Friday, December 7, 2012

Repression Kills

  There is a story in the paper about the actress who was a publisher  as well.  She died of Leukemia at age 59.  So the question is,  why did she die so early?  I cannot  tell you about her except that she died young; and so it begs  the question why  some of  us die early.    For most of us  it  is almost impossible to comprehend the power that lies within all of us—the power of the first line.  This is the power of traumas that occurred while we were being carried,  at birth and sooner after.  It is the power and the force for survival, because adversity when it happens very early after conception is  nearly always a matter  of life and death.  At the very least that danger, imprinted, is a harbinger for later mental  illness.  A mother smoking and drinking in the first months of pregnancy puts her offspring in danger of either psychosis or serious drug addiction later on.  It is incomprehensible to an outsider because they have not seen the explosive pain when  it is unleashed.  This reliving is not a one  time affair but occurs many, many times (Primals) over months and years.  It is only then that we can understand what lies within us and the pressure and damage it can produce.  Then cancer is no longer a mystery because we observe this pressure in our therapy; it all becomes clear.  It is a mystery to me to this day that those who carry terrible pain around do not show it!  There is the impassive face engendered by repression that keeps it all deep in storage.

    I have discussed epigenetics in my blog and my books, about how adversity early on changes the switches for key genes which then serve to compound repression or inhibition.  These switches turn on or off the gene and so help set in what seems like genetic changes. Basically it is the mechanism of closing the gates  or opening them.  And there are different chemicals that accompany the epigenetic events (methyl and acetyal groups, for example, producing a process known either as methylation or acetylation).  It seems that for each and every pain we endure during gestaton and at birth there  is a change in the chemicals that enhance the repression of pain.  When the pain or adversity is prolonged the system is overtaxed, and we now have the mechanism of leaky gates; that is,  repression begins to falter due to an overload of chronic pain.  It is the consistency of the pain that causes the overload.  There is a limit that the brain can handle.  The gates become vulnerable and do not do well afterwards.  It takes very little trauma after that to produce a symptom such as ADD.  Once you have seen the force of these traumas that are being relived, psychosis  and addiction are no  longer a mystery.  We see what it takes to push that force back  down.  Heavy doses of heroin are no surprise.  That is why we know that  in most heavy addictions there is great first line trauma imprinted deep down.  We see it in our studies of the brain and vital signs, as the patient approaches first line, there is a radical rise in all of these measurements.  And with integration of these imprinted memories there is a radical drop in these figures that remains over time.  A  carrying mother chronically depressed or anxious is changing the neurophysiology of the offspring.    It is, in short, a constant  trauma that the baby must deal with. It is not just one drink or one cigarette,  but unending stress.  How do we know?  We see it in the stress hormone levels in our beginning patients; always high at the start of therapy.  And  comes down permanently over the months.

  Of course in my psychoanalytic days I never saw any of this and could not even imagine that this pain and its force existed.  You need a theory for that which acknowledges the whole notion of deep pain which includes memories lodged in the brainstem and ancient limbic system.    And lodged with the force of the original trauma.  It is no wonder, then, that theories  and therapies that avoid the notion of imprinted pain are bound to go astray.

Without a theory of pain how could  we ever get to the bottom of  cancer and heart disease?  Or migraine and high blood pressure?  Our theory is not just something “nice or interesting or amusing”, it is life saving;  it means reversing serious mental illness.  We see this all of the time.  Many of us think that good diet will prolong life, and it is true, but not half as true as how soon repression makes us sick  and kills us prematurely.  Repression kills because it distorts basic physiology and detours brain development.  And repression forces the kind of unhealthy eating habit that makes us sick  early on.  Repression kills because, unconsciously, it forces us to deal with imprinted pain every minute of our lives.  It forces us to find ways to act out feelings or suppress them. There is another way—feel and experience them.

  We can never get to the bottom of  Leukemia or cancer without  seriously looking into very early life to see what first line trauma there was.  If we have no theory of brainstem trauma we will never understand it.  And if we have no  such theory that we are not keeping up with psychologic/brain science.  The wonder is how we all manage to keep deep pain stored away, never once acknowledging it. The body does and gets sick.  And it makes us sick on the deep cellular level, the level where the  early imprints lie.  All the pressure to keep pain stored puts the cellular  development at risk; eventually we  find serious illness, which  should not be a mystery but a foregone  conclusion.


  1. How can we explain that a title such as Professor can be a symptom of needs that never were fulfilled as a kid? Loneliness then... around a desk in an attempt to be "loved" for what he did... is a Professor today… a professor today who holds on without being able to take into account that something may be wrong.

    For the professor to understand this… he must first admit the loneliness… the loneliness that led him to deny everything that goes him against. He's still at his desk back then and waiting for someone to come... comes and gives him the "love" as "good done" meant to him then... that was his life-sustaining illusion.

    Loneliness then and now is the same... it's just that... then... it was filled with emotional terror... but today we would be able to cope with it... the pace and emotion needed to experience it... it... at the time life-threatening loss... as loss of love meant.

    On television this morning we were told that two out of three do not dare to talk about their mental disability ... this tell about how the society views mental handicap! How the professional elite errs to explain that mental handicap is the beginning of a healing process? A "handicap" the child in us is trying to push forward and "tell" us about… we our self’s… still forced to the limbic system... is this not terrible tragedy?

    If we react with horror when we are watching a movie of horror... we are closer to reality than we believe... “believes” because the neo cortex prevents us from to feel what it is the limbic system tells about. That is the reason we experience an intensity of horror and not experiences the reality from horror.

    The experience of horror appears in the same way like to be a professor... in a way for goal to escape lovelessness. In horror we flee the need... but as professor we try to satisfy the need. The similarity is that history affects us of death... now as then and that with our lives as shields... shields of symptoms as professors and an person in horror.


    1. Frank, you bring up some interesting points. Yes, the intellect can intervene when watching a movie, because the intellect understands it is not real; that it is a forged presentation that sort of mimics reality at times or not. Movies and TV are illusions. But those illusions are very powerful !!!!!! Why? Because we see humans expressing emotions and moving. We hear the voices. We get caught up in the visual auditory display. It has nearly every appearance of reality on the surface. That is why Movies, TV, are such very powerful mediums. They can easily touch off authentic feelings.

      But there is a distinction. Much of what those mediums display is not an accurate depiction of real life. People are not usually reasonable and see the error of their way. Good and justice do not always triumph. The ending is not always happy nor life realistically portrayed. In fact, we are fed many illusions and lies in those mediums.

      So the intellect can remind us not to let ourselves get caught up in this phony presentation of life and philosophy. But for a child, without a full intellect, its hard to distinguish reality and truth from illusion and fantasy or even horror.

      At 6 years old, the witch appearing in a puff of smoke in the Yellow brick road on the Wizard of Oz movie was absolutely terrifying to me. No trauma, but real fear, all the same. I ran up into the bedroom and hid on the far side of the bed. She really un-nerved me.

      On the other hand, the real life of real encounters can and should evoke feelings and even lead to connections and primals. Our deep inner 1st line seems to prevent us from this, for whatever its reasons. But a good intellect should help us to discern real from “presentations” not so real at all. Of course, the 1st line may like the illusions and decide to shut the intellect off and embrace the illusions. The 1st line can be its own worst enemy, since its “knowledge” is just primitive feelings, which are memories and experience from that level. But hopefully, the 1st line can eventually learn that good things can come from an objective intellect, pursuing scary directions of truth, for a more long term advantage.

      That is why some of us discover Primal Therapy, despite the conflicts of our various 3 levels.

    2. Hi Apollo,

      Mr Perfectionist here again:

      -"Our deep inner 1st line seems to prevent us from this *1, for whatever its reasons. But a good intellect should help us to discern real from “presentations” not so real at all *2. Of course, the 1st line may like the illusions *3 and decide to shut the intellect off and embrace the illusions *4. The 1st line can be its own worst enemy *5, since its “knowledge” is just primitive feelings, which are memories and experience from that level. But hopefully, the 1st line can eventually learn *6 that good things can come from an objective intellect *7, pursuing scary directions of truth, for a more long term advantage"-.

      You can rely on Mr Perfectionist here to pick up on the above and make 6 asterisks worthy of note:

      1. It's not the 1st line that prevents access to Primal but repression (and beliefs) that prevent access to the 1st line.
      2. The intellect alone cannot discern reality, it can only calculate and postulate. Without connection therefore, the intellect is not to be trusted to produce an objective view.
      3. The 1st line cannot 'like or dislike' anything it can only react, it is the 2nd and 3rd lines that make inside us what we call desire. That's why babies and neonates 'need' total care and attention.
      4. The 1st line doesn't 'shut down the intellect'. The traumatic registers in the 1st line drive the intellect to distortions in perception through repressed traumatic pressure.
      5. The 1st line is never it's own enemy, that's the sort of thing Victorian poisonous pedagogues say; the enemies of the 1st line are always unmet needs inflicted on it by either uncaring and ignorant parents or by unfortunate circumstances beyond any one's control.
      6. The 1st line cannot 'learn' anything after the critical window has closed at age 3ish; after that 'learning' can really only be a 2nd & 3rd line activity.
      7. Good things can come from an objective intellect but that objectivity is really only 'expressed' in 'rational' ways by the intellect after connection. It is possible for the total organism to act objectively without words or symbols. The intellect will achieve such objectivity only after connection with the limbic and ultimately the stem centres.

      Apollo it's great to hear from you again but you're still trying to fit Primal into a Gothic Mediaeval view of the brainstem. Like those paintings of St George and the Dragon where the maiden to be rescued is actually in control of the dragon symbolised by the dog's lead around his fiery neck held at leash in her hand.

      It is a Medieval view that the brainstem is the cause of problems; that the 'lizard' in us is not to be trusted, to be 'dungeoned up' and ultimately slaughtered in the interests of 'rational thinking'.

      This is the Cognitive Behavioural Philosophy of the mediaeval Christian / Catholic Church.

      Paul G.

    3. Apollo,

      In this case I think we should be "cautious" with typing about what we understand... a professor with a lot of others will immediately enroll they themselfs as sensible.

      To understanding alludes itself to much with how we interpret what the reality contains. I mean... our "reality" is too much influenced by what the limbic system is leaking.


    4. Paul: You are so right and brilliant. #2 The intellect can only postulate....that is why we get all those intellectual theories such as cognitive/behavioral. They are intellectual constructions unrelated to deep feelings. art

    5. Hi, yes,

      they are always related to 'itself' and that is narcissism.

      I am a narcissist too; in a way there's nothing wrong with it, like beliefs, they are part of our defences and the 'game of life' but they do not reflect reality because their purpose is to defend us from it.

      Thus the scientists have mistaken the apparatus of their laboratories for a 'Play Pen'.

      I would say that if we could set up Primal Schools it would be because Primal Theory practised in school would take the competitive pressure out of 'play' in the pre school nurseries where the critical window of the 'pupils' is still not quite shut.

      I mean most pre school play groups are pretty good at this now and play workers are trained in Piaget influenced child development theory (even if they've not heard of Piaget) but they would not currently be allowed to extend that into a new "Pro-Active Primal Format". Currently the schools and pre-schools in our societies are still "Sub-Contractors" for the Parents; that is the central problem with democracy, it does not count children into the vote.

      I mean, legally that's just about it. So, if the parents are 'a-historic' then so are the school protocols. What's needed is an examination of the "Rights / Needs of the Child", which ironically governs 'School/ Education Law' anyway.

      It's the oxymoron of the Primal Human Universe. My current take on "Presenting a Case" would be to appeal to a 'child development' school education audience.

      Look, if we're going to "Present A Case" we really must do our research into what's socially acceptable and what's already been agreed "Internationally" before trying to present another "Scientific Paper". Think about the schools. From age two.

      This is not Rocket Science but repression makes it all feel like rocket science because of the "ADD Like Intrusion".

      We're all good thinkers on this blog. If we could collectivise it would be because we can imagine what our own children would need in school from the light shining out of our own Primal Experiences.

      Even our own repressed and addicted insights.

      Think about what we would like for our children in school, all the answers for expanding Primal lie there because we were all "Sent To School" and suffered / benefited from it. Weren't we?

      Paul G.

    6. Well, Richard, I see your points but to me, they are a sort of word game in themselves. Thoughts and the intellect are often the results of those deep feelings. But as well, we are capable of thoughts, without those feelings, or in contradiction to those feelings. Feelings are one way of knowing, and thoughts are another. Both are important. You can love yourself or hate yourself. One can become conceit and delusion, the other can become a self-loathing. Are they not feelings, too?

      We have 2 extremes to work with some mid feeling (2nd level) mixed in. Deep feelings on one end and deep thoughts on the other. Thoughts are often sabotaged by the 1st level. But if the 1st level is brave enough to allow the intellect to process without interference, it might be surprised by the often good results of the thinking 3rd level.

      Lets look at it another way. When we are injured on the 1st level, it sticks and causes huge feelings and creates strong interference within us. Its impact can literally affect our lives and health. But here is the irony.

      The intellect can also have a huge impact on our lives and outcomes. Choices we make can be a matter of life and death. But thinking will not have the same kind of impact that the 1st level does, internally. But each of those, the 1st and 3rd levels, can result in matters of life and death.

      You and some others seem to completely negate any usefulness or power to the 3rd level. It was as if nature, evolution, or God, made a mistake in ever making an intellect. And so your run other feelings, labeled by some as self-love or self-hatred, as invalid. Whether truly real or not, and by whose definition or not, those feelings can be real, even if they are a result of an errant process of pain.

      Too many words going on here on this subject and not enough thought on feelings. How’s that, huh? Word games produce little, if they start to belittle the feelings of some. Every feeling if valid in some way or another. Any arguments there?

      You’re wrong on 3 and in 4 you turn around and agree that that 1dst line is in control.

      5. The 1st line is never it's own enemy

      You really are the silly one, Paul. Your error is quite self-evident, here.

      6. The 1st line cannot 'learn' anything

      Again, pathetically wrong and needs no explanation to a capable mind.

      Number 7 is still up for debate, which is why I am still here.

      I recommend you read more on the autonomic nervous system which runs all body systems that we are not always aware of. But Malevolent hypnotists can actually change any of those autonomic functions, by command, and produce astounding results, quite contrary to the external senses. Me think that perhaps you have just not read enough or thought enough about it all. That is also why I am here to lend a hand, whether accepted or not.

    7. Hi Apollo, are you addressing Richard or Paul?

      Either way, can you explain to me how your brainstem is it's own worst enemy please? Also what has your brainstem learned since you were three years old? You have sort of misquoted me there. I mean I always doubt my own opinion on these matters (inspite of my big words), particularly when I'm challenged and it's good for this old carpenter to be challenged regularly, wooden old mallet that I am. . . So please tell me about what your experiences are because I'm full of doubt behind my big words and I'm sure I need correcting. . . (yes really)!

      Paul G.

    8. My "awareness" of myself is all about how I can prevent myself. I do not think it is unlike for what anyone else looking for love in the absence of their mother and father. This means that awareness of ourselves protects us from what we otherwise cannot handle... with the consequence of that we are not in our right mind.

      This implies... whether it is consistent with science for what we tell or doing... there will never be in awareness for what we know. If I am emotionally blocked then I am. It means... my neo cortex does not contain interpretation for what is based on the emotional perspective... and that is extremely serious for how decisions will be made. One view is absolutely not compatible with science without emotional experience.

      Our arguments looking more after the failure of each other than we are creative in an affirming process. What it is i am saying is... the sceince must be of grater interest than to assert our right for what we think. About this... we need to talk about the therapeutic need.


  2. I was wondering what your take is on ibogaine addiction treatment? Aside from seeming incredibly dangerous and completely unregulated, anecdotally there looks to be some parallel with the primal process, although again as with other psychedelics there seems to be the danger of hitting deep 1st line pain out of context.

    1. I have often wondered about this drug, too, having read about it quite some time ago. the fact it got little attention by researchers and the media leads me to believe good possibilities might exist. they hate anything good or primal ;-)

    2. I'm talking to myself here for some reason - just to expand on what I was trying to say. One parallel that struck me was a period of similarity to the after-primal insight flood chain. And that these connections that are made during this period seem to be integrated and continue to be integrated afterwards. These are of course some of the better experiences where sudden death did not take place. I wonder if those were hitting some near death womb or birth event?

    3. Retrun: Exactly. I wrote about it years ago. I never knew it was being used now. careful. art

    4. Hi,

      I have recently broken off contact with 'friends' who have taken these pagan ritual drugs and become even more cranky than before. One of them said to me that he met Bacchus and danced with him at the event. . . he really believes his hallucinations. Another just ranted at me about how great the drug and the ritual was for him and how I really must try it myself and implied I am deluded until I do. . . I eventually dissociated and walked away.

      Paul G.

      I used to do LSD years ago and I don't any more.

    5. Paul

      After taking lsd do you manage to sleep okay or do you suffer from the insomnia as I do that seems to be left in the wake of this powerful terrible drug?

    6. Anonymous: Careful. These chemicals are dangerous. art

    7. Hi Anonymous,

      I get insomnia occasionally. Alcohol induced mostly. Then I get insomnia due to lack of exercise (which I am slightly addicted too, y'know, hard physical work addiction, workaholism.

      The worst side effects I get now of the LSD I took back in the 1980s is my version of leaky gates. I think this is the right words but different people get different symptoms of that so I find it hard to put what leaky gates actually is for me into words.

      I often broke down and cried about things as a child and youth but I feel the worst side effects of LSD for me was the convoluted way I began to believe anything that worked as a symbolic substitute for a real fulfilling relationship with my parents and brother, particularly my Dad. Maharaji, Gurdjief, Maharishi Mesh, Carl Young, Carl Rogers, The Dali Lama etc etc etc. All substitutes for my Dad. So, briefly, LSD put me onto a merry-go-round, a roller coaster of symbolic fulfilment which exaggerated all my neurosis. Sometimes insomnia is part of that roller coaster.

      Very occasionally I wake in the middle of the night from a nightmare and realise (intellectually) there is traumatic stuff I am not consciously aware of prior to age 3 / 4yrs.

      Recently I am motivated to get to the clinic because of one particular nightmare / hallucination from about three weeks ago when I had severe fever, not unlike the ones planespotter has mentioned on this blog.

      When I eventually get to the clinic and I'm in the motel I am sure that due to the interruption from my workaholism I will get worse insomnia and nightmares and that will probably be why I really look forward to my sessions the next day, relief from insomnia and symbolic terror. I am holding down a shed load of pain by working hard at my craft. Nevertheless It just about makes enough money to save up what I need to get to the clinic, albeit via the bank and my 'credit rating'.

      Paul G.

    8. Paul: But what you have looks like leaky gates. Let me know if we can help. art

    9. I was in no way advocating Ibogaine "therapy", mentioning it because I see it as part of a random scramble (uninformed by an overall theory of Pain) for treatment of addiction. The appeal here is a seemingly quick fix - if it don't kill you. Some of what is described by the survivors of the treatments when put in a Primal context make more sense as evidence for why the Primal process is effective whereas behavioral techniques are not- in dealing with early pain as the driver of addiction. Again, we're discussing a substance that can provide access to first line events -out of context- and that there have been instances of sudden death during the treatment.

  3. An excellent article on, among other things, medical illnesses like cancer. But don't look for mainstream medicine to ever accept or admit what Art writes here. Too many "doctors" (so-called) make great money administering, what are, in my opinion, bogus treatments that kill more than help.

    Pharmaceutical companies (the most profitable industry in the world) make insane profits and their drugs usually just hasten death as I see it.

    This is the problem in dealing with primal pain. All forces are aligned against it. Its that dirty little secret no one will talk about, that elephant in the living room that no one mentions. Primal therapy is doomed to small numbers because our society does not like happy healthy healed people, who behave with decency and compassion, as well as with integrity and judicial morality.

    We are a sick and hopeless species. Such a sun shiny guy, aren't I? ;-) but I have to be honest. Its my job.

  4. "Of course in my psychoanalytic days I never saw any of this and could not even imagine that this pain and its force existed."

    Good thing you discovered primal pain, if only sort of accidentally - on a whim, if you will. And you listened to your patients and learned from them! You mention heavy doses of heroin - heavy doses of other painkillers, benzodiazepines and alcohol in particular, are really common of course. I am a benzo addict myself (Klonopin and Xanax). I remember taking 16 milligrams of Klonopin one morning before taking the train to what was my home town at the time (I was hungover of course). My brother once took 32 milligrams of Klonopin in one day to calm his anxiety. For reference, the highest dose of Klonopin prescribed by doctors is usually 4 milligrams per day.

    1. AnttiJ: We know where all that comes from and what to do about it so consider if we can help you with therapy. art

    2. I am sure you could help. I've not only considered it but dreamed of it... pretty much on a daily basis since I read The Primal Scream. The thing is, I'm dirt poor, I have no income and no prospects. I live on welfare, and as good as the Finnish universal health care system is (lol, Obamacare is called socialism when it's really capitalistic and based on a republican, ie. Nixon's model) you can't put enough money in savings for therapy with it - even if part of the therapy is paid for by a grant. Well I could save some money, but it would literally take decades to come up with enough scratch. So, short of winning a lottery... I hate to be a downer (actually I don't, I love it :P ), but that's just the way it is.

    3. AnttiJ: I wish we could help.l I didn't manufacture our economic system; I barely exist it, but alas it is all we got. art

    4. For many the primal option can't exist. What to do?...

      The best thing you can do, Art, is that legacy programme and give it to everyone for mass-diffusion. It would also help to give the laymen and patients a foundation to judge (future) rouge therapists, and hold them to account. (A bit like politics - you need some education on things to know the difference between a good guy and a creep).

      And also promote the virtues of proper childcare for at those most critical times, and even have that as an independent focus (Don't *directly* mix it with primal therapy/theory...keep the childcare thing the central focus).

      If I may say so, I think that good woman of yours has the right idea here.

  5. A very timely topic Art on Repression for myself. Growing up with a "sociopathic" father and a "matyr" type mother (deceased 2 years ago) my sister, brother and I learnt to repress from the time of birth. I am 56 years old on Saturday and my physical body is suffering from all sorts of pains. I am currently recovering from depression (as one may guess that something like this would be part of my life) and it is my second bout of depression in the last 4 years. Anxiety/panic attacks have been with me since I was 24 years old. I am in the midst of menoupause with constant hot flushes and mood swings. I have been out of work for the last 2 years. I feel I have to do something that hopefully will take me to the next phase of healing. Next year I am intending to do some primal therapy in Melbourne, Australia. Luckily the Australian medical system will grant 10 subsidised sessions if a qualified therapist (in this case a psychologist at the Jamillon Primal Centre)handles the sessions. Unfortunately I cannot make it to the USA due to dwindling finances so this is probably my next best course of action.

    1. Greetings: I worry about so-called primal centers. It takes at least 6 years to train a therapist. art

    2. Hi Art
      With regards to the previous outline of my current situation, what course of immediate and realistic action do you suggest I actually continue taking? I suspect I am now closer to the possible cause/effect aspects of my depression and anxiety. I realise I must persist in actually feeling more and more of my painful childhood traumas. I have cautiously been doing some self primalling but with some reluctance due to realising that there may be undesirable implications. I know in part that my feelings of abandonment are a major item. I yearned for my mother’s protection and especially from those people I didn’t want to be with. My father being sociopathic, my sister (11 years older, 2nd mother figure) being cold/jealous and my brother (9 years older) being emotionally “mashed” by my father. We have all had immense health issues in our different ways as you may expect. Regards Theresa

    3. Theresa: The answer seems obvious. You need a proper therapist. If we can help you we will, OK Theresa? art

  6. Recently a well known industrialist (electronics industry)died at age 61 here in my home town Rosenheim (Bavaria). Mr. Anton Kathrein was a "local hero" but also a "global player". Socially he was an extraordinarily successful person with academic titles, creating thousands of steady jobs, sponsoring many associations and organisations. A man dominated by his sympathetic nervous system, always forward-oriented, never looking back and light years away from undergoing psychotherapy.

    And now - suddenly and unexpectedly as the newspaper wrote, - he died from heart failure. Suddenly and unexpectedly? Yes for all this majority of people who have never felt or watched the power of early pain, who do not even have the trace of an idea that something like that might be in them.

    It’s all the same old story with Deborah Raffin, Steve Jobs, Anton Kathrein, and all the “nameless” people in the world. It doesn’t matter whether they died from cancer or heart failure. In the end they died prematurely from their accumulated load of early pain – or rather from the prolonged repression of that pain since we do not die when we feel and get rid of that pain in systematic therapy. I think we need not necessarily know the precise biochemical/physiological mechanisms how primal pain leads to later cancer or heart failure. Feeling or watching the power of primal pain makes us understand straightaway that premature disease or death is a foregone conclusion as you say.

    Unfortunately medicine and pharmacy mainly is about managing symptoms – and making billions of dollars or euros. My sister works with a large pharmaceutical company. They have developped a new special anti-cancer medication and praise it as scientific breakthrough. Breakthrough? Yes. For the company balance. They make millions of dollars with that medication. And the profit for the patient? Six weeks (!!!) prolongation of life, if at all. What a shame !!

    This shows the dilemma of medicine and pharmacy: Despite of all the money invested in research they rarely get beyond tinkering. How could they without a clear understanding of early imprints and pain? I hope that your book “Life before Birth” – like all your earlier writings - will be a great step forward to a good understanding of those primal origins of later disease. At least I have the impression that the German version (“Vorgeburtliches Bewusstsein”) is very well accepted among “experts” and lay persons.

    1. Ferdinand: I never knew my book was out in Germany. what reviews? art and by the way I couldn't say it better than this letter

  7. Dr. Janov,
    Of course repression Kills; but until we are death, life is often too painful to live.
    Reading, again, all of your books starting with “Life before Birth”, “Janov Solution” and now “Primal Healing”, I come to the conclusion that Primal Therapy is in its own field, a Higgs boson.
    I wonder how Freud and Jung made its way to universities without scientific proof...
    It took Higgs a long time until his theory was proven and acknowledged, as PT will need time for old therapy habits to change. To speed up the process, PT would be acknowledged if it could deliver scientific proof, from an independent source, of its properties. Only then will the “The Janov Solution” be the new and accepted psychotherapy.
    We, the patients don’t need proof - it is the one who need to feel superior and need to shine.

    1. Sieglinde: Don't forget we did serious scientific studies years ago discussed in Primal Healing. art

    2. Dr. Janov,
      It is not Sieglinde who needs more scientific research, it is those who don’t believe that a first line pain can reset the original imprint. Just yesterday a neurologist (Neuro Clinic of New Mexico) told me there is no dopamine test and Parkinson’s (my husband's) is inherited. I recommended your book “The Janov solution”. She smiled in disbelief.

    3. Sieglinde: That's the best they can, smirk and be done with it. art

    4. Sieglinde
      Do you mean Higgs 'Bison'? How is your foot by the way after your car crash and possible operation. Happy new year to you!

  8. An email comment:
    "It amazes me to wake up and realize that I have lived almost 70 years with a headache and this pressure
    on my body. Not to say the least about the void of aloneness that I grew-up feeling.

    How we manage to survive, and not survive. How we struggle through this haze of suppressed pain is amazing to me.

    The hours and days of tears. The years of misplaced effort. That we survive at all is a wonder, and sad.
    To think of what could have been. Just to be properly loved."

    And my answer:

    Absolutely. 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.