Sunday, October 4, 2015

To My Colleagues and Shrinks Everywhere

Forget what you learned in school: it is wrong

Forget what you learned about diagnosis: it is wrong

Forget what you learned about therapy: it is wrong

Forget what you learned about theory: it is wrong

Forget about your office setup: it is wrong

Forget about the fifty-minute hour: it is really wrong

Forget about what you learned about insights: it is wrong

Forget what you learned about therapeutic progress: it is wrong

Forget what you learned about relating to your patients: it is wrong

Forget what you learned about how to treat patient: wrong again

Forget about what you learned about the unconscious: it is wrong

So what’s right?

Everything else
 

59 comments:

  1. For the most part, I agree with the above statements. That has to be importantly qualified by the fact that I do not have sufficient personal experience to sufficiently confirm the theories of those like Janov (and Reich and Lowen and some Fromm and Horney) who question prevailing brain and behavioral and other theories, and who offer very convincing alternatives, convincing to me mainly on paper. Nor do I have or will ever have clinical experience helping others based on these alternative theories. That being clearly said I continue to study the works of these insightful bio-psychotherapists with deep and keen interest. Practically I do Lowen's Bioenergetics exercises to open up my body and it helps!...while being followed by a therapist if I need her assistance because stuff comes up, no question.

    Marco

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    1. Oops...my second sentence above should have been edited.:). I usually write better than that. Sorreee...

      I would add to my first post: if I were the Minister of Health of some enlightened country which does not yet exist, I would risk $50 million in public funds to test out Janov`s and Reich`s theories in meaningful short and long term studies. That`s how convinced I am that there is something very worthwile to investigate in the life-work of these two dedicated and very very insightful psychologists. With all that is at stake, with so many sufferring terribly from various neurotic symptoms, especially the psychotics and the cancer patients, it's almost criminal that serious alternatives like Reich`s and Janov`s work are not being independently investigated.

      Marco

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  2. And this is why you're unpopular (with them) - even though you're right! :)

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  3. Hi Art,
    I can honestly say that nothing ! a psychotherapist ever told me "therapeutically did have any therapeutic effect.
    On the contrary my loneliness and desperation (no one seems to understand my problem it is soooo
    simple to understand (tall and thin and longing for an a d u l t BODY seemed to be lightyears away from their experience...

    Even a 2 mtr."enough muscled " shrink yawned about my complaing my meagre boy of 12 years
    body.
    I wonder why on earth is this... so irrelevant to a psycho(this is the answer..) "therapist..
    For me it is like redemption to see my adult and muscular body .
    Yours emanuel

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  4. Honestly Art,

    As much as I love your blunt bullet point format and the content (of course), I just get this sneaking suspicion that the 'colleagues' you refer to will (if they ever see this 'list') simply conclude that you have some kind of neurotic attitude problem. I mean, we could play a game here couldn't we?

    Lets see now, what would the 'Human Givens' lot say? Or the Cognitivists? Or the thisses and the thatists or the otherists? :

    -Hey man, you really got a problem with blame;
    -you should live & let live;
    -people are different;
    -life is a diversity;
    -each deserves what they choose for themselves;
    -people need to be mindful;
    -people need to take responsibility for themselves;
    -every-one has a right to whatever therapy they choose;
    -supply meets demand;
    -hey man, love yourself;
    -don't be so critical;
    -stop condemning people;
    -Wake up and see reality;
    -Our therapy is scientific;
    -stop being negative;
    -start seeing the positive;
    -do you see yourself as a victim?
    -our thoughts are what make us human;
    -our feelings are merely a passing affliction;
    -neurology shows that negative thoughts can be eliminated;
    -good feelings come from positive thoughts;
    -people need mentors;
    -people need drugs to compensate for genetic shortfalls;
    -people need firm leadership;
    -people have a right to believe whatever they want;
    -correct beliefs are what make people morally correct;
    -people get sick because they don't think the right thoughts;
    -my therapy is appropriate for depressives because. . .
    -my therapy is appropriate for manics because. . . .
    -my therapy is appropriate for victims of violence because . . . .
    -my therapy is correct because it retrains people to think positively. . .
    -my therapy does not challenge people's beliefs but modifies them. . .
    -my therapy is cheaper than yours. . .

    etc etc etc etc etc ad nauseum. . .

    Paul G.



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    1. PAul, let me give you one example: people do not have rights to believe what they want when it harms others; which is what most therapists are doing in the name of health. Every day I have to treat those badly damaged by those who believe nonsense. Don’t be too democratic; it can hurt others. Hitler had a few believes and millions died. art

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    2. Yes Art, I totally f*****g agree,

      I was being ironic in a very sarcastic way. . . I have been experimenting (very conscientiously) on Farce book with Primal Ideas and this is the kind of stuff people say.

      The Human Thinking brain is a barrier to feeling and that's that. . .

      Paul G.

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    3. Hi All,

      how about this for the common delusion in most humans:

      -"Eckhart Tolle


      You are not "in the now"; you are the now. That is your essential identity--the only thing that never changes. Life is always now. Now is consciousness. And consciousness is who you are. That's the equation"-.

      This is a perfect example of the reinforcement of the thinking brains inability to grasp the actual truth of our condition. You might as well believe that repression doesn't exist, just like your friends don't exist when you're not thinking about them, eh?

      F*****g Shrodingers Cat is another one of those ridiculous mind benders which only proves my point. . . people are stuck in their heads and that's where they like to be. . .

      Anyway, on a good note, at least we can see through this bullshit !

      Paul G.

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    4. Art: This piece worries me, and made me wonder what you expect to achieve by publishing it,and indeed about your real motivation for writing it.

      You address it to the psychiatic profession yet send it to us. Why? You´ve already flogged this one virtually to death: we all know this. But if you do send it to those to whom it is addressed & directed, what the hell do you think they are going to make of it? Paul has already given details of the sort of reactions you can expect from the detective, analytical minds of the shrink brotherhood. Their
      entire lives are spent scanning their patients outpourings for clues. What will this piece do but trigger the bejeesuz out of them? You tell them that everything they do in their profession and have done for maybe decades is purĂ© bullshit, and moreover, with absolutely no argument or evidence whatsoever to back it up. They´ll eat you for breakfast Art. Eat you up and spit you out.
      You must know how carefully you must tread wth these people. This piece is unbelievably bad psychology and extremely careless. Something seems to have slipped. The many shrinks who feel either threatened or are unconvinced by Primal Therapy will read this, and say "If someone who has practised Primal Therapy on himself for half a century can still come out with something like this, then what does that say about Primal Therapy?" You´ve given them all the ammunition they´ll ever need to ridicule and dismiss PT.
      If this gets out - and who knows if there are mainstream shrinks on this blog? - you risk having Primal Therapy publicly ridiculed amongst the psychiatric profession. My suggestion would be to remove it immediately from your blog.
      This piece has also left me wondering WHY. Is there an unresolved feeling or two still lingering? And/or is the high octane pace of your continuing and admittedly heroic drive to get Primal Therapy accepted finally beginimng to take its toll on you, aged 91, and are things beginning to slip?

      I hope you take this the way it´s intended. With love, Gary

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    5. Gary, I trod carefully for decades and no one paid attention. How about a little humor? They need to wake up! art

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    6. I'm glad Art that you are telling the truth about what education isn't. Everyone says get a college education---that's where you really learn what you need in life, as if the 12 years prior was not more valuable.
      I once talked to a college professor who taught Spanish asking would I be able to be fluent and with confidence speak Spanish taking the required courses . He truthfully answered no but it will get you a good job working at the gas company because they know you can stick with something if you get your degree. Wish more people would speak the truth and not lie. Go ahead and shake things up, Art.

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    7. Hi Art & Gary,

      -"I trod carefully for decades and no one paid attention"-. . .

      That makes this blog a kind of elite window into reality doesn't it? But not because anyone is keeping secrets (!) And most of the time we don't stoop so low, in fact we have often avoided humour knowing it's a defense, knowing how serious the issues really are. . . I can't blame Art for his post above because I suspect he thinks his paper on epigenetics will probably fall mostly on deaf ears anyway; in this respect any sarcasm will too (!) The efforts Art makes are all the more heroic for that. There is a rather predictable lack of comprehension in those who really should know better and yes, they really do need to wake up. It's good to make a stand, compromise is unscientific. . . As 'forgiveness' is a religious concept so 'compromise' is a political concept and there should never be a political motive or 'influence' in true science. . .

      Paul G.

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    8. Paul,this maybe could fit your list too:

      "we do epigenetic modifications by latest scientific methodology".
      or
      "we are licenced by State to do the epigenetic modifications required for legal health insurance, legal job, legal marriage... and high quality offspring. respectfully yours ______"

      Is the future of medicine epi epigenetic?

      Delete
    9. Hello Anonymous!

      It is of great importance to me and the truth behind the words can not be described in a simpler way. It's true ... true ... true and certainly do not need any excuses for being humorous

      Your Frank

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  5. An email comment:"A whole new world, Dr. Janov? ☺

    Thank you.

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    1. And my answer: A Brave New World? Art

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    2. This is good what Art has written to colleagues and shrinks.

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    3. Art !

      Now you're being ironically sarcastic. . . !

      Paul G.

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  6. Who else is going to stand up and say "Your wrong!"? Who else has the authority to?

    Forever Thanks Art and France, for standing up for us and saying no more, when there is a better way. Katherina

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  7. These other therapies have had generations to show what they could do, they've had their chance and blown it! Katherina

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  8. Love it Love it Love it.... thankful Primaler!

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  9. Art,
    Do we have any lobbyists at the convention?
    I think it would be something to consider for all of us!
    your Frank

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    1. Frank, What convention? no lobbyists. For what? art

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    2. Art,

      Sorry as I understood it ... the World Congress of Psychiatry will take place in Spain where various scientific results will be presented and show up for what is new in psychiatry and show the possibilities ... and then maybe opportunities to influence what presented? That's what I meant by lobbying for what primal therapy presents?

      Sorry if I misunderstood everything!

      Your Frank

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    3. Frank, it is a journal. i had the same confusion about it...
      the word "congress" is probably confusing for you too.
      it is not a meeting. hope this helps.

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    4. Hello vuko,


      It helps... tank you.

      Your Frank

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  10. Sorry David, your comment got accidentally erased, but here it is:

    "That there's a whole profession based on well not much at all and achieving very little!
    Incredible."

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    1. And my answer:
      Ah David, so so sad, and no one is getting better. Be sure to read the piece coming out Oct 17. Very important. art

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  11. Thanks Art. Very straight to the point.

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  12. GOOD NEWS

    Hello Dr. Janov and all,

    the beginning of Gene de-methylation has stared.

    "Nobel Prize in Chemistry: how our DNA repairs itself"
    http://www.dw.com/en/nobel-prize-in-chemistry-how-our-dna-repairs-itself/a-18766543

    Greetings, Sieglinde

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    1. Sieglinde, Thanks for the heads-up. I have been reading about it. art

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    2. Dr. Janov

      It was inside, what I used to establish the theory that too much Penicillin/antibiotics during pregnancy is harmful to the fetus. Remember I wrote about on this blog (about 2 years ago) that my mother used the pregnancy too much Penicillin; (side chain of biosynthetically derived penicillins with other chemical groups).
      Now “The Guardian” writes:
      http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/07/lindahl-modrich-and-sancar-win-nobel-chemistry-prize-for-dna-research
      “All chemical processes are prone to random errors. Additionally, your DNA is subjected on a daily basis to damaging radiation and reactive molecules. In fact, you ought to have been a chemical chaos long before you even developed into a foetus,” …
      and:
      “Together, the repair mechanisms discovered by Lindahl, Sancar and Modrich fix thousands of DNA faults caused by UV rays, cigarette smoke and other toxic substances. They are constantly at work to repair copying errors as cells divide. Without these repair mechanisms, the genomes would be riddled with errors, and cancer would be rife.”
      I wonder if ultrasound is also a contributor to gene alteration.
      Best, Sieglinde

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    3. Sieglinde: Most interesting. The real piece comes out in one week. art

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  13. Hi, Art
    Is awareness as possible without consciousness, consciousness without awareness possible?
    Is the treatment, make patient to be irreligious, necessarily?
    Why is there no mention of primal therapy in reference books of psychology?
    Thank You

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    1. It is a big questions that would take a book to answer. Shrinks never mention Primal for many reasons: they not understand feelings; They avoid pain.
      because it works and is a bit complicated and cannot be done in a few sessions, blah blah. There is no mention of our work for the same reason. It is not the usual nonsense and do what you like.
      It is science and requires a bit of science understanding. It is suspect because it goes to the deep brain and deep unconscious. It means unlimited time for a session and accepting deep pain. It means less money per hour and……you fill in the blanks. art

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    2. Hi Dr Janov:

      You say your orientation is scientific, and I believe so also in the sense that one can discover certain emotional patterns and then affect them. We know and are comforted by the fact that life and human emotions are not random and thus potentially "knowable".

      But isn't your type of science different in some fundamental way from the science of say the neurologists who only look at the physical brain, and thus necessarily come up only with purely physical explanations for emotions and other mental events, and thus also come up with only possible physical solutions to any emotional or mental problems. Of course these purely brain oriented neurologists and psychiatrists are at a dead end. But I can understand them to a certain extent. Perhaps the differences between you and the mainstream can only bridged if these methodological scientific issues can be clarified. But I also think that one cannot really convince others intellectualy only re: the bio-emotional realm, feeling must convince the most of course. So how to bridge the gap? One possible lead comes from the fact that mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists, and most "hard" scientists , suffer from an emotional block that Wilhelm Reich says manifests as "mechanistic thinking", that is to say the usual nerdy/scientific or "professional" way at looking at the world . They can't be convinced intellectually because they are defended this way. Only some counter-emotional experience dissolving this block will get through to them is what Reich says. Reich has one case study of a "mechanistic" physicist that could not "get" Reich's work because of a block from very early childhood. I'm sure what I am saying here is nothing new to you, Dr Janov. Of course I am not defending the "mechanists" because they are really frustrating despite the fact that we may know that whatever we say will not get through to them. And , personally, I don't want to make it sound here that I have all these things figured out, and that I am so sensitive. I struggle between the head and the heart like most people.


      Lowen writes a propos of my main points (clarifications by me in parantheses):

      " I suppose the reason why ophthalmology ignores the (emotional) aspect of the eye (for instance) is that as a strictly scientific discipline it has to deal with objective data. The (emotionally) expressive aspect of the eye is not subject to objectification or measurement. But this raises the question whether a (strictly) objective scientific view could fully comprehend the functioning of an eye or for that matter a human being. Psychiatrists and other students of personality cannot afford this narrow view....

      In a textbook on ophtlamology, the anatomy , physiology, and pathology of the eyes were descrtibed in a purely mechanistic way, as if the eye were a machine like a camera rather than an (emotionally) expressive organ of the personality. "
      (from "Bioenergetics" , Alexander Lowen, 1975)




      Lastly, Lowen mentions you favorably in the book from which I quote above.




      Marco

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    3. Art,

      -Yep- the price of honesty. . .

      Paul G.

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    4. Thank you Art.

      "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14

      Accepting the truth is hard.

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    5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNgtI-io2fg

      interesting video. but while he says how important is the expression from inside,
      he is so busy instructing... isn't that the major source of abreaction?
      for his age he is here in excellent shape, though.

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    6. Hi Marco,

      great post. Perhaps what Art has developed is a 'Process Model' for neurology. Aaand I think one reason why so many 'others' ignore Art's work is because they are still looking for the 'correct map of the brain' and don't want to admit it's already been discovered. . . But what they want is not a map so much as a kind of 'printed dollar bill' an 'invoice' for their silly machinations. . . An 'I O U' for their narcissistic assumptions. . .

      Another word I have heard which is a good word I think is "Systematics".

      I imagine what you call: 'Mechanistic' is the frontal brains 'acquisitive' tendency to 'reduce' new information into an existing model. Therein lies a clue to how (or should I say why) the frontal (figuring out) brain reflects the attempt at adaption by trying to approach a new situation in the light of previously experienced situations. . .

      These neurologists & various scientists just can't 'GET' how determined they are by their own thought processes, which of course are totally 'driven' by their limbic & brainstem imprints. . . As long as you don't have to have too much to do with these types you can learn to have a laugh at their expense because, actually they are VERY VERY predictable. . . Which they would be, wouldn't they?

      They really do need to wake up.

      Paul G.

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    7. Vuko, interesting video of Lowen's. I liked that he talked about the left and right brains, and also feelings being blocked from childhood. Also that talking about problems won't necessarily solve them as the cognitivists believe. Maybe the psychoanalysts should follow his way to get out of their heads for a while.

      But it seems to me that the exercise he recommends is a lot like yoga and tension relieving with some deep breathing or a bit of yelling. Might be too much for fragile patients.

      I was turned off by his demonstration of having that poor fellow in his boxers exercise in front of the trainees. Lowen seemed to lack sensitivity for his subject.

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    8. Sheri, I had his therapists as my patients and they had no idea how to get below the exercise/physical part. He left out the brain and the nervous system and the history!!!! art

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    9. Hi Sheri & Art,

      -"He left out the brain and the nervous system and the history"!!!!

      I saw a recent Farce book post: -"Mystery, not History"- . . . A kind-of 'Cognitive Martial Art' to deflect just exactly that 'omission'. . . ( I think in T/A thy call it: "Kiss Off"). . ?

      Paul G.

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    10. Hi Sheri, for me the guy was just the preparation for what he did with (or should i say to) the last girl. i understood it like a therapy demonstration. it really takes some lack of sensitivity to to do it.
      which only adds to argument that human health is often not what we see on surface> what we say (and that it includes me), how we look, age we reach or even the epigenetic signature we measure. for that last one probably some answers will be published tomorrow.

      Delete
  14. Hi Art,

    It's not the Locus Ceruleus. . . My mistake, but somewhere in Primal Healing you say there is a brain center / organ that may be the place across which left to right & right to left OBFC connections are transmitted but for the life of me I can't find it. . .

    Paul G.

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    1. Paul, I never keep my books so I cannot check. sorry art

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    2. Hi Art. I am curious, how come you never keep your books?

      Regards,

      Steve

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    3. Once they are done I am on to the next or some other arcane reason. art

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    4. Hi Paul. Is it the corpus callosum you are looking for? In Art's book "Primal Healing" page 110 he says: "Our ability to connect our feelings depends on a key brain structure that serves as a bridge between comprehension of feeling, which is a function of the left brain, and feeling itself, governed by the right brain. This bridge is called the 'corpus callosum.' It is the most important of several highways connecting the left and right brains......"

      Also Paul, that link I gave a few weeks ago with the Harvard team' animation of "Untangling the Brain" I found can only be accessed by google and not yahoo. The more I learn about computers the more there is to know.
      Sheri

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    5. Thanks Sheri,

      excellent feedback, so true about computers. . . also, masses of similar info on the same subject. . . like walking into a bookshop that specialises in Encyclopedias & Catalogues. . . Aand all I wanted was "piece of info X". . .

      yours gratefully trudging along the 'information highway' looking for a bus stop. . .

      Paul G.

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    6. Art,

      can I guess why your book collection is available to you? Could it be that you don't want smart arses like me asking you to thumb through to page x asking damn fool questions?

      My god, I am lucky Sheri answered. . .

      paul G.

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    7. You know, Art, one of these days somebody is going to have to scan, digitize, index, and concordance your works. It will make it much easier for not just your fans, but also for scientists who want to build on your work -- and help particularly in getting grants to study Primal Therapy. Is this being done as part of your Legacy Program?

      -- David T.

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    8. David, You are so right, but you know I am only one person and I write and write so it never happens. Some of it is getting done with my great editor Agustin Gurza. art

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  15. Whilst we debate the complexities of psychotherapy, today, every day, countless helpless, innocent animals, born to live free, natural lives, will instead endure terrifying, agonising deaths in abattoirs after living the most unnatural and painful existences imaginable. 2 billiion will die this week.
    Don´t they count?
    This saddens me because in 22 years on the "primal scene" I have met extremely few vegetarians or vegans and almost noone who knows or cares about the hell that these animals endure. Why? They have the same feeling base - physical and emotional - as humans. They have the same survival instinct as us, and feel TERROR and PANIC as they are about to die. Dairy cows suffer weeks of emotional pain after their young are snatched from them after birth to be either imprisoned in darkness for a few weeks for veal, slaughtered, or destined for the same constant forced pregnancy and mastitis and pain as their mothers.

    The pain inflicted routinely on these tragic creatures is almost beyond imagination. The perpetrators, however, are acting under intense pressure to perform from abattoir bosses whose sole motive is profit. This is obviously primally driven. It means that zero consideration is given to the animals comfort, and employees use extreme brutality as a short cut to meet their production goals. Communities around abattoirs have extremely high rates of child abuse, "mental" illness and suicide.

    Meat, fish, dairy, eggs - the real price is in animal pain and human sickness, not to mention environmental devastation. It has been long known that the greatest action anyone can take to improve things on this planet is to go vegan.

    The animal holocaust only began in 1945. We evolved without it. It is completely unnatural, and I would expect any human without primal pain, including post primal patients, to see the obvious - that left to our natural devices we would be neither able nor willing to catch, kill and devour animal flesh - and to stop eating animals and their products. Sadly I´ve seen no evidence of this - maybe because my therapy has been in "mock primal" centres.

    The anthropological, paleontological, scientific and testimonial evidence that we are raw vegan is overwhelming: for a start: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Pe0FdA6CnGAhDUhKknqQGKdPmwWqEvWi8cYMZc5zZZg/preview?pli=1

    It´s not just the animals who suffer this hell, but massive evidence (The China Study for example) shows that consuming animal produce is the worst health practice imaginable. But is noone thinking? Do they think that the millions of vegans worldwide are all suffering from malnutrition? Far from it! (www.foodnsport.com)

    If we primal people care about ourselves, our healing and the welfare of others, why is there a resounding silence in the primal world on factory farming and vivsection? Aware vegans (most know nothing about our true dietary nature) know that attempts to educate animal eaters are routinely met with one of the many faces of DENIAL. The absence of intelligent, feeling response suggests, to me, primal pain, as does the defence of peoples RIGHT TO CHOOSE, even by most vegans. Really? So do people have this right to sexually abuse or beat children? To rape? To murder?

    I think when people get triggered by having their beliefs/practices questionned, primal pain takes over.

    The You Tube vĂ­deo "The best speech you will ever hear"by Gary Yourofsky is indeed the best speech against animal consumption I have ever heard. It contains a 4 minute vĂ­deo of "life" inside an abattoir. He asks you not to look away. If you eat animals or their products, you owe it to them to see the price of your dietary habit. His website is www.adaptt/org/ Gary

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  16. Hello Art,

    I just love reading your current articles. I say let it all rip Art. I for one need you to download everything that's on your mind, in the time that you have left with us on this mad planet. I'm so glad you're here translating and guiding me to the right stuff. Thank you.... It all makes sense now, Epigenetics is the link I've been trying to find myself, to make sense of what I've observed. I don't think the brain is the only 'plastic' part of our beings either. If we turn the coin on Epigenetics and look at it's other side, the part where evolution is happening in real time. We are inheriting our parents experiences and responses to them - good and bad. Adaptive and maladaptive. I also watched the Ressler talk on you tube that you gave a link for recently. There is just no disputing that this new area of research will revolutionize almost everything eventually. I've always thought that it doesn't make sense that 'Random" mutations occur then natural selection favours them. The organism just has always seemed way smarter than that to me. I've always hoped that science would discover the mechanism that codes for our responses to the environment and surely now it has. What do you think then, of the fact that the female contains all the eggs she will ever ovulate whilst she is in her Mother's womb? Not only that but she was an ovum in her mother's ovaries when her Mother was a fetus in the Grandmother's uterus. So each of us has been imprinted heavily by both generation's inutero, birth and early attachments or lack thereof. Juliette

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    1. Hey you are sharp. And yes Ressler has made amazing discoveries, and me too. Thanks for the letter. art

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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.
Editor