Saturday, December 27, 2014

More on ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

Imagine trying to concentrate while trucks and trains and cars are whizzing by, make noise and creating tumult.  Well that is going on in the brain of those who belong to that not so exclusive class of ADDers.   Where do all those trucks and cars come from?  Those are the imprints/traumatic memories are shooting up noisy information from below.  And they never stop, trying to tell the higher brain about so many dangers that the person no longer knows where to turn.  He cannot select out  a single task to focus on because of all those inputs (trains, trucks and cars) whizzing around creating tumult. The brain has to focus on so many inputs, so much incoming information that it cannot concentrate on one thing alone.  Focus means to eliminate extraneous input from outside and inside and select one single topic.  How can anyone do that when the input is so strong and intruding?    It has to be intruding because it includes life-saving information.  Something we must pay attention to.  It tells us there are things inside—memories—that need to be addressed and resolved.  And the ADD person must give priority to memory, for that is lifesaving.  That imprint is saying, pay attention to me.  And because of that, what do we get?    ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER.   It is signaling to every part of the higher brain;   I am important and can help you live.  It is not attention deficit; it is hyper-attention disorder; having to pay attention to many other things.  Remember it is a lifesaving fact.  The brain is performing correctly with ADD, not something to be overcome and done away with.  It is warning us; hence the need to be hyperactive.  The imprints over-activate and keep the person going and going, running from the terror, while the information is pushing, seeking higher neuronal ground.  It is carrying out its function of trying to inform us of the imprint.  So activation blocks and suppresses through hyperactivity; keeps us from focusing completely on what lies inside.  The imprint is so strong and life-endangering that we have to keep running away; our minds go everywhere at once.

What the “going and doing” all of the time does is help drain some of the activation, lower the level of input, and help us function a bit better.  Isn’t that what pills like Prozac do? To lower the reactions, slow the hyperactivity and help us slow down and relax.  One of the reasons that pills are weak in the face of all this is that there is sometimes impairment of the neo-cortex which should work well to repress, but doesn’t.   The reason there is a failure to repress is that the Primal Terror chews up so much of the painkilling supplies and never allows it to achieve normal levels.  What Primal Therapy does is lower reactivity so that the cortex is not overwhelmed by input and can begin to do its job of integration and resolution; the job it was made for.

This is the particularly true of those whose imprint involves massive terror/anxiety and therefore exceptionally strong input.  That input scatters the organic sense of the brain and it seems like it is in pieces, having lost its cohesion (and it’s cohesion that keeps the train on the right track) in terms of how it functions.  And with the ADD individuals there is often a lack of cohesive, overall, gestalt thinking.  So easily distracted, so easily disconcerted, so often losing the train of thought.  As I said before, when you get on the wrong train every stop you make will be the wrong one.  It is not a matter of correcting the destination, it involves redoing the beginning of the trip; getting on the right train.   And that right train is always the right one, the normal one, the one that instinctively knows the right track.  It is the track of feeling.

I have treated many ADDers. One is now in a doctor’s program who was unable to finish high school.   This is multiplied by many patients.
When we remove the terror and pain over months and years we also extirpate the neurotic drive they suffer from. End of distraction and lack of focus. End of ADD.  


  1. Hi,

    it's 1st line stuff isn't it? If the approach to Primal is correct and top level (3rd line then to 2nd) stuff is worked on first so that the descent is orderly and gradual then ADD could appear as a signal that 1st line stuff is now available to re-live. It's interesting because I never had ADD before about three years ago but now I regularly cannot concentrate in the mornings on my carpentry projects. Your description of being scattered is exactly how it is for me many times now. . .

    I often look at the work to do before me, the drawings and the timber and the tools and I just cannot make head nor tail of any of it. . .

    As a kind of fore runner to this I also never went on to do a degree 30years ago and it seems to me to be a little bit of a portentous 'act out'. . . I didn't have the 'confidence' or direction then But now I don't have the power of concentration either. . .

    Ah well.

    Paul G.

  2. What brilliant post Art. I've never quite understood your theory about ADD but do now.

    Oddly I used to be able to concentrate as a kid, teeenager and adult. I could happily read and do many activities. I could think very clearly. I'm getting better again. When I came off Zeroxat 10 years ago and the whole world then seemed to collapse I suddenly found myself unable to concentrate for any decent amount of time just like Paul. I do get a sense that it is getting better now. Slowly but getting better. Starting to deal with one very traumatic incident at around the age of 2.75 years seems to have lifted something. "Little Me" does not have to shout so loundly to get my attention now.

    Hope you get to meet up with your "Little Me" as well Paul.

  3. I do not want to feel small and confused. I want to be what I imagine everyone else to be... smart... beautiful... safe and far from being frightened and useless!

    But I can not get away from something that drives me... which is the source to my "life"... I can only try to escape by all means available to get rid of it... but all is getting more crazy the more I try to escape... it as my escape talks an other language for the reason of my escape. I am losing for madness for what I can not perceive happening to me.

    I have nowhere to go with my self... I can just sit down and wait. I can not do anything!

    Do what? That is the question I ask myself for what I suffer beyond recognition. A diabolical suffering with no way out... without anything or anyone that can help me.

    My mom passed away a few months ago and I grow with it if that's what kept me alive as long... alive for life-threatening events together with my mother... a living hell for the lovelessness we lived together. A hell ever since I stopped my attempts to get close to my mother... there were no more attempts at my mom and my world was distorted ... away from the source ... away from all that closeness should have meant. There was a process to shut her out but at the same time she was all there was... all to be by my side... and by my need for the rest of my life to lovelessness.

    It feels like my moment comming soon... my moment to become consciously aware of my closeness to my mother... but yet so far away for the despairing eternal emptiness lovelessness is all about.

    I need a place where I can feel safe... safe with all the world's hell I experience and carry with me... within me to feel safe in.

    Mom... do you know what we lost together?


    1. Hi Frank,

      I go to see my Mum in a dementia care home. It's scary and distressing and I totally understand how you feel: "Mom... do you know what we lost together"?

      Exactly. . .

      Paul G.

  4. Hi,

    this is slightly off topic.

    There has been controversy over a small number of people who commit suicide on anti depressants. Some say it's so small a group it's insignificant, others say they would have done it anyway and so on.

    Given that 'suicide' translated into Primal speak is 'death sensations out of place' (1st line intrusion in a BIG WAY) then it follows that any attempt to re-establish/strengthen the gates 'at source' by administering SRIs could produce a counter productive affect IN the 'act out'.

    I mean if bubbles rise to burst then let them. In homeopathy they say it's likely to make worse symptoms by putting 'cream on a rash', they say "the disease is trying to get out, let it". . . And so it's quite possible that by 'clamping down' expression of the trauma with SRIs that the 'force' has to find another way out. . .

    Or to put it simply. . . one day, after a course of "Feeling Fine Pills" you just steer your car into a tree at 90mph or hang yourself from a tree. . . randomly, spontaneously because the 'force' had to 'get out' somehow and no longer where it used to. . . Past those gates, now 're-enforced' with SRI's. . .

    So, where 'sadness, grief, despair & angst' emerged/ leaked out before, by pressing down on these symptoms so effectively with chemical substitutes, sudden suicide could be the result.

    Just a thought. It makes me dubious about taking antidepressants because along with my ADD symptoms I also get 'death sensations' and terror and the desire to just GIVE UP.

    I'm not going to, I'm not actually a loser. . . I'm a survivor. I'm a survivor suspicious of SRIs.

    Paul G.

    1. Hi Paul

      I spent ten years on Zeroxat and when I came off them I came very close to a breakdown. The SSRI's are like a false Dam. I felt that during the time I was on them I changed. I had grown up in a very abusive family I now realise and had built defences to cope with that. However the SSRI almost replaced my defences with a chemical defence so I suddenly found myself open to attack and many demons were able to get to the surface. I think Art suggests in one of his books that SSRI's actually help bring some of the trauma closer to the surface. Again this was my experience with hind sight. I developed numerous physiological expressions of trauma because said trauma was blocked at a mind level. However the subconcious was still trying to push them to the surface. It was only by understanding them and developing a very open mind to what my body was telling me that allowed me to start making some kind of recovery.

      Good luck in your journey. I have also had the same senastions you describe. The sense of giving up was immense. I still get it but not so powerful. Partially to do with birth obviously but also years and years of Parental control of the true me. Beaten into submission.

  5. An email comment:

    HI Art thanks for writing this..

    But there is something else to consider along with this.

    The brain needs, fatty acids to function normally. That being said, at one time in the USA, most of the cattle, and dairy we consumed came from animals that lived on grass, or hay. This assured that they produced large amounts of EFA's, essential fatty acids, that people consumed along with their meat and dairy products. Some time after World War II, producers began fattening cattle, on grain on a large scale, instead of feeding them on grass. This resulted in greater profits due to heavier weights. The switch to fattening cattle in feed lots on grain, meant that they no longer produced EFA'S, essential fatty acids in sufficient amounts. This coincided with a rise in ADHD, and ADD in the general population. Its interesting that clinical trials of prescription EFA's, have been shown to treat ADD, and ADHD effectively.

    Its also true that pharmaceutical companies, make large amounts of money by prescribing Amphetamines, to those that suffer from this so called condition. There is an organization called CHADD, you may have heard of it, that is an industry funded group that works in schools to get children on stimulant drugs.

    At one time Amphetamines could be purchased over the counter in this country, when it became illegal to do that in the 60's, pharmaceutical companies began disturbing them instead in Mexico knowing that they would be smuggled back into this country for illicit use.

    One of the, so called side effects of Amphetamines, is depression. (Pharmaceutical companies often call direct effects, side effects to minimize, the publics view of potential adverse consequences of prescription medication. ) Also, using Amphetamines, on a long term basis, damages the brain, and can result in drug induced, psychosis, and liver failure. Many stimulant medications have had to be withdrawn from the market for causing drug failure in children. I have seen many cases of 12 year olds, who required liver transplants because of this. Their prescribing psychiatrist is supposed to monitor liver function when they are on stimulant medications like these but they almost never do. Few even read the warning label.

  6. Hi,

    slightly off topic again; I've been doing a lot of research on line and also trying where possible to "spread the word of Primal".
    Taking the latter first I seem inexorably to be 'following in Art's footsteps' and finding out what it has been like for him to be roundly frozen out and ignored by MOST of his peers. I have tried to contribute to other blogs and have suggested forming links with this one. . . (no prizes if you guess the outcome). . .

    Now, going back to the former, my researches. Well, what I have found is that the majority view, the 'zeitgeist' is predominantly driven by the (desperate?) need to DIAGNOSE & LABEL between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in line with (presumably) government mental health policy. . . the diagnostic manuals. . . (Check out "Counseling Resources & Dr. George Simon for just one example).

    But I have dug deeper than these superficial 'norms' and what I find is compelling on the level of the 2nd line. I cannot overstate this. There is a lot of good work done by individuals who don't get much praise or credit but who contribute in important areas of public health when it comes to actually CARING for disturbed people. Check out the following:

    -"INSIDE LIVES"- "Psychoanalysis and the growth of the personality", by Margaret Waddell. There are extracts available on line particularly pages 201 to 206.

    Look, my aim here is to give SOME credit to older systems of comprehending the human psyche (insight from research) where analysis is important for understanding and CARING for people who get sick, become institutionalised and then are cared for. . . with some progress. . . So please try to see that this blog must at least sometimes try to give credit, to acknowledge what has been gleaned by others and how some success in re-habilitation has worked, in family matters particularly. . .

    Also if you Google "masculine pseudo mature identity" you might find the:
    "International Journal of Adolescence & Youth". . .

    To cite this article:
    Nancy Soth , Daniel I. Levy , M. Robert Wilson & Jackie
    Gimse (1989) Borderline Daughters: An Optimal Configuration for Their
    Growth, International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 1:4, 337-354, DOI:
    To link to this article:

    I think it's very important for this blog NOT to become 'isolationist'; PARTICULARLY when other blogs, forums and therapists stoutly ignore Primal. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    My particularly specific aim in saying this is to encourage us all to perceive what is perceived by those who DON'T comprehend the 1st line. I hope you all get that. . . IF we don't look at certain WAYs of perceiving how perception works in the absence of 1st line comprehension we may miss an opportunity to understand how the gates work in ourselves. . . It's more than just 'interesting'. If we read these articles we may gradually discover some things that COULD help us bridge our own Janovian Gaps.

    In ourselves 1st.

    Paul G.

    1. Hi ,

      Here is a rhyming spell for those who feel most darkly. . .

      Silent Night,
      Silent Fright,
      Silent Abuse,
      Silent Height.

      Standing Above,
      Standing Firm,
      Looking Down,
      On us who Squirm.

      Those who Suffer,
      Those who Hurt,
      Those who Need,
      A softer Shirt. . .

      We look up Blinking,
      Into frozen Stare,
      Our hearts a Shrinking,
      From Silent Glare.

      Silent Night,
      Silent Bite,
      Silent Wound,
      Darkened Light.

      Yet lamps shine Out,
      From those who Care,
      To cast out Doubt,
      And inspire a Dare.

      Through Silent Frown,
      To shroud this Light,
      The Lamp of Care,
      Burns more Bright,

      It cannot Die,
      Nor fade Away,
      From Silent Lie,
      Or Silent Day.

      Nor Silent Night,
      When wholly Alone,
      Nor Fear of Fright,
      Or love Atone.

      For Lamp of Love,
      Stands higher Still,
      It is Above,
      That Silent Will. . .

    2. Hi Art,

      I spent the last two weeks (holidays / no work) discovering (again) just how neurotic I am. I am workaholic.

      My programming to be a 'good and productive boy' is so strong. Eventually I gave myself permission to just relax and DO NOTHING (it took way too long). . . at that point I stopped feeling totally despairing. I think this comes from a 'push / pull' birth. . . Not knowing when to and when not to make effort. . . Not having any help from Mum to 'get out'. Having to and failing to DO IT ALL MYSELF, constant state of alerting/hyper vigilence . . .

      By the way, I spent the last 4 hours solidly reading some of the early stuff on this blog and I am so overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of it.

      I have used the internet quite a lot over the years, researching etc. There's absolutely NOTHING like this one and it is startling that there are NO other psychotherapists involved. It's weird. I feel so privileged to be part of this blog (as a lay person) and so many other 'professionals' roundly ignore it. Bizarre. . .

      This blog is a gemstone in a dark world. . .

      Paul G.

    3. Well thank you Paul, good to see it praised, even if it is not worldwide. art

    4. Hi Art,

      I think maybe your 'peers' see you as 'fraternising with the ranks'. . . Maybe in England they see you as a 'ranking upstart'. . . Who knows? Who cares when that kind of monopoly can only serve itself. . . There is a very strong hierarchical element of 'separation' when it comes to intimacy of knowledge. . . IE: Those who "know" should share intimate details only with 'those who know'. . . It's the hierarchy of academia. . . It relies on the common democratic idea of 'discretion' being exploited for reconnaissance by a minority of observers. . . They then club together to form status 'in groups' (think tanks / policy makers) with various contracts. . .

      Paul G.

  7. Hi,
    my research efforts encompassing various world / psychic views have repeatedly reminded me of the duplicitous nature of our thinking brains.
    Fortunately, my 'insights' originate from contact with real feelings.

    I now have a more accurate 'moral compass'. 'Morality' means different things to different people. It's important to make a distinction between morality and ethics. Morality is strictly 3rd line: Rules & Regulations. These 'two Rs' apply generically to every one but to no-one in particular. Moral judgements are square holes through which individuals are 'driven' thus 'shaving off their shoulders'. Ethics on the other hand, requires some connection with our feelings (2nd line) below.
    Ethics recognises complex realities. Human 'individuality'. Ethics basically relates to feelings as well as the need for rules.
    People get morality and ethics muddled up. Why? Repression. We give up too much of our personal responsibility. We rely on rules to make judgements and we elect others to 'judge' on our behalf. Our 'leaders' and their 'professionals' then build cognitive systems to coral us into a false sense of security and obedience. Meanwhile feelings get sidelined, repression is maintained and deepened.

    On this blog people have remarked how a normal 'loving' upbringing produces a moral child but what actually happens is that the child becomes ethically intelligent.

    Society and class systems reflect a complex 'act out' of this inner (neurotic) shape to the human psyche. The 'intellectuals' (not all but most) are ideally suited to 'perform' a ruling position at the 'head' (3rd line). They can occupy the ramparts of their own minds with such compelling self deceit. They have the capacity to handle huge amounts of information and categorise it all into departments for maintaining an 'overview'.

    Yet with all this info on us, they have none of the comprehension for what it means.

    The main reason this blog is 'isolated' is because it ISN'T located in this (3rd line) moral majority. Therefore, just as Art exhorts us to understand that we can't change the imprint with thought/talking processes, we are not going to change the moral majority in their 3rd line act out by continually submitting science papers that prove the ethical position (2nd line).

    What we can do is form links with those who do occupy an ethical position in society and try to open doors there. Some of these people are societies 'intelligence agents'.

    I came to this blog very naive 4 years ago. I was filled with unrealistic expectations. My naivety has lead to some unpleasant circumstances during this 4 years, I have regrets (remorse) about my naivety and the way I acted from it. However I can't take on the moral judgements made by 3rd line professionals who blatantly don't care beyond the criteria of their jobs. I really DO care.

    So, by default, I have become an ethical scientist experimenting on myself.

    My experiments are complete. I can only be a 'guinea pig' in my self made 'lab' for so long, I need to rehabilitate. . . Also there is no one else to 'write up the conclusions'; to do that I need some time out.
    These "intelligence agents" are indispensable. They are always unsung heroes in their own generation. Historically they have only a few supporters who 'keep them going'; no one lives in a vacuum. But the long term consequences of their actions IN society are always positive and evolutionary.

    Art is an intelligence agent of the 1st order. . . Can we assure him we will be able to enter ever more deeply into our true feelings and ignore the pressure to meet the criteria of moral superficiality? I for one no longer desire to make moral judgements on any one if I can possibly avoid it, and that for me as a hardened 'perfectionist' is revolution indeed.

    Happy New Year to you All.

    Paul G.

  8. As a teacher, the only way I've found to help sometime kids unable to focus is to have them on a table against my desk. It makes sense to me that a presence, mine, is calming so lowering the first line input, whatever it is. With 1st line, words can't do it.

    If terror can lie behind ADD, from my own experience I would add the absence of the mother early after birth, so 1st line too, as a possible root for ADD.

    Regarding kids at school, the most dramatic thing I see on a daily base is : kids whose parents are separated. I don't really have the words to describe it but it's really a recurrent pattern. They seem lost, broken and unable to focus. It's heartbreaking to see. Many are treated by their parents more like luggages.

  9. Art --

    I experience this phenomena where I'm too overwhelmed or "stunned" maybe to get on the right track (as you say). It's difficult to find it sometimes. I spoke with a friend about it who referred to it as stepping from one stone to the next, and if one missteps one is washed down stream. In this metaphor the stones are in a river with a strong current. Many times in my life have I found myself washing downstream, unable to right my direction.

    It is my thoughts exactly that the train has to start at the right station. Hopping a ride on an imprint leads exactly where.the imprint did. And it's impossible to discern it, at least until one has a small amount of insight into the pattern.

    I plan to be at the center soon. I have an ongoing theory that I missed a shitload of the grief I was supposed to feel while doing my own looking for missing pieces. I was able to bash through the gates, but little crying. :/

  10. Hi Anonymous,

    that's more than very interesting; it's very helpful.

    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.