Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Passing of A Great Man

It is with great regret and deep sorrow that we write to you of Dr. Arthur Janov's passing today. He died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his loved ones. He was 93.

57 comments:

  1. So sorry. He gave so much of value. Will miss him. Take care everyone at the center and France especially, and all on the blog.

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  2. R.I.P. Arthur. No doubt many thousands of words will be posted/printed about your work over the next few days. Whatever the 'official' verdict, only the passage of time will unfurl the true extent of your legacy to humanity.

    Thank you and farewell.

    PAB

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  3. I struggle to express how sad this makes me feel in words on a website. All I can say is my heart goes out to France and all those who knew and loved Art. I am forever in the debt of this great man.

    Erron Adams

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    1. Raindog: I recognise your alias. And I hear you. Jacquie xo

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  4. I announce to all of you my deepest sorrow for Arthur Janov's passing away and especially to you France! Your forever Frank.

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  5. I want to thank you Arthur Janov!

    I want to thank you for changing my life, that I gaining access to being able to see and experience my life, that I have been given the opportunity to change my mind and change my behavior for the better.

    Now that you're gone I only feel a silence and loneliness in all of my body.

    Aida Castañeda

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  6. I knew of Art and Primal Therapy since his appearance on the Dick Cavett show in the 1960's. I've followed the "Primal Reality" ever since, and like so many was profoundly affected by "The Primal Scream". I've corresponded with Art many times over the years (and his early on Medical Director) and most recently had the distinct honor of talking to him on the phone. His claiming he never kept any of his early Primal Newsletters and monthly journals, I supplied him with the copies I had --from the 70's. I told him it was an honor to talk with whom I considered to be perhaps the most important man --in the history of Mankind. Perhaps in time his "works" will be appreciated and applied. In all this 50+ years I never found/read a contradiction in his writings about, as I call it, the Primal Reality. I told him that he may outlive all his critics and skeptics. I hope this was true of many. In my estimation, they were/are simply scared of THEIR OWN PAINFUL (inner) TRUTH (of their lives) thus had/have to dismiss what could (have) set them free.

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  7. Just yesterday had lunch in Melbourne, Australia with friends, we all did PT together and we talked of Art. Now this sad news. Heartfelt sympathy from all of us here to Art's loved ones. He will be missed in so many ways by so many people.

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  8. Good-bye Dr. Janov. Your work will be with all of us.
    To France, his family and everybody in the Primal Center my sincerest condolence.
    Sieglinde Alexander

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  9. I've never met Art, but this touches me like a death in the family. He and his work have made a difference in my life like few others. I was hoping he'd go on forever.

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  10. The world has lost a wonderful man. Like many others I was privileged to meet him a few years ago. I will miss him.

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  11. I am so sad... I'll always be greatful for what I have learned from your books, it has changed my life! Rest in peace.
    Anna Carra

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  12. Such a shock.iǘe been feeling sad all day. I hope you pull through this OK France. R.I.P awesome genius

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  13. I want to say goodbye. Forever in my heart.
    Thank you, Arthur.

    Frank D.

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  14. Dr. Janov was a great, accomplished man. He will be missed for sure.

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  15. Thank you for all Dr Janov and rest in peace.
    Mohamed

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  16. So sorry for France and her family and friends. He was such a great human being.

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  17. Terrible news for all of us who believe that Primal Therapy can stop much suffering in this world!!
    I hope for Dr. Janov that his belief that there is no existance after biological death is wrong, and that his life is now continuing in a realm much better than this one. The realm of unconditional love and beauty and creativity, which he tried to manifest on earth with Primal Therapy.

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  18. It's hard to grasp your passing away Art. I believed and I wished you could live forever. You were a great influence on my life, so unique and wonderful. I hope your legacy will continue.

    "But yet I know, where'er I go, that there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth "

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  19. My condolences to all his family and friends. I feel the need to comment here because primal therapy saved my life, I don't know where I'd be with out it, and so I'm eternally grateful Dr. Janov was a truly great man whose legacy will live on through all the people he's touched and his
    amazing discoveries.

    Phil

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  20. Thanks to this man we all have a chance to be the person we should have been.

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  21. My deepest sympathy. I never met Art but I have read his reflections for several years. I admired his insightfulness on the human condition and followed his reflections with the hunger of a student looking for knowledge into my own human condition. Rest in peace Art.
    Kathleen

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  22. To everyone on the blog:

    My life was saved here.

    I never told how bad it got.

    I wanted to die.

    Now I really want to live.


    Paul G.

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  23. He was a good guy. Godspeed, Art. You made a good effort.

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  24. I never had the pleasure and good fortune of meeting Arthur but I know of his wonderful work. He made a tremendous contribution to the study of pre and perinatal psychology and I thank him. My heartfelt condolences to his family and to his friends, Laurie Brant.

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  25. So sad... so sorry.... My great teacher...

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  26. France, my thoughts and warmest gratitude go to you, "the unsung hero" he called you here. May you later be able again to enjoy life and work. Thank you, France!

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  27. I first met Art Janov in January, 1973, when I became a patient in Primal Therapy, when the Institute was located on Almont in West Hollywood. I stayed for 4 years, married another Primal patient, and moved away for 14 years. Came back to SoCal in 1998. Incredible mind, incredibly analytical. The world of psychology will miss him.

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  28. The greatest psychologist of our time... RIP Art, your works and spirit is with us...

    Emmanuel Audy

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  29. This world is so fortunate to have had Art Janov. He has helped so many of us to understand what we need to do. I will stay on a better path, thanks to him ****A REALLY WONDERFUL GUY****. I know you are in terrible pain, France, my heart goes out to you.

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  30. I had my lie, I was dreaming that some day I will go to Santa Monica to undergone PT, Janov was my hope. Now it is gone. I will share his knowledge where I can.

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    1. Don't give up Piotr, just rest awhile and try again.

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  31. I loved your work Arthur, rest in peace.

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  32. Thank you, Art! I never met you in person, but your work transformed my life from emotional pain and agony to the natural state of calm, and presence, and happiness, and love for all and everything.
    Frances Shure, Denver, Colorado

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  33. My Love to you all who are intimately suffering his loss. To me he was just the wisest of men. The truth of his work will be seen to be his legacy.& in time a saner world because of it. I miss him like he was my best friend.

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  34. My love to all of you intimate in his loss
    History will prove the truth he fought to convey & from that a better world. How we need that! How we needed Art & his wisdom.
    Keep his spirit strong. I miss him.

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  35. I am feeling really sad right now after finding out about the passing of Art Janov, I can tell you that.

    Although I have never done Primal Therapy, just the reading of his books and blogs have helped so much over the last 10 years. I am very grateful. Nothing much in this superficial world makes sense to me, but when I`d read Arthur Janov, something did make sense, something important and deep.

    So thank you, Art Janov for your decency, humanity, compassion for and help to afflicted people, and keen and deep scientific spirit of inquiry.

    Marco

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    1. Beautifully said Marco, and I can only agree with you. I did Primal Therapy back in 2001 and 2002. Art had a Christmas group that year and he played the part of Santa Clause. It was beyond words really, just lots of feelings to enjoy. It was also my birthday. The warmest most feeling birthday I had ever experienced. He really was such a wonderful man.

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    2. Dear Steve: Thanks for your reply and acknowledgement. And I am so glad you had a good time at that Christmas Group.

      Take care.

      Marco

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  36. Great, fabulous thinker, and my deepest inspiration for my work as a "primal-related" therapist. My own neurosis has made it near-impossible, throughout my life, to experience the feelings of gratitude and admiration. The rare exception is Dr. Janov. He receives my admiration and gratitude in full.

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  37. Art, I have you to thank for my life. Your books helped me to hang on when I was at my lowest, and inspired me to delve into my depths when I was strong.

    You've made the world--inner and outer--a more fascinating place. Thank you. You'll be deeply missed.

    Kip

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  38. This is the draft of my 'in memoriam' to Dr. Janov for my obscure little blog:

    Dr. Arthur Janov has died at age 93. Though a bit poetic and speculative, it makes sense that he lived this long, as he was an exemplar of his understanding of healing, of release of the pains that cause our psychological problems. He deserves to be -- he IS in the Pantheon of brilliant thinkers who could understand truths that later seem logical to so many people (though they still may understand only the surface of them). He saw that we are holistic in mind, body and time. We are ALSO what we were. We are roots -- birth and childhood -- and we are the trunk, branches and leaves that grow from those roots.

    We know the world of people is, in the main, lost. Our human brain holds pain which bends, corrupts, blinds us, or rather grows blinders to self and others. And then that brain passes that pain on to the next generation. Part of this lostness is to form psychological ideas that are "self-medications" -- no different from so many big ideas like political, religious and ideological ones. Therapies that believe we can think our way to a healthy body-mind, can hope health into existence. Magical thinking, magical doing. Dr. Janov could see what a child knows better than his parents usually do, that we are responding to the injuries that remain virulent inside us.

    Our need for survival, and to answer our obscured birthright of happiness and love, is tenacious. Even many of those psychotherapists who see our source in pain and starved need put that fact aside, in a box, and focus on the here-and-now and "positives." What a disconnect! What a displacement of fact and necessary act. If we are hurt, we must go there, to the dark, to 'where we are wounded,' as Arthur said. I will never see my clients otherwise -- as obvious to me as that something exists.

    I do see some things differently from the doctor. It is probably fair to say he was optimistic while I am more pessimistic. I believe that despite all the potential opening up and pouring out, we must remain a default of defenses, our same self, and that we cannot recover from our developmental stopping point. Am I more realistic than Janov? I think so. But he may have been better for people. Because ultimately we do need to have love, believe we can deeply recover.

    What a great man he was!

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    1. Hi,
      -"We know the world of people is, in the main, lost. Our human brain holds pain which bends, corrupts, blinds us, or rather grows blinders to self and others. And then that brain passes that pain on to the next generation. Part of this lostness is to form psychological ideas that are "self-medications" -- no different from so many big ideas like political, religious and ideological ones. Therapies that believe we can think our way to a healthy body-mind, can hope health into existence. Magical thinking, magical doing. Dr. Janov could see what a child knows better than his parents usually do, that we are responding to the injuries that remain virulent inside us"-.

      So true.

      Is there any possibility that someone who has helped Art in the past might be able to set up a new blog. or keep this one open in his memory? At least for a while longer.

      Very best regards to every one. Particularly to France who by now must be really feeling the loss. If I know anything about defenses and early pain, it tends to get triggered then immediately repressed as a natural defense but later the pain begins to come through with all the realisation of loss and grief and unmet need. I know France has done a lot of therapy herself, is a 'strong character'; I just hope she is not suffering too much and can grieve effectively, then move into another phase of her life.

      Very best regards to all,

      Paul G.

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  39. Dear Art, I owe you so much. I will promote your legacy as best I can. May I be lucky enough to live to see the day it finally breaks through.

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  40. This knock me out as if it were a close familymember passing. It is difficult for me to even think.
    In my inner theater I see a band playing on a stage.
    A young man steps forward to deliver a solo
    a piercing sound cuts through the air and time
    it forces its way through to every hart that hears it
    listen! I can hear that trompet
    its a sound of protest and pain
    it is shouting
    Love is real!

    My thoughts go to you France - close family - colleagues at the center - friends and every Primal person crying now.

    Flemming D

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  41. Each and every single day, all we do and what we say, echoes down into eternity, who will be, what we'll see..... For me this sums up everything that Art discovered and documented. His work has created ripples in the cosmos that will echo into eternity. Thank you Art.

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  42. Dear Arthur, I salute and thank you, for showing me how to save my life nearly 40 years ago. I have never forgotten your courage in the face of my terror. Bravo, dear soul.
    Deirdre

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  43. I was shocked to learn of Arts' death, his books were a revelation to me and just plain common sense, when will the world wake up to this.

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  44. Dear France, I am so sorry for your loss. And the therapists there at the Center who knew him well, I am sorry for your loss.
    I am so very sad that Dr. Janov has passed. He was such a wonderful human being. He and his unrelenting dedication to Primal therapy and mankind.
    Dear Art, I know that I have thanked you before but again I thank you for all that you have done and the impact that you made on my life; 41 years ago I entered therapy. I feel that without you and your therapy I wouldn't be here today. In my heart you will live forever.
    All my love,
    Jean

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  45. I am so sorry that everyone has lost Art and my sincerest condolences go to France and also his colleagues at the Primal Centre. It is often the case that the rebels who shape the world are not always recognised in thier lifetimes and some time is needed before the value of thier work is recognised by the World. I suspect that will be the case with Art's work which is starting to be backed up by the science. I wish all of you who read this blog all the best for the future and keep Art's work close to your hearts.

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  46. I have just read the news today October 20th. This is something I have been dreading so much! I have just bought his new book in Richmond which is so brilliant. Art Janov, what a wonderful genius. I have been saving for the therapy for years and hoped I could one day meet him. I see him as a true saviour of mankind. The human race has got somehow lost, with parents lacking in the natural instincts which even animals possess in being able to love and care for their children. Art recognised the truth and knew the way free. Perhaps the only one who has. What a great and original mind he had and with a big heart. Thank you Dr Janov. You have influenced my whole life more than anyone else and you will never be forgotten ever. My great sympathy and thanks to the staff at the primal center. France, Marie Hascoet, and everyone. And please don't abandon the work. Sandie Bradshaw.

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  47. Getting to myself is a breathtaking experience for what Arts's passing makes me feel! I recognize the feeling... I have borne it throughout my life. So thanks to the primary therapy is my memories back from a time where all was a catastrophe like the one for the missing of Art. Thank you!

    Your all Frank

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  48. Haven't been here in awhile, just learned of it. I loved this guy. I know we all did. He and his work will never be gone.

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  49. I also was deeply saddened to learn of Art's death yesterday. What a great understanding he had of the human condition and the needs of children. Somewhere the human race seems to have lost the natural instincts which animals have of being good parents. His vision was unique. He has influenced me more than any other human being from reading his books. I expect this means the demise of this blog but I hope the Center will find a way to continue. My sincere condolences to everyone who knew him at the Primal Center. Sandie.

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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