Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why Are We Anxious? (Part 5/6)

Living with hypercritical parents can be the soil for this feeling, and of course, the sense of catastrophe also emanates from from the early non-verbal event at birth, perhaps, where the baby sensed that to make a mistake could be fatal. There is lingering feeling that, “I cannot be wrong or make a mistake.” And the inability to be wrong is present in so many of us. This kind of person does not know how to react in crises. It is not a reasoned response that is required but a physiologic/feeling one. Defending against the possibility of a mistake begins with that very early feeling/sensation where doing the wrong thing, being wrong, could have been fatal. Defenses sealed in the feeling which then lingers and can make the person a “know it all.” Someone who cannot be wrong.
When a fetus develops normally the inhibitory/serotonin cells also develop in orderly fashion. But trauma to the carrying mother (a husband leaves the home) interferes with that process. Later on when the baby, now adult, suffers panic and anxiety attacks that appear out of the blue we can perhaps understand the origins. We see it in newborns whose bodies express it in restlessness and afflictions such as colic. They are often non-cuddly babies.
One reason for the evolution of the left frontal cortex was to produce a brain system that could distance itself from the other areas of the nervous system where painful feelings lie—a way of not being overwhelmed by what lay below so that we can get on with life and deal with daily problems. The prefrontal area is a brain system that can uncouple itself from massive, damaging input. It is the human part of us that can do it; it can disengage from that lizard in our head with our brain above water. It is a system that can bolster defenses and keep us out of inordinate pain. Another important reason for the evolution of the left hemisphere is that the left frontal cortex evolved with the use of tools. It is the left frontal area that is involved in precise tool use, as for example, hammering a nail. Precision has become the domain of the left frontal area. If we are looking for a good surgeon we should find one that is left-brain dominant. We can be assured that she will be precise. If we want a therapist who can feel and sense things we may want a right-brain dominant individual; but of course, someone with a balanced brain is always the ne plus ultra.

The anxious patient is giving us her early generating source on a platter. The key feeling is right behind the anxiety, which is a sort of an avatar ushering in some catastrophic feeling. The fore-runner of doom. How do we know that? Because when a patient begins the session with feelings of gloom and doom, and is miserable, we often know what feeling is coming. And from what level. If we listen carefully we will know where to go in the patient’s past. The feeling is there. We need to understand its significance. We can begin serious therapy while the patient is suffering because she is very close to the feeling and its origin. Acute anxiety means in itself that the generating source of it is very close to consciousness. And as I note elsewhere, the closer the person is to her feelings the more anxious she becomes; it is telling in almost mathematical precision how close to conscious/awareness the feeling is.

We see the defense at work in studying the brains of our patients. As feelings surge forth there are higher vital signs and a mounting amplitude of the brainwaves (how many neurons are recruited to defend against feelings). As connection is made the amplitude drops precipitously. It would seem that one aspect of brainwave amplitude is in the construction of defenses. At a certain point when defenses are lower the connection is being made and the brain can relax. No, we do not use too much of our brains; we use too much of our nerve cells when we must defend against feeling.

Since to be conscious is to be free of anxiety we are already half-way there. There is not much difference between an anxious patient and one who develops anxiety during the session. In both cases the feeling is approaching. With the patient, she only gets anxious as she gets near the feeling. Then we can see a full-blown anxiety attack; just before fully experiencing the feeling the patient whispers, “I am going to die!” Generally, the anxious patient has chronically leaky gates so that part of the feeling is seeping through at all times. Both are propitious for the therapy so long as the anxiety is not terribly overwhelming; meaning that the patient needs to be brought into the primal/feeling zone. It is not helpful in conventional therapy because they attempt to suppress, not express. Quite different processes and goals. If feelings are erupting it is clearly better to let them out in some methodical way than to continuously push them back. It hasn’t been done because since Freud’s admonition that the unconscious is a dangerous place. It is the flip side of the old religious tenet that says we are inhabited by dark demons and must hold them down. Those demons to the layman were evil spirits. To the psychologist they may be negative feelings. The same thing; some mysterious force at work. The mental health professional often cannot accept what it really is because in his theory there is no room for deep-lying memories that constantly direct our lives. And he has not the techniques to travel deeply to the antipodes of the mind.

The more we learn about personal evolution the more we understand about evolution of our internal universe. As I noted, inside the human brain we can find remnants of our fish and reptilian ancestors. What this means is that what we are is built on the most successful adaptations of what we were. When our patients go back to the most primitive brains in their reliving, we see those ancient brains at work. And,I might add, there are never any words in those first-line relivings (Primals). There cannot be because it would mean not a true reliving (there were no words when it happened). No real reliving and therefore no getting better.

The power of anxiety explains much about the power of the imprint. And we note that anxious individuals are forced to keep busy so that they are never left still long enough to fully feel the anxiety. It is absorbed in the constant phone calls, moving here and there. Phone calls are telling because the original anxiety may have been just after birth when there was no one to hold and caress the baby, no real contact. The feeling behind the anxiety may be feelings of total isolation and alienation. Also a feeling of abandonment. Phone calls reconnects the person constantly. The act-out is, “I need contact to show that I am not alone.” And above all, he doesn’t have to feel that abandoned feeling he suffered just after birth or in the first months of infancy. He stays on the phone for a long time because he is staving off the feeling of no contact. He cannot judge that he may be on the phone too long with someone because he is acting-out old feelings that drive him to talk; he has found an outlet for his feelings.

On my desk is a scientific paper on how early life affects adulthood (Max Planck Institute, Germany, 8 November, 2009. Published online in Nature Neuroscience, by Chris Murgatroyed and nine other authors). What they have shown rather conclusively is that very life events can induce long-lasting changes in the brain, physiology and behavior. Early life stress can cause over-secretion of the stress hormone, cortisol, which effects changes in memory and coping mechanisms. (For those scientifically bent, there is a detailed explanation of methylation in the article, explaining long-duration effects). In their study of mice they found that periodic infant-mother separation just after birth was a major cause of anxiety. And in humans the earlier the separation the more lethal.

I have discussed anxiety and the levels of the unconscious in several of my previous works (see Primal Healing or The Biology of Love). A first- line imprint requires a first line response, that is, reactions that heavily involved the brainstem and limbic system. The brainstem is involved in high blood pressure, palpitations, and shortness of breath—the silent killers. It houses many of our instincts, our terror and furor, and our basic, primitive needs. It is and always will be, wordless, unless we think that salamanders can speak. It contains the secrets of our birth and of our lives before birth in the womb. If we want to know what kind of birth we had, it will tell us in its own way. It will be precise and unmistakable. Its wonderful quality is that it cannot and will not lie. If we claim not to be afraid, but down deep there is unabated terror, there is no argument.

A chronic symptom of palpitations is testimony to the possibility of an old imprint lying deep in the nervous system. It is a fragment of a central memory where a rapid heart beat was called for; one aspect of an anxiety state. So one goes to a specialist for heart problems; another for high blood pressure; another for migraine, when they are all part of a single imprint, which, when relived normalizes all reactions. There is a reason for high blood pressure. Too often the reason is so arcane as to be disbelieved. But it is there. Either genetic or more likely an imprint while we lived our womb-life (epigenetic). The specialist, a necessity, offers medication to lower the blood pressure without asking once where it comes from. She has a task to complete, a task to help the patient not suffer. That cause is so mysterious that the question is rarely asked by the treating physician. And, as I often point out, we are not used to delving deep into the brain and its levels of unconscious. We don’t delve because we often do not have the tools. We do now. But still, it takes such a level of abstraction to tie palpitations in the now to an event during our womb-life. Luckily, we don’t have to make that intellectual leap; the patient will do it for us. And when we give the patient the possibility of deep penetration of herself, giving her total freedom of expression we will discover things we never knew existed. And we will learn from the patient and change our theory and therapy accordingly. We will learn from experience instead of creating the same old circumstances and explanations that reinforces our prejudices. And for the patient, too, she will learn from experience, not ideas; not the beliefs of the therapist; i.e., that there is an id or shadow forces that drive us. Rather, there are concrete events in our lives to account for a heart attack or out of control behavior.

Once a patient has access she may relive oxygen deprivation (a smoking mother) during her time in the womb. The patient may have a transient palpitation attack, or the pain of angina which she can now connect to the original threat (perhaps too low oxygen supply). One patient, as I discuss elsewhere, re-experienced being polluted in the womb as her mother smoked constantly. She learned why bars or smog drove her crazy. She could not stand any kind of pollution; it resonated with its original source. She never knew it as pollution originally. It was just a disagreeable sensation. She called it pollution after she grew up. But that early experience of smoke, over and over each day, laid down a permanent stratum of misery that kept her unhappy. And of course until she had access she never knew why. She finally connected.
The feeling makes the connection. Anxiety is a refractory symptom because it is basic to our survival. It should not disappear easily.

Because the brainstem continues to develop for several months after birth, what happens to us emotionally during the few months of life on earth can affect our heart function, most of our survival mechanisms, and our brain development. It is the first organized response to threat among most animals. It involves breathing difficulties and heart problems. My dog gets anxious when there are fireworks in the neighborhood. She begins to pace and breathe heavily and her heart beat is forceful and pounding, which won’t stop until an hour or more after the fireworks. In humans there is often a very rapid beating of the heart (makes me feel like wanting to “jump out of my skin.”) Unable to uncouple from a runaway sympathetic nervous system, one remains powerless. That’s one good definition of powerlessness; the linchpin of why most efforts for control fail.
Painkillers plus reassuring ideas from a therapist can control anxiety for a limited time. But it is never eradicated. And if we want to see if this hypothesis is true we have only to measure key biological processes during therapy, not the least of which is cortisol. As the patient approaches a first-line feeling the vital signs begin their rapid rise, much higher than we see when a second-line feeling is at hand. This is one way we know about the force and danger of the feeling. It is how we know what feelings to ignore for the moment. We do not want to push the patient into a feeling he is not ready for. If we listen carefully we won’t make that mistake. When we feel that we know best, the patient will suffer.


  1. I don't know if my post wasn't approved (which I doubt) or if it didn't go through. I'm new to this. So I will send it again...Dr. Janov, I want to ask you about something I read in the Primal Scream. In the chapter on sleep and dreams, you say that people usually can't scream in a nightmare. I had one where I woke myself up screaming out loud. What does that mean? By the way, how are you doing after the throat surgery? Okay, I hope.

  2. There is a slight typo in the first author's name that might make it hard to find . It's Chris Murgatroyd.
    Here is the abstract
    This newspaper article says more about the study
    It looks to me that this link between early life stress and changes in gene expression in neurons is reasonably established now in the scientific community and the details are being worked out.
    I would assume Primal therapy would reverse these changes; I am not sure how one would devise a study to prove it though.

  3. Dear Art.
    I am today living together with a woman… with the name Aida… who is doing very good in her progress of taking feeling… we do have this problem you are talking about… she will pass present feeling for paranoid upcoming… we are working hard on that… for her to acknowledge the feeling she has here and now… and by that she are doing very well…
    I am writing you this letter because she has a daughter who is often going in to depression… she knows there problem and listening to her mother and also sees the progress she does… she is 17 years old and has a history which is very sad. She is the result of abuse by Aidas foster dad… she is also aware of that which is worrying. She asked me if I could talk to you… if you by any cans could help her. I has in mind to come and visiting you but my finances are not of the nature that it is now possible.
    I stop her and looking forward to your replay.
    Frank Larsson

  4. Cripes...mine's on twice now. Sorry. Like I said, I'm new to this...Dr. what you meant is that by the time I screamed, I was already awake?

  5. Dear Art Janov ,in reading and re-reading this article I am feeling somewhat like Tantalus swimming better seeing Your resp.nature`s helping hands w i t h o u t reaching them!! Neverthless better to know the truth than fooling onself and others (like my dear sweet niece Sarah who proposed and honestly believes it!! "that the past is over"...inspite of her little girl`s signs of the contrary!! Yours emanuel

  6. Frank: it so happens we have had good success in our therapy with abuse. One of my staff was abused. She should probably apply. I think now that we are the only ones who go deep enough to make a difference. art janov

  7. Steven: The intelligence of your letter leads me to suggest that you take a crack on a study of this phenomenon. AJ

  8. About your theory of neocortex developing in humans to get away of pain.Why animals dídn´t develop a neocortex if they can feel pain?

  9. Art,

    You say:

    “Generally, the anxious patient has chronically leaky gates so that part of the feeling is seeping through at all times. Both are propitious for the therapy so long as the anxiety is not terribly overwhelming; meaning that the patient needs to be brought into the primal/feeling zone.”

    What are your thoughts on using Meditation to bring a chronically anxious person ‘down’ enough that they have access? I remember reading something by Jonathon Christie to that effect. The reason I ask (at the risk of veering to the personal) is that I’ve been using ‘Holosync’ meditation cd’s for some months now, and have finally been able to actually view the videos on your site. Earlier attempts resulted in too much anxiety and I’d just sign off and go get a drink.


  10. Dear Dr. Janov

    Thank you for the nice compliment.
    I am afraid I cannot take this task. I have a very demanding job where I must read a lot to keep up with the field. The rest of the time I spend with my daughter. Here and there I have some free time and I read your blog. When my time gets too squeezed , I tend to stress and do not function as well.
    In addition I do not have a degree in Medicine, Biology or its closely related disciplines. I can appreciate the knowledge in the field of neuroscience is vast, daunting and multi-disciplinary. I am an amateur really and likely on the shallow end of that classification because I don’t know just how much I don’t know.
    It is not easy to turn you down because you have done so much for us and I do believe in PT 100%. I also admire that decades later at the age of 85, you are still going very strong promoting and developing Primal Therapy while you could be retired and enjoying the fruits of a life of creative work and dedication to the alleviation of suffering.
    I am hoping that someone on this blog with more time and/or ability than I can take up this task

    Best Regards

  11. Erron:
    Well I am not a fan of meditation in any form. I think I wrote about it in Grand Delusion. It is just a form of repression no matter how they dress it up. art janov

  12. Dear Art,
    Would you consider commenting in a future post on the article about morphine helping traumatic stress
    ( referring to
    P.S. I had therapy in New York around 1980 with Jean Jackson (I miss her) and Tracee Shepard, I still recall some other names, like Skip, Alix. I had seen you then a couple of times when you visited.

  13. Steven: How I enjoy the fruits of life is knowing that what I do advances a crucial science that changes lives every day. I still have time for music; I am still hoping to get Foster and I's Rock Opera up and running. And I do enjoy stuff even though it has not been easy having spent the last 40 years in pain due to botched surgery on my throat. What gets me through all this is my friends, very good friends, and of course and not least my wife of 36 years, France. art

  14. Philip: Philip I miss Jean too terribly. I loved her. Re: morphine. What it does is block the resonance factor so that the current event cannot dredge up very early and terrible pain so you just have current pain to deal with. I bet others have some good ideas about this. dr. J

  15. Art,
    I have written to you before. I live in South Africa and I run a little manufacturing business of my own. I started therapy with you in 1980 in L.A.

    The question about morphine by Phillip prompted me to ask you about narco-analysis,
    where sodium pentothal is used as a sort of ‘truth drug’. (The police in India still use it
    to obtain information from suspects).

    I was 17 years old when I asked a psychiatrist whether he would agree to such a procedure. He agreed and a day and time was arranged at a private clinic.

    I lay down on the bed and he injected me with the sodium pentothal. He waited a few seconds and then asked me what is bothering me. Instantly, tears shot into my eyes and I started crying deeply. I immediately said: “My mother hates me”. I was fully aware of myself and of him and my surroundings. I said it over and over. The crying was so deep that I only cried like that again after I had started therapy with you.

    The interesting thing is that I had never once thought or verbalised those exact words before. I only knew that I was messed up, and nothing else. For about three weeks afterwards, I felt as light as a feather. The constant pain-pressure that was with me 24/7
    had dissipated to almost nothing.

    Had the doctor been a primal therapist, he would have allowed me to keep on crying, because I know today that I would have gone on crying perhaps for a much longer period. But he stopped me shortly afterwards and said that at least he now knows what my problem is. I never went back to him -- I don’t know why -- but I’m glad for that, because he would probably have wanted to advise me and suggest that I should ‘understand’ and ‘forgive and forget’ and all the other mumbo jumbo, as you put it.

    Then, two years into my therapy, a friend of mine in the US, - also primal - arranged with
    a doctor friend of his to supply us with sodium pentothal in tablet form. The doctor and my friend were both present when I took the tablets. About 10 to 15 minutes later, I started crying again, this time much deeper, since I wasn’t interrupted at all. The crying was so deep that I couldn’t even get two words out before the wave hit me again, over and over and over. This went on for about 20 minutes. It was unbelievably cathartic. I was also totally aware of them and my surroundings. Once again, I walked around for some weeks feeling as light as air. I was spontaneous, totally relaxed, at ease with myself. I laughed heartily and socialised and conversed with strangers in a most natural way. The doctor was completely blown away and couldn’t stop talking and asking questions about it. We told him about PT and he read one of your books.

    Please note that I am not suggesting that this procedure be tried as a cure for neurosis,
    but I have since wondered a lot about it, and whether you could reflect on it. I know that at the institute there were patients who had great difficulty connecting because of major third or second-line damage, such as I had. Might this be a way for the institute to help them connect and ‘blow off’ some of that pain?

    In the meantime, I am happy with the way my therapy is progressing, with deep and connected crying. About 4 years ago I started accessing first-line feelings. I just know that my therapy is right on track.

    I can never thank you enough for all the wonderful work you have done and are still doing.

  16. P.S.
    I needed to say that I believe that on both occasions with the sodium pentothal, I had
    connected feelings. On the second time, when it happened in the US, I also cried for my mother. I felt her hatred, and tried to say something, but the wave after wave of crying was too powerful.

  17. Patrick: Hi. the problem is that any artificial means is just that: it tends to throw up pains out of sequence that can be felt but not connected; hence no long term change. You never know what you are getting with drugs because obviously it is not a natural process. I believe in nature and above all, evolution. Others? art janov

  18. Patrick (2): I suppose if a primal therapist does it, it can help but I am against anything artificial. You run the risk of serious mental illness that way. Why take a chance when it can be done right, slowly and methodically? Art Janov

  19. Patrem.

    I once had a dream where I had a baby on my lap. I called out to my mother (in the dream) so as to ask for something that the baby needed. She looked at me with sick ugly disgust, in revolution to the fact that I had dared to ask for more than what she was prepared to give. I then felt my whole body and being fill up with 'evil' and my hands, out of my control, crushed into the baby on my lap.

    The symbolism is pretty obvious. So I look forward to getting the same kind of crap out of my system too!

  20. Art, you believe in nature, but you also believe in using uppers or downers for those patients who need them at the beginning of therapy.
    I suppose what you are saying is that drugs should be used only for the purpose of getting the brain closer to the feeling zone, so that orderly brain functions can then lead to proper connection. We can't expect a drug to force the brain to do things in the correct order. A drug can be an aid, but it can never take the place of primal therapy.
    Patrick, it's interesting how you said you felt as light as a feather for weeks. I'm wondering if your deep crying episodes had given you a feeling of optimism which lasted a few weeks. The optimism could have aided your repression so you became less conscious of your pain for a while. Or perhaps such an enormous release of tension is enough to relax the body for several weeks, even if the pain was disconnected while you were crying. Perhaps you really were light as a feather....not just thinking it. That's where a few scientific tests would be helpful. I'm just wondering. I don't rule out the possibility that your pains were connected and resolved.
    It seems to me that all these drugs are pretty basic. They are either a stimulant or depressant. I've tried both and they usually make me worse. More emotional, yes, but nothing is ever resolved. My sad feelings will become strong enough to make me vomit and I can start to feel desperately hopeless....but it never goes further than that. Not fun.

  21. Andrew,
    Take it from an old primaller, with Primal Therapy you will be able to ‘get all the crap out of your system’. Good luck. Patrick.

  22. Hi Richard,
    I think - with deference to Art - what happened to me is that the Sodium Pentothal simply removed what Art calls third-line inhibition. I was not allowed to speak in the house. I was bombarded and attacked with hatred from my mother since the age of about eleven. I had absolutely no idea what was wrong with me. I just felt terrible. My brain did not allow me
    to become aware of the fact that my mother hated me so much, and I therefore didn’t “know” that.

    My whole being knew that, of course.

    I was also beaten severely and frequently from a young age by my father, which suppressed any attempt from me to speak out, or reflect on, or integrate my world, but I had come to accept that as ‘normal’ because I didn’t know better.

    I suffered serious third-line damage. (Intellectual). I couldn’t think, learn or study anymore and had to leave school early. I also left home before I was seventeen.

    I was fifteen and still at school when I asked to see a psychiatrist at the local hospital.
    He asked me whether I had any problems with my parents and I said no. I also answered in the negative when he asked me if they fought a lot. They did. I was not connecting home events to these horrible feelings I walked around with.

    I do believe that what I experienced with the Sodium Pentothal episode, was a connected
    second-line feeling that was very cathartic for me indeed, hence the feeling of lightness afterwards, which lasted for about two weeks. It also pointed me in a direction in which to start searching, and that was child abuse. I then started trying to read books, but found it extremely difficult, I would read a paragraph up to fifteen times to get a smattering of what was being said, but I persevered and eventually read many books and slowly my comprehension increased. I was in constant pain, though.

    I have since learnt that some people cry deeply when they come out of anaesthetics. This also happened to me when I underwent some minor operations. Once, after an op. for a deviated septum, my then girlfriend told me afterwards that I cried bitterly and that I pleaded with her to not ever leave me. Patrick.

  23. Dr Janov: you say above that you have time for music. Do you play an instrument? What kind of music do you like ? Have you ever used music in therapy to evoke feeling in people? Marco

  24. Marco: i am an old jazz musician. I don't know where I said I have time for music because once in a while I write songs with David Foster but I no longer play.

  25. Dr Janov: Yeah, jazz is great music...although I am much more partial to what came after the Big Band era, which is more my father's trip (he`s your age).Although I cannot listen to much music because of a sever ear disorder called "hyperacusis", sometimes I can, and the last musicians I listened to were incredible: Alice Coltrane (John's wife), Pharaoh Saunders, and Leon Thoms , THE most amazing singer I have ever heard (early 70's jazz). Alice C. plays piano and harp, a rarely used instrument in jazz. The effects she comes with with that instrument are inspiring.

    I often wonder also why so many jazz musicians of that era got into heroin and Eastern philosophies. Marco

  26. Here is my intellectual appraisal:

    I have been around a lot of musicians. I think a lot of intellectual musicians feel more comfortable with jazz music. Jazz often sits on a more abstract foundation which can let the intellectual off the hook. If the music sounds fragmented and awkward, the jazz musician can say it is too "challenging" for lesser musicians to appreciate.
    The opposite to abstract jazz music is 'candy' pop music. Pop music is often described (by jazz musicians) as cheap factory fodder. But a pop song is less likely to be forgiven when it's ingredients don't work. Pop music is about a feeling....not an idea or skill...and it can be complicated or simple. Pop music is like food. The taste buds don't lie. For me personally, the best jazz music is actually pop music with a jazz flavour. 'Pop' just means popular....and popular means "feels good".
    However all of that is changing now because the intellectuals have risen to power in the 'Popular Music' industry and they love nothing more than to turn artists into puppets.

  27. To "chyron" about why animals did not develop a neocortex...:

    Animals did do so! We are these animals!

    There is not "enough room at the top (of our niche)" for things to be any different. (Not even in another universe!)

    You (one) will never understand as much as is possible to understand about how we evolved to how we are in respect of primal pain and how we handle having had it naturally - including 'socially naturally' - put into our brains) unless you can see how evolutionary patterning-pressure of "opportunity type" has been occurring in parallel (or overlapping/coinciding) with traumatizing '"primal scene" type' (or, IOW, with "specific hibernation (SH) imploring type") lifetime challenges (selective/evolutionary pressures).
    Apropos "specific hibernation": SH is to be understood partly by comparing it (this kind/extent of metabolism-muting function) with "general hibernation" - i.e. mainly hibernation and aestivation.

  28. Dr. Janov, I just came across some information that you might find interesting, which is that newborns who are born c-section don't get vaginal lactic acid on their way through the birth canal. The exposure to the acid lays down colonies of healthy bacteria in their small intestine. Breast milk also has probiotic bacteria. Lacking this bacteria is a cause for diarrhea, constipation, colic, especially skin allergies and eczema.

  29. The source for the points on bacteria:


    Another factor affecting the intestinal flora of the newborn is delivery mode. A normal vaginal delivery commonly permits transfer of bacteria from the mother to the infant. During cesarean deliveries, this transfer is completely absent. These infants commonly acquire and are colonized with flora from the hospital's environment and, therefore, their flora may differ from maternal flora. Infants delivered by cesarean section are colonized with more anaerobic bacteria, especially Bacteroides, than vaginally delivered infants. Clostridium perfringens is the anaerobic bacterium most frequently isolated after cesarean deliveries. When colonized, cesarean delivered infants less frequently harbor E. coli, and more often klebsiella and enterobacteria(7).

  30. Kaz: thanks important information. art janov

  31. Philip sorry a bit late. What exactly? art janov


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.