Sunday, July 10, 2011

What About Reliving? Is it Necessary?

At times it seems like I am drowning the fish; going on and on about how you need to relive in order to cure. And I have already drowned the poor fish in insisting that we need a therapy of feelings, of the right brain and the deeper areas of the limbic system and the brain stem. If there is to be a cure. So what is the proof? Here we go again on the difference between statistical truths versus clinical ones. We tend to over emphasize the statistical because it has mathematics and seems more scientific. And it looks objective, whereas the clinical approach just seems too subjective.

So over the years I have made my subjective findings and await support from the statisticians. The reason I know that this is a futile effort is that some of the world’s leading neurologists and neuropsychologists have made the case in neurology about the importance of feelings yet conduct at the same time therapies that are at base anti-feeling. They cannot seem to make the leap from the third-line prefrontal neocortex down to the feeling centers in the limbic area and below. They seem to have mastered the neurology but cannot become the avatars of the voyage from the right to left brain; cannot make the connection from sensations and feelings to the frontal connection for integration; cannot finish the trip from the right brain to the left, from the intellect to feelings. Why? Because the scientists seem locked away from their feelings, giving feelings a small nod before ignoring it. They cannot make that leap from right to left because it is at once the longest trip and the most complex, and the shortest and easiest trip to make once there is access to feelings. Therein lies the rub: because there is absolutely no way to gain access to our feelings through the intellectual route alone. It is a contradiction in terms. What we need to do is eschew the intellect, let it cede to the limbic/right brain and access will appear automatically. The more we try to use rationalization and intellectual comprehension the worse it becomes and the more “in the head” we are.

It is repression that drives some of us into our heads and which keeps us from knowing how important feelings are. And it is the lack of repression that allows some of us to feel and to suffer; to know that we are suffering and need to change. When pain/feelings rise to the top is when we comprehend our own reality and no longer have to build an intellectual super-structure over it.

There are numerous findings that seem to support my point: (Penfield, W. Proc. Natl Academy of Scie. 1958. Also the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 1997. 9 420-80). What they found was that when there was electro-stimulation of the right hemisphere temporal cortex in human subjects there can be a reliving of the past. That this stimulation offers the person access to her feelings. The researchers point out that it reflects an involuntary persistent activation of interacting neural networks, and that this allows for experiential consolidation. In brief, it gathers up aspects of feeling from various parts of the brain and then allows for consolidation.
This means integration and resolution,, which is the goal of our therapy. This is no more than saying that we need to address the feeling brain as well as the intellect if we are to help patients. If we stay in the intellect the patient will only get well in her head. And her body will eventually disintegrate (literally, from lack of integration). So the head thinks all is well while the unconscious is rampaging around trying to make sense of all that inner turmoil. Because of little communicating between feelings and their comprehension the turmoil will remain. There can be no connection; and that is the be-all and end-all of proper therapy.


  1. As a question from the subjective perpective the answer is an unequivocal yes. When it happened to me I was prepared to adjust what memory really was. After reading Art's description in The Primal Scream it made total sense and I've never doubted it since.


  2. here we go again. yes the fish is drowning because you never explain clearly and concisely. "the journey from the right to the left." wtf does that mean, Art?

    i can never be sure because you are never concise. and then you tell people to read your books, which are never concise. you seem to assume the intellectuals haven't read enough, or they are not smart enough to understand. all the while, you fail to write concisely.

    here is the part that none of your readers understand (and i mean NONE of them):

    are you saying a feeling cannot be felt properly until it travels across to the left? in other words, a person cannot fully experience and resolve a feeling until there is a connection from the lower centers up to the right frontal and across to the left? in other words, a primal, a first-line primal for example, is a three-way connection, ending in the left frontal. in other words, is the left frontal the portal to full conscious awareness of a feeling? the place where feelings are integrated while they are being felt? in other words, is it possible to be consciously aware of a first line feeling, while all areas of the brain are connected, while the first line feeling is being felt?

    can you see what i'm trying to say? timing and context please!

  3. OR.....

    are you saying that the "journey from right to left" is the final moment of integration which occurs after a feeling was felt? the magic moment of integration that allows a person to understand how a feeling has been interfering with his perception of reality? in other words, a person plunges down into the first line so that there is no connection from center up to right across to left. no connection. just pure feeling, which is indeed being resolved without any left frontal integration. and then later the resolved feeling is reflected upon (in the left frontal) so that it can be understood in the present day context.

    you spent a million dollars trying to convince a bunch of intellectuals, but they didn't have a clue what they were looking at. you tried to explain, but they didn't get it. we've got Jack, a guy who has apparently primalled, and he still doesn't get your explanations. nobody does. i've seen you trying to explain it to a bunch of students. they didn't appear to get it. maybe some of them did.....but they didn't seem confident.

    well i have some clue, but i can't be sure what you mean. i know what happens to me when my cat wakes me out of a dream, but i don't wake properly, and i enter a sort of psychosis (sometimes i really hate my cat).

    there was another time when i entered a terrible state of consciousness, where i wasn't sure if i was going to make it, for six hours, and i knew i wasn't going all the way into the feeling, and i knew it wasn't understood, and in hind sight, i'm not sure how the connections were forming in my brain. during the experience i was able to reflect to some extent.....i was not aware of all of my surroundings, but i was aware of a tiny patch of my surroundings. i was concentrating very very hard on that tiny patch. i was using my left frontal, without any thoughts whatsoever, to lock onto that patch so that i wouldn't be pulled into the abyss. it was the ultimate test of my took every last drop of my strength, without the slightest lapse in concentration for six hours. i was abreacting, right? when i eventually came out of it, i noticed my body was stiff as a board, and my sheets and mattress were soaked with sweat.

    so what needed to happen? i needed to let go and enter the abyss (believe me, that would have been very very easy to do.....and if i had some awareness of a primal therapist sitting nearby, i would have let go immediately - straight into the abyss. fighting it was a hellish experience).

    so.....i needed to let go, into the abyss, into the first line. once there, i would have absolutely no awareness of my surroundings....not even a patch....and no awareness of a primal therapist.

    fine. at that moment, would my brain instantly form the three-way connection? or would that happen later........after the feeling has been felt?

    Primal Healing does not explain it. This is the explanation that all potential advocates and therapists need to hear. they need to understand the timing and context so they can form a working model in their heads. it makes no difference whether they are suffering from non-integrated feelings or hardcore intellectuals. everyone needs a concise explanation. if conciseness is tedious, so be it.

  4. Part 1 of 3

    I might sum up the mainstream “doctors” this way. To a guy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. They were trained throughout using the noggin so that is all they know how to do . . . maybe. But I suspect that they just do not want to go in the direction you point. They know better than to cross that orthodoxy. They believe in it, even if some of us might not.

    Feeling and integration is great but when it is so scarce and difficult to obtain, it does diminish its advocacy. But I do point out that many of us, with varying degrees of pain, have recognized PT. When I read the Primal Scream in 87, I was a little reluctant in the first chapter or 2 maybe. It was some time ago. But when you mentioned all the symptoms, of which I had many, it was hard to ignore but it made sense. I could not run from it. But some can! The truth I saw, I felt deep inside. I knew I could not deny it and it did go against much I had learned up to that point in regular psychology.

    That truth is there, Art. But it takes a big man (or a courageous woman) to swallow such a large bitter pill. And even if some professionals believed, they might fear pursuit since they know what “others” will say about that. Just as cults are a trap, most things in our society, if we are plugged into a good network (I have no network and am defenseless as some would like to have me), then we are often trapped by that network. It blocks off or discourages independence, curiosity, and exploration wherever the evidence goes. Genuine cults use overt strong tactics and very forceful means. Networks use much more subtle influences, though often, those are as effective as the more overt and strong types are. As well, the subtle approach escapes notice and attention and enables plausible deniability.

  5. Part 2 of 3

    Lets take that nasty trial of Casey Anthony. The jury says the state could not prove what happened that killed the little girl. True. We do not know the exact details since bodies do decompose. But we do have the actions of Casey herself and those are inexcusable. If you ignore the whereabouts of your daughter and do not report her missing for 31 days, I’d be the very first to volunteer to apply any means of execution the state would require to rid the taxpayers of yet another criminal burden and effect a criminal deterrence at the same time.

    That Casey made no attempt to report the girl missing should have been ample evidence to throw a rope up over the rafters and say goodbye to Casey. But juries no longer have any brains due to diminished education and they no longer have the stomach to terminating a woman who did not hesitate to kill her own daughter, to get back at her mother. It that is not a good reason for the death penalty then I know nothing at all. It’s like that mother who drowned her own 5 kids in a bath tub because the poor soul was suffering from post-partum depression. If her grief could overcome watching a child kick, flail, panic, struggle, maybe even cry, scream, or plead, then there is no hope for her. Put her out of her misery in a hurry. She serves no good in living. Did I mention I was judgmental? And proud of it?

    But we have been conditioned to ignore real evidence such as a woman not caring about her little girl being gone for 31 days. It is the same with PT. You evidence is solid and unimpeachable. But to someone who wants to suppress evidence, they simply say, you don’t have the evidence we require. They require evidence that is often not relevant or reasonable or even possible.

    I see this in archaeology all the time. They want more evidence. Sites can not be told what to do. We would like more evidence, of course, but sites will only yield what they have and we will have to make due with that. Their favorite tactic is that if we can not have all we want, we will accept nothing and ignore what we do have.

  6. Thought this was news worthy:

    Zoo Chimps' Mental Health Affected by Captivity
    Research reveals signs of mental illness, including repetitive rocking, self-mutilation and eating feces.

    By Jennifer Viegas
    Tue Jul 5, 2011 06:18 AM ET

    Zoo-housed chimpanzees show abnormal behaviors not witnessed in wild chimp populations, according to new research.
    The behaviors, such as rocking back and forth and pulling out hair, could be symptomatic of mental illness.
    The documented behaviors, which included self-mutilation, repetitive rocking, and consumption of feces, are symptoms of compromised mental health in humans, and are not seen in wild chimpanzees, the authors say. The study found that even chimps at very well regarded zoos displayed the disturbing behaviors.
    "Absolutely abnormal behavior and possible mental health issues are most commonly associated with lab chimps," co-author Nicholas Newton-Fisher told Discovery News. "This is one of the reasons we were surprised to see the levels of abnormal behavior that we did -- in chimpanzees living in good zoos."
    "We conclude that the chimpanzee mind might have difficulties dealing with captivity," added Newton-Fisher, a primate behavioral ecologist at the University of Kent's School of Anthropology & Conservation.
    He and co-author Lucy Birkett used both direct observations and published sources to document the behaviors of 40 chimpanzees at six zoos in the U.S. and the U.K. The collected data, covering a two-year period, was then compared to observations made of wild chimpanzees, such as 1023 hours of documentation on wild chimps in Uganda.
    All 40 zoo chimps displayed some form of abnormal behavior, according to the researchers. The chimps would poke at their own eyes and other body parts, bang themselves against surfaces, pull out their hair, pace, drink urine, and do other things not associated with wild chimpanzee populations.
    All of the study chimps were "kept in what are often considered the best captive conditions," Newton-Fisher said, explaining that the primates are "socially housed, fed a varied diet according to a varied schedule, provided with environmental enrichment" and more.
    While other studies demonstrate that improving the environment for captive chimpanzees can help to reduce behavioral concerns, zoo confinement itself appears to be inherently problematic for these intelligent animals.
    "I have lived and worked in East Africa, following free-living chimpanzees through the forest on a daily basis," said Newton-Fisher. "With that experience, personally I find it hard seeing chimpanzees in zoos."

  7. I think the simple fact that blocked pain causes us so much grief alone tells us that it doesn't want to be repressed. That suffering is blocked pain knocking at the door demanding to be addressed.....otherwise surely we would have evolved as a species with a far more efficient lock-down function on the pain.

    Neurologists need to get into the habit of more evolutionary reasoning. It can lead to the right questions, I feel.

    Andrew Atkin

  8. The Future?

    Part 1 of 3

    Many myths and cultures foresaw a struggle between good and bad forces. Its not such a large leap to see the broad view without detail. Some religions foresaw it, too. As well, we have seen previous worlds and empires die or collapse. What follows is from “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill.

    The Irish adopted Christianity from “Saint” Patrick. This was not Catholicism as we know it at all. And they came to adore books and learning. Pagan as well as Christian. They did not fear knowledge. T hey copied anything and everything they could find and wrote their own history down as well. They then sent others to start “copy centers” of learning all over the British Isles and into France, once home to Gauls, to who they were closely related. They even made it to a few other countries.

    All around Europe, after the fall of Rome, libraries and books were destroyed. Someone did not like knowledge, I gather. But because the Irish has collected so much so eagerly, they had preserved most of what was lost elsewhere.

    But Vikings, yet more Germanic tribes like those who brought down Rome, did not like the monks and their zeal. As well, the Catholic Church had sought to gain control of Ireland though Ireland resisted. But Vikings destroyed the monks and “copy center” monasteries and Ireland never got the zeal or the books back. The New Rome, the Pope, got his control as well. Rome fell and now Ireland fell. Many before fell and we are not done yet.

    The struggle against our own nature, against power, against suppression, and for independence of mind, continue. Who will win? Will it always be the good falling to the bad? Can it go on forever? As I see it, we are battling ourselves when we battle other forces. This is where PT comes in. But has it been held back by forces not yet discerned? Deliberately? For a reason? I note what Cahill suggests, unrelated directly to PT but yet with implications regarding PT.

  9. Part 2 of 3

    >> pg. 216
    As we, the people of the First World, the Romans of the twentieth century, look out across our Earth, we see some signs for hope, many more for despair. Technology proceeds apace, delivering the marvels that knit our world together—the conquering of diseases that plagued every age but ours and the consequent lowering of mortality rates, revolutions in crop yields that continue to feed expanding populations, the contemplated "information highway" that will soon enable all of us to retrieve information and communicate with one another in ways so instant and complete that they would dazzle those who built the Roman roads, the first great information system.

    Pg 217
    But that road system became impassable rubble, as the empire was overwhelmed by population explosions beyond its borders. So will ours. Rome's demise instructs us in what inevitably happens when impoverished and rapidly expanding populations, whose ways and values are only dimly understood, press up against a rich and ordered society. More than a billion people in our world today survive on less than $370 a year, while Americans, who constitute five percent of the world's population, purchase fifty percent of its cocaine. If the world's population, which has doubled in our lifetime, doubles again by the middle of the next century, how could anyone hope to escape the catastrophic consequences—the wrath to come? But we turn our backs on such unpleasantness and contemplate the happier prospects of our technological dreams.

    What will be lost, and what saved, of our civilization probably lies beyond our powers to decide. No human group has ever figured out how to design its future. That future may be germinating today not in a boardroom in London or an office in Washington or a bank in Tokyo, but in some antic outpost or other . . . .

    Perhaps history is always divided into Romans and Catholics—or, better, catholics. The Romans are the rich and powerful who run things their way and must always accrue more

    Pg 218
    because they instinctively believe that there will never be enough to go around; the catholics, as their name implies, are universalists who instinctively believe that all humanity makes one family, that every human being is an equal child of God, and that God will provide. The twenty-first century, prophesied Malraux, will be spiritual or it will not be. If our civilization is to be saved—forget about our civilization, which, as Patrick would say, may pass "in a moment like a cloud or smoke that is scattered by the wind"—if we are to be saved, it will not be by Romans but by saints.

  10. Part 3 of 3

    End of Cahill Book quotes

    Time for yet another empire to go the way of the dinosaur. It happens always but this time is different. Pain has been building from one generation to the next. Diabolical engineers have dumbed us down and kept us stupid so we could be more easily manipulated and controlled. They afflict us with much bullying and harm. The Pain builds like water behind the dam. But the dam is almost set to burst as someone decided the dam did not need all that concrete after all. Don’t preserve or try to advance good. Lets go for more evil and control.

    That big showdown so long predicted for at least 4,000 years is coming. Pain is about to explode because some like ignorance and darkness or maybe its just too scary for some to want to see. We need PT more than ever but as I see it, the battle has been lost already. But for the eternal optimists, your only hope is to reach a far greater audience. If not, I would suggest digging a hole, jump in it and lay down, and pull the dirt over yourselves because those in power are not going to go along with this Primal stuff in any way, shape or manner.

    Good will not triumph over evil unless you subscribe to the God theory. And most hate that alternative as well. But if you are right and it is merely blindness, surely it can be overcome but if so, why has it not already. What has been stopping it. It offers hope, does it not? Then why the rejection?

    But if I am right, that it is power deliberately, though very subtly, holding PT out and back, then Primal Pain is the least of your worries right now. My point in rubbing this in your noses is that Healing and Feeling are great, if the world is to go one forever. But I do not see that future, save the God Theory. The future otherwise is quite dim and about to come to an abrupt end. Why?

    Because those in power are mad men and they have technology and power we have never had before. And they will use it in the worst ways imaginable for they are psychopaths in the extreme. So when the question is why PT is not more popular or why PT is the only solution, I say, it is important to know why, the real why, and that the intellect must make sense of this all without the time to heal as we might like. Use your head or end up dead.

  11. Richard: LOOK there is the corpus collosum that has pain blockers that prevent the voyage of feeling from right brain to left. As we relive, the blockers weaken and the message gets through for connection. The same is true for vertical connection from deep brainst em/limbic areas to the prefrontal area. Now we both have to consult neurology books as to how the connection is made exactly. art

  12. An email comment: Art, you are to the point as usual. I myself am suffering. I know that I am in pain. I see the dominoes falling in terms of my health. Poverty and lack of education and a history of extreme emotional abuse which carried over into social abuse due to the inclination of society to attack the "wounded chicken" in the flock. The pain and it's compounding is leading to an early demise for me and has sustained my poverty even when I was given "chances".

    I have tried to set up movements to get psychologists "on board" with feeling. Hoping to avoid the unqualified approaches I have sought to enlist certified people with degrees in psychology etc. to approach feeling from their particular vantage points. Hoping to reach the poor I sought to create a legal "Church" to extend that help through "coaches" who would offer more palliative approaches at low or no cost.

    The problem is that the people with degrees can be as in the dark about what needs to happen and more so than any other person on the street. Some of the "Emperors" have no "clothes". The next problem I faced were that the general public often suffered from lack of funds, just as I do, and a great many of them were in my mind borderline psychotic (having typical religious beliefs, or feeling the need to negate these "beliefs" intellectually). Few could feel and as they saw the direction of my concepts they would experience anxiety, which I am not equipped to deal with. Many liked me, sure, but no progress could be made with them. Some psychologists have said or hinted that I am possibly one of the sanest people they have met. Pardon, but I have raging pain below and my blood pressure is out the roof and my memory and ability to plan and carry through is devastated by primal pain. I fight just to stay alive and my relationships are full of equally wounded people if not more wounded people.

    What is your answer for the poor like me who are devastated by primal pain and can't resolve it on their own, and who watch helplessly as their children, also wounded of course, do not achieve to the level of their true potential?

    I am tempted to throw caution to the wind and put together a group that does all it can on its own, but I am leery of this. So I think you are facing social problems and pressures that are militating against real cure. It may not be just your therapy's lack of recognition in academia, the problem may be far more complex and social.

    I would urge anyone having enough money to get your clinic's assistance to do so, but as for me and many others all we can do is flounder in irrational and even superstitious comforts. This I have seen in abundance and it sickens me to think that is all I can do or offer anyone. So again, if anyone can seek your help I urge them to do so, for they are very blessed."

  13. Another email comment: "Art. So very true. Imago has the theory and practices right. My wife and I apply them as a feeling centered practice. Yet there are some in the Imago community that go against both theory and practice and treat Dialogue as a cognitive exchange when in fact it is quite well designed as a process to create the necessary safety for people to deepen into childhood wounds. When we are able to help people into those feelings we see the resolution of couplehood issues similar to what I experienced in Primal. Of course Dialogue isn't set up to allow for first line feelings but it is a short step to move it there. Thanks as always for drowning a fish that needs repeated drowning."

  14. Another email comment: "
    This is exactly how I tried to answer and solve my personal plight. Through my "intellectual" brain. I could recall many past experiences and memories while at Primal Therapy...but I was leaving out one element. The feeling part of it. Talking over my feelings. It is just starting to really sink it ..or rise up ...a lot of feelings from my past. Jealousy of my brother...sadness and hopelessness how my father treated my mother. It's all there. As I feel more of it ..the better I feel on a daily basis. Quite a paradox.

    Thank you again for your research, theory and insight. And especially your kindness in sharing this with the world!!!!!"

  15. Another email:
    "What is the merit of TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) of Dr. David Bercelli? I did the exercises yesterday and afterwards I had extreme responses; light-headed, spacey, legs that wanted to cave in beneath me and overall a state of "jelliness"- zulch energy...all that after virtually only shaking/tremoring. According to Dr. Bercelli trauma is stored EVERYWHERE, especially in the muscles and connective tissue. Are the connective tissue not connected with the limbic brain as well through neural pathways? In TRE the process of releasing is by neurogenic tremors. Please comment Dr. Janov."


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.