Friday, June 24, 2011

Toward a Unified Theory in Neuropsychology: a Paradigm Shift

In order to understand how pain becomes installed in our system and how we can eradicate it, I am going to address the following questions: how is it that early trauma permanently destabilizes the organism, and that reliving the trauma, even decades later, normalizes it? What are the mechanisms involved and how is it possible that reliving an event changes the brain and biological system? Our decades of research point to significant changes in the brain and biochemistry of our patients. Secondly, a good deal of current research, particularly neurobiological research is strikingly consistent with our hypotheses. I believe that no thorough dynamic psychotherapy can effectively treat a condition without taking into account historical imprints of early traumas. These traumas are often the source of many later symptoms, both physical and psychological. This means that therapies that do not address these deep, generating sources of

.behavior and symptom formation are, at best, palliative, which ensures that the symptom will eventually return and that neurotic behavior remains unchanged.

Here are some of our basic propositions.

l. That the underlying cause of so many adult problems is pain.

2. That this pain stems from very early in life, not the least of which is womb life and birth.

3. That the pain is imprinted in various systems of the organism and the central nervous system.

4. That the pain is coded and stored in key brain systems, particularly the limbic system and brainstem.

5. That the age at which the trauma occurred will determined where in the brain it is stored.

6. That this pain produces an overload of input into the brain system.

7. That the overload produces a neurologic shutdown to keep the pain from frontal cortical awareness.

8. There is then a dislocation of function in many key biologic systems as the energy of the pain is dispersed into various brain structures.

9. That the pain can be registered on three key levels of brain function (brainstem, limbic system, and cortex) or levels of consciousness.

10. That the pain produces a dissociation or disconnection among those levels so that there is no longer fluid access to them.

11. That the function of a proper therapy is to access key imprints on the various brain or consciousness levels.

12. That the suffering component of these traumatic imprints needs to be brought to prefrontal cortical consciousness for awareness and connection.

13. That this connection is the sine qua non of an effective therapy.

14. Once connection occurs the trauma is finally integrated and the blocked energy finally dispersed.

15. That the goal of psychotherapy should be connection by providing access to lower levels of brain function.

16. That Primal Therapy is an experiential therapy that coalesces with current neurologic

research, providing deep access to low-level neurologic processes.

17. This access is accomplished in titrated doses to permit connection and integration, which

creates permanent changes in many biologic parameters, most importantly, in the central nervous system. The kind of changes ranges from altering the amplitude or power relationships between the two hemispheres of the brain, as well as reducing the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.


  1. Art: you are, without doubt, a brilliant thinker, but I often wonder if brilliant thoughts actually convey to the layman what is REALLY going on.

    I fear, in this neurotic world of ours, that if we can get some brilliant thinker, or worse, a brilliant writer, that Mr/Ms average out there can slosh over, then that layman thinks,"Oh they've explained it and therefore it is covered", relieving the layman the necessity to grasp what is actually being said.

    There was an example in my childhood, when for a few days I went on a camping trip with the local 'wolf cubs'. A friend, that I went on the trip with, his parents came to visit him; afterwards I felt very miserable. The 'cub master' saw this and put me to bed and brought me a cup of warm sweet milk and said: "Oh you are a little 'home sick'" "Oh", I thought, "there is a name for this thing I am suffering". That, at the time, helped. In hind sight, I was never, until many years later, able to figure out (connect) to what was going on with me. I was simply sad that my parents did not come to see me. ... REAL SIMPLE.

    It took me years to get back to the simplicity of the matter.

    I see this as what happens with us humans;- that we accept explanations from experts, but never fully grasp (comprehend) them. Put another way, I lived all those intervening years disconnected from the real feeling (the sadness, that my parents did not come to see me).

    Reason:- We are content with explanation ... instead of feelings ... which in essence are;- THE REAL SIMPLICITY.


  2. Art,

    What you say here is the truth ... what is wrong with the truth as arguments in a lawsuit... process that also enforce it against everything else more like quackery?
    The cost has no namne... it is just to open an account for this purpose on your blog.
    Pleas Art?


  3. Art - you may be unaware - Agustin Gurza's incredibly perceptive article on paradigm change in psychology is still on your website in an unlinked page, here - I came across it by accident. Given this current blog, I thought some people might be interested in his explanation of the process that has to happen for widely accepted beliefs to change.

    Let's hope a groundswell reaches a tipping point. I'm sure even people who have no interest in "therapy" find many of psychology's current rationalisations ludicrous. For example, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is flavour of the month here in the UK, now widely prescribed in our NHS system, it's quality varying, it seems to me, with the therapist. Reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes, tell yourself something's great and it will be.

    Enjoying your blog and other's postings a lot, thanks.

  4. Thank you Dr. Janov! Though I have been engaged in primaling for 20 years, I still feel better just reading this! Its such a clear and succinct statement to send to friends to give them an understanding of the principles of Primal theory. Thank you!

  5. Nothing succeeds like success.

    Reading your Reflections/recommendations “Toward a Unified Theory in Neurospychology: A Paradigm Shift” is like holding up a mirror; it is like my whole life is passing in review.

    Your theory and the 17 proposals has over decades in a consistent way been built into your books and messages which has made me feel comfortable and dare to make revolutionary testing with myself (the only one I’m aloud to do it with).

    I have made necessary mistakes, but Sir, haven’t I learned and improved a lot and still at 70, I’m experiencing fantastic improvements as I discover how my tremendous painful birth and early emotional negligence have taken me on a neurotic journey, which happened due to the imprinted pain and its consequences of coded and stored effects in my key brain system.

    Your (17) propositions to identify, connect to and live the original pain trauma have had an total impact on every aspect of my life. My behavior, my thinking, my choice of nutrition (including drugs, vitamins and minerals) and my mental blockings and my outbursts of energy are included. With other words my whole life pattern has been propelled by pain. I find no use in evaluating what has been good or bad. My total balance today is one of better understanding what I have been through. Once I succeeded in understanding the basic pain and it’s original trauma, nothing succeeds like success.

    My book “Evolution in Reverse - Demystifying my Epilepsy” could have been organized in line with your proposals. However even if it is not, it has given me an opportunity, with your guidance, to make an attempt to verbalize my experiences in my manner.


  6. The Janov Unified theory as concisely stated, if flawless and the way we would all like to go, were it more easy to obtain. But it is precisely its rarity, and lack of availability that nearly make it unobtainable for most, thereby nullifying its benefit. The real problem here is not the therapy but lack of availability.

    That is what is unfortunate. It leaves us seeking a very poor 2nd alternative, which is to try to make some sense of the world the hard way. Can you appreciate that? Meanwhile, despite being challenged, we continue to ponder life and navigate it and avoid as many potholes as possible.

    So for us, it is still reasoning, philosophy, which is related to cognitive self analysis. Further, it must also be said that if PT can not make us think straight or see through the lies and deception in our world, then it is only good for eliminating pain and not helping our analytical minds to function better.

    Yours truly, a fan, but also a critic and independent research and not a follower but independent verifying or denier. And as Socrates said to Athens at his trial, be careful about deciding to get rid of me, for the gods may choose to not send you another like me if you reject me.

  7. maybe another item to add to the list might be how discovering one's own pain reveals that similar pain is transmitted through the generations. Therefore an aloof father creates an aloof son. Continuity of pain between generations also may reveal similar family illnesses whereby the same pains are activating the same symptoms. In attachment theory this is described as the transmission of attachment style. In primal therapy terms we are talking about transmission of salient imprint patterns. (of course all imprints are historical and no two can be exact but parental coldness could be replicated)

  8. Hi,

    There are a few therapists outside of the Primal Institute who would agree with all 17 tenets but they are not equipped to take re-living into the 1st line.

    Many therapists from Natural birth, Jungian, Bodywork, Cranial sacral, Shiatsu, some branches of Tai Chi Chuan and various Asian therapies would mostly all agree with these 17 tenets but they are not set up to allow patients to regress far enough nor do they have the support structure in place to follow up the consequences of disolving patients defences. Also, they are all pressured by the conventional and widespread fear of pain and of its' expression (better not take them too far. . .)
    Thus, these old roads leading to the release of real feelings are blocked by the lack of further development and have become cul de sacs. Now only palliatives.

    Perhaps the problem with becoming a healer of feelings (and from what I can see there are many who try with some success) is in the identification with the process and procedures 'learned & now qualified to practice'. It's hard to change these things in ones' own practice and even harder to approach the organisations the skills were acquired from in the first place with new information.

    I reckon the situation is still further paralysed by the cerebral CBT type spokespeople publicly pooh poohing these older "complementaries" on the basis of them being too emotive (!)

    That's a sort of coup detat isn't it? : You're all trying to be too emotional thus you are all f****d up! Grow up, get a life, change your identity, think positive, forgive and forget and oh, by the way, take these anti depressants, blah!

    The white coat psychiatrists who can 'overwrite' our personalities is a potent symbol of the rational parent who knows all (but understands nothing). These f*****s hold the natural development & evolution of all feeling therapies in a socio-scientific strangle-hold because they continue to marginalise feeling type therapies across the board, PT included. They do it by humiliating our feelings instead of encouraging their expression.

    What a rancourous situation indeed! I feel PT could spread in the complementary sector if the Primal Institute would run seminars for therapists in those feeling/sensing therapies that recognise the existence of 1st line trauma, the imprint. There are definitely a few but it's almost taboo to raise the subject, almost but not quite.

    Persuasion may not be necessary if the opportunity to discuss specifics is made possible (face to face) through seminars with targeted groups of like minded thinkers and therapists already committed to feeling and sensing.

    A compromise (no, not a fudge) could emerge offering some practisioners re-training and endorsement according to the real PT. Then maybe the real PT could (in a not for profit way) franchise in other countries.

    At the moment it seems like an unnecessary stalemate and although Art may be right to tell us how wrong most other therapies are, telling other potentially like minded people they are wrong will not win the silent war against repression.

    Art, we know you're old and almost too tired of trying to persuade others and also your voice is not functioning and you're probably gonna tell me you've already tried or don't have the resources. . . but have you tried this avenue? Would you consider a short tour of seminars in UK & Europe before you get too old and stop travelling altogether?

    I'm sure the BBC and Channel 4 would be interested in filming and broadcasting such events. The worst that could happen is that you sell more books!

    Paul G.

  9. Art did you have any success with the survey you created to study a relationship between prenatal conditions and later conditions such as Alzheimer's etc? You asked the blog readers to help you find doctors who were willing to participate in the survey.
    You seem to be developing a good presence on the internet now. Sometimes when I am searching for somewhat irrelevant stuff, this blog site appears in the search results.
    There must be many doctors who have glanced at this site.

  10. are you going to publish a video of a patient primalling? i'm not sure that's a good idea. it could end up on youtube. it might encourage more mock therapists and rebirthers.
    maybe it would be ok if you don't show the really dramatic stuff.

  11. Frank: What is it you want me to do? art

  12. Anonymous: you are of course welcome. art janov

  13. Jan: I join you in being gratified. It is a joy to see the impact our work has had. It's not just a theory is it? It is a living thing. art janov

  14. Hey Apollo. After WW2 and seven battles I was a mental case. I went to the psychoanalysts in L.A. to see if I could get help. I was hoping for some kind of discount. After all, I fought the war and they stayed in college. But no that was not to be because they said: therapy is not helpful unless you pay for it. Well none of us could pay. There it was not a problem of the capitalist system but of capitalist shrinks. In our case, I would love for it to be available for everyone. We don't care about profit but we need to pay bills, like thousands in rent every month. It is sad and a dilemma but what to do? art janov

  15. Will: I hate to bang on about my new book but there is a full discussion of how heredity and epigenetics work. I am fascinated by it all. art

  16. Paul: We do need the cooperation of clinics for this study. Preliminary work at the German clinic re: alzheimers was "astounding." I am quite sure there is a relationship between gestational trauma and later alzheimers. art

  17. Richard:About the video, You are no doubt right so we will have to think long and hard about all this. thanks art

  18. An email comment:

    You are so darn cool. :)

    I kept remembering when I was beaten at age 3 or 4 by my mother using my dad's heavy shoe because I was outside and she looked out to see me obliging some slightly older little girls who had asked to "see". I could never feel much about that time but kept remembering this beating. I couldn't cry concerning it. So finally it came to my mind again and I decided to step back a bit from it and tell someone I thought was very caring about what I was experiencing, then I started to cry, then I changed from telling you about it to telling my dad about it, then I started to beg with him to help me. All along I would have this feeling come up and I would say "I got nobody." and sometimes I would feel like shivering and so I let it happen.

    I don't know how much of it was mere abreaction but I felt better afterwards like more calm and less pressured. I was talking to you, and I often use caring people especially you to help me get to my feelings. So, thanks. You help a lot more people than you know about Art. Thank you very much."

  19. Art: You didn't get the discount because you were a biological sub-component of the war machine - as dispensable as any other.

  20. Paul, I wrote to the Primal Institute, asking if they were matching the Primal Center's test results which show changes in vital signs and hormones after a year of therapy. They didn't reply. I don't know of any clinic that is prepared to talk about stuff like that. It seems the Primal Center is the only place that will answer meaningful questions. Am I wrong?
    I wish the Primal Institute would join the Primal Center, catch up with all of Art's latest research and techniques, and then HELP the Primal Center to expand.
    Paul I like your idea of giving speeches and videos to all interested parties - but do you know any clinics that are genuinely interested?
    A newsletter might generate some interest. Do you want to organise it? I could help you. I won't have much time when I am doing my condensed diploma.

  21. Paul - I'm sure you're right about the BBC and Channel Four being likely to be interested in a PT program, but Art I suggest you go for one of the top-level science slots, and get some control over the way it's put across. You need a top producer to see it through.

    Only this week in the UK, we had a program on Tears/Crying, fronted by comedian Jo Brand. She interviewed Bill Frey,who talked about the stress hormone content of emotional tears, and the idea of shedding ACTH. But no mention was made of my PT therapist Barry Bernfield, on who's Ph.D thesis the research was based.

    Primal Therapy itself was sidelined, and I think you should be actively involved at an editorial level.

    The time's right for it. Many ordinary people are seeing 'self-delusional' psychology as ludicrous.

  22. Andrew: wow! so that is what I was? AJ

  23. Tony: and no mention on AJ who organized the research. anyway if you know someone who is interested maybe you could contact them. I am not good at that. AJ

  24. Genovés 2011-06-28

    “It is not just a theory is it?” So Art, why are you labelling it a “Unified Theory in Neuropsychology”?

    One of my “weaknesses” during my whole life has been my difficulty I have had with theories which I could not relate to in practice. For me, PT is certainly not just theory. To me it was straight from the beginning a matter of pain; fear, anxiety, terror, inferiority, epilepsy, hallucinations etc. You taught me to identify, locate, structure and to go with the emerging feelings and to stop my escapism.

    But no matter how much I like you and admire you with respect to my progress and understanding of the impact om my pain, I would not have succeeded if I had not been very curios / “hands on” and involved myself in physiotherapeutic treatments and experiments with nutrition and epileptic medication. During these experiments you have been my guide, radiating unconditional support which enhanced my confidence and understanding until this day.

    I think the PT debate is at a too limited degree about the responsibility, freedom and initiativ of the patients. How do we make people, who are propelled by pain, look for help, in a way so that they dare to invest in their own future reality. For that they need to be willing take risks, time and costs on their own responsability. Is the PT debate too dominated by inbreeding between likeminded?

    I “broke” early the rules of the Primal Institute and opend that way my Pandoras Box. However I have for 40 years been faithful to your innovation “Evolution in Reverse”. Because you love one, you need not hate everyone else.


  25. DR Janov: A reply to this excellent resume of your theories is as good a place as any to ask you about your observations as to how a person's musculature changes as his defenses subside and the person becomes more natural through Primal. As you know, Wilhelm Reich wrote that a person's chronic tight musculature is a mechanism (perhaps THE main mechanism) by which defenses manifest themselves.Have you wholly or in part confirmed these observations by Reich?


  26. DR Janov: You write that you were a mental case after serving in the US Army during WW2.What exactly was troubling you, and how did you overcome it? Do you think Primal could help soldiers who come back from wars with what they now call Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome? I think with great sadness about a former Canadian General called Romeo Dallaire, who was in charge of the UN peace-keeping mission in Rwanda, just before the genocide there. He saw all that slaughter, could have prevented a lot of it, but was not allowed to by the UN (specifically by the USA under Bill Clinton).This totally scewed him up, and he became a heavy alcoholic, once found drunk unconscious in mid-afternoon on a park bench.He is now a Canadian Senator. I think he is better but I am not sure.


  27. Hi Art!

    As you point out, bills have to be paid. PT is just not bringing in the sales. Money is not a problem for all as much as it is relocating and various parts of the USA vary widely in cost of living, etc. But most of all, it is the publicity or lack of it which holds PT back so much. My only point to all would be this question: Are people who are acquainted with PT but do not buy it, really and truly sincere? Because I say they are not. Arthur, you have offered concrete proof over the years, but they change the terms of evidence and proof so that nothing can be proved.

    Again, I, if I had my way, would ask all to dare to consider that PT is something that those who have influence and power do not want to get any publicity or knowledge. That which they fear most, they black out, in publicity terms. The worst publicity is no publicity. They know that. Education has also been dumbed down so that few have the sharp thinking ability to see PT for what it is.

    I do not know where courage would be found in the brain but I assume it has no location but is a sum of the parts and processes of the brain. Or maybe just convinced the Primal self that its best interest lie in letting the cortex have a shot at things without undo interference and self-subversive agenda.

    The world can be scary to contemplate. But even scarier is if it really does harbor some bad agenda and we ignore it, sort of sticking our head in the sand because we do not like it.

    Science and its sound methods are interesting. Take Newton and his discovery of light and its nature. His discoveries were not intuitive and not discernible without instruments through which inferences could be made. It was what some have even called, counter-intuitive. That is to say, you must accept whatever the instruments say and follow the chain of logic that is built from the data.

    By this same method, many things can be deduced. Again, seemingly counter-intuitive and not directly observable but inferred, step by tiny step. And wherever you end up, as “Sherlock” put it, is the truth. How our world works based on surface observations will yield nothing. But following the money, and assuming rules of conduct for power, such as the mob, can lead to some very interesting conclusions.

    Why do I suggest doing this? Because PT’s enemies, and yes, it has enemies, though many may not know it; and these do not want us to get better or live longer. They just want us to be good sheep and do as we are told and not think or exercise our own minds and will as we want. It might be advantageous, if not courageous, to under stand that enemies exist and how and why. It is the natural progression of minds that want to figure out why PT is not making progress when it is so amazing in all its implications.

  28. Apollo: I think that any therapy that does not have basic need as its cornerstone cannot succeed. All the pain and the act outs revolve around this central core. How can anyone ignore that and be successful in therapy? And what are we tranquilizing? need. and what are we acting out? need. And what should we be treating? NEED

  29. Marco: I was just battle weary sitting on top of neurosis. I am sure we could help a lot with PTSD in armed forces people. Art Janov

  30. Tony: and no mention on AJ who organized the research. anyway if you know someone who is interested maybe you could contact them. I am not good at that. AJ

  31. The title of this current blog is:- in-and-of-itself it's own mis-conception, mis-representation and mis-perception. Why I say this is because we take a concept "Unified Field Theory" OR "The Theory of Everything" and then apply it to a branch of psychology. Art; if it only applies to a branch of psychology (Primal Therapy) then it is NOT, by definition, a 'unifying theory' NOR a 'theory of everything'.

    Primal Theory is;- either the only 'theory of everything' OR just anther department of psychology. Attempting to see psychology departmentalized with it's various theories, takes us RIGHT OUT of this NEW STATE OF BEING ... TO FEEL.

    What we neurotics do now is;- 1) think, 2) create mathematics, 3) create science, 4) wrap it all up in logic, then finally 5), THINK we are the greatest thing since 'sliced bread'

    We NEED a new mind set ... we are essentially a feeling creature, OR a perverted creature that twisted itself out of gear ... then justified it.

    Unless and until the very notion of Primal Theory AS 'Unified Field Theory ... we are going down the very same 'rat hole' we've been on for eons and hoping, hoping and hoping; which according to you, Arthur Janov, is neurotic.

    Thinking is our first and greatest ACT-OUT (DEFENSE) ... period end.


    Post script; You don't need a PhD in rocket science to figure this out.

  32. Jack: I would like you to expand on this art

  33. Jack Waddington: What is this constant harping about and put-down of science ? There is nothing wrong with science. However, when one deals with human beings, we need a kind of expanded conception of science, one where the observor's openness to feelings is part of the "instrument" to observe, sense, and alter human reality for the better (hopefully).I think this a key basis for the insights and successes of Primal and Reichian therapy.Janov never puts down science per se, only a certain limited one as we see now in contemporary psychiatry and medecine. We human beings have pretty well comprehended non-living reality for the good, but not living reality, thus widespread neurosis. I have often mentionned here the thinking Wilhelm Reich did about these matters. The kind of restricted scientific outlook that offends you he called "mechanistic thinking"; his more expanded one he called "functional thinking". For more explanation, see my comments on some of the 10 previous blogs here or so; or carefully read Reich's work "Ether God and Devil".Another good book exploring these matters is "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig.There the author attempts to correct the anti-scientific and anti-technological extremes to which so many fled in countercultural circles.It's also just a damm good novel, in every way.


  34. Hi Richard,

    I am currently awaiting feedback from a few potential supporters before answering your question about a newsletter.

    Hi Tony,

    Yes I saw the Jo Brand program on crying too. In particular was the interview with Suzy Orbach the psychotherapist; when given the cue to connect with feelings in this interview Jo could only point out that she was aware of the cue then elaborate on her revulsion about producing false feelings, both a moot point and a sort of hidden tragedy in itself. . . . Anyway, One thing any of us can do to avoid connecting with a painful memory is to "feign" and humour can be a very good feign, an avoidance. . .

    I experienced Jo Brand as a bit flippant about pain, particularly considering she revealed she had been the victim of persecution and ridicule for being overweight.

    As a comedienne, I was also disappointed by Jos' lack of pathos in the documentary; actually I experienced her as a bit sardonic and dismissive about pain and I wondered why she made that documentary. I think perhaps someone close to her suggested she needed help and this was her response!

    maybe it was a conspiracy by the National Heath Service to distract us from the real pain (1st line). Won't be the first time a comic has been used to cover up a mess.

    England has a 1,200 year old history of tragicomic literature, theatre and art; Jo could have mentioned Chaucer, Bunyan, Shakespeare, Blake, Hogarth, Charlie Chaplin or Norman Wisdom who only recently died at the ripe old age of ninety something, still cracking jokes on his death bed. All these 'artists' have brought their audience to tears of both grief and humour, sometimes simultaneously (the epitome of good taste).

    Perhaps it's because they were all men but Jo didn't refer to the Brontes or Sheila Hancock, Victoria Wood or Joan of Arc either. Or Margaret Thatcher but there is some doubt concerning 'that ones' gender or her ability as a comedienne though she did make a lot of people cry. Particularly the coal miners in South Wales and the welders on Clydeside. Some of them have been out of work and begging on street corners for twenty five years, recently joined by their crack addicted children, also out of work. Still, as Maggie said: "History doesn't repeat itself"-

    I digress. Sorry.

    Paul G.

  35. A curious thought:

    A neurotic body/mind is like a tyrannical society. The head of a tyrannical society can't feel the pain of the "body" so it shits on it at will, making its top-level decisions as to what it *thinks* the societal body needs but of which are detached from any real experiencial understanding of what the body is going through.
    And neurosis is the same: The head can't feel the body due to neurobolological detachment from it, so it kills itself early with over-work, drugs and poor nutritian etc. So us neurotic are a kind of self-contained tyranny.

  36. Jack, a Unified Field Theory is a research project in which the human organism is studied in it's entirety. in other words, instead of trying to understand how one aspect of a human being would function on it's own, a unified field theory would require that the one aspect is studied in conjunction with many other aspects, physiological and psychological, so that a much more accurate understanding can be achieved.
    You are confusing the need for feelings with the need for science. they are two separate issues. this topic is strictly science.
    the unified field theory is a project that would help scientists to find cures and preventions for alzheimers and balding and psychopathy and bad breath and depression and so on.
    Primal therapy is just one of many therapies that could be developed from a Unified Field Theory. Other therapies might include cancer treatments which might involve a mixture of psychotherapy, medication, surgery, nutrition and love, and perhaps no attempt to destroy the cancer directly. A treatment designed to improve the system - not just the symptom. INTELLIGENT SCIENCE. A unified field theory would give scientists the platform they need to ensure that their research stays in line with the human system instead of straying into dumb science. an example of dumb science is harvard university's attempt to surgically remove a bad feeling. they dismally failed to study the whole system.
    As the Unified Field Theory becomes more and more accurate, scientists in separate fields will become more and more cooperative with each other.
    Jack, wouldn't you like to see an improvement in the way we do science?

  37. An email comment:
    "Today in the U.S. there are 77,000 clinical psychologists, 192,000 clinical social workers, 105,000 mental health counselors, 50,000 marriage and family therapists, 17,000 nurse psychotherapists, and 30,000 life coaches. Most of these professionals spend their days helping people cope with everyday life problems, not true mental illness. More than half the patients in therapy don’t even qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis. In addition, there are 400,000 nonclinical social workers and 220,000 substance abuse counselors working outside the official mental health system yet offering clients informal psychological advice nonetheless.

    Read more:

  38. Dear Bloggers,
    This is a refined edition of Jack's piece. If you have already read it then skip it. art janov

    Part 1:

    "The notion of a "Unifying Field Theory" was a development from Einstein's 'Relativity Theory' when it was assumed that physics was the very basis of science and that "relativity" suggested that we were close at hand to discovering all the forces of nature and were now in a position to formulate them in such a way to explain (accommodate) all natural phenomenon. There were a couple of pre-conceived notions going on here that led us down this Alice's rabbit hole. The first was that Einstein called it "relativity theory" for a very good reason in terms of reasoning. It suggested that provided we maintained the notion that nature was 'explainable' in physical force terms we had 'conceptually' encapsulated it. Said another way "We had found a way to wrap it all up."

    I hope the above made some sense to the uninitiated.

    However, at the inception of Primal Theory based on a discovery about the inner workings of us humans, 'Physics', and hence 'forces' were a concept and contrary to current thinking NOT A DEFINED STATE OF FACTS, merely a state of 'thinking'.

    Ok, Ok, providing that the act of 'thinking' was a REAL phenomenon of the state of the universe ... and that only we humans possessed this faculty.

    The implication of Primal Theory lent this whole notion to be questionable. Firstly, as a neuro-physiological notion that thinking came from an area of the brain that in all other creatures, infant-hood and early child-hood 'thinking' was a doubtful faculty. Thereafter we humans and ONLY WE HUMANS operated on this verb "to think" from that part of our anatomy that in all other creatures and in early child-hood selves was used to "expressed feelings." So the conclusion might be;- was this a part of our anatomy that was capable of multi-tasking, and why in only in older humans.

  39. Part 2:

    I conjectured that we humans were not always a 'thinking' creature and that there was a time in our evolution when we did not "THINK". I based MY 'thinking' (yeah, I had to use this perversity of being, cos I had no other facility to get it across to other 'thinking' humans). I based this on the idea, Benjamin Lee Whorf came up with in 1944 and that we 'think in language'. So! I continued to conjectured, what did we do before we invented language. I had only one conclusion. We did not 'think' prior to language, Like all other creatures at that time, we just felt feelings and expressed them. So! how long ago in our evolution have we been "thinking?" Again I conjectured not that long in evolutionary terms;- 20,000 to 30,000 years. Many have refuted the notions of Whorf, but in an attempt to see if it was possible to think outside language I came up with a blank. Those that refute his hypothesis, by my standards, use very flimsy arguments.

    I then needed to rationalize how we came about to create this 'thinking' phenomenon and here Primal Theory and it's implications gave me a clue. It was at the moment of becoming neurotic that we were driven into this compulsion to express our feeling through this new found 'thinking' phenomenon. What brought that about I do not know for sure, but took the suggestion of an anthropologist from Cambridge University England; Bernard Campbell, who suggested that mankind's migration across the Mediterranean to the colder climate of Europe necessitated living communally in caves and hence started the restriction (repression) on our babies to quell their crying.

    In summary, for me Primal Theory suggested there were two states of being. The first being feeling-full the second being neurotic and, for the most part, only thinking. This latter taking us down what I call the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. We've been , to my way of feeling in this 'wonderland' ever since. Finally about myself. I readily admit to my thinking prowess and it being my greatest act-out, BUT when I look at other Primal patients I feel I am a relatively feeling person. I have been guided by my feelings for the past several years in my pursuit of these notions and ideas and been consumed with a means to convey these notions in writing. I do come in for a great deal of criticism, especially from Primal people, for my notions, ideas and opinions. I can do very little about that.

  40. Marco: There is nothing 'wrong', but also nothing 'right' with science either. Science is an outgrowth of neurotic man's 'thinking' ... period end. Stephen Hawking recently declared that religion was a fairy tale, I countered that science is just another fairy tale. Both inhibit feeling-full-ness.

    Art; uses science to attempt to get his message across. Sadly, I suggest his message is NOT getting across. Marco, I am not "offended" by science I just know it's another fairy tale. Not meaning to offend you, BUT "You think; therefore you are neurotic"

    Richard: Unified Field Theory is, by definition, a 'theory' ... period end. I suspect you subscribe to 'thinking' because you are ALL HELL BENT on 'understanding'.

    We are the only creature on the planet that uses this part of the brain perversely, to conquer 'NATURE' All other creature go with NATURE

    MARCO and RICHARD: If ever you were to have a re-living experience of the infant or baby you; you'd be devastated for months. Only then will you GET IT.

    GALILEO, was excommunicated for his DAFT idea that the earth revolved around the sun. It took mankind some years to catch on. I postulate;- THINKING is mankind's first and greatest act-out (defense). So far Art has not committed himself to agreeing or disagreeing, as far as I know.


  41. Art: Not sure if you would be willing to post this but as an addendum to what I wrote here, I am offering for free for this site anyone that would like to read my chapter on;- "The Nature of Thinking" (8 pages) as a .PDF file that can be read with adobe reader; free download.

    Email me and ask for the .PDF file on thinking.


  42. Jack remind me to write on this in a few weeks. art

  43. Jack: Your anti-science attitude still does not make sense. What`s wrong with understanding nature? If we did not understand how to mine and refine metals, the laws of electricity,etc... you would not be able to use your computer, a pure product of science.You could not ride a bike or listen to music via a CD.

    And there is a difference between obsessive thinking, rationalisations etc.. and pure thought about the external world, as well as planning and hindsight.And what is this vague notion of "going with Nature"?


  44. Hi,

    An infamous teacher of esoteric psychology once said we need to discriminate between 'ruminating' thoughts and genuine pondering. I can think about myself a lot or I can get down to me, if I remember myself.

    I saw a video tape of Maharishi giving a talk on the subject of how meditation was 'the way' and self remembering is an impossible act of thinking. . . He mistook the point and revealed his intellectual prejudice and also his professional rivalry (he was referring to that notorious esoteric teacher). He couldn't think of any other way to get to himself than 'not thinking' (meditation) but 'not thinking' does not necessarily get you yourself.

    No wonder John Lennon eventually threw the towel in with 'not thinking'.

    It is possible to remember oneself and that starts with noticing ones' sensations and feelings (and other peoples' too). Most of the time we are so turned out/in to 'ruminations' we can't sense or feel ourselves at all.

    Then, to cap it all we have to incessantly "do" things all the time to 'feel' good about achievement or 'efficiency'.

    What about being? Arts' way is 'being' to the core. Thanks.

    Paul G.


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.