Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On Saving Lives

There was a piece this summer from BBC News and other scientific sources about a  new therapy to help in the fight against cancer. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18874083).
It has to do with part of the immune system known as Natural Killer Cells  (NK cells).  These cells I have written about for years because they seem like advanced leaders looking out for the appearance of newly forming cancer cells;  hurrying over to attack them, destroy and devour them.  They are very important.  And what is even more important is that we have found a  way to increase their presence and their fighting force. Thus, we may have found a way to help in the fight against cancer.  I say "MAY" because these are always complex issues that we don't want to oversimplify.

  But let's look at the evidence.  The new therapy goes under the name of immunotherapy, and the theory is direct and simple: there isn't enough NK cells in the cancer patients to fight off the disease.  So the scientists decided to infuse additional NK cells into the patient's system.  Initial reports seem favorable.  It seems as though our bodies produce adequate amounts of killer cells to combat ordinary assaults, but somehow  some of us do not manufacture enough.
I will offer my perspective which is that very early in our lives, especially womb life, there are traumas that overtax our immune capacity; in fact there is not enough to combat that specific challenge  for that specific trauma. The trauma during womb-life may alter the set-points for NK cell production for a lifetime.  This is particularly so  when the immune system is forming and the set-points for immune function are established for a lifetime.  We do know that this is true for many hormones such as cortisol.  In a sense, the immune system has been compromised and remains defective and insufficient to do its job.  Thus, it may be that as new cancer cells are first forming, there is not enough warriors to fight off the carcinogen.  Malignancies will remain uncontrolled.  So it would make sense to add to the mix something that enhances NK production.

  There may be another way to accomplish this.  We did a double blind study of NK cells at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London some three decades ago.  We found enhanced production of NK cells after one year of our therapy.  It was a significant change and it allows us to consider that what we do is buildup a anticancer force in our patients.

  So here is the question:  what is it about our therapy that changes NK cells in patients?  I believe that when patients go back to womb-life (explained in my Life Before Birth), they enter into the epoch of  development when many hormones were beginning their evolution.  It is again a chance to go back and undo and redo history, as strange as that may sound.    In reliving that time  we are able to normalize distorted and dislocated function.  We can, in short, change history.  And in this sense we produce NK cells that are prolific and strong enough to do the job they were intended to do.  We "right" the system and make it stronger.
It is why, in my opinion,  mentally healthy people should suffer a lot less cancer.  There are many contributing factors here, not the least of which is the reduction  of stress hormone levels at the same time.  What we do in our therapy is therefore reduce the strength of foreign intruders while building up the standing army. We go to the source of the problem: how the system was compromised at the beginning.  The memory of that traumatic event forced a permanent dislocation of functions.  The imprinted trauma  keeps the dislocation  alive as if the danger was always there and imminent.  Therefore the system is reacting, perhaps, to a mother who is and was chronically anxious and stressed.  It seems as if the system "used up" its supplies of NK cells.  And the set-points were set lower than they should have been.  This is no different from the case of serotonin.  We manufacture our own but early on, traumas can compromise its production so we manufacture less.  And the set points are changed to lesser levels, as well.  When our patients relive very early experiences their serotonin production normalizes, as well.


  1. It's interesting that one of my cousins in her forties suddenly found herself getting divorced due to her husband having had an affair. She then developed breast cancer. She is very sweet but not exactly demonstrative with her feelings. Kind of shut down. For decades the medical establishment has talked about the cancer personality as someone who finds it difficult to express difficult emotions such as anger and also tended to have a difficult relationship with their Parents. Obviously this difficult relationship could have started well before birth as a stressed and anxious Mother is also going to be dictatorial in her child rearing so compounding what started in the womb. Such a Mother is going to alienate her already emotionally distant husband for example. A friend recently became a Father and he and his wife visited some birthing classes run by a well known and enlightened birthing charity. The tutor made a point of telling the Mothers that they needed their husbands support so should make sure they did not alienate them by being domineering and bossy once they were Mothers. The very same charity advocates a great deal of touch and connection with the baby from the start.

    I think that the very same media who are not exactly positive towards PT and would rather place people in little boxes labeled "Extrovert" and "Neurotic" (the replacement for introvert it would seem) are also going to avoid any mention that how we are treated in childhood can have a profound effect on the development or not, of cancer in later life. Thus something which has been recognised for decades is just pushed under the carpet.

    1. Hallo Planespotter!
      I am unsure if there is a cancer personality type because I had a lovely outgoing friend very outspoken, expressive of anger not bottling it up, loving and lovable who died last year from it. I had it in my late twenties in the mid 1970's but think it may be genetic for my mother died from it in 1958 and my aunt (her sister) and also my sister died from it in 2000. My dad also had throat cancer though it's not what he died from. It's a frightening thing for there is no pain with it so it can live without you knowing it until it might be too late to deal with it when it is too bad to be treatable. The only sign is a growing lump which I had across my thyroid.

    2. Anonymous: I am in touch with scientists doing cutting edge research in cancer and I will report on it from time to time. art

    3. Hi Anonymous

      I am sorry to hear that your family seem to have been hit by cancer so hard. Life is'nt fair!

      I am sure there are all kinds of issues with regard to cancer. It's a complex business and many vageries come to play. I have an uncle who has had a number of strokes and bowel cancer. He's a great guy but not someone who expresses his anger or emotion very much though is kind. This is a double whammy for him if you consider Art's suggestion that often that it is sympaths who get heart disease and parasympaths who often get cancer (I hope that is the right way round). I only see it from a layman's point of view and a lot of reading. I am reading the biology of love at the moment and finding it another fascinating and enlightening read. Art describes how stress can bring on cancer. Maybe someone can be an extrovert and be outgoing and still be stressed and so have a deminished immune system unable to mop up developing cancer cells.

    4. Hallo planespotter!
      Thanks for your comments. I have a guess you are right about the stress factor. I also wonder if LACK OF LOVE might cause this particular disease. It wouldn't surprise me if it did.
      Good luck with your primal therapy this autumn. I hope it works out well for you. I really do!I have found a lot of your comments on these blogs extremely interesting.

  2. Hi planespotter,

    -"She is very sweet but not exactly demonstrative with her feelings. Kind of shut down"-.

    My ex was a bit like your cousin until she became brainwashed by her feminist psychosynthesis psychotherapist. She has put on a personality mask that looks effective but in my opinion is not real; or at least not based on firm footings. Not based on recovery of Primal Feelings.

    Firstly though, if I'm to be ruthlessly honest with myself, I have to admit that I was the extrovert narcissist in our relationship and getting dumped by the (codependent) woman I loved was a sort of inevitability, perhaps even necessary for me. Nevertheless I genuinely doubt the basis of my ex partners' transformation. It seems to me that she has a 'new coat' and mistakes that for greater freedom.

    I may be the one to get sick first but sometimes when I see her to collect or return our daughter I look at her and wonder how long she can keep the lid on and what that pressure must be doing to her. . . She has bought a bit of time dumping me and acting out the confident independent female. . .
    I am over the worst of my fixation with her but actually I often wonder who her friends really are. . . not her mother, not really her sister, not really the other 'cognensi' women she hangs out with. . . She hasn't really changed at all but she believes she has. . . When her guard's down sometimes she looks at me with the lost gaze of the little girl us 'alpha males' (now over the hill) fall for and I just know it's all an act.

    What is this act doing to her physiology?

    Paul G.

    1. Hi Paul

      I am just reading through "The Biology of Love" and at the top of page 39 Art says "If our accesss to our internal, feeling self is cut off, chances are we will be more suggestible to outside ideas, even about ourself. Instead of being connected to lower brain centres and paying attention to them, the cortex listens to the brain centres of others and follows suit. Other's ideas are allowed to dominate"

      I reckon so many people are like that that society thinks it is normal. Perhaps then your ex's shrink has been able to persuade her quite eaily maybe that she is ok and she has loads of friends who back her up. I am sure deep down all kinds of shit is hitting the fan!

    2. Thanks planespotter,

      I hope you,re wrong because the truth of your rightness is much more frightening than my own paranoia. . . If I were just paranoid and these so called friends were actually behaving like friends rather than (as you say) merely 'backing her up' then I could take a sigh and laugh at myself.

      The problem for me is in the way these so called friends have frozen me out of their lives and frozen out me and my son and grandson from all of our relations with my children together. IE: my son/grandson and I have been cut out by all of them. These are all 'New Age' types and aught to know better than this. My eyes are so wide open now.

      I hope all goes well with you.

      Paul G.

    3. Hi Paul

      I read somewhere that coercively brought up men tend to be violent and coercively brought up women tend to ostracise and isolate people.

      Alcoholics tend to gather with other alcoholics, heroin users with other heroin users, dysfunctional families with other dysfunctional familes. I suppose we join the group who most fits our rules whether we are aware of them or not. Therefore maybe when someone like you or me decide to heal and get well we are in sense shouting that the King is naked and not everyone wants to know, as it would remind them of their own pain. Better to cast the honest one and carry on happily lying to each other. After all what is God but the lie told by one very large group.

      I have been cut off by some of my family for the same reason. It's bloody lonely getting well sometimes.

      And while not wanting to sound like I have a God complex but the whole story of Christ is about one man being too honest for his own time and being crucified for his belief in equality etc. Is'nt the second coming when society is ready to be honest with itself which obviously is'nt now. One can be crucified socially for doing the same thing.

      Good luck to you, your Son and Grandson

  3. Is there a "cancer personality"? I see all kinds of personalities getting cancer. I had a friend, only for a short while though, who died of breast cancer in early January 2011. She certainly did not find it difficult to express her emotions, positive or negative.

    We met and got acquainted in a group for depressed people that was held in the summer of 2010. I have to add, though, that because of circumstanses she was living with her mom, and living with your mom when you're 40 is probably not ideal. Especially in this case, because she had to hide her depression from her mom; the mom was the kind who would see depression as a weakness, or laziness, and not a real illness. So she probably had to do a lot of repressing... her breast cancer was in remission but came back with force in the fall/early winter of 2010.

    I guess my question (to planespotter, but also to Art Janov, and anyone else really) is: what is a cancer personality?

  4. Anonymous1 Not even one of all the cancer victims I have heard of
    in my family and strangers had a "cancer personality"...
    On the contrary most of them were ordinary well adjusted...
    in it`s broadest sense,people.
    Thanks to The LORD... me with my constant tension etc pp.
    am in this respect well.(till now at least9
    I suppose because I try at least to follow a bio-logic!!1
    Yours emanuel

  5. I'm curious as to whether having been resolving 2nd line pain for decades as well as 1st line consisting of having my throat cleared at birth to resuscitate breathing changes NK cells?. My body then goes rigid and I re-experience (or experience for the first time)dying at birth ie "no air." This has gone on for years but my defenses only allow the 1st line "permission" to go into this periodically. My body knows what to do and I trust it. So, regarding NK cells, does primaling only benefit changes in patients that go back to womb-life? Many of us will never in our lives even resolve 1st line pain at birth much less in the womb so while the theory holds it does not change the fact that even after resolving a lifetime of childhood pain, do primal patients have a better shot at warding off cancer than if we had not done therapy ?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I have wondered this too, in regard to the disease effect of 1st line trauma and also whether 2nd line Primalling does actually, eventually lead to 1st line Primalling.

      Obviously without the clinic we are adrift with a broken rudder.

      My personal feeling from gaining some relief from deep crying in 3rd, 2nd, and a bit of 1st line pain is that there must be some reduction in the pressure. Art keeps saying it is the 'pressure' that eventually destroys the cell DNA. Layman that I am, that's exactly what it feels like to me after a deeply felt pain. Gone is the pressure.

      Paul G.

    2. Anonymous: I will write more on this very soon. art

  6. Just some feedback to you bloggers (and Art!) after 9 mths pretty well continuous intensive therapy at the Primal Center. I'm a very left-brain, typically repressed English guy. Art says being English is almost a diagnosable condition, which I agree with. it took me 6 mths before I could even cry, and even then I needed help from medication. But I can tell you Art's primal therapyis just like it says on the can (and in the books). I got as far as a couple of second line primals, that were incredible in the the degree of feeling of being in the past (traumatic 65 yr old memories being relived now are quite something).

    I work with all his current therapists, some of whom are trainees. I would recommend any of you that go not to get hooked on one therapist, a clinical group like that, that collaborates on your case must be pretty well unique in the psychotherapy world. They are all extremely experienced and well trained. And supportive. They work hard at helping you lower your defences so you can feel. And they don't give up, no matter how strong your defences are. My vital signs show a clear pattern of normalising, even after a stroke 4 yrs ago.

    I've come back to all the problems in relationships and triggers that were there before I went, but I recognise I'm dealing with them differently. I've been in a real bad feeling for days but eventually this morning went and screamed into a pillow then went and told someone how much the way they treated me annoyed me. Then later I connected that that was how I was treated as a child. And I've felt great (light) the rest of the day. That's the primal process at work, and the tools that Art's therapy has given me. Priceless.

  7. Tony Riley,

    A few days ago I was in the memories of when my dad died. It was at the hospital where I promptly went after a call from my brother.
    Once there… I saw how my father fought for his life... how he tried to hold on... how he was in a terrible panic to get air.

    A few minutes after my arrival… my father died.

    In memory of this… I am back where I saw dad fight for his life... hopelessly struggling... and he left me forever.

    DADDY… a feeling impossible to describe... a feeling of all was lost... all that never was... a loneliness “together” with my dad... dad who never was there for me.

    Yours Frank

  8. Hi Tony,

    -"I would recommend any of you that go not to get hooked on one therapist, a clinical group like that, that collaborates on your case must be pretty well unique in the psychotherapy world"-.

    I feel very uplifted by this. I cannot see how the best results (for the resolution of a complicated problem) are achieved by the intervention of only one individual 'expert'.

    I'm not saying there are never situations that one expert person can deal with effectively but I'm suspicious of efforts made by only one person.

    Perhaps I shouldn't compare therapy with carpentry but I'm frightened to death of making important decisions without cross reference to other peoples' opinions and their 'quality control' intervention.

    I love working in a team. . . further more if I were the 'problem' and my team were doing all that then I would feel part of that team. . . I imagine.

    Tony? Did you feel part of that team?

    Paul G.

  9. Off topic:

    I was just talking to my brother, Richard, and was reflecting on how absurd we all are. I was looking at all the people we both know and each of those people, without exception, works so hard to build their personal paradise. A wonderful, beautiful, backyard and home to live in. But it's all based on the fantasy picture we have in our minds that we will one day be able to actually live in it. That is, the idea that we can be happily idle and just relax and live a bit in our nice place. But we can't - and don't. We can never give up the struggle. Everyone is forever working, working, struggling, struggling to build a reality that our neurosis will never let us live in. When we sit in our backyard we find ourselves grinding away in our minds, never or rarely any true peace. All that massive expense and energy going into something that we can barely even, or ever, appreciate and truly enjoy. It's a bit of a cruel joke. (And I am no different myself of course. Just a different symbolic structure, in some ways).

    -And happy brithday, Art. 88 - doing well. I hope we get another 10 years or so out of you.

    1. Andrew: I want another 10 years too. thanks art

    2. Happy belated for the 21st Art, I hope you did something special &felt like it was your birthday
      Thank you for all you have done for us. You will surely live another decade
      I can't wait to meet you, next month!!! Jacquie xo

  10. Dr. Janov and all,

    “When our patients relive very early experiences their serotonin production normalizes, as well.”
    “On Saving Lives” came just on time. Thanks.

    With little left brain connection available, due to stress overload, I read the latest article on Natural killer cells (also known as NK cells, K cells, and killer cells) that are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and a component of the innate immune system. http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/n/natural_killer_cell.htm
    and “Putting together the psoriasis puzzle: an update on developing targeted therapies”, clinical trials with T-cell-targeted and cytokine-blocking therapies have clarified our understanding of the disease.

    The paper reveals in "Table 2. Psoriasis drugs currently under development” that research is only interested in finding pharmaceuticals to “cure” faulty T-cells and NK cells, not in repairing them (repairing used as a generalized expression for reliving very early experiences).
    Scrutinizing Table 2 in the article, I begin to understand why Primal Therapy is excluded. The financially powerful pharma- industry will never allow a “non-pharmaceutical” approach to survive.
    I wonder if the human being herself is of any importance to these pharmaceutical money making giants...

  11. You all are priceless...

    The last few weeks I’ve been avoiding the blog because I cannot connect to feelings. I’m driving on bare logic tires, just managing to function from one day to the next.
    Brave and reckless as I am, I read today some of the emotional entries – and here it is – the lost connection. Now feelings can turn again into words.

    Thank you Tony Riley for your entry.

    This blog has helped me more than the past 9 years cognitive therapy.
    thanks, Sieglinde

  12. Hi Paul - I responded briefly to your reply to my posting, but it hasn't appeared yet. Your posting helped me connect that I always want someone else to help (e.g. in a team). The dialectic of course being that I felt terribly alone as a kid, and probably as a baby (I was left alone in a cot for a week after birth, with brief returns to my mother in the day. The feeling came back to me again and again in my sessions. Any resonance there for you?

    Best wishes, Tony

  13. Hi Tony,

    I have found that there are so many positive stimuli on this blog that I am frequently moved to premature replies (brief or protracted) before my insight has had time to properly 'gel'. I suspect the old scrutinser (working alone without his team, - alas) at the receiving end of our impulses often waits until the insight has properly formed and then we reply with an updated version, the old scrutiniser publishes that instead. . . .

    Likewise and this is my considered version:

    Though I still have not raised the courage to look at my birth records, I do know that my mother had mastitis and I couldn't be breast fed. I also know she was 'torn painfully' by me being born 'face first'. I have what looks uncannily like five finger prints in my beard on either side of my face where the midwife pulled hard to get me out. Perhaps I was also in 'Twilight Sleep'. . . Maybe when I eventually get to reliving birth those finger prints will appear as bruises and maybe later the hair follicles will grow and fill the patches in my beard. . . who knows?. . . I also have a dreadfully clicky jaw on the left side and constant tinnitus in my left ear. . .

    I have always suffered terribly from feelings of 'Loss and Abandonment' I suspect I was put into an incubator. I also know I was sent away at the age of 2 or 3 when my mother was ill. She said "You were never the same again when you came back". . . such throw away remarks send a chill down my spine.

    I have suffered 'dissociated and lonely episodes' all my life and keep on choosing friends and partners who walk out, walk away, change their minds, dump the responsibility onto me and generally provide all the queues for me to feel loss and abandonment and loneliness all over again. I am utterly fed up of my powerlessness in the face of this chronic malaise and I have put a deadline on my arrival at the clinic.

    Somehow I have an exceptionally good credit rating at the bank and have finally found a way to make enough money at carpentry and probably found a way to run my business whilst in America. I have a promising mature trainee and a good relationship with my agent who provides workshop space for me at his sawmill yard.

    I am going to borrow the money to get to the clinic and sort out the debt later.

    I have to say things like this because the loss I feel is so crushing at times I feel like I'm going to die and writing down my firm intention for every one to see is my way of pinning my courage to the sticking place.

    Oh by the way, yes, 'English' (the nationality) is a diagnosable condition and I've certainly got it too. Thanks for the resonance and I'm not being sarcastic or ironic, it's uplifting to know another (older) Englishman can get somewhere from the clinic.

    Paul G.

    1. Paul: We do help out with those who are having trouble having enough money. art


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.