Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Letter

Dear Art,

Happy Birthday!  I wanted to tell you that your therapy saved my life.  I found the book Prisoners of Pain eight years ago by accident and, by the time I read the first 20 pages, I knew this was the therapy for me.  I think you are more brilliant than Freud and every other psychologist out there.  Years ago, when I was broke, the foundation covered a second trip out for me and that was the most generous gift I have ever received, where no one asked anything in return.  I know that you and your therapy have saved so many lives and will save so many more.  You have spent a life so well-lived and have made an immeasurable impact on this world.  Your name will live on forever and I think, someday, everyone will come to know the importance of expressing feelings in order to move toward a happy life.  Thank you for giving me a place to cry, for my past pains, for the first time, at 36 years of age.  I am now 43 and my life has improved in so many ways because of your therapy.  I tell everyone about it and always will -- how you saved my life.

Wishing you many more wonderful and prolific years to come!




  1. M.P.
    I have learned a lot from reading what Art has to say. To me, it "the word" must get out. As said, Dr. Janov saves lives; "Normal" people who have connections many times just cannot conceive of people out there needing Dr. Janov, They cannot understand what people have to go through, even though we try to "cover" and make like we are normal also. How one can help one's mind is important; good mental health. Even if one tries the best they can, deep down, they know that Primal Therapy is the ultimate , lasting cure.

    1. I agree but I am afraid I cannot do it all. And I wouldn’t know how to begin. That is for all of you. Thanks a lot art

    2. Hi coastbeach7,

      I'm really not sure that the "Normal" people you refer to have as many connections as you think or are as 'normal' as they appear. . .

      I mean, these so called 'normals' would understand how terrifying neurosis is for us sufferers if they were 'normal'. Normal people have genuine empathy and when confronted with suffering would not generate in us neurotics the desire to 'cover up' and 'pretend' to be 'normal'.

      This is the double bind that certain types unconsciously 'milk' for their of satisfaction'.

      I feel this is an important point that cannot be overstated. Whilst one's gates remain intact and pain does not burst up and through, appearances are all. . . Also, if you really look and ponder (an ability even us neurotics can develop) you can see these so called 'normals' have subtle (or not so subtle) act outs just as do we. Usually they appear as 'aversions'. IE: it's not what they do, but what they don't do.

      Forgive me for being pedantic.

      Paul G.

    3. Hi,
      Another rap:

      It's called: "The 19th".

      -Well the 19th has been and gone,
      and those in power
      have sung their song.

      I offered a flower,
      and my gong I did sound,
      but all I could be was wrong, wrong, wrong.

      Around and around
      they did merrily go,
      no matter how well
      the truth I did show;
      for me they could only offer more hell
      and so. . . . and so. . . and so. . .

      "Do you feel better"?
      she asked with a smile,
      but I just let her bask
      In the light of her own guile.

      She knows of course,
      she has ALL the power,
      So my flower I put back
      with the hilt of my sword,
      In case it did wilt,
      along with my word. . .

      I reached for the door
      to let myself out,
      "Will you let your son know-
      what it's all about"?

      I turned to her parting shot:
      "Tell him yourself-,
      It's all your conclusions"-
      (Furthermore, I thought,
      "It's all your illusions"). . .

      Reminded again,
      of that "deja vue"
      Whilst she explained the LAW,
      "What she can't do"-

      I was reminded of that trick
      to use a third party,
      to get want you want,
      to make you feel hearty. . .

      "I've got one over you. . .
      You're powerless in my grip,
      There's nothing you can do". . .

      "I'll trip you if you try. . .
      I'll make you cry, cry, cry. . .
      and when I'm done,
      I'll spit you out
      and there you'll lie, lie, lie".

      But my flower is with my hilt,
      and my truth will not wilt,
      Nor will my word hide but fly
      from my lips till I die.

      I will tell it how it is,
      despite the lies of those in power,
      and my flower will grow and blossom
      On that bower of the tree,

      that will ultimately, set us all free.

      Paul G


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.