Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Bit More on Depression Again

So let’s get it straight. When we show a symptom such as depression there are two aspects to it:
1. The cause; 2. The reaction.
We need to keep this bifurcation clear because they are two different animals and must be treated differently. Nearly all approaches today are just that; approaches, the therapy of reaction. So the cognitivists try changing your reactions—attitudes and thoughts, aiming at more wholesome ideas. Neurologists try changing how the brain reacts, i.e., interfering with brain function. And there are others who put wires in the brain to block deep brain reactions. Remember these are responses, not causes. Causes seem to be forgotten in all this, and why? Because the fields have despaired of finding causes and so focus on reactions. Why the despair? Because without a therapy of deep brain processes they will never find causes. It will all remain a mystery; they will turn away from origins and just focus on blocking or changing reactions. And that can be endless because we need to change the biochemistry, the neurochemistry, neuron signals, overall brain function, psychological responses and on and on. All because causes are avoided.

In the NY Times are two articles; one in the Sunday June 30, magazine section, and the other in the Tuesday Science section, July 2.

The Science section deals with brain function, namely transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) (See There are magnetic pulses to the brain from outside that stimulate those parts of the brain that are involved with depression. Powerful magnets are placed on the frontal area of the head. Those pulses seem to help many people and are often more effective than medication. But….it is attacking the responses while the generating sources are left intact, only to rear their ugly head again. How could it not be? It is a therapy of reactions not causes so we cannot expect to be rid of the originating sources. It is a good amelioration and that is OK. We do not help, but there is a way of getting to those generating sources, why is it paid no heed? They have no theory for it, no therapy for it, and no psychological readiness for it. Easier to tinker; and tinker they do, tweak this and then tweak that. Ayayay.

Now the Magazine section has a different twist. It is called, “Uncovering the self-destructive impulses that many people hide from themselves.” (See Hmmmm. Self destructive? What self might that be? I guess it is the hurt one, the one containing all those painful imprints from years ago. Are we trying to destroy it? Wouldn’t that be terrible?

They point out that more die of suicide than murder: world-wide there are one million suicides each year. It is an epidemic. They want to figure out how to figure out who might kill himself? What are the signs? And they add, “We have never gone out and observed, as an ecologist or biologist would go out and observe the thing you’re interested in.” (page 24). But wait! That’s what we do, and we find the answers when patients get to feelings, deep pain that makes them want to kill themselves. And they say, “My god. That’s why I wanted to kill myself; all to avoid that feeling.”

So what did the researchers do? They called up soldiers and asked them to explain why they wanted to kill themselves. They hoped to shift through the transcripts to find answers. The problem is that they never knew really. How could they when the imprints lie so deep in the brain. This is basically the cognitive. Ideational approach. It stays on the level of ideas. They say that they have had theories of suicide but they want to work on the other end…data. OK but data from victims? Most of ten they never know. I have seen many depressives over the years and they almost never know where it comes from.  Some of them resist counseling because somewhere they understand that it cannot work. Then they are labeled “resistant”. “They don’t really want to get well.”

Finally further in the piece they say, “brain cells that regulate the stress hormone cortisol, leave the brain in a chemical state of increased alertness that causes a person to overreact to stress.” I am not sure that tells us what to do about it but the direction is right. There is acknowledgment that depressives often suffer abuse as children. But what from there? Do we attack and/or address the abuse? They go back to faulty thinking. And they tout the Association test which is again mental operations. They are looking for biases against being alive by the victims. It all came to naught as these tests were not so hot at predicting future suicide attempts. How could they be if they avoid the key low brain-level imprints that are at the origin of it all? So what do they do? They are tweaking it so they combine several cognitive tests together to refine what they do. It is over and over again intellectuals focusing on thoughts and attitudes ignoring a big part of the brain and its function. They are after changing patterns of thinking. The cognitivists are ruling the roost; yet they are the very ones who can never never never find answers.


  1. Hi Art,
    some minutes ago I have read about the possibility that food allergies could be responsible for
    in my cas : after avoiding all dairy products I do sleep better...
    nevertheless the Imprints... are still there ;

    This very morning I awoke with frightened eyes of my dying mother (July 1980..)
    And some hours ago I met the beautiful daughter of my suicided ... friend (between us
    a UNBELIEVABLE!!! accident by the way.

    And several years ago ,a "psychotherapist" in earnest!!! asked Me what I "would mean by
    that term (depression".
    To quote Hans Lungwitz(German psychotherapist)
    "Sometimes one can only react with silence...!!
    Youra emanuel

  2. Hi Art,

    -"The cognitivists are ruling the roost; yet they are the very ones who can never never never find answers"-.
    It's all about their narrative. I've noticed (sometimes) that when I'm trying to 'fix' someone, really I'm just diverting my attention away from my neurosis and getting people to listen to me. What does that say ? It says I need to be listened to whilst I work it all out loud. Perhaps my Dad never listened to me as a child; perhaps these 'experts' Dads never listened to them. "IT" is the problem to solve and Daddy should be listening .

    Boy, don't we love to tell stories. "Show & Tell". . .

    Paul G.

  3. Cognitivists dont understand reptillian brain, implies reptillian language, few understand.


  4. Thank you so much for this confirmation re child abuse.
    Strange how many in professional society- social workers in particular- do not want to mention child abuse and get to the root of the matter.
    Solicitors warn protective adults not to dare mention child abuse in the courts or they will loose custody to the abuser.
    You can verify with Barry Goldstein by the way.
    Instead, especially in Ireland , they will do anything to cover for the abuser and still punish the child victims.
    One great way in Ireland in my experience was to the use of ECT to burn out all memories of the abuse and then place the child with the abuser or in a mental institution for life.
    All to save face, for a "pillar of society"
    This child is now thousands of miles away, where he feels safe, but the safety will only feel complete when the abuser is dead. But of course I know there is still work to be done and have to wait until the time is right.
    Strange or not, but this child threatened suicide at 9 years of age in order to escape being placed with abuser- by court order.
    .He even said " only one of us can live, me or the abuser, its that simple Mum."
    This is happening all over the world as we have discovered from cases.

  5. Dr. Janov, they are not really interested in finding out the big WHY. If they would, they would have to forget about the years in collage and universities.
    One other important fact; money needs to come from somewhere - student loans must be paid off – why not by practicing mind-manipulating?

    1. another important fact: they haven't been where the cause is.
      and "they" are big in numbers and power to deceive...
      why the deceive? is the nature playing games with us?
      it is a dangerous perception. wrong. limited.
      this all makes us-them.
      Art will keep on addressing to all of us.

    2. Vuko- “they haven't been where the cause is”; I know. They refuse to go there – for many reason. I believe they are, among other reason, afraid that they will discover their own pain.
      This was also the reason, last Nov when my husband died, why I, in my darkest hour, put myself on Prozac, rather than seeing some of the cognitivists.

    3. Hi Sieglinde,

      I went back to the last doctor I got a sick note from a year ago. This one allegedly an expert in PTSD. He had obviously taken the time to read the medical statement I wrote (17 pages, 25 years of repeating family history and state intervention with class 1 drugs, children born methadone addicted, early death of mother, bereavement & loss trauma in the children, etc etc).

      Straight away he said "so you think you need Primal therapy"? I was impressed. His hands were shaking and he acknowledged my improved demeanour. I said I had developed cognitive strategies to cope. His hands were shaking and I knew why. He reminded me of one of my rather intellectual carpentry colleagues.

      The receptionist had booked a double session and this quite sensitive but naive doctor with shaking hands spent most of it agreeing that I didn't need any more CBT and I didn't need the "RE-WIRE" therapy he recommended a year ago but how about (wait for it):


      I had to cut him short of course because we hadn't even begun to get the sick notes sorted out and time was already up. I confessed I am a complete know it all and no thanks I have made my mind up. I told him I was so sick of English hypocrisy I was considering training as a Primal Therapist and moving to California for good (if such a thing were actually possible).

      His hands were still shaking whilst we went on to discuss the shite our soldiers returning from Afganistan are putting up with (governmental denial of trauma) and then we proceeded to discuss particular details of trauma. He is obviously a really sensitive guy and has genuine concerns.

      But of course for him to take that step over the threshold into the world of birth trauma and gestational trauma. . . well. . . So I took a risk and said I thought I had been a scopolamine baby and had been having reliving experiences awakening out of that drugged state.
      He was very interested and I began to wonder if this doctor might actually be the one "I COULD WORK WITH". . .

      Lastly, I am also thinking of putting myself on some kind of 'antidepressant' for a while. . . I hope Prozac gives you the break you need to pull your life back together.

      Paul G.

  6. Art!

    You have through many years bound me to your ideas about life... ideas which later slowly changed to become part of my life!

    What I reflected on through my neocortex of your texts to design mine has big impact on how I intellectually was formed... an important issue to clarify the concept of how I intellectually was formed without emotional connection to it... a prerequisite for an possible intelligent context around my life! My limbic system still slumbering in suffering... leaking in time when my cognitive ability to escape subsided with the result of anxiety and depression... but now I know!

    For me... to not run from myself... is signals necessary that tell about it ... signals of anxiety and depression... signals that tell about emotional catastrophic consequences... consequences at time for my childhood... now often up in my conscious awareness!

    An extremely delicate process ... a process through warnings by anxiety and depression... as telling of dangers from it! It just needs to be right... everything else is without a goal for success... and that is what the now current institutions of psychiatry and psychology continue doing... they do not know and feel nothing!

    What they do not know is what they need to know for a possible process to heal ! What they knows is how to manipulate these symptoms beyond recognition... it through cognitive and medical hopes for results... a tragedy for humanity... we know better now!

    To "lift " forward room from our childhood can be the worst mad act without the technology for it... that's what we have to know... it is our only possibility... to be care! But depending on everything else the understanding as professionals include... an obstacle... an strenuous process for them... where their desire for not do something about it is/was the guarantor for survival... then a long time ago for what still is going on!

    How are we to understand something when what we perceive is tasked to not allow us to understand what is needed for life?


  7. The need for love creates all the symptoms humans can "imagine"!

    What causes need of love when we are not allowed to experience it? What is it that happens when our need for love is not processed for its task in our brains and bodies? What is it then the electrochemical process causes? Cognitive approaches and medication against what neocortex self alone contains seems impossible for answers when need of love is repressed in the emotional limbic system? A given phenomenon ... phenomenon not to be known!

    An electrochemical process that shall show science... require access to all caches in our brain! If the questions for it is wrong pledged... you can just imagine the outcome!?

    Words like... do you love me... an impact for thinking about it... with serious consequences... it will always fail... for what ever purpose is intended ?

    Please... mom... please love me... that is the begining of the equation to our life!


  8. An email comment (part 1):

    End of my futile attempts, the intellectual way, in speech and writing, to advise on how to thaw and / or understand frozen emotions.

    Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that certain things do not work; Cognitivists, for example, never find the low brain-level imprints. 60 million Americans guided by medical and psychological recipe writers, get their symptoms treated with psychotropic drugs, without achieving a long term cure. The beaming happiness demonstrated by many Oscar and Grammy award winners has not cured their early childhood traumas as the cheering crowds hope and imagine until drug abuse and suicide are tragic facts.

    I have read books and reflections of Art Janov, Ida Rolf and Alice Miller during 40 years, and I had the good fortune, as one of lucky few, by a combination of fortunate circumstances, to have been touched by Art Janov’s magical wand. The Janov connection meant the making of a journey back into my low brain-level imprints. For me, it was a complicated cruise into the wind / unknown that eventually led to a laborious demystification of my epilepsy and my neurosis. The epilepsy, however, a heavy stigma, was at the same time, in my specific case, a rewarding and significant trauma to process. During the final steps of the journey, I have, in my lucid moments, learned to be quite perceptive to understand my own internal physical and mental conditions, and to some extent also to others’s.

    It has been astonishing and disappointing to me, after several decades of successful struggle against my repressed birth trauma that I have been surrounded by a compact silence and lack of interest. That goes for everyone around me, including my closest family and circle of friends. With the exception of a handful of insightful relationships, no one has dared or been able to discuss my remarkable improvements, which I’m describing in detail in my book.

    Previously, in relation to my surroundings, I was living in an unsustainable negative bubble inflated by my epileptic symptoms. Now, I have punctured my stigmatic epileptic bubble and live in a positive transparent reality created by the fact that I found my key low-level brain imprints. The question is whether this transparency, over time, can create positive needs among the many living in a bubble inflated by repressed childhood traumas.

    Until recently, I have been convinced - inspired by Art Janov - that my repeated stories from my epileptic journey might affect the public’s overall approach. However, as I re-live more and more of my birth trauma, my neurotic force, that propelled my blogging campaigns, has dissolved. I accept better the grief that only very few understand my good fortune of having been virtually cured from my birth trauma. The comfort of this sadness is that I no longer feel a neurotic urge to convince those who not, by their own will, ask for my help.

  9. (Part 2):
    40 years ago Alice Miller wrote: “Regarding unconscious behavior, I do not believe in using recipes and advice as aids. I do not see it as my duty to appeal to parents to treat their children differently. Instead, I want to try to clarify contexts, provide metaphorical emotional information related to the child within the adult. As long as this little child, within the adult, does not become aware of what happened to it, its emotional life is frozen, and its responsiveness to childhood denials are weakened. It leads nowhere with appeals to love, solidarity and compassion if this important prerequisite for humane feeling and understanding is missing.455

    For professional psychologists, this fact is of special importance. Without empathy, they cannot help patients with their expertise, no matter how much time they spend on them. Parents are equally unable to understand their children, even if they are well trained and have plenty of time for the kids if they are emotional alien to their own childhood sufferings.”

    Experiences and perceptions about me and a few close friends, in recent years, have convincingly confirmed the stunning regularities of Alice Miller’s statement. Evolution represses unbearable pain / traumas suffered by a child before, during and just after birth. These imprints are not reached by intellectual talk. The pain must be found and re-lived on the same level as the low-level brain imprints.

    It has been a combination of luck and determinism that I have been able to establish a sufficient number of favorable circumstances and, guided over 40 years by the same outlier of a genius, Art Janov, I have made the journey through my birth traumas and re-lived the pain that for decades distorted my worldview. However, it is at the same time a hopeless fact that so very many people do not seem to be aware of this alternative route and / or not having the ability and resources to create the factors that will allow them to transform their lives.

    Jan Johnsson

  10. If you want to be smart you have to be conscious. If you want to be conscious you have to let go and lose control. Normal people have no fear of losing control -- they do it all the time - it feels normal to them. A 'drowning' person will never let go and lose control, and rightly so, for it may be very dangerous to do so.

    The problem is, most of us are drowning, and we assume that drowning is a normal thing because we don't think of it as "drowning" and everyone else does it. So 'drowning' seems normal. As Art says, we have never known anything else.

    We assume that the President of the United States is 'normal' (drowning). That's why we will never allow him to break down and cry in public. We instinctively believe: "If he gives in to his emotions, he will drown; he will be totally disfunctional and incompetent. He will get lost and he will never come back." We fear the possibility of this scenario happening in ourselves because we have never been lost and we fear the unknown.

    And we SHOULD fear the unknown -- especially an unknown feeling that sends out hints... MORBID hints. This is why we admire those who show unwavering control -- we even admire psychopaths because we believe control is absolutely crucial. We believe it is the difference between winning and losing the game of life.

  11. Hi Richard,

    -"we even admire psychopaths because we believe control is absolutely crucial. We believe it is the difference between winning and losing the game of life"-.

    So true. Furthermore, because the tacit agreement is that feelings cloud the FACTS, we can all play the game of: "I am a feeling person inside too (so don't call me a psycho) but your problem is that you keep drawing attention to yourself by showing emotion". . .

    Thus feelings are now associated with narcissism. Every one is trying to be an individual but without revealing their need, their 'un-met needs'.

    What you end up with is bland uniformity / conformity, except of course for those "artist types" who we watch on the telly to distract ourselves from our pain.

    Yes we surely need those actors and artists to distract ourselves from the real issues.

    Paul G.

    1. I agree with you Paul. The tacit agreement is that feelings cloud the facts, and it's true; misconnected feelings do cloud the facts, and disconnected feelings do not. But disconnected people cannot think outside "the facts", whereas misconnected people can see a bigger picture -- that bigger picture is not perfect but it is more important than "the facts".

      For example, my aunty is undoubtedly a right-brainer -- she is very emotional and a wonderful singer. She believes lions will graze on grass when Jahova decides to rid the world of pain... not very factual... but she sees a bigger picture... she sees a world full of pain, and she cries for those who suffer. She married a psychopath. She told me she wanted to marry him because she felt that he might leave her if there was no marriage to secure the relationship. He spent all her savings - $80,000 - to get a private pilot's license and a yacht (just for fun) and then left her when one of his two secret girlfriends gave birth to his baby and couldn't keep it a secret anymore. As a psychopath, he understood "the facts" but he couldn't see the bigger picture.

    2. Hi Richard,

      It's not true that feelings cloud the facts. Passions when acted out cloud the facts and that's what we cringe from when we see others do it and (if we're not psychos) we cringe from ourselves when we finally realise we have done it too.

      The problem with repression is that it disables our ability to discriminate between true feelings and 'mere' passions. We may act with awareness, we may act toward our preferences and believe we are really choosing. . . driven all along by passions. . .

      Thus all feelings get lumped together in the bag of clouds (all discarded as useless evidence by that deceptive organ the neo-cortex).

      Paul G.

    3. Well said, Paul. Let me write it this way:



      1. a traumatic feeling that connects to an inappropriate part of the intellect
      2. an unconscious awareness of a traumatic feeling
      3. suffering
      4. a false understanding of a feeling
      5. a clouded fact



      1. a traumatic feeling that does not connect to the intellect
      2. no awareness of a traumatic feeling
      3. no suffering
      4. no understanding of a feeling
      5. a logical but unreal understanding of a fact

  12. Hi Richard,

    I think disconnected feelings also generate gaps in the facts. . . Aaaand to sustain the gaps in the facts you need Cognitive abilities to re-arrange those facts surrounding the gaps to 'fill in' (bullshit in other words).

    Cognitivism is not a new thing. . . All religion is a form of it. When true feelings are recovered these 'gaps' in the facts cease to be filled with nonsense and a broader, more colourful experience is achieved.

    It is so true that consciousness is made of awareness + feelings. It really is that simple.

    If only, if only, if only. . .

    Paul G.

    1. Paul, I have spoken to many disconnected "Mr Spocks" and I have never ever been able to show them the errors in their thinking because there are no errors and there are no gaps in their thinking. No pauses... no disassembling of previous beliefs and construction of new ones... no flaws in their logic. Ever. When I give them new information, they incorporate it logically into their previous understanding -- they do it seamlessly and it all makes logical sense when they explain it back to me. They might say to me "Feelings can be changed by thoughts" and I will say "Traumatic feelings can be suppressed temporarily, but they keep bouncing back because they come from a dominant part of the brain that is designed to keep you alive regardless of what you think." And then they will say "Yes feelings are dominant for that reason. But if they can be suppressed, that only proves that they can be influenced by thoughts, and according to all the available scientific literature, there is no reason to believe they cannot be corrected by thoughts. After all, thoughts can indeed cause dominant feelings. If you mistakenly think you are going to die, you will get a dominant feeling, and if you correct that thought, the feeling will go away. Besides, there is no evidence to prove the existence of repressed trauma in the way you describe."

      The conversation can go on and on, and there are no errors or gaps in their thinking. No bullshit. Just perfect facts, one after the other, and seamless rationalisations. Why should these people spend their time investigating Janov's work? They won't unless they have some decent connections to their own pain. No amount of facts can prove what a person is feeling.

      Nowadays I don't waste my time on disconnected people. I offer my advice to those who have SOME sense of where their pain is coming from. Those people tend to cry a lot. Art suggested I should not waste my time on politicians. He was right, but I needed to find out for myself.

    2. Hi Richard,

      -"The conversation can go on and on, and there are no errors or gaps in their thinking"-.

      Yes there are errors and gaps in their thinking. But they get you to believe in their 'boundaries'. Thus you pursue their criteria and try to put them right because your criteria is different to meet your needs, not theirs (they are stupid and believe every one's needs are the same as theirs).

      It's not possible to petition those people who have decided to take a cognitive view of social / emotional situations. If you do choose to go down there it's a clear cut case of: "Invasion of the body snatchers". Once they have enrolled you into their "trust" you have to obey "their rules". . . As Seiglinde said: "Mind Control".

      Thus: "Every Englishman's Home is his Castle". And in the private home those rules contravene our needs, we end up twisted into some one else's version of what we should be. . . He or She "who must be obeyed" is what we end up "Being".

      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.