Monday, April 25, 2016

Why We Need a Therapy of Feelings

Because that is what is lacking in every neurotic I treat.  And the damage they do to their children is ineffable. They cannot feel it because they are still repressed and miles from their feelings. Therefore, they have no feelings to guide them.  They need to refer to ideas to guide them, so in the old days they read Dr. Spock for guidance and he was largely very wrong.  They never referred to their own instincts because they were buried with their feelings.  It was the blind leading the blind, leading those who could not “smell” the truth.  I use that word because the old smell brain over history became the feeling brain. And when we repressed our feelings, the instincts and the sensibility went with them. And then we had unfeeling souls who Shakespeare said of them, “they have no music in them”. If I drank, I would say, “I’ll drink to that”. Those poor souls have lost the essence of life, and then they go to therapists who help finish the job by directing them to their head. Mostly they go nowhere because they have no idea what is missing and the intellectual pundits have no idea either; how tragic. The doctors look to changing ideas when they should be looking for access to feelings that would solve so much. Those feelings send antennae throughout the system creating havoc and terribly wrong perceptions and beliefs. The ideas, meant to offer feelings to bolster ideas and perceptions, mount such horrific pain that drives their ideas beyond their ken; so we get nutty beliefs and delusions.

It is not ideas that are nutty; they are doing their best to combat the influx of imprinted pain. Alas their efforts fail and become “kooky.”   Let us not forget evolution here; feelings mount for connection and resolution. That is their “raison d’être”. They need connection to be done with pain, but it is often too much and the pain stays inside to produce illness and symptoms of all kinds. Then we have specialists to start to treat the symptoms but who have no idea of their provenance.

Now imagine if we had only therapies of feeling. No more insights before feelings which defy evolution at every step. There are no words among chimps but lots of feelings. We are chimps with words and now we seek to cut off the chimp/feeling self in deference to words.  A therapy of words?  Where did feelings go?
Help people feel?  Wouldn’t that eliminate so much dumb violence in the world. People could feel the consequence of their acts and would shudder. They would never hit/spank a helpless child, again they would sense how wrong it is. They would not beat their animals for the same reasons. They would love their wives, husbands and children because they could feel what they need. They would touch, hug and caress them and utter words of kindness and approval; words of support and encouragement. They would be THERE for them in every sense of the term.
They would ensure a drug free birth and know that gestation is crucial for the child’s development, so no drugs, alcohol or crazy diets. That there is a living being inside.

They would know that those who are addicted are in pain; the idea is not to take their drugs away but to take the REASON FOR THE DRUGS away.  If, if, only they knew what the reasons are and where they lie.  We do not take medicine from the diabetics.  They need it; so do addicts need their medicine.  And pain killers are for pain; the problem is that we have no idea that early life leaves a residue of imprinted pain for life. So they drug and we just think that is just a bad habit because we cannot see the reason for it. A therapy of feelings would seek out and find the pain so it will no longer be a mystery.

But to have a therapy of feeling we need someone who is feeling and knows its importance; not an easy solution.

We don’t have to stop killing and hunting because no feeling person could hunt and kill a mother who is safeguarding her babies.  And we don’t have to imprison those who drink and drive because that kind of obsession with alcohol would be gone.  Ooh.  Is it that easy?  It is not that hard.  All we have to do is teach about feeling in school with classes, not in therapy but in feeling where students would sit for each other and help each other feel.  It is not that insurmountable.

And once they get to first line where rage and anxiety live, there would a way to extirpate all that. We have treated those who kill but now could not even imagine it.  And believe it or not, we treat a lot of anxiety and panic cases with success because we know where the origins lie and how to get it out of the system.  And they are so relieved to get those feelings out of their bodies.  That can never happen in a therapy without feeling. Again, when there is deep repression all access between levels of conscious are sealed off and feelings can no longer inform action.  So there are uncontrolled rages and what happens?  They are sent to “anger management”.  Like feelings are a business to be managed.  But to manage is a top-down affair, while the person needs a bottom up affair. He must reach deep into the brain and brainstem to get at the solid imprint that lives there. That can take months but it is essential when dealing with what lives deep down: utter hopelessness from a birth that was drugged or allowed no egress and left a residue of helplessness and hopelessness and a body temp way down into the 96’s.   A sign that the body had to give up and abandon hope as the forces against the baby were overwhelming. It was never thought out; it was FELT, because no words existed back then.  And that is exactly why we need a therapy of feeling if we are ever to get to the root of the matter.

What is the mystery of treating depression and anxiety? No mystery at all when we see the deep brain at work; when we actually see its effects.  It is only complicated when you only stay on top… and don’t center on feelings in the therapy.

Only feelings will lead us to the generating causes. We need to treat the tooth that hurts when we find the abscess. But if we never know an abscess is there?  The patient will go on suffering, and nor he or the doctor will know the answer because the suffering is repressed and out of sight. Behavior is only a sign of the underlying cause. If we are to help patients, we need to address the cause.


  1. Hi,

    I sense it's important to make distinctions between sensations and feelings. Many people confuse thinking with feeling. After many years of my own changing PTSD symptoms and 5 years on this blog it seems chronic to me that most people are confused about these three 'departments'.

    My symptoms have become more sensational. I realise now that a major part of my act out is wrestling. Struggling physically. Bloody great beams in the workshop, can't do it any more, well I can but it leads to a re enforcement of my act out, loads of stress and adrenalin. No wonder wrestling is such an ancient and widespread human sport; I totally get it because I think my symptoms are becoming more 1st line. Aches, pains, muscle strains, fibro type symptoms, fatigue etc. Furthermore, wrestling seems to be part of really early play. In all mammals. Play fighting, grappling, grasping, tumbling about.

    I wonder if the first 'wrestle' is turning around in the womb to get out and then physically getting out, being squeezed, shoved, pushed, wrestled. Afterwards, exhausted, bruised and aching all over. . . I get agoraphobia now too. Don't want to leave, don't want to go out, to be exposed, vulnerable, bereft. . . All these changes started after getting my new bedsit last year. . . A 'womb with a view'. . .

    I have a doctor's appointment and how the hell do I explain all this to him in ten minutes? Maybe I just print this out and give it to him to read. . ?

    Paul G.

  2. Since being in an auto accident a few years back, my body has decided to remind me of the trauma from the accident, that I could not remember aside from seeing in my mind's eye glass shards like snowflakes in slow motion or maybe it was those "stars" they see in the cartoons? It happened too fast for my system to process, so now I feel my body continually trying to adopt the protection pose and at the same time a sensation of dizzying movement that ends in no sensation at all for a while. This and the actual injuries have made for permanent muscle spasms. I had done Primal in the early 70's for a while, then decided to use my newly refurbished defenses (I didn't have very good defenses to begin with because of a lot of first line pain) to try any live some semblance of a neurotic life. I was convinced that I'd never stop getting overwhelmed by the first line stuff - which made it hard to function, and I wanted to function. Now it is quite a "flashback" of sorts, and a mixed blessing to have my body leading the way again.

  3. I can not chase my feelings... they are chasing me! That is what my limbic system does! Whatever I may think it is defending against my limbic system. Feelings live there own lives in my limbic system as long as I dont feel them. I can not feel them by thinking about them. A feeling comes up at times when I least expect it... a surprise of life-threatening experience.

    When I have thoughts without control... that is when I am surprised by my feelings. But my control of feelings is so dominant that it is difficult to distinguish them from what other is all about. This helps me to understand that there are ideas floating around out of control affected me through leaking feelings.

    When I am surprised by grief... then seeks my thoughts to control over it... then I need help to steer back to myself.

    And when I lose control over my thoughts then it is usually so that it leads me to be suffering... and again I need help to steer it back to my self.

    When I start feeling I get often afraid of losing control!

    My mom... when she lived told me that once she would go to work so she had to leave me alone at home... I was just too small to follow her to the barn. When she returned from work so I sat in my bed and had rubbed my nose bloody. I do not remember this... but when I think about it... I'm about to lose control... like I'm running away from the conception of what happened... panic takes over and I hyper valve lear. Something around these thoughts have something to tell me!

    I know today that i am about to embark on a feeling... a feeling of life and death... but I need help! To get my system to accept this devastating experience it requires also that I emotionally are ready for it. My panic is probably part of the experience... but also my way of controlling it now... a controll through panic if that can be of sence for one who thinking about it. I am just rushing from what I experienced and experience.


  4. /Users/janakejohnsson/Desktop/13055317_1600188230301320_774448977045678314_n-1.jpg

    How Deep The Mud Is
    Depends On Who You Are!

    Yesterday, my reading exercises took me among other things, to a friend's (a therapist with Primal past) picture in Facebook and Art Janovs latest Reflections. The combination of the two caused me to make my own reflections on the obvious reasons why the kind of emotional therapy, Art, with the best of intentions, talks about, is so rare and unwonted.

    The traditional therapy to resolve depression / repressed feelings / traumas is a top-down affair because we, with the help of evolution, since the advent of modern cultures built our social structure in accordance with these top-down principles. All countries, regions, global organizations, businesses, churches / religions, governments, political parties, etc., etc., are top-down-driven / guided into their smallest units. Yes, right down to The Primal Center. In all, there exists a kind of documented or verbal philosophy, vision or framework so viability, survival, power and functionality can be maintained.

    Our civilization, despite (sometimes because of) its constant polarities, is nevertheless a workable solid neurotic product / organism that was created largely thanks to pain propelled act outs. Take "The American Dream" as an example. Behind Nobel prize-winners in research, capital goods- and consumer-goods-empires, Hall-of-Famers from literature, art, film, music, and sports, etc. there is almost always a pain propelled act out. Results / success brings its practitioners financial wealth, independence, status, power and experience to slur over their suffering and repressed pain. They buy multiple solutions for their symptoms when the wear of the vital organs becomes unbearable / hard to hide.

    It seems unrealistic to get support for conducting a general therapy of feelings. The existing political, educational and religious structures would then be threatened. Their existence is based on an intellectual pain repression / pathology. Evolution has seen to it that we in the US have 200,000 shrinks, holding a pharmaceutical industry fully occupied with producing the necessary painkillers to 60 million people (official figure!) With more painful truth than they can handle and with leaky gates. Most of the remaining “healthy” 260 million in the US operates in accordance with the American Dream and have unlimited “non-pharmaceutical” painkillers and thus incentives to keep the show going on existing conditions . To underline the resistance to feeling therapies / Evolution in Reverse, I will remind of the fact that 88% of the US population refuse to let education teach evolution without preaching Genesis.

    In order to succeed with the form of feeling therapy, which stimulates repressed emotions to be re-lived, and stop producing neurotic behavior (act outs) and anxiety, it is necessary to be prioritized from several standpoints. First, you have to, locally, find a licensed therapist / guide who himself is healthy / cured and knowledgeable. He should be able to give unconditional support and work continuously and for a long time. You should be financially independent / have deep pockets. Friends, acquaintances and family members must accept the process you are going through. If not, you must, in a vulnerable situation, have the strength, courage, and finance to break old ties that emotionally blocks your repressions / therapy efforts.

    Feeling therapy is fundamentally simple but extremely difficult to implement, monitor and to live with from a practical point of view. Most of those who try to do feeling therapy fail and drop out of treatment or go up in support groups / sects where therapy development is hampered / stagnating.

    The real hope is that the young / future generations understand the importance of unconditional love, physical contact and attention when they have children. We see promising signs in many places. Let us hope they develop into real and human heroes who can honor their children.

    Jan Johnsson

  5. Hi Jan. Wouldn't it be a good idea if Sunday School where we used to be taught: "Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you", where we learned how to be nice and giving and charitable, the honorable parts of the bible. That day could so easily be turned into 'Feeling Day.' A place to recognize our feelings and the importance of treating people well. Sit for each other, listening to the hurts for real healing. The people want to be saved. They just need to know what from; it's from their past.
    Oh wishful thinking.

    1. Sheri,

      My religious mother, perhaps to a greater extent than I had loved your Bible inspired idea, which, incidentally, I practice with my childhood friend.

      My own experience, from the most difficult years in therapy, however, was far from Sunday school character. My severe birth trauma had been caused by a recommendation in the Bible, to give birth with pain, which my mother had internalized and put into practice. (My mother's only major primal, what I know, came when she, heartbroken, told me, upon my return from LA, about her mistake and our common hellish birth trauma.)

      I share your wishful thinking about a Feeling Day and try to pull my weight.


    2. Does a woman giving birth have any control over how the delivery process will develop?

    3. Erik, I have no idea what you really mean. art

    4. Does A Woman Have Control Over the Birth Process?

      On your question about whether the birth process, intentionally / on purpose can be made more or less painful, my spontaneous answer is YES. The question, however, is addressed to someone who suffered the pain and who did not cause it. Women, who I talked to, did not believe, that they while giving birth, had had the power to influence the process more than marginally. You should ask a midwife who has been through both her own and other women's birth processes! I have a friend who is a pediatrician with a daughter being midwife who togthether may broaden our hypothesis

      My mother's religious attitude, to give birth with pain, went hand in hand with nature's natural painfulness when a child is born. Whether she managed to strengthen the pain we'll never know. However, convinced by her religious attitude and satisfied by the pain she felt, she interpreted it as if she helped create the birth process / my pain. My birthing, after the amniotic fluid was gone, lasted two days. This meant an extended trauma with painkillers, nitrous oxide, turning the fetus and finally a breech birth.

      A birth process is according to research an oxtocin bath. My mother caused - intentionally or not - except pain and birth defects, a unique / special bond between us that lasted nearly 60 years. Her faith in me and my trust in her created a basis from which I, during my life, always have drawn strength. Her confession of how she, bible inspired, lived through our birthing is both frightening and love filled at the same time. I could have lived without epilepsy but not without her love.

      The importance of trust, sympathy and confidence in my therapy practice, I got through Art Janov. Without his unlimited, unconditional radiance and touch, I had never dared to trust and go into my primal experiences. They are an extension of the ties I had with my mother. During retreats in France, Denmark, and Norway, he took care of some of my birth primals. Especially I remember Norway, Bergen. I arrived with a female friend, exhausted after 15 hours of nonstop driving in the car. We went directly to a group meeting. Art saw me, came up to me, asked me to lie down, closed my eyes and put his fingers under my brow bones and I slipped into a long and violent birth primal, which certainly without Carbamazepine had meant a grand mal seizure. This experience and the memory of Arts trust in his intuition I had interiorized when I, in the mid-90s, threw away all the medication and took time out of business and let the birth primals eventually take over the role of epilepsy. In my mind, Art was always by my side when I, terrified, felt / re-lived what a protracted birth process had done to me. “Go with it, Jan!”

      My daughter Isabel is an example of conscious, positive and loving planning, based on what we learned from the Primal Principle. She was born July 31, 1994, shortly after midnight. At 9 o’clock in the evening, July 30, her mother and I sat at a restaurant and had a pleasant meal. Suddenly, her mom said: I think it is time to give birth! We walked up to the hospital, which was a half hour walk away. Within 3 hours Isabel was born and came out, although first-born, faster than anyone anticipated. Our eyes bonded almost immediately in a way that they, since then, continued to do under the almost 22 years that have passed.

      It is interesting to have personal experience of both the abnormal / protracted traumatic, as well as the normal / pleasant birth process.


  6. Do you believe in freedom?

    Submissive people enjoy the freedom of having no responsibilities.
    Domineering people enjoy the freedom of having no resistance.

    Normal people have no desire for freedom. They want to make rules and have people obey them, and they want to obey the rules made by others. Normal people don't want to do whatever their impulses tell them to do. A normal man will moderate his impulse until the time is right.

    We are social animals. We need neither political freedom, nor emotional freedom. We need politics and emotions.

    1. Richard: Oooh Did you just make that up? Think again. art

    2. I got to thinking, Richard, about rules. We are conditioned to live by them for safety or convenience of organization. It's necessary to have rules of the road so we don't run into each other. But other rules, trivial ones sometimes have the same adherence and importance as the necessary ones as if we can't tell the difference. Rules are rules. I think it stifles creativity when we are brought up thusly. The gossip show TMZ were talking about an actor they caught up with outside a restaurant and asked him what he ordered. He replied a little sheepishly what he had ordered and that it was off the menu. The young gossipers all thought that he had broken the rules and that if you're not ordering from the menu you should stay home to eat. How conditioned we get to not think for ourselves. Also I think the old movie "Five Easy Pieces" Jack Nicholson originally made the point about rules when he ordered the toast.

  7. I have a question. Would neurosis stemming from childhood trauma, as Janov defines it, be the equivalent of what the symptoms of post-traumatic disorder would be to adults who are traumatised? I suppose one difference, if there is an equivalence, is that the childhood trauma is generally repressed and defended against, whereas post -traumatic adults don't seem to repress their symptoms.


    1. Marco, Could well be. Not sure. art

    2. Hi Art:

      You've never had patients come to you with adult trauma due, for example, to rape, vicious assaults, soldiers from war zones, etc...those with so-called post-traumatic stress disorder?


    3. I have felt much of what happened to me in war. It is equivalent to repressed 2nd line pain since (at least for me) I was still a teenager at 19. Much of what I felt was how horrible it was. Going into scenes of carnage. Then the feeling of having been mentally broken by these same experiences. Imagining myself in my uniform laying at my father's feet. "Dad, I'm broken, please help me" (a hundred times) and then "I need you." I don't know how it is that you never felt traumatized by your own war experiences Art. You even said it was better than being home. I cannot relate to that. It broke me mentally and physically and getting to "feel" those traumas was a miracle in itself for me. If they want to save those 22 suicides a day that come home from war then they should go straight into your therapy but such is not the case tragically.

    4. Anonymous: I never felt anything during the war; that was the problem.  I never felt anything until I could feel.......years later.   I threw up for weeks after and had a deep pressure in my head but I never felt what it was.  I tried for a medical discharge but the captain asked me if I wanted to leave as a sissy or a man.    I chose man.    Art

    5. Marco: Yes of course I have and they have written on the blog numerous times. art

    6. And how is treating these adult traumas different from treating childhood based neuroses, if there is any difference? I ask this also because I thought you might have noticed some differences or similarities between how an adult experiences trauma, and how an child or baby does; as well similarities and differences in treatment; all this was the point of my original question.


    7. Marco, I observe childhood trauma in children but I only treat adults who are mature enough to integrate it all. I can tell you myself that when I relive I am that child again so no real difference. art

  8. Trying to fight the feeling "of what's out there", and what's out there many times in youth and young adults is no feelings. Someone may be repaired in life of a birth trauma by going through Primal Therapy, but will that make them stronger to "protect" themselves from what's "out there"...this younger generation of many having no show of emotions, no feelings. People in Primal Therapy have more to deal with now.

  9. I love this blog, therapy and research !!!
    I just watched the trailer for part 1 of Legacy Program and am sooo excited about the learning potential. I just asked myself that question , " How do you know Primal Therapy works? " . My answer is it cured me of claustrophobia, alcoholism, muteness and anxiety. It gave me confidence to try things that were not possible before, for example talking on a microphone and singing in front of an audience. Most of all it gave me my relationship back with my Mother. Before feeling through my birth , I was holding onto hatred about my Mother that prevented me from being with her ( in the present).

  10. Hi Art,

    Well done to France and to you for getting the Legacy Program out. I have watched the accompanying video and I would like to say that when I was about 9 years old I realised that 'problems' were a lot like one of those 'toy sweet vending machines' (does anyone remember those)? So, I noticed from quite an early age that every time I solved one problem yet another would emerge. Life for me revealed my neurosis as a never ending vending machine of problems. . . . I would often wonder as I grew up what would happen if the 'problems' ran out. . . I mean, who was putting the new problems into the vending machine? How, who, why was that vending machine becoming re stocked? When oh when would the problems 'run out'. . ?

    I think a point came when (unconsciously) I resigned myself to a never ending 'stock' of problems and (interestingly) my 'metaphor' of the vending machine ceased to be present in my life. . . There started the real growth of my 'underlying depression'. . . I tell you, fact is stranger than fiction because here in this little accompanying video are Primal People talking about a 'plate rack' that keeps serving up fresh plates. . .

    So, there really could be an end to the eternal vending machine of problems. . . There really could be. . .

    Paul G.

    1. I always think it's like pushing down a bump in a carpet only to have it jump up somewhere else.

  11. Art, give us a link to "Say My Name". Let us hear the song please.

    1. Richard: We may be putting it up soon so I need to work out permissions.   Art


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.