Thursday, August 20, 2015

On the Difference Between Abreaction and Feeling (Part 8/9)

 The First Science of Psychotherapy

 The task of normalizing a patient’s entire system is a complex proposition because not all nervous systems are created equal. In the case of parasympaths – those low-energy types predominantly controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system due to re-shaping events in the womb and at birth – reactivity slows down. They remain passive and lethargic throughout life, permanently stuck in the energy conservation mode. That mode of operation becomes stamped in, imprinted as a life-saving device. This imprint is a memory of what the whole system did under threat in order, for example, to conserve oxygen, bind energy and slow down the metabolism to combat the deleterious effects of a mother taking drugs, drinking or a hundred other kinds of abuse. It differs from the revved-up sympath who is dominated by the sympathetic nervous system, the alerting, aggressive, fight (to get out) and battle system to save one’s life. For the patient who is a sympath, a typical session begins with higher vital signs, and tends to militate to lower levels as therapy goes on and feelings are experienced and connected. Not so with the parasympath whose body temperature often drops into the area of 96.0 degrees, steadily moving higher over months. It is the key distinguishing mark to differentiate the person with different kinds of nervous system dominance. And it is the marker for progress in Primal Therapy. Each nervous system tends to move toward normalization in our therapy; the parasympath toward higher levels, while the sympath, lower. This is what we expect to see over time in our patients. We cannot fool our biology. When we try to fool our nature, we put the patient in danger.

        The parasympathetic system, as the energy conserver, is dominant in feeling. We can see this dynamic played out in sports, especially at the end of games when athletes often show emotion. It happens to many tennis players, win or lose, after long, grueling matches. Some just collapse on the court in tears. In one famous case, Roger Federer was so crushed by defeat following a hard-fought, four-hour-plus tournament in 2009 that he could barely talk during a press conference. He cried so hard and for so long that observers at the Australian Open were shocked and felt uncomfortable. With a “torrent of tears” streaming down his face, as one writer described it, the only thing the defeated champion managed to say was, “It’s killing me.” What happens is that athletes gear up for battle and maintain an intense, fighting (sympathetic) stance during the game. When it’s over, the activation dials down and they are able to feel, so emotions overwhelm them. The neurological pendulum has swung to the parasympathetic side.

 The importance of the sympathetic/parasympathetic dominance is that it provides us with a biological basis for understanding personality development. At last we can leave abstraction and metaphor behind, and replace the vagaries of speculation with the precision of verifiable processes. We no longer need to talk about the "will to power" or the "will to meaning" or the "transcendent function." Instead, we can talk about the precise ways in which the brain and nervous system react to concrete events, and how those reactions become the physiological basis for the elaboration of personality. The precision of the theory and therapy leads to a precise knowledge of what is happening in sessions; we have a better fix on what may go wrong. If the theory is imprecise so will be the measures taken in therapy. It is why I call Primal Therapy the first science of psychotherapy. We don’t have to rely on patient reports to see if there is progress; there are many neurologic and biologic tools that can inform us.

 For example, when the sympath is reliving first line, we see high vital signs and accelerated brain wave frequency as well as higher amplitude waves. As we descend deeper we find the limbic system at work and then, further down, the brainstem and its cohorts. So one way we see evolution at work is by which nervous system dominates. If there is crying, chances are it is limbic and not brainstem. If there are grunts and no tears, we see a nervous system at work that predates limbic evolution. We cannot deceive the brain because it tells us in its own ineffable neurologic way what we are dealing with.

 What we have found is that very early events in life determine the settings of our nervous systems. What sways the two key nervous systems – both under the aegis of the hypothalamus – is the kind of biologic and neurologic reaction that is forced on us and our brains while under specific kinds of threats very early in life, during gestation and birth. There is the struggle-and-succeed syndrome, the sympath, and the struggle-and-fail syndrome, the parasympath. This latter gives up easily and smells failure. Not so the sympath who tries and tries and does not give up. And when a new patient struggles to feel even when he is not ready, we generally have a sympath on our hands. The parasympath comes in listless, down regulated, worn out, unmotivated and depressed. He sees no point in anything. This is where the therapist needs his full capacity to meet the challenge. Should he be encouraged? These are the questions we take up constantly in our staff meetings. We often bring the patient in and ask him what works. He sometimes knows and sometimes does not. With long-time patients I ask them if I made a mistake and what was it? I get good answers and I learn.

 One key problem in therapy is when the doctor tries to force the patient onto a nervous system that is not his. For example, the therapist may try to get the patient to act more aggressively with his boss when his whole system, the one that helped him survive, is in the energy conservative, passive unaggressive mode. So it is like deciding that someone should be right-handed and we force him not to use his left hand. We are confounding nervous systems (run by the hypothalamus) with terrible results later, such as stuttering and cross in reading and writing. In therapy, a comparable situation is created by abreaction: forcing the wrong nervous system into action.


  1. Hi Art,

    you have said that a 'normal' person has a system which demonstrates both sympath and parasympath characteristics. When you speak of a 'down-printed' patient entering therapy with little motivation it conjours up an image of some-one who has zero sympath characteristics and I wonder if that's the whole story. I mean, if a sympath is relatively successful in life she's not likely to present for help. . . Until perhaps they get an 'onset' or a shock or something goes wrong; then they may well appear to be the opposite. You have said sympaths are less likely to seek help (as their 'drive' keeps them away from the truth of their condition?). It all makes sense but I also wonder if the whole "Gestalt" of therapy (beginning with getting ill and/or realising there's something wrong etc) kind of exaggerates or sets up 'oppositions' to this?

    Your piece above is kind of making a distinction between 'Signs' & 'Symptoms'. I heard a good doctor on BBC R4 describing the difference in a similar way to you. -Which is that you can't necessarily trust what the patient describes, at the beginning of therapy the patient is almost ALL symptoms and presumably it's up to the therapist and hir relationship developing with hir patient to tease out the real difference. Until the therapist is sure of the 'trust' that needs to develop they can't be sure of what the TRUE signs are.

    Given that Primal addresses origins & causes it suggests that Primal Therapists could become leaders in this important area of "Diagnosis"; for without a correct identification of the difference between Signs & Symptoms both patient & therapist may be grasping at straws and stabbing in the dark. . .

    Paul G.

    1. Paul, I have noticed that among my graduate patients and therapists there is little intense ambition. There is a desire to produce but not compulsively. art

    2. Hi Art,

      -presumably because (sympath or otherwise) they are no longer 'driven' by unconscious forces. . . I wonder sometimes if parasympaths have a hard time because society expects them to be more sympath than they can be and so they have to act out to be something they're not, struggling to be 'successful' and 'dynamic'. Most modern societies seem sympath oriented, some to an extreme. Yet there are others, agrarian ones which do not expect their citizens to charge around being 'successful'. . . Your clinic might be producing future citizens of a less frantic world. . .

      Paul G.

  2. Hi,

    -another thing about the sympath / parasympath dialectic, from my own experience:

    I am on "zero hours contract". . . this week, yet again (twice) I have been laid off almost as soon as I arrived at work. So, I have been 'set up' (to be in sympath mode) and then 'put down' into parasympath mode. It was getting me down, literally, metaphorically and psychologically. . . But now I have a new strategy, more on that later.

    I have had the same experience with sex in the past and the result is the same. . . over a long period of time as I am subjected to the same "Set Up" and then "Put Down". . . It has driven me backwards into a kind of parasympathetic ab-reaction. . . Infact it's torture isn't it?

    It's a kind of 'baiting' and whether it's 'deliberate or unconscious' is beside the point. . . I see lots of this going on in society, infact it's rife and it's keeping people in a state of perpetual stress and dissociation because people can't fully commit or gain real satisfaction this way. . .

    Aaaand it all resonates back down to so many of our 'push / pull' , 'stop / start', 'stuck / go', 'struggle / fail' births. It never ceases to amaze me how culture and society acts out and expects others to act out accordingly and then we wonder why we fall ill with depression which won't lift. . . . . I can see this only getting worse before it gets better. . . There's a strong pattern showing; a real 'Sign' of Primal Pain acting out in society. . .

    Paul G.

  3. Hi,

    I am all too aware of how Art can't do "long range diagnosis" or give advice but my son researched his condition online better than any doctor, and discovered he has delayed development due to the methadone his mother was taking when pregnant with him. The epigenetics pretty much says that any retardation of gene expression in gestation is going to be permanent. So the information online says 'delayed development' and this beggars the question "what would / could allow for development to resume"?

    The obvious answer (on this forum) is 're-living' 1st line stuff isn't it?

    To cut a long story short my son has started 'developing' again. His weight is going up, his anxiety going down, his sweating / temperature regulation becoming normal adult, he is putting on muscle whereas before he was a skinny kid stuck at 14 years old, he's now 24. . . (This was his observation too). His beard is thickening etc.

    I can't begin to tell you how much he & I have gone through in the last two years. . . But I can tell you there were times when I really wondered if he was actually reliving stuff under his duvet day in, day out (for months) whilst I supported him as best I could, I thought he might die. . . He believes he could well have been reliving stuff. He has the most astute observations / insights and he does his own research online. . . Independent of what I tell him from this blog and Arts books. . . Which is quite a lot, which he digests and gives me feedback on. . . He's still on anti depressants and painkillers for fibromyalgia but he is now having periods where he stops the anti depressants and the painkillers and says he can 'feel' again. . .

    It's early days and maybe he is suffering from wishful thinking. . . Being his Dad I am both skeptical and hopeful at the same time, which is an unpleasant combination. . .

    I must say that toward the end of his bout of serious weight loss (think anorexia) and deep depression I had temporarily become about as proficient a Primal Therapist for him as any lay person could. What else could I do at the time? I had arrived at the point where I felt totally present for him but in no way judgmental or 'emotionally attached to the outcome'; I was bracing myself for the worst and giving unconditional support. . . I was reading all this stuff online from Art and his books andhad put myself back in counseling. Moreover I was fending off the MOST ridiculous, destructive, conceited, arrogant, prejudiced, pompous, narcissistic, totalitarian criticism and interference from "Professionals". . . . . I do NOT intend doing this for any-one else ever again, I couldn't, it nearly killed me, my life was totally on hold. . . But needs must and there was no-one else for him but me. . .

    What does a Dad do when his son's mother is dead and the lad is sick? You don't have to answer this Art.

    Paul G.

  4. An email comment:
    New research has identified the mechanisms that trigger disruption in the brain's communication channels linked to symptoms in psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. This research could have important implications for treating symptoms of brain disorders, say authors of a new report.

  5. Hello.

    Art, at last I found something I disagree with you.
    Concerning the Federer example, by what you wrote, I believe that all his energy reservoir was depleted even before those 4 hours. As a sympath, Federer kept on "fighting" (he couldn't quit), but one of the players had to lose. Since sympaths don't take defeat lighthearted and being physically exhausted, it was consequent for him to collapse into intense tears.

    Parasympaths wouldn't possibly reach the semi-finals; but if they did, since they know very well how to manage their energy without exaggerations or rushes, they stand more chances for final success.

    Art, will you be so kind as to answer me the following?
    During my therapy, I was told a little about the graph of sympath and parasympath, which looks like a sine. It never occured to me to ask what happens to a normal fetus, with a normal womb-life and with a normal birth. What kind of line does it have?

    Thank you again.

    - Yannis -

    1. Yannis, give me a few days to answer. preparing the bash for my birthday party art

    2. Much more important. . .

      Paul G.

    3. Of course...
      Happy Birthday!!
      Be very-very well and never limit your curiosity!

    4. Yannis, I won’t. I promise. art

  6. Hi Art,

    Does primal therapy make the patient to be irreligious (like you)?
    Do you believe in castration anxiety?
    Do you believe in "anima and animus" (in Carl Jung's psychology)?
    Do you believe in parapsychology?

    1. Anonymous: Each question would take a chapter to answer. I believe in me and Primal Therapy; that is a lot, already. art

  7. My sister told me that my mother didn't want me as she was pregnant, she used to wept. Now I am on sick leave and I can't return to old job, I need to search for a new one, this fact releases fears and old pain. Evertyhing you said Art is true, as a James Hetfield sings: sad but true.

    1. Piotr, I am sorry. Sad but true. We will take away the sad and leave the true. art

  8. After reading this, I just think that possibly if the majority of people with any kind of intelligence would read what Dr. Janov has to say, that there might be less crime, less hate, less violence. Possibly things could "be corrected" even in people who haven't gone through birth trauma but they suffer, and are unable to cope. Possibly things could be "turned around" for the better.. .I keep on reading what Art has to say, and throughout I can't understand why more people don't take note? Why don't the scientists and researchers become more involved....spend more money on research? You know a lot of them believe.

  9. So Art,

    will the First Science of Psychotherapy adopt as it's slogan:

    "Awareness + Feelings = Consciousness". . ?

    I think there's real mileage in that one. . . Ask a thousand people to say why they think that might be true. . .

    Paul G.

    1. Hi,
      -so as to understand the aphorism better, might it be fair to say that there are two radically different types of awareness and that the word can be pinned down this way?

      1. 1st line, ie: sensing.
      2. 3rd line, ie: thinking.

      It's probably a good thing to become 'good' at both of these awareness's and isn't that what most 'training & education does'? But without the limbic system connecting 1-2-3, 3-2-1 each of these 'awareness's' allow us merely to survive and function. Without connection to feelings they can fool us into deeper repression and act outs. I'm really NOT trying to play semantics here but for example I think there can't be any such thing as 'emotional awareness', that's almost oxymoronic isn't it? Emotional Intelligence goes beyond that and includes this discussion but it's not connection though, is it? I mean you can be aware of others feelings (or rather others having feelings, if you notice at all; and this would NOT be empathy, it's merely observation of their behaviour). You might also observe a feeling rising in yourself but without 'connection' that's all it will be, an observation of an emerging feeling. Repression will just turn it into something else unless you have a technique for access / connection. Abreaction or an act out or merely stuffing the feeling back down again will be the result, etc etc. . . My point is that feeling IS what feelings ARE and ONLY when they connect do you get full consciousness. . . Which is rare for neurotics like me. . .

      Paul G.

    2. Hi,

      if this is true then the above also explains why people are continually deceived into thinking that Artificial Intelligence can actually BE a legitimate substitute for Human Interaction. Currently the powers that be are looking to 'supplement' the shortfall of Doctors with new "Interactive Diagnostic Computer Interfaces". . . As if people don't already use the internet to 'self diagnose'. . . (Which is NOT a good thing so I am told because "Self Diagnosis" can be wrong. . . OH Really, even when interfaced with science research from SOURCE?)

      The conceit is only invisible to those who themselves are capable of basic sensing and basic thinking but are INCAPABLE of perceiving real human need. Which is, oh blimey ! Have I forgotten? What is basic Human need? Over and above shelter, water and food it's, um, it's um, it's eeeeerrrr, ummm. . .

      Oh yes: Feeling.

      Shit the bed! Why do we allow the powers that be to fool us into thinking we can get a sound diagnosis from a machine? Doesn't this represent a kind of coup for the neocortex? Have we really ALL been fooled into believing a WIRE MONKEY will do?

      Paul G.

  10. Hi,

    completely off topic; Many moons ago on this blog (2011 or 2012 ish) someone introduced a link to an animated video of gene splitting and the 'histone layer' (is that right?) made by some university in US. . . Can any one remember the link please? Been searching everywhere. . .


    Paul G.

    1. Hi,

      I think Bruce Wilson might have had a hand in the link. . . There's something about 'plasticity' at the genome level which is concurrent about all this. . .

      Paul G.

  11. Hi Paul. Glad your son is doing better. Some times help and understanding from a loved one is the best medicine. The link you spoke of was posted by Sieglinde on Dec. 18, 2011 Post "On Rearing Decent People; How Imprint Works." Her link leads to another, which is:
    Choose "Untangling the brain" (March '2009). Also is "Crammed with Connections" (2015).
    Hope that helps. Sheri

    1. Sheri,

      thanks for bothering with this, I'm too tired now (00:16hr GMT) but I'll check it out tomorrow.

      I have seen many videos on various aspects but the one I'm really after is excellent because it very well shows the mechanics of the biochemistry in motion and thus aids in explaining why the 'process' could well be that of adaption / maladaption in evolution. . . Given the latest breakthroughs from epigeneticists there seems to be emerging the real possibility of us lay people actually presenting convincing arguments with the help of such videos. . .

      Paul G.

  12. Hello Art!

    Aida... I have written about here on the blog at a number of occasions needs help in her ​​therapy ! She has worked with her ​​therapy for a number of years now. She is now at the experience around her birth and are convinced that everything is right but she needs help!? Im am not the one she asks for help!
    Can you please help her/us?

    Your Frank

    1. Frank, I know nothing about Aida and you want me to jump in and do what? come on, art

  13. An email comment (from yesterday): " Dear Art: Hoping that tomorrow, your 91st birthday, brings you all you would wish for ... and that the rest of your life brings you delights and enjoyment in view of the great gift, I feel you gave to mankind. Your genius and integrity I strongly feel is being mis-represented by the mental professionals and the medical community ... for the most part. Primal Theory, for me, is:- "Unified Field Theory", since now some of us know what is wrong with us humans, and have the means to somewhat rectify a major portion of it.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart, since it, gave me back most of the person I should have been from day one.

    I read your blogs as they are published and will continue to do for as long as I can read. Take great care.
    A great admirer of you and your work.

  14. Another email comment:
    "I'd like to wish you a very Happy Birthday and many more to come.

    Thank you again so much for your wonderful therapy in which I continue to untangle the neurotic knots that I've been bound by throughout my life.

    Last year I wrote a short autobiographical life-writing assignment for my creative writing course, which I'd like to send you. It came out of feelings that I had in a session and the following group that I attended (calling for my mother to come and help). Before I felt these feelings I had a vague, niggling memory about the incident but didn't realise its impact nor its significance for me at all. As the writing came from feelings in my Primal sessions, I thought it would be fitting to share with you (it's at the end of this message). I hope that you like it.

    I hope you have a really great day.

    With warmest best wishes.


  15. "Soul Crush (Part 1)

    Farahy National School was a homely two-roomed schoolhouse deep in County Cork countryside. It was my first school and as my mother was the Principal, I had the same Mammy there as at home, making the transition easier. She and I were like limpets. I was her 'cailín álainn', a welcome girl after three boys and an older sister who was fourteen when I was born. Mammy took me to school with her from the age of three and still not old enough to attend as a pupil. I’d play away contentedly by myself, as she taught her classes.

    Each morning we spent an engaging twelve-mile countryside drive at a crawling pace, stuck behind sluggish lorries that dripped under heavy loads. Our journeys were filled with harmonising sing-songs and exuberant I Spy games. We’d stop at Dwane’s in Kildorrery to get apples, Albany cigarettes and sometimes doughnuts. Once my brothers were dropped off at our hometown school I had her all to myself, prized in between the two front car-seats, rubbing shoulders all the way.

    I looked forward to being in Miss Healy’s class and was all geared up to be her bee’s knees too. She taught the younger children from lower infants to second class, while my mother occupied the adjoining room, taking the higher classes.

    Eagerly, I studied my first teacher, half my mother’s age. Her hair was dark night’s sky, painted down each shoulder seventy’s style. Her woven basket was crammed with a lustrous tapestry of textbooks and a golden, wooden ruler. A green apple balanced on top, eyeing the spectacle of twenty or so enthralled small children. This was her first teaching post. Everything about her seemed new: her crisp voice, bright wheaten basket, cream polo neck jumper, plaid skirt and knee-high boots. She spoke in soft semi-squeaked tones that I hoped were of delight.

    She sat up high on her thick wooden altar, flanked by an urn fire. Placing her basket to one side, she removed only the green apple, which she set in front of her. It gawped at us, now, from the front corner of her desk. Every day she bestowed herself onto her raised perch and every day we exalted. The basket, the books, the green apple and golden ruler were her staunch daily companions. When she talked, we listened. When we talked, she listened. And sometimes we all sang. Infrequently she descended her pew. Her tall form would stride the room while sheets of glistening sunlight trailed her.

  16. "Soul Crush (Part 2)
    Each lunchtime I tottered into my mother’s room. Her warm smile and soft, enticing eyes greeted me as I melted towards her. We’d spear slices of bread with iron rods and make toast by the fire. Afterwards I’d plod back to my own room. No more the smell of buttery, lightly singed toast and no smile there to greet, that was just for me. My desk was in the second row. Keenness allured me towards the front, yet I needed, also, to hide. I was the only girl in my class and the boys took turns at sitting beside me.

    Ladybird’s sibling duo, Peter and Jane, were our literary mainstay. Pristine, apple-faced children with jolly lives and a dog called Pat, they did everything together: swam in the river, played ball, sailed on boats, rode trains, built sand castles and splashed in the sea. My classmate Robert particularly loved Pat the dog. He was a Red Setter like his own dog, Frankie, whom he missed while at school. He dreamed of zapping through the fields with Frankie, after school had finished.

    ‘I can’t wait!’ he chimed.

    Smiling, I told him about my dog, Brownie, whose tail would swirl like a helicopter to welcome us back home. Robert and I giggled. He was my new friend.

    I looked up. In contrast to Peter and Jane’s mother, Miss Healy wasn’t smiling. She looked crossly at me and beckoned,

    ‘Come here!’

    I felt dazed, stuck in a quasi-sphere of sweet and harsh. My head seized as I stepped in laborious shuffles towards her. She held up her ruler and pointed - without looking - at my right hand, which I duly extended.


    Until then I had wondered about the purpose of her yellow stick: the mysterious golden aide, prized among her books.

    ‘What was that for?’ she demanded.

    ‘Talking Miss?’ I whispered to the floor, my face puce.


    I couldn’t speak.

    ‘Sit down!’

    My chest surged as I crammed back tears of utter loss and my school world switched to fear and emptiness. The humiliation as I stepped back to my desk, back to Robert, in the shushed classroom, stole away the rest of the day. I got stuck. Stuck in that moment. Miss Healy’s blow was not so much to my hand as to my four-year-old, baby soul.

    'Mammy', I needed to scream through the stupid concrete wall that separated us.

    'She hit me!'

    But I didn’t. Instead I changed. I spoke no more to Robert about our dogs or to anybody else about anything much. My school life became confused and dull, thwarted by the stern voice and golden wooden threat of Miss Healy. She wanted quiet and she wanted compliant. Those are what I gave her and resolved never to try to be anyone else’s bee’s knees again.

    1. -brilliant writing,

      reminds me of my boarding school experience. . .

      Paul G.

    2. Beautifully written. A young Miss Healey her first teaching post and yet she is so cruel and unfeeling. One incident to change a small child's school experience sad.
      Your writing makes me want to read more.

      Jean H

  17. An email reply to Paul from Gary:
    " father could have done better for his son than you have. You´ve done the very best you could so you´re beyond repoach, even if you have made mistakes. Bless you. You´re amazing.
    My elder sister recently went for a "family meal" with my parents, brother, his wife and their two early teenager daughers. I never go cos I live abroad. She´s 56 and related how my father, as he has done since she was a young girl, criticised her non-stop whilst veryone else just let him do it (you don´t challenge my Dad). Because he has always bullied her, she is scared of him and it took all her courage to say to him "Leave me alone. Just drop it", to which he YELLED at her "YOU DROP IT!!" at which she started shaking uncontrollably
    No one else supported my sister in any way. I wonder what my brothers daughters made of all this? And how he treats them, given his apparent unresponsiveness to this abuse?
    Later my father - apparently in jest - threw a ping pong ball at the back of my sister head.
    Throughout all this, my mother joined in the attack - as always - like dogs will join in the attack on a pack member being put in its place.
    My fathers emails to me only said "Debs came along to the family meal we had last Sunday" - "Debs" being an ostensible term of affection for my sister. Mega lie.
    Abusers usually present one face to the world- another to their victims.
    So I wonder what I don´t know about what happened to her in our childhood? She has told me so much he hasn´t over the last decades about how he treats her now, yet he never tells me about it...

  18. So nice to catch up reading.. To hear 'the truth' again, to look for any new learning, and to see all the great people on this Forum. Thank you Art. Jacquie

  19. Hi Art. I read that your throat is still causing pain - that's a pity! I hope you are doing ok despite the pain.
    Just a quick question if you are not overburdened. No doubt you know that the vagus nerve is a major component of the parasympathetic nervous system. When a person's vagus nerve is excited, she can suddenly faint as her heart rate and blood pressure drop quickly. My friend has been fainting suddenly ever since she was 12. Her doctors have never found anything wrong with her -- her vital signs are all good. They tell her she just has to live with it.
    To me, she doesn't seem obviously anxious or depressed. She looks like the healthiest person in the world.
    She is in danger because the fainting can happen when she is driving. Have you seen a correlation between parasympaths and sudden fainting when they are triggered? I am not trying to diagnose her.

    1. Thanks Richard for the heads up but my problem is damaged pharyngeal tissue that was damaged during a botched surgery. thanks again art

    2. I was wondering if sudden fainting is a symptom associated with parasympaths. My friend (a very pretty asian) was crying as she told me about her fainting episodes and no doctor can find anything wrong with her. I wonder if it is something in her environment that is resonating with a first line memory. She said she hates standing in large crowds and has felt faint on those occasions but has fainted in other situations as well.

      I wasn't offering you any help, sorry. I was just asking for yours as usual. I will direct her to this website.


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.