Monday, February 28, 2011

Imprints and Repression And Reduced Access to Ourselves

When the energy of an imprint is blocked, we have little access to ourselves. This also suggests why depression often involves being sexless, as the system is in the energy conservation mode – parasympathetic. All energy is suppressed. The underlying pain has demanded that so much energy be expended in repression that there is little left over for other things. And the memory endures, keeping the system off balance where the parasympathetic system is dominant.
Tranquilizers that repress pain often suppress sex drive, as well. We produce those same inhibitory substances internally, and can shut ourselves down just as readily as with drugs. If anything that should tell us that we react holistically which is the example of tranquilizers. They suppress pain in a global way and along with it the sex drive. It is not that they target sex specifically, but that when targeting a whole system it must necessarily include sex. That is why the imprint is set down systemically. It is why non-sexual and pre-sexual traumas directly affect sex.
We see it so clearly when patients on Prozac, which is a serotonin enhancer, have diminished sex drive but find it difficult to believe that the very same chemical we produce internally can also shut off sex drive. Now we can begin to see the origin of some sex problems; problems that will not respond to any conventional treatments. A reliving of a brainstem imprint necessarily involves a brainstem reaction. Without the reliving there is a still a brainstem reaction going on which affects sex, yet the memory is out of awareness.
Fortunately, resolving sex problems such as diminished libido by lifting depression can occur without one word addressed about them, per se. The more we feel what caused the closure of our system, the more it becomes safe for the system to be open. This occurs not all at once, but over time. (I discount age here. Clearly, an eighty-year-old is going to have diminished sex drive, as is someone who is very sick. They have less energy available, hence less energy for sex.)
We are captives of our biology and our imprints, not its masters. Once there is an imprint, once memory has become neuro-physiological, we react to our history first and external reality second. Inner life is pre-potent because it has to do with survival. We then see the world through the filter of history. It is why under completely calm conditions we have palpitations. The imprint sculpts new circuits in the nervous system so that certain networks get grooved and are more likely to be used again and again. Later on, that groove may be sexual and compulsive so that each time pain comes up the excitation by pain is transformed into sexual compulsion. It is in the limbic system that the compulsion takes on a sexual focus.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sex and Healing

We can only heal where we are wounded. If the wounds are preverbal, then that is what must be addressed – such as reliving strangling on the umbilical cord and being stuck in the birth canal. Although it may seem odd to the reader, in order to liberate the body it must writhe, shake, and roll, perhaps, to the early lack of oxygen, or love; traumas that will then free us from their lifelong effects. We need to get down into our bodies. We must again undergo an almost seizure-like response to the birth trauma, which then will liberate seizure-like sexual orgasmic response.

To see a reliving of oxygen deprivation at birth or other early trauma, a reliving that can go on for 2 hours a day for months, is to realize the amount of compressed force that must be diverted elsewhere. It makes the development of "sexual problems" less of a mystery. It explains why people become obsessed with sex, or twist sex into something deviated. The spread of the energy of the pain on the first line can go in several directions – first, to vital functions, the heart and lungs, and also to sex. The pain can seep into sexual thoughts and be channeled into sexual rituals. It makes the ritual an urgent undertaking. The obsession is the end product of the pain, now transformed as it wends its way upward through the limbic system to the cortical thought processes. When we deal only with that transformation, we are on the wrong track, or at least on a very narrow track. As the old saying goes, to get on the wrong train means that every stop one makes is the wrong one. We must take care to board the right train that will take us to our destination. The tracks are nerve tracks with a specific destination. It is a strange track system leading backwards to early memories before chugging forward in time. Then it allows us to return to the frontal cortex and current life.

Sex is the vehicle in the search for relief. It can finally discharge the energy of suffering over and over again. It is a lifetime affair since the imprint is a lifetime affair. Sexual ritual provides relief on the second-line (limbic system), and the first (brainstem). It drives the person to spank or beat his partner while ejaculating or exhibiting himself while masturbating; and it never ceases.

Why is showing oneself naked sexually exciting? It is not intrinsic to the act, except for the inherent meaning it has to the person. We must think of it this way. What would happen if he showed himself naked as a child, without the masturbation? The parents would have seen him and responded to him instead of ignoring him. This is the dynamic in so many of our exhibitionist patients. Of course there are other complicating factors, but the central motivation is often as simple as that. The excitement of being seen and responded to – even with shock – is what excites. He is excited by his need and the hope of fulfillment and relief. The compulsivity of a ritual may be given its impelling strength by the pain at birth, which is a measurable event.

For an exhibitionist, "look at me, momma," can become showing the penis to female strangers so that they will look at him and pay attention to him; and of course, react emotionally. He is getting what he needed as a child, symbolically, not what he needs as an adult. So long as we treat it as an adult problem we are on the wrong track. It is a condensed symbolic act reflecting a lifetime of early experiences. We take the symbolic act out, showing the penis, in group therapy, and turn it back into the need – look at me, momma!

Grown men can’t suck on their mother’s breast, so they suck on their partner’s. The excitement is the same for the baby and the adult who never had enough as an infant. The excitement for the adult is the baby need, except that it takes a sexual turn. The need to suck never leaves. It is very true in my homosexual patients; I mention elsewhere that one man called his partner’s ejaculation into his mouth, "mother’ milk."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the Major Diseases

Something a little personal here: I think that most diseases that we suffer from, other than the purely heredity ones, Huntington’s Chorea, etc., are due to experience not genetics. I am assuming that something goes wrong during the pregnancy, something imperceptible, and the genetic unfolding is affected.

I am reminded about this because I read a piece by a doctor who is doing Alzheimers research. And I began to think that many of diseases we see that are serious are given the label, “auto-immune disease.” So what does that mean? Part of us attacks another part because it is perceived as a stranger, an intruder. The immune system gathers its resources to fight ourselves; our selves. What self? I think that pain and attack (a mother’s drinking) become a foreign entity, an outsider that is considered a threat. And when we are close to that threat in our therapy we begin to react as if it were a virus. We run a fever, a rise in blood pressure and heart rate and the immune system goes on alert. And it is an alert against what is inside: auto immune. I really think that after all these years of evolution we should not be born with disease because that is anti-evolutionary. Those traits should have died out and maybe they did. What did not die out is the way we adapt to threat; the way we learn to fight or flee it, and how physiologic processes get deviated in the battle. And how those deviations over time lead to disease. The gap between adverse experience in the womb, and disease decades later is so large that it is hard to see the connection.

One way to verify this is through various measurements such as the stress hormone cortisol. Those who were unloved early on have higher levels, and those high levels tell us what happened to us early in our lives; a threat which set off the alarm system. The trouble is that the imprint now makes the alarm system active all of the time; hence higher levels of cortisol all/most of the time. And those higher levels endanger the body and the brain. They ultimately impact the memory system where the imprint is registered, and of course, they impact the heart and brain system making heart attacks and strokes more likely.

The Douglas Mental Health Institute published a study on mother’s love and stress. Mother’s love makes the brain less vulnerable to attack. Love is a painkilling system. Mother’s who touch and caress their babies make them less subject to stress. We already know that. Jens Preussner is doing a lot of the work in Canada. What they are finding is no surprise, the greater the maternal care the less stress in their systems later on. Conversely, the more pain that is felt from early in our lives the less stress we are under. It shows in many dimensions, including all vital signs, stress hormone levels and brain function.

The Preussner work and many others come to the same conclusion: early stress lasts a lifetime. What happens very early on gets imprinted and endures and causes all kinds of havoc and disease o say nothing of behavior problems, unstable relationships, frequent divorce, and so on. The good news is that early love also lasts a lifetime. It is the best tranquilizer and painkiller that exists; that simple parental touch, hug, loving eyes lasts all of your life. Wow! If that happens you will not get addicted to pot, cocaine, heroin or hash. Because what all those drugs do is make up for the lack of love when it should have happened, and when that should have happened is far earlier than we ever imagined. That time is the critical window. Any fulfillment after that biologic time period can only be palliative. A nice warm therapist, they say, is helpful for therapy. Nonsense. It is helpful to make up for a lack of caring you suffered early on. But there is an iron rule to getting better; to visit the critical period again and undo the damage. Anything else is damage control. You can’t fool mother nature and you cannot skip steps in the evolution of psychotherapy. We need to go far back in our own evolution to get well and in no other way.

If I am right that many of the major diseases are epigenetic and not genetic then the molecular changes we see in each disease, from Parkinsons to Alzheimers, from Muscular Dystrophy to Multiple Sclerosis, will begin to normalize after a time of reliving. This will only happen to patients who have had a great deal of therapy and whose systems are ready for deep reliving. When that happens we should begin to see re-establishment of normal cell structure and function. By that I mean better dopamine function, less amyloid plaques, better immune cell function, and so on. The building blocks of our lives which took a detour early on due to adverse experience can begin again to take the proper genetic route. This requires careful research. But is it not worth a try?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's day post: The Difference Between Romantic Love and Sex

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Romantic love exists. Emotional attachment exists. Yet they involve different brain structures and different biochemistry than what drives pure, lustful sex. Once there is attachment or love, a separation can cause pain. Oxytocin helps to quiet this pain and can function very much like other neurotransmitters and inhibit suffering. To listen to my patients is to understand the terrible pain of a child separated from his parent; the cry of separation is an attempt to bring that parent back close again; it is true in nearly all animal forms.

There is a structure within the brain known as the cingulate cortex, which is responsible for that cry. This cortex is like an arc overlaying the limbic/feeling area and also deals with aspects of emotion. This area plays a role in maternal care and loving. The cingulated cortex is responsible for making the chemicals of comfort, and is also involved in inducing a sense of empathy, the ability to feel what others are feeling.

The cingulate cortex is endowed with endorphins, internally produced painkillers. When animals cry (as a result of separation from their mothers), these painkillers surge forth to ease the pain. When such a separation is abrupt and goes on for a long time, the baby’s pain becomes imprinted in the brain and remains. It is more pain than what a young body can tolerate.

Mother Nature knows that a baby needs two parents to care for him. Pair bonding is the result of two adults becoming attached, having sex, having a child, and loving that child. With the love these parents themselves received early in their own childhoods, they have the oxytocin and vasopressin that enables them to love their own child. Love is the foundation, therefore, for survival because when it is lacking, the child does not get the love he needs and he suffers, and the system becomes skewed and dislocated. Later, there may be disease and premature death as a deviated system is forever out of whack. A baby needs to be caressed and feel the sense of touch, which is the baseline of love. Without it, the brain changes and is less adaptive.

Alterations inside a pregnant woman, who does not want her baby, can affect the brain development in the womb so that the frontal cortex of the fetus becomes impaired. This has implications for later learning and adaptation. The mother's attitude, if not loving, adversely affects her fetus. It is one reason that we cannot be taught to love later on, though we can be taught to behave in a sociable manner. Love is not something to be taught. It is something we learn through our experience.

When the stimulating hormone, dopamine, and the repressive hormone, serotonin, are both at proper levels, there can be feeling and love. When serotonin is too high, there is too much repression and the ability to love is less. When dopamine is too high there is too much agitation and not enough cuddliness to allow love. A proper balance is needed among all the hormone systems. This is particularly true with oxytocin in females and vasopressin in males. After sexual orgasm, both of these levels rise by hundreds of percent in both parties, as if to say that attachment and closeness are part of sex or perhaps "should be," according to nature. It's nature's way of saying that sex should be taken seriously and is part of the syndrome of romance.

Constant random sex has nothing to do with love and is more or less a release of tension. It actually contradicts nature. However, there are two different brain/biochemical systems involved – one for pure sex and the other for attachment. We can be attached to someone and still have sex with someone else without love. There is evidence that in the latter case – sport-sex – the oxytocin and vasopressin levels are lower.

What are we to make of all this? That love exists and it is has physical effects. It can sculpt our brains early on. It is an intimate part of sex, and it ensures healthy development, both physically and mentally. Love is not an ethereal entity, but something we can measure. It may be a more accurate gauge of our state of being than all the protestations of love we might make. Love really does make the world go round.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A reader's response for "On the Imprint": "In regard to Imprinting"

"This stuff sets me on fire. I think herein lies the secrets to both imprinting and therapy. My take is probably from a little different direction that anybody else’s, but I really need to get it out where it can be seen with critical eyes.

First of all I think imprinting is an epigenetic process that involves methylation and histone modifications. This process is responsible for a variety of diseases: cancer, fragile X syndrome, mental retardation, angelman’s syndrome, and mental illness. But they don’t say what causes the process to begin with. (at least I haven’t found it) The article you sent also states that the methylation process plays a role in gene expression. So this could include hormone set points, cortisol production and the like.

I think your research has pretty well supported the fact that almost all emotional illness can be traced to the imprint, indicating that trauma can selectively initiate the methylation process. It has also demonstrated that dysregulated systems can reregulate. Also, the Phillips article states:In most cases, methylation of DNA is a fairly long-term, stable conversion, but in some cases, such as in germ cells, when silencing of imprinted genes must be reversed, demethylation can take place to allow for "epigenetic reprogramming." Perhaps germ cells are not exclusive in this. And this is where it interests me, because I think that Primal Therapy also does that.

I’ve long felt that not enough attention is given to the physiology of crying. (Even Frye’s work is meager). But this is a powerful apparatus in humans, and we’re the only animal that has it. I now think that crying is a demethylation system or something close. I use the metaphor of the water hose: Say it’s crying or a demethylation tool and your dirty car is that way from methylation wrought by trauma. You can stand out there swing that hose around all you want, but your car won’t get clean. (and that’s what happens in mock primal therapies.) You have to help clear the way for the hose to address every aspect of the car in order to wash it properly. That’s what Primal therapy does. We start with a feeling and help the patient stay with it to track it down to 1st line. I know that nothing therapeutic happens without crying. (at least for me) Even tho crying is not involved in 1st line, it is what takes us there.

For me this also explains why we must relive the entire experience. That is, activate every aspect of our system involved in the trauma. And it is only with thorough demethylation of the entire imprint that gives rise to the defense that we can have “epigenetic reprogramming” to normalize the system.

Here is also a little article I found linking adrenal fatigue and DNA methylation.

Because cortisol plays such a big role in neurosis, I thought this might trigger some worthwhile thoughts. For me it confirms the notion of the connection between methylation and stress or trauma, even tho I’m not sure of how it works."

The Link Between Adrenal Fatigue and DNA Methylation

The Link Between Adrenal Fatigue and DNA Methylation

Published: Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - May 2005

Adrenal function is vital to life: without cortisol we die. This fact has been known since the 1930s when it was described by Banting and Best. Glucocorticords are essential for maintaining carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. They also have a permissive effect which allows for glucagon and catecholamines to work. Important glucocorticoid effects include the normal functioning of the nervous system, water metabolism, vascular reactivity, regulation of circulating lymphocytes and the immune system and resistance to stress. Complete lack ofadrenal function is a disease state known as Addison's Disease. It is an autoimmune disease usually, caused by antibodies that attack the adrenal gland. Conventional medicine only recognizes two states: you either make cortisol or you don't. Allopathic physicians are unaware of the decline in adrenal function as illness becomes chronic.

The etiology is adrenal fatigue begins with a stressor or in functional medicine terms a trigger. Triggers fall into several categories: psychosocial stress, environmental toxins (radon, mercury, mold), infectious organisms (fungal, bacterial, parasitic), food allergies (wheat, corn, sugar, milk), and other toxins (alcohol, drugs, prescription medications) to name a few. In addition, stressful events such as surgery or car accidents place a huge (usually unrecognized) load on the adrenal glands. The initial response to each of the above events is to elevate cortisol levels to help cope with the stress. However, over time, the adrenals become weakened and lose their circadian rhythm. This is due in large part to poor nutrition. All stressful events require increased amounts of several nutrients: vitamin C, pantothenic acid, B6 (pyridoxine), B12(methylcobalamin), and folate. Interestingly, if the adrenal glands are catheterized and a stressor is introduced, the first chemical to leave the adrenals is not cortisol as one would suspect, but large amounts of vitamin C. These nutrients are severely lacking in the typical American diet or are not found in high enough amounts. More often than not "orthomolecular" dosing is necessary to correct the deficits.

The initial response to any stress is the hypersecretion of cortisol, but over time (approximately one year) there develops a negative feedback and a genuine "fatigue" causing reduced levels of DHEA-S and cortisol . The end result is an organism with reduced immunity, increased likelihood of autoimmune disease, heart attacks, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, skin disorders, carbohydrate cravings, protein wasting, fatigue and depression (to name but a few). Physicians normally view these as separate events in a given organ and do not see that the symptoms represent a disease process (inflammation) that may occur in one or more organs simultaneously. Therefore everyone with any chronic disease, not just cardiovascular disease, should be screened using DHEA-S and a homocysteine level. As DHEA-S decreases, the level of homocysteine rises, with a concomitant decrease in most B-vitamins, but especially folate and B12. The currently accepted norms for these parameters are too permissive, reminiscent of glucose control in years gone by. All of our organs are linked and nothing that happens is random. We are all the result of our genetic interaction with our environment.

With the establishment of "disease" another pivotal biochemical event happens: abnornal methyl groups nosedives as well. These patients may then present with symptoms of depression (inability to synthesize S-adenosylmethionine), joint pain (inability to make methylsulfonylmethionine), to name a few. Not only does teh abiltiy to convert to a methylated product is also compromised. For example, in chronically ill individuals the sue of B12 - as either the cyanocobalamin or the hydroxocobalamin form seems to do little to improve fatigue or mental functioning. The ideal compound to replenish B12 is methylcobalamin - the only active form. In each case, oral supplementation with the missing methyl-containing substrate ameliorates and symptoms. In each of the scenarios listed, the severity of the illness correlates with the level of the reduced or deficient DHEA-S and the concomitant elevated homocysteine level. The elevated homocysteine level is not only a marker for inflammation, but it is a marker for deficient B vitamins as well. The stage is now set for abnormal DNA methylation and the induction of cancer.

Efforts to repair adrenal fatigure include nutrients (in their most active form), glandular preparations, DHEA (and in severe cases cortisol itself), and lifestyle modifications with removal of triggers. Even with these measures, expect adrenal recovery to take 3 to 5 years.

Susan Solomon, MD

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More on the Imprint

I think where conventional therapy and I part company is on the notion of the imprint, although there is ample evidence for it. I am reminded about the imprint today in the press where there is an article on stem cells. Scientists had found a way to avoid using embryonic stem cells by using current skin cells, and through a complicated procedure managed to wind back the clock and make those cells the equivalent of embryonic again. Except! It cannot happen in some cases. That is, the adult cells, no matter what they do to them, cannot be rewound to their naked, primal selves. They still retain the memory of their experienced selves and therefore cannot be used for stem–cell therapy. They retain their identity, their real selves no matter what. In short, they cannot shake off their imprint. Memory is so strong and unchangeable that even after a drastic procedure it remains the same.

In general, embryonic usually means within 12 weeks of conception. Embryonic, primitive cells can be used because they are as not yet “dedicated.” (called pluripotential). They have not become what they are destined to; bones, blood, kidneys, etc. So they are uncommitted and have no special identity. Researchers can then make them into anything they want. They are malleable because they lack experience and they have not as yet evolved. In a way, it is what happens to infants who are short on experience; they can be made into what the parents need and want.

Once cells become what they were destined to be and have an identity that is imprinted, they often cannot be changed; their identity (George, the skin cell) remains unshakeable. So in these skin cells, that were rewound back to their primitive selves, some of them could not be used to rebuild a different organ--bone, for example. They retained the memory of who they were. And the danger of all this is that you start using these cells for therapy and suddenly (and I exaggerate) you grow teeth in the throat. More likely you get what is called a teratoma, growing tumors instead of the desired organ.

The point being that the imprint is rock solid and is engraved even into microscopic cells. And they do not shed their identity easily. Our human imprint, I propose, is found in every fiber and cell of our being and retains a precise memory of its past. So of course it rules our lives. And of course, it cannot be pinpointed anywhere in the system since it is everywhere. The imprint says, “this is what happened to me and this is who I am.” Our memory and our identity become one. Because the imprint is everywhere, when we relive it there are changes throughout the system. And that is why we need to relive to produce profound change in medicine and psychiatry.

There is more to this story for early, gestational stress leaves a mark on the genes. It then hard-codes that mark which becomes part of us; an epigenetic memory. The way this happens is through a process of methylation, adding or sub-tracting aspects of the methyl group to the cells. Stress or primal pain is encoded into the most basic aspects of our cells and endures. It can mark the hippocampal cells and so affect later memory. The way this evolves helps to define the critical window—the time in which the needs must be fulfilled or there is pain imprinted; and it defines where the patient must go for resolution.

The assumption by some researchers is that the process of methylation may be altered. And that possibly can be done when the patient goes back to the neurophysiologic state when the imprint occurred. It can mean changing the imprint and perhaps normalization of the cell. In other words, once that mark is made on the cell we are stressed for life until, and only until, that mark/event is revisit and relived. And it can be relived unconsciously; it can be re-experienced without a specific awareness of it once we are locked into the memory circuit. But wait a minute; the process of methylation can be temporarily reversed with medications such as Prozac. So tranquilizers can helps us momentarily find surcease. Now we see how we can confuse genetics with epigenetics because it all seems to be involved with heredity. After all, if both parents and grandparents have blue eyes it is not a mystery if the children have blue eyes, But when it comes to behavior and feelings it is another matter. Because they can be changed through experience those genes undergo. And those experiences then “decide” when those genes are expressed or repressed.

And it is here that some of the mystery of cancer can be uncovered because it may be that the cells would evolve normally except that stress has provoked repression where it should not be. And the cells are now “crushed” or deviated as they surge forward only to be blocked. The cells can no longer be themselves; they lose their identity. They are changed. We are changed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On the Act Out

A few years ago a man came to attend our training. He did not complete it, and instead went on and spent a lot of his energy trying to put down our therapy and theory. In short, instead of feeling his feeling of "I am a loser and a failure", we became the failure, we are the failure, not him. And he has to continue to do it, wasting much of his life, because that feeling of being a failure is close behind creeping up on him. Otherwise why spend months doing this? This is an act-out pure, denying and running from the feeling of being a loser who failed at a training where we are most lenient and give everyone as much time as they need. And the obsessiveness of anyone who goes on and on in the act-out means that the denied feeling is driving him.

This should inform us of others who act-out; we cannot dissuade them with arguments because that is not why they act-out. They are being driven by their unconscious and arguments are far too weak to change them. That is why cognitive approaches can never make headway on this problem. This man failed because he entered training stating that he already knew about this therapy; he could not learn because he could never admit that he really didn't know. He already had such a stake in being smart that he acted dumb and finally failed. None of this will stop him until he feels, which he will not do because he cannot admit he failed, that he was not so smart, after all. Any obsessive is being driven by his unconscious, and any argument to sway them will mean nothing. That is why the sex criminals who go to anger management or sex education are going to get nowhere. Again, they are not driven by intellect; intellect is not in the driver's seat. Their hidden feelings are. We can amass idea after idea, proof after proof, and people will amass counter-arguments to protect them against their own feelings. Now we know why in those endless TV debates no one ever says, “you are right and I am wrong. “ They go on with the same ideas year after year and they never change. So don’t think your good arguments will change him. They won’t. He will immediately plunge in to find more people who don’t like us and will search out more help to put us down because it has to be us the failure, not him. It is not a false idea he is holding; it is his whole life at stake; that he never succeeded as far as he thought he should.

This is also a lesson in dialectics on which a lot of my therapy is based; the interpenetration of opposites; that is, how things turn into their opposite. Acting smart makes you dumb, acting courageous keeps you fearful, etc. And in our therapy acting afraid makes us courageous and feeling dumb makes us smart. Feeling dead makes us come alive because we are feeling at last. Feeling pain makes it go away; feeling unloved finally allows us to be loved and to take in love. You get the idea; so long as we do not feel our pain it stays and wreaks havoc with our system. When we feel it it stops and we live longer, of that I am certain. One reason is that we reduce the stress hormone levels and that may mean longer telomeres which portend of a longer life. It seems to me that all unfeeling people, scientists too, need to put down a feeling therapy to keep themselves content with their lives, their philosophy and their therapy. Arguments won't do much to change them but feelings will. Alas, they denigrate feelings, to their detriment, to their humanity.


I wrote the above in response to the following email:

I hope you won't be upset that I sided with the man I defended you from a little bit. I find its good to confuse crazy people a bit to keep them from having a clear target. I find that creative views are not their strong point. I do think you may have exaggerated a bit in your claims but I suspect in general you are right on target. However I needed ammunition from Bruce to pour in against this "Debunking Primal Therapy" site, of which he had made me aware. Attacking the guy's position first allowed Bruce to gauge his response to me (and yes I hit a nerve somewhere there in the guy he responded and showed his condescending colors), this in turn will help guide Bruce's next move. The game is marketing and politics and between us I think we can make this "debunker" rue the day he started and in any case increase traffic to your website.

The guy accused me of not reading his blog then proceeded to say I was planning to do primal therapy without a "license" boy did that hope a shot for me to take. Along the lines of making a comparison of other "therapies" against Primal Therapy our attack is very much strengthened. I am additionally giving you the spot light as noble victims. I think I like this attacker he has given us more ammunition than we know what to do with, ha.

I even gave him another area of attack, which is myself. He can waste some of his banter and vitriolic out pourings of elitism on me, go ahead, ha.

Bruce and Peter are important allies for your cause and I try to see to any degree I can their positions even though I may differ somewhat. Like a charging bull, this guy can be distracted and misdirected and this takes away some of his steam.

I also like to play "good cop/ bad cop" with guys like this. I am confronting him and not in a very pc manner. This opens the door for Bruce to and Peter to be "nice guys" agreeing where they can with him and getting him to see new angles. This will make Bruce and Peter look great to those reading their posts, but allow me to make the stinging remarks that some may agree with and give him further troubles about. Lost in the chatter and confounded in getting out a clear message he may retreat for while or find it not worth his time, but this guy will regroup many times if I have understood his drive well. He seems a third liner to me, someone fled to his head, they get upset and they can be dogged as certain emotional skills on the second line are not well developed or connected. (Just my opinion, if I am wrong let me know.) First line pressure combined with third line planning and attack are things that remind me of wolves on the attack. They are one pointed and linear in their attack so distractions are hard for them to cope with if they are presented with what they experience as a threat. I had a psyche teacher and in my argument with him years ago about Primal Therapy I boxed him in until he let out a screech totally out of context his first line pressure exploding in a cry, he was a third liner in my opinion as well. He was fair and gave me an A in the class but the rest of the young folks saw and noted a "power struggle" between us, he had lost some of his air of authority. I retreated and we never discussed it much again, but I think he respected my position and the fact that instead of pushing it further I laid down my arguments and found entertainment and insight in what he said on other subjects giving him full credit.

I am writing a lot to let you see how I operate. This will allow you to see the contexts from which my view points arise and how I adapt them to fit the situation.

Always be frank with me and tell me when you disagree or wish me to change tactics. I will strive to comply. Obviously I have a good load of first line pressure myself but I try to keep it at bay or drain its force a bit (yes I know, a bit dangerous so I do that as much as possible as a result of third and second line feeling contexts).

When he presents horror stories which are available with any attempts at therapy, I have a personal come back that shows that his support of main line psychology is in fact oppressive. My life was pretty much cast in the trash by meddling social workers and main line but crazy psychologists who ran the Pine Rest facility in Grand Rapids. I will always be your ally Art, you were a voice of reason in a world that in my mind had "gone mad". They pretty much embittered me against the entire profession. They were a "Christian" facility and even pushed their particular brand of Christianity on us and had us all stand up feeling embarrassed in a Church we were made to go to in order to give praise to some "selfless" saint who served in their facility (which was more like a jail) and who was a member of that Church. The less training the "helpers" had the better we kids liked them and in fact the saner they seemed to be.

Any time you like just tell me "say this to this person" and I will do it. This will really throw them off guard as they will get a left hook from a pro expecting a more clumsy right from myself. How do you attack someone who seems to have flashes of highly educated arguments? Again it will throw him off guard, and pave the way for others to take advantage of any weaknesses in logic etc. that he might show as a result of too much pressure from the first line.

We will attack his positions from many sides and with many degrees, confuse him with it, pull him into agreements that will undo his conclusions in the end, until he makes mistakes that show people how crazy his attacks on you actually are.

I am not an unkind person but people like this stand in the way of others finding help and encourage suppressive forces in psychology that end up hurting people as they did me, when I was young and unable to defend myself well.

I hope this was useful to you, I am sorry that I can't write like Bruce or you can. I am just trying to help. Your France really paints well I love her one painting and will be looking for the others. I have been distracted by this attacker ever since Bruce informed me of this guy.

Have a really nice day guys

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.