Monday, January 30, 2017

More on Hallucinogens

Recently I wrote on the dangers of hallucinogens. One of the more long-lasting and well known of them is LSD, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Let us go on to examine what these drugs do. I have noted previously that we have a chemical in our brains, serotonin, that fights off pain by blocking its effects. And when serotonin gets depleted in the internecine battle against pain at the time it is imprinted, we begin to suffer; our bolstering chemicals are empty. Usually, without too great a load of pain, our internal pain blocking system will manufacture more and we feel better. But with many compounded experiences of agony, a carrying mother who is chronically anxious, or a drinker, we become in great deficit. Then we go to a doctor who writes a prescription for more of it. He does not know that the chemical was the same that was depleted at birth or in gestation, but he does know it works. 

And the level of pain engendered by trauma early in life, mediated in part of the brainstem, is so great  that it takes powerful drugs to shut it down. Enter Serotonin. It makes its dainty step into the neural armamentaria to fight the good fight. Sometimes it is not enough, so we double it, or more often add to it with other tranquilizers. And soon we become addicted. Too soon we grow addicted, and too soon we grow smart enough to know about the battle. It is forever a losing one until we fight the RIGHT battle. Where on earth is that? Inside of us. The fight between imprinted pain and its adversary: pain blockers. And what is another name for those blockers? Oh yes: Prozac plus dozens of others. And what does LSD to? It attaches to serotonin receptors to soften and mollify their effects. In effect, it pushes down on the activating part of the hallucinogen and controls its egress. It keeps us from feeling. Yes, that is what repression does: it blocks feeling. It does that naturally against great early suffering, even before birth. So we see the cemented faces that portray a lack of feeling and we know there is pain there, in the same way that we see the faces of those on hallucinogens who block feelings. I have written about this as blocking the gates of pain; and the deficit in this blocking action produces what I call “leaky gates.” It is leaky gates that help produce addiction. They allow the ineffable lower level pain to escape its total capture.  Just imagine when drugs blow the gates wide open. Then we see indescribable agony.  Sometimes, we do not see pain; we see what the pain does to te top ideational level producing bizarres ideas and beliefs. God is a way by which we measure our pain.

Several theories exist on how drugs actually act in the brain and body. These are by (1) attaching to cells called receptors, (2) interacting with cellular enzyme systems, or (3) affecting the chemical properties of the outer cell membranes (Goldenberg. Pages 36 & 37).

Many drugs are believed to combine with chemical groups within the cell or on the cell wall. These drugs combine with specific agents known as receptors. The theory is that these receptors actually attract the drug by having a molecular shape that fits with the drug. This is sometimes known as the "lock and key" theory. Think of the shape of a key that will only fit into a certain lock. When the correct shaped key and lock are matched up then the lock can be opened. The receptor theory is much the same. A certain shaped drug molecule is attracted by a receptor site on the cell wall. When the two shapes fit or line up together, the drug acts the same way as a natural body chemical does to set off a chain of events. The key here is that the drugs mimic what our body should have done if we were loved as infants or even before.  Let me repeat: some tranquilizers somehow mimic what we should produce naturally. For example, the naturally occurring body chemical acetylcholine combines with receptors in the membranes of muscle and nerve cells that are chemically specialized to receive it. Certain synthetic drug agents can duplicate the action of acetylcholine by combining at the cell wall. These drugs are sometimes referred to as agonists. They boost the action of the cell. The antagonist, in this case atropine, competes for the receptor site which normally accepts acetylcholine. It says, “get out of the way. I will now take your place for the moment.” It will block or dislocate the normal physiological function. Why dislocate? Because the energy and its tendency still exist but must be diverted somewhere. It noses around finding another vulnerable place. The person acts out by overeating, is made calm by drugs, and then suffers from high blood pressure. Sometimes the attack site is not apparent until years later.

There are drugs that can block the receptor site and interrupt its effect. If there is too much stimulation and we feel that we are about to jump out of our skin, there are medications that can stop that stimulation. The pressure is so much from inside that we literally feel that we need to get out of our skin. It is the message lodged deep the nervous system that is doing it, mostly of not being loved or early trauma, a chronically depressed mother both while carrying and afterward, for example. Not being loved has always to do with not having needs fulfilled—from lack of oxygen at birth to lack of touch right after birth. There is a timetable of needs that form a critical window when they must be fulfilled. Once past that window needs can only be fulfilled symbolically. Feeling unloved cannot be eradicated in adulthood by more love. Primal Pain blocks its entry.

One way to rid of the feeling of being so anxious and agitated is to slow down or stop the transmission of messages between neurons (nerve cells) so that the message of pain (which stimulates) does not reach higher levels. We then feel calm even though a grand tumult is going on in lower brain centers. We never change the pain, only the appreciation of it. That is why we can take tranquilizers and pain-killers and feel good, but damage is still going on. No matter what we think or what we think we feel, it is an unreal state. In cognitive/insight therapy they change the way patients think they feel, not the way they really feel. To change the way they really feel means pain. If there is no pain there is no addiction or need for a drug that is calming.

The aim of therapy must be to establish fluid lines of communication among the levels of consciousness. This communication is a given when we have positive experiences from conception on. But when noxious stimuli--pain--intrudes, gating intercedes and blocks information between the levels. Communication is halted or misdirected, and one level doesn't know what's going on in the other levels. The true meaning of "holistic" is when all levels speak a common language and contribute their share to a single feeling. To make a patient whole is a desired goal so long as we know what that means in the brain. This is, grosso modo, the overall scheme, the goal of our efforts.

To be human means to be feeling. Inordinate, noxious input very early on provokes repression and blocks an aspect of feeling. Fully feeling beings are not blocked off from any aspect of themselves, that is, there is no massive gating that has sealed away major portions of brain function from access. Thus, each level of consciousness is able to contribute its share to an experience. This means being able to feel great joy as well as sadness. It means to sympathize and empathize. When a depressive tells us that he is not getting anything out of life, no interests, no joy, we know that he is carrying a load of repression and that repression is the underpinning of depression.

So what’s wrong with taking tranquilizers and pain-killers? Their primary job is to gate emotional pain. It keeps feelings unconscious. The result is that the cortex cannot signal emergency; thus keeping reactivity within bounds. The key here is that with pain-killers reactivity is blunted in order to save the system from massive over-reactivity (or occasionally, under-reactivity). That reactivity, when enormous, can threaten one's life. This is what we see in our therapy when defenses are dismantled. Vital signs mounting to the danger area. Feelings are responding realistically to some unknown hidden force. If we do not acknowledge that force we are helpless before it. If we measure lower brain activity we will understand immediately; there is tumult going on below decks that we never dreamed existed. The ship is sinking; there is water below decks and we carry on as if nothing were happening. Many of these so called soft drugs are ultimately killers.

Quelling the deeper centers with drugs eases the so-called "thought" disorders. As our patients ease their defenses in a session, and great pain begins its march to prefrontal areas thinking centers, their cortex will ruminate about this danger or that until they actually lock into the feeling. In short, there is an anxiety attack as the system tries to stave off the approaching pain. Great terror pressing against cortical centers creates paroxysms of obsessive thoughts: "There's no space for me." "I am stuck and no one is helping." These often are birth statements. But because the actual feeling is so well buried, the person is left only with a vague anxiety. She will manufacture things to be afraid of but it is all a rationale.

In the hierarchy of the nervous system the comparative force of imprints on the different levels diminishes as we move up the scale of evolution. Thus, something that happens at two months can alter the brain structure permanently, whereas if that same trauma, lack of touch, happens at age ten it will not produce serious brain impairment. There is clearly a timetable of imprints depending on the critical period; what characterizes the critical period is its irreversibility. Once the cortex is diminished it is not going to flower in adulthood. And the brain scans bear this out. There is less activity in the prefrontal area in certain impulse states.

In our Attention Deficit Disorder research, hyperactive patients we have seen had elevated cortisol or stress hormone levels. (Our research in salivary cortisol, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London) After reliving very early trauma, including the birth trauma, there is a normalization of cortisol levels. So dampening of pain is no longer necessary because the pain is gone—shorn of its original power it is now but a memory.

Based on our own research, we can find no other explanation for chronically high cortisol levels other than the imprint. There is also a normalized brain system with a better balanced right and left hemispheres.

We are all of one piece; part of an organic whole. Thus, we cannot isolate one factor, serotonin, or another factor, time off drugs, to make definitive statements about addiction. No can we attack only one aspect, lack of serotonin level, to achieve our goals. We need to attack the central organizing principle, and then the rest will take care of itself. The brain can no longer be considered an isolated organ encased in the cranium but must be considered part of an entire physiologic system. Thus, when the body is in distress, that distress can be found not only in the brain but in hormones and in the blood system.

It is our hypothesis that drug addiction is made up largely of early pain, i.e., lack of love, and that pain sets in motion its countervailing forces, namely repression. When repression is in place but faulty or failing, when the serotonin-endorphin systems are inadequate to the task, there is suffering and the need for outside help in the form of drugs to dampen that suffering.

Often the outside drugs utilized mimic the exact biochemicals we should produce internally, and that is what makes it so addicting; drugs are normalizing the system. We need them. We will go to any lengths to get them, even risking jail. The strength of internal imprinted pain can often be measured by its opposing forces--the repressive system. It is the dialectic again. Pain provokes its opposite and turns feelings into numbness. Then the person feels like she is in a bubble and cannot reach out of real life. It is all grey and dull. That is the price we pay for tranquilizers. Feeling no pain equals no life.


  1. This is to sad for me to say... but should have been told for many years ago!

    Once guilty so always guilty... if not primal therapy is seen as an opportunity!

    If we as parents continue to live as responsible for everything our children fails. I mean... when we try to argue for why we suffers but this rebounds on us as parents as we have adult children living at home and we get the blame for what they failed... so we are stuck without being able to do anything.

    So we must do something if we do not want to go in grave with ourselves and never get to feel the reason about why we failed. An almost unbearable situation!

    No word in the world will do to an understanding when met with hatred... hatred accumulated for many years! If so... there is a respite... it will always be in controll for what buried hatred limiting the understanding.

    In this case... to just walk out the door and never come back is the only door that is open!

    When need of love has become so painful that it is in its nature of what suffering is... then we can jump from a bridge and find satisfaction in it.


  2. First a comment about reading these thoughts of a 92 year old person still on the ball. Most people are dead by then, and my parents, both Janov's age ,are ailing and spaced out. Maybe that's a coincidence, or it has something to say about Primal. More statistical data would be needed , of course, to come to any conclusions about longevity, alertness and Primal.

    Now some observations about parts of this blog. Janov talks about "cemented" faces. That struck me as an interesting characterisation because I saw one such person with a cemented face yesterday whose actions prompted an almost violent reaction on my part. Janov writes that these faces portray a lack of feeling, and I agree intellectually (which means nothing practicaly). But when this stoned faced sunglass wearing snotty bourgeois lady blasted me and a taxi driver yesterday out of impatience, I almost lost it. I was so upset! I did not bash her car to bits (only in my head) but I gave her the finger and a nasty look. So I suppose if one of these half humans comes in to Primal therapy, a therapist would certainly need to REALLY sense beneath the mask to the underlying Pain, because I DO NOT!I always wonder how some therapists deal with aloof arrogant cold people, as opposed to evidently and overtly sufferring people.

    Further: Janov talks about the "calm" of the person under the influence of tranquilisers (or worse heroin). How to differentiate this "calm" from true natural calm, both subjectively and objectively? We know intuitively there is a difference. It's like the "joy" of a person who is drunk: is part of that real, and how does that differ more precisely from the real joy , for instance, of walking with your beloved down a country lane on a summer's day?

    Finally: I can understand the ultimate goal of working to natural drug-free and act-out emotional happiness. But what about potentially long term adverse drugs for physical pain? I mean , even the happiest saintliest person can break a leg, suffer some debilitating genetic defect etc... Is the ultimate goal to just put up with physical pain as a deer would in the wild if it fell off a a trail?


    1. No need to be a luddite. When you have an accident you need pain pills. It is the chronic use I discuss. Art

    2. Be careful of angry exchanges; there are many violent people out there. Art

  3. In 1976 Tomas Videgård wrote an article about LSD in Sweden´s biggest morning paper. It is one big "Hail to LSD, our Saviour"-thing. It can EASILY be found if you google on him. What I wonder is: does he STILL believe in LSD?? (he looks like an old hippie these days.)

    1. I have no idea what he believes. Judging by the past he believed in a great deal that did not exist. Art

  4. In around 2000, I had an experience with Serzone, I would call it a synthetic serotonin.

    My family doctor prescribed it for me.

    I can't remember the exact recommendations on when I was supposed to take them.

    But it went something like this:

    I think I was supposed to take one, say every four hours.

    I had a sales job at the time.

    I took it every four hrs and I felt pretty good for a few days.

    Then I realized that the effects were wearing out before the four hr time point.

    And I also realized that when it wore off, I went into deep depression and became very dysfunctional.That was a terrible feeling. When it wore off, I had a difficult time thinking, and speaking.

    So I reasoned that I had to take another pill about half an hour before the expected time it would wear off. To keep ahead of the previous dose wearing off.

    I did this for a few days, maybe two or three days. And it seemed to work.

    I then realized that the time it would be effective was steadily decreasing. Instead of being effective for four hours it was gradually decreasing to three, then two hours then one hour.

    So I found myself having to be very vigilant and keep on taking it earlier and earlier to make sure I would keep ahead of it losing effect, and go into deep dysfunctional depression. I was down to about an hour.

    Then I reasoned that I should take two at a time. That seemed to work for a while. But only for a while. And not long, maybe a day or two, maybe three, I can't remember exactly.

    Then I upped it to four at a time.

    And the effect was the same pattern of decreasing effectiveness over time.

    Then one day while on a sales call, I took my pills in advance at a time, where I calculated and estimated where I would be operating on full power during the sales call.

    But while in the midst of my presentation in which I was standing in the potential clients lobby and speaking to her, the effect of the serzone quit abruptly while I was in mid speech. I instantly went into the black hole of depression and got weak and my words became slurred and came out in the wrong order.

    I became very embarrassed and I excused myself as best I could and said I have to leave. And staggered out to my vehicle. I carefully drove out of the way and rested until I recovered.

    That was the last time I took a serzone pill.

    I went back to my doctor and explained what happened, as I wrote above.

    He said, yes I know what you mean, we have had other patients complaining of problems with serzone.

    I think he said that they were going to take if off the market or considering it. But according to what I read on line, it appears that it is still on the market today.

    Anyways, the doctor said I was the smartest patient he had.


  5. I also have narcolepsy. And some time later I told him my problem with falling asleep at about an hour and a half to two hour intervals during the day.

    He prescribed Alertex or Alertec, I am not sure which.

    Alertex is a form of the drug Modafinil which is manufactured by Saval Pharmaceuticals Company in Chile. ... Besides being used for these medical diagnoses, Alertex is used off-label for lifestyle purposes as a cognitive enhancer or smart drug.

    Alertec: It prevents sleepiness by stimulating certain parts of the brain. ... It is also used to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness for people with obstructive sleep apnea or hypopnea syndrome (breathing disorder that happens while sleeping), shift-work sleep disorder, or circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

    It was probably the latter.

    Anyways my experience with Alertec was similar to that which I had with serzone.

    It worked fine for a while.

    Then one day I was washing dishes and while standing at the sink, I rapidly began to get weak and I almost fell to the floor.

    I struggled to get to the living room and sat down and waited until I recovered.

    That was my last experience with taking drugs.

    Long story short, I had to go on disability pension in 2008.

    I began more researching (I say more, because I was researching the cause of my problems and how to cure them all my life during every spare moment I had.), but when I went on disability pension, my basic needs were covered and I devoted full time to research in to every kind of alternative therapy I could find and did a lot of experimenting and through trial and error and learning from errors and failures, I am better today, at 63 than I have been in my life.

    But I am not out of the woods yet. Just much better.

    Trying to do self therapy is almost like trying to pull your own car out of the swamp with a rope. It is not easy. But ever so little, by little I do see improvement over time.

    A tow truck with a professional operator would pull the car out of the swamp in short order. If you get the analogy.

    1. I get it but the load is too heavy. Art

    2. Hello David!

      A well explained cause of suffering! But this is what happens with or without medication... everything is up to what our own body has left in reserve to protect against what would otherwise leak and we go crazy. That the medic mixture ends to work... or causes other symptoms is the risk we take when we are medicated without the necessary knowledge.

      What aggravates our suffering is that we do not understand the consequences of medication... maybe it knocks out our system and later prevents its own production of neurotransmitters... it is for science to show... prove! So it is of utmost importance that we'll get the right care form the beginning as our suffering becomes unbearable... it's vital.

      I hope everything will go well for you.

      Your Frank

    3. I have never seen self primal therapy done correctly. Art

  6. Art,

    What do you think of Dilantin?

    I had a friend, who has since passed away, who took this for many years. He swore by it.

    I asked my doctor for a prescription and he said, David it is a powerful drug, and I am afraid to give it to you.

    I recall seeing a story on it on 60 minutes many years ago, espounding the benefits of it and a very much under prescribed drug.

    And it was not prescribed much any more because the patent was expired on it and there was no money in it. So new drugs are prescribed, but not near as effective.

    I think I recall the host of the show, which I think was Morely Safer, said it was almost harmless.

    What is your opinion of it?


    1. I cannot make public statements on drugs. I do know about Dilantin and some patients, decades ago, were on it, but no more. Art

  7. Offtopic.
    I had few surgeries, one very dangerouse when I had cut my all ribs and sternum, until now I don't feel my skin above. I think my body remebers it. Have you had patients who relieved surgeries? Is it possible?

    1. Yes,I have had patients who did relived surgeries, few and far between. But we verified later that they seemed to be accurate. Art

    2. Hi,

      which implies it is possible to re-live stuff that at the time you were not 'awake' during it's original occurance. . .

      Paul G.

  8. Watch Kelly Brogan for debunking the brainchemical hypothesis. LSD is currently again used on veterans suffering PTSD, with promising results. Watch Stanislav Grov on the use of LSD. Also many people claim good results using Ayahuasca, only done by real shamans, knowing what they are doing, is also said to give good results with psychological trauma. Personnally i used THC oil to balance out/neutralize emotional imbalances/depression, suffering from CPTSD. Chemical drugs made by Big Pharma, blocking certain mechanisms in the brain are of a different order.

    1. llifthrasir,

      No drug will change the imprint driving the PTSD symptoms. No drug will de methylate genes. No drug will substitute re-living trauma. If LSD has any 'positive effect' at all it will be to temporarily boost dopamine which 'lightens' the mood and blocks the imprints negative effects on the neocortex. There is a very small possibility that these drugs can help gain access to stored / repressed trauma but it will be chaotic access and produce more problems than it offers solutions (abreaction).

      The most worrying thing about any of these so called cures and so called shamans is that the people who promote them - the 'proponents' are completely unaware of this absolute truth regarding imprints. They need educating.

      We deceive ourselves and settle for the results of self deception.

      But for every successful 'self deception' using LSD, Psilicybin, Ayahuasca, Ebocane, THC, and the many others from the lexicon of so called 'traditional cures' there are dozens more you don't hear about that result in nothing at all or worse, result in psychosis, pre-psychosis, suicide, and various other maladies and 'conditions'. . .

      You cannot change the imprint with any drug and so any drug taken will be purely palliative at best.

      Lets be honest eh?

      Paul G.

    2. Paul G.

      Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. Myself, I sometimes feel it's not worth the trouble even to try.


    3. Believe me, it is worth it. I am also a patient of this therapy as well as its doctor. Art


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.