Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Neurosis is a Brain Disease... What????

Who said that?  A great many booga booga aficionados plus someone else:  the former head of the National Institute of Mental Health.   How could that be?  Let me explain… and try not to interrupt.
First of all, what does that mean---brain disease? Does it mean that the brain is really diseased?   If so, where and how?  I mean is it a real affliction, a hit in the head, or a slow moving virus?  Is there any proof of that?  Not that I have seen.  Maybe we are looking through the wrong lens.  We are looking from outside and guessing what may lie inside; we are not sure so we give it a name—brain disease.  Does it really mean a disease?  If so where does it lie?

I have an idea; let’s look inside. How do we do that without serious surgery?  We look at humans and their lives and their brains.  It seems to me that is what is missing…..the human and his history.  I mean the brain does not live in a vacuum.   It lives in an environment; and maybe in that world lies answers to what we are looking for.  Would we ever search for answers to liver disease without seeing what its environment is?  Was it constantly bathed in alcohol?  Would not that help us find an answer? How about if we find that the brain is constantly bathed in pain with all of its concomitant nefarious effects?   And there was a chronically high cortisol level indicating enduring stress.  And maybe that is the disease---imprinted pain that never leaves.   And it is largely a pain that begins before we can say, “I am in pain?” So no wonder no one knows about that it

Well how come I am so smug and think I have all the answers?  Well for one thing I don’t think I have all of the answers; just some important ones.  I have lived that pain, something that freezes my mouth closed so that no ordinary act of will can force it open. And I have several thousand patients over almost fifty years who have gone through similar experiences; and then we have done double blind studies in England and France to measure our observations and our results; and when we perform double-blind research, we find major changes in many biologic parameters as discussed in scientific journals.  And then the patients report significant improvement in many of their former diseases. As just recently someone who had grand mal seizures for years and now no longer has them.  His whole life has turned around. We shall be filming him to see how and why that happened. We will see the actual disease and no longer concoct “brain disease” to explain the psychological mysteries.   They are not mysteries; they simply are unobserved realities and therefore not found.
They are now.
We have found a way to wind back the evolutionary clock and take a close look at our personal histories, and meanwhile, the history of the species.  It seems that the old truths that we can never go backwards in life is another myth.  We can and do travel backwards in time, and above all, can reverse what happened to us in those past times.  It is the essence of our work. It is now called “de-methylation”. There are so many research results that confirm our hypotheses.  And maybe we need to look into the effects of imprinted Primal pain and see what it does, and how it lies behind so many serious afflictions.   And then maybe others will pick up their therapeutic cudgels and look at what we are doing.  We have found a way to go deep into the brain in a natural way: evolution in reverse and see for ourselves what the truth is. Above all, we need to find ways to look deep in neuroscience.

I never started out with an a priori, an “idée fixe”, an idea of what I wanted to find in my research.   I started not from knowing what I want but only from “wanting to know,” and therefore had no stake in the results, which were often a surprise.  Now current research helps to confirm so much of our work and our theories.   I have confidence that we are on the right track, and that maybe others in the field should look into it.  We have spent nearly all of our profits in wanting to know more.  Why?  For the good of patients and their health, and also for the good of the profession and particularly science so that we do not use vague terms such as “brain science” which leads nowhere and helps no one.  Unless of course we really know what disease of the brain we are talking about. That disease, as it turns out, is so deep in the brain and brainstem as to be unbelievable; and therefore is ignored.   The one disease that is so monumental in its far-reaching consequences, is exactly what has been neglected.   They have apotheosized the neo-cortex and thereby have gone terribly wrong.  I want to shout, “It’s the brainstem!”  But it is also the limbic system; we need to look down, not up.

Warped thinking did not make the world go wrong; it is because of a devastating early life that became imprinted which then steered the cortex askew.   Our salvation lies in reorienting that cortex toward its normal functions; then there may be hope.  Think of it this way: we give medicine for a disease over and over, holding back the symptom.  And why “over and over?” Because we are treating the wrong disease.  So of course it is never a cure.
When we start to cure the right disease we no longer need medication over and over ad nauseam.  “Brain disease,” won’t do it.   A specific primal imprint at gestation and at birth will.  How do we know that? The imprint leaves a trace. For example, a mother overdoses on anesthetics during birth producing a baby who cannot breathe easily.   And who in reliving that trauma in therapy seems to be suffocating. You mean suffocating now?  Yes, because the trauma is an imprint that dogs us throughout life and will not let us go until it is addressed and relived.  We have had many cases where it was not relived with damaging results.  That imprint leaves a trace on the gene; it is measureable and we hope to see it reversible in our forthcoming research.

The trauma is an experience that must be lived, finally.  It must come to life and be experienced and resolved.   It then is no longer an extraneous force, but becomes organic and part of us.  The only reason we say “brain disease” is because we have no idea what lies in the antipodes of the brain; we are forced to guess and make a vague statement about what might be inside.
The real disease has so many ramifications that it seems like many diseases.  It affects brain function (hence brain disease), but also the immune system, where we have done research, as well as the circulatory\blood systems, and just about everywhere else.
The former chief mental health officer, Dr. Insel, is someone I do respect but he is at a loss, for the same reason so many other professionals are; they do not know what lies hidden inside.   Without Primal techniques I fail to see how anyone can really know.  It requires a descent into the cerebral underground, something that took us decades to figure out.   It is not a secret; it is open to all.  And indeed a Primal Legacy (90 videos) by Dr. France Janov,  is coming out within a few weeks that shows the process of Primal Therapy, and it shows professionals some of what must to done to help others.  It has been five years in the making.  We want no monopoly but we know how dangerous it can be to explore the deep brain without knowing exactly what you are doing.
We have seen over and over again the harm to patients who have done Rebirthing Therapy, skipping evolutionary steps, abutting up against very early and very forceful imprints for which the patient is not ready.  The result is a confused and jumbled mind.
Dr. Insel has more to say: (in August 22,  2015. New Scientist).  He believes that “schizophrenia and depression are brain diseases”. They are an outgrowth of physiologic changes. (See Yes, OK but what makes those changes?    Imprints lying low down that alter the biochemistry; when we relive them the “symptoms” diminish.   The cart is pulling the horse here.  Can’t get anywhere that way. Insel believes we need to fold psychotherapy into neurology to make things more precise.  He sort of denigrates psychology.  But neurology has not done much better in the field of emotions, which he assumes, should be thought of as disorders in brain circuitry.  Is there a human anywhere inside there?  He looks for markers in the brain but does he consider markers in the environment in which we start life, starting with parents and birth doctors?  He believes it is nearly always an underlying disorder of brain circuits. I guess that emotions are too vague and aleatory to be pinned down scientifically.   And the result of all this is now that psychiatrists are using neurology to merge Freudian analysis with it and help make it a science.  So let’s see; they want to take a 100 year old therapy with a missing validity, and construct neurology around it.  Will that make Freudian theory more scientific?  How?   Putting a dress on dung doesn’t not make it pretty or acceptable.  How about renewing our theories and aligning them with neurology?  Neurology cannot be the last word; human experience is. Neurology must try to align itself with human experience, and not maintain an exalted position.

Dr. Insel says that they have found depression to be one of several diseases.  I doubt that.  It has been one disease with many manifestations that make it seem like many diseases.   When we deal with the deep pain as the therapy goes on, we see how it spreads all over the system.   It can affect breathing and heart rate, yet it is still one disease. And those levels diminish as an ensemble with the reliving; finally making the pain organic.

Having said all this, neuroscience can be a great help and must be included in the scientific armamentarium.  We use it all of the time to confirm our findings, but it is not meant to englobe or take the place of other key functions such as emotions and feelings.
We can not suss out the cause of neurosis by profound observation of neurons.  Dr. Insel wants to build on neuroscience to help find answers but they will not be there.  They will be in our early lives and how the brain and nervous system was imprinted with those experiences. And how those imprints radically change the trajectory of our lives.

First, we need to know where to look in the patient; then, how to look: with an MRI? Then we need to know what we are seeing, and finally we need to know what it means.   Is a very low body temp in a depressive a good or bad sign?  Without a proper theory we will never know. And when the body temperature rises to “normal” levels is that a good sign?  We need to be fully armed with a theory and an experience behind it.  We need to stop guessing.


  1. This whole question of physical brain research "versus" feelings/experience is a question that has preoccupied me a lot ( I put "versus" in quotes because eventually there should not be any split between these camps, because there is only one reality out there). And I think many other people over the years have struggled with these questions since the inception of psychology.

    I have wondered, for instance, about how much the brain is actually physical modified from its natural state from the traumas it is subjected to from adverse experience ,compared to the modifications it would be subjected to from physical trauma only. I suppose there is a continuum , but are physical traumas grosser usually than traumas associated with adverse experience (certainly they would be in the cases of major concussive trauma)? Does anyone know?

    I think I understand these neurologists a bit. After all it is not an unreasonable starting hypothesis to look at the brain only to find out what may cause various emotional disorders. However, it is not unreasonable either to look closely at experience and feelings, however ineffable they are, as having a logic of their own and coming at problems from that end. And then seeing how that correlates with brain discoveries. Of all the persons who have done that, I find that Janov has struck a good balance, certainly not most neurologists or psychiatrists in my opinion.

    For some reason, so many professionals and scientists seem to be rather unfeeling people,so that their scientific interests are usually strictly confined to the physical world.I myself was like that once and it took many years to get into a more feeling mode, which is not anything I had planned really. I just wanted to feel BETTER and getting into feelings, the arts, intimacy etc...was a pre-requisite for that.I can now live with the great mysteries of experience, confident that an expanded scientific attitude can encompass the regularities of that experience, and , most importantly, confident that solutions can be found to make our neurotic suffering brothers and sisters make ME happier. But how to explain that to what Reich called "mechanistic" scientists? They just don`t get it, like I did not at on time. "Mechanistic" scientists and professionnals have a restricted view of Science because of this particular neurosis rampant in western civilisation, and they seem to be content with their lot, lording it over the experientially and humanistically oriented with their usual smug arrogance.

    I know this is all bit vague because it`s still not clear enough for me.This would all deserve a book, or at least an article.Which won`t be written by me because I have nothing to add to the above short paragraphs!


  2. science is not in measuring. it is in interpretation. whatever we measure> temperature, blood pressure, telomeres, brainwaves or methylation... it can mean anything if we don't understand the context. for every diagnostic tool there seems to be a therapeutic approach. myriad of clinics are using it by legaly and legitimately(?) earning great amount of trust and money based on these measurements. months ago i was trying to find out what erik hoffmann Ph.D is doing now>
    there is also neurofeedback reprogramming section on the site.
    I wonder if Dr. Feinstein breaks the tradition of many associates who don’t know what you are really doing at the Center? ))

    every new point of view is equally valuable and should be taken into consideration. every new technology is a possibility to understand more. but only if interpreted well. primal theory is full of unique interpretations to common diagnostic tools. it seems to me that most important part of that interpretation is subjective. can we be objective without first be subjective? and that is the problem to measure, because the context is hidden. it is intimate and refuses to reveal to strangers. no wonder, because we are not meant to live others' life and survive. the result is that every lower part of us is a stranger to the higher one. we are a box within a box, within a box... with little holes that wait for right environment to align perfectly and let the light get through. careful human approach is needed. human familiar to other human.

    the correct use of diagnostic tool lies in knowing it’s limitations. primal therapists included. in that sense, it is great that you at the Center work as a team and have the knowledge about how to be closer to understanding what happens with the patient. how to help. it is, above all, a personal work... hope the Legacy program will inspire and resonate with new people for new knowledge. about themselves and others, about the therapy. whatever the subject i watched, Dr. France Janov elaborated it thoroughly in her videos. the evening when they were writing on a board all the primal terms they could remember, for me was a special one! very nice atmosphere…

  3. Just seems like the situation of womb-life, and the people who have gone through trauma in the womb, should have some type of "research" priority in the U.S. People are so concerned about children, and of course as they should be, but once the child is born, it's like "great go out there and play", not giving a care to the quality of person that this child might be or what this traumatized child is really going through. If they cared, and thought about it, they would seek help for the child and look into Primal Therapy for him or her. It has to be addressed better and focused on (Primal Therapy), that child who went through birth trauma. Sure everyone is glad the child is "o.k." but there are problems, that can be resolved. Problems that the child, teenager, adult doesn't even know what's causing them or what is really going on with them at times. Fear can be a big factor for this traumatized human....and it can "cloud" many situations. Primal therapy can help to rid this fear....make this person a better person, a more stable person. Some say fear of what? But who knows, could be absolutely fear of anything for some. A child having gone through birth trauma, will tell an adult 5 times "good-bye" (before a big event is about to happen Christmas is coming, and that child knows they won't see this adult for a couple of weeks because he is a student and will be on vacation. He feels the fear, fear of Christmas coming, fear of how he is going to be, fear of social events, fear of not being able to talk right to his relatives, always people thinking "he is just shy" (but that's not it); consequently, he just says good-bye a lot in this situation before Christmastime (almost like I'm never going to see him again, and almost like he feels like he is absolutely going to die) He never leaves the room for some time. He just doesn't feel secure enough, and that just might be his fear. A child who looks good, normal, strong boy of 7 years, and he almost acts like a baby because of the holiday. It is supposed to be a joyous time ; especially for children, but for someone like him it really is not. He has to be able to get rid of fears, be able to enjoy and relax, but he can't. The parents, the school, and healthcare plans, all, should concentrate more on getting help to children like this, help also to teens and adults who were traumatized in the womb. Primal Therapy should be addressed much more. Sure some use Primal Therapy, but trauma in the womb is out there just as much as so many other "abnormalities" that people are born with that get much more attention than the traumatized (in the womb) human being. I can't understand why this is? I would think the U.S. would look into Primal Therapy more, so that the quality of humans in the U.S. had a solid, mentally-well (healthy) foundation to start with or if they are already an adult then a tremendous cure for them through Primal Therapy. Primal Therapy, is something that just isn't "predominately" widespread out there yet,
    and to me, by this time, it should be.

  4. Dr. Janov and all
    “…they do not know what lies hidden inside.”
    This is the problem.
    Too many doctors believe they have all the answers but can see only out of their window of expertise; ergo - tunnel vision.
    Happy Holidays to all primlers,

  5. every point of view is valuable, so maybe we should hear some patient explain us what neurosis is the disease of? we are the ultimate interpreters. ultimate scientists of our life. and life in general? from point of view of many primal experiences connected with the present.

  6. The cause can neocortex alone never admit!

    If I feel anxious for the threat I suffers... and hands it over to neo-coratex alone to figure out the cause... it without any connection to my limbic systems frequency of pain I would die for what the most of people are dying!

    Right now I am in great need of others around me... around me on the train to figure out on what station I must get off. I'm there... where I always have been... close to the frequency for what my limbic system still sends its pain of the little boy Frank... for what the little boy Frank still suffers.
    There is no one here and no one there. First the pain of struggle for what death turns out (it's almost a must)... it for all what the little boy Frank in his honesty wearing it all... it is what it is all about.

    Honestly Frank!

  7. Brain disease. Genetic, didn´t you know? :o(( And who claimed this, having his twin studies as proof? Dr. Franz Kallmann. And who was he?? A de-nazified German psychiatrist who came to the USA and became a leading man. (inventor of the DSM.) Who else did twin studies? Dr. Mengele. They had had the same teacher? (they had.) And of course I myself is an Aryan. (thank God.) But you, poor Art, is a Jew. (it´s in your genes, poor thing. Nothing you can do about it.) :o))))) Greetings from female Swedish satirist. (writing a book about the history of psychiatry. Half-finished.)

  8. Art
    Is it a help to people who do not have possibility to come to you?
    I'm crushed especially during holiday time.

    1. Piotr, I wish i could find a way. I offered my therapy to several countries, all of whom turned it down. ART

    2. Dr. Janov, you answer made me smirk.

      The subject “pain” is a lucrative industry that looks for a quick fix, not healing the imprint.
      If you would sale pharmaceuticals, preach forgiveness, or provide guru-instruction and join the ranks of miracle workers, you would have success in all countries.

      My friend Brian sent me this Article: “The Debt - When terrible, abusive parents come crawling back, what do their grown children owe them?”
      My neck hair standing up when I hear or read the word forgiveness.


  9. Hi Art,
    Everything has already been said by you, over and over, from so many and varied perspectives: It is not about genetics but about epigenetics. Those video recordings by France will be no doubt of great help. And yet it is sad that your efforts have not reached the masses by now after almost 50 years. I recall the case of a young local man in his thirties detained by police officers after being accused by neighbors of blowing out the tyres of their cars in their community. An officer asked him right before having him in the patrol car why he behaved that way. He readily answered there was too much air inside the tyres and The atmosphere lacked that same air. He was of course sent to a Sanatorium for mental treatment. After examining him they discovered he suffered from an epileptic disorder. The doctor in charge of his case had the lucidity and courage to go deep down his medical history and guess what. They found it took 17 hours for the guy's mother to give birth. You know what? I envision the making of a movie, inspired of course by all the testimonies of your many patients, but essentially a movie aimed into moving the audiences. That would be a thing. Why not getting in touch with some inspired independent directors and producers in the film industry. Maybe that's the way to go.
    Yours sincerely, Lars

    1. Good idea Lars, I will give it a try. art

    2. Renate Sachse
      wife, producer, art consultant. ; skype> 06 33 72 98 61.

      She seems to be interested in Freud...

      and she speaks some english, german....

      but lets listen some more Guzman>

    3. Art: I can´t directly relate what I´m about to say to the issue at hand but it is very relevant. It must be very frustrating for you - am I sensing it in your articles? - to keep saying the same things, albeit much more highly developed than when you started saying them 50 years ago, over and over, and really not getting the audience they deserve. Are your articles published anywhere outside this blog? Unlike, say, veganism, raw foodism, or the various new age ideas, primal therapy still has no mass following, though heaven knows, you have done much more than anyone has a right to expect to get it known about and indeed have achieved a miracle of mass dessemination over the last half century.

      Lars suggested a film. Good idea, but again, you need a theme with mass appeal to get it in the cinemas - sex, violence, historical heroism etc - and even now, people will still say "What´s primal therapy?" and "What´s the film about?" and anyway the movie moguls will just toss the idea straight in the wastebasket. My idea would be to complement Primal Therapy with a handbook on how to raise children properly. It needn´t be a long book, in fact a long book might be counterproductive because most parents looking for a reliable and complete guide would be put off by a thick volume. Maybe just 50 or 60 pages. Also, in language everyone can understand. I thought maybe:

      1. An intro introducing yourself and primal therapy to provide authority and inspire confidence in what you are about to say.

      2. More details of the findings on what not to and what to do to raise trauma-free children.

      3. A series of chapters each covering the successive chronological periods of childraising. eg the womb, birth, babyhood, toddlerhood, childhood.

      I think such a book is badly needed and perhaps it might become an international bestseller and could be advertised on the websites of large organisations such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Action for Children, the Aware Parenting Institute, the Free Education Movement (big in the US, Canada and growing in several other countries) UNCCR, and so on, as well as a handbook for pré-natal centres, kindergartens...the list is endless.

      The understanding of children of the sort of organisations i´ve mentionned is almost always grossly inadequate and misguided, and normally these organisationsd are very conservative in the sense that their aim is to create good well adjusted citizens rather than free thinking, free feeling humans. Sorry I just had to say that. Gary

    4. good idea! those chapters could be independent small books. a few less than 100 pages books with similar cover... with a lot of references. all focused on prevention. relaxed from primal therapy/theory. maybe even without testimonials.
      the book (or books) about human needs.

      i wonder how important is love between partners for the child development in utero and in those critical first years! can a book do much about that?

    5. Yuko: Thinking more about the book idea, the most widely spoken languages in the world are English, Spanish and Chinese.
      I can´t really see any advantage to dividing it into sections. If people bought it for only one thing, eg womb care, that wouldn´t be enough to ensure a trauma-free upbringing but the parent(s) might think it was all that mattered. If they buy a book covering everything, they´ll always (hopefully) have a guide to hand throughout the childs entire upbringing. gary

    6. Don't forget I am finishing 2 more books. art

    7. You guys are full of good ideas! art

  10. english language could be an obstacle... but he speaks french and supposedly lives in Paris.

  11. Just so glad your still here and still working for a feeling humanity! Glad for all your readers and bloggers , you bring hope to my humanity. Katherina

    1. Well Thank You Katherina, I will keep trying but it seems to be a lonely voice in the wilderness. art

    2. I wonder if you ever thought of a way for any of your therapists, especially those born outside the US, to brosden the scope of your discoveries to other (their own) countries. In time they could train new therapists. Monitoring should of course take place from you and your closest. Let's be honest. PT in both word and practice needs to be spread among those who can't make it to California and make a definitive move forward. That's the only way to stop infection by unscrupulous and dangerous practices all across the world. And I am not suggesting to knocking on official institutions doors otherwise you can sit back. Infiltration must occur without expecting consent of burocrats.

    3. Despertaares: We are discussing it now but we don't have anyone to spare. We tried Paris but they drove us of business after 5 years with their 70% tax. We went to Sweden and London and offered our therapy to the countries but they were interested. art

  12. An email comment:
    "Here is a close quote and link to Insels blog

    But the problem for new therapies for mental disorders is not only lack of compounds but lack of understanding of the targets for treatment development. Existing antidepressants and antipsychotics have many proposed molecular targets, but none that have been shown to be necessary or sufficient for their clinical effects. Amazingly, after three decades of broad use of these medications, we still don’t know how they work when they are effective. And we lack effective pharmacologic treatments for too many patients and for some major sources of disability, like the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia or the social deficits of autism. As I have said before, for better treatments, we need better science. For new treatments, we need to identify and confirm targets, as is done already in cancer and other disease areas.

  13. One step aside is always too far aside for what we need!

    To go a step aside is the same as going across the border to where there is nothing to get. But to be for where we are for what we need it is not so easy because what we need is to discover what we need to be needing... and there are many around us who help us to not be needing!

    We always go with the help of others a step aside from what we need.


  14. What if I got a hug!

    What if I got a hug that reflected me back to what a hug once would have meant!


  15. Art, I would be fascinated if you would expound on the underlying reasons for the differences between being liberal and conservative? Both may have experienced the same neglect and/or abuse in childhood or in their births?
    I saw you post once that those that are shutdown cannot feel for others?
    You said:
    I sometimes think the world is divided into two camps; those who feel and those who don’t. And the feelers are derided by those who are shut down as “ bleeding heart liberals.” Because they feel for others and their suffering.
    Is it as simple as that? Primal pain can orient a person's belief system in dramatic ways as we know. I know people that have access to their feelings through your therapy that are still conservative in their views which to me contradict what being a feeling person is about at least from my own personal experience. This has always perplexed me. Please write on this?

    1. Anonymous, I did write an article on this at the start of the blogs. donno where and what the title is. But I just read I think in the NYTimes a great article on it full of research so google either the LA Times or NY Times. art

    2. Sympath / Parasympath ?

      Paul G.

  16. A mirror to discover!

    Full I am in a great need without borders to what I was missing! And I was a castle without gates against what I lack. A mirror away from what I need to see to feel!


  17. Hi All,

    I recommend a 3 part documentary series on BBC Iplayer featuring Professor Alice Roberts called "Prehistoric Autopsy". In the 3rd episode they discuss the evolution of early female hominid pelvis and the subsequent difficulties mothers have giving birth. As is so often the case, there is an 'unconscious subplot' running through this series and Prof Alice is obviously very excited about these birth issues. Having only recently given birth to a baby boy herself (about a year ago) you can see she is 'drawn' to the issues and 'concerned'. . . A very good 3 part documentary on BBC Iplayer if you can get it.

    Paul G.

    1. how much of this difficulty is a result of poor, so poor childbirth culture?
      there is a reflex in the neocortex to fix things. women pelvis included. many "bad designs" proved to be adaptive mechanisms. but no, we want to drill the scull... we are such a mystery to ourselves.

      yet another point of view>

  18. What we call soul friend is nothing more than we involuntarily looking through the window reflecting memories as we suffers and hereby acknowledged to be a soul friend!

    How do I look in through my window of feelings? Either it is done involuntarily or voluntary in a therapeutic process!

    Involuntarily... it is done for most of us without any thought of what it is ... in addition to the diagnoses we will be assigned and we suffer in silence with ourselves as victims... and we succeed by listening to others for what it is not.

    Voluntary... I can sit back in my sofa and look out through the window and "let go" in to my feelings and let my memories wash over me in a wave of tears I learned "to surf". Once on the wave I am balanced of past experience... memories as in its bud still remains.

    Why we become schizophrenia? We look through a wide open window! Otherwise... by given our symptoms so we manage to keep it ajar and we are suffering!


  19. Art
    You say that cortisol damages hippocampus. Is that mean that when we are getting older with our traumas we lose some part of possibility to get inside of old memory? And to get cured?

    1. Piotr: When you add on traumas, it is bound to affect the feeling centers. art

  20. Art: Apart from childhood trauma, other cultural forces dehumanise people and cause pain and violence, and one is gender conditioning. I wonder to what extent this would affect people brought up without trauma? Would they always be fully human INDIVIDUALS regardless of gender?
    Recently I unexpectedly got into conversations with hunters. At first I was thrown by how "normal" they appeared. I couldn´t identify any overt common characteristic apart from the usual manifestations of neurosis, but then I began to sense some undercurrent of PSYCHOPATHY, which unnerved me. Gary Yourofsky refers to hunters as "SOCIOPATHS" ( Another explanation is offered by radical feminism. Pro-feminist men like John Stoltenberg ("Refusing to be a man") describe male conditioning, which I see as an extra dimension to neurotic dehumanisation, specifically as constant cultural pressure to purge oneself of everything that women are supposed to be, ie uncompassionate, hard, tough, aggressive, loutish, combative, in fact the very antithesis of HUMAN. I consider the causes of war to be partly due to the DEHUMANISATION of MEN, commonly referred to as "becoming" a man. It takes different forms in various cultures, but is essentially the same (Same wine, different bottle). In some South American tribes, manhood initiation ceremonies traditionally involve knocking teeth out. In some native American cultures killing buffalo. The modern equivalent seems to be screwing WOMEN, not MEN note, but WOMEN, and even better if she´s a hooker, which is actually all about proving ones manhood via force and conquest, regardless of the feelings and wishes of the woman. In all cases I´ve studied, the manhood initiation involves pain & violence. And the (conditioned)essence of the way men relate to each other is BULLYING, whether it be father/son, friends, boss/employee or whatever. I note that whenever I am alone with men, they seem to tense up, get on edge, uncomfortable, and whenever I feel it is because I am open, soft, sensitive, gentle, and don´t spout hatred or violence. Men are so used to ACTING since childhood in order to be accepted by friends and family that they don´t even realise they´re doing it, and usually don´t even realise that there is even a real or more real "them" beneath the front they project. The act includes their bodies; they way they walk, act, move, the pitch & tone of their voices. All to convince themselves and everyone else that they are "real men" and possess not one iota of the universally despised "feminine". To be a (totally fictitious) "real" man, you must be an island, totally self dependent, in no need of and completely without intimacy.
    On the animal rights/vegan website there is an unintentionally astute statement: "It is cool to care". This may seem obvious to US, yet amongst men, and even most women in very patriarchal cultures, expressing sensitivity, compassion or standing for justice is scorned, ridiculed. Dismissed as dumb, naive, childish, "UNCOOL". Farewell compassion. Farewell justice. Welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDER.
    And so when people see me - as I´m sure they do - as "a loner", they won´t really understand why. I AM consciously seeking & open to intimacy and closeness and love, but other men aren´t. Try it, and at a certain point, any other man will panic. The price, as John Stoltenberg says, of "being a man" is that it takes years off your life. It also often destroys other lives such as those of women life partners because men find it hard to tolerate people with more emotional closeness and fulfilment than themselves. Or in their frustration, many will destroy life such as hunters do, just as they have been forced to destroy the life and love within themselves as the price of becoming a "man".
    Sounds like neurosis doesn´t it? My question is: "Do men become less defensive, and more expressive of compassion & love in primal therapy? Gary


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.