselves and maintain a community when we have all lost it.

    But if ever the Amish became evangelistic, trying to spread their way of life around to others, you can bet that would change fast. We are watched far more closely than likely anyone here would believe. A good company carefully tracks and accounts for all money going in and out and every activity done in the company. Those who rule far more than a company do far more “accounting.” But many fear that so much that they simply go into denial and run and hide. Let each choose his own poison. Mine is my intellect; the enemy of all those who seek to dominate, rule, abuse, deceive, etc. I have never subscribed to the ignorance is bliss BS! Ignorance is a good was to get killed or at least shafted. I know. I have been that route before.

  12. Hi Richard,

    -"it is 100% legal for a court to rule in favour of flawed evidence"-

    Not only the courts but the rational thinking mind. As a defence against the triggering of internal pain by external cues the intellect can pick out sound-bites to reach a 'premature' conclusion.
    How many times have you tried to reason with some-one who is repressed and they persistently mis-interpret what you are saying in order to avoid the truth in your words?
    Worse still, anything you say can be written down and used as evidence against you! Thus is the rancour of so called 'reason'.

    I don't know about the American Criminal Prosecution System but there was a time in UK when you could walk into a Police Station, confess to a crime, be thrown in the cells and convicted the next month on the strength of your confession alone! No "evidence" needed.

    I'm probably exaggerating a bit there but I know now in UK all 'confessions' have to be tested against evidence and if necessary new evidence found or new evaluations made to be sure of the confession.

    This is part of the Scientific Method.

    1. Hypothesis.
    2. Experiment.
    3. Review.

    You have to go through this process at least three times to be sure of ones "convictions". . .
    Therefore 'Antithesis' is very important.

    Apollo, that's not the same as playing devils advocate! (which I admit I do to find out where peoples' defences lie and what colour they are).

    Tut, tut.

    Best Regards y'all.

    Paul G.

    (PS, I have some very good environmentally friendly, low carbon footprint designs for beach side cabins and I know most of the zero emission network on construction, so Richard, when you find that Island with International Planning Permission, consider this middle aged carpenter because I won't let you down).

  13. Coast7Guard: ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! art janov

  14. Apollo: Trust me that has nothing to do with primal. i don't know how that error crept into some readers. art janov

  15. hi Coast7Guard, Apollo and Paul

    there's nothing wrong with choosing to stay stuck in your head, but there is something wrong with being stuck in your head. i'm trying to give my limited perspective in the hope that you guys will wake up at night with a pounding heart. there's nothing wrong with choosing to take sleeping pills at night, but if you never wake up with a pounding heart, you might never start to see the true meaning of "ignorance is bliss"

    my cousin has drowned her feelings with drugs. for a while she seemed so close to seeing the IMPORTANCE of primal therapy. she started to see the size of her own feelings and how they were controlling her. now all hope is lost. i am not going to ignore her. ignorance is not bliss. i have to let her make her choice, and i have to continue with my own life. i want her to wake up with a pounding heart, and of course that's never going to happen now. when she was getting panic attacks, she was far more realistic. but panic attacks are horrific. nobody should ever let themselves experience full-blown panic attacks. we have to try to keep a balance between our beliefs, our medication, and reality.

    there's nothing wrong with Primal Island. it's not an exclusive cult. why do my words never seem to get through? it's an extension of the holidays that primal patients take together. i'm not suggesting we should shut out the world. i'm saying we should build a new one. it begins at the primal center, and could grow into a large, centralised community so that friends can spend more time together.
    the world is STUPID. i am trying to be realistic but I AM STUPID. WE ARE STUPID. the LAW is STUPID.
    feelings make us SMART. feelings lead us to realistic ideas. if harvard university had feelings, they would read my letters instead of burning their patient's brains. if I HAD FEELINGS i would have found a more realistic way to earn money. i should have earned the money to get primal therapy many years ago.

    THINKING without ASSUMING. i recommend it to all stupid people. especially my precious cousin. she is VERY STUPID.

  16. Hi everybody,

    In case of interest.
    I have uploaded the 3 latest articles and research paper on:

    1. Epigenetics and stress
    Baby blues
    A mother’s stress while she is pregnant can have a long-lasting effect on her children’s genes

    2. Transgenerational impact of intimate partner violence
    on methylation in the promoter of the glucocorticoid receptor

    3. Fascination violence: on mind and brain of man hunters
    Thomas Elbert • Roland Weierstall •
    Maggie Schauer


  17. Apollo are you a pilot? Primal Island needs someone to fly the ten-seater amphibious plane. We already have a coast guard and a builder. The primal therapists won't be torn away from their friends. their friends can come and live on the island too. They are old....they need the change of lifestyle.
    FREE accommodation to all first-year patients, and significantly reduced therapy fees due to the lack of overheads. food will be mostly imported by private boat. i know how to build a large, almost zero maintenance boat for a tiny fraction of usual boat prices. the amphibious plane is the most expensive asset at around a million dollars, but it would be a necessity.
    i know i know. i am five years old. maybe there is a grown up way to start a primal country.

  18. Richard, are you a boat-builder?

    I'm all washed up, dried out. Life is a beach and the tide has gone out. It's probably another tsunami. Give me a pile of timber and I will help with the re-fit/ re-build.

    Paul G.

  19. Richard,these communities have been there in the seventies,they all ended up or fell apart because of some kind of dictatorship.
    Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.

  20. Sieglinde: excellent thanks. art janov

  21. A facebook comment: "So beautiful: We know the music and it often has no lyrics; that is how I live. Every time I read your posts I learn something; often many things; new. This time reminded me of the importance of the role of the gating system, and-- how it's weakened by lack of love, leading to easier&greater resonance. Thank you Art xxx"

  22. Another facebook comment:
    "There are at least three neuro-physical healing processes which may be triggered by music. 1. Music is nonverbal so can move through the brain's auditory cortex directly to the center of the limbic system. This system governs emotional experiences and basic metabolic responses such as body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. It can help create new neuropathways in the brain, as well. 2. Music can activate the flow of stored memory and imagined material across the corpus collosum (bridge between left and right hemispheres of the brain) helping the two work in harmony. This stimulates the immune system. 3. Music can excite peptides in the brain and stimulate the production of endorphins, which are natural opiates secreted by the hypothalamus, which produces a feeling of natural euphoria, shifting mood and emotion."


Review of "Beyond Belief"

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

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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