Friday, July 31, 2015

On the Difference Between Abreaction and Feeling (Part 3/9)

 A Syndrome of Failure 

 When abreaction becomes an embedded groove, it’s like a hellish path to nowhere. It is a defense disguised as a feeling, so it creates no insights and produces no resolution. Instead, abreaction promotes recurrent act-outs that can get reinforced by repetition. When powerful first line is present it doesn't generate genuine insights. In fact it can give birth to fake or far-out "insights." That is the danger of so-called rebirthing therapy, which deliberately plunges patients into first-line pain out of sequence, when they are not ready for it. The technique overwhelms the integrating capacity of the brain and the patient is flooded with strange ideas and bizarre notions. Suddenly, he is “at one with the Universe,” or perhaps “merged with the Almighty.” And if the therapist is mystical, he may not find all this so strange. I have seen people who have gone to rebirthing centers and come to us pre-psychotic. (More on the dangers of rebirthing therapy in a moment.) In these cases, the sequence or order of feeling has been interrupted. The result is serious; we simply cannot order evolution around but rather, we must obey its dictates. Clinically, that means knowing how to identify the right feeling track for the patient and keeping the session on that track, a skill that is trickier than it sounds.

 Since abreaction is not curative, patients are trapped in a forever need “to feel.” Nothing is ever resolved so the pain is never felt or emptied out. Thus, in a very sinister way, abreaction can induce a recurrent neurotic behavior that mimics primalling. The pain is forever present, so people are more likely to be triggered. In fact, it is more present than before the abreactive process set in, because all these triggered feelings are called up into consciousness without ever being resolved. They are 'there" all the time, ready to be triggered again with very little provocation.

 Abreaction creates a closed circuit of pain, an endless loop travelled over and over whenever part of it is triggered. And every trigger – however different it might be – will bring up the same abreactive feeling: "I want to die. I am in too much pain. I want to die." It will not be attached to anything specific at any time and will remain a litany, or a series of sensations repeated forever. Like a starved monster, abreaction will swallow all these different triggers and feelings to incorporate them into the same loop of physical sensations and/or disconnected feelings. They are all processed by the same defense system. It is truly amazing to contemplate the brilliance of a defense system that can reroute painful feelings into abreaction in order for them – the feelings – to remain unconscious.

 Patients who abreact become very entrenched in their "primal” style and very resistant to admitting that what they are doing isn’t "the right way." And of course, they aren't open to change it. Why? First, because it means to them that they aren't doing their therapy right, a reaction associated with feelings of "I am wrong/bad." Secondly, it is hard for them to accept that all the time, effort and money spent for "feeling" was actually a waste. It is hard to accept that what they were doing was not good therapy and, in fact, might have harmed them.

 Another element that also makes the patients resistant to change is that abreaction can make them feel better temporarily. Indeed they have released some tension. However, they could run a few miles and have the same result, a false sense of relief. If the abreaction goes on for years, like in the case of people who self- primal for a long time, it may not be reversible: the grooves are too strong as they have become a neurological defense in and of themselves. Most of the time, this abreactive groove is powerful, persistent and deeply entrenched.

 I remember the case of a woman who had been self-primalling for about 20 years somewhere deep in a very remote part of the world.  Her style was a persistent screaming. That is what she thought the therapy – "The Primal Scream" – was all about. She could go on screaming for hours in a very piercing voice, at the top of her lungs. It was, of course, devoid of all real feeling, content, context, and resolution. She didn't know why or about what she was screaming; she had no memories attached to it. She did "feel" like screaming because "she was in so much pain." It was very hard to listen to, and totally unmoving. As we might expect, she never had any insights and wasn't getting better. Reversing that groove proved to be very difficult.

 Trying to stop a patient from abreacting and switch to a whole new way of "really feeling" the pain is usually a long and difficult conversion. That is because the defenses have been reinforced by the abreaction. So trying to get to these real feelings, with all their pent-up force, immediately summons the abreactive defenses created precisely to keep them at bay. The patient is pulled into the abreactive neurological groove, where they feel comfortable. Trying to reverse the pattern can be even more painful than in the regular process of tearing down defenses in therapy. Some patients have never been able to finally annihilate the abreactive trend, so sadly they never get better.

 Ultimately, the clinical outcome of abreaction is a syndrome of failure. No insights, no resolution, no getting better. Same act outs, same symptoms, sometimes getting worse. Mostly the tragedy in abreaction is that the patient is going through all this agony forever and with no pay off.

 In contrast, real feelings don't need to be felt forever, there is an end to them. In Primal, beyond a certain amount of feelings that had to be experienced over and over for a while – depending on how much pain was attached to them – the need to feel decreases with each felt feeling until, at some point, we hardly ever have to "feel" the old pain again.


  1. Hello Art!

    Yes I can think... there is a state before abreaction... terribly fears and the need! A endless need and fear for what now moment can make a difference! Well there... for everything we gone through makes it possible?

    What an lifelong effort it involves keeping dad at distance!

    In my fears... I have always try tone up as big and strong around others... but in my loneliness... I fall into a silent and numb state... without ability to act... but dreams!
    It's all about my fears! As a youngster I was always on my guard against others... I felt that they always had something against me! To all this... I stand on guard against my father's hatred for me... It was beyond my ability to think differently than I was experiencing! So I carry proof within myself... proof that I live outside of the abreaction... beyond my capacity of thinking otherwise... otherwise about my fear... that there is no danger! The underlying abreaction speak its language about how the physiological... elektokemisk process affects me of fear... it from the time... beyond my then ability to do anything about it... it without understanding that it was possible to do something about it. I flee from my father by experience to being chased by others... here and now! The underlying electrochemical abreaction is much closer to the events center as I must litigate in secure conditions. The vocabulary equation around this is scientifically based in my mind through experience... but an alien for those now established in the field of psychiatry and psychology!

    From a little scared boy who never grew up!


  2. Art: All this rings bells for me more than just about any of your previous posts. Especially when you say: " And of course, they aren't open to change it. Why? First, because it means to them that they aren't doing their therapy right, a reaction associated with feelings of "I am wrong/bad." Secondly, it is hard for them to accept that all the time, effort and money spent for "feeling" was actually a waste. It is hard to accept that what they were doing was not good therapy and, in fact, might have harmed them".
    I have seen this so, so many times, and have been shunned by "primal" "friends" and even the primal communities at so called primal centres for even questionning what is happening. However benign the questionning, if peoples defences are really triggered, they will find a way to blame YOU somehow rather than seriously consider what you say.
    But these defences are not limited only to where abreaction is the norm. At all the mock centres I´ve attended, I´ve only seen displays of emotion; rage, sadness etc which, whether genuine or not, could by no stretch of the imagination be described as primals. Yet any questionning of the therapy or the patients experiences, is unwelcome and met with the same sorts of resistance as I Imagine where abreaction is practised.
    Now that you have expounded more fully on abreaction, things are falling much more into place for me. Most "primal therapists" and many patients posting on the internet talk about "past lives", "cosmic consciousness", "spiritual experiences" and so on. I admit I was taken in my this for a long time and thought they had discovered something Art Janov hadn´t.
    Also, I´ve read group patients discussions at and of other "primal centres" over the years where the variety of feeling experiences patients decribe seems overwhelming and I´ve struggled to make sense of it all in primal terms
    Now it all makes sense. It´s all abreaction. Gary

  3. Hi Art.

    My therapist described me in simple words, that abreacting is like trying to feel, rather than feeling.

    Since abreaction is so well disguised, how did you find it out, in the first place?
    Was it due to the non-alteration of the vital signs?

    - Yannis -

    1. Yannis: It doesn’t “smell” right. you know that in antiquity the smell brain evolved ito the feeling brain, so when I say it does not smell right we can hear the falseness of it all. The caveat is that someone has to be feeling to suss out what is only simulated feeling. art

    2. "The insidious part is that abreaction feels like a primal, looks like a primal and smells like a primal, but is far from a genuine Primal."
      i think Art used these words just to emphasize the ability of system to disguise the real wound. vital signs are useless without the sense of "smell". the ability to read non verbal cues.

  4. Hi Art,
    Thanks for these instructive posts. I am taking them very seriously.

    -"It is truly amazing to contemplate the brilliance of a defense system that can reroute painful feelings into abreaction in order for them – the feelings – to remain unconscious"-.

    So it's not strictly true that "The Body Never Lies". . . Though in this case the culprit is, is. . .
    is. . . What? Who?

    Another thing; when you say 'insight', is that always soon after or even in words. . ? I get insights hours or days later, weeks even, which are often impossible to put into words, they are like the sensation of connected feelings with 'situations', like a 'knowing' on an instinctual level rather than some (3rd line) connection between a feeling and a past memory / 'event'. I have this with colours and smells. If I had a Primal Therapist I'm sure my experiences would GO Somewhere rather than around in loops. . . I also have become more ambi dextrous. I have also noticed the complete disappearance of certain personal 'beliefs' and attractions. . . As if an electric power source has been switched off from them.

    Also, recently I have noticed a strong magnetism toward newborns and infants up to the age of 1yr or so (though I love all children of all ages). It's hard to put this into words too. But before I started having 'emotional events' I was not as attracted to little ones. . . (frissons of fear before).

    More than any thing else, I have developed the ability to see beyond and through manipulations and mind games played by others on me. Where-as before I would or could easily explode or implode or blame myself or fail altogether to notice I've been betrayed.

    I think my body was gently sliding toward Primal for years and abreaction is the consequence; not of a bad therapist, or any intention on my part to TRY to Primal but because of the absence of any proper supervision and a Primal Space. I have been seriously bullied in my adult life and resonance down to an 'ab-reactive' state is the consequence. It's hard to admit one has been bullied (as a man) particularly if the bullying originates with women. But my Mother was a bully and she used my Dad as a lever to do it too. So another insight is that this 'self abuse' keeps happening to me because I am used to it in certain types of relationships. I have known nothing else. Until breaking down and experiencing some serious pain, these complexities and nuances I was totally blind to.

    I'm not resistant to good advice and your posts are exactly what I need. Now that I am sure of my condition I can implement some cognitive and practical skills to claw myself back out of this abreactive hole I have fallen into. I look forward to the next posts.

    Paul G.

    (PS: for every one, 'bullying can and does drive people into ab-reaction'. The victim may have to implement 'robust measures' to get away from or counter-act the onslaught. Intellectual & emotional bullying is the worst, particularly if it comes from authorities).

  5. Thank you Art for this series on the Difference between Abreaction and Feeling. All that you are saying and distinguishing between the two cannot be overstated. Our defenses helped us in the beginning to survive life or death. Our defense system is tenacious and will stop at nothing to keep us from feeling pain and the earlier the pain the stronger the defense mechanism. I doubt the success of primalling alone and without a trained primal therapist. It is very easy to get caught up in a rut of acting out the feelings never getting to the feeling and no resolution, no insights and no change. The longer one acts out the deeper the ruts are grooved. It is especially easy to act out blindly with each other in a relationship and seemingly impossible to stop the act out.
    I have seen too many old primal patients from the early days of the Institute who are stuck in life situations and relationships that are harmful. They no longer primal and worse they abreact and think they are primalling. I personally feel like I need my therapist to help me with my defenses otherwise I will again go down the wrong track. It's not that I don't have access, I do, but I don't trust that I won't look for the easy way out.
    I want to believe you when you say that the need to feel decreases until at some point I will hardly ever have to "feel" the old pain again. Right now I feel so stuck in the present with the loss of the one who was the dearest and closest to me. How will I get through that?

    1. Part 1:

      Hi Jean H,

      your words speak my sentiment almost exactly.

      I am an expert in 'learning the hard way'. Is there any other way? Most educationalists today say that 'making mistakes' is the only way to learn. One cannot be given the "Lesson" (according to Saint Janov) and hope to get it right first time; methinks that's as daft as ROTE LEARNING (now seriously discredited by most respected educationalists).

      I may be wrong but I think the most important thing about this blog IS this particular issue inside of the subject of Primal. Dare I remind us that the neocortex is a sophisticated arrangements of mirrors, lenses & levers and it evolved to help us deal with internal pain & external hazards in the interest of personal survival? ? ?

      - Except of course that evolutionary psychologists are now saying that ALTRUISM serves evolution.

      Yes indeed it does. Thus one persons suffering may well contribute to anothers well being. Sounds cruel but perhaps not always: We are social beings and NEED each other. We have evolved in groups and the very LONELINESS, ISOLATION & NEGLECT we experienced as little ones both forces us into abreaction later whilst also serving as a sign post for why NOT to isolate and neglect a little one in the here and now. . . NOR the little one residing in us suffering from un-met need. Thus we should not be compelled by any circumstances to PRIMAL ALONE.

      Thus we NEED 'supervision' by another to make those correct connections or our front brains will just keep the 'energy' of the trauma going in loops. . . Isn't it?

      But that other person is not there to 'advise' or to 'guide' or to 'observe' (as a voyeur). That person is there to RELATE. . . Because we are social beings and it is through the relationship that we make the new connections we need to get to the root of the problem.

      Shifting the emphasis a little, Art has been up against the Cognitivists who warn us about the evils of feelings and here we have Art warning us of the evils of Faux Feelings. Do we need a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist to help us out of Abreaction? Maybe.

      But if ALL parents & Carers (both 'amateur' & 'professional' - ha ha ha ) knew all this stuff in the first place there would be NO NEED left "un -met" and therefore abreaction would not occur in the 1st place.

      Part 2 follows.

    2. Part 2:

      Hi Jean, I know we have never met or talked much but your words have sparked off something in me.

      If we had an instruction manual for the brain we would not need to suffer (even my rambles). We would not continually misinterpret peoples symptoms, we would know even our own symptoms and our own individual style of partial consciousness, our 'blind spots'. . .

      But really I was responding to your burning question of how you cope with bereavement whilst also having 'access'. . .

      If only I knew for sure. . . I could hazard a simple guess: who ever and where ever you are and what ever you are suffering in this moment, you can be sure there are things inside you which can be triggered by circumstances outside of your control. (This may even be how we got 'access' in the 1st place).

      But we can't carry one leaving to chance what chance started off. . . Nor should we continue without some kind of sword or shield. I think this is ultimately why we have belief systems. . . They are 'swords & shields' are they not?

      Thing is, how long do you leave it until you get the support you need to discern the difference between the current event / tragedy and it's resultant triggering off, or 'opening up' of old wounds? Even if we have a sword and a shield are we 'stabbing in the dark' and shielding out the light? How do we know?

      In an ideal world we would have a broad supportive community wouldn't we. . ? An extended family. Perhaps a 'cry' for help can reach that far, even in the absence of anything really tangible close by. . . Perhaps making the effort to communicate is a good enough life line for now. Take care Jean.

      Paul G.

    3. Paul: Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts and support.

  6. Art!

    You need to educate your patients so that they become aware in their perception of what the human foundation really stands for... and loses... if no further primal patients cares! The knowledge of how the brain works will be crucial for the revolutionary process around primal therapy!

    If we are to understand abreaction at large so must the governing "profession" be included on the agenda... so that they do not continue to perceive themselves to have the right to treat others!

    If we are truly to understand what abreaction processes so we need to bring up what a professional... without the slightest knowledge can cause! For a "professional"... where praise for being good at their studies had to replace the need for love... the need of love necessary so that the limbic consciousness could make it self part of neocortex... it for the day's chores... and it did not happen. Just imagine the impact of consequence. We need it to be on the agenda in order for a revolution to be possible... to take place!
    We need conscious Primal therapists... aware of how the brain works... it in detail so that the physical order of how emotions affect us becomes possible to prove! I think they will find it difficult not to be engaged in the social circumstances... if there was a foundation to stand on... it of how we fails in our daily lives... why and how our neocortex processes ideas rather than be part of what the limbick system carry with them!

    We need somehow to get at what those professional causes... it is extremely crucial for a revolution to be possible!

    Clinical trials must be the target of media attention... it as well as legal... if necessary!

    Your Frank

  7. About the science of what the primal therapy contains!?

    "On the Difference Between Abreaction and Feeling" Abreaction happens in a process to not feel. It is not a question of difference? Abreaction is a consequence of not perceiving the feeling! An electrochemical process in the parable of throwing water on gasoline... and there in our brain! If we are experiencing abreaction as a feeling... it is because the intensity that occurs... which is not without an experience... it's an interpretation of an electrochemical process... which in turn can ledea to the feeling we represses... a room of an electrochemical process very close to a feeling... a room of burning "gasoline" caused by narrowing???


  8. In the smallest processes... enabling loving parents... but also the worse... terrible evil mother and father without any knowledge of what is going on... it given how long Janovs primal therapy has been known!
    Something is wrong ... horribly wrong! I just saw a mother whose little daughter... maybe two years as taken off her boots on the street... whereupon the mother went loose on her children... it by shouting at her daughter so that it echoed between the houses. Which assault in front of lots of people who did not do a thing to help the little poor girl!
    If it had not been the child of a mother.... so it would never have happened!
    We have a right to "our" children who no written laws protect!
    Laws prohibiting child abuse exist... but when the assault is seen as nurturing the child then there is no law to help the child!
    To yell at a child (or later someone) in confidence about achieving change is a well known phenomenon... phenomenon because the cause of the shouting is not known to a large scale! We lean toward the word respect entitling to scream! How can we be so wrong ... as we know today? If many knew the revolution would be here!
    Who prevent us are professionals with ideas of another forms of care... it than would be obvious today... Janovs primal therapy! They sign the invisible law for the right to abuse children!


  9. Rebirthing therapy is precisely what it sounds like—a therapy in which you pass through a very tight area in order to recreate your birth. The idea is to make you feel the same way you felt back then, which is supposed to refresh your senses. Breathwork training helps in improving mental, physical and spiritual health. It helps in emphasizing self awareness and inner peace.
    Rebirthing Therapy Technique Thailand


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.