Friday, April 8, 2016

What Lingers On (Part 1/2)

I am in my nineties now and many of you have asked for more of my feelings; since I had another Primal last night I will tell you how it happened and what it was about.

Primal feelings go beyond therapy and become a way of life.   We help patients learn how to get to feelings so for a  lifetime they can do it on their own.   We teach patients  self development so that they do not have to depend on others for getting better.   Otherwise we would enable patients to lean on therapists  for a lifetime  and not achieve self-direction and self control nor maturity.  That is not health; it continues immaturity and the need for external advice and direction.   Healthy adults don’t need that.  Look at animals, some have at least a five year period where they need parents to watch out for them; then they are on their own as adults. We want to help humans become adults not dependent babies.  If they don’t get love and nurturing early on they will try to get it later from a partner or a shrink who will foster it.

But in my opinion they need to go back to when they needed it and open themselves up to begging for it in order to evolve properly. We cannot ignore the early loss of love and protection and become human adults. We must go through the evolutionary steps; needing help, direction and love.  I did it last night; let me explain.

I watch many nature shows to see how animals develop and also because I relate to them first and foremost.  Sad to say, when I read about people hurt in an auto accident I look to see if any animals were hurt, first.  They are so vulnerable and innocent;  I am reading about me.   It is how I felt all my childhood. My mother was always mentally ill. When I was five or six she was sent to an insane asylum, as it was called back then for three years and my father went to be with her.  All my facts are faulty as they never talked to me nor touched me nor protected me.   So they left without a word to my sister and me.  They split up the family and sent us to different and very strange homes where we knew no one.   Not a word about what was happening.  Not a word when they would come back; they were Russian peasants who had no understanding of anything.  My mother was illiterate and could not read.

There was never a book, a record or even a magazine in the house.  My parents were my whole world.   And it was a pretty barren one.  I never expected love and never knew what it was.   I never heard  a laugh  my whole childhood.   That should be a big  part of any childhood; to lighten the atmosphere and make life fun and enjoyable.  It was grim; early, we lived in the ghetto and never saw the real world.  My sister worked in a bank her whole life and died recently of what?   I don’t know but I can guess;  no love.   Without Primal the same fate awaited me.  Yes, we need a good diet, but also we need an organic and harmonious system, and that is what feelings give us; to integrate feelings in us smoothly.  And when that happens our love hormones increase and stress hormones decrease and I think we live longer.   I will let you know when I am 100...

I never knew about swimming pools until my mid twenties when I saw a private pool, and was amazed.   I never heard an intellectual conversation until my late teens, and that changed me.  I began to realize that there was a different world out there other than,  “Did you take out the garbage today.?”

It is hard to believe that parents never said a word to us but we were treated like animals and could only relate to them.  I recalled the story of visiting the neighbors and the mother was standing in the kitchen with her two sons, laughing and joking.  I was shocked and ran home to say what I had seen, a mother talking to her kids. I spilled it out only to be chastised by my father for wishing someone would talk to me.  I stopped asking.  I had an underlying terror of him because when he got mad, which was every five minutes and he would scream at my crazy mother, and his eyes turned red and watered.  I knew then to watch out. But it became an imprinted Primal of fear.

Never a kind word, nor of  “How are you doing?”  Never an arm around you. Just chores by parents who thought that the job of parents was to give orders and demand respect;  never defy their need for respect.  We obeyed “religiously.”  My mother had no needs; she lived in some world I never understood.   A world of talking to herself, only.  And never to us.

Now my Primal:  I watched Nature on TV.  They raised orphans chimps and elephants until they  were ready for the Wild. Their trainers went back to the jungle after the animals were in the wild for 2-5 years to see if they were remembered.  Of course they did; the chimps came down from the trees to hug and kiss them.   They never forgot; and my Primal was that I was waiting a lifetime for them to come back from the Asylum to take care of me and love me.  I never had it and that need burrowed inside and never left.  I carried it around for ninety years and felt it last night.  I had to get to so many previous needs and hurts first.  Then later descending to age five and being left alone with strangers.  I never got it and I never had  a warm contact with my sister after the family was split.  Nothing was said but we were no longer family.

I used to feel that I was waiting for something but I never knew what it was, until last night.  My wife wanted to hug me to ease the pain and I stopped her because I had to feel alone and lonely; that was my salvation, my health and sanity.   I was getting “ME” back.  It was no more than what I had always felt deep down.   And when I was alone I was very uncomfortable.   It was the equivalent of my early life.    Alone, empty, unloved and untouched.   Not ever to be addressed directly or having a parent call my name.  And I will play you a song I wrote called SAY MY NAME.

Half the time my mother never knew who I was.  I expected it and was never shocked when she exclaimed, Who is he?    But the Primal was about needing someone to love me and be happy for me.   That never happened.  When I got my Ph.D it took place in an old English auditorium with British seats and atmosphere,  I invited them, maybe to give them one more chance to offer love, but after the ceremony they were two stones who never said a word,  and never showed any happiness for me.  One reason I became a shrink was to make women well, so I could have a sane mother.  Ayayay.

So before Primal I looked for love by starting with cold, hard people and trying desperately to have them be warm and kind.   Never happened.  I was lost and confused and alone.   I had 6 majors in college and never could talk to anyone about what I wanted to do in life, when one day I was walking across UCLA campus and Jean Fargo was waiting in a line.  I said “Jean what are you waiting for.”?  She said I am applying to graduate school where they help students learn to help others.  I said,  “I want to help others.”   She said, come on along.  I did and went to Social Work school, where I was selected for a special psychiatric internship at a famous clinic.  But when I graduated I realized that the job was like a low-paid teacher and I could not support my family, and I wanted to know more about humans. So I started all over again in psychology.   And years later I received a plaque that made me Academic Hall of Fame.    A lost kid from the ghetto; not bad.

But inside nothing changed until I saw a Primal from Dennis; at that moment my life changed; I realized that there was another world I had never seen before, well hidden and explosive.  It was me I had discovered.  It was me I liberated  but along with me was  thousands of others who shook their pain.  They began to have a life.  I realized it had little to do with what was in their head but what was deeply lodged in their feelings.  Feelings not Intellect was the answer.  That was a revolution.  Simple truth is always  revolutionary.


  1. Hi Art,

    I am still waiting for my Mum & Dad to take me back home from boarding school but they never come. . . I was going to try to get some work done this Saturday morning but now I am crying in bed again


  2. Hi Art,

    this resonates with me. During the whole period of a year leading up to my incarceration in 1968 at age 8 in a boarding school the anxiety at my imminent separation grew and grew inside of me. The day I got into my uniform and was duly deposited at this institution is indelibly stamped into my feelings. I get flashbacks. . . heightened visual perception, hyper vigilance, anxiety, fight or flight, it is a fragmented memory with different parts of the whole 'betrayal' deposited in different places in my psyche. I have been overwhelmed and cried and cried and pleaded and pleaded these last 5 years for Mum & Dad to take me home from school but I have barely yet touched on begging them not to send me away in the first place. They did a good job of 'conditioning me'. . . Inside of that primary memory there are all the other ones previously. So, whilst packing and dressing in my bedroom and preparing for the actual separation I am 'framed', like a picture in time, like a 'mannequin'. No wonder I am heightened about that; I realise this 3rd line trauma is precariously close to another earlier 2nd line separation and that in turn to the 1st line separation from my Mum when I was born unconscious, drugged. . . I have had feelings of being ice cold & so stoned from something whilst lying naked as a curled up fetus. . . That is where I will end up if I can actually get back to that event in September 1968 dressing to be uniformed off to school. . . My life is so fragmented and I really understand how you can still have Primals later on. Of course, why on earth not? Each of our neural networks are so different there can be so many variations on what piece of which 'memory' is stashed away where. . . And NO ! We cannot be rescued from them. . . If they arise then there is such an opportunity to feel that piece and allow it back into your psyche.
    Thankyou Art for your frank description. . . Reduced me to tears again, so much so I was able to call my actual (still alive) Dad and have a chat with him. He is helping a bit, he has stopped giving me a hard time. . .

    I don't know which is worse, him still being alive with his delusions about us, his family, or whether I would be better off with him gone. . . Both I expect, things are never black & white eh? As for you Art, there are so many of us who will be eternally grateful for the truth in you words and the heart in your efforts to reach out with what little support you can. Though at times these truths are so bitter I am beside myself with despair, they begin to unravel my repression. . .

    Paul G.

  3. Dear Art,

    Your childhood was so sad and painful. Your story has me crying. A cruel and unfeeling father and insane mother. What you lived and what pain you have to feel. Thank you for sharing more of your life and pain with us. It gives me strength to go on and keep feeling more and more. The only thing I know how to do.

    I grew up in the projects, a ghetto in Canada. My father left the home when I was five and went on to build a rich factory business and gave virtually nothing to his family. He went on to find another wife and adopt her son from a previous marriage. I was left at home with my older brother and schizophrenic mother. As a small child I knew that there was something very wrong with my mother and I was terrified that if anyone learned that she was crazy and unable to take care of me, they would take her away to an insane asylum. So I kept silent and never talked about her and what my life was like living with her. I tried and tried to help her and make her well. All of course to no avail. There would be no supper on the table, no talking, no conversation, never a “how are you today?”. She rarely looked at me except unless to get angry at me. In the small apartments that we lived in and were forced to move to and from there was not a book, a music record, magazine, nothing. It was barren and empty just like the way my life was and felt day in and day out. I would come home from school to find my mother just getting up from bed , the bed that she had made on the living room sofa. She wouldn't look at me or say anything to me. She would get up and then go into the bathroom to wash up. She spent hours every day washing her hands, talking to herself. She chanted and counted over and over. She would scold and hit herself. I was terrified, scared all of the time.

    When I married my second husband I lived through him. He was very intelligent, curious and had a joie de vivre; I lacked in these things. He wanted and wanted often, it seemed insatiable. I couldn't want and with him I didn't need to, he wanted for me. Now that he is dead I feel like I am trying to find myself. I feel so alone just the way I did as a child, unwanted and alone. At times the pain feels so unbearable. The loss of my husband feels unbearable most of the time. Trying to distinguish between the old and the new is near impossible at times. I don’t know how I could live without your therapy but I also feel like a child dependent on the therapy and help of the therapist. Sometimes I feel like I must be doing it all wrong because I have not advanced to the level of being able to do it alone, on my own. I feel like I need the safety of a therapist there watching and helping me.


    1. Jean, there are many ways that life can hurt us. It is endless. And the wonder is How do we survive? art

    2. Art: When you say "I watch many nature shows to see how animals develop and also because I relate to them first and foremost" I broke down and sobbed. Racism: It took 400 years for white Americans to accept that negroes were human. We all know the price they paid; enslavement, shackling, hobbling, whipping, rape, MURDER. Speciesism: Because I have chosen as my lifes work to save non human animals from abuse and murder, I know of the scale and barbarity of animal abuse worldwide. Nothing in this planets history comes remotely close to it. Worst of all is the colossal meat, fish, dairy and meat industries. Then vivisection, hunting, culling, everyday violence and neglect of domestic animals...

      I want everyone to understand that animals FEEL, and probably more intensely than humans since they cannot rationalise pain away like we do. A pig is more intelligent than a dog, and just as affectionate and loyal. Annually, billions spend their entire lives in metal cages so small they cannot even turn round or stretch. Their teeth are crushed without anaesthetic. The females VIOLENTLY raped. Male piglets have their testicles violently ripped out WITHOUT anaesthetic, then thrown into a bloody heap. Their giant sheds are always littered with the (often decaying) corpses of those who could no longer hold on to life. Whilst awaiting execution, they know they are to be killed and SCREAM in terror, many being fully conscious as their throats are slit, hanging from hooks.

      I haven´t even started on chickens, cows, sheep, ducks....

      Humans have no right to appropriate and take the lives of non human species. That is speciesism.

      Yesterday I drove 350 kilometres to give away one of my dog Rosies five 12 week old puppies. For the final 60 kilometres, she chose to lie on my lap, her head sometimes resting on my arm, looking up into my eyes with eyes so totally innocent, trusting, but which asked "What is going on?" Later, whilst waiting three hours for the new "owners", her warm little body rested on my chest, totally relaxed because she trusted me completely, looking searchingly into my eyes, constantly licking my face because that is just one way dogs tell you they love you. So later that afternoon I broke down and have been crying for the last 24 hours.

      You see, no animal will do humans any harm. They do their utmost to accommodate their lives to human requirements, and to human abuse, and even then, animals will never seek revenge. Abused animals will cower, shake with fear, crawl for affection, beg...but unlike humans, will retaliate ONLY in self defence.

      A few hundred thousand years ago, we lived as they did, with instinctive respect for them. Todays world is based almost entirely on animal enslavement and murder. Our larger brain size enables us to override our natural empathy. SPECIESISM. Gary

    3. Hi, Gary. I can appreciate your uphill battle of concern over cruelty and consumption of animals. I would guess too that many justify the poor treatment of animals with the sanction from the bible that gives man 'dominion' over all the creatures.

  4. Dearest Jean, Thank you for sharing your story. Not sure why it's touched me so much. I was recently feeling bad and guilty for not knowing how to do better in my life. It started as guilt, then as I took another little brave step to feel a bit more, the guilt turned into 'I feel wrong for not doing enough ' . I couldn't give up feeling wrong until I got to the bottom of that feeling, which was, 'I'm not wrong.....your wrong mummy! I did everything I could mummy ! To get you to love me!'
    For me the feeling 'wrong' took me to a time when I needed my mother as a new born, to simply pick me up and hold me, but because she didn't have the instinct to do that, I ended up feeling like there was something wrong with me. I realised I had carried that fear at some fundamental level all my life. After feeling that, I could give up feeling bad and wrong because I felt what caused me to feel wrong in the beginning. This was all compounded for the fact that neither of my parents could ever cuddle or hug me throughout my childhood. So I just used to feel embarrassed for feeling wrong and not knowing what else to do. The thought that ' it will destroy me ' , if I feel it , turned into, it will liberate me if I feel it. So, thinking I am wrong and I need other people to tell me how to live , and to take over my life for me, turns into I am right I just needed to have more of my feelings to reclaim my self and my life. .................."...............Art has proved it can be done, again and again.
    I've got to go and have my feelings now, I feel burdened by grief. Katherina

    1. Katherina, How right. Only when your needs are not met that you feel something is wrong with you... "You are wrong" gets imprinted and endures. Above all you start to feel needing is bad. And it's not. art

    2. Yes, Katherina; "...thinking I am wrong and I need other people to tell me how to live...." The childhood neglect that we experience makes us not have confidence in ourselves. The popularity of advice Tv shows; Steve Harvey, Dr. Phil and others, the Dear Abbey columns; all prove we need someone to tell us how to live because we've lost touch with what we need and who we are. So we have to ask others who might see more clearly what we should do because we doubt ourselves.

    3. Thank you Katherina.

      Yes, no one can tell you how to live. We have to find that out for ourselves through feeling. It is through feeling that one finds oneself.

      In an earlier blog you said that you had a birth that was uncomplicated, satisfying and not traumatic. And that it was the after birth that was traumatic where the midwives took you away from your mother. Your mother wasn’t there to hold you. So sad that she didn’t take you immediately and keep you close to her. She had worked so hard to give birth to you. Her reward at the end is to hold her beautiful baby close and love and cherish her.


  5. It's not bad to need, it just feels bad went our needs aren't met. We end up feeling wrong when our simple needs aren't met.........simple infant and child needs can seem like complex impossible to solve adult needs. Katherina

    1. Katherina,

      -"it's not bad to need, it just feels bad when our needs aren't met"-. . .

      And there's no harm in being reminded of that because we blame ourselves for the lack and that is torture no-one deserves. . .

      Thanks for the aphorism. . . Now I gotta go have my feelings too.



  6. Afraid of emotions! What do I got to lose?

    I dare not even think about what is the right less not feel what is right! That is way I involuntarily started designing my thoughts to a defense... something that takes me away from what I really should think and feel.
    The dilemma is that I can not possibly be feeling before I get back to where I turned off from feeling... its like I sit in a catch 22 until if I dont "accidentally" are hit by anxiety or depression... but then it is vital that I find myself in a place where I can possibly get the help I need... who puts up with that I begin to feel? It is crucial for the physiological process to possible changing my genes and thus my emotions. This is the only possible way for the change and why experience can take so long... that genes do change links to events possible to experience. We can not think "properly" if the physiological process is opposed to it... unless my thoughts is run over by leaking feelings... but I'm not thinking anymore then... I'm in a rush of emotion that does not fit for what thoughts can put order to... order to a possible meaning of my life... but then a still neurotic life. My genes takes longer to change than my thoughts possible can illusion about! To "understand" something that I dont feel is to hope that something can be right without its contents... an catch-22 without its solution!


  7. Dear Art: I think I finally understand why you are still primalling regularly now. It is because your load of early pain was extreme by any standards. It makes it quite incomprehensible therefore, how you could have succeeded, with no guidance from any source, in tripping a long stream of patients into primals, then writing a work of genius "The Primal Scream", and then several more books during the next 5 years, whilst at the same time finding time to train therapists and heal hundreds of people - each requiring a 3 week intensive, over the next 15 years, whilst bringing up your two children, before going to France. All with a load of pain which would completely cripple anyone else. When will your biog be out? Gary

    1. Thanks of the kind letter. I do appreciate all those words. Blog book will be out in a few months. art

    2. Art: You said "Blog". Do you mean "Biog"?
      I know so many people who feel terrible pain for abused & murdered animals, and it seems very real to me. Do you think it is nothing more than our own pain? Gary

    3. Hi Gary,

      anyone might think Art's an extreme sympath, but, I dunno, I don't think so; Art?

      Paul G.

    4. I am not an extreme in anything. Don't ask me why. art

    5. -Except in writing excellent psychology books. Sticking to your principles, setting up and running a clinic AND school of psychology. . . Staying sane, fit & productive into your 90's. . . No, nothing extreme there, but maybe a tad ironic?

      Paul G.

  8. It's amazing that with no love and complete denial the body still knows what we should have had. Nature almost says: I'll do my best to help you but you're never going to forget, not ever.


  9. An Asphalt Flower!

    An interesting, but sad, reading about your childhood. Your disclosing about your personal history are adding up to a better understanding of your personal feelings in your Reflection “What A Waste”. However, I am confused and cannot understand how the ghetto could raise a feeling person, an innovator and a hall-of-Famer with an illiterate, insane mother and a rude, authoritarian father, who constantly indicated you were an idiot. You are certainly a true 91-year-old asphalt flower. There must be an explication.

    Sometime, somewhere, something good / lifesaving must have made an indelible impression since you during decades have been able to transcribe / translate your message of the importance of love to us who were lucky enough to meet and understand you. To be able to, counter current, work during a long life has required an excellent immune system, good vital signs and a healthy lifestyle and a pain propelled dedication.

    Do you have a clue of which factors in your earliest, most sensitive days made your mind resist your horrible childhood and upbringing? Which imprinted positive, lifesaving, factors behind your imprinted traumas made you believe in / act out your need for love?


    1. Jan, Believe it or not, getting out of that nuthouse to go to war helped save me. Battles were dangerous and terrible but I could get sane in spite of the danger. art

    2. Jan   I have no idea how I made it through, and my wife also wonders too how I escaped and remained sane. It is a mystery to me.  One thing: my parents never cared about me and had no future plans for me so I stayed myself and did not try to be anything or anyone else.     I could not change in order to be loved because there just wasn't any.   Art      how are you doing?

    3. Your asphalt flower, ayayay. art

    4. Art,

      After 20 years, you escaped one madhouse, rescued by "the evolution" and this experience helped you through next madhouse, WW2. Your superiors in the US military, the Navy, had the good taste to try out / discover your obvious talent and you were offered academic studies in psychology. Strengthened by the new knowledge did you get to the cuckoo's nests, number three and four, Hackers Psychiatric Clinic and Brent Woods Neuropsychiatric Hospital.

      In 1967, you found out of evidence of how repressed memories and feelings, under the right conditions, can be re-lived. More than one of us owe our lives to this paradigm shift in psychotherapy in which you have spent 50 years acting out your early pain. Even at age 90, and thereafter, evolution has made you able to demethylate, re-live and feel your primal madhouse-traumas.

      My own “madhouse” had no asphalt. It was an agricultural university dominated by repressed, well-educated professors, researchers, instructors, and administrators. Most families, for at least one of their members, had regular contacts with the asylums of those days. Instead of being insane, I, fortunately, developed epilepsy at 20, which resulted in that I developed an inner obsession to prioritize everything in my life to know why I had epilepsy. Your discovery became eventually my way.

      After my first primal 1980, turning a grand mal seizure into re-living my birth trauma, I developed excellent qualities for a crisis consultant and business leader and I was asked to take on more jobs than I could handle. Those were fascinating years and I managed to make a living, become sane and healthy and can look back on life with satisfaction and gratitude. Lots of pain to re-live, but what a gain to finally feel and understand how my life was put together / changed.

      Thank You so much!

    5. Art, let me explain.

      You did not survive your childhood. No child could. You did not escape and remain sane as your beautiful admiring wife would suggest. And war did not give you sanity - it gave you hope, and it made you suffer in your insanity when the hope faded.

      Your parents had been completely divorced from you; they had forced you to be self-governing. That is the key to your success.

      That is why you did not seek explanations from text books when you saw a man primalling. You relied on your insane but independent self. And you started to escape your insanity when you started to feel.

      You see, it's no mystery at all but you already knew that.

    6. Richard: Yes but it helps to have it confirmed and thanks for taking the time to write. art

  10. An email comment:
    "Dear Art and France,

    You are amazing. I wonder if harsh conditions sometimes yield the greatest inspirations? Or is it that the core reality, the optimistic survival core of human beings is inspired to act when challenged and not too much overwhelmed? Where do you think your strength came from? Generations past perhaps? I am trying to feel my helplessness the depths of it seem devastating with lots of compounding. Yet, because of your efforts and writings and influences I have some small hope. Thank you for that!

  11. Loneliness!

    Love is an imagination and has nowhere to be!

    Life in it self flows on in an stream away from its beeing. To know is to much of suffering... to feel is to painful and there is no other place to be!

    I am where i ones were... I am like a bark boat that nothing else has but to follow the stream for where I ones where... where I am.

    I am where I where in a stream of nowhere... not a thought gives me hope!

    I ring the bell to a locked door for how long it ever lasts!


  12. Art: How you remained sane is one thing, but how you achieved what you did between 1965 and 1980ish is completely beyond me. Virtually every word you wrote describing your parents and their treatment of you could apply to a huge proportion of the rural Portuguese amongst whom I live. The look I see on the faces of massively deprived and despised young children here is best described by what Vivian Janov once wrote: "It is death". Generally the children of expats in Portugal run and play and scream quite freely, whilst those of the rural Portuguese - even by age 3 - are afraid, quiet, reluctant to play. I shudder to think of what these uneducated, unenlightened God-fearing Catholics do to their children, though what I have seen is cold, harsh, angry and often violent. The little "warmth" is not empathic and usually overemotional as if showering love on a cute puppy. the pre-school usually attended by 3-5 year olds is run by anxious-hysterical control freaks trying desperately to keep in check the eruption of what they apparently fear to be destructive mayhem in their charges. I´ve yet to meet any parent who questions the status quo. The motto in Portugal is "Tem que ser", roughly "That´s the way it has to be". It is a society based upon unthinking acceptance of authority. Teachers, doctors...are rarely questionned. You often see adults having conversations in which the phrase "The doctor said..." is repeated over and over, the doctor assumed to know everything, and the speaker nothing. The attitude verges on reverence, which I guess is inculcated very early in the psyche of the average rural Portuguese, even now, 2016, in the fear and guilt sermons of the Catholic priests. And yet, I cannot even imagine any of these people achieving anything like what you have, and your load of pain was at least as bad as the mean in Portugal. Gary

    1. Thanks Gary. How do any of us make it through, that is the question. art

  13. Art,
    Thanks for sharing this. This piece about yourself is above any positive comment I can possibly make, it is just outstanding, invaluable and oh so inspiring. A universe apart from any other writings by any other writer.
    Yep. So it is. Looking forward to more of the same, please.

  14. I was very moved by this and other articles by Art Janov relating his personal life experiences. I think we can feel more empathy and liking for someone when they speak personally than when they express themselves solely through theory. The point of the theory of course is not to necessarily generate empathy for its author, but considering the depth and humanity of that Primal theory I personally still have always felt an immense respect for Janov despite not knowing much about him.One always wonders what travails exceptional innovators have gone through to create something apparently constructive for humanity despite all the crushing negative forces at work in the (in)human world.


  15. An email comment: "Thanks Art for writing this...

    Your childhood was dam bleak... Its a wonder you survived at all with even a semblance of sanity..

    My guess is that if it wasn't for your dog things would have been a lot more crazy for you. The worst thing about having a father like thats the unpredictability of his actions, and you had no where else to turn so you had to take it.

    I remember a picture of you at the institute, ;your holding your dog. You seemed like a great kid. Its sad that your parents never really knew just how great you are.

    Best wishes...

    1. And my answer: Thanks so much and your are dead right art

    2. That´s exactly how I feel when I see beautiful, friendly kids being treated like dirt by their parents. They´re transforming something wonderful & precious into something sick and suffering, and the kids are helpless to do anything. As an adult, sometimes i stand up for myself or for children or animals when people make offensive remarks about or mistreat or neglect them, but just as often I do not. And when i do not I know i have betrayed my own self, my humanity, which is innately compassionate. I tell myself it´s because it´s just too much for me to confront someone every single time they step out of line. But in my heart i know I´m lying. I don´t make a stand because of my early pain. Someone i respect very much said something along the lines of "It´s not the times you kept your mouth shut and said nothing that you will remember with pride when you are old, but the times you made a stand for justice & what is right". Or something like that. Amen. Gary

    3. Although Gary,

      there are times when the things I could have (& should have) done and didn't, haunt me and play over and over and over obsessively. . . And I think that goes all the way back to a drugged birth where I couldn't 'move'. Powerless to act, stuck in the birth canal. Many people I see fearful to act when their action could save the day. . . This is the modern New World Zeitgeist of 'caution' in the face of adversity but I reckon it has it's roots in people being stuck in the birth canal unable to or fearful to 'move', to act. Ultimately to help others out. . . Then later we are forced by repression to act out endlessly the tension between 'paralysis' and the need to move. There we have the 'stop / go' so prevalent in life. . . Widespread.

      Take care Gary.

      Paul G.

  16. This is your best written work so far Art - you are getting better and better - this is written straight from the heart and every word counts - this is the stuff that will reach to the hearts of the people of the World. There's no clinical verbage (psychotherapy is an social-art rather than a clinical-science after all - and this point has to be understood by all and sundry)I have read all of your books - some many times over and lots of your blogs and articles. You are one of the World's greatest Materialist-Dialecticians and this is the field in which you truly excel and truly go unrecognised. You now hold the position where you are recognised in your own right as a person rather than a professional and so you have earned the right to talk about anything you like under the Sun and people will listen to you with respect and love. If you are talking - we are listening whether that's here or on the Tonight Show - go for it!

    1. Bill, what wonderful words. thanks so much. It will not be forgotten art

  17. Dear Paul
    Had to look up the word 'aphorism'. Glad I did ! :-)
    Yeh they're not called 'needs' for nothing, they're called needs because our life depends on them . That's how important they are. I was thinking that the root cause of my problems must be something really complicated, and hence why it had eluded me and many specialists, all my life. So the thing that astonished me was how simple it all was. A simple need gone unfulfilled. Simple, but devastating when not understood.


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.