Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On Mental Resistance

A confession:  a year ago I was recommended to a naturopath for stem cells.  He was even near my house.  But I never went to him because “naturopath” didn’t sit right with me.  I was resistant; had mental reservations, and was prejudiced.  And then a few weeks ago my old MD called me and re-recommended anew this same stem cell group.  So I went just after going to Cancun for adipose tissue stem cells which did nothing and cost a fortune.  So now it is 2 months into the new stem cells and for the first time in 45 years I talk and am out of pain.  And this is a naturopath.  What does this tell me?  Stop with mental prejudices and resistance.  It kept me from getting well for over a year.

And they were recommended by a "proper" medical doctor.  The same is true of most medical doctors who cannot see and adopt the new.  This is especially true for shrinks, several hundred thousand of them in America.  After my 17 books, published in 26 countries, not one has come to us and wanted to know more about our work.  Thousands of scientists downloaded my scientific articles in the World Congress of Psychiatry (It is considered one of the most downloaded pieces in their history),  yet not one has contacted me.

I have found that most MDs stay in their groove and never seek out other alternatives.  And the question is, why?  One answer is, "I have the tools and will use it hither and yon, whenever I have a patient."  This is true in psychiatry where "I have the shock machine, the favorite pills, the rigid adherent to one single therapy often with no basis in deep science".  And what is wrong with that?  It is therapist oriented, not the patient.  It is he who has the power and the magical therapy; he is the holder of all the secrets.  And we the patients remain powerless.  Their "tool" is applied to all kinds of patients with no acknowledgement of individual differences.

So what is wrong?  Doctors are doctors, without a broad perspective.  They are rarely inclusive, mostly exclusive.  My prejudice came from the fact that when I grew up there was nothing else. Our MD was the be-all and end-all of status.  So therefore I began to suspect anyone who was not a "real" doctor.

On the other hand, the "natural" healers I have known, whom I call booga booga merchants, were not high on science. They were more loosey-goosey.  Which is not a bad thing; they were open to everything; sometimes too open so that they lacked the discipline needed.  Their open-mind became a sieve.  And they used every vitamin in the book to treat patients.  They purveyed received wisdom.  And they too often say, that you have to believe to make it work; a bit of circular reasoning.  So if you are slightly skeptical it won’t work and they say, aha!, you see. So that field attracts believers and people who through wish fulfillment think they are doing great and say they feel wonderful.  Who can argue with that?  Nevertheless,  my current naturopath is curing me which 40 previous MD’s could not do over many decades.  They lacked the essential curiosity and willingness to look at all kinds of solutions, not just their bag of tricks.  So when I had surgery, and when it did not work the doctor washed his hands of my case.  He never explored about what others might do for me.  Why?  Because they do not know what others in the field do, and mostly, they are not interested.  This is what I call medical rigidity.

So here is what happens:  as we mature the zeigeist and all its ideologies, perpetuated by the medical establishment spin a web of ideology inside us which then takes charge and directs our choices.  We are now driven by inner forces.  And I for one, avoided the one thing that could cure me.  How tragic.  What is even more tragic is that the Big Pharma and the health institutions prevent them from even using the term stem cells. So what cures is banned. Not because it can help but because they flouted the regulations of “real” science:  double blind studies with plenty of subjects, and plenty of controls,  done at reputable science centers, blah blah.  The top guys don’t even want to look at the actual people who have been cured; they want statistics and proper procedures.
Following the rules is the summum bonum.

Why all this?    Because they can keep a monopoly on the whole business of science.  And extracted from their feelings, what they see and feel does not count.

In my field,  no one who has spent 10 years on his studies is going to say, Oh yes, I get it. I will start to learn something new all over again.  So it is not mental resistance so much as pocket resistance and energy resistance.

Let me diverge for a moment: today in science they reported that children who suffered emotional neglect were more likely to suffer stroke later in life.  Now if those researchers were to read a bit more they might stumble on my work and the notion of enduring imprints that lead to stroke. They lack curiosity. They remain in a medical cloister about what is out there; about what more there is to learn.  They lack a broad frame of reference, so what has been known for fifty years is ignored.  This is typical; everyday there is a new study stating the obvious. Researchers could not feel what was right because they lost touch with that baby inside of them.  They should guess that early neglect would lead to disaster, and they should say to themselves, “maybe I should follow up on that?”.  First, you need to feel what is right.  Living in your head for too long robs you of the innate sense; feeling.

Maybe it is not lack of curiosity? Maybe it is just indifference?  No matter, science and humanity will suffer from it.


  1. but it is also about persistence! about hope! and who knows what else....
    somebody took a little stone out of your shoe after 45 years. well done!!
    it must be a good feeling!!
    my aunty always sad: if you have a problem throw it to the people and they will solve it for you.
    persistence plus resistance equals solution..

  2. Great post. Congratulations on your throat, Art. I'm sincerely pleased for you!

    ...I think part of the problem with establishments is the "cult dynamic" (as I put it). For example, I think if you went to a communist convention and listened to all their in-house discussions, you would discover that most or nearly all of what they say is, in itself, logically consistent...and you would probably start to wonder if they have a point and are right...

    But, if you went away from that group (after attending it) into you own space, free to reflect freely, you would probably come to realise that there are fundamental questions and realities that the communist in-group forget to consider, making you then seriously question the whole ideology.

    My point is too much single-focus in-group schooling can stop people from developing a truly robust intellectual foundation, by driving them into an ideological "cult" that they couldn't get away from, periodically, to test and put into perspective. And of course the big $$ at the end of the institutional tunnel only aggravates the problem; my cousin, Paul, just told me (in good spirits) that he's not going to even read my "Should we be eating meat?" post because he's a sheep and cattle farmer! Lol!

    Andrew Atkin

  3. Congratulations Art that is the best news I have heard in a long time. I'm glad you are feeling better.

  4. Hi Art,
    I'm also glad you are feeling better, it must be a great relief &give you much hope

    I've mentioned before, the Psychiatry Head @the University of Western Australia is very interested in, open to &supportive of PT. Especially since I was @the Center in '12 he asks me about the therapy &my experience, has supported my grant applications in the past (in relation to PT) &organised for me to give a seminar to the School on PT some years ago
    He hopes to attend the Barnes Jewish, St Louis &McGill, Montreal on sabbatical this year. I have suggested he also meet w/you.. Perhaps you would consider formally inviting him? It may not be coming from him but I am sure he would be receptive &it could lead to great things.. I can give you his contact again if you are interested

    Jacquie x

    1. Hi Jacquie & Art,

      I am in the process of getting my poor son some help and this involves adult social services intervention for him and First Response for my grandson. I am carefully introducing Primal Theory / therapy into this.

      So far I have achieved some results with my medical statement (which naturally carries inside of it reference in detail to serious traumatic family history including un- witnessed crimes against us etc). I am trying to promote the idea that my son needs an advocate to help him write his own medical statement. This in turn may eventually lead to the family receiving funding / compensation.

      I wonder if you would from your professional position be willing to write for our family something to support our gradual move toward getting real Primal Therapy? It is a massive undertaking involving moving my side of the family and business to California for at least one year and all the expenses involved. Such things rarely happen but fact is often stranger than fiction and I have nothing to lose from trying to do this.

      In this blog there are many posts which explain what went on in our family and so I don't need to repeat it here. I am also aware that I have not always been particularly friendly in my posts but I have moved on from that resentful space.

      Also, I think it's pertinent to point out that I was recently called to interview with a very well know 'Professor' of Sustainable Development. He was co-founder of a well known environmental political party and has run a timber frame company for many years. He wants me to set up an Oak Frame department for them.
      I've been talking to this guy for about 14 years and he has seen me grow from a naive idealist with a bit of woodworking skill into a dedicated and committed professional.

      It should be good news for all of us that he said he had lived and worked through at least 4 recessions and he had not set up this new factory on a whim. There is a recovery and he intends outputting 50 houses a year. His business model peaks at 200 houses a year.
      It could all be bullshit but he asked me to come to interview, then put me into a client meeting where I was the only consultant.
      Something is changing and I can't believe all the tears I have shed in the last 4 years are abreaction. . .

      What do you think ?

      Paul G.

    2. Hi,

      I attended a meeting with my grandsons social workers yesterday and I am totally emotionally exhausted. . .
      I introduced the idea of Primal etc and also asked them to help my son get onto Janovs Blog. . . he has been saying he will but has trouble getting past his OCD symptoms and suffering. . . I gave the social workers my updated medical statement.

      I have now distributed 6 copies of my updated medical statement to targeted individual professionals and with these last two I am now past the point of no return; I will no longer be able to retract the allegations I have made.

      At this meeting I asked them to put on record that if I could get legal aid I would apply for a shared residence order for my grandson. The needs of the child first. I told them this was possible and the best option; they ummed and errrrred. . . and agreed it was indeed possible but they needed to do their assessment first.

      I will be graciously demanding meetings with these social workers and developing the family history literature until my family (including me) and particularly my son is recognised as victims of crimes and is awarded an advocate who can help him write his own medical statement. This I see as being central to the healing process of my son and central to the long term plan for my grandson.

      I have decided that we have nothing to lose by me continuing on this path. Everything I have learned over the last 4 years has taught me to completely re-evaluate my life. This has lead to me forming small but effective bridges across my repression and also across those barriers to my future "success". These bridges allow for "non confrontational" communication with those who are vested with the power to intervene.

      Eventually my family will get significant compensation; not because I am somehow going to be able to "launch a campaign" but because the impartial statements of the facts will become overwhelming to those who are vested with the power to intervene.

      I have nothing to lose but there will be no 'battle in court'. There will be an assessment of needs, an assessment of 'unfairly accrued losses' and those with the power to act will have all the answers they need infront of them. No need for further questions asked; except perhaps how to make sure others do not suffer the consequences of all that 'generous intervention' that we did, in our living nightmarish past.

      This is called an "out of court settlement". The Primal / neurological and social facts inherent in these historical documents and updated medical statements are stand alone and require no advocacy in themselves. It's just a matter of persistence and time.

      Paul G.

    3. Write what you want and I will look it over and make sure it is authentic. art

    4. Hi Paul
      I agree w/Art's suggestion, if you write something I'm also prepared to look at it and perhaps add a 'post note' that I support Primal therapy in your case. It is still the only therapy I endorse

      Well done w/the sustainability opportunity. I support this as well!


    5. Hi again Paul,
      can I also suggest you send your doc to the Primal Centre email?
      Art, if the Centre would then kindly forward it to me; I'll copy you in on all correspondence also

    6. Jacquie,

      yes, thanks. Trying to get my head around all this before the 'powers that be' exercise their cognitive reductionism and eliminate grandad from the equation. . .

      Paul G.

    7. Hi Art & Jacquie and everyone else,

      I have finally written my son's Medical Statement and sent it to primalctr@me.com
      Also I have sent two other documents which as a trio adequately describe what's been going on. These three are the essays I have been writing since I got onto this blog. I referred to them a while back in one of my posts about legal action, or rather "the reason not to take legal action".

      I will also be asking my doctor (the one claiming to be a specialist in trauma & recovery so say) to represent my son and me for the purposes of raising the support necessary to get funding. I have no illusions about how difficult this could be.

      Nevertheless, there is potentially quite a lot of cachet to be gained for any one who does support this 'claim'. Perhaps it could be the first time Primal gets funded by agencies who should already be acknowledging your work Art, or at least acknowledging the research behind it.
      I have found the process really helpful and recommend others do something similar. It may be unhelpful for some and this last week I have been in a lot of pain whilst trawling through old documents and diaries. It's painful to refer back to all that stuff our organism keeps under wraps. But it really has helped me to try to put it all down on paper

      I cannot say with any conviction that what has happened to my family is in any way an 'advantage' regarding getting funding. I would not wish what the state did to us on my worst enemies. But don't let that put any one else off trying to do what I have done so far. Even though other's traumas may remain the consequence of abuse from private individuals (and not the state) it is also true that all of us grew up in families which in turn were supported by the state.
      In UK at the moment it is now being considered to make emotional abuse (of anyone but particularly children) a criminal offence. Furthermore the government is considering instigating a 'Parenting License'. . . So, it is becoming obvious that the powers that be know what the score is. They know alright.

      Thus anything any of us do to try to gain support from our own doctors about our own condition is valuable feedback for those who actually already know. . . They just need people like us to keep on telling them. From our own personal experience.

      Paul G.

  5. Wow! What a relief. I had to jump around a little bit like a chimp.
    Happy for your recovery

    Fl. Dahl

  6. An email comment:
    "I like to believe in that healthy individual is mainly rely with the power to feel inside her, his feelings first. A state of mind of confidence, self esteem comes along with the healing of our own bad imprints. At the end, we dare communicate the joy and desire to be alive with less mental resistance, we don't stop ever increasing our consciousness of true self instead of showing of a big ego, and keep on feeding our desire of feeling great to build the profond relationship with our entourage, kins and friends . Thank you. "

  7. another email comment:

    All of this resonates with me.

    I have seen the proof and experienced it re naturopaths and with a lady doctor in osteopathy- how she works on the brain to reset for healing.

    The only country in the world that studies the whole being in medicine is Russia. Few people realise this.

    Wishing you well."

  8. Hi Art,

    Your revelations about yourself are always helpful but this one takes the biscuit. I really hope there are no set backs but it sounds like by now you will know if you're on the mend. It would be very useful if you could find out the difference; why has this worked and not the previous?

    You are taking a risk here too, because there will be many of us who will want to explore 'alternatives' having always suspected that such things may (if combined with real Primal) lead ever toward true healing. Particularly those of us far away from California with not enough time or resources yet.
    With hindsight, looking back on the last 4 years since I got onto this blog there were many things I could have done to help myself, earn more money and reduce the stress in my life had I not been under the influence of the very same (or similar) prejudice you admit to above.

    Interestingly, both you and I share something in common (along with many others) which is that we are totally dedicated to the care and cure of other hurting people. This cannot be understated.

    I just wonder if this 'grip' that we have (driven by real empathy) causes us to be so focused on the truth of other poor sufferers that we also end up blind to what we need ourselves and thus compromise our own health.
    Personally this is what has happened with me and my family; all the more so because I have to live down the moral stigma put on me by so called friends and associates. . . Before you know it these 'darlings' will be criticising you for changing your mind and getting better too. . . Anyway, I'm not going to end on that negative spin, I'm going to say that it is a real privilege to be in touch with an old man who can see his faults and admit them.

    Long may you live old chap, long may you live.

    Paul G

  9. Art,
    some 9 years ago I "played" the role of a naturopath for my bed -ridden father...he suffered the pains
    of athritis and the shrink only had the advice to administer pain relievers..
    I had the courage to use several alternative procedures and voilas ..he resp.me could throw away
    hid "mdeicine"

    And You may believe or not only nautural remedies resp. b i o l o g i c a l and alternative procedures helped me...
    Only THE PAIN ...remains to be removed (perhaps in our?? next incarnation....
    Yours emanuel

  10. Good to hear that the stem cell treatment does some good. It's amazing that even you could have a 'mental block' to a new idea!

    1. Art, I'm glad you are only human...... - not God after all..........just a mere mortal like the rest of us all !!

      Len Gibbs.

  11. Dr. Janov,
    I’m very very happy for you.
    It is a different life without pain. Isn’t it?
    It takes more than an education to understand a patient’s pain, it takes insight to find a solution to better their life.
    Not to trust comes from early experience, being not taken seriously, ignored, betrayed. It marginalizes us just like the doctors who can’t get out of their narrow frame.

  12. Congratulations Art on getting some real results for your throat. It must feel fantastic after so long.

  13. For a long time, I was (let's say) noone. I was adapting all the time. This abundance of flexibility, deprived me of a rigid personality.

    However, being like that, led me one day to start and understand - deep inside me - the Primal Therapy. So, that time, being "dust in the wind" was a bless, that led me to a road of being really well with myself.

    Most people believe that they are "something" and when a stranger informs them for ex. Primal Therapy, their barriers block most of the information.

    To make a long story short, in my opinion, most of the times, it is a matter of pure luck whether to find what is really good for you. Either you think you know everything and you reject important things, or you follow every single advice and you get lost in a maze.

    But yes, I believe that Primal Therapy applies to almost all of the cases. It is plain and completely natural. If modern society was more human, feelings would spring spontaneously.

    Concluding, all I have to say is that when we have feelings really close, then it is their time to be let out. Not because of Primal Therapy, but because - as we laugh impulsively - we should cry impulsively. Like breathing. And one day, we won't be flexible nor severe. We would just BE ourselves, which doesn't need adjectives to be defined.

    Thank you!

  14. Hi Art,
    Maybe you should start considering another perspective towards them. Instead of falling into the same hole, see them as if they were your own future patients. Show yourself as the understanding human being you are towards their refractive attitude which in short run is nothing more than the fear to be dismantled, discredited as professionals (which in its turn is hiding you know what...). You see, they will only approach your perspective the minute one of them deepens the second line of the gating system,and maybe have one of them relive a Primal. And that will happen the minute you accept you can drop the need for acknowledgement. Follw your instinct, that same one that led you to accept stem cell therapy. Why shouldn't it work the same way? For some inscrutable reason you carry the ability to infect westerners with far estern ideas. Maybe it's in your genes. I bet there are some russian origins in your family name, aren't there? And everyone knows how better russians consider naturopathy against medical academics.

    1. Lars: I hope your powers of perception don't get too far behind reality. Drop the need for acknowledgement? Where did you get that? art

    2. You may well take then that sentence away from my point if it overshadows my argument. Still, there must be a way to make PT through scholar disdain and have it go viral. It is crucial for the sanity of this western civilization. If the strength of the arguments and proof of evidence you can provide by means of empirical experiences still are unconvincing to them one must use the path of intuition. That's all I meant. In Spain we say: "If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain" Drop the need for acknowledgment means taking a position of humility against the 'enemy', that is the cognitively overprotected thus emtionally retarded, and show interest in their position. When truth is by your side, and I feel it is, its strengh is revealed by way of keenness. Making PT attractive in a way not previously considered for those who are reluctant to incorporate it. That's what I meant. In the meantime I do the best I can to spread your word, translating every now and then some of your articles and the interest is growing. Anyway, don't take me too seriously. I'm like an impromptu. Sometimes unavoidably unbidden. For better or worse I express myself without thinking much. I apologize.

    3. Lars: Please no mea culpas. I get your intent. You are smart and write well and I appreciate it. art


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.