Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Barren, Sterile Life

I am going to wax egocentric and use me as an example of what can go wrong in life.  I have pondered how is it that a child can live 20 years with his parents and never once be touched, hugged or kissed.  Even by accident.   How could it happen that a parent does not ever put her arm around her child?   I know.  It was my life, never a good approving word from them.  It drove me to seek approval everywhere and to do the things that might elicit a wee bit.   In my case, my father could not express anything, good or bad.  His greatest curse word was “What the sam hill”?  It happens to children with parents whose neo-cortex is not driven by the feeling brain. No thought is underlain by feelings and therefore there is no feeling underlying what is happening.  It is totally driven by the neo-cortex; and then we go to the cognitive/behavioral therapist to understand why; and there is no solution there.  Because no one is dealing with passion and with feeling.    They are dealing with disembodied brain that cannot get down to the feeling level because of deep repression/gating that blocks the passage.   The result: passels of professionals concocting theories and therapies that are intellectually enforced: “I have my own hammer and I will use it willy-nilly on all patients irrespective of what is wrong with them.”  Theories that are produced from on top, not intruding from below, riding feeling saves to inform the theory about and with passion and feeling.  The theory and therapy remains uninformed.  So in this barren, sterile word we have a parent who tucked my favorite dog, left him alone in the street and drove away.

So why on earth does a shrink, have to recognize the deep brain?  Aah  I know why. Because the firepower behind most of our behavior lies the brainstem and lower limbic system. We cannot understand human psychology without reference to them.  And because patients usually choose a therapist they feel in touch with, the bright person will choose an erudite intellectual for help; a help that can never arrive.  A “loosey goosey” type will choose an anything goes, way-out-there therapist or someone who calls herself a therapist.  So in the first case they get case studies, statistics and ideas devoid of science; while in the second case, they get unscientific voodoo where anything goes.  What they don’t get is cure.

Patients go to get their neuroses reinforced.

The patients can get help, and it has been called “help” for decades, as if there were no hope for cure.  You need feelings to be sensitive, to care and be concerned, to be insightful and perceptive.   And you only get them in therapy when their importance is understood.  You cannot teach anyone to be a good therapist, sensitive and insightful.  We all learn that as a result of a feeling  therapy or better yet, growing  up loved.

It seems as though I am saying that shrinks need to know paleontology well or have a degree in anthropology.  Nope.  Just an awareness of the importance of the levels of brain function.  Never be fooled by that narrow band of cortex into thinking that thinking is the sine qua non.

We can imagine animals life millions of years ago without being experts in their history.  A therapist needs to understand the brain that is lodged deep, deep, down in the brain and must see what influence it can have on our thinking, impulses,  feelings and behavior.  He needs to be an absolute aficionado  of science to see how evolution has carried us along.  And above all, to understand the notion of resonance: how there is a neuronal/chemical trail that leaves its traces behind on our genes.  We need to retrace its steps to see how those traces evolved; to see how we always have had an alarm system, only over time that system diminished and so we lost touch with the actual danger.   Even though the danger remained hidden and sequestered.   Our bodies will not shut off the alarm, leaving us anxious without knowing why.   An anxiety state is a terror state. But over the millennia the top level became so alienated from deep down in the brainstem where terror is organized, that it had its name changed and we call it by some bastard word; terror had a rebirth and is now anxiety; but a rose by any other name...

It is such a waste:  they ruin your life and then you carry on ruining it on your own without their help.  Suppose you, by some chance, choose Primal Therapy.  You go on suffering for years for what they did to you.  More often what they did to you is repressed and you go on with your life, such as it is.  But if you choose a feeling therapy; beware because many unfeeling people call themselves a feeling therapy; those who do booga booga.  The point is that reliving history undoes history.  To confirm this we shall soon embark on research with our therapy that goes back and undoes our history and allows us, in a way, to be born again.  It is worth the price of admission to be able to shed our pain.  It is miraculous, but not a miracle.  We are going to look at the traces of methyl on our genes and see how dense they are and how vulnerable they are to change.   We will quantify the amount of pain and the amount of resolution with our therapy. I have written about our peer reviewed studies in the World Congress of Psychiatry.

To me it is miraculous that we still have elements in us that belong to ancient creatures millions of years ago. Even more, how powerful those forces remain in us human beings and drive us, make us compulsive and obsessive, behave beyond our control and commit crimes that reflect those rage-full terrorizing epochs.

Let me give you a tragic example.   My colleague today sent me an article and photos of babes whose mothers smoked while carrying.  They had no idea of the harm they do, and we must educate all young people who plan on having babies;  do not take anything in that can harm your baby: not one drink, not one cigarette, not one painkiller and no tranquilizers.  All if this will change his brain system and biology for life.  He will not get over it.

These are ultra sound photos of unborn babies. (From Durham and Lancaster Universities  in the U.K.)(
They are self explanatory.  And it points out for all time how what the mother ingests, harms the baby, almost without exception.  Those scans, collected at 24 and 36 weeks of womb-life, show a rate of mouth movements much higher than normal. Worse they raise their arms to look for protection it seems, but there isn’t any for them.  They are suffering!  The nicotine in the mother’s cigarettes can change the central nervous system of the baby and with it certain brain functions.  Again, they are suffering  and they start life in pain.  It becomes imprinted and changes them for a lifetime.  Their whole system is defective from the start.  How can any feeling mother do that to her child? And above all, how can any therapist ignore these key critical windows and hope to do an effective psychotherapy?  Shame!


  1. It's funny how my mother looks down on "trashy" women, yet I was chatting with a young "trashy" woman yesterday - she took drugs and smoked cigarettes regularly until she discovered she was pregnant, then she stopped all of those things immediately. She said she couldn't bear the thought of hurting her baby. My mother, a very intellectual woman who proudly distances herself from trashy people, smoked heavily through all of her pregnancies.
    Obviously feelings are more important than egotisitical ideas.
    I am still recovering from what is most likely to be whooping cough (it's an epidemic in New Zealand). Just talking is enough to make my throat close up. I wonder if this immune response is an over-reaction caused by a womb full of nicotine...
    Love you mummy... not.

    1. Well Richard, she is what she is, so be it, and could have been born a starving black guy in Africa.

      We've still got a few generations to go before humanity fully gets its shit together. Until then we just have to accept the dice of life.

    2. Andrew, why should we compare ourselves to people less fortunate? We don't need to be "better than"... we just need to heal. You know I never whine. Our tyrannical father showed us the futility in whining. I was making a point: Parents should not expect their children to heal quickly.

    3. Aaaah, brotherly love,

      It's taken me years to realise how exactly my parents failed to help my older brother grasp the true value of his younger sibling (me). Just at the point where I at age 3 / 4 years could start to talk and communicate with him through words as well as feelings (he 5 years older) they sent him off to boarding school (him aged 7 / 8 years).

      There is a wonderful B&W photo of him cuddling me on the beach the year before he went; so filled with brotherly love is this little "time capsule of a snap shot" it has recently started to make me cry when I see it or think of it. Why?

      Because when my dear brother was cut off from me he was also cut off from our Mum yet I was left back with her. . . Jealous? Yep. . .

      But of course my stupid parents believe that they "treated us equally". Equally stupidly; 5 years later I was duly marched off to child prison camp where for one term my older brother could 'keep an eye out' for me. . . Then he also 'moved on' to a different prison camp.

      Part of my act out has been to endlessly look for that missing brother in other older, charismatic men (my therapist no doubt one of these 'surrogates'). . . My brother though is a stranger to me now, he looks down on me like some people look at a bit of shit on their boot. Occasionally he takes pity on his 'little shit of a brother' and smiles, or says "Hi". Only when I call him though. He only calls me when he wants something. I've nearly given up seeking his approval or taking his niece to see him. He's twice a bankrupt and a true Tory blue voter. . .

      Paul G.

    4. I have heartbreaking trouble w/my (younger) sister too, because of her volatile behaviour towards me, it hurts me terribly. I don't believe she's confident in her rel'ship(s) w/our parents in the way that I am, this I feel stems from her being born after me-- the child senses there is only so much love.. I want to be closer w/her (&we are, at times) but how can I when she then rips into me, on occasion? Such a shame &a waste..

    5. Richard, Art
      My mother smoked heavily whilst pregnant with my older sister, Debbie. My sister is moderately brain damaged but also severely emotionaslly damaged by being unwanted (shotgun wedding), meaning acute neglect throughout her childhood, vicious rejection by our mother and bullying from my father. Basically they resented her for them having to get married. Very recently my mother lied through her teeth when she told me she didn´t smoke whilst pregnant with her. (This really triggered me, I just posted her birthday card just so she wont get "hurt" whilst muttering "Rot in hell bitch"). But don´t forget the damage done by vaccinations: "Vaccine Assault on the Species" Naturopath Patrick Rattigan, toxic food; "Grain Damage", "80/10/10", by world authority on natural diet Dr Douglas Graham, microwaves from phone masts eg on the rooves of hospital maternity wards where studies have shown enormous rises in the incidences of stillbirths, spontaneous abortions and birth defects, mobiles, DECT wireless baby monitors etc: "Barrie Trower, "The Freiberger appeal"etc. The scale of the scientific evidence and behind the scenes criminality of the multinationals responsible for all these things almost defies belief, and the toxicity of food and intensity of microwaves from such devices has skyrocketed over the last 20 years or so. My frend recently got a job at a home for the mentally disabled in the UK. Like me he has researched his subject, and we both agree that vaccinations, toxic food. almost constant exposure to microwaves and early trauma are the four most important forces physically crippling our childrens bodies and brains nowadays, education and poor parenting their feelings, attitudes and behaviour. Gary, Portugal.

  2. When I came back from Los Angeles, I went to a few therapists here in Hellas. I said to all of them that I had undergone Primal Therapy and that was how I would like to keep on with my feelings.

    I remember one of them replied:
    Yes, I know about Primal Therapy, but it is now obsolete!!

    What did I just hear??? Obsolete!!!!

    It was like hearing…
    …you don’t have to breathe anymore; we have discovered a new method. Here, take these gums of methane. It’s gonna work out!
    …you don’t have to eat anymore. We are going to fire at you bullets with nutrition. It will hurt a little, but hey…it’s good for your health.

    I know, Dr. Janov, that your phrase about human emotions was rhetorical; and we both know that everyone who reads your blog knows that feelings will never disappear and the right brain hemisphere will not disintegrate.
    Yes, humans may become even crazier, act even more abnormally (due to internal suffering), but feelings cannot cease to exist. In my opinion, feelings are the substance, the foundation of Life itself. And Life always finds a way!!

    [If we compress those 64 million years of evolution into 24 hours, humans have been on stage only the last 5 minutes]

    - Yannis -

    1. Yannis: Strange when a shrink is threatened he concocts all sorts of nonsense to defend himself. Over the decades I have never once heard a therapist ask if he could find out more about it. art

    2. Hi Yannis,

      I went to see a 'Primal Therapist' in London in 1993 and she said: "Primal has been integrated into all other forms of psychotherapy and the three week intensive is no longer necessary". . .

      I reckon what happens is that a certain 'type', who think like (as?) the intelligentsia, get control of the medical establishment's minds and convince them they have the correct zeitgeist for mental health development. This so because their personalities are similar to the way repression uses beliefs to bolster defenses. Thus a spell has been cast by the very personification of belief in repression.

      It's as if they had read the developmental instruction manuals and the diagnostic manuals and 're-framed' their content into a 'script' which (for them as well) is prescriptive as a behaviour to 'follow'; a self discipline in other words, or do I mean self invented discipline? They possibly even add to or re-invent a new prescriptive script and sign it with their own name and feel like they have 'progressed'.

      Anyway, it's obvious this 'intellectualisation' has already extended to Primal. That was my point. It's been said before; the Charlatans of Primal. . .

      I'd rather have the Sultans of Swing any day.

      Paul G.

    3. Hi Art,
      I have had many people 'in the field' ask me about PT, incl an ongoing, genuine interest from UWA Psychiatry (the Uni of West Australia). I've also had people 'in the field' not at all interested, even making sure I no longer work for/with them once I'd returned from Primal. Jacquie x

    4. I am afraid, at this point, I will have to repeat the same quote with the train:
      having taken the wrong train, all the stations will be wrong.

      Someone may think: then, why can't it be that primal therapy is the wrong train, instead of our new psychological approaches?

      I am not here to convince anyone; life will play that part, anyway. All I can say is that I felt that primal therapy worked out for me. Plain and simple. I had pain and just let my body follow as far as I could handle it. I didn't deny to myself the existence of my syffering, my anger or whatever it was at that time.
      I didn't just shed a few tears (which is socially accepted) and then said "ok, it's all over", trying to move on and suppress the pain deeper (which is also socially accepted and encouraged).

      Yes, certain amount of science is needed. Understanding 1st, 2nd and 3rd line, the connection between them, how brain works etc. Every case is unique, I assume. But THAT is the fact that I like. No fancy words and explanations. Every patient finds his own way for himself. I guess you (the therapists) may need to "hold" his hand to help the patient go deeper, but only to let his hand once more, for the patient to dive further into his darkest side of his existence.

      However, I assure you, Art, that leaving the safety of the harbor and sailing to the unknown sea, is frightening. For a psychology student for example, who has just finished university, totally bombarded from every direction about new psychological approaches (less painful), medical companies pulling the strings, in order to boost their products. A little later, this psychology student will have his own psychology office, making some money or a lot of money to support a family. A family he (thinks he) loves and indeed does his best for it. How will that person just flip the table and say "fuck it all, I am still in pain" and just embark on his personal ship and sail to the unknown ocean?

      If you can answer the above (I personally cannot), then in a few years, I believe that most of the adults will have re-obtained those true-starring-eyes, that we only see at human babies and animals.

      Ending, I will thank you, Art, for your brilliance to dig just a few inches deeper into psychology, not having stayed satisfied with the status quo. I really thank you from the bottom of my heart for revealing to me the primal-therapy-option.

    5. Art: Maybe deep down they know they don't know....that kind of disinterest looks a bit like fear to me, as you essentially said.

      Let's face it - you're the only one who is offering a real theory that really makes sense, at all!

    6. Yannis, as always I appreciate your great letters. art

    7. Jacquie: Are they all so scared? art

    8. Art, it seems that way, yes. The person in particular, who's guru was '(changing) Thinking, as therapy' also ironically instigated my employment in the first place (that however was based on my academia, which I can do well). He did not like that I only had good things to say about my experience in LA.. So threatened by Feeling! Another was s/one I'd facilitated group work w/for >5yrs, that was a shame as we'd been great colleagues. He didn't even afford me friendship, post LA. Jacquie

    9. Hi Jacquie,
      I'm glad you made it to the center. I'm not glad for you that your 'colleagues' have reacted so abruptly to your experiences but I'm not surprised. I can't understand how you've survived in your 'industry' for so long. Perhaps it's because you work with seriously marginalised people who are (luckily?) themselves represented by professionals from their own group; thus you have found a 'niche' of understanding.

      For legal reasons I can't talk much about the circumstances I am in with my family but I will say that mentioning Primal Theory/Therapy to child protection workers here in UK is NOT advised.

      Rotherham, Sheffield, Oxford and various other cities in UK have become symbols of complete failure in Social Services child protection policy and now we hear the Police are to blame (of course never the agency actually delegated with the responsibility to protect children).

      Something very unpleasant is emerging in UK culture. It seems that behaviourism has been surreptitiously re-elected as the belief system to measure society.

      But you can't measure (hidden) bad behaviour until AFTER the event, can you? Then bad behaviour is only ever observed in others and never in the observer. . .

      A question I have never had answered is this: -"How come the (social) workers who get paid to 'observe the behaviour' of parents and children are not the ones given the CARE of the children"?

      Furthermore, family support workers are given a pittance to help CARE for children 'in need/ at risk' but the decisions about what, when, why or how are NOT made by them. They have to follow orders form the 'observers'. . .

      Aaaand then the Police get the blame (!)

      I mean, if I was paid £30,000 a year to observe carpenters and bits of wood in the workshop and write up long reports on their 'behaviour', well then I'd be laughing all the way back to my nice dual income family home in a swanky part of town. . .

      Take care Jacquie, I hope you don't get stigmatised any more.

      Paul G.

    10. Thanks Paul, good to hear from you
      I haven't been in the 'industry' all that long; I wanted to but was (still am) extremely idealistic about Primal. Then I experienced domestic violence &also thought if I did Social Work it would be a way of working within the 'field'; side-stepping Primal. I was very interested in working clinically w/perpetrators (of family &domestic violence), which I did for 5yrs. However, at the end of the day all roads (within the 'field') lead back to Primal. I'm currently in Research. Before that I had a great career as a Photographer

      I do hope your family business is resolving.. And that you are able to receive PT yourself one day?

  3. I have a problem with ultrasounds. ultrasounds are dangerous and unnatural .I instinctively reacted badly to my daughter having multiple ultrasounds during her pregnancies for stupid reasons ,eg date of delivery etc. I have done some reading about them in the past and they heat up and make the amniotic fluid hot , and babies react by trying to protect themselves, and in very early pregnancy shuts down growth. think about eggs of animals and right heating is critical for development of eggs .My eldest grandson, 5 has pretty severe dyspraxia of speech which is an ongoing sadness for everyone. I believe this is a serious issue and another case of doctors know best or should I say a great money making venture for an industry.

  4. I've been working closely w/Indigenous (Aboriginal) staff, and very much enjoy it; I understand and connect w/them &their Ways. They are very much about 'Knowing' (instinctual, feeling), about Nature (something very dear to me) and I've reflected a lot on their lack of development as a culture (in the Western sense) over the 40,000 years they inhabited Australia, before the first European settlers arrived. They were then colonised, intentionally 'bred-out' (how can any feeling person/race do that?) and literally treated worse than dogs. The notion of resonance comes to mind: the neuronal/chemical trail that leaves its traces behind on our genes. This impact is recognised and Indigenous Australians receive many subsides (benefits, grants, assistance) however it can only ever be a band aid, until a new, stronger (mixed) race emerges..

    Thanks for the article Art. I miss the Centre and David, who I felt a strong connection w/(altho also had misgivings). He was the first therapist I've had

    And the photos are incredible (yes, protecting itself as a 'reflex'!). The horror in them says 'a thousand words'. Jacquie

  5. An email comment:

    "Hi Art thanks for writing this...

    I am so sorry, that was your childhood.... having a dog can make a huge difference. Especially when your sad, and feeling alone. Having their touch and affection. I couldn't help thinking how fucking vicious, your parent was to take away from you the only thing that made your life bearable. Your dog. They did that on purpose just to hurt you. To emotionally abuse you.

    I did choose primal therapy, and I did go on suffering for years, but it got easier over time. I look at other people my age, and I feel for them, they are lost without a clue.

    Before, primal therapy, I didn't know how to care about people. Somehow that came out of me in therapy. Maybe it was there just waiting for the right circumstances.

    Its easy to get bummed about everything in the world, cause it all seems so crazy at times. But there are people who care, and who try and help other people, in spite of everything.

    Take care.."

  6. Another email comment:
    "I'm sorry your Dad did that to you and your dog Art...
    I cried when I read it....I care about and admire you very much.....the story about the rhino hurts too even though I don't know any of the people in that family or him.....
    I feel bad about him and that Lion.....and your dog when your were little, Art....thank you for all these writings..
    I wish you and France and all your people there well.."

  7. Imagine if "we" could understand... perceive what is happening in us when we are exposed to suffering!?

    When I search myself closer to someone... someone I admire... someone that binds me just by the way she looks like... it without me being invited... but I still want to try to make contact with... and something suddenly hits me..." who do you think you are"... which suffering it exposes me to.

    I could thank her for her integrity to reject me... but unfortunately there is no sense... she would not understand (at group therapy at the primal center I could). My thanks are directed to the pain I suffer... as my attention is drawn to (if we only knew). So I turn away and goes... alone with my pain. A hideous pain has found its way home... home to something I suffered all my life... as I was extremely vulnerable... then at the time when my limbic system defenseless just could be. Something I have unwittingly been looking for all my life... unwittingly for its content of pain... unimaginably painfully... but at its consciousness so narrative the story of my life! What more could I wish for my self... everything else becomes of secondary importance! My tears for my suffering makes everything I have with me possible... tears a physiological process we tragically locked us out from... tears to be for what we are suffering on our way to the ultimate pain!


  8. It's almost like, yes, the adult wants a child, has it, cares for it until it can be on it's own (what till they are out of infancy...), and then doesn't want to have anything to do with it. Is it that the parent adult feels so superior, that they cannot show love to even their child. Like people who only love kittens, but when they become cats ; forget about caring for the pet. Of course, children and animals are totally different. Makes one wonder, why people become parents. Very sad situation how the child is scarred by unfeeling parenting. They actually must think that the child has no brain, or no feelings to be treated so coldly. Now today, I don't think it is the schools that are making society so wrong, it is coming from the child's homelife and family. Come on' most parents know how to treat children ; and especially if it is their own. It is a reflection of the parenting...what is the parent so selfish as to not give love or kindness, or is it that they feel "burned" themselves, or is it that they are just plain "spoiled and rotten". To me, it is hard to say what it is, but it definitely isn't right and should be corrected.
    To "carry on" against all odds, and become a success, to me, is such a great accomplishment to witness.

  9. The parents wonder why the kids of today (and in the past) are the way they are.....the parents should diagnose themselves. The kids, many of them, are cold and many times just plain heartless, not knowing how to be kind many times; why? Because of their upbringing. Then the facade comes down, and they really want one's attention. The hard exterior stems from the parents who are, many times, just plain totally ignorant as to how to raise a child , and they don't really want to know. Kids running around in 0-degree weather in short sleeve t-shirts, and not even carrying of all ages, and it doesnt matter if they are male or female. They don't even know enough to put a jacket on. What does it prove for someone to do this ? What that they can "take the coldness" because they are used to receiving it from their family and home life? But can they really? A lot of the kids, are just unsatisfied habitually. It starts with the parents, who to me, if they don't have a heart and brain, shouldn't have young ones. To deal with a child , one should have "an open-mind" many times. LIfe is sad enough, but to "screw - up" a child and have them scarred for life by it, just a crime.

  10. Your post inspired me to curate a study that found: “..fear of terror-induced annual increases in resting heart rate..”

    The study took a lot of physical and psychological measurements but didn't have an overarching framework to make sense of what they were measuring. It also had several problems I didn't deal with, such as inventing a politically correct "fear of terror" factor probably to attract funding.

    You'll recognize your "ruin your life" theme in the mountain climber metaphor I use:

    1. Went to this web-site, saw "ruin your life" theme. People are afraid; afraid to feel, to show emotions, afraid of other people even. The damage that another can do can be great ; especially a parent who just destroys habitually the child's "mind-set" and destroys the parental love that is supposed to be there. Children need a good foundation ; one that has quality, and that is all up to the parent. Very sad to see a child have to suffer emotionally, mentally, physically due to their parents. Why we are supposed to be improving, progressing. It is so absurd the way some parents treat their child, and Why? For what "good" reason? Maybe the parent is just totally ignorant.

  11. Art
    You´ve written before about your dog being the first warmth you got as a child, and taking your dog to your own early primal sessions because animals are empathic. It took me a long time to truly "see" animals. I´m raw vegan because that´s what humans are designed to eat; it keeps me 100% healthy and free of all physical suffering and i couldn´t even imagine eating another sentient creature. I have 5 cats and two dogs; they treat me better than any human ever has. My dog Betty was dumped at my rural home in Portugal wth an injured leg 5 years ago. I adopted her and have always loved her so...she is neurotic, very possessive of me and aggressive towards all other animals who vie for my attention. But still I love her. She is endlessly patient, devoted, and feels so intensely; love, jealousy....5 months ago she went missing. It broke my heart. I grieved for weeks. Then last week she suddenly reappeared. I held her in my arms and just broke down, weeping for hours. Back home she snubs my new dog Rosie, whom I rescued from 3 years on a 3 metre chain, - that was her whole world....thrown scraps and never even touched. now we all go for long walks in the country, play football, I salvage good quality raw meat & bonés from public skips (I will NEVER pay for the flesh of animals!!!!) and Rosie follows me everywhere and I constantly hug and stroke her and kiss her and she licks me and playfully bites my hands.
    NOW:::::Imagine if you will what 3 years on a 3 metre chain would do to a human....and it does happen. Heard about the 5 year old children sold by their parents, then tethered with chains and thrown scraps to eat, through sheer starvation eating grass, worked for years as slave labour, in Afghanistan & Pakistan?
    So how does Rosie emerge as so FEELING, so loving, joyful, patient? All the expat English here shake their heads and declare themselves animal lovers, walk their dogs, then go and eat their roast chicken and bacon sandwiches, not just totally health destroying and unnatural to humans but those sentient respectful, loving creatures have also lived lives of sheer purgatory and died horrendous deaths, courtousy of those unfeeling monsters working in abattoirs. Who are the dumb animals? Gary, Portugal

  12. A reader's comment on the news: (Part 1)
    "How A Nightmare Turn Into Mass murder.

    During a couple of weeks, top politicians, in threee of Europe’s largest countries, have had a legitimate reason ro reduce their respective domestic political infighting. They have turned unemployment, corruption, economic imbalances and current political oppositions to news / issues of secondary importance.

    A tragic plane crash, which claimed 150 human lives, has news-wise and emotionally completely dominated in particular Spain, France and Germany (and to a lesser degree the rest of the World). In the media, several hundred million people, around the clock, have been able to follow every step of the dramatic process. From an aircraft reported lost, via the finding of the black boxes, to the girlfriend’s reported stories about the content of the co-pilot’s recurring nightmares about plane crashes.

    After the revelation of the co-pilot’s misdeed, there have, from Germany, welled up revelations about his mental imbalance, vision problems, relationship problems with his fiancée and his dependence on psychiatric medications. Eg, the co-pilot, took a time-out, a few years ago, for psychotherapeutic treatment and was, according to the press, at the crash moment, hiding a sick leave. The pilots problems have been known for years. He has, however, apparently managed to keep secret his health problems, for his airline. That this concealment of human problems have been possible for several years in an industry that prides itself, at least technically, on the most rigorous safty regulations in the world is incomprehensible / indefensible.

    It is amazing that no one; including psychologists, therapist, doctors, parents or other close relationships, probably of false loyalty, have understood / dared to report the co-pilot’s mental deficiencies. This passivity inspite of the fact that he had 100s of human lives in his hands. I come from a country which, fortunately, protects all small children from kindergarten age. The legislation has imposed kindergarten teachers an obligation to report to the police if they as much as suspect parents / carers exposing a child to physical or mental punishment. This natural obligation to protect children in Sweden is, by citizens of other European countries, sometimes, considered as disloyalty to the parents…

    I think that the airline and the psychologists / doctors have the greatest responsibility. If the psychologists (who probably worked with cognitive therapy techniques) had had sufficient experience, they should have known that the process of mental pain is propelling depressions repeatedly / constantly. Painkillers / pharmaceuticals, with no guaranteed certainty, is the only long-term solution. Those responsible should therefore never assess a patient of this category as fit for a position as a pilot. There must exist an unconditional liability, reporting / coordinating data, for all parties who treat, educate and interact with practitioners in extremely demanding sectors with responsibility for countless lives.


  13. Part 2:
    "The type of symptoms, nightmares, and depressions, which the co-pilot showed, often are rooted in traumas from before, during and just after birth. Our organism represses and encapsulates pain of an unbearable nature as a memory / imprint. Later in life, the hidden / repressed pain wearing our body and mind consume large portions of the body’s natural painkillers / serotonin. When the body and brain become exhausted, the pain may leak out. This leakage propels persistent nightmares, depressions, neuroses and can lead to tragic act-outs. A distorted mind can then execute horrific actions like the conscious crash in the French Alps.

    In the US, the promised land of cognitive psychotherapists and the DSM-5, the air safety authorities have realized that one cannot depend on the psyche of the individual. Over there, they have already set up a rigorous requirement that two pilots must, constantly, be present in the cockpit. Hopefully the tragic accident in the Alps mean that the human, psychological development and monitoring will be given the same priority as the one devoted to the technical development in and around the aviation sector. As long as we need pilots to fly, they are part of the safety chain. A chain which is only as strong as its weakest link."

  14. An email comment:
    "Read your blog. Mother was a heavy smoker.

    I am seventy years old.

    For a long time I never understood why I could not breathe (or think) under stress.

    Six or eight months ago I began to wake up in the middle of the night. Could not lay on my back without
    chest pressure. I have always slept on my side.

    Connected the chest pressure to headache. Headache that I have had for seventy years. I have never
    been able think. I have never been able to focus. Now connecting the chest and head I cannot even
    read for any period of time. the pressure is slowly decreasing. the headache likewise.

    Our ignorance of rearing our children is beyond belief. Carol works in an elementary school now. The "drugie babies" are common. Criminal.

    Still have not sold the house. Asking too much. But we will get there.

    Think every day about "the documentary." Good graphics is the key. Need a good 'Elevator pitch". One Billion dollar fund goal. (the Bill Gates Foundation). Create university for teaching and research.

    Hope you have not given up on me after all these years. I know - "when you see it you will believe it."

    Hope you are well. You did good.


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.