Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Really Counts in Our Development

  As I have pointed out, the brain develops  into  three different systems.  I call them the first, second and third lines.  The first  is brain stem and parts of the archaic limbic  system, the second is basically limbic system, including the amygdala, hippocampus and other structures such as the anterior caudate nucleus.  Each of these structures (including the striatum) contribute to our general feeling capacity.  They are connected to the top level prefrontal cortex to help us be aware of our  feelings; this is the area of insights.  And they are evolved out of the brainstem that provides the energy and gravity of feelings.  The  first line is silent and wordless.  It grunts, exhibits rage, terror and great physical reactions that are never expressed in words; that is why we need higher levels to provide those words when necessary.  But less us not believe  that the cognitive level by itself  can make any changes--insights.  It  misses out on the serious sensations that exist on the deepest brain  levels.

  So we have a basic primitive ineffable level, a higher  emotional one  and finally, a verbal one.  All together they form a fully feeling experience.  When we relive events from our childhood there is generally all  levels involved.
There is the memory by  the third line, then we add the emotion to  it in therapy and then allow  the punch of the  feeling to join in.  When  we  relive events before birth, during gestation, it  is a first line experience where there are no words or even tears.  When we read a speech too often we lack the emotional level; it remains dry, cognitive and intellectual.

  When are born we have most of the brain neurons we will  ever need, except for  some limbic brain cells that go on developing throughout our lives.  Early on the brain is developing networks and  circuits where different brain structures are connected to each other.  But lack of love and  trauma during early childhood seriously affects how the brain develops and what networks there are.  The feeling system  will recruit  aspects of the limbic system into a  feeling  network.  Except  when there is little emotion in  the environment, when the parents are two stones who  do not react much.  It affects the brain  development of the child.  The emotions  become stunted.  The cognitive level may go on developing but it leaves the  emotional level  behind.  We get brainy people who don’t feel much.

  We know from much research that neglect in the first months of  life on earth adversely affects brain development; there  are later learning problems and relating difficulties.  But picture the traumas before birth  during gestation; imagine the kind of long lasting damage there will be.  This is the kind of damage that affects physical systems, the precursor to  heart problems later in life and cancer. Why so?  Because the newly forming heart cells (and other cells) are being affected by a  mother who is anxious and/or depressed, weakening the baby’s  circulatory system.  First line damage equals first line  reactions.  This damage may not be apparent for decades but the beginning vulnerability is already there.  It has changed the way that neurons develop and differentiate.  There is now a sort of detour going on.  And more, there  is suppression of those traumas automatically so  that each  trauma  evokes its own repression, and  here we may have the beginnings of later  cancer.    This means that first line repression is heavy and  deleterious.

  Speaking of cancer, I am hoping to carry out some research to follow up on something we did decades ago.  We did a double blind study of Natural  Killer (NK) cells which are part of the immune system charged with watching out for newly developing cancer cells in order to kill  them.  After one year of our therapy there is a significant increase in NK cells.  What I want to do with  a research team is pierce the tumor take out key cells, multiply them a  lot and then re-infuse those extracted cells back into the person’s system slowly over time.  If I am not mistaken those infused  cells will kill only the tumor cells and nothing  else. This will be a lot more efficient  than chemo therapy and will only destroy cancer cells, leaving the healthy ones alone.  And because NK cells are genetically designed to go wherever there are the bad cells it will  be less dangerous  and far more effective.  All we need right now is the money  to do  it.

  When I discuss  the idea of detour it may be exactly what happens in the brain, for there is a migration of neurons from the brain stem up.  And when there  is trauma those neurons may well take a  different route in  their development (see the work of  Bruce  Perry in Texas). This migration is foremost  in the earliest months in  the womb  so that a mother’s smoking or pill-popping alters the  migration and brain  evolution.  One way this happens is that we are born with  a certain gene pool  but how  these genes evolved is  due  to epigenetics, events impacting genetic development.  This determines how the nerve cells  evolve, how dense the dendrites are and how they connect with  other nerve  cells.  Dendrites accept the messages from other nerve cells.  When they are sparse or less  dense we don’t get  the full message.  A carrying mother’s smoking can alter the baby’s oxygen supply for life.  That means breathing problems later on.

  So we have an ordered evolution of brain cells from the stem cell area  on  upward.  And each new  system appears on a fixed time-line.  These systems occur  in order so that we can’t speak at 3  months.  Brainstem functions include digestion, breathing and blood  circulation.  If later on  there are symptoms in these areas, we need to look  at first line events.  Did  the mother  smoke heavily in  the  first 4 months  of pregnancy?  If so,  there are likely to be serious developmental problems including evidence of  mental illness later on.  These primitive neurons are there long before the  cortical neurons exist, both in evolutionary times and in personal ones.  And during  gestation and the first months of life on earth they are the most sensitive to environment impacts.

  This is no more than saying that there are critical  windows when the system  is the most  sensitive. Not  being touched  at age ten  is not going  to have  the impact if there  is no touch right after birth.  What  this means is that the  critical period for the first line is far more  malleable than  later critical periods.  And its impact  the greatest, which is why we  always need to include  this period in any of  our studies, and especially in our therapy of patients.  This first line is  the epoch of  longest lasting effects and of  the greatest impact in terms of our  evolution and brain development.  This has been emphasized in a study by Cornell University (Nov,  21, 2007.  “Trauma Earlier in Life  May Affect Response to Stress Years Later”).  During womb-life there is a new organizing framework which determines  how  the person faces life later on.  The brain is  “settling in.”  And it imprints this frame  of reference to guide our lives.

  What new research is showing is  that those young children who  are abused, neglected or otherwise unloved have smaller  brains  than those who grew up loved.  This implies all kinds of associated problems from learning to  relating.  We and our brains need others; we  need attention  and love and caring.  And we need it during the greatest epoch of our critical  window—the  first line.  That is when there  are irreversible imprints with widespread effects.  Our lives are in danger when we are unloved; when the mother is heavily depressed or drinks.  Institutional children  do die when  there is no love in the first years of life.  So instead of  children not being  allowed  to speak at dinner there  must be lively  conversations all of the time.  They need information and stimulation.  They need food for the brain.  So just imagine what damage happens  to children who  are unloved as children, and  before  that when the critical window is  wide open during first line before  birth.  If we can see the  damage done to young children in  institutions can we  imagine what goes on earlier in the womb when we cannot see the damage?    The  earlier  the damage the more irreversible  it becomes.  Luckily we have a  therapy that goes deep and undoes some of the damage.  But with no first line therapy there  will never be a cure, not if we ignore the crucial critical window where so much impact exists.  There has been an attachment theory around for more than fifty years, but consider the attachment between the baby and the carrying mother where her every mood is transmitted directly to the fetus.  When she is anxious so is her baby; when she is depressed so is her baby.  And as the pain mounts from  womb-life  on  there will be a greater  tendency to shut off the right feeling brain and flee to the left where there is no  direct pain.

  All  I am reiterating is that there is  information and research  to  show that the earlier the impact on the brain the more damaging and long lasting the effects.  We must never ignore this period if we want to help our patients.


  1. So we are biologically programmed to produce less killer cells when we are in pain? Tell nature you're a "loser" specimen and she gets the message to kill you off. Ahhh - so cruel and unfair! But can it be denied it works like that? Nature will naturally abort a (seriously) faulty fetus...rather than have the species invest in a broken foundation.

    By the way, Art. I'm sure there is a similar therapy against cancer out there, where the immune system is externally boosted somehow to amplify the fight against cancer. I'm going by vague memory but do you know much about this, and can you comment on how your idea is different?

    1. Andrew: There is no doubt that we a deficient in natural Killer cells when we have substantial imprinted pain. My idea for research, if we get the money, is to pierce the tumor in cancer and withdraw affected NK cells, then replicate them and reinfuse back into the system. NK cells whole job is to search out newly formed cancer cells and kill them would go all over the system, I believe and kill cancer cells without harmng other organs. We already did research on NK cells and found they increase to normal after 1 year of our therapy. art

    2. Hi,
      I understand NK cells also attack and destroy bacterial infections and virus, is that true?

      I have read up some research on a traditional 'cider vinegar' cure for various stress related maladies. Apparently, some of the constituents in this vinegar fool the blood and digestive system into into a relaxation mode by neutralising the muscle's 'fight or flight' reaction to lactic acid production being dumped into the muscles. Apparently, so the theory goes put forward by the folk scientist Dr Jarvis the blood is more prone to infection in this stress state. This implies that blood alkalinity / acidity could also be a factor in the development of cancer cells.

      Dr Jarvis was an interesting man. He became known for curing milking cattle herds of mastitis by giving them buckets of cider vinegar and molasses (which they relished). He also researched traditional farming families that used lots of cider vinegar regularly in their diet and discovered many people still working at extreme physical tasks well into their 80s.

      I have recently recovered from a nasty bout of flu which attacked my shoulder muscles and joints so badly I couldn't work. I have been applying hot cider vinegar poultices to my shoulders and the relief is quite marked. It's not just my 'belief' at work.

      Dr Jarvis also recommended cider vinegar and honey as a hot drink cure for alcoholism and arthritis.

      It makes great salad dressing if nothing else. . .

      Paul G.

    3. Andrew, you're right. The therapy is Autologous Immune Enhancement Therapy (AEIT), initially developed in the U.S. in the 1980's and practiced since the 1990's, but routinely only in Japan and now other parts of Asia (e.g., India). Not to be too cynical, but I suspect the lack of huge profits for the pharmaceutical/medical industrial complex relative to chemo- and radiation therapies plays some role in the muted interest in Europe, Australia and the Americas. The therapy involves extracting and culturing immune cells (NK and T lymphocytes) from the peripheral blood and then reinfusing them. Efficacy depends on how advanced the cancer is and varies with the type of cancer; for example, results are generally good with breast cancer and not so good with cervical, oral or throat cancers.

      One of my jobs to support myself at university many years ago was diener--pathologist's assistant--at a Catholic hospital, which had a residential nunnery whose nuns were the nurses at the hospital. While assisting the Chief Pathologist in an autopsy of a nun of the hospital who had died of breast cancer, he remarked that nuns tended to have an inordinately high rate of breast cancer and rarely cervical cancer, and promiscuous women tended to have a high rate of cervical cancer but less breast cancer. He believed the cervical cancer was related to having sex with a lot of partners, and that the breast cancer was related to a lack of sex and not breast-feeding (read "lack of love" in my view). It was just anecdotal then; now we know that most cervical cancers (and increasingly male oral/throat cancers) derive from the insult of HPV (a virus) infection, spread readily via multiple partners. To me it makes sense that cancers I believe are more directly what I would call "primal" in origin, like breast cancer, are more amenable to AEIT, and where the insult is more in the nature of a chemical one (e.g., benzene exposure) or parasitic (e.g., HPV) our immune systems are more at a loss and AEIT is less effective. In either case, the depressed immune function associated with a heavy burden of primal pain compromises our ability to ward off cancers. And of course, a heavy burden of pain plays a role in secondary factors such as promiscuity and smoking.

      Art, I know very little about this area, but I guess I don't see where extracting NK cells directly from a tumor rather than peripherally would make for much of a difference in results, unless you think the NK cells in the tumor have some adaptation the peripheral ones don't.

    4. Page: I am not a specialist so to me the question is not how and where you extract cells, so long as you do. I am convinced it is important. art

  2. Andrew, these types of experiments have been going on for many years. There has been a lot of hype in the media - such as, "a child full of tumours was cured after receiving ex vivo (grown outside the body) autologous (belonging to the patient as opposed to a donor) natural killer cells."

    The hype was good because it got many scientists interested but there are still many problems associated with the quality and activation of the cultured cells.

    With a little help, Art will solve these problems soon. Right Art? :D

    "We already did research on NK cells and found they increase to normal after 1 year of our therapy."

    Wow. I will include that in my 'primal propaganda'.

    1. Richard: I was hoping to do NK research in Texas with cancer patients but we will have to wait for FDA approval. art

  3. What matters is to focus.

    When I read “What Really Counts” in your latest Reflection I enjoy the first paragraphs that describe how a fully feeling experience is shaped as we relive painful events from our childhood, which have become imprinted in our systems and caused depression, panic, anxiety and many other symptoms that made our lives miserable. In your typical simple, natural way you describe the ingenious principles of Primal Therapy. These principles, applied correctly and with neutral guidance allows us to drain the pain out of or subconscious archives, live them in the present and integrate them and liberate us from being controlled by our pain-propelled neuroses.

    In the treatments and therapies which I have combined, Primal Therapy has been my “Operating System”. Complementary treatments such as physical integration, diets, etc., have been my “applications” that work in cooperation with my PT/OS. Sometimes the “applications” stimulate the PT/OS but as a rule, no permanent cure occur unless the OS/PT lead to that all levels (3rd, 2nd and 1st lines) in the brain beeing involved.

    If I had not started this process 40 years ago, I had probably been dead today, either by committing suicide, had a stroke, heart attack or an asthma attack. Slowly - as I could feel / integrate repressed pain - my life slid over from being controlled by neurotic / unreal needs to be driven by real needs. My need for painkillers such as sugar, cigarettes, work, medication was reduced gradually as my immune system and my vital signs improved eventually and I was free from constant allergy and anxiety / suicide attacks.

    You bring up the harm being caused to our physical systems later in life and you mention eg heart problems and cancer being two of humanity’s most common diseases. You describe the first line damages as heavy and deleterious creating an early vulnerbility which, however, only become apparent a few decades later and that also could be the beginning of the development of cancer.

    to be continued...
    Jan Johnsson

  4. If "insights" came about because of suffering for survival!
    I mean… if awareness is part of the evolutionary process for survival... then the question is… what is all about?
    What benefit do we have of science unless we first get an answer about the cause of the reasons science has become a human phenomenon.

    We are lost in words for what regards the science of human existence… until now… we have the primal therapies effect… effect beyond words for love and well-being.


  5. Art,

    I am nothing... I have tried to be someone... but someone I could never be. I have to start there... to be nothing. I look through my eyes from where everything that then was... then... when I was nothing. No one saw me... nobody wanted me and thats where I am now… as my life is about to begin... begin where it all ended. All scenery falls apart and must do so for me to be who I am... nothing… and I… who wanted so much.


    1. O dear Frank,
      “I am nothing...” – that hurts to read what I felt for the last 2 week.
      Doom and gloom – depression – pain from deep down – being abandoned - being not worth the effort.
      F… mother.

      I hear you, I sensed the same way many times.

  6. Dr. Janov and all,

    "We must never ignore this period if we want to help our patients.

    Research still don't get it, as this article shows:

    Maybe Todd Herrenkohl, Ph.D. (http://depts.washington.edu/hiprc/Ourpeople/Affiliate%20Faculty/herrenkohl.html) needs a link to this blog.

    On a private note; I'm still in the wheel chair, battling pain from the now and past.

    1. Sieglinde: Why in a wheelchair? art.

    2. Hi Dr. Janov
      In my car accident on Sept. 1st, I had an ankle fracture, an open lateral malleolus fracture s/p ORIF, talus fracture s/p ORIF, cuboid fracture, calcaneus fracture and was wheel chair bound until yesterday. Yesterday, after 90 days in the wheel chair, I did my first 5 steps – it hurts like hell! Now it will take about one more month until I build up enough muscles (lost 60% muscles on my right foot/leg) to begin seriously walking again. The removable walking cast will come off on 18. Jan 2013. Maybe in Spring 13, 2 of the 3 screws will come out.

    3. Hi Art & Sieglinde,

      Busted leg? Car crash?

      Sieglinde & Frank, I have still got the influenza virus in me and my arm joints and in my brain. Gradually getting better but it sure has activated the most appalling depression and "recurrence" / resonance from my childhood in boarding schools (and that resonates back to earlier loss and abandonment).

      Particularly after returning my daughter back to her mother in my former house.
      The sense of utter futility and loss. . . the complete dejection and numbness. . . the total collapse into despair. . . it lasted until I completed my last contract and got paid and then went to collect my daughter again; exactly two weeks later.

      I know it's going to happen again, tomorrow when I return my daughter to her mother in my old house. I can feel the same anxiety welling up, the expectation of loss, of loneliness, the expectation of total despair.

      It's almost not worth bothering with the relationship with my daughter because the pain is so intense I cannot function and want to die. I'm not going to give up on my daughter though (2 days a fortnight), but I can completely understand why many men do indeed just walk away for ever. . . It's self preservation in the face of predictable, unbearable resonance. . .

      Paul G.

    4. Paul: Don't give up man. Life is precious. art

    5. Sielinde: Ayayay I can hardly imagine how painful it is. I wish you a speedy recovery. art

  7. Hi Art,

    I love the way you tell us "stories". Your way of natural and simple writting.

    "The less is more"
    "There is nothing more complicated then to make your life simple"
    "The ultimate suffistication is simplicity" Leonardo Da Vinci


  8. Goddamn Frank. I would say you're making me cry - if only I could cry. "I am nothing." Exactly. I'm worth jackshit. I should never have been born in the first place. I shouldn't even exist, but alas, I do. That's how I feel. I don't belong, I'm an outsider... really, truly an outsider, everywhere I go. A fucking outsider. Well, enough about me. At least I can post about "primal stuff" here, and my comments may or may not get published by Art. Now if I only had the money to do Primal Therapy in the Primal Center, that would be great but it's unlikely. So I'm getting by with pharmaceuticals and alcohol. Oh well, cheers anyway.

    1. AnttiJ: Have you thought of applying for a grant? art

    2. Hi, we could try to set up a separate not for profit agency to send people to the clinic.
      Paul G.

    3. Art: yes, I'm very interested in a grant. How do I apply for it, exactly? How much is the grant worth? Doesn't the patient still need to pay for a non-insignifant part of the therapy himself? And finance things like living in LA/Santa Monica for the duration of the therapy?

    4. AnttiJ: Yes but we can help. We do not pay your living expenses. We can help pay for part of your therapy. Get in touch with Marie my office manager at 310 3922003 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.