Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Training in Psychology and Psychotherapy

I have two advanced degrees in the field of mental health. Despite about 12 years of university I learned almost nothing about how to do therapy. It was always hit and miss, never a science. It was “do what you feel comfortable with,” which is a license to do terrible stuff. Since neurotics are comfortable with neurotic goals and neurotic techniques; witness cognitive therapy, intellectuality raised to the level of a principle. Head lucubrations converted to a theory. The training was useless and meaningless and could help no one. Why? Because it was not and never was a science with testable hypotheses that one could suss out and discover things that would enhance our techniques.

I was also trained, a residency, at the Freudian clinic of the west, a sort of Meningers on the west coast. Also useless. I never learned a single scientific principle, nor how to put the therapy to the scientific test. The reason was there was no science and still is not: except, primal therapy. When I do training all of my advance therapists know the minute a mistake is made; it is that precise. And we do training in science as well so that we are all aware of the scientific method. Our training never stops. It goes on for years because there is so much to learn. We have done several double blind studies in Europe on our patients; and what did I discover? No one cares. It is the syndrome, “I won’t believe it even if you prove it.”

Is this sour grapes? Maybe, but when trying for research funds we are always turned away as unscientific.

Our patients are always our scientific subjects. We do vital signs before and after each session. I have written earlier on my blog about their importance. We have studied the immune system, the brain function, the inhibitory/serotonin system, and on and on (see Primal Healing for a discussion of all this). But for those shrinks who are left brain the greatest voyage they are ever going to make is to the right brain, and alas, they cannot do it. No one can do it voluntarily. We need to open the gates between the hemispheres and that takes time and serious scientific therapy.

We try to make sure that our therapy coincides with current physiology and neurology; you will see that I write a lot about that. Because we cannot concoct a psychotherapy that flies in the face of how the brain works; for example, believing that ideas change feelings, when it is just the opposite that is true. We have spent something like one million dollars in scientific pursuits, often using outsiders who have no idea what we do. But I am convinced that you cannot “prove” our therapy but these facts alone. It has to hit you in the gut. And who does it hit there? Those who suffer. Those who are close to feelings. Those who cannot make it, who are constantly depressed and anxious. They understand my theory right away and come from 26 countries for the therapy. I am not sure I would read a book by a curly haired shrink and travel 10,000 miles for help. But they do and they get help. They do not care about statistics. They care about their feelings and their misery. We are the therapy of last resort, a therapy of misery where patients can finally let their misery out. Almost every single therapy extant works to push back feelings. Isn’t that strange? Feelings need to be expressed and they push them down. The result is more depression and anxiety, more not getting along with others, more dysfunction and later, more serious disease. And worse, they have the statistics to prove their case because it is all in the definition of what is success. And if they say better social adjustment and self-described feeling better, then you cannot beat that. Because nothing is as infinite as self-deception.


  1. Why do people believe in fairy tales? Because their mental health depends on it.

    Anyone who thinks that they had a good childhood is almost impossible to convince otherwise.

    This lie is the foundation that their mental health sits on. Their sanity depends on deceiving themselves.

    Primal Therapy is the truth that is a threat to their lie.

    Anyone who truly had a happy childhood wouldn't feel threatened by PT because their mental health is grounded in truth.

    Many of us grew up in families where, if we thought differently than the authority figures, we were automatically wrong. It's like we were geniuses on an island of fools. We were conditioned to believe we were wrong and that we were wasting our time by being different.

    That being said...

    Art!!: Looking from the outside, with one foot firmly planted on the inside, I say go over these left brained witch doctor's shrunken heads and shove the facts in their faces.

    Write a book based on this article. Attack these so called doctors with your findings. Also, diagnose these clowns to the fullest extent so it makes them cry or at least makes them squirm.

    Even if they don't notice the truth. We will.

    Find the biggest audience. Put PT up against their band aid therapies. Fight their lies with the facts.

    There are a lot of people out there who aren't quite making it on there own. They've struggled with their belief systems, which means they're open to alternative ways of living there lives.

    By pitting your therapy against their lies you automatically put everything in one place. If I couldn't live my lie of a happy childhood any longer and I was open for help without knowing where to turn, I would be amazingly grateful to be led to a book about a 43 year old therapy discovered by a curly haired shrink that had the balls and the facts to take on the establishment.

    They could never win. They can only try to shift reality into a non feeling half backed counter attack. Knowing that, you could preempt them and write about how they would respond. Put it all in the book.

    ... I've been at this post for just over 6 hours now. I feel it's important. I'm trying to find the right words. I'm hoping to leave an impression and I'm trying to light a fire under the guy who knows how to protest injustice with a SCREAM!!!

    How dare they suppress the truth!

    Please, (if you feel you can), step outside of your comfort zone and really put PT on the map.

    Your Primal Therapy is sound. It can stand a left brained attack.

    For all the people like me, one who has a taste of the truth and the feelings to back it up, give us a book that tears down the mental health establishment. These people remind us of the people who abused us in the first years of our existence then pretended that they didn't do anything wrong.

    The Emperor has no clothes and with the right instrument/tool/book not even the Emperor can hide from the truth.

    ... There's always a way!!!


    Larry Jankowski

    PS. Does anyone else feel the way I do? Does Art need to challenge the establishment on a grand scale? Does anyone think, like me, that there's a large number of people out there who are open enough to learn about Primal Therapy?

  2. Without causing too much hype, we could encourage governments to assign independent auditors to assess the efficacy of all psychotherapies. The auditors should be selected from scientific backgrounds, but none of them should be trained in psychotherapy. They have only one purpose; to study real-world results. They don't need to know the hows and whys...they only need to know the results which can be measured in a real way.
    This type of investigation would put pressure on therapists to provide real data instead of hypothetical data.

  3. Perhaps some of the way PT/T is written about needs to change - or supplemented - for it to penetrate and become throughly scientifically evaluated to the extent you want it to.

  4. Your first paragraph is so right on except that I don't agree with "because it was not and never was a science". Training in science does not train anyone to do anything except think in scientific terms. One practices medicine after learning anatomy and physiology (the science of the human body) The same should apply to psychology; learn brain theory, (Primal Theory) then go out and practice psychotherapy with a mentor. However, in both medicine and psychology 'PRACTICE' should imply spending time practicing the techniques of either profession. The problem is we use the word 'practice' to mean 'have a practice'. Practicing carpentry and many other crafts require a 5 year apprenticeship to become relatively accomplished, yet we seem not to apply the very same principles to healers. No other school of mental health IMO use this methodology except Primal Therapy.

    Since Primal Therapy's mode of operation is based on the therapist ability to be in the "feeling zone" in order to help the patient/client to enter that zone, it does not require studying anything at a university or school, merely practicing ones craft, with a mentor. For most of us having lived for decades in the non-feeling zone it is a difficult transition to enter the feeling zone and can feel at first un-natural.

    Because neurotic man does not see (or sense) there is something amiss with her/his lifestyle, merely irritating inconveniences, there will never be a serious study of feelings and the effects of not being feeling-full. All the protestations (until or unless we can reach a critical mass of protesters) will make no tangible effect on the scientific community, albeit that one argues from the scientific premise. The only hope IMO is that nature will actually push us into primals as we go deeper and deeper into more neurotic stresses, as seems inevitable looking at the political world.

  5. Dear Art,

    Wow ! What an eloquent piece.

    I am one of those who understood your theory right away. I came from Australia and I did get help, which saved my life. I still care about releasing the remaining agony of rejection, abandonment, neglect, incest and 20 years of threat and violence. Almost there.

    You are so right about the mental health world saying, “I won’t believe it even if you prove it.” Out of their own neurotic self-deception.

    I so want your work to carry on, but you are not immortal, and there is not enough money or clients or recognition for that to happen.

    My heart goes out to you.

    What about famous people who have been helped by Primal Therapy raising funds en masse and lobbying the Bill Gates Warren Buffett Foundation to fund you work ?

    You life's work deserves a huge International Institute for Primal Therapy, Research and Training.

    Trish Hodges

  6. Hi Art,

    There were several comments before. All gone now. So I'm posting again.

    Great post.

    Regarding research funds.

    Have you considered making a case for funding to the Bill Gates Warren Buffet Foundation. I know you can argue a very persuasive case.

  7. In the 1950's-60's dianetic therapy was getting a lot of media attention, and university students were trying it out. What effect did that have on the therapy scene? Why does it attract needy Hollywood people? Did you look into it yourself Art?

  8. Tips from the outside looking in. This is not endorsed by Arthur Janov. Waiting for final approval, or for some kind of slip-up in better judgment.

    Directions for God: Apply generously and gently massage into aches and pains until God disappears under the skin. Repeat three to four times daily. Relief lasts for hours. Warnings: FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY.

    Advice for people who have parents: Do not take more than 4 doses in a 24-hour period. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, a belief in God in highly recommended (see above).

    Sports Advice: Pick a winner, score that touchdown, or hit that walk off home run (it is highly recommended by staff, not to root for the Detroit Lions or the Pittsburgh Pirates).

    Acme's All Purpose Fantasy Cream: Hey! We created the cream, you create the fantasy.

    Advice for food addicts: When food shopping, only buy as much food as you can eat, before you get to the register. It is not advisable to food shop more than 14 times a day.

    General Advice: Don't trust anyone in a supermarket who eats their food before they get to the cash register (ignore the above post).

    On drug addiction: Try gambling or something...

    General Advice on Gambling. When compared to sex addiction, I'd put all my money on sex addiction.

    On sex addiction: Call back in 15 minutes (translation: 48 seconds).

  9. You have said more than once that we are the therapy of last resort. And while I understand what you mean, still, I feel I could make a reasonable argument that we should be the therapy of first resort. The challenges we face, if we and our planet are to survive us, cannot be blamed on ineffective leadership or the banking cartels or the military industrial complex, or any of the things we love to blame. The problem, first and foremost, is the unruly paradox that the very thing that saved us, it would seem to me, is what will ultimately destroy us, left untreated. If your theories are correct, and I believe they are, we might have had hope of meeting those challenges while there is still something left for the animals. But unlikely as long as it is perceived to be a last resort.

    As a boy, romping high in the branches of a silver maple tree in northern Ohio, I remember peeking into a robin’s nest, cautiously, as I did not want to disturb her babies. Mommy Robin was away, gathering food. What I noticed as I studied them made me wonder. Rather than soil their own nest, these baby birds but a few days old would hike their little bottoms up and over the edge of the nest to defecate. Did Mommy Robin teach them to do that? I eventually decided that this was not the case, that even a neonate baby robin is born with enough brains not to soil its own nest.

    What a world this might be if our own species had as much sense, unfettered by what we call neurosis. Sure makes a fellah wonder.

    Steve Kessler

  10. A really good post Art - well stated.

    The reason why I can't go out and get a psychology degree (your 12 years to me is...omg!!) is because I know what I want to know, and I just want to go straight to it (no formal learning rituals!). But then I *hated* school when growing up because it was a truly horrible mental prison for me, in particular in my primary school years...and I am suspicious that I now have a strong over-reaction to further "ritualised" study because of it--it can actually make me really angry, or even depressed. Maybe when I get some "school prison" pain out of my system I can tolerate giving my brain to academia again, in spite of what it ultimately is? We'll see!

    Sorry if that was a bit self-absorbed(?)

  11. Gordon: It is a big topic. I know a lot about it. Not my cup of tea. art janov I would like to use a word to describe it but I have had enough lawsuits in my life. Guess.

  12. Jack don't underestimate the amount of learning our therapists have to undergo. art janov

  13. Pbef: Listen. I wrote a scientific piece for a refereed journal. Does anyone care? art janov

  14. Trish. it is the kind of thing I cannot do. Over the years I tried so many places including the national institute of health. all to no avail. I leave it to people like you to carry on and write. hey I am getting up there. art janov

  15. Richard: OK now put it into practice. Write to the proper people and see what happens. I have tried many times and mostly I never get an answer. Don't look to me to do it. You do it. I need help. art janov

  16. Trish: from your mouth to.......I would like some of you to get together and help out. I am just one person trying to make it. HELP art janov

  17. You are right. I have great ideas for research but each research we did before cost $300,000. art

  18. Steve well written. you said you wanted to write about your previous therapy. art janov

  19. Larry Jankowski: I also feel the way you do, in so doing I spent many years pondering how to effectively change it. So! I wrote a book, very controversial, but, to my way of thinking, very poignant: sadly, the only person to say he liked it was Art. If you contact me I will send you a free e-copy. You'll need to send me your email address: I'm not allowed to give you mine on here.

    Steve Kessler: "The problem, first and foremost, is the unruly paradox that the very thing that saved us, it would seem to me, is what will ultimately destroy us, left untreated". Brilliant and right on IMO.

    Art: I attempted to make the point that it requires an enormous amount of 'practice' ... you say "learning". Are we actually saying the same thing? Primal Theory is so simple and so elegant that even a 5th grader could learn it in less than a week IMO. It's the putting that theory into 'practice' that is time consuming. I'm not a therapist, but I have done an extensive amount of buddying--even with none Primal people. Some that have done PT have primalled buddying. Other none PT folks have benefited enormously by just being listened to, sometimes for hours. Listening does not require learning, but does require skill and that did not come easily or quickly to me. Your genius, at a time when you too did not have a clue, to listen to Danny Wilson and Gary Hillard was key for the beginnings of Primal Therapy and Primal Theory. The discovery of 'Primal Pain' is IMO the greatest discovery mankind ever made--or will ever make.

  20. Larry,

    I think Art had it right when he desrcibed PT as the therapy of last resort.

    We are a world of neurotics constantly trying to run away from our pain. So we want to hear the music of escapism - not confrontation [of our pain]. Just look at the way people lap up all that new age bullshit. That's what people want - bullshit to run away into so as to run away from their pain. It seems (by what Janov suggests) that only those who are tired of running and can't do it anymore want to listen to what he has to say.

    It is a waste of time telling someone something that they do not want to hear. Ever tried to convince a religious person that their faith is a nonsense? Can't be done--the more you "dig in" the more ruthlessly they will defend. They will either walk out of the room or forget what you said the next day.

    I think if primal theory comes to "rule" it will be from a scientific union between primal theory and related neurological research. The gravity of a scientific movement from this direction could develop to dominate the status quo. I think serious change will come from pushing people out - not changing minds. Apparently that's how it normally works? Establishments don't tend to give up anything until they have to.

    Don't forget it's a tenure-driven world.

  21. Richard
    You do not causing a hype.
    I have been trying to convince governments for 10 years. By doing so, I ended up with more enemies then friends - still, nothing has changed. CT has the biggest lobby and is “the moneymaker” worldwide. There is no real interest in helping the traumatized. We need to find another way. It is the client need to say NO to this left hemisphere mind manipulation. We need to reach the client, ask them how much CT and other guru hocus- pocus has really helped them.

  22. I might start an online petition which requests a federal investigation into the efficacy of all psychotherapies. The petition would state clearly the difference between real Primal Therapy and mock Primal Therapy. It would state the difference between 'Cognitive results' and real results. Real results would be defined as: permanent beneficial changes in heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and hormones as well as patient testimonials etc. (I haven't thought of the best wording yet).
    The core message would be this: "An investigation is needed to determine which psychotherapy is most effective. This investigation could lead to huge social and economic gains."

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this idea?

  23. For several years I have sensed that 'Primal Truth oriented' insights and remedies are "on the march" and "gaining ground".

    This observation and belief of mine was strongly boosted today in my workplace.

    We were lectured (as part of a by the government country-wide "workplace health improvement" program) by two professional persons who clearly were switched-on to and aware of the effectively 'PT/T type' way of seeking a solution (by tapping a corresponding self-healing potential) to problematic effects of the fact that so many of us have endured traumatizing circumstances (or ditto predicaments) early in our lives.

    I was pleasantly surprised how unusually well this fact was explained and exemplified well by especially one of them.

    Although I was amazed at how well their presentation resonated with Primal Theory, I was prompted to try to correct them on one very unfortunately formulated written point in a hand-out of theirs; a point that contradicted and diluted much of what the had said in the lecture.

    However, I do think that the person I put my (not nasty) criticism to was receptive and got what I meant; though I can't be certain until I follow it up with a written comment and get a detailed enough response in return.

    Not as much of What Is going on deserves to be zoomed in on with as much 'primal/Pain awareness motivated' gloom as some people here seem to do.

    Also, too many people here seems to have an unrealistic attitude to what Art will be able to do over and above what he has actually already done [i.e., he has injected his uniquely precise primal therapeutic ideas, and hopeful attitude to people's potential capacity to dispel their CURSES (primal pain) - and by implication how to in the first place counter-act nature's production of traumatizing or "specific/synaptic hibernation imploring threat type" predicaments (or ordeals that incur CURSES) - into more minds than merely of those superficial and neurotic nay-sayers who also happen to be cheap-shooting journalists.

  24. What you say is true, Jack. I lectured to 14 years olds and they got it better and quicker than my lecture to psychiatrists. Art.

  25. OH MAN!!! I just spent over 2 hours writing my comment, and it said, Sorry, it couldn't be posted...


    I wanted to say thanks to Jack and Andrew (Jack, I'll send you my email address, I'd really like to read your book). And to Andrew, I've been challenging my facebook friends for a year and a half with my posts on child abuse, religion, and my political views. I mix jokes and humorous stories in between the harsh comments, just to see how long some people will stick around. I've lost a number of fb friends so far.

    I was using fb like therapy. The people I was challenging (mostly my high school classmates from 25 years ago... class of 1983). These and all people remind me of the people who hurt me in childhood (they also remind me of some of the nice people too... more bad than nice though). By challenging them now, and realizing exactly who they remind me of, I was able to work with, and through some of my old feeling.

    I was projecting too much importance on some of these people. As I began to realize who these people were, I began to drop them as friends, because I realized I didn't need them in my life. At the same time, I was resolving some big issues from my past.

    (OH MAN, the letter that I lost was better than this one.... I'm somewhat lost now...) anyway

    I've been working on my anger/rage issues. Who makes me angry, and why. Then I find out where the anger first showed up (I didn't mention this in the other comment... I'm lost and upset with myself... I forgot to copy my text before I hit post comment... :(

    Andrew, you're right. It's pretty much impossible to get people to change their minds, especially when they're desperate.

    Art, if you can come up with PT in pill form, or PT in a can.... send me some.

    I feel lost now...

    I love the articles, and all the good ideas on this thread from all the smart people (everyone's smart here).

    Oh well... giving up on this comment (the other one was better)

    Larry Jankowski

    PS. For what it's worth.... I live in Florida, I'll be 46 in a couple of months, I'm married, and I've never been mauled by a polar bear (as far as I know).

    (note to self.... copy this, this time)

  26. @ Larry Jankowski

    Its true what you say about many who can not recognize a faulty childhood. But when I picked up the Primal Scream in 87, having first bought it because Darwin noted that babies and animals have far more intense expressions than adult humans, primal reactions, so to speak, I felt there would be some sort of connection there, not understanding at the time what PT was. But it did lead to discovery. But when I first read, I imagined that I was fine. But as I read what Art said about being taken away from mom after being first born, the 8 hours labor, bed wetting till 6 or 7, fear of death, occasional nightmares, etc, I knew there had to be something there even if I was not aware of it. I am also very sensitive to marijuana but that’s another story altogether.

    There are people who are looking, searching, pondering, and willing to consider new thought and then there are those who don’t ever want to explore anything for fear they might find something. Many PT patients recognize the “truth” of PT, despite being neurotic. Those that don’t, fear and run. There is a decision that goes on in the intellect, whether anyone here wants to admit it or not. If the brain stem and limbic system sense we do not want to know, then unless the gates are defective, they will not let the cortex know.

    You inner self knows you better than you know yourself. If we are courageous and sincere in wanting to know, our inner self, (1st/2nd line) will let us know. Our brains are like computers and automatically help us process and makes sense of data. We aim them and it we aim sincerely, they will help us out in the cortex. That is my proposition. The 1st/2nd line can say yes or no to questions. They will give you that nudge that yes, or no, that is the right or wrong direction or solution. We can also use our intellect to contemplate and reason. True, it will not get rid of pain and tension and what goes with that, but we will recognize the therapy and its underlying principles.

    But I agree that the “status quo” ought to be taken on with direct and firm confrontation. The establishment is so lame and useless. Say it like we mean it, right? There is almost nothing but lies out there. Lets shred them and cut them up. Say what’s wrong. Show no mercy, take no prisoners, leave no quarter. Those who have any balls at all will see the truth of the matter. Problem is that propaganda does not only not tell about PT, it keeps silent about it so no one even knows there is such a thing.

    But don’t look for the establishment to concede or suddenly see the light or accept the proof that has been around for 43 years or more. They never will. They refuse. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink. They won’t have it.

    I think each primal patient or believer in PT needs to become a voice of publicity and carry on their own mission. Many voices all speaking help get a message out better. Art has been doing so for 43 years. Now more need to step up to the plate.

  27. Larry: If I were your buddy I would suggest NOT trying to figure out who makes you angry and why. Just put yourself into a SAFE PLACE and have/let-go/express your anger ... your way. The feeling will let you know 'why' and 'who'. If you have a buddy do it with him/her.

    Safe place:- where you will not disturb others (neighbors etc.) and have some convenient inanimate object to vent those feelings on, and not hurt yourself ... or destroy property.

    Suggestion: Write your comment on Notepad or Wordpad first; Save As then copy and paste. I know that feeling well: the best thing I ever wrote and whoof, it's evaporated ... never to be recovered. F@#$

    The reason; we can never revisit the feeling/s that drove the writing in the first place. Feelings are way too ephemeral and memory is not sufficient.

  28. Dear Art,

    I’m deeply touched by this post describing the extraordinary resistance to Primal Theory and Primal Therapy the establishment has shown over the years. It must be terribly frustrating to present Humanity a discovery that has so much potential and be treated as if you are a out of this world weirdo!

    I was lucky to be one of those who had the «guts feeling» that Primal Therapy was what I needed. I didn’t have to travel 10,000 miles; the New York Primal Institute was «only» 400 miles away. That was in 1979. The Primal technique is a fantastic tool not only for therapy but also for «psychological hygiene», for which I am very grateful to you, Art. But being an adept, I have felt many times the same «resistance» around me: parents, siblings, girlfriends, friends, children, etc.

    Even if the healing mechanism activated by the Primal technique is natural and an integral part of the human body, so is the pain avoidance and repression reflex of the cognitive brain. Apparently, for the vast majority of people the avoidance-repression reflex is a lot stronger. So after all these years I came to the conclusion that fear of our old feelings and hence Primal Therapy is kind of «natural». It is not the result of a mentality of repressive culture, but rather its origin. Humans are like horses trapped in a stable on fire: even if not doing it will cause their loss, very few have the natural instinct of going thru the fire of their old pain. Primal theory will always be difficult to sell!

    Continued in part 2…

  29. Apollo: Good stuff. Great note! I agree with you.

    Jack: Just by interacting on facebook, a lot of thoughts and feelings come up. When something on fb gets me upset or angry, I use that to find out what I'm really angry about. I can usually take the feeling pretty far back into my past (2 to 5 years old). When I get a good connection to my past, the present anger shifts to a past experience.

    What I then do, is yell what I need to yell, into a mattress. My wife and I have one of those memory foam mattresses. It absorbs most of the sound.

    Because I can't afford a (good) therapist (someone who would allow me to rage against my parents), I'm doing self therapy. The best therapists would be a PT therapist trained at Art's institute.

    This is all I have right now. When things change (money wise, and when I can get some kind of insurance, I'll need to get a painful shoulder operated on)... I'll then have better options.

    This anger/rage work has given me a portion of my confidence back. When I was being abused as a small child, my anger was taken away from me (it wasn't safe to voice or show). By being able to get in touch with some of my early abuse, and really feeling it, I have been able to scream (nothing on a primal level however) into the mattress, and tell these people NOOOOOOOOOOOO, STOOOOOOOOP, It's MINE MINE MINE MINE, Never again. And sometimes it's just the hurt yells or angry yells... all as loud as I can (pretty fierce and powerful).

    I believe sometimes, I'm actually morphing the past and the present. I believe I'm going back into my past as a child, and as the yelling continues, I sometimes become the adult me, back in the long ago sceen.

    The yelling lasts for 15 to 45 seconds. It's amazingly draining, but I do feel relief. And the only way I know it's working, is that I'm able to stick up for myself better in public. The people who are angry/mean or pretend to be nice (like my pedophile uncle), were the people I couldn't confront in childhood.

    Now I can challenge these people who remind me of the people who hurt me. I can ask them questions. I can ask them what they're really driving at. Basically, my anger has given me the ability to protect myself.

    Meanwhile, I can't lie to myself. Though this has helped me to a degree, I still get panic attacks, and I still struggle with way too things.

    ... and Jack, I'll try your writing it down method. It sounds interesting. The logic makes sense. I'll see what happens.

    Apollo, Jack... and to all the rest... good stuff!

    ... and of course, wonderful article(s) Art



  31. «Because nothing is as infinite as self-deception. »

    Art, this is so true! And you demonstrate it so eloquently!

    People need to travel 10,000 miles from 26 countries because you have fail in over 40 years of trying to train enough qualified therapists from these countries. For you, it proves that your therapy is superior.

    You are the therapy of last resort. The price you charge, the conditions you set are such (all the warnings about the DANGER of having therapy somewhere else, must help) that only very desperate, very suffering clients go to you. For you, it proves that your therapy is superior.

    I agree that Primal Therapy is superior, but not these kinds of reasons.

    Oh, my friend, this would be laughable it was not so sad. You did a fantastic discovery and History will recognize it, no doubt. You work a lot to have this discovery known all over the world by writing a lot of books about it. But you could not let go of your childish attitude of this is «my» therapy and share your knowledge with the community. You could have created a Revolution you have turned it into your own old man frustration. Sure, It is those «left brain shrinks»’s fault.

    If you could only be open to your own wisdom, if you could only listen to your own «Jesus, wake up» messages, maybe you could see acceptation of your work while you are still living. But the clock is ticking and nothing is as infinite as self-deception!

    How sad…

    Charles-Gilles Massé

  32. Hello there, this is Dr France Janov answering you as my husband is in the hospital with fractured ribs.
    I just want to make the point to you that Dr Janov has wanted nothing more than seeing Primal expand. Of course, it would be very rewarding to see it practiced for the good of the patients by many more institutions or psychologists. And that is what he set out to organize very early on. Two major elements stopped that trend : first and foremost : the necessity to keep researching to improve the understanding of the process, then, to translate this theoretical knowledge into clinical application.

    What we have found to our great dismay is that these two trends were seemingly important only to us.
    The enthusiasm generated by Primal prompted a lot of people to dabble in making patients scream, open them up to deep pain, prematurely or without any idea what to do next. It is an extremely difficult therapy to learn and after decades of researching and practicing it, we still train our therapists on a regular basis.

    I am afraid you see the process in a simplistic way as do the people who "dabble in it" and unknowingly condemn what we feel and have found is an absolutely necessary level of care to insure that Primal Therapy is effective and helpful. We have found that a very high level of expertise and training is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, there is still a lot more to keep discover, understand and treatment refinements..

    Unfortunately, we have found that only at the Primal Center is that process happening. Whenever patients have come to us after getting "Primal Therapy " elsewhere, we have measured the difference. It takes months to begin to undo the damage. We feel a responsibility to keeping the possibility of damage down. Wouldn't you ?

    Dr France D. Janov

  33. Dr. France D. Janov: Very well put!

    It's so easy, for the outsider looking in, or for someone who has marginally experienced something, to then assume one knows more about it, than they really do.

    Most, if not all primal patients had experiences at the beginning of their (our) lives, that would have killed us if we had to fully experience what was happening. When this happened, there wasn't anyone there to protect us.

    When a person realizes that they can't function the way they need to in their lives, and they then make the decision to seek help through therapy, the mental health of this person then rests with the therapist. That's a tremendous responsibility to accept.

    It seems that the majority of therapist around the world, that dabble in primal therapy, don't seem to mind, or they're just to uninformed, to know the full ramifications of how important it is to be fully ready to deal with a person's worst traumas, when they come to the surface, after decades of being hidden.

    The first time around we would have died if we had to fully integrate the trauma into our mind and body . Most people don't get a second chance to fully relive the thing that almost killed them. That's why it's vital that the therapist knows as much as they possibly can, (hence, Art's books, trainings, and therapy) when they get to witness the patient's second chance at their pain.

    Because Arthur and France don't want to make people worse when they leave therapy, they do everything they possibly can, so they can help as many people as possible. One shoe (approach) doesn't fit all... and Art seems to have a pretty extensive shoe collection, because of all his research... where others do not.

    Also, Art didn't just write his books on PT to push his therapy. He also wrote them so PT could withstand the criticisms and attacks that any new science, or anything new (that threatened the existing establishment) would throw at him and his PT.

    If Arthur Janov's Primal Therapy is to out last all the shortcut PT's out there, he had/has to do the research to prove that what he and his therapists are doing, is predictable and measurable. Art's research has essentially set a foundation in place, that will last for generations... and then some.

    When something isn't sound, it can never last. Art's PT is sound, and it will last!

    Now, Freud's nonsense theories have lasted this long, because of the unbearable pain that the majority of the world can't bare to be aware of. People have always begged for fixes and explanations to their problems, as long as they don't shatter the illusion of a happy childhood, with loving parents.

    That being said, Art's therapy shatters that illusion. That's way the only people that would ever contemplate going for help, are the ones who know on some level, that their childhoods were flawed in some way.

    I'm now getting off track...

    To sum all this up: Art has to research his primal therapy, leaving no stone unturned, because it has to be able to withstand all attacks from all challengers. And Art has to condemn all the other PT's that don't come up to his standards, because he knows how damaging they can be. He's the only one who can make that call because of his research and experience. And, if by warning as many people as one can, about the downfalls of the charlatan PT's out there, makes Art's therapy Superior... so be it.

    Larry Jankowski

    PS. Art: Heal those ribs. Feel better soon. Don't go diving for sponges anytime in the near future. France: I hope to meet you and Art someday. (big smile) :)

  34. Been in hospital. As soon as I can sit up I will answer all letters. 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.