Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Childhood Trauma and Adult Behavior

There is a study done by Kaiser Medical on 17,000 subjects (See for example http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/pdf/childhood_stress.pdf). They tested them on childhood trauma, parents in prison, divorce, parental abuse, etc.  They gave them each an ACE* score: no trauma was zero and it went up from there, depending on how much trauma there was in childhood.  Those with an ACE score of four were 6 times more likely to have sex before age 15, twice as likely to develop cancer and emphysema, more likely to be alcoholics (seven times more likely); while those with a score of six were 30 times more likely to have tried suicide.  Those with zero scores had very little learning problems or trouble in school.  When the scores are four or higher school problems begin.  In short, trauma in childhood  does bad things to adult life, something that probably is a given for most of us.

    But wait! That did not include womb-life where  major imprints and dislocation of function occur.  Where the memories are more deeply embedded, where almost irreversible  damage happens and where  the greatest impact on the brain  occurs.  In other words, the study has ignored the most crucial time of our lives where the crucible  for most later behavior and physical symptoms get their start. For example, it is more likely that the seeds for later  cancer are there, in the  early part of our lives while being carried; then later life  trauma, the  obvious kind, (a parent in prison) are observed and are added to the pathological mix.

    As the brain begins its incredibly rapid development while we are being carried, trauma in this time period is of utmost important.  And this means that any proper treatment means going back to address those traumas and undo their impact. We are not simply victims of that abuse we are responders who can  gain control of  the trauma and surmount it.  It means being exposed again to that very same trauma, feeling  its pain and thereby lessening the impact.  It breaks open the repression and  allows for  full  feeling.  It means undoing the damage.  I have written how this can be done in my "Life Before Birth". It can be done.  We do it and measure the results. One  result is the reduction  of the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As stress comes down, immune function increases.  It also means that as we experience the early traumas fully, we are under far less stress.  These are measurable outcomes.

  The implications of all this are, among other things, difficulty in concentrating  and studying, and the inability  to sustain paying attention. It means later learning  problems.

   I would have thought that economic factors are important here, but evidently not as important as we might imagine. A loving family is what counts most.

   A carrying  mother who takes drugs,  drinks  alcohol, is highly anxious and/or depressed is starting  serious damage for the child.  So  this study just confirms the primal viewpoint which has been made public for over forty years.

*Adverse Childhood Experiences


  1. The link between trauma and later dysfunction is totally clear. (Heaven forbid you only have to walk down the street to see it!)

    But I think the picture that most neurologists and psychologists have, in their minds, is this: The trauma hits like a missile and throws the brain off course. But, the missile is been and gone once the impact has occurred, so the thing to address is not the missile but the "broken ship".

    And this, as we believe, is where they got it critically wrong. The problem is that the missile didn't damage the ship, but that the ship swallowed the missile, and the missile is an *enduring active force* on the ship. Get rid of that internalised missile and the ship will naturally sail back on course, all on its own.

    Trauma is not a been-and-gone impact - it's a living internal force on the brain. The brain is not sick, as such, it's a normal reaction to an abnormal input.

    Neurologists are running on a false assumption of the been-and-gone nature of trauma, because they can't clinically see and measure trauma within the brain on the level of information processing. They only see the secondary neurobiological reactions to it. It's time, I believe, for neurologists to both appreciate and even challenge their assumptions.

    1. Hi,

      -"It's time, I believe, for neurologists to both appreciate and even challenge their assumptions"-.

      I've been reading biology of love again and I got to a piece where Art is describing how the neo cortex is an outgrowth of the limbic system and pain is searching for connection to bring the past into the present and be done with it.
      Art has been repeatedly banging on about how the neocortex serves an evolutionary purpose as an outgrowth, how you might describe that as 'self-referal or self reflection'. I mean it is (or should be) like a sort of 'regulating' function, like quality control; "conscious awareness". But if there is some blockage then the connection is never made and the self referal/reflection doesn't actually work, it doesn't actually refer to human emotion but "goes off on its' own merry way" . It's frustrating. It's as if the neo-cortex has forgotten it's really only a mirrors' surface and the reflections of truth are taken as the whole surfaces' reality. It is "identification" but dressed up with fancy words and explanations.

      Bloody frustrating.

      Paul G.

    2. Paul: We forget that the neocortex is less master and more servant of lower level processes. art.

    3. i agree with you, art. the other interesting thing is that the salamander, having nothing more than a brain stem, still functions as if the right side of it's brain is more emotional and the left is more intellectual. but it would be better to say; it's right brain stem REACTS to the environment, and it's left brain stem DECIDES how to use the environment. for example, the right side REACTS to a terrifying predator; "swim! swim until the immediate threat is gone!" and the left side DECIDES where to hide; "aaaah those rocks will be ideal."

      i wonder if the entire right side of the human brain is more reactive and the entire left is more decisive. and if we ignore the lateral difference, and just focus on the vertical direction, we can see that the very bottom is hardwired -- and the higher we go, the more programmable it becomes.

      perhaps the upper right hemisphere is a reactive processor; it processes the reactive emotions coming from the right side of the limbic brain. the upper left hemisphere is a decisive processor; it processes the decisive emotions coming from the left side of the limbic brain. but all of the decisive information rising up through the left hemisphere must be guided by all the reactive information rising up through the right hemisphere.

      this is just another one of my eloquently ignorant ideas. i know it is entirely intellectual as it is not based on any real observations. and i haven't forgotten your basic descriptions on how the brain works, art. just wanted to put it to you.

      by the way, it's been a long battle, but i got my job back and i am now working day shifts instead of night. will complete the primal application soon. looking forward to meeting you.

    4. Hi Art,

      Yes, and the more I get into my true feelings the more I realise the truth in that old analogy of "The Horse, The Cart and The Driver".

      As you said, (and it's difficult when you're repressed and don't know it to understand this at first): It is the horse that attends to us. Our feelings drive thoughts, therefore the thoughts we have are an aid to understanding / dealing with feelings if only we knew how to access the feelings back through history.

      It beggars the question whether other mammals can be cured of / cure themselves of trauma without the developed neo-cortex that we have. . . I mean if 'connection' is the proper goal of neo-cortical development what of those animals who don't have it?

      That issue was raised last year on this blog wasn't it?

      Paul G.

    5. Richard: OK fill out that application and we get to see each other. art

    6. any thoughts on Paul's comment? art

    7. Art,

      The sensitive human system could not cope with similar disastrous experiences as other species. That is what distinguishes humans from other animals. Evolution has made human survival possible by developing a defense to our system (neocortex)... the human system too sensitive for fetuses and babies... a time when inclusion was a life-threatening experience.

      Other animals have done it in a different way... they have not had the need for a defense of Their systems as we humans have Because their system is able to live with it... experience to further develop... based on their need for what their limbic system itself was able to analyze for the best future management.

      With a neucortex that interprets signals from the limbic system... like us humans... we become incapable emotions and its contents as protection in order to survive. That in itself may seem "funny" but survival meant more than to experience pain ... feel the suffering.

      Apparently we have done it successful... all the way to here... which in itself may indicate that evolution made a right "choice"... only we now can embrace the primal therapeutic process.


    8. I know a 8 years old cat; she has been left for dead by her mother and has been brought up by humans with feeding bottles. When she was young she was really wild : afraid of everyone, unable to stand still more that 1 or 2 minutes, scratching everybody, mewing everytime her "new mother" was leaving the room and so on.
      I told a colleague that one of our cats was neurotic which made him laugh. He wanted to tell the story to a shrink of his friends :-)
      I can only say that she improved after all those years but she is still very unstable, capricious a bit like a "Diva cat" she is very moody to say the least. I know that all of that is labelled as "anthropomorphism" (meaning that we are attribuing humans emotions and behavior to animals) by a lot of specialists but anyway that's bloody real!
      Did she recover bits by bits I don't know. The fact is that she dreams like all the other mamals and that she is more sociable than she used to (she was stressed very badly when someone new was invited at home and she was vomiting all over the floor because of that). Warmth and care can do a lot but she will never be a peacefull cat.

    9. hi frank and yann

      my cat was nearly dead when i found her as a starving kitten. that was many years ago but she is small and still looks like a kitten. she over-reacts to anything that 'threatens' her food supply even when there is no real threat. and she is ferociously territorial. most of the nearby cats are at peace, and even friendly with each other, but they all stay away from my cat.

      is my cat neurotic?

      she traumatised a mouse. it escaped and made a nest behind my fridge. day and night, it continued to build the nest, despite being only about two inches out of range of my cat's swiping paws. the mouse was amazingly defiant. too defiant. was it neurotic? (i managed to rescue it in the end).

      perhaps even a salamander, with nothing more than a brain stem, can become neurotic in a threatening environment. perhaps just a simple blockage between the two halves of the salamander's brain is all it takes to make the left side function separately from the right.
      for example: if a little salamander is forced to share a small pond with hundreds of giant eels, the constant threat may force the little creature to become neurotic in order to survive.
      the salamander cannot feel the terrifying warnings coming from it's reactive right brain. instead, it's decisive left brain decides to swim out in the open and look for food, and sex, but it decides to do it faster than usual. why so fast? well, it's left brain is still being influenced by it's right brain, but it is not a proper connection. if the connection was normal, the salamander would stay hidden in the rocks, and starve.

    10. Richard: So why am I writing? art

  2. Wanted!

    A capacity
    for imagination!

    On several occasions, I have pointed out how my life, gradually, has evolved / changed since I met Art Janov and began to to test and understand how he combined the evolution and the Primal Principals. Since I "luckily" was a psychological ignorant it had to be Arts, as a shrink, unorthodox imagination / vision to grasp my traumatic context / epilepsy, that appealed to my intuition, and that laid the foundation for the search, during decades, for my "hidden demons" / epilepsy.

    That way, I eventually connected an entire ensemble of experiences; psychological, neurological, biogenetic and linguistic skills. Along with Arts guidance, Primal Therapy, Rolfing, career counceling, nutrition and physical training this increased my ability to connect "soul mates" between the emotional and the intellectual parts of my brain and my body. I slowly began to realize that what matters is not things, and terms but relations, movements and transformations. The fact that I, along with my "research of my destiny," had succeeded, for 30 years, to support myself as an international change consultant was an important ingredient in the interrelated factors that gave my life at least 20-years additional extension. My trip could, on many occasions, have easily derailed. I had numerous opportunities to go under. My deep-set positive imprints, however, kept me on track.

    I have for some months read a number of essays, articles and books about the ongoing revolution in genetics and molecular biology. If I had not had my own experience of Primal Therapy and Evolution in Reverse, I'm sure my curiosity would have been a search for precise explanatory mechanisms and codes, which had led me, along a path of least resistance, toward a reduction of understanding. However, an excellent guidance of Steven L. Talbott in his essays in The New Atlantis, have helped me to use my imagination to grasp the context in more meaningful terms. These are my conclusions after my introduction into genetics and molecular biology:

    The epigenetic revolution is working its way into an ever wider audience. From what is being written the conslusion might be that we are gaining new complex understanding how to treat the living organisms as a machine to be tampered. However, the lesson we eventually can draw from the work in modern molecular genetics is that life does not progressively shrink into a code or a module as we investigate its very small dimensions. “Biologists find life staring back at them from thier chromatograms, electron micro graphs and gene expression profiles. Things do not become simpler, less organic, less animate.”

    The information task, deep down, is essentially the same as the one higher up. Our understanding becomes easily constricted as we move downward, because the contextual scope and qualitative richness of the survey is utterly narrowed. A capacity for imagination is always required for grasping / envisioning a context in meaningful terms. At the contextual level, the basic data are not things, but rather relations, movements, and transformations.

    “To see the context is to see a dance not merely the bodies of the individual dancers.”

    Jan Johnsson

    1. Jan,

      You must be of the best interests for science... for evidence on the question of what primal therapy can achieve. I hope you know what you are carriers of? SBU in Sweden would probably be interested... or maybe not… given what they advocate.

      Yours Frank

  3. Good metaphor.

    I gave a small speech to a class the other day and the fact that trauma stays with us is something that I really tried to drive home. Not sure if I did that well because of nerves.

    Personally, I can look back to points in my life that I feel were traumatic. No, I cannot place myself back to that time and experience what I felt then, but I do recognize the memories as painful.

    I feel like someone who has had a tangible split between the real and unreal, and I know at some point in my childhood I began having fantasies about being someone else or living with a different family. This has definitely stuck with me throughout life and I've often wondered exactly what it was that made my mind decide that I didn't belong with the family I had.

  4. Off topic!
    I am reading "Life before birth" where diabetes and Alzheimer's desease are discussed.

    From other sources I have learned that diabetes type I is caused by virus or stress (pain)
    causing your immune system attacking the beta-cells which are producing insulin. The main
    task for insulin is to reduce the glycose (blood sugar) in your blood stream to normal
    levels by storing glycose as fat in your fat cells.

    Diabetes type II is normally described as "insulin resistance". It means that in order
    to reduce the amount of blood sugar, more and more insulin is needed. The beta-cells get
    "exhausted" and gradually lose their capability to produce insulin.

    In the enclosed link
    you will find the following statement:

    “Brain insulin resistance (diabetes) is very much like regular diabetes,” de la Monte said.
    “Since the underlying problems continue to be just about the same, we believe that the
    development of new therapies would be applicable for all types of diabetes,
    including Alzheimer’s disease, which we refer to as Type III diabetes.”

    I think in the Primal Theory early oxygen deprivation is mentioned as the cause of
    both diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. I guess the researchers, mentioned in the article,
    are looking for new pills when they talk about new therapies.

    My point is that we have here a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
    as suggested in the Primal Theory. Interesting.

    What about reducing the sugar content of your food thereby reducing the need for insulin
    and lessen the risk for diabetes and Alzheimer's disease?

  5. being trauma is a difficult to deal with..we need to be more patient with them and we need also to understand them cause they are still in the process of recovery and its not easy to what had happened to them. they need a psychiatrist who can help them for their full recovery

  6. Art,

    ” But wait! That did not include womb-life where major imprints and dislocation of function occur. Where the memories are more deeply embedded, where almost irreversible damage happens and where the greatest impact on the brain occurs.”

    This means… we do not have a clue about what is a ”normal” state around feeling and thinking... we simply do not know how such a state would seem to be as we "all" are fucked up in our brains. We are currently not able to read the evolutionary process of why and how the brain works.


  7. Dear Dr. Janov,

    Of course the Kaiser research is not including birth as a foundation for later action/reaction. The journey in understanding how much impact pregnancy/birth has finally, is long and most professionals are still at an undergraduate level of understanding about the imprint of abuse in general ... Not to mention denial and years of promoting “positive thinking” and “mindfulness” as a therapy foundation. I’m surprised that Kaiser Permanente did this study at all.
    Kaiser was for a long time, big on promoting C section. Think for a moment how embarrassing it would be for them to admit, that they were a part of later “bad” results.
    In 2000, a psychiatrist at Kaiser asked me why I wrote so extensively about my birth. In disbelief I asked him if he didn’t believe that a complicated, over 70 hour birth (umbilical cord around the neck etc.) has a lasting impact. He smiled and said, “children grow out of this – they don’t remember”.

  8. Richard,

    The need for the left-hand side of the brain to overrule the right (reactive) side, by making a 'decisive' decision rather than a purely reactive one, could be the basis of how the left-side brain evolved as a repressive mechanism of the right, and the lower centers. Because to a degree left needs to suppress the right for the sake of actualizing strategic responses. Ie, the left does not so much negotiate, but overrules - maybe?

  9. To all:
    in case someone like to read the latest Time Oct 22.2012 magazine - on Internet only for subscriber.)

    "Don't Trash These Genes

    By Alice Park Monday, Oct. 22, 2012
    Barren. Nonfunctioning. Dark matter.
    That's how scientists have described the vast majority of the human genome since it was first sequenced in 2000. The disappointment in those words involved more than just science. It was also about ego. Given our evolutionary sophistication, our genomes--the genetic blueprint that makes us the talking, empire-building, socially complex species we are--would certainly be stuffed with important and elegant genes, coding for critical proteins of unparalleled complexity. But when all was said and done, the 3 billion base pairs that line up to make our DNA coalesced into a paltry 22,000 genes. That's just 2%...

  10. Hi Sieglinde,

    -"He smiled and said, “children grow out of this – they don’t remember”.

    I often get floored by daft remarks like that. Nevertheless, in this little vignette there is all the evidence to prove the basic evolutionary progression of the human (and mammalian) brain. If you could tell your professional this: "Of course the child doesn't 'remember', at least not with the neo cortex (from where your great learned psychiatrist was speaking) because the childs' blessed neo cortex had not yet developed"; and "no! the child doesn't 'grow out of it", that is just a euphemism for repression!

    As Art keeps on telling us, as infants our 'memories' are largely all sensations (1st line). . . thus anxiety, depression, abnormal development and biochemistry in us now (as 3rd line adults) IS the 'living memory' extrapolated from those traumatic events.

    I am beginning to embrace this truth. In the future, in response to such glib statements from so called professionals or lay people, I will be able to 'pick up' on remarks like this and use the evolutionary theory (1, 2, 3) to explain the tortology contained in them. This is not just about winning arguments.

    I feel it is important to be able to do this because we are ALL the living evidence of evolutionary fact and what we all say about the past is more or less an expression of our own personal history. Thus no one has the right to consign somebody elses' history to a version of their own repression. It's unprofessional and goes against the first rule of doctors which is to cause no harm. How harmful is it (if you are a doctor) to judge the history of a patient or anyone else for that matter on the results of your own repression?

    Paul G.

  11. Off Topic:

    Mirror=neurons + 3d:

    The neurologist in the included video (about @ 3.20 in) has suggested (though somewhat vaguely) that the mirror-neuron system is trigger into action by 3d stimulus. If so, then that could have future implications for primal via Skype, which can now be done in 3d using latest technology. And also implications for 3d training video's for primal therapy.


    If your brain can be stimulated in critical ways like "you are there", then this immersive effect would surely help therapists emotionally "log on" to their patients, via video, as required.

    Just a thought, Art.


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.