Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How Can Psychology Ignore Neurology?

I don’t mean that neurology should drive psychology but that brain science has so much to offer therapy.  We ignore new neurologic findings at our peril.   For what we are learning is that early trauma leaves a trace on the gene.   That trace is a marker that tells us there is a big hurt buried inside that is redirecing our behavior and is behind so many serious diseases.    The traces can be observed.  And far more important, they and much of their effects can be reversed.  Imagine that!   We can undo the imprint and reverse history and eliminate the hurt.  We don’t have to guess anymore so when psychologists ignore brain science they no longer know that history is barricaded deep in the brain, nor do they know on what level of the brain, nor are they aware   of how serious the imprint is.  How can we go on ignoring early trauma and its effects on our sicknesses  when all new science says it is there?

So what happens?  Therapists remain on the top cerebral level and never ever reach into the messy imprint that changes the brain through methylation and distributes the pain, impacting so much of us.  They try to figure out blood pressure and many other afflictions when the causes elude them.   Worse, they try to undo psychosis,  serious neurosis and addiction without acknowledging the causes lying literally just under their noses.

Now here is where we shrinks come in.  The new research paper by the Institute of Molecular Biology in Germany finds a way to possibly unto methylation.  That is, they have discovered the proteins neils 1 and neils 2 play a major role in demethylizing cells and revert them to normal, a great discovery.  But this is a neurologic answer and cannot be fixed through neurology alone;  they suggest that the two proteins are instrumental in reversing methylation; ergo, it could be the answer we are looking for.  But whoa, why are the genes methylated, in the first place?  What kind of pain and where does it come from?  Here is where primal enters the fray.   Now after 50 years of our daily work on hundreds of patients we have a very good idea what the pain is and how it has settled into the system.  We believe we are demethylizing through immersing ourselves into the trauma and reliving it exactly as it was laid down.  That means becoming a 6 year old again or a fetus reliving the mother’s smoking or drinking.  We see it and we see the effects of reliving: major changes throughout the system.   We believe we alter the neurotic trajectory that would have led to serious disease later in life.

The authors state that may include cancer: when there is a failure in resetting of the methyl marks on the DNA, it can result in development abnormalities and possibly cancer.  In this way the cells lose their identity and start to divide without control,  the profile of cancer.  This research is advancing by the day and will help   us measure and treat serious imprints.  And here is where we shrinks will leave neurology.  Because in psychotherapy the patient will talk about his life and ultimately descend down the chain of pain to the deepest imprint.  When that happens  the distortions that methylation engenders will normalize.  The patient is on his way to being normal.  We want our theories of the human being to be unassailable:  why?  Because correct and accurate theory leads to proper therapy , and the means ultimate health  and longevity.  That is our mission.


  1. Art!

    Since they at "SBU knowledge center for healthcare" here in Sweden soon decide what scientific areas they should acquire funds for future years... so it would be great if I could get all the parts of the "Epigenetics and Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis" to submit.

    My e-mali

    Your Frank

  2. To just be thinking!

    Why is suffering so catastrophic to just be thinking of the cause of it? Because childhood and fetal stage is the cause of feelings ... without the consciousness of it ... which in some sence means to let go of thoughts. It is not to be despised for what it open a wide door opening to feelings ... if we do not do it right!
    To just think of feelings as cause Do not allow himself to feel and closes all the doors ... we need intellectual approach of how the emotional content presents itself When We might lose someone close!
    I remember the first time I read "The Primal Scream" ... how I found myself in a psychosis to only imagine what it Meant To return to my childhood. I did not understand then how memories of my childhood was to be a party of me ... memories of me as a child ... i thought more that i would undergo a transformation to've become small again ... a scourge I think many of us are going through for what our thoughts are not properly informed thatthere are memories and not a transformation it is all about ... which it is easy to perceive it as without knowledge of what the emotional memory contains.
    Without the understanding of being the child we once were is the most horrific we have ahead of us if we do not let ourselves be treated by Primal Therapy ... and we die a horrible death if we are not taken away from the consciousness of it ... which now occurs through blocked medications! But if we can ease ourselves into what consciousness contains about the terrible death ... death we already lived through ... so we avoid not only suffer now ... but to also live the time we have left to live.


  3. Dr. Janov
    I read Ketting’s and Niehrs’s publication at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Germany and decided to write an extensive letter (still in the editing process) to Joe Biden and to the NIH Director Francis Collins encouraging him to use the newly released funding for DNA de-methylation. My main point is: “healthy genes do not produce cancer”.
    In addition I stressed the so far neglected issue of trauma induced high cortisol levels as a possible culprit for gene methylation. Many people who experienced trauma show later epigenetic induced illnesses and consequently display markers for “reduced serotonin and oxytocin receptors”.
    It could not harm if you write a letter to Joe Biden as well.

    1. Sieglinde, we will write to him as well. art

    2. But we need to specify where the money goes;  not just for demeth but to a therapy that normalizes the system that  is aimed at demethylation.  Thanks,  Art

  4. Dr. Janov,
    right, we need to emphasize that there is not only a micro biological repair-mediated DNA demethylation.
    I believe you can stress the case for Primal therapy more effective than I can. This is the reason I wrote to you.

    My aim is to wake up the still sleeping scientists, to tell them that psychological trauma leaves the endocrine-system dysfunctional.
    Just look at the one methylated gene “Gadd45a” and the damage it produce. That is indisputable evidence, that is pushed under the carpet.
    Gene: Gadd45a
    tumorigenesis (Cancer cells)
    reproductive system
    renal/urinary system
    nervouse system
    mortality aging
    immune system
    homeostasis metabolism
    endocrine exocrine gland
    BTW I have this Marker in two different genes.


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.