Saturday, March 9, 2013

Information Is Not Knowledge

One of my colleagues, a brilliant neuroscientist has a great deal of information about the brain but not knowledge of it; that is, no deep understanding of what it all means.  Schools make this mistake a lot;  confusing learning and thinking with information.    They fill us with loads of memory facts about wars and their dates but never any real knowledge.  Like the cause of war, how to avoid them, etc.   Now in neurology, yes, it helps to know about the brain but how does that knowledge help human beings?   That question is not often asked in brain research: how can this knowledge help us understand ourselves and how can we devise therapies that will advance the treatment of mental illness.

  My case in point is that there are psychiatrists out there who have an intimate knowledge of the brain but promote therapies that do not emanate from that knowledge; as though the knowledge is compartmentalized and does not inform understanding.  Like the intellectual information stands apart from treatment.  So it is like two worlds apart, the intellectual and the emotional where the right and left brains never get together.  It is the exact mirror of neurosis. The two are barely held together so that information from the left side never makes it over to the right. In other words the right side preferences for therapy can exist as if there were no left side knowledge.  Thus one of the most brilliant professionals can teach psychoanalysis that has not a shred of proof and has long been outdated because it is concocted separate from neurologic understanding.    Yet another professional offers booga booga mindfulness therapy without once explaining how this merges with or evolves out of neurologic science.  The reason?     It doesn’t.

   In the same way that psychologists can construct elaborate theories about a therapy contradicting a good deal of brain science.   As though our psychology does not come out of the brain.  Not identical but close brothers who need each other, the brain and its psychology.

  I have met some of these brain scientists and I marvel how they manage to elude everything they know about the brain to tout certain schools of therapy.  But I shouldn’t be surprised since the therapies they adhere to come out of the feeling side which is twisted and turned by neurosis.  No they are not misinformed; they are compartmentalized.   So we have a feeling side that drives them to unreality while their left side knows better.  But if I know I shouldn’t smoke and still do what does that mean?  That one side cannot communicate and control the other.

  These doctors are largely repressed and live in their heads; emotions take a back seat.  So these theoretical constructions derive out of a repressed brain or a neglected one.   Feelings being neglected lead to theories sans feelings and without sense.  And each time they spout non-verifiable ideas that contradict what they know. Just as I know I should not drink (I don’t) but still do because my needs take precedence.  And because the two brains have not properly met.  They meet in our primal world and once they do we could not think of concocting a theory that leaves out half the brain.  A theory not based on facts.    Each professional has an opinion that may not be informed by knowledge, but rather by their history and emotional life, or lack of it.  Don’t forget why so many of us went into the psych dodge in the first place; to stay in our heads.  Don’t let the brain get in the way; just build hypotheses out of one’s neurosis.  It is safe and keeps the person in his comfort zone.  No intellectual is going to posit a feeling therapy when they do not feel; even though they think they do.  Yes they “think” they do  but that is a long trip from the right brain where they would know for sure.

  So we have a dilemma;  psychologists who do not have enough knowledge of the brain to be guided or informed by it, while neurologists who are not acquainted with the right brain to be informed and guided by it.


  1. Hi,
    I just changed doctor because the last one had no empathy; the one before (my ally) retired last year, God did I cry when I found out that.

    When I went to the new surgery to register I was offered a private interview with the receptionist. . . In very little time I was breaking down and crying from the effort to narrate my problems.

    She reached over and held my hand, she smiled and comforted me. She said "Oh I know exactly who you should see". She agreed I needed a certain Doctor X who understood 'emotional problems'.
    I didn't realise it at the time but in the back of my head (or do I mean in the right side of my brain?) were the words: "Blimey, that was a bit quick".

    Later that week I went to see Dr X. I explained I have been diagnosed with PTSD Symptoms and he straight away said "Ah yes, I'm your man". . . "Oh God"! I thought "That was a bit quick". He then went on to try to sell me "REWIRE THERAPY". . . "Ah yes" he said "Trauma is stored in the amygdala and REWIRE will sort the problem out.

    I flipped out 'demonstrating' my symptoms to him (uncontrollably). He didn't know whether to call me Mr. G, Paul or 'Sir'. I said I was already on track for the 'therapy of my choice' (thank you very much but no thanks) and that I had received other psychotherapy for years. We both agreed it doesn't work, except REWIRE Guided Imagery does, doesn't it? "Well, he said, "Not if you don't believe in it". . . He looked really disappointed and I felt the strong need to apologise and console his disappointment. Which I did. He felt better but I felt shite.


    Inside I was furious that he had not read my records before 'selling me' a therapy. He said: "I don't have time to read peoples records. . . . . . .
    HOW F*****G UN PROFESSIONAL IS THAT? How can you prescribe a treatment without even looking at records?

    How can the nice receptionist delegate 'emotional problems' to a w****r like that?
    He graciously signed a sick note (to get the 'offending pleb' out of his office) but only later I discovered he put the wrong date on it. After much hassle I returned to his other surgery practice 20 miles away to get the mistake rectified and he said: "Oh dear, it takes me 6 months until June sometimes to get used to which year it is". . . I smiled sympathetically whilst boiling inside.
    What a T**t. What a complete f*****g idiot.

    Paul G.

    1. Hi Paul

      What was the bloody receptionist doing choosing which Doctor you saw in the first place? The Doctor you saw sounded a right old Buffer. I suspect that sometimes they feel completely overwhelmed by everything they see and hear, not that I am excusing them.

      My last Doctor was a right B****H to be frank. A few years ago she organised a 2 hour session to talk to me and by the end of it had nearly persuaded me to leave me wife. It turns out she stepped right outside the remit by which a GP should work by doing that. She was a nightmare. Arrogant and deluded frankly. She was known locally for being sympathetic and an expert in mental health. What a joke. She beleived her own hype.

      These doctors are trapped as much as we are in many ways if not more so. Trapped in a system they have to follow. Derided by their peers if they don't. So much blindness is accepted as part of the pact with the Devil of Society. A right bunch of T**ts.

    2. Hi planespotter,

      Actually the empathetic receptionist asked me if I wanted any thing in particular and I said: "a doctor who understands emotional problems". I was thinking firstly of the debacle with the last 'non-empathetic' doc who replaced my ally and so I was trying to make sure I got my emotional needs met. . . As soon as she said "Aha" I knew there was a catch. . . And then the doc said "Aha". . .

      Paul G.

  2. Knowledge is not Understanding. (In neurology and psychology.)

    Art says he has a friend who is a brilliant neuroscientist without understanding for what his knowledge means in reality!!!! So Art, how can your colleague be a brilliant neuroscientist if he has no deep understanding what his knowledge means in reality. He may hold a great deal of valuable information which only might become brilliant if it has practical application.

    I have no reason to doubt that your friend is considered a brilliant neuroscientist by established academic measures. But when you are doubting his understanding and then simultaneously agree with traditional values I do not think you are loyal to your own opinion. From a philosophical point of view, I accept your approach as pluralistic. However, this I find hard to believe is your intention.

    Most neuroscientists, psychologists and therapists have never been trained in dealing with deep lying feelings. Their intuition, based on theoretical knowledge, will betray them in patient relationships. This shortcoming to identify patients history is further confused / enhanced by their own, unidentified, unique and unresolved imprints. Therefore, predictions and long term cures based on intuitions about deep feelings always end in betrayal. To claim correct intuition is by nature, in an unpredictable situation, self-delusional.

    If, a neurotic society, by adapting a pluralistic philosophy, makes it possible to, at the same time, accept both a brilliant theoretical neuroscientist, without understanding for what his knowledge means in reality, and a feeling Primal Guide/Therapist dealing with real feelings, it has after all taken a step forward.

    Jan Johnsson

    1. Jan and Art!

      "What we do not see… we cannot do anything about" maybe that is what Art of empathy expresses.

      The Neurologist may well be a pal as a kind and sympathetic person... but of course there is room to think of what someone is doing wrong and not listening.

      A neurological can be brilliant for the outcome of what the process will show... it can show what they are looking for... but also for what there is Art need as proof… but they cannot see… depending on what Art precisely presents in his article... sad but true.

      Therefore… I'd say... what otherwise can there be as proof for a legal process... but also a Nobel Prize! But Art... you will not get it if you don’t show what there is you got.

      Art what could be more fitting in a lawsuit! Your argument is for science to embrace... they are the standard by which any lawyer anywhere in the higher layers would assume and operate… not least for the honor he / she would experience to be defenders of something the world has been waiting for during a very long time.


    2. Frank There will be no lawsuit. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I am not interested. art

    3. Hi,

      regarding a law suit; the 'law' is a construct for discriminating between two opposing factions: The Prosecution and the Defence.

      It has long been the prerogative of the law to classify feelings as a confusion which clouds the facts. Therefore in a court action one is asked fairly firmly to leave one's feelings firmly 'hung up' in the cloak room before entering court.

      To take human feelings into court in order to promote their importance would therefore create what is known legally as a 'precedent'. In a way Frank I don't blame you for 'lobbying' Art, I can see what you are driving at and such a precedent could even work to expand the boundary of Primal. BUT and it's a big BUT, what would really be required is for an ex Primal patient to sue a perpetrator and ask the Centre for therapists to come forward as witnesses. It could work if the therapists were willing but the shit stirred up in the process may eventually do the Primal movement more harm than good.

      I feel we have to acknowledge that court actions are a false illusion of will. Remember that 'games' are played in court and the lawyers always make a 'killing'.

      Paul G.

    4. Paul & Art!

      A child is a human being seeking his life... and it is independent of what it latter do as an adult in the guise of a child!

      Paul what we're talking about is of physiological facts... facts about how evolution has built a physiological system for the purpose of survival... a process that it is now possible to conduct a dialogue around... how the brain works... and on to what there is science physiologically reports.

      If the question about leaving emotions out is mentioned in a legal process then they have an extremely difficult task ahead of them (I know there is BUT)... as political decisions for what is legally applicable are enrolled by politicians themselves and behind political decisions is there a host of emotions for how to legally act. And there is a childs emotional problem behind all the judgments... more than being for physical facts?

      Now... that will not be the question as primal therapy is not about feelings in that sense! Primal therapy involves a physiological process in which emotions concretized to the extent that they can be physiologically proven.

      Aida has repeatedly talked about running a legal process against the treatment she received at various institutions for psychiatric care. What she will need is the backing of what the scientific content represents ... who should prove it?

      Paul & Art... we can not prove someone as are dead to be alive... but one who are a alive we can!


    5. Hi Frank,

      I have real grounds to sue the UK Child Protection Department and also my then barrister (now a high court judge) for blackmailing me at the pre court hearing for the care proceedings of my twins, to agree with what I did not agree with.

      In the European Court of Justice My son, step son and I have a "Human Right to a Normal Family Life" but, BUT to prove all this and to go through all the strife of digging up the records and re-presenting them and so on is something I do not relish.

      I may well decide to pursue this anyway; nevertheless, in the meantime it has become much more of a burning issue to actually get into Primal Therapy. Then to get my son into Primal Therapy. Then to reap the benefits of having 'consolidated' my life into something bigger than merely the "Human Right to a Normal Family Life".
      I can't see that my 'quality of life' is going to change much at first but I am certain that any attempt I make to challenge the authorities about the gross injustice of the 'legal abduction' of my kids will be much better anchored in the truth when I have completed the three week intensive and had time (a year perhaps) to see where that takes me.

      Paul G.

  3. These doctors are, as you say, intimately repressed. Their egoes can't do but look incessantly for recognition. Still deep down they're honestly willing to do their bit albeit gone blind. They are not mean people in the strict sense of the term as many are willing to label them. They're just stubborn. And stubbornness mirrors left brained personalities, always grounded on unfullfilled needs (certainly lack of oxigen in blood flow during gestation and followed inevitably by lack of attention during childhood. And withdrawing from loving one's child doesn't only involve straight abandonment. That is visible to the the naked eye, the light side of the moon so to speak. It means also that fearful parents couldn't help but overprotecting their child from unexistant perils. And the beat goes on...One would say that's what happens commonly in underdvelopped countries where basic needs have been out of the peoples' reach. But fearing a threat for one's life goes beyond all that. I wonder why two twins being brought up just alike can develop such different attitudes towards life. Primal Therapy is being born to public domain and noone will be able to stop the next generations from finding an alternative way of solving mental illness and dealing with the emotional reality involved in the human experience. And that, Art, you will definitely be acknowledged for.

  4. Lars, Janov's painful articles and books are a tiny drop in the ocean of painless information out there. Furthermore, when I explain Janov's stuff, very very clearly, and talk about his results, people still choose to believe I am lying, misinformed, or they simply forget what I said and go back to their previous beliefs.

    We are not tardigrades anymore, we have evolved into a delicate neurotic species and to put it bluntly, we are doomed if we don't do something radical. We can't afford to sit back and think happy thoughts.

    If Art manages to get funding for his latest research projects, and comes up with tangible results, we should take the results to our politicians, and present them in a way that touches each politician in a personal way.

    Google could not get any political support for their driverless car technology, and all the lives it would save, until they started taking politicians for rides in their driverless cars. The politicians went from one extreme to another; first it was a hard NO from all politicians in every American state, and then they said yes (because it was fun) despite the protests coming from the overwhelming majority of the public who were surveyed.

    We live in a childish, pain-ridden world. We have to be realistic.

    1. Richard,
      I understand your point of view, but frankly do not share it. I'm not "sitting back and thinking happy thoughts". I know there's hard times ahead. Nobody said it would be easy after all. But we've gone through thick and thin and still here we are as a species. I consider myself a far conscious human being than my grandfather was. How old are you? I'm 45. I'm not deluded enough to think I'll be here this time to see PT implemented in health policies around the world. Let's be serious. All I'm saying is You do your thing, which is taking responsibility on connecting your drifting mind to your emotional body (btw that's how Buddha refered to the right brain). I do my part (believe me if I say so) And if I sometimes feel guilty for being slow then I get back to my feeling pit and come to the rescue of my forgotten feelings. I stay conscious while I'm here, doing my best by affecting my close environment and I mean the closest...I have a daughter (7 yrs old) She knows by now that crying isn't something to be ashamed for, but as natural as feeling happy. Daddy and Mummy do cry when feelings are aroused. Thanks that we don't let our egoes argue each time we disagree. We simply connect to our feelings and let them surface. Her teacher knows 'cause she's told her. She now knows my daughter sees with different eyes. I've influenced my daughter's teacher thanks to Art. I'm working hard to bring France or Arts fellow colleague to my country. Will I succeed. I don't know. As I see it we're all part of a puzzle called Humanity. As scattered grains from a sugar cube that are coming together after thousands of years of disconnection. And closeness hurts before it is understood as the final gate to love. It is a matter of feeling that Pain. How long will it take. I don't know. All I know is we're on our way. As sure as we have to shape up, we also need to treat ourselves with kindness. The thin line between the opposites.
      I've had some serious car accidents in my twenties. Thanks Providence I'm a far better driver now. I don't want to live in a driverless society. Sorry to disagree. Life is not out there to be saved but to be lived. What next? Swimming pools without water so nobody can get drowned? Only fearful (childish) adults need safe ways to protect their lives. Be realistic and face your fear, because it is only in your mind, and it was shaped to fear a car accident.

    2. Dear Richard,
      No offense but, how do you feel when they "simply forget what you said and go back to previous beliefs", and "still choose to believe you are lying" even though you "explain Janov's stuff, very, very clearly, and TALK about his results"? maybe frustrated? (that's at least what I gather from your statement. I'm wrong?) Would you consider your parents to have conducted themselves during your childhood as childish adults? If you would, then I suggest you to ask for an appointment at The Primal Centre. That childish world you're talking about is nothing more than your own world, the one you were forced into. You have to be realistic.
      Yours respectfully

    3. Richard,

      A world full of opportunities!

      I’m not afraid that you will not tell the truth. I’m more afraid of those radicals who will interpret your truths.

      The World is not perfect, by no means, but it is full of excellent opportunities. For example Primal Therapy!

      If we are doomed to be radically realistic, I hope that that goes for you too!


    4. Hi Richard,
      -"people still choose to believe I am lying, misinformed, or they simply forget what I said and go back to their previous beliefs"-.

      Do they actually 'choose'?

      I feel there are some of us who perhaps are close enough to our true feelings, or have experienced certain things and cannot help but be drawn to 'the truth'. The veil of denial is perhaps thinner, or more worn out (in my case). . .
      There's an element of chance and each of us is a die on the roller coaster of life. When we fall / step off let's hope we don't crash too violently.
      In the words of that famous song: "Stop this train, I want to get off". . .

      Paul G.

  5. And because our brainstem is split from our mid-brain, we can f**k without making love. And because we can **** without making love, we can be terribly promiscuous. And because of the diseases and unwanted children that come with that, we develop cutures that moralise monogamy - to try and force the "emotionally corrupted" into line, for our survivals sake.

    All very well, I suppose, but the "split brain" society thinks the problem of promiscuity is a lack or morality...because they don't know what it's like to be a non split-brain.

    We are asking people to make us normal who do not even know what normal is.

    1. Andrew: Those disconnected souls can make love without love, and it is compulsive just because they are disconnected. They are constantly driven and are promiscuous because of trauma and disconnection. art Read my book "Sex and the Subconscious".

  6. Art:

    Have you considered "crowd-funding"?

    1. Trevor, I first saw it on French TV which helped us think of our own need for help. Thanks very much. art

  7. Hi Paul and Lars,

    No matter how much the two of you can feel, your feelings will never be the majority vote. See my point? When will Primal Therapy become the most politically correct, profitable, and popular therapy in the world?

    If we can have a positive influence on politicians, we might at least gain a faster way to increase public awareness of primal therapy and it's results.

    1. Hey Richard,

      I was agreeing with you rather than challenging your words. Yes of course, I do see your point very well and it's depressing.

      Art has many times doubted the human assumption of 'free will'.

      He has said that as we gain connection with our feelings and sensations we also gain more choice. Ok, it's so easy to get into semantics but I want to make a stand on the subject of will, of 'free will'. There are choices, 'preferences' and I sense that is what we get more of as we become more connected.

      I realised last night that we generally don't 'have' feelings, 'feelings have us'. The more neurotic we are, the more repressed we are and the more disconnected we are then the more dramatic the symptoms of being uncontrollably driven are.

      In fact I'll go as far as saying that it is neurosis that drives the narcissism of 'free will'. Basically in place of a real self made of three parts working together a false self is compelled to emerge to 'defend' a 'survivalist' stance. But it's a Scheherazade.

      If there is any will at all it is the will of nature (life) to keep us alive and to generate the next generation; ie: evolution keeps on succeeding regardless. . . isn't that the function of the histone layer? a buffer to protect the original DNA from environmental and psychological knocks. Apparently plants evolved it millions of years ago.

      A few renegades have said it before: "Man has no Will" ! The true self aligns with nature, the false self cannot. Only Primal Theory identifies originating causes and only Primal Therapy unlocks those 'causes'. Others have tried to devise therapies and 'ways' but they are all essentially Cognitive Disciplines that are in effect an 'act out'. There is a famous Buddhist expression: "Acting As If". . . but no matter how hard we try to 'act the part', to make a facsimile of a real person the neurosis trapped in the histone layer will always bring us out of reality into another false self.

      It's depressing because our 3rd line has so many 'new ways' of adapting to the original causes. So many that each person can deceive themselves endlessly with a new variety of distraction.

      I am no exception and without expert intervention I will undoubtedly go to my grave as unreal as the day the first traumas twisted me into my neurosis.

      Paul G.

  8. An email comment:
    "Thank you for this clarification, I had seen that the feelings needed to touch their helpless context, but putting it in terms of fear and terror, this is the finishing touch of understanding a true healing experience. It was after all the helplessness that caused the panic and the painful inability to connect directly to what happened. This also makes it much more clear why self-help is unlikely to work. It also points to the dangers of mock therapy, in that real connection seems to need a full connection from the present backwards, while mock therapy tends not to do this. Thus the feeling in a mock primal is not only relieving, it risks opening up real fear and terror out of contexts and without a deep sense of security. It also strains belief that self-help can provide a sufficient sense of safety, and without that one would be possibly plunged into an amplification of the earlier situation, in other words reliving without a safe present contextual awareness. Perhaps I have completely missed the mark here, and seeing a great need for relief at least, I am saddened by this almost undeniable reality concerning reliving versus relieving... "

    1. This is useful,

      So, resonance down might 'get the ball rolling' but what really helps is being expertly witnessed in a safe environment so that eventually 're-setting distorted set points' does not happen 'randomly', 'out of context' or worse: 'in the context of another traumatic experience'.

      For example; for me, that means having the choice to Primal when my organism needs to and not because I have to return my children back to their respective residencies and suffer yet another predictable breakdown due to the resonance down from the 3rd line feeling of loss to the 2nd line and first line traumas encoded in my histone layers.

      Torturers and torture regimes know exactly how to control people by inflicting wounds that kick off old wounds. It's that simple and if we try to start the process of Primal without at first the expertise and experience of The Centre then we are opening ourselves up to self inflicted torture which may never end (another insidious form of abreaction).

      Furthermore it gives Primal a bad name / image because all that re-enforces the idea that crying and grieving should be resisted. IE: Primaling is dangerous; NO! Abreaction is dangerous !

      Paul G.

    2. Paul: You are so so right. I have yet to see those who practice "Primal Therapy" outside the Center do it right. On the contrary they come to us in pieces. 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.