Friday, May 29, 2015

The Anti-Primal Solution: Meaning Ayayay

I don’t know why I read the NY Times articles which publishes grinders for me, (NY Times, May 17, 2015 see: They love Behavior Therapy and meanwhile I cannot get one of my articles in  their paper.  This blog is a follow-up to the one I just published called, ON BEING LONELY (see:  I hope to show the bankruptcy of non-dynamic approaches that leave science far behind; where therapists become a cheering section for the oppressed.  “You can do it;  But, you have to accept yourself first”.

Whaaat?  I sit here thinking, “How on earth can I do that?”  Let’s say I tell myself I am good, smart and warm.  But wait a minute I am completely unconvinced. I don’t feel that way.  My whole history makes me feel bad, dumb and worthless, which is absolutely true of my early life.  You mean I should deny who I am and take on another persona who is loveable?  Gee, I’ll try.  Darn,  I just can’t do it.  Now what do I do? I know… I will pretend and please my doctor.

This is about the patient who entered Behavior Therapy for suicidal depression.  He had shock therapy plus years of psychotherapy plus drug after drug; nothing worked.

The opening gambit finds the therapist informing the patient that to get well the first step has to be to “accept yourself as you are.”  These admonitions are throwbacks to early Gestalt therapy, which was “sold” by Fritz Perls.  After he told everyone what to do and how to live, the patient had then to kiss him to end the session.  This advice has no rationale whatsoever and has no basis in science; it is every man for himself. Caprice replaces science.

So let’s go on with his therapy, which has a major space in the NY Times.  This therapy was finally accepted by the patient, and by inference, the NY Times, as well.

The patient’s problems had a history but was again set off by a failed business deal.  He was known as “treatment resistant depression.”  The therapy was not in question; it was his resistance to it.  How neat.
Along comes a new therapy, or should I say a new label for an old treatment, known as Dialectic Behavior Therapy.  I assume they mean some kind of improvement on Behavior Therapy.  It is aimed at suicidal patients.  Dr Linehan, the founder, claims that Behavior Therapy couldn’t work for her so she developed a new approach.

What it does is help patients “identify and change negative and erroneous thoughts".  This sounds precisely like Behavior Therapy.  Dr. Linehan says that the problem with staying on this approach is that it treats the patients’ pain being all in the head, and that “belittles the patient.”  What has to happen according to her is that the patient, first and foremost, must accept himself and be accepted by others as he is.  She realizes that sometimes the person is also overwhelmed by emotions.  So she recommends some skills to stop the flooding of emotions.

“It lies in the pivotal  moment between experiencing the feeling and acting on it.”  So she finds a way:  take ice from the fridge and hold it on your neck.  Distract yourself. Snap a rubber band on your wrist.  Etc, ad nauseam.  In other words, never feel the feelings but treat them as intruders and enemies to avoid.  The only thing that could help healing, feeling one’s feelings, becomes an anathema.  It is anti-healing and anti-Primal.  Which has been given a big boost from an august newspaper.

This so-called new therapy is a simple turn on the usual Behavior Therapy. No scientist need apply because science is not welcome here.

So the therapist believes there is improvement because the distraction (is that really therapy?) lowers anxiety. Is that measured or still part of the booga booga approach?  After a lifetime of being criticized and belittled by parents she argues it can be undone by talking to yourself.  Ayayay.  It is still all in her head and now in the patient’s who thinks he is better.

So every time a feeling comes up, instead of feeling it and improving she asks patients to do the opposite and stop feeling.  Stop getting well, for no matter what she says, it is still “in your head.”

Where are earth does she get her ideas about feelings?  Where does she think they come from?  Do they come from space or are they the results of our experience? What experience?  Does the patient have no history, no previous neglect, or trauma?  This is exactly and only Behavior Therapy.  It is not new, does not make any improvement and treats the patient as ahistoric.

A slight postscript:  what does Dr. Linehan think is the role of feelings?  Does she know that they are guideposts, that they warn us of threat and danger?  That they signal illness and problems internally. That they lead to love and caring and empathy?  That they lead us to make good decisions that are salutary for ourselves?

So why are feelings there? To allow us to love and be loved, to help others, to sympathize with others’ plight and to help us establish good relationships.  They are not our enemy; they help save our lives.  Above all, even though we all have feeling centers, not all of us have access to feelings.  Some of us are so shut off that we are basically unfeeling.  What makes us really human are feelings; why on earth do we want to suppress them?
I think my departing point from Dr. Linehan is that when  she sees emerging feelings, she rushes in to divert the patient away from them.  When we see feelings we help the patient into them in slow methodic fashion, so that he becomes a feeling, sensate human being.  This is the way he becomes human, learns to love and be loved and gets rid of his Primal Demons that have plagued him.

Since we are historic beings how can we get well in an anti-feeling way?  We can’t.


  1. Most of those new waves of self – understanding talk about living in the moment, accepting yourself, your past and your mistakes. Then, mentors (perhaps with good intentions) start to incorporate religion and the life of the Great Teachers (names aren’t necessary). In other cases, the singularities of quantum physics are used as an example to prove the power of the mind over matter and circumstances.
    And you know what? They could be true. Life goes on, new things are developing or discovered and an amazing quantity of human intelligence works everyday towards new horizons.

    However, all of those teachings have the same denominator (I hope you use that expression in English).

    F e e l i n g s !

    Constantly thinking your way through life, 24/7, is just not normal. If you teach about letting yourself and accepting life as it is, feelings are the quintessence! They know what you don’t, they guide you and have tremendous power over thoughts.
    Living feelings to the fullest is the most serene thing you can accomplish. Tao says “action without action”. For me this is it. I watch animals, babies…Full capacity at any given moment. They look at you and captivate your glance. They just walk and you want to hug them and play with them. BUT, they don’t think about it. They just ARE!

    Throughout my life, when I have certain brilliancies (from the tiniest issue to the most important), I first feel them and then I realize them. They come at their own will, when I am calm. When I seek for them persistently (obviously with my thoughts), I have no connection with my feelings and therefore I get nothing.

    Art, those new therapies are boosted by press, because (you said it) are new, but most important they “sell” (another local expression). People like them, so let’s feed them. If there is truth underneath, it doesn’t matter; as long as money goes around and ends in our pockets. And all those new age doctors,...the perfect fertile ground for spreading the idea.

    Ok, enough with judging the system; not my type.

    Wish you well.
    - Yannis -

    1. Intelligence "ayayay"!


      We decide to remain where we are within the context of what threat we live... now threat against ourselves... and we have many "peers"!

      We are thinking in the context of what prevents us to perceive ourselves... unfortunately with the result that we can be "creative" for what is required to develop a nuclear bomb... or sell anything without considering the consequences ... etc ... etc ... etc. It in view to avoid ourselves! What is there left if we do not act for what we perceive are threat to our lifes?

      We are the rulers of our thoughts! Most of us are just victims of what we ourselves do not feel... and it's closer than we think... we react only within fear of what our thoughts lead us against threats for how the limbic system influences us.

      A professional can be afraid for what led him to be professional! Think about it!


  2. Cannot believe that a doctor (Dr. Linehan) would think that this was the answer. She should face is unfortunate, but especially now : Practically no one accepts people "the way they are", To distract feelings and not feel is what is going wrong today, .....starting with the young ones, 5 through teens are taught not to feel. So with one of their toughness goes bullying, nastiness, going out in 10 degree weather with t-shirts on, and many times due to this, somehow , along the way, they "mess up". This doctor Linehan should look at the world; especially today's world. One should take time to have feelings, face your feelings, reflect....but now they don't.

  3. Hi Art,

    great and proper proper rant ! Thanks so much because it's easy to start believing that you're a deficient being for FEELING (and not thinking 'correctly'). One thing I have grasped from you is that feelings UNDERLIE thoughts and are certainly driving the thoughts.

    I went for a medical assessment / fitness for work interview with the Dept. Work & Pensions last week. Amongst the usual chronic fatigue / lack of motivation & grief I reported getting recently due to long term exhaustion and stress etc, I also mentioned that I get suicidal feelings which I explained were actually "death sensations" and the doc interviewing me with his reductionist computerised form infront of him asked me If I had any coping strategies to counteract these negative THOUGHTS and I interjected that they weren't THOUGHTS but FEELINGS. . .
    He said it really didn't matter: "Whatever"- he said. . .

    Luckily for me I knew that repressed people who are unconscious of their own human condition cannot really tell the difference between thoughts and feelings. WHY? Because their thoughts ARE their defense from unresolved bad feelings in THEM. Thus they have little if any grasp of what a FEELING actually IS.

    It's quite simple. . . And their act out is to assess others for having the wrong thoughts (or the right thoughts for having the WRONG feelings - ! - ! - !) either way, if you're NOT one of those unconsciously repressed people "trying" to "help" (!), and you ARE one of those people who's gates have started to collapse, well then YOU'RE WRONG because you're not THINKING correctly! ! !

    It's pure projection and the projectors are totally oblivious. They believe THINKING is more important than FEELING because they are totally stuck in the ramparts of their own defenses and believe YOU should be too. The more we feel the more these types become rancorous for us because the further away from OUR reality they drift. . .

    In the end, like a bad addiction we gotta give up having much to do with these types because, frankly they are enough to drive you BACKWARDS into fury, acting out the re-actions we had as little ones to the craziness of our primary carers in the 1st place. . .the wrong way into abreaction and depression. . . All that does is fuel these 'thinkers' delusions that we 'feelers' are deluded. . .

    F*****s !

    Yours gratefully, Paul G.

  4. i was more interested with mindfulness aspect of this therapy>

    ''…they needed to accept themselves, and to be accepted, exactly as they were in the present''.
    - ok

    ''mindfulness challenges me to accept emotions and situations as they are, not as I want them to be. I’ve learned how to “observe and describe”: to state the nature of a problem with facts, not judgments, so I can determine how best to solve it''.
    - hmm, to solve?

    ''if I’m aware of how I feel physically when I’m sad, or how my speech pattern changes when I’m angry, I can recognize where I am and change course before the intensity of the emotion gets too high''.
    - aha, It is about awareness then. so we can more efficiently control emotions.

    that is why with term 'mindfulness' there is also often the mention of 'empowering' and 'choice'.
    awreness-control therapy. ACT. mindfulness without meditation. and maybe most important, this patient was not treated as 'wrong'. it was taken into consideration the possibility of traumatic event. this is what i see with dr shefaly tsabary too. there is some compassion involved, warmer approach... knowledge about early trauma. but they probably don't know what they are dealing with REALLY. does it make them even more seductive and dangerous? many scientific results seem to support their work. to paraphrase: ''don't deny emotions, but use them to healing''. one of dr shefali's lecture on internet is titled ''pain as a portal to consciousness''. finally, mr. lippincott helped me to understand a bit more what is about in mindfulness.

    1. Vuko: Write more on how it helped you and it changed you and I will publish it. art

    2. Art, i am not a mindfulness patient. i have an impression you didn't read what i wrote. or i wasn't clear. i just wanted to find out what "to accept as it is" means in in mindfulness dictionary.
      how could it help? it simplifies the input for our mind to process. it helps with the mess if i am not additionally distracted (messed) from the outside. it is easier to deal with. and then it becomes easier to engage with outside. maybe i am mindfulness patient. ))

      i agree that it is important to see where is the "departing point" as you said. their language is getting very close to yours. can all those approaches be objectively discerned from your approach or the only objectivity is inside ones system. connected. subjective-objective.
      if i understand well, this is your effort too. to get to the point where some general practitioner doctor can read the patients' results and conclude with sureness that she is a primal patient. if primal therapy is so unique it should show somewhere. right?

      our personal notion about what helps us, what makes us feel better, more whole, changed, connected, honest, loving.... is so unreliable. maybe as much as the science of it. it is vague. real primal experience is not. and these subjective experiences over time lead toward real objectiveness. that is why a group of primal therapist could be the most advanced diagnose tool. if data from an instrument can make it even more accurate then GREAT. if for no other reason but instead of reviewing every tape you could just go through the numbers or some software do it for you. eventually a fast processing robot with enough input data and facial expression could replace therapist. but someone will have to train it. can strictly objective science do it? can therapist do it? ))

      not much answers from me.

    3. Hi vuko,

      -"I just wanted to find out what "to accept as it is" means in in mindfulness dictionary"?

      Moot point. . . Thing is, if those mindfulness people actually knew what 'IT' is that they were exhorting us all to "accept" they perhaps would not need to exhort 'acceptance' but to find a way to gain access. . . Methinks "acceptance" is just another euphemism for distract/ detour/ push down/ forget/ avoid/ live in the present/ etc etc. . .

      I dunno, what do you think?

      Paul G.

    4. Hello vuko!

      Its all about our brains activity to not understand what we feel!

      There is something about to let go that mean a lot when we begin to understand what it contains! Our neocortex strive to the utmost of not let go... because it is tied to thoughts to not understand what the content is all about... to let go!
      I usually sit in my living room and look out the window and "resting my thoughts." It is not seldom my memories of past experiences present themselves! It is obvious for what I learned about the primaltherapy process during a long time. I taught my self to let go... it by not thinking so much... by finding places and conditions where thoughts do not serve the same purpose.... it to get to memories of emotion as when I look out the window without any goal of meaning... and I am often there... where I as a little boy wandering on the road home... to my home without love!

      Your Frank

    5. Paul, i wanted to explain someone the difference but i couldn't. both trying to explain and not being able to is because of my limits of understanding primal principles. i am a mess most of the time. it almost "clicked" but...
      if anybody is intrigued here are two links for more info. i am tired...

    6. Vuko, if you want to write more on mindfullness I will run it. art

  5. Hi,

    this post could fire me up for ever. . .

    My dear ex partner has been convinced by her budhist nun, feminist, gestalt, family constellations therapist that all she needs to do to get over the (allegedly) 'bad' history and 'memories' from her relationship with me is to re - record past events and activities she did with me (like go to Paris, make love & share jokes) with other people. . . IE: All she has to do to deny the history she would prefer NOT to remember is to " OVER record" it with a NEW version. . . As if history is a tape machine and you can 'wipe out' one experience by replacing it with another. . . How mechanistic is that? I mean, it's also totally oxymoronic too because it both assumes history and denies it at the same time. . . It makes the therapist into some kind of 'programming supervisor' and the 'client' merely a piece of 'hardware'. . . So much for Budhism & Feminism & Gestalt eh?

    Thing is, I am quite sure that the (alleged) bad experiences she had with me were infact unresolved feelings coming up from her infancy precisely because she was actually getting love from me (and her adopted step son) and that's what happens; eventually, in a loving environment un - met need surfaces. There was shit happening to us as well (from outside mostly) but it would seem my ex has been programmed to apportion all that onto me too (all a series of "Bad Choices") ! ! ! It is as if the 16 years we spent together has actually all been a BIG MISTAKE. . .

    oops, sorry Paul, but your fired. . .

    This kind of 'therapy' can only really attract people who also are prone to a shallow / intellectualised way of living. . . And I suffered because I spent that 16 years trying so hard to get past her defenses for a relationship with the real her. . . Just like I did with my parents and brother. . . to no avail. . . (My Act Out) Blah.

    I'll bet that 'therapy resistant client' Art referred to from the NYT article was singled out by Dr. Linehan (the so called therapist) in order to 'prove' the validity of the 'ideals' to less fucked up individuals who are the real targets for Dr. Linehans "Marketing Strategy". After all, if you can prove thinking cures very neurotic people you can persuade less neurotic people that it MUST be the answer to their (bad) feelings.

    TWAT !

    Paul G.

  6. This post made me think of this clip; my very favourite version of this song (&one of my favourite films). This will kill you (help you into feeling). Jacquie

  7. You know, something I feel like a freak talking about primal. My family point me as a freak, my job mates treat me as a freak. It is hardly impossible to find someone to trust his body and feelings. But I know, my body don't lies to me.

    1. Piotr: I know how tough it is. My next bog is on the fact that simple truth is always revolutionary. art

    2. Hi Piotr,

      you're not alone, I tend to be very careful about how I speak about Primal now. I see the glazed look in peoples eyes. . . I have now become so used to their defenses (as well as mine) and their naivety (I don't like to call it 'ignorance' - seems too judgmental) that I no longer feel bereft or angry when in their company, which I can still enjoy. It's when I get 'home' that my loneliness floods me . . .

      Paul G.

  8. One can sense your frustration Art. And I for one do not blame you.

    Sometimes it seems the world just wants quick fixes. We don’t want to live healthy lives and eat properly, we want pills and magic potions to instantly make us slim and beautiful. There is even a website on the internet that promises that you can learn a second language ‘without even trying’ It links foreign phrases in your target language to catchy music which is meant to stick in your head so all you have to do is “sit back, relax and groove along to the melodies without trying to concentrate too hard and before you know it, foreign words and phrases will be there, instantly ready for recall.” Yeah, sure. I am currently learning a second language. It is hard work, it needs time, patience and a lot of dedication to the task. There are no real shortcuts. I think the same applies to our health, especially to our feelings.

    Snapping elastic bands on your wrist? I googled it. It seems the whole world is doing it.

    Not everyone is crazy in this world of ours but it sure seems like I live in a crazy world.



  9. i was more interested with mindfulness aspect of this therapy>
    “…they needed to accept themselves, and to be accepted, exactly as they were in the present”.
    - ok
    “mindfulness challenges me to accept emotions and situations as they are, not as I want them to be. I’ve learned how to “observe and describe”: to state the nature of a problem with facts, not judgments, so I can determine how best to solve it”.
    - hmm, to solve?
    “if I’m aware of how I feel physically when I’m sad, or how my speech pattern changes when I’m angry, I can recognize where I am and change course before the intensity of the emotion gets too high”.
    - aha, It is about awareness then. so you can more efficiently control emotions.
    ''mindfulness challenges me to accept emotions and situations as they are, not as I want them to be. I’ve learned how to “observe and describe”: to state the nature of a problem with facts, not judgments, so I can determine how best to solve it''.
    - hmm, to solve?
    ''if I’m aware of how I feel physically when I’m sad, or how my speech pattern changes when I’m angry, I can recognize where I am and change course before the intensity of the emotion gets too high''.
    - aha, It is about awareness then. so we can more efficiently control emotions.
    that is why with term 'mindfulness' there is also often the mention of 'empowering' and 'choice'.
    variation of mindfulness without meditation... there is some compassion involved, warmer approach... knowledge about early trauma. but they probably don't know what they are dealing with REALLY. does it make them even more seductive and dangerous? one of dr shefali tsabary lecture on internet is titled ''pain as a portal to consciousness''.

  10. "You can do it; But, you have to accept yourself first" nauseam. Ad nauseam is right: every time I hear these sentiments I want to vomit; they are so stupid!

    "..the distraction (is that really therapy?)" Excellent point Art. Perhaps we need a definition of therapy

    "..treats the patient as ahistoric". I had a real problem w/this on hospital rounds: I would raise the *possibility of a patient's past w/a consultant (psychiatrist) only to be snapped back that there was 'nothing in the case file indicating that'. Sure enough, patients' case files contain very little-zero info on their familial, upbringing, past (let alone gestational conditions, birth). As if that doesn't matter

    "Since we are historic beings how can we get well in an anti-feeling way? We can’t." This could be built into a definition of therapy

    "..they help save our lives" I LOVE this. Jacquie

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  12. So the patient is told to accept herself, but at the same time to drive away her feelings. The "bad" feelings are presumably therefore not part of her. So as Art says, where do they think these feelings come from? Is current therapy still, after 150 years of Freud, Adler, Jung, Art and so on, still so oblivious to the provenance of "mental illness" that it treats "it" as some sort of demonic entity to be ejected from the system at all costs, in a similar vein to the burning out of depression by ECT, a sort of modern exorcism?
    Twenty five years of meeting people in behavioural therapy - by which I mean the adoption of ANY sort of therapist programme to change behaviour, regardless of what causes that behaviour in the first place - has been 25 years of meeting people who appear to be in a constant a state of constant vigilance aganst an unseen enemy, their real feelings. Start to let down in front of these people and they immediately attack all manifestations of your "negativity" (or whatever they call it) as if it were some sort of demon attacking your mind.
    I´m reminded of the actress Ali NcGraw who returned home one day to find her house burned down. Was she upset? No. She just accepted it "philosophically" (read called on her newly acquired mental anti feeling defences) and got on with things as her New Age therapist had trained her to do. Maybe it worked fo her, but next time a tragedy befalls one of her friends, what will Ali´s response be? "Breath. Accept. Empty your mind. This is your Karma".
    More to the point, how will the behavioural trainees then respond to the feelings of those who CANNOT construct a battalion of mental defences against their feelings? I´m talking of children before the age of 6, and of animals. For the unfeeling behaviourist, their "unreasonable" behaviour, their emotionality, is bad & unecessary, something that must be disciplined, in the case of children, over time, out of existence. Their feelings are nothing more than irrational, troublesome entities. So train the toddler out of her "bad behaviour". Make her into a being solely living in her head; no compassion, no sadness, no feeling, a mere robot in the service of society, a "Stepford Wife", no help to anyone or any animal in pain. In the UK alone 850 animals are slaughtered for meat each year, the barren, dark, stinking conditions in which they live their short lives, due to their owners having no feeling, the minutest comfort, the slightest surcease of their pain, denied as it means slightly lowered profits. Pigs feet covered in ulcers, lactating sows unable to take a step back, or forward, to arch their backs, or to lie down, developing spinal and bone deformities, coughing with pneumonia and meningitis, their teeth crushed without anasthetic, cows male young removed at birth for a few months of life in a dark crate so small they cannot even lie down in order to produce the tender white meat known as "veal", pregnant cows whose throats are cut with their calves still inside them and left to die, then to decompose, in a pool of blood.
    Repress your pain with your mind and you repress all other pain around you. If you don´t feel, you can do anything to anyone or any animal. Behavioural therapy is a programme of robotisation, not humanisation. Gary

    1. Gary: written w/passion; I feel it. Jacquie

    2. I wish I were with you two right now; I´d give you both a long hug, just to say what words can´t. My brain is usually to scrambled to write coherently but when I can hold it together it´s good. I´m certain very early trauma eg perintatal anoxia has given me some sort of mild ADD, and whilst writing something I hope it doesn´t suddenly kick in.
      You know Art we are all BRILLIANT beneath the damage of our pain which often makes it so so hard to express ourselves clearly, for in clarity is the true power of expression.
      Would members who eat meat please click on the link I gave in my last message, because you probably don´t know just how hellish are the conditions those animals I sometimes mention live and die in. It is almost beyond belief, and those animals feel; like us they feel love for their young, pain when their young are removed from them, pain at unrelenting enforced suffering, terror when they KNOW they are about to be killed. Gary

    3. Gary: So true: we are all brilliant below beneath the damage. art

    4. Hi Gary,

      for someone with such 'scrambled brains' you do a good job of using words to impart feelings. I am with you brother. . . really am. . .

      Paul G.

    5. Gary, Art: I too wish I had Primal people in *person, in my Life. I've spent two &a half decades without it; since discovering Primal; now at least connecting w/You All online.

      I too was exposed to perinatal (&birth) anoxia, and have been (still am) right-brain compartmentalised. I've found my L brain has developed w/age &use; it's such a L brain society; this has helped enormously w/clarity, ordered thinking etc. It's necessary to be able to effectively express what the R brain knows. Love, Jacquie

    6. Art; Jacquie: It occurred to me that behavourism is a form of programming which treats humans as though they were nothing more than brains; the body & feelings rather irksome nuisances which have to be held in abeyance, pacified, tricked, bribed, as they are the enemy. The brain is seen as master of the body, which is to be disciplined into obedience one way or another, rather like a naughty child, except they just don´t seem able to locate just where and what the "misbehaviour" is do they? How frustrating!

      Behaviourism is another expression of humans living in their heads, oblivious to the reality of the body attached. Like the Titanic, the behaviourists are rushing around trying to rearrange the deck chairs so the passengers can continue fooling hemselves nothing is going on below, and neither crew nor passenger knows anything is going on. And the iceberg ripping into the ship is another metaphor, 99% of it below the suface of the water, but people only see the 1% above it. Gary

    7. Gary: Yes, to me it's like Behaviourists don't want to put in the messy, deep, hard, *real work-- if it were only that simple. Usually I love simplicity but not in their case: "What do you want to change about your thinking" etc. Puke! Jacquie

    8. Gary posted this response: "Jacquie. I´ve been in the same position for 23 years, pretty much the same timeframe as yourself. This group helps me a lot because I can talk sense without people meeting my sanity at worst as insanity, or at best distorting it into something it completely isn´t, and their own defence systems placing me secretly into some wildly inaccurate pigeonhole, so everything I say is automatically seen as my "eccentricity" or "craziness". I can be more "me" here" without being judged "crazy", "eccentric", "abnormal" and so on. I guess we all feel like this to some degree, and we all need someone to understand and to accept the validity of what we really feel & think, without seeing us as if there is something wrong with us. Gary "

  13. In those first moments after birth I learnt that my feelings don't matter to the world, and how vital it was to simply be picked up and held by my mother in order for my feeling awareness to remain open.I knew then that my ability to feel was the most precious thing I owned, and that my life depended on it. Most importantly ability to feel love.
    I had been wondering after reading your latest blog, why I felt lost for words. I started to feel a sense of a crushing burden to say something in defence of feelings, to the world. I ended up feeling my world; my need to feel, and my right to feel. There was no doubt in my infant mind that it was my right to feel .To loose that would mean loss of self and loss of life. So I think it must be a human right to feel. To feel life. To feel loved. And nothing less will do!

  14. Hi-

    Definition of Psycho Therapy:

    -"Retrieval of Split Off Parts in Human (or Mammalian) Psyche caused by Repression due to Traumatic Incidents Including Unmet needs in Gestation & Early infancy".

    Hows That?

    Paul G.

    1. The systemic retrieval and integration of repressed pain; caused by unmet needs and other trauma in a person's early life, including gestation and birth. This process is met by engaging the feeling centres of the brain. Jacquie

    2. Jacquie: I could not say it better myself. art

    3. Jascquie: you are always welcome art

  15. (In addition to my previous) ..such that pain is *felt, in it's original form. Jacquie

    1. Hey Jacquie, you sound like a professional. Are you? art


Review of "Beyond Belief"

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

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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