Sunday, February 5, 2012

On Compounding: Cancer and Psychosis

There is a new study out about cancer and psychosis. It pretty much supports what I have been writing about for years. What they found is that a mother who smoked throughout her pregnancy has a greater chance of giving birth to someone who later develop cancer and/or psychosis at a relatively earlier age. If the mother was subject to pollutants or carcinogens while pregnant, she carried toxins in her system, those toxins found their way into the baby; and the amount was about 10% the levels the mother had. I believe that the earlier the mother smoked the greater the later chances of catastrophic disease. It is also a problem if the carrying mother does not get the proper nutrients. Because there are chemicals that help build gating very early on that contributes to the later ability to hold back pain and emotional turmoil. Think about this: the more catastrophic and earlier the imprinted trauma the more catastrophic the effects later on.

What they also found was that it was epigenetics, the effects of the baby’s life in the womb influenced directly by the mother but also later life stress that would produce cancer or psychosis. In other words, it is not only changes during womb-life that is the problem but the compounding of stress and of lack of love in childhood that made the symptoms overt and manifest. In short, if the child were completely loved, despite the changes in the effects on the changes during womb-life, he might not become schizophrenic or develop cancer. This makes total sense, and is what I called compounding. Early trauma plus the add-on of no love, neglect and indifference on the part of the parents. Of course, growing up in foster care or in an orphanage greatly exacerbates the problem. It may not show for years but chances are it will show. You can’t fool mother nature and her offspring mother nurture.

So yes, there is hope to avoid serious disease, even with a bad gestational period, but once it is manifest it is very very difficult to reverse. Once there is organ damage, and that includes the brain, it is a tough job. Once the gating system is affected all sorts of problems later occur; from impulsive acting out, to explosiveness and bad temper; from premature ejaculation to bed wetting. You fill in the blanks; but it usually involves compounding. Even growing up in poverty delivers its adverse affects on the genes—the epigenetics.

One of the clear effects in the epigenetic changes is found in later addiction. Why is there such an Aha! moment when someone takes a drug that soon makes them addicted to it? For this we are indebted to Dr. Eric Nestler whose research into cocaine addiction is crucial. But first let me say that during womb life and infancy there are chemical changes occurring that become imprinted and endure for a lifetime. When a drug comes along that makes up for the deficit it is sought after assiduously. There are changes in the chemical composition surrounding the genes that help either give permission for later expression of feelings (acetyl group) or deny permission (methyl group). In other words, the personality of repression, and laid-back, non-emotionality has its starting blocks during womb life. Then when coupled with repressive, unemotional parents there is a compounding of this kind of personality which endures. She is not being able to express herself which began with methylation during womb-life and exacerbated during childhood. For cocaine addiction it may be that the cellular permission—an opening up of the system, given by ingestion of the drug which helps expression of feelings, taking away the heavy burden of repression (engendered by a childhood of neglect and lack of touch) makes it very attractive biologically. So addiction may well begin in the womb; there is a lack of certain chemicals we needed but did not secrete enough, that made some drugs such as cocaine fill the bill. In depression we need to look seriously at how were over-methylated during womb-life. Again the starting block for later depression lies very early in life and makes for suicidal depression later on
when other adversities impact us—loss of wife or husband, loss of job and above all, loss of hope. Epigenetic mechanisms play into our childhood social life and can reinforce basic personality types. Rat pups raised by loving permissive mothers do better later on than those same pups raised in non-loving domineering mothers. And wouldn’t you know it, one of the great spreads of the methyl group finds its way into the emotional centers such as the amygdala. In any case, heavy addiction is found not only in an unloving childhood environment, but earlier when the epigenes are forming and causing biochemical deficits that have to be made-up for later on.

Here is what late research shows: mothers who smoke cause a radical increase of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity in the offspring. Then if the mother is anxious or depressed we have compounding and a greater chance for premature disease. This includes psoriasis. The point is that it is not only genes that are heritable but also the epigenes—what happened to the gene development while we lived in the womb. Genes are the notes to the music but the music depends on the epigenes. They conduct the symphony and decide who plays and who remains silent during the development of the piece.

If the mother does pot or takes serious pain-killers then there is a direct effect on the offspring’s gating system, producing serious dents and leaks in it and perhaps affecting later psychosis. What those drugs do is operate on the methylation and acetylation process affecting our ability to repress and inhibit. This results often in an out-of-control impulsive personality—womb-life has opened the gates prematurely…..acetylation. At least, it makes the gating system vulnerable to later trauma—compounding, again. Not all is lost. It has been found that later great parental loving can help reverse some of the damage. Epigenetics can be somewhat reversed, I think with our therapy where we relive and integrate very early damage or maybe later on there will be drugs that contain methionine that help reverse damage, as well.

One of the major effects of womb trauma is later pulmonary dysfunction and breathing problems, not the least of which is asthma. It looks like genetic but that isn’t the whole story. If the carrying mother is fat there is good chance that the offspring will have that tendency. How she eats while pregnant has a lot to do with the nutrients available or not to the baby. And worse, very bad nutrition affects the chemicals that go into producing good gating including methionine that we produce, along with folic acid. It is never one thing, but one childhood.


  1. Dr. Janov,
    Would the fetus benefit when a pregnant mother goes for JPT during the pregnancy?
    How much damage is done to the fetus when the mother is taking antidepressants?
    Thanks for an answer,

    1. sieglinde if a primal can push an adult's heart rate to the limit, imagine what it could do to a fragile fetus

    2. art if you don't mind the abbreviation, perhaps you could add a page to wikipedia and use JPT or Janov's Primal Therapy in all future literature. don't you think it's time to disassociate your therapy from the ridiculous therapies that are giving yours a bad name?

    3. But call it "Janovian Primal Therapy". It sounds more authoritative and specific.

    4. Richard,
      Your answer “if a primal can push an adult's heart rate to the limit, imagine what it could do to a fragile fetus.”
      I don’t believe the fetus will be harmed more by a temporary higher blood pressure, than by permanently low oxytocin, high adrenalin, or 9 months of anxiety or depression. If the mother can integrate her pain, the fetus will benefit and the mother is more able to be a mother after birth.
      But, our guesswork remains just that. If beneficial or harmful science could deliver evidence.

  2. Dr. Janov
    In my never ending quest for solutions I found, you may already know, that Gen research together with phara industry’s is going full speed ahead in developing drugs (generally speaking) to tagged gen-modifications. Inklings can be found in the section of DNA/genome based inflammation. “Suppression of inflammation by a synthetic histone mimic”:
    Cell Based Methylation Detection: Histone Methyltransferase (HMT) Profiling & HTS:
    On the right side links you find available links for “Histone Lysine Methyltransferases and Histone Arginine Methyltransferase. Specified DNA testing is available.
    Also, Cell Based Assays:
    I admit it is very complicated to read, although very interesting for everyone interested in the subject.

  3. Hi Sieglinde,

    I am interested. Tell us more. Methylation & Acetylation is now becoming central to Primal Theory; I sense your contributions are worth extrapolating, I want to know more.

    Paul G.

    1. Hi Paul,
      I can’t straightened all out yet.
      The genome facts and results are so difficult and relate to many illnesses that I must find first a method to un- jumble these codes - set points and connections. I’m still learning the difficult DNA codes. Feels like swimming in the ocean sitting in a nutshell.

      In this link (just as one example):
      You find a short explanation (toward the middle of the publication) “How does histone acetylation work?”
      One faulty gene creates more than one medical problem see: Psoriasis is Associated with Impaired HDL Function, Penn Study Finds New Research May Provide Clues Into the Molecular Links of Psoriasis and Heart Disease.
      or: “Cell Based Assays”

      Most interesting I found this link:

      Even medication such as Rifampin and Pyrazinamide can create a double strength DNA. The result is Lupus, which leads, if a closer look is given, back to prenatal imprint/immune-system weakness.

      This new knowledge would call for a computer program that decodes and organizes Methylation & Acetylation and by prenatal set-points and later effects and results. I hope that DNA science provide such analogy combination soon.

    2. Paul: forgot to include the coding link:
      There is very much to learn and understand.

  4. not for publication.
    Dr. Janov,
    just as an information. has only 8 new books on "Life before birth" available.

  5. Fascinating reading. It is interesting that my Mother has never smoked or taken drugs. She tends to blame everything outside herself for things. She does not sleep so does not eat Oranges etc. She is too terrified to look inside her head. I know she was dreadfully treated as a child. Keys raked down her back by her Mother (who was obviously quite mad) and very unloved. I suspect she was abused by her Father and she has fought back those experiences for her whole life by emasculating the other men in her life. In fact she is almost Lutheran in her abstemiousness. My Aunt on the other hand used to smoke quite heavily when I was a kid and probably did when she was pregnant. In fact I have a niece who is at college now and whose Mother smoked right through her pregnancy. That same Mother has spent the child's whole life scapegoating her for her own Mothers unaknowledged abuse and my niece has a very small voice. I wonder what will happen to her once she leaves college. I read somewhere that a majority of Boys develop physcosis around 18 to 22 (which is when they leave home and go into the world of work) while most girls develop physcosis when they are in their late 20's and early thirties which would seem when most are starting a family. This suggests many Boys having less ability to deal with stress than girls and it is girls remembering how they were brought up when pregnant and suddenly hitting real trauma which they do not want to aknowledge. I bet this causes the screaming Mother who then controls her own offspring. The cycle continues.

    I think I had a number of breakdowns or something similar over the years. However I have never been physcotic. Neurosis has obviously played it's part in my life rather than Physcosis.

    Both my Aunts Son's have had huge problems. One has diagnosed with Schizophrenia and the other has tried to kill himself twice.

    Therefore epigenetics has played it's different role in our lives. My Aunt suffers from Ostioporosis. I gather that great anxiety can be a cause of this in that the body releases calcium from the bones to counter greater acidification caused by great anxiety. Both Mothers are anxious.

    However while I get the whole issue of epigenetics what happened before Columbus found the New World and imported Tobacco to Europe? Obviously there were other drugs (alcohol). What does alcohol do in the womb? Obviously there is Feotal Alcohol syndrome. I think the drug of choice for many in the UK is booze. It was for my Father and I wonder what that does to the quality of sperm and how that effects the child. I understand that smoking is dropping dramatically ( and yet recent studies are showing that Cancer in the UK is to rise by 30% by 2030 ( That rather confuses me.

    I know a local senior politician who has bad asthma and does think he knows what is good for everyone else. I often think that Asthma is a reflection of how a kid was treated as a child. If he is controlled and has to be what his Parents wanted him to be his true self cannot breath and so the body expresses this later in life by not breathing. I am sure the same kind of Mother who totally controls her child was also anxious in pregnancy. A Mother controls her children because she herslef feels out of control so if she can control everything in her life then she feels more in control of herself thought this is obviously a false sense of control.

    It's chicken or egg really is'nt it. What came first epigenetics or traumatising Parents?

  6. Sieglinde,

    All of what you "know" Sieglinde ... is what you know not to feel why you know so much... much about all that keeps you away from what you need to feel.

    My days start with the days starting... so that I can be just as lonely as all my days have begun.


    1. To Frank

      How the simple words can say so much...

    2. Frank, you are so right - and I know it too. Nevertheless, I must continue living with two extremes.
      This is my explanation:
      Yes, my right brain is bringing up enormous pain and if I don’t repress it, it would shut me down and I would become vulnerable and dysfunctional. My left brain calls to survive in daily, 18 hour very difficult situations, going on now for over a year. If I allow, right now, my feelings to come up, I would become the five year old and couldn’t make major medical decisions for my husband who is terminally ill. I must help my husband out of the bed, lift him out of the chair, dress him, shave him, cut his nails etc, cook and precut his food, clean up every time all his spilling, make Dr’s appointments, drive 48 miles (each way ) to different doctors, manage all domestic necessities etc.
      A stroke, a latent Tuberculosis, 5 thrombosis in the right leg, and now a new diagnosis “ataxia” makes him completely dependent. If my repression wouldn’t work, I would be not able to keep my house clean, which would set off additional (childhood) panic. Again I carry a load for someone else and must neglect my own needs. There is no way out, no help available as long as he can get out of bed.
      I remember when my logic, survival strategy began, I was 8 years old. I was already responsible for my 3 brothers while living in fear of my parents and their beatings. Panic and anxiety guided me from early childhood, constantly living in anticipation of “what might happen if my parents come home”. I had no time to think about my own needs, so I learned to push them aside and put them on hold.
      Nevertheless, my feelings and pain are always present, but I need peace and silence and no interruption to let them rise up. What I’m doing now is nothing other than reliving an old imprint of my childhood, a survival strategy to stay sane until I can go to the Primal Center. I know how it feels when all gates are open and having no “real” help. Until then I have to prevent a complete breakdown by staying in my left hemisphere.

    3. Sieglinde: I don't know how you make it. art

    4. Dr. Janov,
      You know the answer, you wrote about it in Life before Birth.
      It is the unborn who likes to live in spite of all arts. The fetus/newborn hat to shut down (parasympath). It is the child that has to birth itself, because the mother was exhausted or drugged. Being born with anoxia (umbilical cord around the neck) – I still wanted to live. The perfect blueprint of my later life - anxiety and curiosity.

  7. Art: All the very best of luck in the world with your stem cell stuff in Texas. I sure hope for you it works.


  8. My understanding is that some genes are expressed after birth. Just as the Brain of a baby is still far from developed due to it having to adapt to it's surroundings so too perhaps genes are expressed in different ways to enable to the child to adapt to it's surrounding whether fair or foul?

    is this the case?

    1. Not sure about genes being expressed after birth, I take it our genes have 'unfolded' during inutero development however something else very important is neural sculpting, planespotter, which continues after birth and completes around age 6.
      This is whereby the *environment* determines which neurons are held onto, and which are sculpted back/eliminated, in the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord). Those that facilitate adaptation are deemed necessary, those that hinder survival, deleted. By the time the child is 6 they have 'worked out' how best to respond to their environment. Unfortunately this is now set and the same responses continue.

    2. I read somewhere that for example if a Mother is nervous and anxious her Son's musculature cannot develop properly where as if she is relaxed and can accept his assertion of his own rights then he can also grow strong physically as well. it makes sense that as a species we have adapted so well all round the world because we are still developing once born. Is'nt the human baby sometimes known as the "Born Feotus" in that it's development at birth is far less than other primates even because it has so much development still to do.

    3. That's an interesting reminder that we aren't born as developed as other species; I have seen this first hand. I guess it's for continued adaptation/survival of our race, however as we know that has a down side.

  9. Hi Art
    I'd be interested in your thoughts on the impact on the developing embryo/foetus if a pregnant woman receives Primal too (this may have particular relevance for me)
    Thanks, J

    1. Jacquie: Not usually a good idea for a pregnant woman to have primal therapy. Try to have therapy before being pregnant. That makes more sense. art

    2. Not usually a good idea for a pregnant woman to have primal therapy. Try to have therapy before being pregnant. That makes more sense. art

    3. Thanks Art, as I thought.
      I am 43 in April, desperately wanting a child (I have no partner) but don't want my single gr8st dream- becoming a PT to be hijacked by having a child. I also don't want to choose between the two.
      I've emailed Roz asking to book me for the 3wk intensive September as am making plans to be in LA for 3mo's Sep-Nov. US Immigration offer a 3mo visa waiver and financially 3mo's is manageable. The plan is to remain in LA for the remainder of my visa, after the 3wk intensive, continuing to involve myself as much as possible w/the Center, incl if training is being ran. I can't wait to be around for the PTC Halloween night I've always imagined!
      Would you please follow up w/Roz re Sept-ish dates for my intensive? I can send a deposit and will feel much better when this is set. Thank you x x

  10. We have a system as can think and talk... think and talk to guard against what our feelings is about. The human evolutionary process has designed a system... a defense against not detect life-threatening experiences in our own system.

    That it is suitable for a technological solution is only to regret if not the primal therapy will be the question.

    It is in itself… the most sophisticated process imaginable for survival. Our body has designed an extra brain in purpose of defense against our own mother… in a process to later defend against our self because we can’t know what we felt… and we still do not understand what is happening. The perfect self-deception in till the day we eradicates ourselves for threats within ourselves.

    Are we too vulnerable in the role of being a professor… to stand up and admit the child in us… because of the vulnerable child that rules our life? If so… then it should not be an insurmountable obstacle to pass if we can come to the table of primal therapeutic science.


  11. An email comment: "Sieglinde's astute observations demonstrate the complexity of epigenetics. I think it's far too early to say that methylation and aceytlation are the molecular markers of the imprint; rather they are ONE marker. The imprint is likely distributed throughout the organism -- embedded within cellular signalling networks, synaptic networks, immune networks, etc.

    Just as genes don't determine anything, epigenes don't determine anything. They interact with a whole system known as the organism. See this essay:

    Also, it's not correct to say that acetylation gives permission for later expression of feelings, or methylation denies permission...unless you're being metaphorical. More likely, the imprint consists of a pattern of epigenetic tags involving both mechanisms across a range of genes. One pattern will be associated with "normal", another pattern will be associated with "neurotic." It'll probably take decades to understand those patterns. Sieglinde's computer program to analyze it all is quite correct. That's what they're doing now to analyze patterns of cancer mutations to design customized treatments.

    This new era of epigenetics is similar to the era when they thought low serotonin = depression and high dopamine = schizophrenia. In the beginning, it's easy to fall into simplistic explanations which eventually turn out to be wrong.


    1. Hi Bruce.
      I have gathered some confirmation that epigenous needs triggers to malfunction and visa versa. The whole organism is involved in a single adaptation. Taking the life an adult and tracing history back to birth we should find the trauma that setts off genomes to react. The highly neurotic adult, (complicated birth) plagued by high blood pressure, glaucoma, carotid artery showed also inflammation. Everything was reversed after the person received a 6 month regiment of heavy antibiotics - target TB. For this 6 month time, a second string of DNA appeared to counter-interact the vulnerable organism.
      The results in addition to eliminating TB: the carotid artery is open, glaucoma 80 % reduced, the lifelong high blood pressure is normal/stable and after 9 month the double strand DNA is gone. The fascinating part however is the formally neurotic shows no longer neurotic episodes. Was it the inflammation that affected the whole system? I don’t know yet. Even his cortisol is lower, from 28 to 14.
      I’m not stating that heavy antibiotics are a cure – no, they have devastating organic effects (kidney and liver). I’m pointing out that the whole organism can be affected by one triggered malfunction genome. I’m convinced Parkinson research could benefit from the “gen-inflammation” point of view.

    2. Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for your recommendation of the The New Atlantis's essays. They are makeing me confused on a higher level and I can se many parallells with what I'm trying to understand with PT. Jan

  12. I've just read the piece in the New Atlantis and while I don't claim to understand all of it it is rather heartening to feel that the "It's my Genes" reason for everything is beginning to be undermined. I think it was Graig Ventor who is quoted as saying "We are who we are because of our environment" which of course can mean the womb as much as anything else.

  13. Sieglinde, Here's hoping you eventually get the therapy you deserve.


  14. Art,

    I came across an article about toxin and maybe that is something for you in your thoughts about it?

    "There is no safe dose of toxins, although many have the idea. So called… values are always uncertain because even low doses can lead to injury, sometimes more severe than with a single high dose. This is partly because high doses can trigger protective mechanisms of body cells, which low doses don’t”.


  15. To all
    Another cognitive and judiciary approach.
    “Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden asked the legislature's budget-writing committee to approve funding for training 10,000 adults to recognize the signs of child abuse and report it to authorities.”
    "It is not a child's job to protect him or herself from abuse, that is our job as adults," Biden said. "We know that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused, but only one in 10 will report the abuse. When 90 percent of abused kids are victimized by someone they know and trust - someone who says they love them - it falls to the rest of the community to be vigilant, informed, and ready to take action to stop the abuse. Stewards of Children gives us the tools to do just that."
    My thoughts on this: Training 10 000 adults to recognize sexual abuse? And then what? The perpetrator maybe goes to jail for a few years and if the victim, if she/he is “lucky”, can go the cognitive therapy!!!! After the child is in foster care or in an orphanage. Bravo!!! Case closed.
    This is what I call political denial – lots of useless words and expensive action - without lasting results.
    When will the world will wake up and faces reality? I’m getting kind a impatient.

  16. Hi Sieglinde,

    In jail you get state benefits, in ordinary society you get a greasy pole to climb. Both lead nowhere. The efforts we make to be real in the face of our 'ever present history' are the only alternative.

    Long Live the Alternatives.

    Paul G.

  17. Hi Jacquie,

    -"By the time the child is 6 they have 'worked out' how best to respond to their environment. Unfortunately this is now set and the same responses continue"-.

    And that is also called 'personality fixation'. The central hubris around which our defences revolve. So say, we develop this according to a predictable pattern, there has been some research into this. Of course it's almost impossible to recognise ones' own particular 'idiosyncrasy' though it's always obvious to others, once they get to know you.

    There I go again.

    Paul G.

  18. 'One of the clear effects in the epigenetic changes is found in later addiction.........Again the starting block for later depression lies very early in life and makes for suicidal depression later on when other adversities impact us—loss of wife or husband, loss of job and above all, loss of hope."

    You said it Dr. Janov. And you keep saying it. Whitney Houston was walking pain. She believed 'the children are our future'. And what about the child Whitney/baby Whitney? With the Primal Center on her doorstep, the re-acquaintance may have saved her. So sad! 48 is too young.


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.