Tuesday, May 20, 2014

On Developing Cancer and How to Stop It

There is exciting new research taking place on this serious disease.  And obviously, it has to do with epigenetics.  What epigenetics really comes down to is experience.  What kind of experience do we have and when? Because that is the harbinger of serious disease later on.

There is so much new research that points to gestation, pre-gestation and birth trauma as heavily influencing the advent of afflictions such as cancer and Alzheimers later in life.

We know now that one of the key ingredients for this change is a process called methylation. Genes borrow part of the methyl group and change their own evolution; making some more expressive and active, while others are repressive and passive or inactive.  And this depends on what experiences the baby has from the very start of life.  And there may be a similar mechanism that is behind many types of cancer, and dementia, as well. Catastrophic diseases get their start early in life when cells are rapidly forming; and the fact of a catastrophic disease often indicates a catastrophic and life-endangering trauma.  In an era when cells are coming into life is the time when bad events can detour and damage them. Damage during this time can be life-endangering, engendering  diseases that become life-endangering, themselves.  These diseases, therefore, often foretell of severe trauma very early on. They are like measuring gauges that point to times of deleterious effects.

It is not cancer that damages adult cells; these cells already underwent trauma and were weakened by it. Adult stress finishes the job.
The same may be true of heart disease and other common maladies. The on and off changes produced by methylation may be a major element in any number of cancers. One obvious reason is that the cells have been altered in radical ways by this methyl process. So what seems normal to us adults may not be normal at all. Our changes occurred so early that they now seem like “us.” And the doctor examining us asks, “Have you undergone any serious trauma in you life,”  and you say, “Not at all.”   You feel normal as an adult even when you became someone and something else before you had a way of knowing anything.  That is why we can suffer from chronic serious allergies after living a womb-life where the parents were constantly bickering.  “Tell me did you have any serious trauma in your life?"  "No not at all." Alas, the symptoms are screaming the contrary.   And asthma is explaining it all in its own language.

We began a cancer and Alzheimer’s study with a medical clinic which did begin to point to early trauma, but for a variety of reasons we could not complete it.  The point is that epigenetics can either favor cancer development or abort it.  Our future study will be to see if our therapy by demethylating trauma can block the trajectory of deformed cells before they become lethal.  My hypothesis is that it can, but we will see. This means that early damage, a mother smoking or taking pain-killers, can imprint  a cell change, which, when allowed to go on can result in disease.   Altering the epigenetics will right the system and stop the detour.   Voracious cancer has been awaiting its chance; we are not going to let that happen. We already see that in the very few cases of cancer we have among our patients. And I believe it is because in our therapy we travel down to the far reaches and depths—the antipodes-- of the brain where serious illness starts its life.

I recently wrote that parents don’t have to do anything to hurt a child; what they exude (tension or depression) can do it all.  This is especially true during our womb-life where depression and/or anxiety can “exude” from the placenta to affect the baby.  He is being “spritzed” with all kinds of chemicals which affect his development.   And in those "spritzes" are elements that are associated with cancer in later life.  (March 27, 2014  Univ. of Calif. Davis)

Tell me, “did you have any trauma?   Nope. That early trauma does enormous damage; more than almost anything we can think of in our adult life.  If you ask that question in a different way, as we do, and examine primordial events to the fetus, we may find an answer.  As the fetus develops, the mother is informing her baby about herself;  is she depressed, anxious, tense, worried, apprehensive?  That information, seemingly benign, impacts him and affects his evolution and personality.  She doesn’t have to act “nervous.”  The chemicals will do it for her.  But the baby imprints “nervous,” and we wonder where it all came from.

When the carrying mother is nervous she chews up her vitamins; the baby needs those vitamins to synthesize methyl groups.  So when the mother is deficient, so is the baby. And that again can change everything. It is becoming more and more clear, as I have insisted for almost 50 years, that our early life is critical; that problems in the womb redound in later life and account for so many illnesses.  The real question by doctors should be, “Tell me about your gestation and birth. Tell me about your parents during that time.”


  1. What can one do? Seriously. The trauma, people (family) closely watching praying one grows up o.k., finding out that for the person who always thought they were correct in their thinking, was finally told at age 30, that they had gone through a birth trauma. Don't panic....now the only thing one may have left for a future is just "to be true to oneself, don't change a lot. Rely on the assumption of good health, and maybe the rest of the future will be o.k, since one doesn't seem to be getting primal therapy anytime too soon. One has to "carry on" especially when the parent who did everything to comfort and who so closely watched their traumatized-born son/daughter is now dead. Said at one time, that their son/daughter will just "be going through the motions" many times in life; how true. Try to stay well; especially try to feel strength for this person who went through birth trauma; pray that the "odds" aren't against them. Perhaps, the traumatized son/daughter, actually comes out better than the "normal" parents and siblings (in their own way). Perhaps even the parents could see this and see their own successes in working with their traumatized child throughout the years. We try, but life is sad; so sad at times.

  2. It reminds me of a tree and its roots. The whole tree is the neurosis, the roots are the 1st line and the branches are the everyday symptoms or what we can see. The everyday symptoms could be a constant need for a cigarette or even the development of cancer-cells.

    It makes sense that eradicating the roots, the diseases would buckle.
    If a homosexual behaves the way he does, due to the lack of early "male" love, should one guess that reliving that early pain, even reaching the tree-roots if necessary, could alter his sexual orientation?


    1. Yannis: We make no promises but we have reversed homosexuality even when it happened as not part of our goal. I have a book coming out called Sex and the Subconscious that explains it all. art

  3. The younger in development an organism is, the more drastic its developmental responses can be to its environment - because everything is most plastic. Epigenetics is nature's expression of exploiting the fact of it.

    Nature says: "Well, if this is the time that we can make major changes to adapt the organism to its environment, then let's do the job properly and evolve an entire epigenetic system".

    Epigenetics should be a number-one topic for the humanities because it's almost certainly the most potent environmental force on the developing organism, outside pure genetics.

    I know I'm not saying anything you don't know, Art. I just wanted to make a point of it.

    Andrew Atkin

  4. Really, this obession with birth trauma gets tiring. (esp. if you blame it on the mother.) Of course if children were hauled out, held upside-down, hit on the bottom (to make them scream) and then put in a room with 50 other screaming babies - THAT would be traumatic. (and perhaps the reason why people always say "We´re born alone and we die alone.") I always say "No I wasn´t born alone. My ma was there. (obviously.) And the midwife too." (I think she must have had some new ideas. My ma said the first thing she did was to put me on her tummy.) Also I once saw a circumcision on video. The scream from the baby sounded like in the utmost torture. (had it ringing in my head for days. Awful.) And the congregation acted like deaf people. (like "This is totally normal.") Jewish baby boys have to experience that their loved ones let them go through hellish torture??? And what for??? Most don´t live in the desert. No risk for sand to sneak into the - (don´t know what you call it.) (plus this notion of the mother being "unclean" 40 days after the birth. ) The BIGGEST mistake (in my opinion) is to think that OBEDIANCE is the KEY to child rearing. (which always includes spanking and telling the child to shut up, not cry etc.)

    1. Hi Inga,

      -"The BIGGEST mistake (in my opinion) is to think that OBEDIANCE is the KEY to child rearing. (which always includes spanking and telling the child to shut up, not cry etc.)"-.

      Very true but so hard not to fall into as a parent. The little ones keep on trying to push the boundaries. . . that's natural and without some of those boundaries being, shall we say, "hard" they really might run out onto the road and fall into extreme danger.

      It has always been a great mystery to me that so many of the other mammals seem to be born with "innate" programming, ie: instincts already there. But we humans have to learn so much and from such an early age and then for so bloody long. . .

      Even with a 'perfect pregnancy' and the 'perfect parenting' the knocks in life are considerable. . . (a point you made earlier about hospitalisation).

      Thus this problem of 'obedience' is quite complex. Now I know I like to role model on other people. . . even at the age of 54 I am still doing it; I find myself mimicking people I like and respect . Now you may say that is perhaps because of inadequate role modelling earlier in my childhood. . . Ok, yes, but do very healthy people still find themselves role modelling? Art, do you still model yourself with/on other "mentors"?

      You don't have to answer because I think I already know. . . I think the more healthy we become the more we like to learn from other people. . . This is certainly my experience. Age and experience offers the opportunity to 'become' more healthy. Those who do become more healthy take more notice of the strengths in others and the respect and 'interest' that grows out of that is a kind of role modelling. This is why universities are so important and why perhaps I should finally buckle down (!) and commit to getting some higher qualification. . . Now where do I read testimonies of people who have 'worked through' certain issues and later in life get degrees ? ? ? Well, I read them in Arts books.

      My point here is obvious. . . WE ARE PRE-PROGRAMMED to role model from other 'mentor's; thus we are 'inclined' to obedience any way. Wait a minute. . . Am I saying it's the victims fault that she learned the wrong lessons from a tyrant?

      Certainly not, but I am saying we are pre-programmed to seek guidance from older mentors. We want to be obedient when we are young because we desperately need protecting from serious hazards. The fact that our parents are the greatest potential hazard IS the point.
      Anyway, you don't want to go listening to anything I say. . . I'm just a farty old grandad. . . a 'has been'. . . Nobody listens to a word I say and then when the shit hits the fan there I am holding the babies asking quietly of every one: "Please Don't Shoot The Messenger".

      Paul G.

    2. We're a funny little world, Inga. So convinced we're living in the "enlightenment" today yet so obviously, if only we opened our eyes, we still live in the dark ages.

      Once upon a time it was normal to cut off someone's hand for stealing. Now it's shocking and sick. Once upon a time it was a bit horrific to have to perform a c-section. Now it's just a normal option.

      Truth is 'normal' doesn't know what to think other than what it has been taught to think. We are still in the dark ages. Still detached from our feelings - following a mindless herd, for better or worse.

      Andrew Atkin

    3. I think children are pre-programmed to "obey" when the instructions are delivered with love and respect. And they are pre-programmed to feel human (angry, unloved, miserable) when their parents make inhuman demands.

      I think "discipline" should be a nice word. Discipline should mean "Loving guidance" rather than "Necessary punishment". If a pre-verbal baby wants to touch some boiling water, hold hir hand -- don't spank hir hand (thanks for that word, Paul) and cuddle hir until you have prepared a bowl of cooler water for hir to play with, and never leave hir alone with a pot of boiling water. Yes that's a lot of work for a busy mother, but loving mothers love to spend every second of the day with the most important and most beautiful people in the world (their children).

      It's not fair to expect all of this from the father. Of course he should help as much as he can, and if he loves his partner and children, he will, but his pre-programmed desire to build a better world should be respected and enjoyed by all.

      Or is it better to believe that children are pre-programmed but grown men and women are not? Can we forget about politics? I have said it before -- we should try to listen to our primal instincts even before we get therapy. We need to TRY to obey our internal 'knowing' instead of opting for an instant neurotic gratification, such as the sunny belief that old age means progress etc.

      I think France's primal instincts, before therapy, forced her to avoid getting pregnant (she probably had a 'knowing' that she was not ready for motherhood) and now of course she is far too old regardless of her improved psychological health. That's just a good example (if I may).

      I'm talking about a 'knowing' of one's own limits. It is less than conscious but more than intellectual understanding. Try to be as real as possible and direct your neurotic energy toward the attainable.

    4. instincts? we will wear a device to tell us about us. all the time.
      device connected to another device...
      to help disconnection.

    5. Hi Richard,

      -"It's not fair to expect all of this from the father. Of course he should help as much as he can, and if he loves his partner and children, he will, but his pre-programmed desire to build a better world should be respected and enjoyed by all"-.

      But women now also want to be involved in building a better world. Trouble is, as long as money is the common denominator for that then a fight for ever diminishing jobs and resources will ensue until there is only one tree left and a zillion zillion dollars to buy it with.

      Paul G.

    6. Hi Andrew,

      Normal / Ordinary.

      Ordinarily, people are not normal. 'Normal' is a word with scientific connotations. 'Normal' suggests a 'Universal' common denominator by which we can measure the differences and arrive at precise diagnosis of symptoms and likely causes. Ordinarily we humans struggle to agree on what & where the 'normal' actually is.

      Ordinarily I go off on a tangent with my fine words and re-invent a new 'norm' to suit my own particular desires.

      This idea that there needs to be a universal theory and a universal science of our psyches is a reflection of the need to be NORMAL. Ordinarily we just keep shooting on any old target that keeps us distracted from the truth of our situation.

      Paul G.

    7. Abnormal people die early, but normal people are programmed to die soon after. I want to have abnormally long telomeres.

  5. are we predetermined? or is it a feeling?
    i don't think we should ever say "never" except if it is a feeling.

    there is nature and there is nurture. and there is life that is unpredictable.

    there is "no way out" atmosphere in the blog and/or inside me lately... well there is
    a small, not for claustrophobic people, exit maybe. in my mind it has become
    an imaginative emergency exit someone told me about...

    i wouldn't recognize the idea of exit if i wasn't miserable in the show, but it is adding to obsession about it that threatens to crumble the whole stage on me! a loop of
    state of emergency that is pushing me to use the dangerous emergency exit....
    so i am paralyzed and helpless about what is going to come on me from above. like in "the truman show".
    sometimes knowledge is much better to come at more appropriate time. the trigger need to be in right dosage for every one of us or it just won't stick the way it should but could do damage. i feel i need to move away a bit.

    1. Hi vuko,

      Primal talk is inevitably going to become 'subversive'. If we keep on discussing these pithy issues we will gradually and inexorably loosen the grip on our own repressions. . .

      It's inevitable. . . then we will feel like we just gotta "GET OUT OF IT". . .

      So many people are trying to 'get out'. . . So many of us are trying to 'get out of the responsibility for it too'.
      I mean, I would, I would try to avoid responsibility for a 'difficult exit'. Wouldn't you?

      Paul G.

    2. i wasn't prepared for understanding tone. and my reaction surprised me.

      the primal message we receive resonates... but it can't be forced. therefore the responsibility is on us, not the messenger. to be responsible is to be whole. right?
      therefore we can't wait to be fully responsible but neither without responsibility in order to seriously start this journey.

      i guess i need some feeling " literacy". you helped a bit.
      maybe you have some talent for therapist. thank you.

  6. An email comment:
    "Good Morning.

    I totally agree with you re cancer and trauma as child and later on.
    I was diagnosed and when I asked "Herself" inside, "she said all that trauma pre birth, birth, childhood, violence abuse and then the failure of the Justice system to deliver, legal abuse syndrome from court proceedings, etc.

    I began healing journey 2004 into this childhood trauma, etc, then diagnosed Christmas Eve 2012- and not forgetting the trauma created by Oncologist and his team- which is something I hear from other c cell sufferers.Oncologist etc never gave any options- assumed I was going to obey his every word, then kept sending other specialists to try and convince me re "treatment". I said can you assist with old trauma? No, not unless you go for surgery and chemo first.
    I said-" but your treatment is not a cure" and it is then they all shut up.
    I was kept in room for 45 mins witha nurse coming in and out. I asked what was going on and she said- "oh we are waiting for you to break down, before we let you go."?
    From my healing I knew this tactic so well.had it with court experts, social workers etc,,, all reminding me of their power over me. I stood my ground each time and they labelled me a witch for being too strong.
    Re my birth- not wanted, mother smoked, under nourished totally and traumatised from birth one 10 months previous.
    I must have heard it a million times as child being unwanted- a mistake.

    If you ever want more- if it assists you and others, feel free to ask.

    I am in USA at the moment visiting son and grandson - another 2 traumatic births- but no one wants to hear what I have to say about birth traumas.Daughter in law - ex navy- traumatised already-shunned the baby, ended up in mental hospital, refused my friends help re nutrition etc

    I see it all right here daily and observe and learn.

    Always love reading what you write as it resonates with me."

  7. I seem to be surrounded by people being hit by thier early years at the moment. I have a very good friend who has just had a stroke at 53. A friends sister had a stroke at 39. I have a cousin who has had breast cancer who thinks she will die in her 60's. Almost everyone I know has lost a family member to suicide (except my own). I end up feeling rather powerless because to turn round and start talking about your work Art seems to alienate people because of thier pain and that hurts to see and feel that unfelt pain.

  8. Art,
    I have read just a coupe of days ago an article in THE NEWSLETTER about Jean Jackson and another
    female Therapist of the INSTITUTE whose Name I have forgotten (You inaugurated a fund in her Name ...

    In a sense I felt -of course the agony of those (non -neurotic ? ladies and their disapointment
    they must have underwent that even PrimalPeople are n o t exemt of this grim reaper..

    I have seen the reaction of several "normal"(neurotic.../psychopaths who a (to me at least..)
    strange "light-heartedness of their malady.

    Yours Emanuel
    P.S. Did the NEWSLETTER reach You

  9. Wilhelm Reich also made a convincing contribution to solving the apparent mystery of cancer in his work "The Cancer Biopathy" (1948). Passages in it remind me more of Janov`s remarks in the chapter "Malignant Despair" in his book "The New Primal Scream" than the above remarks. Here is one significant excerpt from Reich`s book: "Resignation without open or concealed protest against the denial of joy in life must be regarded as one of the essential causes of the shrinking biopathy ( biopathies are all disease processes, including cancer,caused by a basic dysfunction in the autonomic life apparatus).Biopathic shrinking, therefore,represents a continuation of chronic characterological resignation in the realm of cell functioning".


  10. I know of a famous woman who was struck by breast cancer 5 years ago. The best thing she ever did (in my opinion), a marvellous TV-series, wasn´t appreciated as it ought to have been. (dunno why. Perhaps because it wasn´t what people had expected from her. They didn´t want her to move on. But do they same thing over and over again.) Anyway. Shortly afterwards she was struck by cancer. Surprising? (not to me it wasn´t.) The strange thing was that she seemed to ENJOY the treatment. (which was successful curatively speaking.) Wasn´t she cared for by family and friends? So now she felt cared for by doctors and nurses? (tragic. Esp. since cancer treatment isn´t very enjoyable. With cell-poisons and what-not.)

    1. Hi Inga,

      my mother was like this and I concluded a long time ago that she had become addicted to being "looked after". . . then she made a 'tyranny of care' out of it.

      As above, so below. . . She was 'sick' and she made us sick too. I'm pretty certain my boarding school experience was actually effective at protecting my Dad from my Mum and my brother and me from their 'incestuous relationship' in this respect. IE: as long as 'mother knows best' and the actual care of the children is delegated to the third party (boarding school) the 'Father' can just labor away at his 'workaholism'.

      Now my Dad visits my Mum in a dementia home and she says to me: "You should Never Have Gone To Boarding School". . . Dad just ignores that. . . he just feels guilty that he can't 'cope' with her. . . At least he 'has his life back' now that she is sequestered in a home. . . Bloody wheels within wheels.

      Paul G.

  11. Aluminum in the air and food = Alzheimer and Cancer.

    1. Hi "S"

      I was concerned about aluminium used to make salt flow freely along with many other aluminium-based products, but after just a few minutes of research I discovered that aluminium is incredibly abundant in soil and exists naturally in virtually every natural food known to man, we ingest it naturally in quantities much much higher than the amount found in food additives. Our bodies have evolved to deal with aluminium; we have a natural filter system which is very capable of flushing out light metals. Heavy metals tend to be more problematic but we tend to ingest them in much smaller quantities. Aluminium is also very inert (non-reactive) which means it does not interfere very much with our bodily functions, but I have not done any research on the effects of aluminium in the brain. I am sure Dr. Janov has.
      An important thing to remember is that poor health (physical and psychological) can have a huge effect on our body's filter systems. So far, scientists do not know whether alzheimers causes a build up of aluminium -- or aluminium causes alzheimers.
      Considering the enormous amount of aluminium everyone eats in a lifetime, and the number of people who are not affected by alzheimers, I would be more concerned about other factors such as the ones that Dr. Janov is studying right now (along with two other doctors).
      Hope that makes you feel a little better.

  12. The problem with many pain-ridden people is this:
    Life feels real only when it feels dark.
    The sensation of reality which lurks behind every dark feeling has an attractive quality because it makes the pain-ridden person feel that there is a real path to a better life as they try to stay inside 'reality' but actually it is a pseudo-reality created by mixed up neural connections. The tragedy is that these dark-feeling people listen to preachers who can relate to this dark, real-ish sensation but these preachers can never relate to the world felt by a non-neurotic person. The preachers advise people to struggle in the darkness because it is all they know, and unfortunately the struggle is tantamount to swimming in quick sand -- they think they are feeling the powerful darkness of reality as they become more and more committed to a path which steers them away from healing -- away from real freedom.
    If you can't feel anything, perhaps it is better to feel some darkness - to feel SOME reality even if it is confused. If you are drowning in darkness, maybe you should try to find some defensive activities which push you toward the 'sunny desert' so that you can think more like a scientist to some extent.
    Reality is not all painful and irrational, nor is it numb and dry. Each morning when you wake up, try to remember your dreams.

  13. Hi Richard,

    -"If you can't feel anything, perhaps it is better to feel some darkness"-.

    Kinda true. . . but 'not feeling' is the cause of darkness. Darkness IS suffering. Feeling the pain brings in the light. I think the intellectuals are the most shit scared of the dark because they are the ones with that particular early gestational trauma that has no words or feelings, just the starkest of terror and how better to keep it all at bay than to 'fixedly' observe the symptoms of others and make quasi moral judgements about it. . .

    Paul G.

  14. Art
    do You want more Newsletters? emanuel

  15. Just 2 things: Nice in theory, but impractical ... nevermind the million people before us who came and left ... despite utter existences in their daily lives back then, we continue to strife. Above all you know MOST primals never reach first level pains, even after years in therapy ..so, whats the point: You want all mankind to be your patient?

    Almost 90 Congrats!!!

    1. Anonymous: Some people never relive birth cause they had no trauma. First line trauma is not obligatory but if the pain is there eventually it should be relived. It drives us the most obsessively. art. Alas, almost ninety

    2. Hi,

      Of course I shouldn't be saying this but recently I have had these tremendously powerful parasympathetic events where after a short deep crying bout which certainly starts with 3rd line stuff I fairly quickly descend into that total "leaden" state breathing very deeply. Trying to get the air in. . succeeding too. Also I have had some patterns of 'floating sensations' interspersed. Of course, I shouldn't be saying this but 're-living' non verbal stuff, 1st line stuff, is possibly more common than we think. . . It's just that it's so often all disorderly and at the time we are not "properly anchored in the present". Thus these 'hooks' which we can use to 'access' our history come and go without us properly noticing. Which is why we need proper supervision.

      -"Stay with the feeling"-. . . I used to hear this mantra a lot in my conventional therapy but now I really understand what that means. Actually I could add "let the feeling be".

      Let it Be.

      Now who said that?

      Paul G.

  16. Dr Janov,
    I think you are wrong when you linked pain and memory : some people might have had a good birth and remember it : no proofs not even first hand experience but I'm almost sure. It's such a great change in the baby's life. Without being traumatic it's so powerfull that if you have patients who have in utero memories there must be people who have non traumatic birth memories.
    The brain is fully fonctionning : we can remember light, sounds and noises from inside our mother and from the outside, the light of the day and so on.



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.