Monday, July 8, 2013

So Why Are We Gay?

I have written about this in my book “Sex and the Subconscious”. I realize how little I knew back then. There was evidence that trauma during womb-life altered the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn altered the sex hormones, which, when given certain family constellations, could turn the offspring to homosexuality. It turns out that new research is important in this regard. Researchers in China have found that when they blocked serotonin production in mice the females preferred other females. They wanted to mount them. (See we know, serotonin is an inhibitory neuro-transmitter which helps in the repression of pain, inter alia. But it is not just the serotonin that is critical, it is the reason for its production—trauma and pain, which upsets the apple cart and changes the hormone structure. Trauma distorts serotonin production so that there is either too much of it or not enough. But trauma means an ensemble of hormones acting together so that serotonin affects the sex hormones as well as cortisol, and vice versa, cortisol also affects sex hormones. When there is an intrusion of pain and trauma the whole system takes a detour and the system is askew. One of the effects among many is a change in the sexual chemical base.

That is not the whole story. Now we need a specific constellation of family life to make the sex base turn into homosexuality or hypersexuality.  And that all devolves down to need. Whatever the unfulfilled need is, there will be a militating force toward fulfillment. So the groundwork may be chemical but it will not expand into homosexuality without other key factors apparent. And even here we still need much more data. But when there is a father missing for a young boy, there can be a need for a father; even if he is there but emotionally absent, there still is the need. Or a tyrannical cold mother can leave a young girl with that need; or she can be sweet and interested in her daughter but she never touches her, and that is enough. How it all plays out is myriad and there is no specific family constellation that accounts for it. The one key enduring fact is need, however. However the child is deprived is where he or she will go. Of course there can be seduction by an older man in the park as one of my homosexual patients reported, that tipped the scales.

If there is no altered chemical base then even when the need is there in a child, it just produces pain without a change in sexual orientation. It is always a complexity of circumstances, and never one single item. A priest who seduced one of my patients over years left him homosexual. It was the only “love” he ever got and he was seduced by it. That is, all of us get seduced by our need. It twists and turns us toward fulfillment all of our lives, and it is the very early need that is most important. Beginning in the womb where we need comfort and safety, not a mother who smokes and drinks. She is already unloving and it just continues throughout her life; the mother’s needs supersede the offspring’s. And why does the mother’s needs override the baby’s? Because the mother was also very deprived and must seek out her own suppressor of pain. The most loving of parents have to be those with very little pain. They can then attend to all of her child’s needs. The baby comes first, as it must.

I needed love and was never going to get it from the two stones I had as parents. So who did I fall in love with? dog.  And that love affair is lifelong. I didn’t turn to men for many reasons but I latched onto the first possible love object and I clung to it. And what did my parents do? They gave my dog away as too much trouble. To this day I give much of my money to dog shelters.


  1. Art!

    "Researchers in China have found That When They blocked serotonin production in mice the females preferred other females."

    The question is most interesting when time and place of sampling might show a different result... if samples were taken at time the rat was small and sexually inexperienced... if that could be the reason why they chose the same sex partner (a mother is needed) ?

    What the result shows because of what the pregnancy causes... how was the mother's chemistry before she was pregnant... it is the foundation of what the rat had for starting!

    There are certainly many causes of results if just all circumstances for resultat were presented!


  2. Cannot and probably never will understand why adults become parents, when they just treat their children as insignificant. Life is hard, and sad enough; don't the parents realize this? The times that my parents gave me attention as a child , "worked with me", I appreciate to this day. I know their life wasn't easy, and that they did the best they could under the circumstances. Now people are colder to one another, but the parents take a much greater interest in their children. The statistics show that their are so many conditions out there for parents to "wonder if their kid has anything...." True the population has doubled, but research is finding a "condition" for every little ailment a child might express. I had problems, when I was a child (many children do), but their was no label for it then ; just possibly "shyness". Anyway, I am thankful, that my parents weren't like rocks, and that they did care. Now , as time has gone on, though, one can feel the chill sometimes seeping in. Wondering if it is because they have gone through a lot with my sister, my Dad's sister, and the death of their grandaughter. Now they are older, and it is like somedays....I have to "snap them out of it". Sometimes, now I think they just don't want me to become too attached to them so they will act hard at times only because they know they are going to die eventually. Well, I got it good when I was growing up. Dr. Janov, you should pat yourself on the back, for what you had to endure and for what you have been able to make of yourself. An award should be given to you ; seriously, I give you a lot of credit. Many times, people feel as though I am "gay"; but I know I'm not. I have almost no serotonin level, but a woman being drawn towards another is asking , possibly for a lot more problems. I've thought about it, but would never become a lesbian, because it wouldn't work out. I know that I do like and get along platonically with many men and women. Growing up; there were social events (even now,) that I can't deal with plus live my own life (like going to work, concentrating...making a life for myself) who's just too much for me at times, mentally and physically. I try to be stronger. So I stay the way I have been; not a lesbian and not even dating men. Who knows, maybe if an old friend who was a man came back into my life, I might go out with him again, but other than that "it's like "forget it." It doesn't bother me that people think that I may be homosexual; because I know that I'm not. At times I have tried to "feel normal", and get my serotonin level up; it's not easy to maintain.
    But I do give Dr. Janov a lot of credit.

  3. the content of this blog looks like evolution (ontogeny) in reverse.
    in first paragraph you know (more).
    then from mid of the second there is less confidence, more complexity and bigger picture.
    and finally the feeling.

    i like the balance because it supports the knowledge. i think

  4. I thought this is of interest, regarding cutting the umbilical cord of newborn babies without even waiting for a minute:
    I guess finally it is shown that this practice has deprived most of us of needed oxygen even before learning to use our lungs to get it. It must have been a terrible experience. Could it that epigenetic changes in our neurons occur at that time as a response to this insult, haunting us for the rest of our lives? How sad and insensitive that the only stated concern about neurological outcomes (at the end of the article) is "the risk of learning deficiencies and cognitive delay in children."

  5. Hi Art ,as You may know our foreign minister and the mayor of Berlin
    are gay ...
    Beides the fact that the first condemns!.. the wellfare recipients ...
    they do make the impression that they are in need of any therapy
    (besides re-election...)

    And most of the day persons I met or heard of were successful citizens and as in Cologne on Christopher`day many attractive ones
    So why any treatment "because" of being gay (depressions and the
    like would only..end with the end of gay -"dom"?

    And as for me :my "dogs" were children until these days!!!
    I feel crushed when I see or read of suffering kids!
    Sometimes I think they and pets are the best LOVE objechts!
    Yours emanuel

  6. An email comment:
    "Being a gay man I am in full accord with what you wrote here. I have known for many years that homosexuality was NOT normal and was, at best, an inversion. I have had several feelings/Primals about all this during my 30 years of therapy; namely:-
    1) When my mother was 5 month pregnant with me, her father, whom she adored, committed suicide due to severe lifelong asthma attacks. My mother told me many years later that she refused to grieve her fathers death due to the baby inside her (me). In my therapy, I wished my mother had allowed herself to grieve her father's death, (I could have accommodated that) as her refusal to feel her grief, unconsciously had to tense up against those rising feelings for her 'dear' father, making womb life for the fetus (me) to not get the full benefit of womb life.
    2) At my birth in a maternity home in 1932 I was immediately taken away from my mother after 9 hours labor, to give (it was said) my mother some rest. My father 10 minutes after my birth (the first of 4 children), came to the maternity home and was able to see me through a glass panel screaming for dear life ... for which he thought was great, as it showed I was very much alive by his standards. That half hour away from my mother at my birth deprived me of the absolute connection to that person/being that was all I had known to that point in my being. Perhaps again alienating the connection to 'mammy' the one being, (female) I had known and being left in this frightening/terrifying (alien) new world immediately after birth.
    3) Thereafter, my father, who meant well:- (due to his childhood and upbringing), was totally unable to EXPRESS almost any feelings. Giving me a sense that all "daddy's" were this strict and unfeeling beings, that was contrary to what my mother was, for the most part. It was not that I ever wanted to be of another gender ( I love my maleness), but I just knew I did not want to be like my father. Then on reading "The Primal Scream" (the book being lent to me by John Harrison whilst I was living in Ibiza), I knew instantly that I wanted to do this therapy ... though I can say in all honesty, I never did feel the need to become heterosexual.

    However, back to your article. I have always known that I was different (gay/homosexual, as it turns out) and known that it was NOT normal or natural. Many gay men I fear totally disagree with me. There thinking being that they knew they were born this way ... but, to my way of thinking: neglecting "Life before birth""

  7. An email comment:
    "Thanks for writing this Art,

    I remember seeing that childhood picture of you at the old institute in West LA, with your dog..And talking to Vivian about it, she confirmed that it was you. I thought then that the picture told a lot about you, because it was of your dog and you, not your family.

    I was also one who fell in love with my dog, she was always there for a hug, something I could never ever approach my mother or father for. When I felt bad at home she was always there. I vividly remember when she died, crying into my pillow and calling for her. Long before before i came to Primal therapy, i was probably about 19. It was probably because of her that I didn't turn into a complete drug addict.

    Thanks again

    1. And my answer: I get it. It was the only way. art

  8. I only have my physical needs as a basis for my claim to feel... my physical needs as dictated by my ways to escape from what then was... then when I as a child could feel that it was my mom I wanted to be close... close to the day when I in despair began to seek perverted act because of my suffering for my attempts to be close to her.
    My physical self... now perverted... so perverted that I have to suffer for the rest of my life even when there is help available through the primal center.
    How long can this be allowed to happen? We already know enough to assert ourselves... we do not need to ask those who decide... determines that we shall stay in our hell!

    We already know enough to assert ourselves... we do not need to ask those who decide... we know better now... we are for what we have become... we are in our hell and it is also the way out! They will not understand something that is their own motivation to not gush. They suffer but it is behind an academic education and pillers effect... effect holding them selfs but not us unaware of their condition... their condition to help us! Do we know what it is we are doing?

    We are alone out there... but when we look at what loneliness lives up to... then is not "Superman" far away!


  9. For us to feel through primal therapy's effect... we have to recognize suffering as tools for further processing. Sufferings is the society Achilles heel... and no one there who understands.
    The academic process of learning stays in their heads and thereby cementing an ongoing process against what feelings is all about. We understand to not feel! It is the mathematical equation around psychiatric and psychological issues... questions they not possible can ask themselfs... it depending of the kognitiva reaction... how we cognitively read what the limbic system is leaking through.


  10. I had always wonder why as children we needed a teddy bear or any other stuffed animals. But if it was just because we didn't get much comfort and warmness from our parents? And why some children can't fall asleep or just leave home without their "doudou"? I like "Calvin and Hobbes" stories because that's the very story of so many children : living in a world of their own with no comfort to hope except from their stuffed tiger...

    1. Yann
      Regarding teddy bears which you have mentioned. My sister and I both had bears. Hers was called 'Mummy bear' and mine was called 'Daddy bear.' She was always pulling the button eyes out of mine while |I also pulled her bear's eyes out or tried to. Our mother hated me and never gave me a look, a word, a hug or many minutes of her time but she didnt hate my twin sister. (fraternal) My father loved (but also frequently hit me)but not her. Hence, the significance of bears. To all children toys are alive!

  11. Dr Janov

    WHY do you keep deleting my comments all of a sudden. Can you tell me why this is? I am beginning to take it personally.I cannot come onto your blog for 6 weeks after today because I have to have a foot operation tomorrow morning and won't be able to use the local library computers for that time. I dont have a home computer. I'll miss your blog very much.

    1. Anonymous: I wish you the best for your foot. About your comment, I am not sure which one you mean, can you send it again? art

    2. Dear Art, dear HUMAN man

      Thank you so much for your reply! My foot is still alive but very much in pain with a wire sticking out of a toe and a hole also on the side of my left foot and stitches and will be like it for the next month. The other foot after I dropped a heavy heavy chair onto the top of it by accident has a chip off the bone at the top so will need to develop wings be a bird for a while. Hopefully I can fly to the Centre for some help when I can walk again after the interview, of course.? I am so upset to discover first time back on your blog that you have to have more treatment for your throat. Oh, I feel so sad! You are the only hope for so many of us from other countries in the world and you are very much loved, certainly by me and other bloggers and others. Please get better and may your throat fully recover. Thank you so much for all your wonderful books, help for so many people, all strangers to you, and your words which have helped myself and so many men and women. All the best of luck with your operation. There are some truly good doctors out there.

    3. Anonymous: well thank you. Your foot does not sound like fun so all the best and a prompt retablisment as they say in
      France. Nothing that stops your life like pain. art

  12. Janov turned to his dog for love, and I turned to books and art for love...or indirect love. That is, love and understanding from the people who create the meaningful books and films and paintings and music (the last musician to flip me out is Dave!). People I never get to meet even if alive, because they are too famous and inaccessible.

    I don`t really know if what I am writing is "the truth" about myself. But I do know that all my life I have preferred reading a good The Primal Scream...than relate to my family, "friends" or , even worse, the masses...what Reich called Homo Normalis.Young, I thought that I would find compatible people later in life, but nope, this pattern has never changed. There I still am: me, my books, my DVDs,the computer, and my beer. Well, thank "God" at least for the artists and the great psychologists like Janov, Reich, and Lowen. At least they make sense and provide some relationship, meaning, and understanding in this ignorant insane world!


    1. Just discovered the poems of the great Emily Dickinson.Here below, she beautifully and simply expresses the distress of those who are adrift, and perhaps the mission of those who might try to save them:

      Adrift! A little boat adrift!
      And night is coming down!
      Will no one guide a little boat
      Unto the nearest town?
      (Emily Dickinson)

      This is why I have spent more time with books, or more precisely with the spirit of those who write them, than with the average dork who understands nothing, and empathises with nothing, certainly with not with my suffering or aspirations!Talking to most people is like talking to a fucking brick wall!


    2. And two additionnal true great little poem by Emily Dickinson:

      I like a look of Agony

      I like a look of Agony,
      Because I know it's true—
      Men do not sham Convulsion,
      Nor simulate, a Throe—

      The Eyes glaze once—and that is Death—
      Impossible to feign,
      The Beads upon the Forehead
      By homely Anguish strung.


      Much Madness is divinest Sense

      Much Madness is divinest Sense -
      To a discerning Eye -,
      Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
      ’Tis the Majority
      In this, as all, prevail :
      Assent - and you are sane -
      Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
      And handled with a Chain -

      Emily Dickinson

      (submitted by Marco)

    3. Hi Marco,

      Sometimes I wish I were one of those 'average dorks who understand nothing, and empathise with nothing'. . . I momentarily envy their apparent autonomy; their apparent 'happiness'.

      Sometimes I feel so inferior to them, sometimes I feel so worthless in the face of their apparent "OK ness" that I just want to shrivel up and die. . . Other times I want to rail against them and still further times I want to play practical jokes on them or tell them a few things about themselves (or both). . .

      After a while (usually after a good cry) I feel nothing about them and everything about myself and those I really care about.

      The real difficulty I have found is with those who are cut off from their feelings but you still love them. That is a nightmare.

      Paul G.

    4. Art: Glad you liked the Dickinson poems.


      I have never felt inferior to the dorks, except perhaps a bit in the area of making a living, which is made much easier in our society if you conform to the dorks' superficial politeness which lubricates the alienated economic system. Erich Fromm has eloquently discussed this in his books.Someone like me has also gotten fired easily because I have never put up with any authoritarianism or other bullshit since my teens, including from my teachers and parents.

      I do understand on the other hand your momentary envy of the apparent even-temperedness of the middle classes (because they are the ones I am talking about). Reluctantly I live in a middle class neighborhood, and my neighbors seems so nice and placid (like in the movie "Pleasantville"), whereas I bop around with a face reflecting many moods. Perhaps they are more together than I in some ways (I realise I have a lot of rage to work out), but I suspect that they are placid because they are HALF-DEAD. That's one good way to avoid feelings: BE NICE. And tell people who , like me, raise their voices (gasp!) once in a while : can't you state your case "reasonably", tone it down!? Or if any true emotion is expressed in public, they avert their eyes: please keep your feelings to yourself, we don't "do" feelings in Pleasantville. Let's all play the charade that everything is just fine!These are also the people who tell their small children: did you say thank you? That's it, train them them to be nice politiness robots!Even Freud, much to my surprise, remarked negatively upon this civilisational tendency to train people to be superficially "good" in one of his essays, which I read recently.How people like Art Janov have been able to pierce through this layer of superficial goodness to underlying repressed feelings which are quite the opposite, is a remarkable and important accomplishment.


    5. Oh so true Marco,

      It's the way their repression hides behind such superficial cognitive beliefs. For example: If you are in pain it must be your responsibility, after all, we are all responsible for our own lives arn't we ? And of course this justifies a totally capitalistic view to membership of society which means that when they are in pain they have a lot of money / insurance / private health care and ultimately LEGAL DRUGS / DISTRACTIONS to stuff their pain down with.

      Another example, as long as the superficial calmness is the modus operandi for 'success' (in their beliefs) then when they feel out of control they are easily justified to walk away or just stand and stare, doing nothing, taking no responsibility and pretending still that all situations are as simple as their own superficial perceptions / existences. These people believe the lies they are told by government superficials, I mean officials.

      My parents / brother used to do this to me so when others do it to me I first feel inferior. Then I feel angry and most of all I reach such a pitch of 'righteous indignation' that I find myself either telling a few people what I think of them or better still, practically joking them.

      It's what April fools day is for in my opinion. The opportunity to 'prank' up a situation in which some one has erected such a wall of denial they need a humorous sign post to help them integrate reality.

      Next April fools day I am delivering buckets of sand to some colleagues with the words "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY INSERT HEAD".

      This will give me a lot of excitement and pleasure and at least they will get a new bucket full of sand.

      Do what thou wilt with thine bucket of sand oh "friends"!

      Paul G.

  13. Hi,
    Now that I've cried so much I don't mind admitting that I have homosexual fantasies occasionally. Usually if I've been drinking or taking drugs. When I was at boarding school I had a few homosexual affairs and crushes.
    But I also have incredibly strong heterosexual fantasies and crushes. . . And in my life I have had loving relations with several beautiful women who frankly I can describe as magnificent, two of them bore my children !
    Recently I realised that my homosexual fantasies are largely driven by the absence of a really caring/loving father and of really strong and supportive male friends. I understood the concept of these words before but now I have an insight into the feelings.

    I feel the sexual hijack can work at an emotional level as well as an instinctual level. So, some homosexuality is merely the reflection of insufficient Male input, or the predominence of 'weak' male input. I know what that means. Weak male input is “unreliable”.

    When I was a hippy back in the 70s/80s I was part of a group of gauche male ex boarding school boys, I knew we were all closet homosexuals but 'the need' to present a 'macho image' kept us all under wraps. To cut to the chase, I was the outsider, I had no money and also a serious problem with work attitude, that was 30 years ago. Anyway, three years ago when my marriage broke up and I started crying a lot, I got in touch with one of these men (the one I looked up to as an older brother). It hasn't worked out at all. I have had to break off contact (as did he when he inherited a load of money). He absolutely can't help giving me cognitive advice and implying I 'need' his friendship. He was a serious alcoholic for 15 years or more, then on antidepressants for another 7 years and now he seems so 'normal' but all I get from him is mundane email/chat about people and things I have no relation to. I tried to get him onto this blog because he says he's considering working for a mental health charity. Anyway without really knowing anything about my life he advised me that I'm in the wrong profession and should not be so emotionally connected to my children!

    His memory of the past is seriously fragmented and he tells me I am stuck in the past. It's hopeless, so I have broken off contact.

    I sense I would not have been able to explore this part of my life if I had not cried so much and also I would not have dug so deep into the missing Father and inadequate male input I got during the whole of my childhood. Strangely I am getting into much deeper feelings about my Dad . . . Also I have contacted feelings from my teens which were really hidden under that veil of ‘pseudo comradship’ that we men will settle for in the absense of strong Dads, Uncles and Older brothers.

    Now I am at last realising what type of male friends I really need.

    Paul G.


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.