Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Role of Evolution in Pscychotherapy

I have been thinking about evolution in regard to psychotherapy. Last night there was a program on evolution; scientists from several countries convened to discuss the possible evolution of dinosaurs. There were many explanations, none satisfying. One, however, seemed credible. The question was which came first dinosaurs or birds?, since fossils were found of dinosaurs with feathers. They studied birds found near the site that had similar appendages as dinosaurs and filmed them. They found that these birds were born knowing only how to run; as their personal evolution continued they began to fly. This seemingly added evidence to the notion that birds came second, not first; that birds evolved out of dinosaurs, not the reverse. It is still a moot question but it led me to think about our own therapy; observing a primal session explained so much about evolution. Specifically, about the primacy of thoughts over feelings.

In a reliving, feelings come before thoughts, as they did in evolution; and indeed, as feelings become preponderant they nudge thoughts and beliefs into action. Those thoughts evolve out the feelings—being suffocated during birth—leading to, “he suffocates me.” “There is no space for me,” etc. What resolves this is not a change in attitude or thoughts but feelings; the imprint, the generating source needs to be addressed and relived because it was not fully relived originally. It was at best partially experienced when it happened and then shut off due to its load of pain. It needs to be fully lived, connected and resolved.

When we look at the session we are exploring evolution; observing both phylogeny and ontogeny. It is my position that unless the system is allowed to follow evolution exactly there will only be abreaction and not a connected, resolved feeling; that is the reason to pay attention to evolution. During a reliving of birth where we find skyrocketing vital signs there can be no crying like a two year old, no radical movements of the legs and arms and no words whatsoever. All these come later in personal evolution (ontogeny). To do all this now is to defy evolution, which violates biology and how it progresses.
We cannot get ahead of ourselves in therapy. Evolution is not to be fooled with. If we do not believe in it then all is lost and therapy is a useless exercise.

The minute a patient who is reliving something in early childhood uses words like entertaining, satisfaction, disappointed, we know she is not in the feeling brain and it is not a real experience. A five year does not normally use those words. In other words, evolution is a check on the reality of what the patient is undergoing. If we don’t know how the brain develops, at least minimally, then we might err in therapy; worse, we might push the patient beyond her tolerance level, beyond where evolution allows her to go for the moment. We might push her back into her history where massive pain lies; and all that will accomplish is overload and then symbolic acting out or acting in. Example: a patient was coming close to a feeling of a sexual seduction by her father. The therapist was pushing for her to get there. She reached the lip of the feeling and then sat up and said, “I’ve been saved! Saved by the Lord.” She was saved by the thought of the lord as the feeling nudged the thinking/believing centers into action to protect against feelings. Here evolution rushed in to save the situation and it did so in orderly fashion.

So when we observe progress during a session we are seeing how the brain works; what functions it uses to protect us, how it recruits thoughts to make us safe and neurotic, at the same time. We see how neurosis can take place. Most of all, we learn how to do the therapy; what biologic laws not to violate. What we also learn is how impossible it is to fulfill needs that are long past their due-date.

When we look at the evolution of babies we learn the laws of fetal and infancy evolution; what are the key needs and, above all, when they can be fulfilled. That critical window of need cannot be violated. After the window is closed there is no fulfillment possible, only amelioration. We cannot love neurosis away. Pain is stronger than that.

Once we begin to understand all this we know that we cannot use a later-developing mechanism, thoughts, to bring about change in neurosis. Thoughts then become a cover for feelings, not a resolving process. One reason this is not Primal Scream Therapy is that screams come after grunts in evolution. On the way out of the womb but not as yet out, there seem to be no screams. If we force screams we are wrong. If we try to make something dramatic happen to prove how smart and effective we are the patient will suffer. If we are patient and trust evolution we are on the right tract.


  1. Art,

    You are very good.
    Plots, of every your articles, i understand, maybe some word in English not, but I look for in dictionnary.
    How much modern theory of evolution is different or same or upgraded than the Darwin's one.
    I would like to read about evolution. Can you recommend me book or author? From whom you get knowledge about evolution?


  2. Nenad: The author would be Darwin to be read in the original. And I have chapter on evolution in my new book. art janov

  3. Art said: She was saved by the thought of the lord as the feeling nudged the thinking/believing centers into action to protect against feelings. Here evolution rushed in to save the situation and it did so in orderly fashion.

    Will says: It is fascinating the way the mind tries to self-protect, to limit perception of danger and pain to preserve its social functioning. This is because we have not evolved alongside therapeutic understanding either and the human organism has had no one to professionally guide or listen to it until about 120 years ago. So in this sense therapy is a real step forward and it will improve, as Art says, if we learn how to work in accordance with the mechanisms we have inherited.
    Recently I have been looking into the work of Stephen Suomi, one of Harry Harlows old PhD students. He takes rhesus monkeys and causes them to experience social isolation (for months sometimes) and all the pain that goes with that. It made me wonder what kind of therapy a rhesus monkey would need after that kind of ordeal. But also, how we would be better able to cope in life if we only knew more about our own evolutionary processes. Like humans, the monkeys fight the pain of isolation. They curl into balls and try to limit the threat that social emptiness poses to the self. They experience social pain as something to be withdrawn from as if it is from an external source and extraneous to the self rather than something experienced within. It is the kind of splitting that Art has written about and it stems from being in a situation to which they have no evolutionary defence or means of adapting. But if they could go to a rhesus therapist he would possibly advise them to side with the pain, to go with it and accept the social isolation even though it seems a counter-intuitive thing to do.

    Just to add on a side issue Art, and you may want to edit this out if it does not fit your post, but at UCLA they have now found that the same brain areas represent both physical and social pain. Therefore, it explains why a 'broken heart' is felt as something damaging to the physical self rather than just an emotive or psychic pain. New investigations to see how this pain then contributes to brain or ego organisation are imminent. These are exciting times in psychology in many ways.

  4. Art and all,

    -Nicely written post. Personally I think the process of evolution exists in just about everything - from relationships to learning. Jump the gun and things just get screwed up.

    A bit off topic again - just some thoughts.

    You say:

    "The minute a patient who is reliving something in early childhood uses words like entertaining, satisfaction, disappointed, we know she is not in the feeling brain and it is not a real experience. A five year does not normally use those words."

    ...you've often said that the feeling must be in context (no doubt it does), but as you suggest the context must also include the reality of who we were at the time: you have to feel the feeling as the child, not the adult, because the feeling was affecting the child. That's the real context of course - the reality not just of what happened, but who it happened to. So...

    Maybe our most fundamental (typical) defence is just to be an "adult" - that is, to keep away from base-context of our pain, which is the pain of the child. So, the more we can feel like an "adult" the further we are from triggering the pain of the child. I could see the adult identity/mode as a power agent for a kind of blanket-repression on all old feelings.

    --But a "grown up" is someone who has grown up from the child - not divorced themselves from it. So maybe we're not "real" adults at all, but are instead just playing an "adult" game(?).

    Another thought: Maybe part of the reason why PTSD sufferers have such difficulty keeping recent trauma repressed is because their recent trauma was imprinted in the adult mind/context, and that's where they are after the trauma too. So they're missing a layer of "context divorcement" to (otherwise) aid effective repression(?).

    Just some thoughts.

    --And good to see you back in action after hospital, Art.

  5. Billesq: I quote the UCLA study in my book Primal Healing. I wish I could do monkey therapy and start with scientists who put defenseless animals in pain. art

  6. Dr Janov:

    That incident with the person defending by crying out that she was saved by the Lord caught my eye, as it did in another case cited in one of your books. If any generalisations can be made from these isolated instances, what can be said about all those "born-again" Christians who feel they have been "saved"? Saved from what? Saved from having to face their ascending Pain? Do such conversions happen when a person is too overloaded in their present life, and these religious belief systems come in to drug them to a beatific numbness? That would imply that these conversions would generaly not happen to those who were well-defended enough (or well enough)not to have to re-defend again religiously after being cracked open temporarily by adverse circumstances or drugs; would it not? But then,another question, why re-defend with specifically religious systems? There are so many other non-religious belief systems.
    Another point:I just finished reading an interesting book about the people who produced LSD illegally starting in the late 60's , a sort of hippie mafia inspired by Leary et al. What struck me was how practically every acid-head cited in the book got into some mystical belief system (usually Eastern) after having their neurotic systems assaulted by LSD. Would these conversions also be examples of what you cite in your article? I'll end by saying that I am so glad I never took LSD; I had enough bum trips just smoking the week marijuana of the 70's, so I was too afraid of flipping out.Your book of 1970, "The Primal Scream" ,seems to have been an island of sanity within all this emerging insanity of so much (but not all) of the counter-culture of the time. And it still is!


  7. I'd bet the house that Stephen Suomi and Harry Harlow never hugged their children (to say the least). At the same time, I can only imagine how violent and cold their parents were. When the violent, cold and disconnected raise children, watch out would. Don't marry these people, and hide your monkeys and chimpanzees.

    Great Article once again!

    On a side note: My wife as a kid, always believed that birds came from dinosaurs, because she could see how similar they are. She was thrilled 15 or so years ago, when science finally validated what she knew in the mid 1960's. But then again (back then and now), who's gonna listen to a child. But oddly enough, when my wife's/my generation grew up on the outside, they began to debunk some of the old people who were also way to old on the inside.

    Andrew: I like your post!

  8. Andrew, I must pontificate. We older neurotics are not trapped in the here-and-now and bound by it's laws. We are not fully experiencing the present, nor the past, but we are continually influenced by both. Our disconnected minds are free to generate new false beliefs and defensive feelings.
    I agree with you in the sense that we don't become adults. We are old children. We never develop in response to the present. After repressing our traumatic memories for many years, we eventually exhaust our natural supply of serotonin. Also, new trauma can resonate with old trauma. Perhaps these are just some of the reasons why the PTSD sufferers are having such a hard time.

  9. Dear Art,

    You've written words to the effect that "when repression fails, depression ensues" This is evidently true, and explains why so much of modern mainstream psychology is concerned with re-enforcing the network of repression (so people feel less bad/relatively better) instead of resolving the root cause - which is a bit like nailing planks to the hull of a ship that has sprung a few leaks, whilst anchored in toxic water.

    Isn't it then something of a primal paradox that the closer people get to their pain, the more helpless and disabled they become (until they finally face the wolf / embrace the darkness)?

    I wonder how best to proceed towards the ultimate goal of having primal therapy. I'm too often mired in hopelessness and resignation.

    Great post, by the way - that Primal Therapy is so firmly grounded in science and evolutionary biology is something I admire tremendously.

  10. Indeed, feelings seem to be a foundation upon which our “consciousness” is constructed. But I question rather the intellect/cortex was not destined or evolved, if you prefer, to play a larger role than has been admitted or recognized, even though it comes later in development. Legs and arms come later, too, but they give us amazing abilities when we learn to control them and use them.

    When pain is too much or perhaps because of a danger presented at the time of trauma, our auto pilot kicks in and basically suppresses the pain and fear and some freeze and just go along with it silently, and the brain can try to make sense of it at a better time and circumstance. Sometimes we need to be rational during a violent attack and stop struggling or resisting.

    But Pain, I f we are to progress properly and eliminate discomfort within, must be brought to consciousness and processed and integrated, thereby relieving it as well. But that is not to say the mind and reason rally do us no good or are not useful.

    Listen, our bodies, specifically, our muscles can be strengthened by use and strain, and they can be coordinated and sensitized to careful motor control. As well, our cortex/intellect can exert powerful effects and control over our very impulsive feelings, if we have used our intellect and strengthened it, even as we do our muscles in our limbs.

    But just as it is not intuitive or natural to face that within us which is uncomfortable or scary, such as primal pain trying to make itself known, neither is it normal or natural to develop a strong intellect for intellect can bring us into many conflicts. And it is just easier going on autopilot and going with the flow and not using the cortex, just as it can often be easier to hop in the car rather than walk and exert our bodies to keep them healthy.
    Nor is it natural to avoid good tasting foods, yet keeping sweet stuff to a minimum can have very healthy effects. Nothing good for us is natural but it produces good results. That we do not build our intellect does not mean it is not good or important. It simply is easy and natural to neglect. Call it the laws of physics if you like. Release an object high in the air and it will fall. You can’t stop the natural world and laws.

    Arthur, you seem to, in my opinion, dismiss the intellect almost as if it was just a decoration or something. My intellect helped me to recognize primal therapy and reject the fear or denial. That is the power of the intellect that you dismiss, seemingly. That at least 99% of the world does not bother with an intellect or examination of life, science, politics, or anything else does not mean it is not useful or not important. Maybe we have even failed evolution that intended that the brain over-ride fear and ponder what is going on inside us, if we would only dare.

    Why did the intellect develop? I, for one, am all ears. Let’s hear it. Was it just to round out our heads so that we would look better? What?

  11. @ Andrew
    that was a very good post you made. I suspect there is much to it. I find most people remember little of their childhood or feelings. They can' read feelings in kids because they have been blocked off there. I doubt they want to go back and relive it either.

    I had some interesting experiences with pot, 2 anyway. In my first high, if you can call it that, I lost most of my ability to interpret what I saw except for 2 small circles at the centers of my eyes and I could not understand what anyone was saying. Vision was slow and choppy, strobbed like. Also my vision was delayed, so that what I would feel I would see like half a second later. It was only many years later reading Biology of Love that it dawned on me that I might have gone back to what I had for faculties in my first days after birth. I hallucinated some, too.

    The last time I got high, the 7th I think, I felt this huge very scary feeling coming on so I bailed. Learning from a previous high, I sought out stimulation and physical movement to push it back down because I was not ready to receive what I sensed coming with gates possibly wide open. But what I noticed what that I was feeling like a different person, with less internal strife and missing many defense mechanisms like my humor. I was with a friend.

    At this time, I could not negotiate crossing the road and I was scared to cross. I do remember a feeling like this about about 3. I wanted to hold my friend's hand like I did my mother's and take me across but he would not consent, of course. I fought hard to focus and follow. My legs seem to sink or drag behind. I felt like I might have been at a different time in my life and in that state of that previous time.

    We are very removed from our childhood and what we felt at the time. And most can not empathize with kids as a result. They are sort of dead inside, walled off. I really enjoyed your observations.

  12. Marco: I wrote a chapter on this in my book, BEYOND BELIEF. I will try to find it and blog it. art janov

  13. Dr Janov: Oh , I would really like to read that chapter (or some excerpt) you refer to from Beyond Belief. For some reason, I find your observations about belief systems-as-defense to be the most utterly fascinating stuff you write. The implications are just so revolutionary. Your "Ideas as Opiates" chapter in "Prisoners of Pain" is also such a mind-blower.I've read it so many times.


  14. APOLLO I do not dismiss the intellect; but today's therapies are all about intellect and not feeling. I am providing a counterbalance. You cannot convince neurosis away anymore than you can love it away. Feelings are the culprit and the savior. art janov

  15. Ben all it takes is to fill out the questionnaire. the rest then is easy. art janov COURAGE!

  16. andrew I will write on your last pgh soon. art janov

  17. Art: I see your point after watching you a program on evolution on TV and see your connection to evolution in psychotherapy. However, I do feel that within the wording of the post there might be some confusion as to what you were "getting at." I will attempt to put it another way in the hope that it might adds further clarity. Almost all psychotherapy, especially behavioral and cognitive therapies, ignore "cause" more succinctly; 'the cause of neurosis'. The only reasonable "cause" of our psychological problems lie in the way each of us individually evolved (developed), from conception onward. That should not be confused by what is generally understood as our "species evolution" or "living creature evolution"

    I feel that many psychotherapist are moving (way to slowly IMO) toward Primal Theory, better stated, the root cause of our human psychological problems. I personally advocate "prevention" by way of 'child rearing practices'. All else, sadly, is attempting to 'mend' the already damaged ... which surely includes me.

    Apollo: Your suggestion that it was your intellect that helped you recognize Primal Therapy, I would like to question. I suspect (though I could well be wrong) that it was your feelings that were the factors driving that re-action, that you in hindsight interpreted as 'thoughts/intellect.' You then end with the question: "Why did the intellect develop?" In my book I go into just that question, briefly, by suggesting that as neurosis developed we needed some means to explain subliminal feelings reverberating deep within, that we'd lost access to. Otherwise, we would not have needed "intelligence" (a thinking mind). All other creatures, who incidentally live with nature, don't need to think, merely feel and express their feelings as opposed to us neurotic humans that fight nature, and who's greatest achievement is the 'nuclear bomb.' To quote my other hero: "There's something rotten in the state of Denmark." substitute 'humankind' for 'Denmark.' Jack

  18. Arthur, I hear you and I agree. I also believe that true development of the intellect has been largely ignored. Those who propose "reason" therapy are not really tackling it from an analytical-intellectual standpoint.
    Deep science is NOT intuitive. Aristotle used common observation and intuition to some degree to try and assemble reasonable logic. but to do Newtonian science whereby you ignore your eyes and sense and trust in what your instruments tell you, and reason from there is almost counter-intuitive. One needs to make objective deductions based on results.

    Those who support "reason" therapy do not look at the facts. They do not acknowledge that reactions in patients do not appear rational. But patients are giving off sings to be observed and pondered. Many findings I have read back in 80s in Psychology Today often had experimental results that supported your theories. They noted how when a person was helped to overcome certain phobias or whatever, that a year or two later, they wold develope something else as a result. the problem did not go away, but a particular symptom did. They did not bother to ponder that and find an explanation for the change. Something must have still been there at work inside.

    Scientists, so called, tend to ignore a lot of things. It would seem their feelings are interfering with the intellect instead of the intellect bucking and demanding answers that befit genuine sincere logic and reason.

    I think the "reasoning" therapists could use a little more self examination, which is never an easy thing to do. It is natural to run.


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.