Monday, February 4, 2013

Estranged From Nature and Evolution

We are all part of nature; the end result of evolution.  Not only are we bound by evolution but are the embodiment of it.  We are evolution; therefore, we must pay attention to it when we practice therapy.  When we ignore  evolution  we always will make a mistake in treatment.  The brainstem was in place before the neo(new)cortex.  And when we plunge patients into the brainstem in rebirthing, it is far too soon and premature in terms of  neurologic evolution.  We unleash primitive material far too soon in therapy; the result is an overload of high valence imprints which suffuse the entire cortex and scatter thoughts, concentration and  focus.  What happens then is the concoction by the patient of weird ideas,  bizarre notions and  non-reality based thoughts as the lower levels feelings drive the cortex to manufacture something that will help suppress those very same feelings.  So heavy feelings cause the production of indigenous tranquilizers—thoughts and ideas —to shut down those very same feelings.  In this case those ideas are the result of repression and is also the agent of repression—the dialectic.  And now we see one key factor in evolution: the ability to fabricate ideas in the service of repression.  And it may well be the one key reason for the evolutionary development of ideas;  to be able to escape the enemy from within…feelings.

  Now let’s  turn it around; the therapy that involves ideas and insights as its key mode.  Cognitive therapy gets stuck in the last stage of evolution and neglects feelings and our history both personal, (ontogenetic), and historical, (phylogenetic).  So on the one hand we  have a therapy that dives into heavy primal material long before we are ready for it, and on the other hand, we remain on one level, in one mode that neglects evolution completely.  Both are  dismissive of evolution and, remember, we are evolution.  And we can perform this neglect when we ignore feelings……too deep too soon; or too late, too late.  We must never be asked in therapy to express  or say our feelings because that is an oxymoron.  There are many pre-verbal feelings that  have no words  Putting words to them  negates those specific feelings.  It uses one level to get to another (words to express feelings); when they are separate and independent.

  So when we anchor the patient in the present and make a slow descent into feelings it will all be natural  and in evolutionary order.  We have to return to the past because that is where feelings first evolved.  Repeat:  the natural order helps us become natural and normal.  We are no longer estranged from our nature; and what that means is that we feel a  commonality with  animals and plants and flowers.  We can again see beauty; that is one effect of a feeling and evolutionary therapy.  That is one effect that cannot be achieved in cognitive/insight therapy.  So long as the feeling band is missing we cannot be at one with nature.  Rebirthing does nothing to re-establish the feeling band.

Feelings do that.

    All this means is that our history lies inside of us; we respond to two worlds at once.  The outer world and the inner one. If there is too much input from our imprinted history we cannot take much from our outer world.  We cannot stand much stimulation.  When there are  imprints from gestation and birth that are lying in wait, trying to get out, moving relentlessly upwards and forwards, putting pressure on the neo-cortex, there  is a tendency to be easily overwhelmed.  Here lies ADD and confusion.    Added to it is addiction, deep, deep addiction in accordance with very deep imprints.  Here lies hysteria and over-reaction.  Here lies impulsive tendencies. Here lies weakened cortical control and  “leaky gates.”  The gates are in an endless battle to keep too much input away so it cannot be overloaded.  And,
 here  lies impatience and intolerance; here lies a mess.


  1. When I the other day... in disagreements... that ended by... I was called a "great idiot" because I took the side of someone that could not defend him.

    At this moment was signed how I have known myself throughout my life... "I'm a big idiot". Something I have had so hard to find security in letting me feels... to feel myself as an idiot that I experienced myself to be throughout my life.

    My feelings are... "Am I a big idiot daddYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY"? Just to experience how it felt when I asked to be loved. In my despair for who I was for my dad... I struggled to become loved... but only to again and again get to feel that I was an idiot... all for my need of daddy.

    Above... a reminder of now being called an idiot!

    Primal therapy is to find the security... to be the one we experience us to be when the worst happens... so we can feel who we once were.


  2. A healthy evolution in harmony with a natural life.

    It has taken me a long time fully to understand the Primal Principle. My trauma, which sometimes triggered epilepsy, meant an ever-present pain, quick to leak anxiety and fits. This was no good starting position if I wanted a career that was based on acquisition of theoretical knowledge. Instead my brain, chemically lobotomized from pain, developed an orgy of neurotic needs that propelled my continuos changes and my international adaption to new cultures. My childhood pals, with more subtle forms of suppressed pain, remained locally based, occupied in digging for knowledge building theoretical models.

    Evolution in Reverse, I had to learn in several stages. At first, I dared, repeatedly to feel / relive the pain, that evolution had repressed in order for me to survive / endure my birth trauma and its consequences. Those experiences / primals, during a number of years, “normalized” my life pattern.
    I traded my constant neurotic changes for a new capacity that consisted of a fascinating remembrance of the dynamic process which I mentally had assimilated from Art’s treatment.

    A calmer lifestyle that allowed intellectual (!) exercises and learning replaced my original ADD-tendencies. Now I also had, in addition to the ability, wordlessly, to feel my pain, ability to acquire knowledge to understand and express how my pain propelled life pattern had developed. Pain and anxiety disappeared eventually and neuroses, which were no longer needed, dissolved.

    My picture of evolution has for several years been unclear. It has sometimes been great and overwhelming, like my childhoods father, which stressed me to overreact. On other occasions, I have found it easy to ignore evolution, as I did with the image of my self. The more peace I have with myself, and the more successfully I am able to see the connections in my overall life patterns, the more I realize that we are all part of the evolutionary process. Evolution can protect us, it can cure us, and it can destroy us if we ignore it.

    Jan Johnsson

  3. it is like comming to a wall that is
    maybe not out in the Universe but
    in ourselves.

  4. Dr. Janov,
    I got the message by reading all your books.
    How do we tell all the therapists around the world that they are ignoring evolution and consequently make a mistake in treatment.
    How can we change psychology/psychiatry curriculum in colleges/universities?
    What needs to happen for psych-professionals to understand that all available therapies lead only to rerouting and/or repressing pain – not to healing?

    1. Sieglinde: Answer this question....How can 200,000 shrinks in America ignore Primal? That is as miraculous as the discovery of Primal itself. art

    2. Ayayay Sieglinde. Those are the questions for which I have no answers but I bet you and others do. You have no idea how many doctors pooh pooh our therapy without knowing anything about it. art

    3. Hi,

      It's denial,

      the mechanism of repression. A good example: In my mouth I still have one single baby tooth left. A mini molar trapped in my lower right jaw between the canine and the large molar behind. Likely cause? Incomplete gene switching, likely cause: epigenetic trauma. . . We don't know for sure this theory is correct but as you say there is so much associated evidence a new constellation of research is beggared to investigate so as to find out once and for all. Why not research / Why not investigate?

      My daughter has birth and gestational trauma. Her back teeth are 'completely missing' she has not her full set of molars. Likely cause? Her birth or gestational trauma.

      My daughter's mother told me our daughter has inherited her missing teeth, ie: "bad genes" from me.

      So, now there are only three things wrong with me:

      1. Everything I say.
      2. Everything I do.
      3. My genes.

      "Good or Bad Blood", the inheritance of 'genes' has played a big part in the development of social groupings for millennia. A very long time before Watson & Crick people have known this 'half truth' and chosen "good genes" to breed with. . .

      It will take quite a pressure from the new epigenetic evidence to rid those shall we say who are 'more privileged' not to automatically judge 'defects' with the label of bad blood / genes.

      The class system needs a form of Eugenics to maintain it's own illusory status. Surely the old school of genetics is a bedfellow of prejudice and that is convenient for 200,000 so called therapists.

      Religion talks about the equality of all human kind but I bet the local vicar is still very concerned about who his son / daughter breeds with. The local psychotherapist will also have the same concern. So, "who" (genetic class status) not "how" (epigenetic nurture) remains the status quo. All part of the gross narcissism of us humans still trapped in the belief that we automatically have free will, dominion over all things and "Mother Nature" as our personal playground and laboratory; our personal oyster to gulp down in one go.

      Paul G.

    4. Paul: very smart and perceptive art

    5. We can not consign all these "professionals" within the psychiatric and psychological area to hold a miracle because they does not understand what they are doing and we know what and way!

      What is a miracle... how can a suffering human achieve the status to become professional?

      For the legal process... about who has the right to call himself a professor... without the ability of coping with it and without being detected!

      I also mean... what a traumatic "experience" does not a professor have... who through his sufferings reached a goal to become a "professional"... what a struggle!

      Who legitimizes to give them the role of professional? This is a matter for society... a political and legal issue as the professional is prisoners of pain!?

      The profesional are unwilling to admit something that feels as much as missing love does... what a pain is it not to feel mom's lovelessness?

      The one who reached the top of the mountain... is he ready to climb down just to find out that he was not loved and is not loved... what a tragedy?


    6. Singelinde!

      Give us your feedback and ideas... and they should be considered in a bowl of gold!

      Yours Frank

    7. Dr. Janov,

      I can only imagine how many therapists dismiss primal therapy. But I know ignorance and denial – and there is plenty out there that needs to be exposed.

      You have explained patiently in all your books and other writings why common psychotherapy fails.

      Among other changes evident after primal therapy, you delivered proof that serotonin and cortisol levels can normalize. You indicate over and over that the answer lies not with the insight of the therapist's interpretation, rather it is the patient’s discovery after feelings of terror no longer dominate.

      Unnecessary Cesarean birth is still induced and breast-feeding is seen as a luxury working women “can’t afford”. Then, 14 days after birth the helpless child is out-sourced, raised by a person the mother barely knows, but society expects it will become a well functioning member of society.

      Later, schools spend billions on school counselors encouraging kids to tough it out, or introduce new cognitive ways (tricks) to keep children in school and try helplessly to figure out how to graduate them from high school. Nobody asks, why is the child distracted and disinterested or unable to learn? The whole social structure is all about “performing at all cost,” and if all fails, these kids are send to cognitive therapy where they are encouraged to try harder in school, or be more assertive and make their parents proud – meaning ignore your steadily rising pain. Again, the child that has already unfulfilled needs since birth, is now pushed with the help from outside, and trained like a little circus horse to function, to make parents proud.

      Further plunder is evident in the prison system, filled with childhood traumatized people who had maybe horrible gestation and/or birth before being abused in childhood.

      Billions of dollars are wasted worldwide on “common” therapies. In spite of living in the 21st century and using existing tools such as blood-tests to determine seratonin, and other hormone-levels before therapy, these tests are not common or not even demanded. In other words psychotherapy is permitted to continue play the 100 year-old guessing game and is permitted to be practiced without delivering proof of cure. Why?

      Research is still looking for explanations for existing symptoms such as ADHD, Asperger, Parkinson, Alzheimer, heart-failures, Addison’s decease, autoimmune, etc. without considering gestation and birth history. Why?

      Would it not make sense not to produce traumatized children - socially, economically and from a humanity point of view. The question is, why is society not educated what causes trauma and what are the long lasting consequences.

      Shouldn’t we ask, who permits the continuum of non-effective therapies?

      Schools must teach pregnancy and childbirth and breastfeeding in high school.

      “Why Psychology Fails”
      The great destruction of humanity,
      should be the title of a book that lifts the cloak of one hundred year denial and write a book exposing the unavoidable reality in a non-sugar-coded, in a less political correct but social critical language.

    8. Sieglinde: Brilliant as usual. art

    9. Hi Sieglinde,

      I completely agree that change in the social sphere is desperately needed. We must change the way we expect to live with each other, the way we manage our family affairs and the systems that manage membership of our societies. It so feels like a fatalistic negative feedback loop as 'society' expects us all to carry on regardless when there is patently something wrong. . .

      I came across an old copy of Raymond Briggs "When The Wind Blows" which sums up that whole feeling of hopelessly 'soldiering on'. . . in the wrong direction. . . toward what?

      Paul G.

    10. Paul: One thing we need to find out is whether patients have higher oxytocin levels after therapy to help make a more loving world. Art

    11. Hi Paul G

      “there is patently something wrong”. You are so right – there is: It is TRAUMA – deep pain and unfulfilled needs.

      Before depression can happen there is an activity that causes depression.

      Who is causing the depression/aggression? It is always a mother who cannot love, She might not defend the child or she simply neglects.

      All social structures depend on mothers (all life begins with a mother) and the way they are attached or separated from their children.

      Theoretically, if we treat all traumatized mothers with PT we have only trauma caused by nature – the absolute unavoidable trauma.

      A conscious/aware mother would never select an abusive husband and would instinctively give the child what it needs.

      Let’s multiply conscious/aware mothers and we have a psychologically healthy society.


    12. Hi Frank

      “Give us your feedback and ideas...”

      This is what I did: I purchased many of Dr. Janov’s books and sent them (subject selected according to the individual interest) to, physicians, endocrinologists, neurologists, psychologists and psychiatrists in the US and Germany.

      I also respond to subject-related articles, write to magazines (English and German) who proclaim to know everything about childbirth or child-rearing and mention the appropriate “Janov book” and/or use a direct quote.

      As you might imagine, no feedback. Nevertheless, it is a beginning.


    13. Sieglinde: I have had the same experience over years so I stopped. art

  5. Hi Art,only several days ago I could not this without nervousness and inability to concentrate...perhaps of the
    effects of my all to many ...imprints.
    My point is ; I am qiute sure (or hopefull at least) that if "some day" I will have become free of them ... my
    cognitive abilities (dormant at this time -to say it euphemistically!) will show whether there is more than
    Yes (some entries in this blog...)

    My experiences with rebirthing ;well first of all -I did not get a glimpse of birthing... by that hyperventilating.
    And some tear drops yes they "appeared on my face" ;b u t I did never wanted to get a second session!
    I all was to quick "under!-loading! i.e. faking!! of feeling...

    And my "cognitive therapists" -oh Lord - in German there is a proverb ."no fish nor flesh" ..!
    Yours emanuel

  6. I do not often find the bandwidth/time to respond to your offerings here, Dr. A. Janov, but today I would like to say that there are very few experts with half a century and more of experience in their field of endeavor, who still have the good sense to talk to us, to everyday, ordinary folks. That you choose to do this means you gain understanding by it and that it is intrinsic to your 'worldview' to your sense of things as they are. We are not statistics to you. This fact alone sets Dr. Janov far out in front of the 'expert' field in psychology. (That does not, sadly, make him rich like the mainstream fellows...) When the physician realizes that the answer and cure is in the patient and not in the doctor, then we get a Janov and not an appt. next week for the rest of our lives.
    I want to answer Sieglinde's why concerning the motherlode of doctors out there who ignore what people need... I want to say that a cure is not desired and that what is constantly sought in the mainstream is a better billing system to secure the future of the profession....but that would be harsh, a kind of judgement fitting a surviving Baptist preacher's son... I must not go that far....well, perhaps I did.

    1. Brian,

      I'm the living proof for your statement: "concerning the motherlode of doctors out there who ignore what people need..."

  7. it is a necessity of our life to relate
    with everything around us.
    we have different brain and body tissues
    to communicate different outside realities.

    we are tuned
    for survival.
    not only our survival but Life survival.
    This is i believe what you call "natural".

    communication with life that feeds and propagates
    AND life that doesn't but nevertheless reacts and
    is submitted to the laws of same nature that we are
    the product.

    maybe our surrounding is a 1,2,3 feeling (or repression)
    that should resonate inside us (or not), with our cosciousness.
    Because it affect us.

    i'm not sure if i was a teenager or younger
    when my father was talking with me about
    the Universe.
    he would sit and smoke and me probably on the carpet
    lying... asking and listening about sun system,
    milky way... and further... and further..

    and then he would become anxious:
    "some kind of fear is comming on me when
    I think about endlesness of the Universe"- he once sad.
    needless to say the conversation was ended
    not to mine satisfaction nor understanding why.

    now i think 25 years later:
    endlesness/timelesness is a
    trigger for our first line life?

    could it be that the far Universe
    is a resonator for our life in the womb?
    our final link with Everything,
    with survival.

    not sure about that but my dady's mood eventually
    triggered something in me... that could
    connect with him.


    does it really matter how big is the universe
    or how old is or what is moving around what...
    if it is the fact that it is supporting life
    that we miss?
    that holds love we need to connect to
    inside and outside. reality.

    to be(come) a healthy cell (not cancerous) of this
    big living system.

  8. our personal evolution is maybe
    a replication of evolution of everything.

    for a reason.

    1. Vuko: Our evolution is a reflection of the animal species before us and even of the skies and stars before them. All of the evolution of various species are found inside of us. They culminate in us. The shark in us won't let us forget. It is found in rages. art

  9. I think part of the reason why 200,000 shrinks deny primal is because they have brainwashed themselves into the belief that they "already know" about the mind and its sickness. And I think this belief might be a subject professional defense i.e. it allows them to develop a false (but necessary) security in what they are doing. That 'security' is necessary for them to engage in a profession that is, at the end of the day, often deeply intrusive on other people. How can you feel comfortable doing what you do unless you're REALLY sure of yourself? But, the effect is that as soon as you say something to them that contradicts their "already knowledge" they in turn will only see nonsense, no matter what you might be saying.

    I see people like this all the time in everyday life. The "mature" people who feel comfortable telling others what they should do with themselves, and without a flinch of personal insecurity that they might not be giving the right advice. They all have that same totally concluded and uninquisitive look on their faces, that tell you that they're a brick wall and a waste of time.

    ...And sadly many young people, often highly insecure, cling to them for their (false) confidence because they crave stability. And the unfaltering mature know-it-all's feed off it. (I'm ranting!).

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I think it's called wishful thinking, when you brainwash your self.

      It's relatively easy to believe one can help another precisely because one cannot help oneself.

      Only after the event does one find out the 'truth', if ever one becomes fortunate enough to uncover that truth. Conscience can play a part. . . Was I really being real? Did I really help that person? Am I just deceiving myself by diverting my attention to the suffering of another. . . When the less fortunate become the target of criticism and abuse by the more fortunate you know the lie is a big one.

      Paul G.

  10. ...following on: As soon as you open your mouth, Art, they skim-read your worlds - because they already know you're "full of it". You can never explain something to someone until they first accept that you at least *might* be right.

  11. Andrew: So how long do I have to wait? I know.. they have to die out according to Kuhn. art

  12. An email question:
    "Can you discuss how the intellectual act of accepting an explanation results in brain activity that has a suppressive effect on the expereincing of Pain?"

    1. And my answer: "In my blogs and in Life Before Birth I explain how the neocortex can be recruited to suppress feelings held in the limbic system. I am not sure of what your question is. Ideas have been shown their use against feelings; they can be repressive agents. It is the meaning of living in your head....feelings are well buried and inaccessible. art"

  13. It is interesting that none of the therapists I chose to go and see actually believe cognative therapy is any good. My last UK therapist who encouraged me to attend the Primal Centre told me that none of her colleagues think anything of cognative therapy and also that the powers at be can see that it does not work but they don't have anything else. A recent article in the Guardian said that patients with mild to moderate depression etc will be given a library card and pointed in the direction of a book section offered by the NHS. They forget that 200 library's have been closed by this government. Why would a government populated by hurt little toffs ripped from their Mothers tit and sent away to school have any empathy for those whose gates do not do such a good job of repressing great hurt. After all being in government and Scapegoating the poor is a wonderful act out and repressive mechanism in it's own right is'nt it?

    Thus cognative therapy is a sticking plaster to cover a machette wound.

  14. Hi planespotter,

    These Toffs, I went to school with some of them. I resisted the brainwashing you talk about but some of my 'lower class mates' (children of nouveau rich parents like mine) didn't and they went on to become captains of industry and politicians. It's the elitist /specialist education/ brainwashing that does it. Yes indeed having power and dismissing those less fortunate is the perfect 'control mechanism'. It's Feudal; Medieval. Authoritarian. Hero worshipping and victimising.

    I wish I had met your therapists.

    My therapists (I now realise) were seriously influenced by Riech and Assagioli who were making it all up as they went along, borrowing from here and there. So many therapists talk about how limiting talking about things is but they cannot help themselves talking about everything except the evolutionary truth.
    I investigated all the therapists in my county and none of them recommend Janov or mention primal theory or evolution or clear neurological education, nothing, just all forms of booga booga.

    Alice Miller said she knew of no good therapists in Europe. She pretty much recommended Art Janov. . .

    That's how I found this blog and gave up symbolic insight. Surely another form of 'cognition in loops'. It's taken three years to dismantle my particular wrong presumptions about therapy and therapists. That was built up in me before I went into my first therapy 20 years ago. Nevertheless my therapists surely helped themselves to £15,000 of my money whilst sharing their symbolic wisdom with me.

    At the end of it all I was poorer, ab-reacting, homeless and still completely ignorant of the biological truths despite having told them all I had read the Primal Scream and was expecting to address serious problems from my so called 'privileged' childhood. They just nodded and took the cash. I felt like a useless child, exactly like my parents made me feel as a child and teenager.
    Deprogramming myself from that terrifying red herring in a fish tank called 'therapy' (in my county) has resulted in delays. Actually getting to the Primal Centre. At one point last year I had the money and should have gone, but then my beliefs (would you believe it) were not blowing in a Californian direction. Oh wheels within wheels. . .

    How the screw turns. My beliefs blew me in the direction of my children. At least over the last year I have supported and secured my children's relationships with each other. There was no body else other than me to do this. The only thanks I get is from them, reward enough in a Primal world. Two of my children now grasp the rudiments of Primal Theory. Maybe they will get to the centre one day.

    Paul G.

    1. Hi Paul

      With regard to my therapists I would not wish to build them up too much except the last one. The first therapist I went to see was very helpful in enabling me to start to understand my father's abuse. He was very dismissive of cognative therapy but not in a very enlightened sense. As soon as I started to wish to talk about my Mother he brought in the Death Instinct to shut me up. He used to sit next to a massive wall of books and it was when I wondered what was he was hiding from behind that wall of books that I left. The next therapist was a so called Primal Therapist who told me I was not ready for primal therapy. She did'nt believe in cognative therapy but nor did she believe in Primal Therapy. She had her own thing which was more about her own therapy then her clients. She did'nt last long. My final UK therapist I found via She helped me a great deal. So much so that I think I kept hitting much deeper feelings but was thwarted by the therapy hour. I always seemed to hit feelings about 10 minutes before the end.

      I would'nt have been so picky or critical of these therapists if it had not been for Art and Alice Miller giving me the tools to see through the lies.

    2. Paul

      I forgot to say that I too found Art via Alice Miller.

      Your children are very lucky!

    3. Planespotter: Now you know why I stopped the 50 minute hour and allowed patients to stay as long as needed. No assembly line here/ art

    4. Hi Art. You don't need to tell me :-). It was that hitting the wall of 50 minutes that in the end persuaded me I needed to visit LA. I had learned so much from your books that I was finding some of my defences dropping and I was getting really "tight" in my head, almost knotted which I don't feel so much now.

      The main trouble I have now is not always feeling able to let rip via Skype. I think I need another visit Santa Monica.

  15. Hallo, Paul!
    Alice Miller also wrote great letters in all earnest endeavour to try (hopelessly, for they didnt reply!) some of the famous politicians in both America and England to enlighten them about primal therapy and the futility of wars, etc due to the widespread ignorance of this crucial therapy and the gross abuse and violence of every description that people have universally suffered and endured in their childhoods. She bravely did this before she died. I have read her interesting letters on a blog about her. All the best to you, Paul. Glad I am not the only English interested in Art Janov and his work and writings.

    1. Anonymous

      I think the English are a strange race indeed. I am sure every race has it's own strangeness but perhaps being English myself and suddenly discovering my own countries oddity it seems more pronounced than others. The fear and distrust of anger and other powerful emotions is incredible. I have found that getting back in touch with these powerful emotions alienates me in some ways. Not because I frighten people off but because I am frightened of expressing them still sometimes.

      I think it is in the nature of politicians to be cut off from emotions. Why on earth would they wish to try and control other peoples lives if they were not subconciously trying to control their own feelings and their parents.

      I think Fear is so much part of the English character. Politicians control the public with fear. That is why they need an enemy. Bread and Circus's really. As Lennon said in Working Class Hero "Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV" or Marx said "religion is the opium of the people".

      Alice Miller was great. She replied to one of my e-mails to her with great support and I treasure that e-mail. It was a ray of hope in a then dark world. Some describe her as a Primal therapist in all but name. I wonder what would have happened if she had not been to see Stettbacher and been to see Art instead I wonder what would have happened.

    2. Hi planespotter,

      One thousand five hundred years of feudal / class programming in a small island populated by a mixture of at least 7 distinct racial groups which were originally all at tribal war with each other for another one thousand five hundred years before that. Cultural cabin fever over one hundred and fifty generations.

      I was wondering if you'd found out about Miller's therapist. When I did, I started wondering if there could be a deep underlying stigma for a German woman (war time child) to seek help from an American male psychotherapist.

      A pithy issue indeed. None of my business really but I said it before about the English attitude to American culture from the wartime perspective. Actually I'll say it again, many people are both angry and jealous with American culture and American foreign policy. Given that psychotherapy was invented in Northern Europe and became entrenched even before Freud died you can see there is a huge 'protectionism' against some other culture bringing in new fangled ideas. . . like Primal, particularly form America.
      My hunch is that if Art were say, French or Czech and had made his discoveries in Europe during the 60s and 70s he may well have gained influence with people who have not recognised him. It's all too speculative really.

      Paul G.

    3. Ah,

      I have made a mistake, Alice Miller was Polish.

      I have just read her "Communication". . . A letter she sent out revoking her support of Stettbacher. It's really interesting how she has also carefully included a reference to Art Janov. . .

      That article is as fresh and significant today as it was when first written.

      Paul G.

    4. Oh yes, another thing,

      Isn't it interesting that (allegedly) there were / are 15,000 people waiting to get 'Primal Help' from Stettbacher.

      Jesus, how many people are waiting to get into the Primal Centre? The mind boggles; actually I don't really want to know. . . the whole subject just rips me apart.

      Paul G.

  16. Hallo, my English pals... Paul and Planespotter!
    Paul, I DO hope you can go to the Centre if you want to. I would be very interested how it goes for you and hope it goes well. Planespotter, how WELL I understand your comments about the English race!!!!!!!!The big fear of emotion and punishment of those who break the unseen rules and EXPRESS it. Believe me, I know! I can never see that primal therapy will be valued here for all its significance and real worth.I have found that the people are even more oppressive and cold than in the 1970's when there was a lovely fresh openness of mind and heart emanating mainly from the young, of which I was gladly one THEN. Can I be honest and admit that I hate the place now which only feels like a prison - island to me. The unfriendliness and hostility of a vast majority of strangers of either sex. The superficiality and lack of affection and emotional connection from friends. It seems almost a form of death in a way. One gives with a smile and an open heart to find there is noone there behind a mask of apparent warmth and friendliness. I think when you have primalled it maybe even harder to find and keep true friends from the heart. It must be a fear of emotion which you have mentioned. I dont know about you. I am very lonely and unhappy here and if I was ten years younger and somewhat richer I would most definitely emigrate. At least to a warm place. So glad you had a response from Alice Miller. Yes, she was a terrific lady with understanding. All the best to you, planespotter, from me!

  17. Hi Anonymous

    Thank you for your kind words. I am very ambivolent about the place now. I am rather ambivolent about the human race at times.

    I have a few friends who seem to get some of what I talk about. I have become rather more forthright in my comments now and it's quite interesting how some people rather like it. What I mean is that I say nice things and am honest. It alienates some and attracts other others.


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.