Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An article on Mindfulness

Here is the abstract of an article from the Clinical Psychology Review journal (2011 Apr;31(3):449-64). (see

I would like your opinion on it.

Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings.

Mindfulness meditation practices (MMPs) are a subgroup of meditation practices which are receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews current evidence about the effects of MMPs on objective measures of cognitive functions. Five databases were searched. Twenty three studies providing measures of attention, memory, executive functions and further miscellaneous measures of cognition were included. Fifteen were controlled or randomized controlled studies and 8 were case-control studies. Overall, reviewed studies suggested that early phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements in selective and executive attention whereas the following phases, which are characterized by an open monitoring of internal and external stimuli, could be mainly associated with improved unfocused sustained attention abilities. Additionally, MMPs could enhance working memory capacity and some executive functions. However, many of the included studies show methodological limitations and negative results have been reported as well, plausibly reflecting differences in study design, study duration and patients' populations. Accordingly, even though findings here reviewed provided preliminary evidence suggesting that MMPs could enhance cognitive functions, available evidence should be considered with caution and further high quality studies investigating more standardized mindfulness meditation programs are needed.


  1. Focused meditation on external independent potentials-No On internal processes-Yes Moment to moment focus on a single image or mantra while maintaining open mindedness concerning the independent surrounding environment promotes reaction time and invites external participation I have found that I act in conjunction with surrounding stimuli on a simultaneous basis to mutual beneficial result most often while practicing what I call Active meditation, internally focused and receptive to external stimuli while interacting throughout the tasks of day to day existance

  2. Hi,

    I'm very interested in mindfulness because I am a carpenter working in a controlled environment making stuff in the workshop. Mindfulness is essential to groups of people working together.
    It's the same as working in a kitchen; anything where people come together to prosper through interdependence on tasks.
    Actually (beyond merely my belief systems which are now fairly well annulled by my FEELINGS) there are so many 'systems' we humans have devised and they nearly all follow this same pattern of "Progression". I think it's fair to say that the best 'goods' are those that are hand made for a specific client or set of clients and who better than your family for a good meal together ?

    When we make something , we are making ourselves. It's the imprinted trauma that fragments this reality, people loose the plot on their mission to inter depend and some idiots (probably the intellectuals) have re-invented this amazing system of attention as a system of therapy.

    But (and it' is a big BUT) how does the individual apply mindfulness ? It's surely another one of those ridiculous "Oxymoron" situations where the 'therapist' is marketing the theory of interdependence / group working attention in a veiled cloak as some kind of therapy. I am repeating myself.

    What mindfulness is : IS the way to make something, not only to think about something or to "Plan" something but to actually engage in the process of processing MATERIALS in the MATERIAL world into something with a higher material value. ADDING VALUE.

    So what these mindfulness fuckers are selling is what you would have developed naturally if your parents played LEGO with you, if your teachers taught you something about fabrication and craft and ART and if your society valued small working groups of local manufacturers. . . like how it used to be before some crazy people took mass manufacture and the internet / global market way too far and made most of us redundant in our own local economies.

    Mindfulness is common sense (long lost in society) masquerading as therapy.

    It's what you would expect in "Post Modernist Society".

    Fucking Intellectual Wankers telling me how to make something of myself when I already make their houses / furniture / dreams of material wealth come true.

    But of course if I didn't have them as my clients I wouldn't have the pleasure of making things in my workshop. . .

    Ho Hum. . .

    Paul G.

  3. The study does not seem to be presented with a lot of confidence but the results seem to show some improvement but as described, I do not see many grasping what is indicated or not. They beat around the bush.

    I put it this way. People have general types of problems that tend to repeat all the time, due a rut in behavior. Just as we learn how to play tennis, or ski, or play an instrument from an instructor, we can learn from someone who can hear our problems and know and teach constructive methods to correct or change the results so that new behaviors and new experiences can take place, reducing problems and thereby reducing anxiety which distracts, so that more focus can be given toward more productive pursuits and results.

    It may not reduce the stored primal pain but it will make for a better smoother life with less aggravation so that if one then wants to pursue PT, they may do so with less distraction. As well, having corrected some problems, perhaps the hidden observer, the so-called sub-conscious, may feel more inclined to allow feelings to arise and be integrated.

    The hidden observer is always the one holding things back. Most therapists, regardless of the therapy, will meet with little success since the hidden observer will likely offer resistance if it does not like the direction things are going in. It will hold the front consciousness, which Art describes as unconscious, in paralysis or distract it in a fruitless direction.

    PT can be pursued at the same time as one works in smoothing out patients’ lives so that they are less hindered or distracted by their foolish self-destructive behavior. Reducing “static” will make for better PT results in the long run, I would think. I can not see it hurting.

    Our parents should have taught us but did not so it falls to therapists to do so. Perhaps some would do better getting fixed up some before attempting PT. Others can go right to PT or a mix of the 2 I mention.

    1. Hi Apollo,

      In the mornings when I wake up (if I've had any sleep that is) I get terror /anxiety (presumably from my 1st line traumas), later followed by grief from resonating 2nd line separation trauma and eventually all that compounds into worry and stress 'with' my ongoing chaotic business life as an under employed professional carpenter / designer (not getting enough work / contracts / loss / grief resonance etc). I'm certain its the 1st line stuff driving my lack of success; an act out.

      As I wake I am AWARE of my 1st anxiety / terror attaching itself to my grief and 'shaping' the thoughts in my mind. So, for eg: I worry about the loss of my Landrover and how much more work there is to put it right, how much more money and time its taking, that I have not enough work to justify all this and so on.

      So, it is as if this 'receptionist' in my mind has learned the rules of Primal and to an extent enables me (the organisation) to 'boot up' for activity by sidestepping the actual traumas and eventually getting me to work.
      But this receptionist is not conscious, merely aware; and s/he is only rote learned in Primal. It is like s/he has learned the Primal message and now , together s/he and I have a new "Corporate Culture"; or "Organisational Belief System". That is Primal. . . it is helpful but does not address the underlying traumas.

      This does no more than to help me get into my 3rd line to function. It is not therapy but 'common sense'.

      Ironically this awareness of hir on the front desk has only occurred since getting into my true feelings and learning Primal theory. Therefore, I think it is important to try to become aware of how our organism is like a complex corporation (I should say that the other way around shouldn't I)? This 'corporation' can be shaped by new belief systems and it's front line receptionist can indeed learn the new rules by rote but s/he will not be able to do anything about the traumas or even prevent any further compounding. Once another ROGUE TRADER has made it into reception s/he is just as likely to send him on through to the boss where havoc can easily be wreaked. . .

      Paul G.

  4. MMP ... another phenomenon in fraudulent attempts to ascribe the suffering to be a feeling when we suffer because we do not feel!

    How shall those as unfortunate recommended MMP defend themself against deceptive practices... unless it is not done by law? Perhaps through established for "enlightening" activity... who explains primal therapy to be an ill phenomenon in the try to protect their own business!?

    We do not feel depressed... we are depressed because we do not feel... and we continuing avoid primal therapy because we are misled!

    There is an ongoing criminal lobbying activity through cognitive methods... now MMP... a criminal enterprise because today we know better! We FEEL and KNOW better... the basis for a lawsuit!

    It hurts so much to see all the innocent children being victims of madness... conducted by us adult children screaming out ours hatred for not getting to feel why!


    1. Hi Frank,
      i don't know if a modern legal system is the best place for resolving problems in society. i still tend to think we will wait for usable proof for some time... if that ever happens we will have to implement the new law based on these new proof... all this have to wait for numerous critical mass of conscious people and primal therapists...?
      to go back to the proof: it is very, very hard to prove that one therapeutic method is better or worse than the other. but as Art says there shouldn't be a thousand of them... all valid. where is the quality? we don't have the criteria for health. what is appropriate state of the system at any given moment? who knows that? is any science exact? we go deeper for markers but then we find myriad things that affect the same markers. correlations... contexts..
      it seems to me that both the proof and the law is meant to be in most intimate living form. everything else is representation of that. representation of survival. of life. playing with representations can only fool us. representation can be faked. it is a part of janovian gap.
      maybe this is why i would like to place both primal patient and mindfulness practitioner in a same lab and over some time compare the available results. try to help "ask" the right question! help monitor if therapy is on the wrong track! but then i go back to... and can't find a solid ground.

    2. Art, I am not satisfied with my last comment to Frank. I can compose it better but i don't know when the mood will strike. And i probably repeat myself from my past letters.i guess i let myself to be distracted lately by some not so big challenges at work...
      . it is not easy subject to write about. health is not only about primal... it is also about implementing new consciousness in present life situations. so primal therapy is not only about reliving... it is also about living. about lifestyle. if we measure the patient before any application for therapy we measure his/her lifestyle effects plus his/her imprint effects in specific present context...
      i am tired to go to sleep...

  5. Hi ,
    mindfullness :a gorgeous female student at this very moment left her place at the internet desk
    where I try to communicate my thoughts about the about the ability to focus my attention on any subject.
    A look in her(student`s eyes were enough to remind me of the crippling effects of sleep deficit on my "mindfullness" abilities (close to null/rero in that mindless state of deficit

    Some decades ago I looked into those "swollen eyes of a some buddhist type MEDITATION
    instructor to learn that only restfull sleeping patterns and their effect on our innate MINDFULNESS are real BIOS/Logos !
    All else is mind game crap!!

    Once I paid 400DM for one word(instruction inclusive) for one word (in the old TM Days ...
    Nowadays "they" demand and get!! 2300 Euros .Mundus vult decipi!!! emanuel

  6. Hi Apollo,

    It's peculiar how a lot of what each of us says runs parallel or seems to. At least we can agree that there's stuff our parents could have done with us that improves our ability to 'get on', to 'get by' etc etc.

    Some-one else posted that they used mindfulness as a way to prepare some people who need a better formed "Ego Structure" for deeper insight and could / should be a forerunner to Primal.

    Actually and unfortunately I completely disagree. I've considered and pondered on this a lot. Not just 'thinking'.

    Primal is so fundamental it can allow people DIRECT ACCESS without them having "formed a solid Ego Structure". In my humble opinion the solid ego structure is actually a disadvantage because it is an effective barrier to access. Not only that but also it distorts 'reality' (who's reality?) in an 'ego-centric' way; IE: Access becomes personalised the older we get and more EGO CENTRIC we therefore become. I think the Center have found a way that allows people actual access regardless of their more or less appropriately formed "Ego Structure". I'm guessing here, what do others think ?

    I feel that those of us who have acquired a mindful ability are no better equipped for Primal than any one else. We may have 'rationalised' that we need Primal and use our rational capacity to actually get ourselves into therapy but once on the 3 week intensive rationality is out the window.

    The illusion is that : "Some People are Not Ready for Primal". . . Well, thing is, Primal underlies the rest of our neural development. Access at the Center on the 3 week intensive is not dependent on mindfulness. The problem as I see it is that Primal is not yet part of the 'Social Mores' of our culture and so is viewed as an exotic result of a calculated breakdown of EGO for the selected elite who 'are working so hard on themselves'. . . Or some such bollocks like that. . . Actually that is almost exactly what a couples counselor told me so I'm not making this all up.

    Enough for now because I could wax lyrical on this particular thread endlessly and it would not get any of us any closer to our feelings.

    Paul G.

  7. I had an avant-guard teacher in a college class many years ago who said; taking notes during a lecture keeps you from learning, so just listen. He instinctively knew how to teach. So in general I think there can be ways to learn easier. As far as meditation goes, I don't think it helped me, just made me slow down a bit. When I have a problem with a task a little break helps get my mind on something else to let the problem marinate a little. It relaxes the brain to think of or do something else. One of the perks of going thru feelings though is clearer thinking and comprehension. I always used to misread directions or not understand them at all. I now tackle some things that I would not have before. Put in a bathroom faucet myself last week with the help of online googling and borrowed tools it got done. I thought it would be fun doing it myself but it was work. As many times I've seen things done by my father--could never "get " how to do it. My brain was too nervous. It's quieter now. Also I can actually tune in to the Antiques Road show and hear what they are saying and have a genuine interest in the history of the item. A couple of years ago I would have just be interested in the price and the people's reaction. So in my opinion, mindfulness or meditation doesn't beat the renewal of the feeling brain. Sheri

    1. Hi Sheri,

      I like your answer a lot. It poses certain real issues about learning stuff.

      -"taking notes during a lecture keeps you from learning, so just listen"-.

      Or watch. . .

      There is a famous saying about learning tasks: "Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I might remember but let me have a go and I'll learn"-. 3-2-1.

      Nevertheless there are certain types of work where all three are needed, but not necessarily all at the same time, or in any particular order.

      At 3 we need to take notes of a generic kind to remind us that there are 3 radically different types of task to listen to / watch / learn / perform. It's not easy to remember this while pre-occupied with one of the three. . . we forget.

      In structural carpentry there are 1: yard duties (handling, sorting and nominating timbers, physical, little intellect), 2: workshop layouts (following on from yard duties, a lot more emotional because it involves relating with others and situations in the confines of the workshop) and then 3: the blessed carpentry, intellectual.

      Thus in learning a trade there are aspects of both evolution and involution. The absence of connections (repression- in all it's multifarious forms) inhibits learning this simple process.

      There are three stages in a complete action. If we can remember (perhaps by writing down their primary characteristics), maybe we can qualify as beginners. If we can't tell the difference between these three distinct 'stages', we won't be able to learn what we are trying to achieve and we'll get in the way of the process. We'll even fuck up the entire shebang. . . I can only speculate how this plays out in Mock Primal Therapy. . . I digress.

      It's not rocket science to understand this. It is the same as a kitchen. When we cook a meal we don't ask the diners to wait for us to go to the supermarket to get the ingredients or the gas bottle for the cooker etc etc (or tell them that 50 minutes is up and they have to get out to allow the next diners onto their table).

      I have found that the feelings I am delving down to, precipitate these three layers. So I become a better teacher (of carpentry or cooking, or parenting even). . . but without "Taking Note" of (and remembering) whats important, what's significant, what 'matters' about these three layers. . . Without that discriminatory apparatus working I cannot really get on and learn.

      Sheri, I also watch these telly programs and have similar insights.

      Yes indeed: "mindfulness or meditation doesn't beat the renewal of the feeling brain"-.

      It's not mindfulness but feeling that unlocks that discriminatory apparatus (discrimination is a feeling function NOT thinking. . . when thinking takes on that 'art' then it is REDUCTIONISM). . . I am convinced. If you ever try to work with some-one who refuses to take note of these three layers, these three 'stages', then you are on a hiding for nothing. They will fuck your system and charge you for the indignity.

      Meditation. I became temporarily relaxed in my neocortex. I did TM for decades and it appeared to help because it allowed me the 'privilege' of rising into my neocortex and then systematically practicing a powerful disconnect from my feelings. Disconnection from the sympathetic anxiety. So I can pretend to be a neurosis free parasympath (but without the feedback from my feelings / sensations). . .

      I completely and utterly agree. Everything else is a 'hijack'. . .

      Paul G.

  8. Hi Art
    as an Abstract, I think it's fine


  9. An email comment: "Firstly: we are up the ying yang in studies. Just because some professor of higher education bethinks himself to create a study:* is the what should be STUDIED first. Why are these guys from a professional stand-point thinking up these studies in the first place? ... AND. ... further more ... are not most studies a mind-set to demonstrate (in the hope that it's proof) what the originator of the study hoped they would find? In other words it's already designated in the left lobe of these guys what they hope to find and hence tend to make the study find exactly what they THOUGHT in the first place.

    It's a case of you "You see, my original thought was right ... and now I have a study to prove it".

    What is a great pity is that the concept of a "right lobe to feel and a left lobe to express that feeling" is what we were about in the first place. I say in the "first place meaning way back in our evolution, before we developed the "Pathology of feelings"

    OR, what most of us were born with (being OUR first place) before we realized that unless we stopped and did it their way ... mommy and daddy, (as opposed to our baby instincts) then later the teacher at school (prisons for children, I would rather designate these institutions), we, as babies, had it all intact.

    The idea of meditation (stilling the mind) was a creation by those who'd already got into left lobe thinking, to make life somewhat more bearable. We'd already, to put it crudely, "f***ourselves up" and needed a remedy." Jack

  10. Another email comment: "Dear Dr. Janov,

    I am reminded of the book: The Relaxation Response (1975) by Herbert Benson, M.D.
    A research you doubtlessly influenced I dare to say.

    I’m surprised that the National Center for Biotechnology Information deems it necessary to quantify such old and irrefutable territory. Clearly the mind can make one well and sick (psychosomatics). A perfectly healthy mind can be depraved and a diseased mind can be thoughtful and kind. I suppose this needlessly studious mindset of the NIH is necessitated by the “clinical model” that requires a pill to heal; a self defeating and intransigent criteria. Perhaps it’s a good sign, and suggests they are broadening and progressing.

    NIH-“Additionally, MMPs could enhance working memory capacity and some executive functions.”

    This contention could be ascertained by tests before and after therapies; empirical evidence. It seems they, NIH, desire a therapy that is 100% demonstrably effective in improvement . This, of course, is impossible given the myriad of mental configurations and pre-existing conditions (some biological and some psychological) and as you have clearly demonstrated, either possess the ability to affect the other, then becoming unified and essentially one and the same. In some cases this mindfulness exercise could result in a eureka moment for the uneducated, unconscious patient; a moment of epiphany: contingent upon said mindfulness training including some remnant of psychoanalysis.

    NIH-“However, many of the included studies show methodological limitations and negative results have been reported as well, plausibly reflecting differences in study design, study duration and patients’ populations.”

    This statement seems utterly absurd and is a foregone conclusion. Once again this statement suggests a “cookie -cutter” modality of study. The very nature of psychology/psychiatry is a study of complex and always compounded layers of conditions. Some conditions will surely result in improved and/or unimproved (perhaps exacerbated) mindsets. People are unique and individual, not automatons or organisms in a petri dish. Some patients will have pre-conceived fixed ideas that preclude them from any improvement (defense mechanisms and reaction formations) which will self sabotage any ability to improve. They require, as you have stated, “all the time necessary to heal, not the 60 minute model hour. (paraphrasing Doctor) That staid 60 minute model can itself be anxiety inducing. This is the plight of the patient and physician, perfection is an idealization.

    As ever I appreciate your writing’s and research and look forward to them.

  11. Another email comment: "Hi Doctors Janov! In response to your latest post requesting opinions, I’ve attached two studies I obtained from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences at

    One of the studies is a numbers exercise that suggests 17-25% of scientific findings are false. It’s interesting to me is that the findings they looked at, reference (20) in the paper, were from experimental psychology. Assuming that the mindfulness studies drew from the same population, I’d guess that these percentages of false findings also apply.

    The second study I’ve attached measures the placebo effect, specifically by establishing a belief in oxytocin’s effects. From the results of this study, I’d guess that the cognitively induced changes of the mindfulness studies would also be conflated with the placebo effects of people’s expectations of benefits from each mindfulness experiment. The design of each experiment would need to specifically control and measure for placebo effects similar to this second study in order for the effects to not be mixed into the findings.

  12. Another email comment: "My opinion as a lay person is that it sounds like once you finish reading it you don’t know what they said.

    I personally liken it to the church. People who go to church regularly and focus and repeat the teachings of the church keep your mind off yourself. This is why people go (in my opinion) someone else (mommy and daddy) will take care of them. But they have to go all the time and repeat prayers to keep their mind off of their own demons.
    My 5 cents!

  13. Another email comment: "I Think every divertion and avoidance of Feeling pain leads to good results concerning cognitive abilities. It however does not affect the source of the pain that leads to problems. I do not like esoterics."

  14. Another email comment: "Having done some meditation as well as some Primal Therapy in New York years ago, my opinion is that meditation helps calm things down, but does not really change anything long term. Primal Therapy changed me from my core so I felt calmer and had more attention in general. I had to practice meditation every day to help keep the benefits of progress. Would like to read the whole report and see what the results were.


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.