Monday, December 10, 2012

What a Primal World Looks Like

  You know, we have a lot of the answers and solutions right now to make this world a better,  decent place to live.   So if I ran the world what would happen?  Since I know about the effects of gestational and birth trauma on the rest of our lives, I would begin there.   Change everything.  Make sure that the conceiving parents are getting along because if they are not then the results will likely be allergies, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  Many studies have shown that bickering, unhappy parents produce offspring prone to disease.   Making a baby won’t improve the marriage; it will only make it more risky for the baby.  So put off a baby until you are sure of each other and like each other.  And that goes for childbirth where trauma not only leads to disease later on but also creates angry and sometimes violent offspring.  These traumas impact brain development so that the cortical cells which should evolve normally are impaired and do not evolve as they should. There is less ability to repress and control input from both outside and in; the results will be learning problems and attention deficit disorders.   There will be all sorts of problems in school because the child cannot sit still, is anxious and cannot concentrate.   There is ample research now that gestational trauma can set up the vulnerability to later cancer.

  And how do we improve our perceptions of others?  Once we are in touch with our feelings we can ”denicher” what others are like; we can see below the surface and know what is inside others.   We will no longer be surprised by who they really are one year later when we prepare for a divorce.   And when we are feeling beings, we can feel it when someone loves us.  If we are imprinted from early on with a feeling of being unloved we need constant reassurance from someone else about his or her love, and often it is not enough.  Being imprinted with “unloved” begins just after birth when we are left alone and crying inside a baby bassinette. No one comes to soothe and make us feel protected, wanted and loved.  Then just after birth there are no loving, warm parents around to hug and caress us.  It seals in the unloved feeling that later on no one can fulfill.   It is possible that parents meant well but an illness can leave them at a disadvantage.

  What all this love does is help empty out the hospitals and produce a much healthier population.   Much less absenteeism and much less suffering, and that counts, little agony and suffering.  People will feel better and that means less anger toward the children and spouse.  If you don’t feel good you are not fun to be around.

  Take one case.  A child being carried suffers when the parents bicker, so much so that her chances of asthma and allergies are much greater; several research studies confirm this.  Now she makes frequent trips to the emergency room together with long stays in hospital.  She is unhealthy and cannot do sports; she gains weight and has to take constant medication.  She cannot hike in the wilderness nor have animals.  The pollens make her sick.   She cannot marry because she is a burden.  She suffers nearly all of the time, looking for new medications.   She has to drop out of school because her asthma is critical.   The anxiety or angst she developed in the womb when her parents were fighting stays with her and keeps her from concentrating.  It is not just that the parental relationship produced allergies but it also installed a high level of tension which produced ADD so that her school work suffered.  She had allergies, severe at times, which upset her mental balance as well.  There was so much that she was not allowed to do because of her affliction.  She was, in short, damaged goods.   Worse, she had no idea what that was, or what caused it, where it came from and what to do about it. More and more allergy tests, more and more medication and more trips to the clinic.  Because her mother was allergic they (she and doctors) decided it was heredity.  And no doubt there may have been a bit of that too.  We never think that arguing parents are damaging the fetus, but they are.  Because when they finish with their bickering it still goes on in the child, perhaps for a lifetime.  It is an imprint.  She was unwell and irritable a lot. Short with her children and sarcastic with her husband. Also most impatient and demanding.  It went on because she never felt “right.”  She blamed everything and everyone because she had no grip on what was wrong.

   She and all her cohorts would stop going to clinics and hospitals in my world and the hospitals would be largely empty.  Doctors would no longer be stumped and misdiagnose ailments because they would take into account the generating sources of the problem; knowing where to look for origins. Patients could help out because they would know so much more about themselves and their inner lives.  Their top level brain would no longer be divorced from the lower levels where so much angst gets its start.  What a relief to know who you are marrying and why, and what a relief to have a partner who is fully sexual because all the early repression and blockage is no longer there and may have never been there.

    And just think of the money we save on drug wars because there is far less addiction simply because there is far less pain engraved inside of us.  We don’t need to waste resources tracking down dealers because there is no drug market.  Smart doctors will give painkillers to those in pain.  No more murders to claim ownership of the drug market.  With so little pain there is far less crime to rob pharmacies of their pain killers.   Everything changes.  Far less medical problems due to addiction.   Far less drive to find pills and far less need for pills to fall asleep.  There is no longer inner turmoil to roil our sleep patterns.  No more nightmares because most of them come from very early on and with good gestation and good birth there is no longer nightmare material.    No longer traumas engraved in our systems to dog and drive us for a lifetime.  No more the inability to rest and relax; no more the need to keep moving.  ahhhhh


  1. And no more working for the dollar as though the productive meaning doesn't matter, so manipulation-based work disintegrates. No more sensitive ego's that can't admit to mistakes, so the mistakes get fixed rather than entrenched. And far more absenteeism because we eliminate the most unbelievable amounts of waste that exist within society today, and we fully embrace technology and its advancement (fancy a 3-day work week?). And direct population control because we insist on operating within our ultimate means, and negative eugenics will be embraced to keep us all healthy because there would be no more religion denying scientific facts. And meritocracy over democracy in charge.

  2. Hi Art. What a wonderful world. It's interesting that today the UK government announced a £100m scheme to sequence thousands of people's DNA to see if this will help reduce cancer in the future. Also a government committee has recommended that people are not prosecuted for possession of small amounts of drugs. Treat people for the problem instead. The interviewer on Radio 4 then said that the number of drug users is dropping quite dramatically. I thought "Maybe this is because more parents are not letting babies cry out at night and carry them round close to their skin. There is more of that than there was. So maybe there is some hope. More relaxed kids of the new generation. Suppossedly many youngsters think my generation are a bunch of alcoholics.

  3. And no more wars?

    No more Congress filled with cancer ridden politicians, conspring in back room deals with their depressed "Dr Kissinger" consultants?

  4. The need of a winner to achieve a vision.

    The last 15 months I regard as the prime of my Primal life. It took years and lots of primal re-experiences to reach this stage, and I would not have been able to understand and literally feel the obvious logic in “What a Primal World” would be like if I had not gone through hell and felt pain first. I admire your constant naive confidence in how easy it would be, in theory, to establish a just, love-filled and healthy world.

    When I try to imagine a Primal World, I often confront plenty of arguments, both internal and external, which are working in the opposite direction. Many of these arguments are offsprings of evolutions unique patented headline “Survival of the fittest”. Although we believe a future, love-based existence, the consequences of a competitive environment will cause distortions. If we combine these effects with all the flaws which several thousand generations have planted into the human genes, including epigenetic tagging, life will become more of a competitive struggle / stress than love and peace.

    I know myself well enough to admit that the pain behind my struggle-filled person is putting a bias on my objectivity. However, it is through this bias that I often get the opportunity to discover and access repressed feelings from my life. Your vision of a Primal World teases and challenges my values and gives me, time and again, opportunities to become aware of neuroses and pain that I have carried for a lifetime.

    A Primal World is a vision. The Primal Therapy has a unique principle to bring us one step closer to this vision. In most projects, it is necessary with small wins / gains and measurable successes creating a Frame of Reference. That is how I used the Primal Therapy when, son of a cowboy, I made my way through hands on change-management in trade and industry.

    Thanks to the strategy of adding small wins I’m at 72 in the Prime of my Primal life. Thanks for your visions.

    Jan Johnsson

    1. Hi Jan,

      -"Many of these arguments are offsprings of evolutions unique patented headline “Survival of the fittest”. Although we believe a future, love-based existence, the consequences of a competitive environment will cause distortions"-.

      I'm pretty sure that 'survival of the fittest' is a combative distortion of the evolutionary principles of 'natural selection'.

      Natural selection theory posits that environments change and some species adapt to that change whilst others do not. It is just as likely that what was the best adapted to the former conditions will not survive the environmental changes and thus become extinct.

      I feel those who are deeply repressed will use this distortion of evolutionary theory to justify a competitive and / or combative framework for relating with other humans.

      Art is implying that Primal Pain is the cause of this and other 'distortions' and I am positing that if you could reduce pain in society by for example setting up Primal Pre- Schools then you could reduce the tendency we have to set up conflict in relationships and justify it as an aspect of evolution. It's not in the interests of evolution to fight.
      We see wild animals going through ritual fights during the mating process, males in particular exhibit this behaviour and because we are all so obsessed with reproduction and the 'sex act' we mistake that combative ritual for the central theory of evolution.

      It's all bollocks (literally). . .

      We adapt or die out. . . what was once the 'fittest' for the former conditions may be the weakest in the new conditions.

      Paul G.

    2. Jan,

      I have a theory! The foundation behind neurosis is hardship - hardship along the lines of wars (watching daddy cut off someone's head, etc) and famines (the Ethiopia show) and chronic physical hardship driving us into repression to survive. Take away those pressures and other things being equal our species will slowly, generation by generation, shake of its repression.

      But we must master active population control and on a *global* scale to produce a "primal world", or the clock will just go on ticking toward a desperate situation where daddy will have to go back to cutting off people's heads. And with active population control must come the (socially difficult) need for negative eugenics.

      I write about this here:

      btw: In a nuclear age, where technology is making WMD's and like ever more accessible to any rouge group or even any lone-wolf psychopath, we have to move down this more strictly controlled path to ensure our long-term survival. Most people do not understand the power and danger laced in modern technology. They don't understand the power accessible to a modern or future terrorist. And to this end, also, we must take mental health seriously.

  5. Hi,

    It's not just bickering parents it's also 'absent parents' and parents who simply don't have an 'interdependent relationship'; ie: they set a bad example to the kids by not 'co-relating'. Our kids need to see their parents co-relating. That is setting a good example.

    Forgive me for raising a Gender Issue but in the last 70 years feminism has tended to pit women against men in a diminishing market of jobs and the current 'Zeitgeist' is still that women MUST have 'equal' opportunities to work. This is great, how could I not agree? But I sense and observe the vast majority of women falling into a symbolic sibling rivalry act out with men for the best 'jobs'.

    Strangely this has resulted in the phenomena of "The New Man" who 'chooses' to stay at home caring for the kids whilst Mum goes out to do her (formerly male dominated) 'power job'.

    If we could take the competition out of 'play' with a Primal Education System we might also take the competition out of the job market and let those who are inclined actually do the caring and loving of our children as they are now. Now! Not later.

    As Art has said so many times it's really difficult to get the mainstream organisations to accept the 1st line. . . Not abandoning this burning issue we might pave the way for the 'Last Act' of sanity in the history of Human education by building on what the education system has gleaned from true science by improving child development theory in teacher education, particularly those 'pre-school' minders who are contacting and relating with our little ones still with their critical window open.

    It seems to me (and I'm repeating myself) that under the current democratic idealism our children are still largely 'chattels' of their parents. Thus it sort of doesn't matter how well we treat the child in the hospitals because we will surely fuck them up at home and the schools are powerless to intervene WHILST THE CRITICAL WINDOW IS STILL OPEN.

    A Primal Education System would allow the teachers to become surrogate grandparents in LAW. That means the teachers could rightly and publicly adopt the attitude of "Enlightened Witness" and by this route most quickly intervene in the trauma of children who still have their critical window open.

    So, if I was ruler of the world I would set up a Primal Not For Profit Education System for pre-schoolers so that we could do effective damage limitation to those who are already 1st line victims with critical windows still open.

    These children (of abusive parents ) would become very influential, wouldn't they? Would They? I think so. When they grow up they would know somebody 'in the system' cared and they would be able to act sooner to intervene in the compounding of trauma that society pretty well insists parents must have the right to perpetuate.

    This 'new generation' of post traumatic survivors might then be able to influence the giant steam roller we call 'Health Services' about the woeful inadequacies of gestational knowledge and understanding.

    Paul G.

    1. Paul: If I ever get enough money it is exactly what I would do.....a school based on primal principles where kids learn by understanding their own behavior. Paul we will try to help you with the therapy art

    2. To Poul and Art,

      The Primal Principles ought to be provided, early in life, to every human being! As soon as possible!

      It is a shame that the primal principles not already have been established in all schools. If Art had met Poul O’Neill ( in the 90is and been able to communicate the reason to stop the universal waste of resources it means not to educate every citizen about eg “Life Before Birth”. And why didn’t that happen? I’m not sure I could accept all the excuses. There are too many catch-22 (paradoxical situations in which primal people cannot approach a problem because of contradictory constraints) around the Primal Therapy. Everything around the Primal Center has not been as ingenious as the primal principles.

      Why not have a try to achieve a small win, and consult Poul O’Neill instead of isolating the primal principles and talk about a lots of “ifs” like “If I were a Rich Man”, which sounds like an excuse. There is a lot of latent initiative around which is waiting for a spark. Could we ask for a better spark than a just, love-filled and healthy world?

      Jan Johnsson

  6. An email comment:
    "One of your better articles, Art. The one thing I've realized is that if the pain is very early and very deep; it is almost impossible to heal, even with years and years of feeling. The toxic triad is worst: toxic womb (smoking mother, stress hormones), traumatic birth (fetal distress, forceps delivery) and little or no maternal contact after birth. How can one thrive after that? "

    And my answer:

    I don't agree. I have seen patients relive and get rid of so much. but but but. the therapy has to be done exactly right, which is rarely the case outside of us. It sounds arrogant but it is simply the truth. art

    1. Hi,

      yes, done exactly right.

      This is what I am realising because so much of what might be experienced in therapy could be a form of abreaction, access via the wrong door.

      It seems to me that the clinic has pretty much cracked how the routing in the brain works and how to identify the 'dis-connects' and how to 'channel' the patient into the routes that actually correct the distorted set points.

      Recently I was in a quandary about whether I should live on my own or whether I should live in a shared house with others.

      What I have realised is that much of the access I had before was indeed a sort of abreaction and that living on my own was allowing this to go on indefinitely. Thus sharing a house and needing to 'repress' some of my grief and express it in other ways is closing a chapter on that. The loneliness I was beginning to feel before I got my tenants in was merely compounding the abreaction.

      I will get to that motel and then start over.

      Paul G.

  7. Slightly off topic but I had to put this post up. I have just listened to an amazing program on BBC R4 called "Analysing the Child Sex Offender" and there was much in it which I think you would have found heartening Art. They discussed how much can influence an offender when he (sadly not much mentioned about female abusers)is still in his Mother's womb. How scans are showing responses in the white matter of the Brain rather than elsewhere. They discussed how many offenders are simply repeating similar trauma they experienced as children. The program brought a tear to my eye. They talked about how in his early career Freud was confronted by many women who had been abused as children and then how he changed these from memories to fantasies later in his career due to his inability to perhaps believe the evidence in front of him. It was half an hour of thoughtful and challanging comment that seemed to unravel many myths held by the media and public in general. Stranger danger is over played and dirty old men in rain coats are a bit of a myth. They spoke about the fact that it is often working class offenders who are caught and the middle classes are not. Abusers don't look like abusers. They look ordinary upstanding members of society. It really got to me. Then in the last 5 minutes it was stated that CBT is the best treatment for such offenders. My heart sank. This program was perhaps the most radical piece I had ever heard broadcast about the issue of child abuse on the BBC and how much of it happens in the home and the abusers are often close relatives of the child. Talk about being let down on the last furlong!. Arrrgghhhh!. Then again maybe it is not so off topic seeing that what is needed is the shattering of the Freudian 50 minute hour, the help for someone to feel the great hurt and also need for love that drives these people to offend in the first place. I had a very moving session with my therapist yesterday. I got in touch with me as a very small boy and it was like I linked up with him again. Happy, sad, lonely etc etc all wrapped up together in silent wordless feelings. Shaken as well as serene!

    1. Hi planespotter,

      Art has said it many times but denial of the 1st line imprints generates exactly the conclusions in mental health 'professionals' that you speak of.

      There must be a world of difference between 1st line trauma / repression and 2nd (or 3rd).

      Over the last 30 years I have gradually learned carpentry in several forms starting with sculpture. Eventually I realised I was beginning to practice this craft exactly the way other experienced carpenters were and that to a larger extent I was re-inventing the wheel when I 'tried' or 'experimented' with a different technique.

      There's no such thing as a mistake in carpentry and the sign of a good carpenter is that he'll find a simple way out of the cul-de-sac he put himself in.

      I don't know who Occam is but I hear he invented a theory about 'paths of least resistance'. In the end a sane human adopts this principle in life and discovers what he needs to get to the essence of what's important. Obstacles in the way of this simple path are always (from my experience) built up by some form of human denial. One sort or another. For 'denial' read 'trauma'. . .

      Every time I hear about good progress in the understanding of mental health issues I also notice this tendency for the commentator to bounce his reasoning back to the 3rd line power of 'reason'. It is to be expected that this is the human case.

      Until the evidence of the long term effects of gestational and birth trauma reaches a tsunami, a high tide in human affairs, then we are going to continually find a wall of silence about the imprints. A wall of silence because the 1st line is still such a mystery to those who don't know and to those who themselves have a vested interest in not looking. That is denial and it is surely infuriating and depressing to witness it in others; though I must say I'm now more concerned about my own denial than anybody else's.

      Paul G.

  8. Hi
    In one book,Dr Janov,you say that it's normal for kids not to go to school because they wont or cannot sit still for 6 hours or more, but in this article you say "there can be problems with school because children cannot sit still" I thought that it was natural to not want sit still for hours in school...

  9. Anonymous: Kids run around. They have too much energy to sit still for many hours but that is different from ADD where in addition to bursting with energy, they can never concentrate nor focus for any time at all. They are inner prompted with too much pain driving them; that is different from a normal young child. Art

  10. All this sounds logical and wonderful but the world is not quite ready to make the necessary changes. How will the parents stop fighting during pregnancy if they are in pain? But they are not ready to admit they are in Pain, they just blame each other. The world will be ready to feel its Pain when the symptoms of denying Pain become so unbearable that they have to go. As my therapist told me during my three weeks, "you will be ready to feel your pain when the defense against it becomes more painful then the pain itself." There are some indications that our world is headed in that direction

    1. Shalev: Let 's start with decent birth practices and then educate parents about the 9months of gestation. and


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.