Friday, October 28, 2016

Suicide is Painless Repression, Despair and the Relief of Reliving Near-Death Feelings (5/5)

        What has this to do with self-destruction, as some therapies describe the suicide attempt? I was discussing the difference between self-destructive behavior and suicide with a colleague. They are quite different, although you would think that suicide is destruction of the self, but it is not at all like that. Let’s take literal destruction, cutting oneself. This is a later ploy, making hurt obvious. It is a plea for help; “Please see my hurt. See that I hurt.” This in lieu of screaming out that hurt. And the cutter is not often aware of what she is doing or why. It was never acknowledged by anyone because perhaps the parents had no idea of that hurt or even that such emotional hurt existed. There are many aspects of this. Her feeling was, “I’m trying to let the hurt escape,” even when she had no idea what it was. She just knew it was inside and it had to come out.

Another woman, a self-cutter. told me that she cut because it took away some of the emotional hurt which was more painful. It had a beginning and an end. It was controllable whereas the emotional hurt just kept going on. She found out that it was exactly what we do; letting pain out: but in methodical ways so she no longer had to cut herself. The feeling has to be felt deeply to match the force of the pain involved. The patient is trying to let the pain out in the only way she can; make it visible and palpable. If you can at least see it there is something you can do about it.

When there are later circumstances of neglect and lack of love, the deep imprints become compounded and cemented in. Those later traumas (lack of love) increase the repression and force unconscious acting out, such as cutting oneself, to try to get at the source, hopefully, yet unconsciously. But suicide is still a long way off. It is amazing how so often people cut themselves, unwittingly digging out the source of their suffering without even knowing what they are doing.

Suicide, then, is a deeper, earlier sensation/feeling with no behavioral possibilities. They are, indeed, two different things. Even though suicide attempts to destroy the self it is not, oddly, self-destructive. And of course, self-destructiveness it ramifies so that the destructive behavior takes on many forms, such as sabotaging one’s own success or always picking toxic partners. But it is not as direct as suicide. Suicide means one final act. It is not anything in the present that causes it; it is the result of a deep memory.

There are myriad examples of self-destructive behavior, but all the manifestations come from subdued feelings. There are people who set themselves up for certain failure, who always make sure things turn out bad, who drink themselves into oblivion or who repeatedly get involved with a low-lifes they know are bad for them. Here the driving forces are nearly always deep-seeded pain. These are secondary effects of imprinted hurt. Driving with drunk drivers is a good example.

 Another is the case of a graduate student who could not get feedback from his professors for a paper he had turned in. After weeks of “trying to get through” he sent a most nasty letter to the instructor. For that, he was delayed in getting his degree. So he shot himself in the foot because he could never get through to his father and also because he literally couldn’t get through in being born. Being blocked from getting what he wanted and needed had set off a rage in him, and as we know rage is first line, brainstem originated. It is the seat of the most atavistic anger possible. He was helpless before this surge of fury. Resonance reached down and dredged it all up, surging upwards beyond control. He knew when he sent the letter it was wrong; this is what used to be called “emotional.” His emotions got the best of him. They weren’t irrational; they were real but buried deeply.

The Relief of Reliving

In Primal Therapy, we seek access to those deep recesses of the brain, where ultimate healing lies. First-line is always more powerful than later imprints; and they are the most healing, offering up many insights that previous behavior was based on. The insights that flow from first-line feelings are widely encompassing because they are the basis for so much later behavior. Reliving on the brainstem level means complete connection as the driving force of impulses are experienced at last. We connect, in short, on the level of the trauma and in that context only. Here we are dealing with the shark brain: no shouts, no wild movements; evolution has taken over. It means the patient has gone back in time and is living again what went on decades before. Then it was too overwhelming for a naïve and fragile infant brain to integrate. Now, perhaps, he is ready for it.

That is the true meaning of facing yourself and accepting yourself; not in the booga-booga, new-age sense but in the biologic evolutionary meaning of it, where the feeling is now integrated into the physical system. It becomes ego syntonic. That is the real meaning of becoming oneself. As the reliving goes on, the feeling is fully integrated and there is a continued drop in vital signs and body temperature lowers to real normal, rather than “average” normal. In this sense, “integration” is a new biologic state where the whole system can re-regulate itself. Normalization has set in and depression bids adieu. And no one has done anything outside the body. It all originated from inside. That is why I say that everything the patient has to learn is already inside, waiting.

In Primal Therapy, we get patients gradually down to those deep feelings that are so disturbing. And once those feelings are resolved and brought to consciousness, there are no more thoughts of suicide. Why? Because there are no more buried feelings driving the suicidal thoughts. It takes time, but when they get there, they discover real relief, the kind that lasts and lets them live.


  1. Thank you for The help, I would have never made this without your knowledge and information.

    Aida Castañeda

    1. Aida, You are so welcome. It is why I write. If I can help anyone then my goal is accomplished. art

  2. We can only love someone for how someone is.........

    I can not talk to you until you have experienced the limitations life contains! Without it... so the words mean nothing more than what they do to you for not having experienced it.

    The love of life is limitless... but that is not life! So we are in a hurry in the sense that life is disappearing without our knowledge of it!

    The sad storry is... the knowledge we have is just something that goes from generation to generation without any benefit for ourselves. We are like computers that store memories that we then transfer to our offspring without any feelings for the consequences.

    It is no wonder that schizophrenia is a part of human development given what lovelessness causes. The missing of what is beautiful is cemented in our needs as we are refused by all the worlds expetis to experience!

    .... and if someone is not... then we do not know who we love!


  3. Now I know what I should have know before I gave birth to my children.
    I would needed to go through my Birthing first.

    Aida Castañeda

  4. I was 14, when my father hit me my entire life came up, a life of nothing, he enabled me to get to age 14, by having hope on him. I took all the pills could find. When they where close to working, l said to my mother 'you will be sorry now' l have killed myself!!

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  6. To self be anxiety in every sence of life which leaves no opportunities to something else is to be human today!

    When we are anxiety for what we do and are how will it then be possible for a self-analysis... it when it will devastate all for what we are up against to save our lives without a clue that this is what happens?

    All of my life I tried to ran away from anxiety of dying without experiencing that it is what I do and have done... it for what I am anxiety in every cell of my body! How could I? No sooner than I begin to experience the terrible memories of what caused it! I have been what caused it without any way out if it was not for Primal therapy.

    I have only been able to think smart for what ever my eyes could see a solution not to suffer... why I suffer!


  7. You know Art, I've always said that I don't want children, but I have. I know I can't love then until my pain is inside.

    1. Hello Anonymous!

      We can always do something!

      You can do alot by understanding what you are doing. How can we say that we understand that we should not have any children... it without to do all that is in our power of understanding to do something right... even when we suffer.

      Of course... it's an incredible tragedy what happened if our children were not wanted and had a difficult time during their childhood... but we must do everything in our power not to punish them for what has happened. We must do everything we can to help them and our self!

      Children has often reminded me of my pain through their crying!

      Your Frank

  8. Now I know what I have make...make money!
    Money,money,money. Money stands for Mom and dad. Money stands for food and love.
    They stands for survival.
    I do not have any of it. Without money you are nothing and you will get nowhere.

    Aida Castañeda

  9. To the brain that not only understand but also feel!

    Art... now you have a very important phone call to make! Calling Donald Thrump and offer him your help.

    It's no joke... but the most important task any man has had on this earth!

    He sounded humble and genuine in his winning speech... but we all know what is hiding behind a social behavior and hate that germinate.


  10. Off topic: America has a new president......

  11. It's completely unbelievable!
    Everything remains inside of me, my whole life remains in precision, which is amazing to experience.

    Aida Castañeda

  12. As neurotics... you will never be able to have sex with your partner even when you have a physical contact with your partner. You need something else to get an ejaculation... dreams or illusions about someone or something that raises tension to make ejaculation possible.

    Mentally you seek tension... tension far from what sex with your partner is intended. You will know it when you notice that something is not as it should be for what a sexual relationship with your parner suppose to be.

    You may feel ashamed or seek out mental tension without even pay attention to it... or acting it out in the relationship with or without your partner's participation... which I think is the most common phenomenon... phenomenon not to be a science of cause!

    To "break" down the intellectual defense is not something that happens by itself... not until we are becoming mentally ill will it be visible... visible to those who do not otherwise see! A question arises... who is not blind? We are sure we belong to the healthy crowd... we want for the world not belong to a weak grupp which now is visible to anyone with self-knowledge.

    Can you imagine that we are transparent to those who see. But they can not mention it because we can not hear what made us deaf. But anyway... we can feel that something is not as it should when anxiety and depression shows up but then it is a normal human phenomenon and we continue to live blindly.


  13. From illusions of my reality into reality of illusions to survive... that is a schizofen world to go through. My need was horrifying... an border to an almost impossible recognition of my needs? But I know it's there because I was homesick when I had to go far away... but in that illusion i never came home! I NEVER CAME HOME!

    I did not know that I lived schizophrenic as little Frank. Lived because almost everything around me was schizophrenic. It did not help that my mother sometimes patted me on my cheek as I had to escape in to illusions for the rest of the time. Everything else that happened was totally loveless and living there was horrific. I know it and I have yet to be very careful in my therapeutic process... but my mom sometimes patted me on my cheek when I was terrified! WHEN I WAS TERRIFIED.


  14. Frank, Indeed, others are transparent to those who see. art

  15. I don't know where I'm going with this but I want to share a memory I had a few weeks ago. I was feeling about an interaction I had with my boyfriend when he was on the computer a few weeks ago. I felt uncomfortable that he wasn't giving his attention to me. In my next session to my surprise I had feelings about needing to be looked at and picked up after I was born. Even though Id felt about wanting to be held after birth before, this time it was more of the important details I was feeling. I felt what it was like to open my eyes on the world for the first time as a new born, and how I needed my parents eyes then. To open my eyes for the first time was to feel that I had entered a whole new world, a fact I couldn't acknowledged without my parents there to hold me and look at me. At the same time it was incredible to have sight, and for light and shade to touch my eyes, yet I was so alone and if only the nurses would have left me alone my mother would have picked me up eventually. Its not a detail that one could imagine fabricating....more evidence of imprints and primal memories. I love how these memories remain in perfect clarity like gems embedded in rock awaiting our careful excavation. Thanks for listening,it makes me feel sane to think someone is hearing me and that Im not alone. Being ignored after fighting for my life to be born I think made me feel"what's the point!" , because what was the point of putting in all that effort for nothing if there is no love at the end. Think I'm writing and exposing my infant vulnerability to get recognition that I matter and exist. I recently lost my part time job of three years and even though I'm happier, It still triggered "I don't matter" and getting an average grade at uni is like" what's the point of putting all that effort in?" Just like my birth. I think I needed to be picked up and held to switch on and come alive. I think I slowly started to die and give up when no one came to pick me up. I never realised that before, why I seem to have everything going for me and yet Im still not happy. Always this" oh well, I'll do better next time" kind of feeling.

    1. Hi Katherina, I do hear you and I am here. You are writing to someone who has lived it so I really do get it. Keep up that drive and your obvious intelligence. art

  16. To all of you professionals!

    In case of having a mental disability!

    Do you know how much adult you are? You are just so much adult as it required of you to not feel the child as you ones was! And by that you can hurt many... especially if you are trained to be a professional in mind to help others! Then you just pushing them to be adults because the child has never been given his place in you.


  17. Now that I feel quite finished with my therapy, there's a feeling sneaking up on me! I get anxiety and panic! I do not feel finished with my therapy! I can not leave my security. No, I'm not finished with my therapy yet. I can't return home if I quit. I can't leave my home. I see myself deep inside, stand by the door back home in Colombia. Now i remember the feeling that I have and have had since i left my home. I'm in deep pain! I feel so alone! I'm so miserable!
    My whole world collapses inside of me. Now i remember what I feel inside of me and what I live with, and how much it hurts. My stomach is crying and the whole body is shaking in despair! Finally the feeling has revealed itself again! Now I can cry for my life.

    Aida Castañeda

    1. Aida You are feeling and it is eventually going to liberate you. Don’t give up art

  18. I'm home now! My first home was in Colombia and in my mother's womb. That was wonderful, but I was desperat as I had to leave the two! I hate my life outside my mother's womb, and I long to return both to Colombia and my mother's womb. But I feel good now. Arthur, thanks for everything!

    Thank you for being there! You saved my life without even having met me. I have been suicidal ever since it became possible for me to take my own life. My fight to save my liv has been a struggle on life and death.

    I started my therapy for my children's sake, or I would not be alive today. I thank my beloved children because they forced me to survive. Now I do my therapy for my own sake, because everything good that happens to me is also good for my children.

    Thanks Arthur for all what you made possible for me!

    Aida Castañeda

    1. Aida, if I have helped save one life, then my life is complete. Thank you, art

  19. Letting go of everyday stress... to be a bit of our tension and we are in the process of primal therapy! You know... when you meet someone and you try to look at you yourself as someone else... as you are not... for what you otherwise perceive yourself to be... as hurts!

    Letting go of every days tensions will not be done so easily! And how are you suppose to know about tensions when that is what you are in both actions and bands? You are tensions in order to stay alive! We can learn that this is what happen. That is when things start to happens in therapy. But... we must know what to do so we will not be shocked...which is what happens to us when anxiety and depression shows up. We are not suppose to become overwhelmed by feelings we spent ours life to repress. We are not supposed to be sick in our process of therapy. In our process of primal therapy it must be right! To feel our tensions is all about to be familiar with them in a way possible... not too much of them at once!


  20. It has been a wonderful day today!

    I slept deeply and I have dreamed about how I was located in the birth canal.

    Thank you Arthur for your information, I'm connected to it now. I know exactly where I am in my therapy now.

    I'm in a stage of sensation now. Details are coming up, it's like scan, get a sonar picture of my self. It is absolutely stunning.

    I have work to do now. I can no longer go against myself now.
    I begin to find the right feeling for what I feel and what I want.

    I can not possibly go against myself now. It's incredible, fantastic! I have never experienced anything like it.

    I dreamed that I was stuck in the birth canal. When I woke up, I knew I had a decisive dream, it to be able to continue. I connected to my body and I feel ready for what will be. I have a strong urge to get into my feelings. I know what to expect now and cravings are enormously strong. I'll handle this now. I am preparing now. I feel "strong" and nothing can stop me now. I have all my of life in front of me to take my feelings. I do not panic or have any anxiety or fear.
    It just feels absolutely amazing.

    Arthur, thank you!

    Aida Castañeda

  21. Crying must be the most elementary process of primal therapy because it is linked to a process of being healing!

    We can not start primal therapy sooner than we have opened up to cry and it can be an extremely locked function as we suffered to do it.

    Having been humiliated and beaten for weeping is something that locked all mental and physiological functions to do it!

    So it may be far away to cry for something you yourself were afflicted. That is why many of us find it so hard to cry!

    So whatever we cry for it starts a process of "permission" in our mental and physical activity to later cry for what we were exposed to... that is when our process of primal therapy begin.. not to forget!


    1. Frank, I often say Feeling is Healing. And it is true. art

  22. I have never been able to understand myself!
    I've always been "stupid" in my life. I paid a high price for it.

    In our world are such as me not allowed to exist. I was classified to be at the bottom of the ranking.

    My life was too hard, too hard for my brain to be connected and thus to function properly.

    I have never been able to educate myself. I have not been able to teach my self anything, my brain has been standing still. But I survived. I have survived thanks to the survival brain. Thanks to it, I have survived. Everything seems to float on smoothly and nicely. its takes care of itself. I do not think to much about it.

    My thoughts don't disturb me anymore, I know of no thought to suffer, I do not have anxiety or panic. I just live. I just exist.
    That's wonderful. Now I understand myself for the first time in my life.

    I understand why everything was so hard for me! Life's been fucking impossible to endure.

    I have only exist through a life-saving part of my brain. Outwardly, in our world, I'm been just a retarded less knowing creature that is not worth looking at.

    Now I'm one of the luckiest people this world ever has seen.

    Now I am simple and straightforward. Life, I have my life in my own hands now.

    Thank you Arthur! Thank you for your life-saving information to me and everyone else.

    You have saved the world, at least the world who suffers and wants your help.

    Aida Castañeda

  23. I will never again have to fight for my life again! Not in the way I have done so far. I was totally obsessed with getting to end my life. I felt the urge, it told me to stop fighting! Give up! It is no use trying to fight. Give it up, give it up. Then it will be fine. All the evil will disappear then.

    Time ran away from me, my life was in danger.
    Every time I was ready to take my life, I saw myself there completely deserted. I was abandoned by my own mother. She killed herself before my eyes. So when the end was near, I saw my own children abandoned by me, their mother. I watched a repeat in front of me. This got me to hold on to my children. I would survive for their sake.

    The fight was excruciating. The urge to die and come to rest was irresistible. But the children for God's sake!!!

    I also knew that there was a small chance for me to cope with it through therapy. Primal therapy. The new primal scream / book had everything I wanted to have knowledge of. It had everything that I had experienced. I was hit by a flashback 15 years ago. I journeyed back all the way until I was about to get into my mother's belly. This made me completely insane. I could not understand that this was possible to do?

    I fought for my life! I knew I will not win this fight this fight.

    The worst part of my therapy has been to approach my birthing. It was frightening why it took a very long time to do my therapy. But my life was in danger so I had no choice.

    I had no choice! It was either to survive or I will die. My children decided it all. I went in to give it all a chance.

    Then I did everything in my power to stay there for my children.

    Then I could die with peace of mind, if I could not make it. I never gave up! I never gave up. I wanted to know what was wrong? What was so wrong?

    I was stuck in the birth canal. I did not come out. I had to give up my life to live. I lost my fight. I didn't won. My life consists of doom.

    So now I am quite happy with what I have done to myself. I live and I will take care of my life in the best way I ever can.

    Aida Castañeda

  24. I have not slept in three days!

    My brain does not shut off. I'm like a computer that is on around the clock. As soon as the screen goes off, it is believed that it is off, but it's not. That is how it works now.

    But I know it is my life that is there, fully open. I've been awake for a whole life. That is how afraid I have been in my life. So precarious, so lonely. The fear has kept me awake. The horror.

    I am shocked to feel all this again. I am shocked by the force as the emotions are. I'm shocked! I want to throw up that it is so powerful. I'm more in shock now. I'm surprised that I have been through all this? I just want to puke. I feel bad, I want to vomit.

    I'm so tired! But I understand now why I am awake around the clock. This is my life and so it has been!

    No wonder I'm so small? Hahaha! I have to laugh a little at it all! I'm very small. It feels like it has been totally impossible for me to develop normally in life.

    I can not grow when I live in such misery. I can not possibly grow then! It feels like I'm tied up in myself, and there has not been the right conditions for a little life to grow, a life I never had.

    I look into my life now. I have been so terrified! I've never been confident enough to be able to relax and get to sleep. But there is another explanation too. I am close to death if I fall asleep.

    My first contact with death came when I had given birth to my last child, eight years ago. After giving birth, I got a high fever and a unbearable pain in the uterus. The pain and shivers was unbearable. I could not stand it, so I started to fall asleep. As soon as I started to fall asleep, I was awakened by my body. The signals sent to me to keep me awake! They were very strong and I began to feel that I was about to die if I fell asleep. I kept me awake all night to not fall asleep.

    I have been very ill for the last two years. It has been very bad. But my body has always given me signals when it is time to keep me awake.

    Most recently, a few months ago! My life was played up, which it does very often. But now my feelings had an strong intensity and I was much weakened and I could not resist more. As soon as I closed my eyes my life was played up. Again, my body warned me. "Do not fall asleep, stay awake".

    I realized at once how I could die in my sleep, without me leaving a trace of cause. I would not have left any trace after me, so they could learned why I died! All they would have known where I died because of my heart stoped, "she died because her heart stopped." She died in her sleep!

    I understand now that I have to go through my time as insecure and terrified little girl first before I can begin to sleep well.

    Aida Castañeda

  25. An email comment:
    "Art Janov
    Why do I know your so right?
    Because I've lived with the pain for 63 years & suicide would take it away.
    What stops me?
    Your early books.
    Your Series of blogs
    & the wisdom you have that resonates inside me & keeps me going
    Thank you"


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.