Saturday, April 13, 2013

Is There a Science of Psychotherapy?

If we have to ask professionals, I guess not.  Here is what the president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research has to say:  “There is strong evidence for many…..approaches.”   Now what does that mean?  That many approaches are all valid?  That they are scientific?  How could that be?  You mean that there are many sciences in psychotherapy, all valid?  Are there many different sciences in physics, in biology?  There may be some difference of opinion but certainly not different sciences. I mean is there gravity or not?  Are there many ways to make electricity?

  Let me go back to my internship in a major Freudian clinic (Hacker Psychiatric Clinic).  There was no science in what we did. We all had different Freudian interpretations of patients….was he Id dominant?  Was his superego too strong?  Was there evidence of his childhood sexuality? And on and on.  No science, only guesswork and imagination.  And there was imagination at work as our staff spun incredible theories to explain the patient’s behavior.  There was certainly no science to guide us in how to proceed in psychotherapy.

   I think that there cannot be many valid approaches to psychotherapy; either there is a  scientific approach or there isn’t.    I now must offer our approach which I think is science at work.  We can predict what happens to patients  and what level of conscious  they are on.  We can predict the demarche of the therapy,  how it should proceed, and what steps we should take.  We understand immediately when a symptom such as high blood pressure or a migraine appears.    Above all, we know when a therapist makes a mistake.  Our staff can look at a tape, and we always tape patients, and know when something went wrong.  Why?  Because there is a precision to what we do that allows no margin to go off and do something else.

  Yes there is leeway in terms of the therapist and his perceptions but not in terms of what the patient needs.  It is never doing “what we feel comfortable with,” as I learned in my internship.   We have a clear understanding of anxiety and panic (see my piece in the World Congress of Psychiatry,  as well as what causes paranoia and what to do about it.   We don’t have to guess about what generates depression because we have a theory to guide us and decades of experience to tell us what works and why.

  So in those many approaches that they claim to be valid there may be ten different explanations of paranoia, not one, most of which do not concord with brain science.  Will it help to talk her out of her paranoia?  Not quite.  Since it is not an attitude; it is an imprint with a history and a biochemical foundation,  not just a cognitive misstep.  Without a comprehension of the levels of consciousness I cannot imagine how to construct a valid psychotherapy.  Because in the brain and its evolution there are distinct levels of consciousness with different identities and different symptoms.  For example, colitis has a specific origin and gets its start very early in evolution.  That symptom can tell us where in the brain it is located and originates, and what we can do to treat it.  When a patient needs drugs we know what to use (in conjunction with medical advice).   We know that serious mental symptoms require deep brain blockers because we understand that bizarre symptoms require deep access.   We also know that any scientific therapy must ultimately access deep brain engraved memories.

   We know that in gestation there are already imprints and repression that may be compounded into terrible depression later on.  We do not have to concoct hypotheses stemming from Freudian days about anger turned inward.  We learn from the unconscious of each patient, and from there, build a theory that helps explain it; we simply observe and listen.  It is all there, just waiting to be discovered.  It is not us that holds the truth; it is always the patient.

  So how can ten different therapies all be valid?  It can be affirmed precisely because there is no science that they follow.  Therefore anything can work.  If a neurosis is built on sequestered pain, how could we do anything else but access and address that pain?  We may disagree as to what to do about it but not of the pain itself, which we have seen thousands of times over forty seven years of Primal.
And of course we would not rely on medication as treatment when we do not want to push down the pain anymore, but rather to let it out; to express it at last.   Yes, if we do not admit to the stored pain and imprints then anything goes.

  Further, when we do acknowledge the existence of pain, we need to understand that we cannot travel deep too soon.  We know now that there is a valence to each pain; only so much that can be experienced at any time.  To deny that and over-reach the boundaries endangers the patient and her mental stability.  Yes there are times when the pain is hurtful but we understand that each little bit experienced is so much less pain driving us.  And that is why we see so much less stress hormones in our patients; as if to underline that feeling pain  relieves our neurotic burden.

  So to me, there cannot be any number of therapies all valid;   there can be many therapies all invalid, but they can claim validity if they change the criteria for improvement.   If they rely only on psychologic criteria, “ I  feel much better;” but no matter what she says, the biologic measurements tell another story.   So yes we can claim validity when we leave biology out of the equation.  But it is a pseudo state, and we don’t want to get pseudo well, do we?  


  1. Another expensive and ineffective attempt – “MRT”:
    “PAUL SOLMAN: In other words, nearly 50 percent are back in jail within a year of their release. That's why New York City officials have just launched a program that puts every 16-to-18-year-old entering Rikers almost as soon as the bars slam shut into a class called moral reconation therapy, or MRT, a form of behavioral modification to improve decision-making.”

    No therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or even a Judge ask why these adolescents have behavior problems - Anxiety, Panic and Rage Attacks or become criminals? A few cognitive therapists do ask, but they don’t know what to do with early childhood trauma other than “modifying” (manipulating) their “thinking” and “behavior”.

    What these youngsters need is to release the pain/imprint. MRT is not the vehicle because MRT is talking to the wrong side (left) of the brain – early trauma/pain imprints are anchored in the right lower brain.
    Where is the scientific evidence that MRT reverses for example: high cortisol and methylated genes? No cognitive approach can change an “imprint” that has its roots in early childhood, infancy and/or prenatal gestation.

    1. Sieglinde: When you leave feelings behind there is no end of the BS people concoct. art

    2. Art,
      when you say it like that I am shocked back into the realisation of how what really needs to be said (in words) is fundamentally a verbal reflection of what is a significant sensational or feeling need.

      Words that do not relate to those two varieties of 'need' are dislocated and meaningless.

      This applies just as much in engineering, science or any of the other 'technical' worlds as it does in the interpersonal.

      Thanks for that reminder.

      Paul G.

  2. “There is strong evidence for many approaches.” Sounds like they are saying "We can see potential in many approaches." Maybe they are hoping to learn from all those different approaches until they can narrow them down to one?

    They haven't even begun to sort their shit out. It seems like they are still gluing feathers to their arms instead of studying the latest aeronautic technology.

    Art, your jet exhaust is blowing feathers in their eyes. It pisses them off. They think your words are nothing but hot air. They are proud of their feathers and will not part with them.

    We must send our message to the people who know nothing about feathers. We must send our message to the politicians.


    Do primal patients become more productive after a few years of therapy? Do they commit less crime? Do they have less medical expenses? Less car accidents? Less criminal offspring?

    Maybe primal patients actually weaken the economy because they learn the real value in hard work versus the real value in lazy hugs and kisses. But I'm just pondering. Maybe there is a way to seduce politicians.


  3. Art, do you think a normal woman is more submissive than a normal man? Do you think children are naturally programmed to be gullible and submissive (up to a point) so they can learn quickly from their parents? And women, being anatomically more infantile than men, could also possess are more submissive nature? A more childish nature?

    From my point of view, feminine girls tend to exhibit a submissive quality....but not in a way that is self-degrading. It seems that a feminine woman wants to be led by a masculine man. Even France seems to have that quality (up to a point). I think it could be natural.

    Women are physically weaker, they are not designed for risk-taking, and they don't invent major new technologies. Perhaps they are inherently designed to be more obedient, less argumentative. It makes no sense for a cave woman to challenge a cave man's strength and 'hunting knowledge', in the same way that it makes no sense for a cave man to adopt the role of a mother.

    If we look at all other animals, we can see that there is always one gender that is dominant and one that is submissive. Have we humans parted from those primitive roots?

    1. My opinion is I don't think there's 'stronger' or 'weaker/submissive' humans were built on being co-operative, playing to their particular strengths. I think that women may have a greater need to be liked/attractive whereas men are good at 'standing their ground'. But for our ancestors the end point would be to have a happy united group: for them it was a matter of survival. A group with dominance & submission you would imagine would eventually disintegrate.

    2. Hi Richard,

      If you lived in the city I do you might be referred to a rather special book called:

      -"The Daughters of Copper Woman"- by Anne Cameron.

      This rather contradicts your remarks and shows exactly 'how strong' women can be. It's a brilliant read. . .

      Paul G.

    3. Paul
      Good comment. I thoroughly agree with you! I know women who have been tremendous risk - takers, including me... ALL my life!!!! Some men have very caring instincts towards their children. It's easy to generalise but much is pure assumption, I think. (and feel!)

    4. Hi Richard,
      I think a lot of your comments about women are a load of rubbish. Speaking as a very argumentative woman myself, I've also taken many, many risks, a lot of which have got me into lots of trouble. They probably all come from feelings but I take far more risks than many men I know. Some of them paid off, some of them not.
      I think one of the reasons that in the past that women have not invented major new technologies as you put it, is because a lot of the narrative of history has been written by men and because women have been confined to the home by the biology of raising children and surviving. Also until fairly recently giving birth could be a death sentence. More American women died in childbirth than American men died in WW2 but it's never something we hear about. It's only in the last 100 years or so that more and more people have been freed from domestic duties in order to pursue other interests.
      Women have been oppressed by men for a long time and have been forced to be submissive. It's nothing about biology. I am far from submissive and I think it's one reason I struggle to have a relationship because most guys actually want that. It takes a strong man to have his views challenged and to want to share the domestic and child rearing duties more equally.

    5. I'm so tired of all the "I'm not prejudiced" replies. Just take a step back and look at everything in front of your eyes. There are big differences between men and women and children.

      When mommy informs her child that the tooth fairy will replace the tooth with a dollar, her child will believe without asking many questions. Why? Is it because the child's intellect is not developed enough to question the existence of tooth fairies? Is that the only reason?

      Will her child obey another child's orders? "Quick! Jump now! If you don't you will get hurt!" When a man says to a woman: "Quick! Jump now! If you don't you will get hurt!" she is more likely to do it without thinking. When a woman gives those orders to a man, he is more likely to ignore her and come to his own conclusion.

      Young girls tend to build functional families with their dolls....young boys tend to build space ships. You could say it is cultural influence but we know that the male brain has a piece of tissue that contributes to types of behaviour seen in male groups. That piece is not present in the female brain.

      I cherish the differences between males and females. I feel masculine when I am with a feminine girl. She makes me feel more normal.....more myself.....and I feel like I need her feminine influence and she needs my masculine we fit together. This is why I can't understand gay people.

      Normal women ARE softer....more gentle....their hormones produce less aggression.

      And no matter how many times a woman flies in a jet plane, she will never want to know how a jet engine works......until a man encourages her to learn.

      I work for a large airline in New Zealand. About 80% of it's managers are female, many of whom began as flight attendants and customer service staff. In recent times, those managers were encouraged to open new divisions, requiring them to think like entrepreneurs instead of institutionalized managers. Most of them have failed and are about to be replaced by males, appointed by the male CEO. Need I say more?

      I will. Women belong at home, in the tribe with all the other mothers and kids and grandparents and weak people. Strong men belong at home, to build and maintain houses, to protect the weak, and they also belong far away, fighting off animals as they search for new land to grow crops while they think of new survival strategies. It's only natural.

      When women shower less frequently, their bodies give off pheromones, virtually irresistible to men. We are dirty cave people. Nature will not surrender to puritanical feminists and gay rights activists. We should return to a brave, hotblooded lifestyle and discover the amazing abilities in every one of us. Sorry Paul, I have no time for Anne Cameron's drudgery -_-

    6. As you can see everyone, I have successfully brainwashing my brother, Richard, into my views. Now THAT is genius!

    7. Richard,
      Sounds like you should move to Saudi or Pakistan, or Oman where women are encouraged/forced to stay at home with the tribe and the men go out etc. These differences are all cultural and enforced by culture. Girls might not be interested in science because as they grow up they have to fight off endemic sexism at every turn ( and to succeed have to be far better than the men to break through the masculine environment ( Some women will be feminine, some not, you might also get feminine women who know how a jet engine works (, some will want to stay at home and have kids, some not. Diversity is nature. Nature is also not perfect, creates "mistakes" so I'm afraid feminists and gay people are here to stay. We should create a society so everyone can develop to their own potential and have their own needs met, not needs decided by others. When that happens you get dictatorships benign or otherwise.

    8. You can watch the whole film here about all the bullshit that women and girls have to put up with in this age:

    9. Oh Richard, Copper Woman had a brave, hotblooded lifestyle!

      Different people have more or less extreme sexuality with varying skills sets.

      I am of the opinion that the 'submissive female' who teeters and swoons in sexy dress is a construct of our collective neurosis to be stereotyped into 2 dimensional false selves. As is the archetypal 'man', various forms of 'macho' etc. . .

      Women (or men) who 'act out' this way are driven just as much by their own unconscious as by the fantasies of the opposite sex who's genes are encoded with archetypal drives toward certain sexual features in the other. The thing is, we have made a religion and a temple out of sexual attractiveness. It is addictive and part of the socio / sexual hijack that politics controls and sociopaths manipulate for their own advantage.

      Women are not to be pigeon holed by men in this way any more. As are men not to be pigeon holed in that way by women who can't be bothered to exploit the equal opportunities most modern societies actually offer women. Women want and deserve education and recognition for their unique humanity. They want self determination and jobs in society where all people need to meet as equals to feel included. In the workplace and at home.

      No real man wants such an 'unreal' woman as the stay at home belipsticked and 'trussed up' turkeys the marketing moguls portray in the media.

      Neither do real women want the 'absent father', towering pillar of steely workaholism. . . least of all for their daughters. Real women want men to be fathers that help their daughters and sons achieve their destiny.

      In my opinion women have been dominated by their own Matriarchal Club, starting with their mothers. As have men become dominated by their own Patriarchal Club. Each promotes the false illusions the other feels most sexually attracted to by the neurotic hijack inherited through many many generations of conditioned response.

      To break free of this sexual hijack, the one emblazoned in society, is the first step to breaking free of the hijack inside our own psyches. As long as one 'believes' in these stereotypes one is unlikely to ever face one's own traumas and re set one's own warped drives.

      Paul G.

    10. Hi Emma,

      I like strong argumentative women (and men). I can't bear weak handshakes and thin smiles. Shame we never met.

      The trouble is, I have found (in England), that the strong argumentative women I know have all chosen 'limp wristed' fuzzy men. . . They don't appear to be attracted to strong argumentative men, like me.

      Although of course there are times, parasympathetic times when I also am as limp as a wet hanky and submissive as a castrated Labrador. . .
      Then I don't feel attractive or attracted at all. All I want to do is pull the curtains shut, curl up in bed and whimper as a baby.

      Paul G.

    11. Hello ladies. Hi Emma, nice to hear from you again. Hi Anonymous.

      The point of my argument is not to put women in their place, but to encourage everyone to consider what is and isn't normal.

      I usually feel more comfortable when I am with females. I find males too demanding, competitive etc. I enjoy a friendly debate, like this one, but I can't stand it when a person requires me to act like somebody else. I want to be myself at all times, as much as possible.

      Generally speaking, females allow me to be myself, and they notice my feelings. Males do neither of those things.


      Is it culture? That may be a part of it. What else?

      I have always felt that males are more competitive. Have I been imprinted by my oppressive father? That may be a part of it. What else?

      After "tolerating" and "accepting" decades of unwanted male rivalry, I was not surprised when I read that testosterone is linked to competitive behaviour. Males produce twenty times more testosterone than women. That may be a part of it. What else?

      Scientists now know that sex hormones begin to exert their influence during development of the fetus. A recent study by Israeli researchers that examined male and female brains found distinct differences in the developing fetus at just 26 weeks of pregnancy. The disparities could be seen when using an ultrasound scanner. The corpus callosum -- the bridge of nerve tissue that connects the right and left sides of the brain -- had a thicker measurement in female fetuses than in male fetuses.

      Observations of adult brains show that this area may remain stronger in females. "Females seem to have language functioning in both sides of the brain," says Martha Bridge Denckla, PhD, a research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

      Men have bigger brains, even when body mass is accounted for, but their brains have a smaller limbic system (central emotional area) than women. Men are more left-brain dominant. Scientific tests show that men are better at visualizing an imagined object from any angle, whereas women are better at interpreting facial expressions.


      What is normal?

      Why is Art more scientific than France? Why does France sometimes allow Art to interrupt her when she is explaining something to her students, only to let him provide an explanation which, in my opinion, is worse?


      The only time a man's oxytocin levels rival a female's is after he has had an orgasm :(
      I can only hope that my ability to love and be loved will match my girlfriend's. I don't know if that is possible.

      Andrew, I think you are a genius according to society's definition of "genius" but I am not easily brainwashed by you, equal rights advocates, Art, or anyone.

    12. Emma,

      -"Behind every good man there is a better woman"-.

      Paul G.

    13. Hi,

      could there be a consensus emerging that men and women need each other for all the best reasons and none of the worst?

      Paul G.

    14. Hi Richard,
      I'm in England too - trying to recover after I hit my birth feelings and nearly had a break down. Was not nice. Maybe we could meet or Skype?
      I couldn't find your email on your blogger profile - but mine is there I think.

    15. Paul: If woman were so superior then they would have solved all our problems when we gave them the vote. I'm afraid they're just as dizzy as men, so stop sucking up (smile!).

      Btw: I was of course only joking when I said I brainwashed case any of you didn't know that due to a lack of "womanly intuition".

    16. Good to hear balancing views about women's roles from Emma and Paul G. Reassuring to hear like views. Nice that someone will go to the effort tto research facts. Isn't there a Scandanavian country that's always had a female monarch? In general I think if you oppress someone you're going to get aggression, from a male or female. Maybe that's what riled us to respond to Richard's views. But I think his thoughts about feeling more accepted and being able to be himself around women without needing to compete was refreshing--showing vulnerability. I like that we can share our feelings. Wish more of that was talked about. Thank you Paul too for sharing how you sometimes feel little curled up. I'm also interested if someone wanted to post how the feelings have changed their life, even in small ways. I know I can read instructions easier now. I might still need help changing a faucet but I'm learning. Before I would just leave it to someone else. I feel more involved. I feel my mind is calmer, I can understand when someone explains how something works. Anybody else want to say? Sheri.

    17. Andrew & Richard, you're both playing devil's advocate.

      I did not use the word superior. Like Linda Nielsen I am a serious feminist not a 'reactionary', a politician nor a 'pushover'.

      Men did not give women the vote in UK. Women fought for it. Eventually under pressure the government caved in. Many middle class men eventually lobbied and voted under pressure from their wives, sisters and female colleagues.

      Many industrialists (mostly men) at the time wanted a more flexible work force anyway; women were then working alongside men in the fields in agriculture and in many factories (as ever). . . It was an inevitability that women would eventually demand and get better equality. . .

      Mostly the suffragettes were middle class. Within a decade 'feminism' was born and lesbianism hijacked the movement until today we have 'separatism'.

      By this I mean it is now acceptable amongst a larger part of the UK voting population to believe that women can live "separately" from men and literally and actually 'survive without their help / domination'. Prior to that middle class women in UK cities were effectively chattels of their husbands (as were their children).

      After three years of feminist Buddhist therapy my dear partner of 15 years told me that it is perfectly normal for parents to separate and it doesn't have any impact on the children. So, I was unceremoniously dumped and told not to make an emotional scene about it, particularly in front of our daughter.

      My ex partner still today speaks as if she has been indoctrinated by a cult. A separatist cult. Specific words, phrases and dictates issue from her mouth with little or no provocation. I simply need only to 'exist' to get this 3rd hand 3rd line brainwashing.

      This 'separatism' is now widely believed amongst middle class people in UK as 'normal'. Particularly amongst those women who are 'father bound' with lesbian inclinations. This is the type of feminism I hate and men who say things like you and Richard are colluding with that Zeitgeist by trivialising the issues.

      Please grow up from your boyish pranksterism into MEN with serious and discerning opinions based on diligent research. Perhaps then you will become attractive to some serious and beautiful members of the opposite sex.

      Currently the sort of words you are using bring men into disrepute. In the eyes and ears of serious women your words define us as non contenders. Stop it, it doesn't help me or other fathers / grandfathers.

      As I said. I am a serious feminist and I will not stand for partisan bullshit, inappropriate misogyny, misandry or the marginalisation of 'marriage' where children are concerned. I won't stand for that from either gender.

      Before the war in UK the law gave children to the fathers in the event of a divorce. After the war the law changed to women becoming the Primary Carers.

      What serious feminists are after is a shared parenting bill and an end to the unconscious exploitation of strife in families and between parents.

      Wake up boys and join the real world.

      Paul G.

    18. Hi Sheri,
      I'm not sure how primal changed me as I didn't resolve the big first line issues, but I think I got braver and bolder. Can't tell how much is getting older and having more experience too. I definitely got much better at standing up for myself and expressing my views and not caring what other people think. It probably goes too far in the other direction at times though but I guess I start to learn about that too. I think the most I got was understanding why I did stuff, what drives me and it helped me understand other people too, especially with the kids I teach, although I'm still far from anywhere near perfect.
      Paul - I'm in England too and love argumentative strong men who like to curl up like babies from time to time. My email is on the blogger profile.

    19. Feminists love vulnerable men and competitive women. Feminists are not interested in normal hormonal setpoints -- they are interested in the never-ending struggle against the oppressive male. Every year there are many, many female flight attendants who suffer back injuries because they are required, after special training, to lift disabled passengers into aircraft. They feel oppressed by this legal requirement created by feminists. Will a couple of gay guys be delighted with their newborn when it instinctively searches for it's mother's nipple? And more importantly, will the newborn be delighted? Babies don't fall in love with bottles. The powdered milk doesn't mix with love hormones every time the rubber nipple is sucked on. I didn't want to talk about human rights or women's liberty. I wanted to talk about normal feminine and masculine behaviour. Normality seems to be a very controversial topic.

    20. Hi Sheri,

      It has been said that those with the most to say usually have the least understanding. I cannot deny I have been one of the most vociferous contributors on this blog and I confess, I am but a poor carpenter grafting a pittance and trying to keep a disintegrating family together.
      Nevertheless it never ceases to amaze me when women share that particular insight.
      Truth is, I have spent a considerable amount of my adult life training people in what have become 'stereotyped' as 'male activities'.
      I have noticed both men and women exhibiting a 'dissociation', or 'disconnect' when presented with the problem solving, 'eye / hand' co-ordination, 'learning curve' of a traditional trade / craft.
      From my personal experience when women or men finally 'get it'. . . they 'get it' in exactly the same way. The disconnect heals and the dissociation evaporates and they proceed with the task triumphantly.
      Women's and Men's brains are wired differently but they can and do perform the same tasks exactly the same way.
      The idea that women are somehow 'genetically' more caring / feeling than men and that men are somehow 'genetically' more problem solving and technical is in my opinion entirely due to repeat programming over many generations; ie: epigenetics. Stereotyping; (not with 'labels' but with 'forced channelling' into 'assumed roles').
      Of course there are differences in physiology and in hormone balance between us but I think this is directly related to the evolutionary aspect of sexual reproduction. . . IE: that we as humans are 'co-incidentally' very different for sexualised reproduction. Nevertheless, as human beings we are essentially the 'same'. Well, I mean that what we call 'human consciousness' and 'conscience' is the same for both sexes.
      If this is not true then we are doomed to an ongoing sexual / political war with little hope of a truce.
      This is my moot point about social / sexual hijack. In a Primal world there would be no repressive impulse to enshrine sexual / reproductive differences into a cultural stereotype. Sure Mothers must Primarily be with the babbers for the first two years or so. Nobody is arguing against that and, nobody is against women returning to work either. . .(not in our developed societies, or at least 'not in principle').
      I am interested to know if the histone layer, that "Buffer" between the genes that protects us from the trauma of 'grief and separation' has something to do with this. I am interested to know if what we call 'gender inclination' at the functional level (IE: "Behaviour") is a product of epigenetics and cultural programming and not gender inheritance.
      Something strange happens in human groups when there is a crisis, such as war. . . Suddenly and without any 'to-do' women en-mass are doing men's jobs with little or no re-training and they are doing those jobs as well or better than the men.
      I have also noticed that although I am actually completely 'unemployable' due to my ongoing mental health problems I can still function and cut the joints in my own workshop as a self employed person. Furthermore, when given the opportunity to lead a team I can temporarily put my 'dysfunction' aside, in the interests of the whole group I can temporarily become completely "Normal".
      So, in groups somehow, each gender can perform exactly the same as the opposite sex and perform with normalcy and excellence. But the group only offers a 'temporary state' doesn't it? What is it about groups (supportive groups) therefore, that allows this? What happens to the repression and programming, our imprints when we come together in intentional groups? What is the epigenetics of group dynamics?
      That I would really like to know.
      Paul G.

    21. How did we get into all this feminist stuff? art

    22. EQUALITY

      A hypothesis is a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.

      I am not a sexist -- I am a scientist. I presented a hypothesis. It could be wrong. A long time ago Art advised me to avoid making assumptions. That's good advice. There are no assumptions in my comments above -- only personal observations and facts, and a hypothesis.

      Nature is very, very prejudiced. Nature is incredibly diverse -- it evolves because it thrives on inequality. Paul, Emma and Sheri, please try to understand that you are all equally deserving of love and respect, but you are all different, with different skills, different needs (eg. hormonal needs) -- some of those differences were inherited, some were the result of trauma and epigenesis.

      Primal therapy became very different to other therapies. Art was not interested in equality -- he was interested in science.

      Perhaps my gender-related hypothesis is worthless -- perhaps it will have no influence on the evolution of primal therapy. I don't like to withhold any information that might be useful.

      I believe females are superior to males because they seem to have more of the qualities that I value in a human being, but my personal beliefs are contained in a neurotic intellect. Neurosis ruins science. I am trying to be non-neurotic.

    23. Art,

      because it is a significant issue that we have had a hundred years of feminism and it hasn't really worked.

      Just like we have had a hundred years of 'psychotherapy' and that hasn't worked either. Has it?

      Nevertheless the 'material' that has come out from these histrionic old dinosaurs offers us insight into our future. A Primal future we hope.
      If nearly three years on this blog has taught me anything it is that history is important and how women and men have related over the previous four or five generations is very important in comprehending the past history of parenting and our consequential "inheritance".

      Without this 'view', any "Re-view" is suspect. We can't test our theories and assumptions against the new evidence without looking at the old theories and their 'consequential outcomes'.

      I hope that answers your question, but I doubt you didn't have your own answer, so what was yours Art?

      Paul G.

      (PS: Jan and others have often talked about how 'external activities' such as rolfing have provided a compliment to Primal. I cautiously propose that this blog and any other 'external' systems that we can engage in can be an essential addendum to that Primal inner work. Carpentry really helps me for example).

    24. Hi Richard,

      If you really want to talk about 'normal' women you should try addressing women scientists with that question first. Perhaps even France Janov.

      Partial research conducted mostly by prejudiced men who wish to continue suppressing their own 'mother boundness' and painful imprints is all you seem to be supplying here on this blog.

      If you find yourself alienated from any women (or men) it is likely your imprints driving your beliefs.

      One thing about being a man I have finally surmounted is my 'technical arrogance' in the face of a woman's technical ignorance.
      I used to rub women's noses in that and all it did was make me a lonely old fuckwit.

      Until Primal is widely available (particularly for women and women who plan to become 'mothers') Feminism is really the only avenue for empowerment they have. Consequently, I also identify with feminism because what I find attractive about anyone and particularly women is that they have strong opinions and some direction other than following the heard (following the next psycho / sociopathic man).

      So, I will remain a modern, 'new school' well informed and educated feminist man. Linda Nielsen is my current 'guru' in this respect. She is a modern feminist who values men and fatherhood.

      Art Janov is of course my male 'guru'. Not that Mr. Scrutiniser needs any of us to sit 'doe eyed' at his feet in whistful repose.

      Sadly, as a man , a father and a grandfather I find the tone of your comments almost completely alienating. Though I am glad for you that you have a platform as do we all here on this blog.

      I can't speak for the women; they have their own opinion about your opinions. Although I'm sure you won't need to look far to find research that lends weight to the old Gestalt that women should stay at home blah blah blah.

      Paul G.

    25. Hi Emma,

      I am Primalling too. It's not good out of supervision and some of it is abreaction of course. . . but I can't stop it coming up, I'm not making it happen.

      The 1st line stuff is the most important. That's why I need to get to the centre. This is the big difference that Janovs therapy offers and why the three week intensive is so important.

      I sense without this 'access' the centre is aiming at gaining eventually for all patients, all the good 2nd and 3rd line work we do could be undone by further traumatic experiences. Also that 2nd and 3rd line work alone will not stop us from getting seriously ill from the pressure of the 1st line stuff. Will it?

      By the way, since I started really breaking down I have become much more empathic and better at looking after children. I have also ceased completely to engage with women (or men) on any confrontational basis, much to the chagrin of certain 'types' who 'need' conflict to 'feel' alive.

      Paul G.

    26. Guys, let us get off this track. It has gone on too long. art

  4. Is a Neuroscientific coordination possible?

    The Universe Aspect

    A Supernova can be triggered in one or two ways: by the sudden re-ignition of nuclear fusion in a degenerated star; or by the collapse of the core of a massive star. The core of an aging massive star may undergo sudden gravitational collapse, releasing gravitational potential energy that create a supernova explosion. The exploding shock waves from supernova explosions can trigger the formation of new stars.

    The Academic / Scientific Aspect

    The academic world (“the Galaxy”) with its faculties (the Supernovas”) is populated and manipulated by the intellectual / neurotic stars (the Novas). Individuals, propelled by repressed pain, can develop neuroses and beliefs of epic proportions in their Triune brain. Many of these neurotic individuals achieve stardom and become shining stars like mini Novas in their environment / faculty.

    Like in the Universe a degenerated Supernova (a faculty) explode and create new shining stars (branches). The organizational chart of the 20 major branches of modern neuroscience (with all its local superstars, “mini Novas”, battling for resources, awards and power) create together a Galactic “Super-neuroses”; in need of a Primal Super-coordination. Just looking at them can make you primal.

    The Lone Individual Aspect

    When I had a burn-out in the 90ies, I was working with a team of a neurologist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a homeopath + long-distance guidance by Art Janov. The neurologist, the psychiatrist and the homeopath supported (sometimes with fear) my use of the Primal Principal, but they rejoiced my excellent progress! The psychologist shook her head and understood that we could not cooperate; her cognitive methods cracked and she had to retire.

    During these years, I had a rough insight into how difficult it is to influence the often bureaucratic, time pressured and symptom-oriented treatment machine around us. Most participants in the health care system are deeply rooted / molded in their academic branch belongings. You have to be strong to get healthy. I was determined, but without the energy from my belief in the Primal Principals it would not have been possible to overcome a degenerated treatment paradigm.

    Jan Johnsson

  5. Hi ,
    YES we me resp. at least do want real healing !
    Some 30 years ago I swallowed antibiotics like candy . and only as long they were in my system there was some... relief from my acne of 35 years..

    All I really got was distrurbing of my "intestines
    bacterial population!
    Not to mention that..sympathectomy...
    In a sense all therapies I received were some
    kind of healing in and not healing ou ( in German put like that )

    Only one question is the state of HEALTH in reality the "same" and detectable... as laws of
    Nature?! Yours emanuel

  6. Hello Art!

    We have a neighbor who suffers from a rare disorder with a symptomatic reaction called "porphyria" I do not know anything about the disease more than it is associated with a lot of pain. Is there anything that you know about? It is treated with morphine for pain relief... no cure is available.

    Yours Frank

  7. How will we learn anything when something is not even visible!

    The question is how do we get those as float on top of their own suffering to begin feel... I mean those that could change the perception of what primal therapy really is in society.

    There are a large group that has a defense that more will benefit defense than seeing what options they have.

    That they will fall through and begin to suffer to the extent that they will seek help is probably eutopisk as society of all its production invites to extremely sophisticated artificial life no one can resist.

    But here... of above sentences "do I float on top of my own suffering"... this could be of something that awakening a thought they didn't know about and thereby steer in on to another kognitiv "road"... kognitiv road that can lead to get the primal therapeutic issue be focus.

    That there are cognitive questions that can lead to primal therapy... is no doubt about.

    If primal therapy was introduced in our universities it would be the beginning of the revolution we are looking for!

    So in Jan... hold lectures for students in our universities! I will help you to get there.


    1. Frank: My throat won't let me lecture but my wife, Dr. France will lecture this summer in Serbia. art

    2. please inform us as soon as you find out where and when
      so anyone interested can organise in advance to attend!
      if the lectures will be open for the public of course.

  8. An email comment:

    Art, that was so clear and fantastic. :) I want to share this on facebook and twitter.

  9. as to richards view. I think we should be mindful of where the notion comes from to put women in their place. Is it from the feeling of helplessness by being overpowered by a female in birth or later in life; just a thought. also it is worth reading Dr. Janov's Life Before Birth to understand the gay imprint that can be irrevocable. It's great to celebrate ones own gender, but maybe we can be more tolerant of someone's brain who was formed different than ours. I think that is what therapy is all about, accepting ourselves and knowing what pain or stress can create in others too. Everyone just wants love

  10. Hidden from everyone

    and the wind blowed for thousands of years
    and man looked everywhere but couldn't find it
    although it was hidden close to everyone
    "How is that possible ?" someone said
    "because it was hidden a place no one dared to look"
    a wise man replied
    "everything we were looking for is stored in that hiding place
    and even though I can point out the place
    everyone looks the other way"
    "How is that possible ?" someone asks again
    "because it is in the nature of the hiding place
    to push everyone away"
    "Where is that hiding place ?"
    "it is in fact obvious"
    the wise man points
    "there ! - inside everyone,
    the place just behind the pure Pain".

    1. Dear Art

      The words put them self together while I was reading your fantastic piece above. I have read everything you have written ( or rather been able to find ) and it amazes me how you have become more and more clear in your writing.

      I have the deepest respekt for you, France and the staff !!! .

      I would like to thank you for something that happend for me for precisely 30 years ago (I was 25 years old) , but how do you thank for something of this dimension. And what is a "thank you" anyway - it cannot come close to the real meaning. Four of your books and the situation I was in (of course) guided me to a spontanious Primal that lasted 3,5 hours (long story)( and you are right a Primal like this could have been dangerous without causion) .
      This Primal alone have totally changed my life in many ways. It is something I am reminded of everyday. Jesus ! - where would I have been today without that Primal ? - I wonder (not saying things couldn't be better). It released me into a new world.
      I was deeply depressed from I was 15 until this Primal, and I haven't seen anything to that depression ever since.

      If you like, I will write you a more detailed version of my "thank you" in a more private email.

      Allways yours
      Flemming Dahl

    2. I am so happy it helped you. art

  11. Dr. Janov,

    That’s it: “leaving feeling out or behind”.

    I searched history and could not find the exact year when feelings became no longer a part of humanity.
    However, it couldn’t be too long ago if I compare the lack of feeling with the explosive rise of cancer.

    Cancer, as scientists confirm, is demethylation/methylation, though all of these genius big left-brainers (SU2C Dream Teams: ) are still puzzled, searching for a cure, without asking how and when genes become methylated (April Time article, “The conspiracy to end cancer”). How can anyone cure something without knowing what it is.

    Maybe the SU2C Dream Teams need your book “Life before Birth”.


  12. Art,

    We got after correspondence with the controlling organization of psychiatry and psychology here in Stockholm confirmed that a meeting will take place on May 17. They have been informed of what you recently featured on the blog and in the Science magazine.

    If there is any information you think we should know of... pleas let us know! If someone from the center wish to join... you are in doing so invited!

    The following is what we received in response!

    "I have received a letter from you forwarded to me from my boss Conny Gabrielsson, who has asked me to contact you for a first exploratory meeting. I'm the one on the psychiatry unit responsible for psychotherapy questions and took part very actively when the contracts were made for a number of years ago.

    It is exciting and important issues you raise and evidence, we can speak for long.

    I'm pretty heavily booked in the near future and will also be off a few days so here is my proposal on Friday, May 17 after lunch or Monday 20 or Tuesday 21 May at any time.

    With kind regards
    Marie-Loui​se Siverstran​d

  13. The elevator to hell by trust in god and pills!

    We go lift every day whether we like it or not. We are ourselves the elevator... so it is impossible to detect which floor we step on and off. It is powered by its nature... by friction from colliding chemistries... chemistries for goals to not pass each other against an even worse friction... something we can help with at the primal center.

    For most of us... it takes place in an "normal" automatic process... exept for what anxiety and depression leaks through... where God and pills takes over for a "safe" death in suffering and confusion!

    Were are the sentences so meaningful that we understand what it is that actually happening?


  14. Dear Art,
    something very ... offtopic.
    My brother Raphael is beeing hospitalized because i.alia pneunomy.
    My selfish or self defending ?! fear is : whether my strenght of
    dealing with the worst case message ...will lead to ...yes
    heart danger ...(always I react with heart arrythmia et. when con-
    fronted with psychic pressure.

    I am not sure whether I am able to "primal it away"
    Yours emanuel

  15. If there is science in psychotherapy then there could always be a finite solution to every client's problem. Since every person is evolving, has different ways, different backgrounds, then there could never be a finite antidote to a common problem such as in depression. Every person has different level of coping depression as well as every psychoanalyst has also different ways of dealing with their clients' problem. Psychotherapy is really different from mathematics wherein there is a finite formula to be used to a certain problem, hence, psychotherapy could never be science.

    1. Ava: Primal Theory/Therapy is the first science in psychotherapy. It is not a matter of each doctor has his own way of treating patients. There has to be one way based on science. I will soon publish ON DEPRESSION in a scientific journal in the next 3 months so then you can decide. art janov

    2. Ava: I looked over the piece by the social worker, which represents everything that is wrong with therapy. I will write a piece about it. Art.

    3. DR. COPE. This is part of his ad for clients that you sent me. It really is self-explanatory. He seems to agree that he has no scientific point of view but uses "big bag of tools." Already we know there is not science there, but what I don't get is that if you read my works you will note that there is a science of therapy and it is not a mixed bag of approaches. He is saying "I take a bit from here and a bit from there and put them all togetheer and........they spell Dixie." This is what is wrong with the field. He specializes in absolutely everything. How is that possible since he has not scientific method? And all this booga booga nonsense about no one can give us mental health......we have to earn it. Now what on earth does that mean? I don't make my method a secret and we will soon publish the Legacy that France Janov is doing which is a series of videos explaining Primal. If he has not science how does he help with all those afflictions. Can he explain how he does it or is it all New Age nonsense. art
      "My therapeutic treatment style is reality oriented and verbally interactive. I am an eclectic who has not one therapeutic specialty but rather utilizes a big bag of therapy experience, and the tools to get change done. My therapy is to help you generate motivation and develop the courage to change. It is….understanding yourself better is what leads to greater emotional resolve along with improved mental health. No one can give you good mental health; you need to earn it through your life experiences. My area of specialization includes anxiety disorder, depression, substance abuse, aftercare therapy, anger management, panic attacks."
      What is left that is not his specialty?

  16. Paul: Let's not worry about feminism and instead worry about child abuse. Because then all this politics will vapourise (you only have to fight for respect when it isn't really there!).

    btw: Don't worry, lot's of nice woman find me attractive - even if I'm making a sexist joke! They're usually very well tuned to where someone is coming from.

  17. Hi Andrew,

    I worry about the methadone/diazapam abuse my children were gestated through every fucking day. Unfortunately the 'politics' that prescribed those drugs is still doing the same abuse to the next generation and the next generation and the next.

    This point is totally escaping everyone except the broken down recovering methadone children and those parents willing to face the music.

    Therefore, no 'evaporation' to report here in UK yet I'm afraid.

    You Kiwi 'ex pats' don't know how lucky you are, still living in the benign shadow of a crumbling empire. Still, I suppose you do have your own 'ethnic back yard' in the form of those 'ex warriors' from Polynesia to look down on. Once a Warrior. . . Now a crystal meth head.

    Paul G.

  18. I like the idea that the Science of Psychotherapy is as exact as the Science of Mathematics.

    If you listen carefully to what people say, you may not never the less hear all what comes from their mouth. You have filters, eliminating unnecessary sounds. You probably do not hear their breathing which is there all the time. (It is very good you can automatically use filters, avoiding overload).

    When practising violin, I suddingly became aware of sounds not belonging to the melody. The noise came from the shortcomings in my technique. Once discovered that I could listen better and improve.

    The violing experience made me start listening more carefully to what people say and discovered a lot of "noise" there too.

    Extrapolating, also taking body language in consideration, I guess you can train yourself to some extent, getting aware of more information coming out.


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.