Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Can I Find a Partner?

It occurred to me that there are ways to find out if we can fall in love, whether we can sustain a relationship and how close we can be to others. We can enter into our physiology for answers to these questions; for in that physiology lies our history, our emotional past that can help predict the future. We can slice into the problem from many different perspectives but for now I will choose only one: oxytocin. I call it the hormone of love. When we make love our oxytocin levels mount; if we rub an animal’s belly levels rise. Making love tells us the importance of oxytocin since that act is the origin of life.

Oxytocin is a neuro-hormone that is a key hormone of love. When the level of oxytocin is low there is less emotional attachment, less interest in social engagement, less caring and bonding, and less touch ... in short, less love. "Less love" has a physical base. Less love early in our lives can be found in an imprint, which affects many systems. These effects are measurable. In some respects, love is a measurable entity. The imprint affects sexuality, particularly how key brain structures such as the amygdala and hippocampus translate pain into sexual behavior.

Oxytocin is found only in mammals. When it is high, one experiences a sense of relaxation, rest, and growth, repair and healing, loving behavior and emotional-attachment. Love and nurturing early in our lives are necessary for optimum health, and healthy brain development cannot take place without it. It isn’t just that low oxytocin levels are an indicator of early neglect and lack of touching, it also indicates a dysfunction of the entire system, and serves as a prognosticator of our later mental and physical health. Its presence says, "I was loved and could develop normally,” its lack says, “I was unloved and my system is skewed.” It is one of the key indices of how much love we received in infancy and around birth.

In the same way that we may increase sexual drive in males with testosterone injections, it may well be that we can "inject love" into people, or at least inject a hormone that encourages it – give people a shot of love, so to speak. This shot may help us attach to others and bond with partners, allows us to feel close to someone else, to feel and empathize with their feelings and pain. Bonding is a strong emotional attachment that helps us want to be with one another, to help and protect one another, and to touch and become sexual with one another. High levels of oxytocin encourage and strengthen bonding. Because early trauma and lack of love affect the output of this hormone, the ability to relate and have good sex later is determined even before birth and just after.

Someone can swear she is full of love, only to find herself very low in the essential hormone of love – oxytocin. It is actually good news that "less love" has a physical base, for there may be something we can do chemically to alter that state, and there is certainly something we can do psychologically to change it, as well. At sometime in the future we may be able to determine what proper love from a parent to a child is through the measurements of various hormones, not the least of which is oxytocin, which, as I state, has been in wide use to help birth along, affecting contractions in the mother. (Pitocin).
Early parental love is a permanent painkiller. Rats who were able to self-administer painkillers by pressing a lever did not do so when given oxytocin. Oxytocin (OT) inhibits the development of a tolerance to drugs such as morphine, and also decreases the painful withdrawal symptoms that occur when one is taken off these drugs. The degree of addiction can be measured by the severity of one’s withdrawal, yet oxytocin reduces the severity of these symptoms. Love will do the same thing; early love calibrates the system for life. A current shot of love, such as someone hugging and kissing us, may well change the levels temporarily. If we rub the belly of an animal the oxytocin levels will rise immediately, but once the initial critical period of the system’s development has passed, every change we can effect will be transient. Once we arrive at adulthood, oxytocin levels are fairly set. One can be given a shot of it, but it will not have a permanent effect, for once low levels of oxytocin or high levels of stress hormones are registered early in life, it is difficult to re-establish normal set points. After the critical period to receive love is over, the only way to normalize the system is to neuro-chemically relive the early events that dislocated the set points. The “critical period” is the time when a need must be fulfilled. It can never be recaptured. After that period all we can do is play catch-up.

If we are to ever have any chance at normalization we must feel again "unloved." That enables us to go back to the point of deviation or dislocation and rewrite the scenario and return the body to its correct set-points. . In that way only can we right the ship and return to the original biologic settings. It is that agony with all its concomitant biochemical components, that, when fully experienced, helps normalize the system. And when I mention “normal,” it seems to me that one of the key indices of normality is the ability to give and receive love. This is what patients should expect out of a psychotherapy.

We do know that in our measurements of the salivary cortisol (the stress hormone) there was a return to normal levels after one year of Primal Therapy. (see Primal Healing for a full discussion). In various other avenues we find the same phenomenon. True of heart rate and blood pressure. We assume it will be true with oxytocin levels. We make that assumption because our patients state over and again how they finally could relate to a partner and feel comfortable in an emotional relationship after the therapy.

There are many kinds of hormones that play into love and sex; I am extracting these for discussion and to show how early experience affects adult behavior. Many years ago we studied testosterone in our male patients. We also classified those who were low on testosterone as parasympaths – those dominated by the passive, reflective, healing nervous system. Those, who were high in testosterone, tended to be sympaths, meaning they were more aggressive, goal seeking, optimistic and ambitious (looking ahead, an analogue of the birth process). After one year of Primal Therapy, those who were low on testosterone tended to rise, while those who were very high tended to come down a bit; in brief, their systems would normalize.

When it comes to love, however, oxytocin is by far the most important hormone. The question we now face is what came first: lowered oxytocin and then the inability to love and to bond, or the lack of early love, which lowered the set points of oxytocin? I would choose the latter. Because hormones are so sensitive to early trauma, we must take care not to blame high or low levels to genetic factors. We must never forget the critical nine months of life in the womb.

Bonding is the most positive aspect of human relationships. We learn how to bond emotionally in adulthood through early bonding in childhood, as simplistic as that sounds. It cannot be taught! And it certainly cannot be taught in later life. Attachment is pretty well set in our childhood. It is not something we learn; it is something we feel. It is also something biochemical. Those who did not bond very early on with their parents may well be condemned to a lifetime of broken, fragile, tenuous relationships. It may be in large part due to deficits in the hormonal wherewithal such as oxytocin. Oxytocin researcher Thomas Insel has remarked that, "Many of the affectional ties to the mother observed post-natally (after birth) could be laid down by pre-natal experience." Life in the womb may determine life outside the womb for decades to come. If the early relationship with one’s parents was distant, alienated and glacial, it may be a harbinger of the love relationships we have or don't have later in life. The earlier the alienation from one's parents, the more trouble there may be in relationships later on. I have seen it in hundreds of my patients. It approaches a biologic law – if my sampling of our patients is any index.

In certain mountain rodents such as the mountain vole, a species that lives an isolated life (as differentiated from the prairie vole, which is more social), a shot of oxytocin proved to encourage bonding and pairing between voles. After repeated injections there was a long-acting anti-stress effect, which calmed overall behavior and gave rise to a strong tendency to bond. This again indicates that early love supports calmness and serenity. Those humans who are able to bond with others have high levels of oxytocin. Love seems to be the ultimate painkiller and a permanent one. It prepares us for the challenges of life and is the ultimate survival tool.

Need a good sex life? Be loved early on by your parents. That means, inter alia, right after birth and for the few months afterward. By that I mean plenty of hugging and kisses. Touch is ne plus ultra. Suffer from perversion? It may be because early in life, you were twisted by your parents in the quest for love. Parents whose personalities made implicit demands on the child to be someone else—non-coomplaining, passive, listening never speaking.

There is enough evidence to show that a newborn's heart rate, body temperature, and respiration rate are governed by the mother; when she is loving and nurturing towards the baby she carries, there is a positive affect on the baby and the set points of heart rate and blood pressure become normal. Any neglect she inflicts changes the biochemistry of the baby, perhaps permanently. Her anxiety and depression during pregnancy may very well alter the offspring's sex hormone levels. We know, for example, that anxiety in the mother can and does alter the sex hormone level of the fetus and can feminize infant males. So what we see is that once a male is feminized he is vulnerable, more vulnerable to a lack of love during infancy and childhood. He may become homosexual as a result of a cold, distant father, while the one who is not vulnerable will remain heterosexual. We need to understand that at certain levels of vulnerability, stress, trauma or pain can produce an overload and channel them into a symptom. In this sense, homosexuality could be considered a symptom, in the sense that there is a latent tendency, a feminizing, which only becomes overt homosexual behavior due to trauma; i.e., the lack of a father’s love. If the father’s love is there, it remains a latent tendency.
The female prairie vole, when treated soon after birth with steroid/stress hormones, showed an increase in masculine behavior, such as mounting. Most of us don't have to be injected with stress hormones; stress in the womb and just after birth accomplish the same thing, and may indeed masculinize females.

Although we may think that an injection is something special, the same chemical process takes place naturally. We can inject oxytocin, or we can massage the animal, and increase oxytocin levels that way. We can create stress for a pregnant woman, or inject her with steroids – the psychological effect is precisely the same as from a needle. A mother can be kind and loving and raise the serotonin levels in her offspring so that he can better handle adversity or a doctor can inject serotonin into the offspring and produce a temporary calming effect that is no different than that created by a loving look from the mother. A mother can "inject" oxytocin into her baby through her milk, which contains high levels of the hormone. Love, or what looks like it, can be injected. When "injected" naturally and at the proper time it will produce a loving human being.

Oxytocin means "quick birth." A synthetic oxytocin known as Pitocin, is given to mothers who need stimulation for contractions. I surmise that some mothers who need oxytocin to expedite the birth process may have had a history of pain that lowered their levels so as to make giving birth difficult. Statistics indicate those mothers who give birth by cesarean have lower levels of oxytocin. Additionally, when oxytocin is given to mothers to facilitate the birth process, it also enhances the love they feel for their child; they nurse better and are more relaxed with the baby. Conversely, a chronically anxious mother may leave her offspring with low oxytocin levels, which will contribute to the child having trouble later in life with bonding and forming attachments, as well as harboring a latent tendency to addiction. Thus, lack of early love translates into inadequate chemicals with which to bond, creating a vicious cycle of misery – unhappy relationships, poor sexual function, and failed marriages with suffering, abandoned children who bear the brunt of something that had its root causes in the infancy of the mother.

Loving feelings are transmitted to the fetus through the biochemistry and oxytocin levels of the pregnant woman, and then later through physical contact, which again raises oxytocin levels. If we were not loved early on, looked at, touched, listened to, nuzzled and adored, those biological changes, subtle though they may be, follow us throughout our lives. Yet a mother who takes good care of herself, is not depressed or anxious, does not take drugs, and eats properly, will produce a loving child.

If the traumas of birth, pre-birth and early childhood are inundating the system there will be an eventual overload and breakdown of the neuro-inhibiting, suppressing systems – serotonin, as well as oxytocin. There are many chemicals that live in the gaps between nerve cells, neurons; some push back and while others facilitate the message of pain. They are either information blockers or enhancers. Supplies of neuro-inhibitors will be used up over time in the fight to keep pain down. These supplies are not inexhaustible. It is the very earliest pains that have the highest valence and require the greatest amount of inhibition. These biochemicals will be used in the battle against emotional deprivation. The system will eventually be less sexual as the hormones of love become transmuted into the job of holding down pain.

A therapist can ask us, "Were you loved?," and we may insist, "Absolutely," yet we are betrayed by our oxytocin levels, which are far too low, and by our stress hormone levels, which are far too high, and also by our hormone levels which may be quite deviated. They speak too. The body and its physiology do not lie. Indeed, we may have been loved after birth, but suffered severe traumas in the womb of which we remain completely unaware. Our physiology will tell us the truth.


  1. Maybe Epigenetics explains this:


    Paul G.

  2. I know that my panic belongs to somewhere else!

    As you know... I have talked a lot about death and I have not done that for no reasons. The panic I do not rarely experience as when I get a cold and I get hard to breathe it gives me panic attack without any means of control... it's a terrible experience. It practically binds me in panic attack for a short while and I know it is about something else... but knowing in this case is of no help... why I get panic. I can also be stuck in my bedding and I get panic and sweat flowing.

    I know that it deals with something more than my cold and to be stuck in my beddings. I try to be with it. I also know there's a border to my panic... a border I have to get by for what panic I'm experiencing... but I probably going to need some help. I know that at some point I can feel a sort of cry to be close to death.


  3. If I hug a huggable female every 15 minutes, with each hug lasting at least 2 minutes, and she likes it, maybe that would be a good compromise for the time being. Better than mock therapy.

  4. A partner? What can one do? Is it so wrong to be alone? It's almost made that way....tried partners (almost made to hate them, made by them to hate them). Sure once you've had the best, hard to find another, but it's just not in the cards. One has to think about the pain one went through....the last long relationship (the good times didn't outweigh the bad). As the song goes : "Haven't got time for the pain". There are good people out there I know; and I still look (somewhat, but don't even really ever consider) for male partner. The one male partner was very selfish (nasty; totally), and I think that is what took me away from relationships. Sure , definitely, I have had good/great memories of relationships with the 2 men I went out with which was a loving relationship with each. Oxytocin is important; but having "an affair or boyfriend" can be considered "trauma" in itself for me. Too bad, but I have looked and I'm not saying that someone would be interested in me either...it's a 2-way street (but have been there and done that: tried my best). Hard to have a relationship now, even to meet someone and casually go out....the way the world is now.

  5. To have a relationship/partner now, just stupid for me. Can't set myself up for another mess . One trusts , loves, has faith, happiness, just doesn't last or work out. Put up with a lot....it's not like I'm looking for something "pristine". The one guy, everyone told me (my friends and family)get out relationship (it was really bad).
    So I go along, o.k., consider myself a "survivor" from relationships (ha,ha). I'm glad I am without a "partner" in life. I have relationships (friend relationships) and don't consider myself to be alone at all in my life (surrounded by many people throughout the days....)

  6. Hi Art,

    sometimes for me, your posts are like a personal diagnosis. You seem to be plugged into my psyche. Also others in my life too. We do seem to follow patterns and you are the expert in this field. Thanks.

    Primal Theory has offered me opportunities to collaborate through the new perspectives it has opened up in me. As you said in one of your early posts:

    "The difference between Primal and other therapies is the 1st line".

    These new perspectives are not merely cerebral. My insight into how Primal unconsciously affects me and others has allowed me to to make some changes. Particularly since I was re housed, my symptoms have changed. Sometimes following a pattern, sometimes repeating, but in a different way. Overall, my experiences combined with that knowledge has allowed me some extra free will which has also attracted help from unexpected directions.

    I've just about mastered 'behaving' as if the 1st line really DOES exist. That is what makes me feel lonely. On the bad days I am second guessing most people including myself, yet it's a better outcome for so doing. It's hard work because I am adapting to others and to the terrifying realisation that I don't actually know myself as well as I thought. Others can get rattled as they get confused by my changes. I am not quite the same as before.

    Most people are in a state of unconscious denial, I was. I was NOT aware of the issues; in myself or others. But Primal Theory combined with my experiences has changed my interpretations and responses. My personality, my reactivity, my values and assumptions have changed.

    I have also seen cliques and groupings where their members are not too aware of why they are in that grouping. There is much vagueness out there and I have become more cautious.

    This has at times made my hyper-vigilance worse. At times retreating indoors to hide. Gradually, I use that to do some forward thinking before making further moves. In the past I might have tried to 'brazen it out' and act with immediacy. Now I am more thoughtful. But I didn't arrive at this personality change via a cognitive route. I didn't just read a load of words and change my behaviour. Nor did the counseling I had help much.

    So far as I understand and have experienced, through my efforts to study and learn on this blog and with yours & France's published works, there is a learning curve associated with gaining some access to real feelings.
    So, I guess that as long as a 'prospective patient' stays within the margins of that curve, s he can stabilise h ir condition in the 3rd & 2nd line zone. Even outside of a properly supervised clinical setting. But that requires constant attention to improvement, such as diet, discipline etc.

    There aught to be a word for this 'condition'. 'Pre Therapy Neurosis'? How long this condition remains relatively harmless is a big issue. Out of compassion for anyone who cannot get Primal anytime soon who suffers acute symptoms, I think discussion about this is essential. What IS this blog for?

    Again, out of compassion, people who suffer 1st line intrusion do not need the constant reminder that they will not get better without Primal. So, one change I have made is NOT to tell the afflicted, or keep reminding them of their own terrifying fate. We already know and suffer it.

    Changing the subject: I confess, I have used satire out there. It's not that good for promoting Primal. But then not much IS. Nevertheless, as long as I have a voice and knowledge of Primal Theory I will continue to erect signposts to the 'bridge'.
    I'm not ready to go quiet yet; I fear I might start feeling like I was on the fringe of a secret cult I can't get into. . .

    That would never do.

    Paul G.

    1. Paul,

      The good listener is more appreciated than the preacher. If you wish to promote Primal Therapy, it's best done by you being the good example of a treatment that works. That evokes respect, both for you and for Primal Therapy.

      Art is 92, he used his own therapy. That is a good example.

    2. Erik,

      Yeah, I preach. I love the sound of my own voice and I am far too witty for my own good. I go through phases of keeping quiet and then opening my big mouth.

      I can't get a visa, I have no money and I'm prioritising my efforts to my disabled son & neurotic daughter.

      I became very ill too. Still not out of the woods.

      So far I have not found any post Primal patients who are overtly promoting Primal. But maybe I haven't looked properly.

      Does all this preclude me promoting Primal?

      Maybe I'm just pouring from the empty into the void.

      Writing is release for me. I go through phases.

      But thanks for the reminder.

      Paul G.

    3. Paul,

      Primal Patients are patients for a reason - unbearable suffering.

      As the therapy slowly but surely changes the person, the gained health and energy need to be directed towards changing and improving a life, that so far was less than fulfilling.

      The Therapy doesn't take much time, if you count hours, but to build a new and better life does. People who are engaged in this work will hardly have time and energy to act as ambassadors for Primal Therapy.


    4. Paul,

      There are at least three groups on social media devoted to Primal Therapy.

    5. Erik,

      I haven't given up. Marco says he will have 'border/felony issues'.

      So will I, in large quantities.

      To get around this I will have to take out legal action against the authorities here in UK to 'wipe' the false accusations clean, to prove I am not what they say I am. I have all the evidence to prove my innocence but the authorities have all the power and money to keep me in 'limbo'.

      This is what it's like in UK IF you try to promote primal to the wrong people. But here in UK the Social Services are completely brainwashed into CBT & if you dare mention feelings or Primal you have effectively shot yourself in the foot.

      The false accusations were made after I suggested Primal Therapy for my Son who was abused by many people, most of all the authorities themselves. Which is why they have jumped on me. At the time of the abuse it wasn't technically illegal, isn't that interesting eh? The authorities can 'legally abuse' and legally accuse. I was accused of 'raking up the past and making my son ill' by talking to him about the past. His past, my past as his single parent Dad.

      So, Erik, as much as I might like to get onto other Primal forums (I don't want to) and as much as I'd like to be liked on this one, by everyone, as you can see I will not shut up about this.

      Eventually a way through will occur. That much I do know.

      And for everyone's information. On the subject of unbearable suffering: This morning I had yet another deep breathing / apnea protracted parasympathetic episode again. Starting with anxious insomnia last night. it was very hard and scary. It has only just ended. 1 - 2 - 3.

      I couldn't move. Finally ended up in a warm bath gradually recovering spitting up phlegm - again.

      If Art want's me to shut up and go onto other forums then he had better tell me now.

      Thanks again to Art for the TRUTH. I would rather stick my neck out for the truth and be vilified than shut my mouth to keep everything pseudo.

      Very best regards to all on this blog.

      Paul G.

  7. I would like to believe that it is a harmless society like it used to be in the 50's, but it's not. People saying that it's not good to be a loner or to be alone, but now sometimes kids, and adults are trained that way (not to be alone or a loner), that quality of living and being with someone just is absolutely not there. There are much more bullies for kids and also more bullies (unfortunately , also) for adults. So that the quality, the idea of being nice is totally overpowered by the "street-wise" spiciness of todays world. Sometimes, one just has totally ignore, and not listen to people. People who give other people a hard time "bullying" don't even know this person who they are bullying. What is out there now, makes it very hard for many , at times, to even look for a partner. The U.S. population is great, and the concentration is really not on the quality mind of the kid or adult anymore.

    1. Beachcoast, the world has always been full of good stuff and bad stuff, even in the 50's. You will find the good stuff when you are able to feel it.

    2. Yes, Richard...this I do know; however, for me, I do feel, but in this world today, I am not going to be blinded by all the "falseness" and nastiness out there. I do give people the "benefit" of the doubt. I do know absolutely there are good people wanting to do good in this world. I also know people are nastier nowadays, and of course, in the 50's also there was some really bad "stuff", but life was simplier then (Now the population has doubled (if not more). A simplier life helps some people a great, great deal. Technology...is it actually helping kids today; all their "toys"?? I do wonder. Kids are really bad. Sure, yes I feel the good "stuff", but at times throughout the week, it is rare with the children of today, and their parents can be just as bad. I really have to question this "progress" that people are finding now at times with kids and adults with all the technology; and then there is the "nosing" in on people's lives almost habitually. Curious is good to a certain point....people and kids can learn. But drones going into people's property (even if they have absolutely nothing to hide...what good, what purpose does that serve; how to waste time?

    3. Beachcoast,

      The problem was always there, but to a much lessor degree.

      It has been getting increasingly worse, due to academia teaching destructive psychology and other arts and pseudosciences.

      Feminism and women's liberation has made it increasingly difficult for men.

      That is why there are so many men going their own way. (MGTOW).

    4. I have seen the frustration, anger in women in dealing in competitions with men...it's just not worth it, and really people sit back and look at the women and find it a "joke" in the situation they have made for themselves.

  8. No wonder I've been alone all my life. With all this rage inside me, and deeply longing for love and sex, rarely fulfilled. At 62, I think it's too late for me now.

    Yesterday I looked into my mother's eyes (she is Janov's age)and she looked crazed, angry, obsessed, and lost.Italian version, a product of centuries of peasant patriarchy.No light coming off that face. Sort of like Tony Soprano's mother, except a hot version. Maybe some of you remember scenes from that TV series when Tony actually passes out when his mother utters some stupid putdown or expresses her disgust at life, despite Tony's trying to help her.No matter what he does, she will always HATE him. I can totally relate: everything my mother says annoys me.Since childhood I've never tried to get her to like me. But, as a child, I always tried by telling her I got good marks in school to try to counter her accusations of laziness. Nothing worked. The only "work" she would recognise was mowing the stupid lawn which I had to do, but in a rage. I thought it was useless work and still do.

    Sometimes I think there must be a lot of artists like me because, again, another scene from a TV series hit home recently. A series called "Mr Robot",in part about a troubled addicted loner hacker who helps bring down the economic system (interestingly there is a scene of him taking morphine in which he says that it is the substitute for the lack of love in his life). There is also a scene where he flashes back to childhood when his mother throws him to the floor in a fit of hate, and she then spews out a string of insults. I totally get it.

    And ,oh yeah, a certain Roger Stone, a close dirty tricks adviser to Donald Trump, says he had a mother like Tony Soprano's, in a recent book. So defended this guy may be that not once does he betray any vulnerability or hurt in the book. It's all boasts,and insults, and money, and racism,and paranoid conspiracy theories, just like Trump.

    Well, I hope future generations will have it better than I did, but I doubt it.


    1. Marco,

      similar for me I'm 58 (but spent 30 years or so doing construction and other stressful tasks so I'm exhausted much of the time). I hope future generations can make something out of our dialogue on this blog so that they can really get a sense and feeling for what it must be like to have had a voice of sanity with a sane old man.

      Words fail me.

      Paul G.

    2. Hi Marco,

      your posts always hit home.

      My Dad has always played a kind of libertarian mafioso capitalist act out like that, my mother too.

      A cross between Sharon, Peter Sellars (who was entranced with Jewish Mothers)& Henry Kissenger; him with the thick glasses. Me too & my now 60yr old bro.

      My mum is so much how you describe yours. But there was and still is a feeling side to her. They have stabilised her with some fancy drugs where she languishes alone in an Alzheimer's room 120 miles from where I live.
      My 89 year old ww2 London child survivor Dad still gets his boots on to go visit her in his 'Smart Car'. Clever bugger that he is.

      His wife, my Mum once told me how in the summer of 1940, she was (illegally) sunbathing on the roof of the factory she worked in. Suddenly a Lancaster bomber fell right into the building opposite and exploded.
      Then later she became engaged to a Canadian Spitfire pilot who never came back.

      Then she met my Dad.

      I have been playing second fiddle ever since.

      Paul G.

    3. Marco, do you really think it is too late? There are more available women probably in your range of age than men--so you probably have a better odds of finding someone than you think. Have you given up on the idea of getting therapy?

    4. Paul G. :

      Thank you for your interesting comments. I appreciate you taking the time to write them.That Lancaster bomber story blew my mind!


      In reply first to your second question, I simply do not have the money to go to Los Angeles. Not to mention I cannot travel due to a rare hearing disorder that I have called hyperacusis (see The Hyperacusis Network for details), and cannot work at most jobs due to the condition .And I have a drunk driving rap at which the US Border people would look askance probably. Certainly , after reading all those magnificent books by Janov, one would like to actually experience the therapy, no question. But that will not be possible. I will do what I can with Bioenergetics here in Montreal.Luckily, if my hyperacusis is not too bad, I am not suffering physically or psychologically in a desperate way, "just" in a ho-hum grey boring way.

      As far as women...ah yes...those lovely sensitive inacessible creatures that I so long for constantly. I, at least, had one very deep romance for many years , and for that I am very very grateful. But nothing now for 10 years and it frustrates the hell out of me.One very lovely energetic 50 year old amateur artist came into my life over the winter, and I thought that was going somewhere, intense conversations etc..., ...and then boom, it suddenly ended due to the lack of some basic courtesy on her part.So it's not totally hopeless. But, as I am getting older, I am getting more resigned with an attitude of "why bother"? If your efforts bear no fruit most of the time , you give up, just like a baby will give up if Mommy does not come or care.

      I hope your romantic life is better than mine.


    5. Marco, that sounds like a very annoying condition. Have you always had it, and does anything work for making it better?
      I've had an intolerance for noises to some extent. I used to watch Tv with the sound off and just read the captions. Now I mute all the commercials because they seem to yell, talk fast and generally are insincere. It's uncomfortable not to be able to block out annoying sounds.

      I can see how it would be difficult to meet people; I was going to say you can meet people at church but it is pretty loud with singing there. Maybe the library or night school.
      Good luck Marco; wish the best for you.

    6. Dear Sheri:

      No, I have not always had this condition, "only" for the last 21 years. Most persons get hyperacusis because they have been exposed to very loud sounds either over the long term (EX: a noisy factory),short term (EX: a rock concert), or suddenly (EX: a gun shot). There are different degrees of severity. Most of the 21 years I have thankfully had an average case, but when it gets bad, as it is these days for me for various reasons, it is Hell. If a person is careful there is a certain natural recovery that takes place. There is also an experimental treatment that helps many, but I have never had the discipline to undergo it (2 years of putting these sound generators in one's ears that give off certain "healing" white noise frequencies )For more info, Google The Hyperacusis Network.

      True, the condition makes it more difficult to meet people, but it is not insurmountable. I had a girlfriend for 7-8 years while with this condition, and we managed.My local library, where I am now, is the only place that I can meet people without an effort to really go out there and meet. But I have not been able to get anywhere with the regular females on staff, or people hanging around, or around the computers here.The 50 year old that I mention in my last post I met next to me here around the computers. Funny, it was so easy to talk to her, the conversation just flowed, getting together again just happenned easily,when we were together we could not stop talking, etcc.Those conversations were the only good thing that happenned to me over the winter while I struggled with severe hyperacusis. In fact, while I was feeling the uplift and joy of talking to her, my ears always felt better! That does not mean, however, that this condition is essentially a psychosomatic one. Something is broken in the delicate ear/brain mechanisms for us, it seems. There may be more of a psychosomatic source to tinnitus (ringing in the ears), a much more common condition in the population. Think of all that internal repressed emotional pressure possibly blowing out someone's ears, like in those cartoons where a character is mad, and the animators show steam coming out of the ears. This is pure speculation. Maybe Art can tell us what he has observed about the ears over the years.

      Anyways, boom, all that budding romance or friendship suddenly vanished ( I kinda miss her, you know?)! And with everyone else, even with some initial encouraging signs: Nothing.As Joni Mitchell wrote in one of her songs: I don't understand love or life at all.

      I was re-reading parts of The Anatomy of Mental Illness this morning. Like, wow, as usual! A passage in it about how repressed hate for one's mother probably colors all relations with women certainly caught my eye (the generalisation factor). But I doubt I will ever be able to confirm or not that that may have contributed to my life long problems with women. In the meantime I do whatever I can within my neurotic limitations.

      Take care.


    7. Marco, I looked at the Network you spoke of. I might try the pink or white noise approach for my TV sensitivity--not directly in ears but with my small noise machine I've used to get to sleep with sometimes. Good luck if you try the sound generators for ears. And good luck with your 'mom' feelings.

    8. Thanks for your support Sheri.I hope your own ear condition gets better. Always avoid very loud environments. Our ears were made for the wild not for neurotic industrial society. And avoid sick neurotic people who can make you crazy!


    9. @Marco
      ...."Well, I hope future generations will have it better than I did, but I doubt it..." ----- it will be better, you can already see it. More and more women want to be different from their mothers; they read a lot, they go to therapy and want to respect their children, give a lot of love.

  9. Hello Paul... a comment a blog late!

    Feelings just hurts and we suffer from them as we dont know about them!

    Yes... "we must be clear about when we talking about feelings"! But how shall we be clear as feelings are what is missing? Feelings is something we dont know about but we often express as we do. So... let's make it clear that feelings are something we do not know about and that is the reason we are here on the blog as the rest of the world also should be.

    So what are emotions? Feelings are what we do not know anything about but live with as a big plague for us without knowing what to do about it. We talk so much about feelings because we do not know anything about them and when we do begin to feel... we suffer the suffering of hell.

    So when we talk about emotions... if we'll know when we do it... to the beginning it's ghastly pain... pain that does not hurt so bad when we are in it. Otherwise we dont know anything at all about feelings... we are suffering because we dont feel and that is not to feel... it's to hold against feelings that want to come up. You could say I feel bad... that would be the only throught expressen about feelings in that case.

    Your Frank

  10. Hi All,

    my disabled son found this. He's on the case:


    I hope the link works.

    Paul G.

  11. Hi All,


    as I look into my Mum's eyes,
    I remember her love for me.

    They stabilised her on drugs,
    which makes her free,

    They wipe her arse,
    and when she flies off the handle,
    It's not a farce nor scandal.

    They know,
    those who care for her,
    they know she 's not herself.

    On £7 per hour,
    stacked into a 'care' packaged shelf. . .

    She told me many things,
    before she died,
    but now I watch her slide,

    whilst still 'alive'. . .

    Inexorably into the grave,
    of my unmet need.

    my Dad,

    My Dad !

    89 years old,
    still there for me,

    whilst my Mum rots away. . .

    My Dad,

    My Dad !

    Please be there for me. . .

    Paul G.

  12. The other day I saw a Mother and her 10 year old son hold hands as they got ready to cross a busy road, and it made me realise how it is that we are meant to grow within a loving relationship, and therebye naturally grow up to share loving relationships with others. If only it was always the way it was meant to be.

    A couple of days later I cried for my farther, telling him, " I need you to hold my hand" and " Look after me!" .


  13. Hi Katherina,

    I really don't know how I will handle my own Dad's death. We seem to have resolved our differences (understatement).

    Since I got onto this amazing blog, my Dad also became homeless for a while. He had what now appears to be a serious breakdown - people from that generation are often seriously averse to 'letting it out' or even telling anyone about it. I have been coaching and helping him come to terms with his loss, why he mourns, and why he is still alive. Because he cries a lot now, if he didn't he would be dead from a stroke or heart attack. I don't care if it's abreaction, I really cannot handle that judgement when in the pits of my own despair or when witnessing another's. He mourns the loss of his wife yet he still goes to see her. . .

    I also coach my disabled son who is now no longer alienated from me.

    Thanks to him learning NVC and a bit about Primal Theory, he has gained just enough trust with his sons mother, my grandsons mother. Who has been brainwashed with state sanctioned CBT to believe both my son & I are the Devils Incarnate.

    He also has an Organic food vegetarian and looks after himself properly. He nearly died, his weight dropped down to 6 stone.

    I will try not to talk about the other systems and philosophies I was 'in' prior to getting on this blog. But it's thanks to Art, this blog and ALL the contributors that my efforts with my Dad, my Son, my Grandson and others in pain too, have made life bearable and we are all survivors.

    I have the sum total of all my efforts & experiences to thank for surviving what would have killed many others.

    And no, 'what doesn't kill you DOESN'T make you stronger'. It leaves you feeling fucked up, exhauste3d, broken and cranky.

    Having access to my feelings and my Dad gaining access to his has kept us alive.

    Every day gets a bit better. Two steps forward, one back - but a net gain.

    If only there were a Primal Center in Europe.

    Paul G.

    1. Hi Paul,
      Sorry I havn't responded easily to your comment, I think it's because I was caught up in wanting to say the right thing.

      It grieves me that there is no where to go with feelings and the need to feel, in most societies. It's so natural to feel. Really! Primal is just deep crying! Suerly most people would find that acceptable as an idea rather than the idea of "Primal Screaming". It's not screaming, it's simply ranting, and rageing and crying. Which most people do anyway, just not as deeply.

      It's no different from a child or infant crying, which is totally acceptable, except it's an adult expressing those same infant and child feelings and needs. What's so scarey or hard to understand about that ?

      I have a room in my flat that I have sound buffered with high density foam, and I told my neighbour that sometimes I do emotional release, and to not worry if he hears anything, and to please let me know if it ever bothers him. It's never bothered him but it's made a huge difference in my life. What is a home if one cannot be free to express their real feelings.

      Keep feeling !

      Love, K

    2. Hallo Katherinanina
      How brave of you to confide in your neighbour and, well done, you, for making such a space for yourself. I once had a sound proofed chamber built inside my rented flat to cry in an express my feelings but you have been lucky with your neighbour. I would not have told my five house neighbours in other flats under my roof because I didn't trust them and knew it would freak them out. When I left they made up huge rumours about me and the spiteful landlords tried (unsuccessfully I fought it!) to incarcerate me in a health clinic full of crazy people. My G.P. refuted that I had a history of mental illness and refused to sign me to an institution. So, I must add that you are very fortunate indeed with your sane- sounding neighbour. But, then this is England. You live in Australia. Far, far different. All the best with your own feelings - work! Sandie

    3. Hello Sandie,
      Your recognition and encouragement meant a lot to me !
      Love K

    4. Katherinanina
      Thank you! I think it is great you can get in touch with your feelings and, I think your mother's doing it while you were growing up has maybe taken away any inhibitions you might have had about it. That's lucky! In Australia much of the land looks empty (I know,I've been there) but in England everyone lives on top of each other. It is so overpopulated. The atmosphere is one of being stifled and unfree. Almost as if there is no space and so no place for expression of feelings. Also there is a sense of people being a bit uptight here while so many I met in your country they appeared more easygoing and relaxed. So now I walk around knowing the pain inside too well but more like a blank face. In my twenties I found a place for years to feel. It was ok. Now I'm sixty something. All the best from me to you. Sandie.

  14. Dear Art,

    I wish I knew all this stuff 30 years ago. Better late than never I suppose.

    Paul G.

  15. Rereading your "Ideas as Opiates" chapter recently in Prisoners of Pain reminded me of the process via which billions of people replace simple feeling with completely cerebral abstractions devoid of any emotional content. I understand, after recently having tried, unsuccessfully, to convey to a close friend, totally in his head and apparently unable to exit from it, how feeling is the only thing which makes life worth living, and relationships worthwhile and indeed safe.
    I felt like tearing my hair out. I understand now why you write that primal patients in their head are typically the hardest to treat.
    The above referred to chapter explains how trauma, by killing feeling, creates a vacuum in people. Since feeling IS the real self, ideas are the only tools people have to understand reality and to live their lives by. They are easily inculcated in people who have no solid internal knowing base, ie FEELING. Hence only neurotics can be fooled by crazy ideas. Hypnosis works only on neurotics, and people can believe the most inhumane and ludicrous things about other races, women, that animals in abattoirs go happily and peacefully do their deaths, etc, which to a non traumatized person would be seen as totally insane. Without love, fértile soil is created for any demagogue, psychopath, lunatic to gain credence. Witness Trump, Hitler, Manson etc, Gary

    1. I agree Gary,

      When I look at other animals, now with a different perspective (more feeling connection), I become aware of what they have not. Look at the head shape of most mammals and they don't have this huge swollen 'crown' above their eyes as do we. A huge swollen crown filled with ideas and abstractions. An all consuming, organic computing machine which only the least damaged of us don't need to survive our early traumas. . .

      And there I go again having to use it to 'express' an idea about what we are not in order to say what we are: Feeling beings 1st.

      The further down this road less traveled I go, the more I feel like a 'wrong turn' in evolution.

      So which road should I be on? Everyone else is on it too, but who is aware, let alone conscious of the ludicrousness of it?

      Paul G.

  16. To me, people are better off to have feelings. And being able to express them sincerely at times is rare but still happens. One cannot be so bottled up. I know I have to be strong mentally in many cases, but off the job, I try to find peace through knowing that I am still able to feel. Believe me, people have said that I am too sensitive, they think I am an emotional person, and I have been belittled because of that; which doesn't bother me at all. I don't even defend myself...why would I? To be somewhat sensitive and emotional shown in the working world...is that so bad? Of course I can't let all sensitivities show or all emotions show when I am at work. But I do feel so much better going home from work, knowing that I'm still the same person; mentally, emotionally.That is important. I see the "unfeeling" people so many times...and many times, I can see right through them. People can't even get themselves "straight" "focused" to allow themselves to have feelings; with this in mind, it is difficult to find a good partner or even be interested in finding one good man. I just know to go by: "to thy own self , be true" (Rollo May). Life is tough and people can be tougher. If one is smart and strong, one will allow themselves feelings, and have their emotions shown, when needed, at times. If one has a brain, one has thoughts, then , to me, one surely must have good feelings (If one is mentally well).

    1. Beachcoast7,

      I recognize your situation. Life is difficult at times, and completely different from the rest of society. I call it to live in The Primal Dimension.

      I am told now and then by my part-time cohabitant that I am too thinskinned. I nod and admit my weakness. I tell her she's too thickskinned, and she admits her flaw.

      We talk freely about everything but psychology. We talk about illnesses, physical and mental, personality traits as such, but I avoid going into WHY people or diseases are like this or that.

      When she asks her usual. "I wonder why", I tell her. "You don't want to know", which means:: the reason is Primal Pain, which you don't want to talk about, so let's drop it!

      So we drop it, she will continue her self-admitted neurotic act outs and I am happy I'm not a child and she's not my mother!

      This is genuinely difficult at times, but we get along because I love her, I see the hurting child inside and behind the tough, sometimes aggressive, facade, I appreciate her good qualities, I realize she got away with a childhood much less devastating than mine, and she loves me and she needs me. Wow!

      Art said, Neurosis is built in relationship and can only be resolved in relationship. - Well, this relationship for sure brings up Pain, and there's no one near to sit for me, so my teddy bear Rambo acts buddy/therapist and will ask with a very mild voice, mine, in English, Erik, what's going on? Our sessions are always in English.

      To use English instead of Swedish was originally a necessity in formal Therapy, but also made any painful topic much easier to address. Of course, in the end, any upcoming feeling was expressed in my mother tongue if words were needed.

      So at 75, she's 71, I feel healthier and happier than ever. Life is good, I skate, bike, we walk a lot, here in Milano. I plan to live another quarter of a century, can't see why not.

      Age is not important, health is. In this here condo are lots of old people, getting worse and worse, walk with stick, sit in wheel chair, have a care taker, die.

      Beachcoast7, if nothing else, at least you should expect a longer and happier life than most people out there.

    2. Erik,

      though you wrote for beachcost7, thanks also for the brilliant writing. You are an inspiration.

      Paul G.

    3. I am a pessimist because I just don't see love where people claim there is love. If your partner won't even try to see your point of view, it is clear that she does not respect you. And it's not because she is a horrible person, it is because she is unable to respect you.
      She is UNABLE.
      Unable to respect, unable to love.
      When you love someone, you will really really want and need to see your partner's point of view, even if you don't believe in it. It becomes a need.... to see and understand the other person... and to try to fulfill her needs, without any desire to control or force anything...because you love her, and if she loves you, she will do the same....she will TRY to understand you, because she WANTS to....not because she thinks it is her duty to do so.
      In all my life, I have never seen two "lovers" TRY to understand each other. Neurosis wins every time. They fight, they hate, they refuse to listen, and then one backs down and accepts the disrespectful domineering other, or they break apart and go their separate ways.
      There is no love. Many hugs and kisses but very little affection... it's just a mutual desire to use each other's soft warm bodies for physical stimulation which provides a weak substitute for love.
      It's a massive compromise.
      And then people come to this forum and celebrate the compromise as if it were real love, and even address each other using the word 'love' without even knowing each other.
      You think I am angry of hateful right now? No. You are wrong. You don't know me. Any judgement you make will be a product of your own delusion, in the same way that any love expressed in this forum is self-generated. Emotional masturbation.
      You cannot know a person until you are with the person, and only while the person is showing his/her real self. A very rare situation.
      All of this forum-love is emotional masturbation, can I say it loud enough? It is the kind of shallow bond that holds cults together....everyone in it for themselves.
      I made the mistake of watching a video my brother sent me.... a Muslim man almost lovingly touching the face of a Muslim police officer, begging the officer to give him the woman who had burnt the sacred Quran. The officers were trying to protect the woman, but in the end, they stood by while she was beaten to death. There was 'love' and glee in the air.... the more the woman was beaten, the more the men seemed to love each other.
      They were all part of a great power; they all belonged to the power and to each other....a gigantic beautiful family. In that moment, no man could hurt another. They 'loved' each other. To borrow Donald Trump's words, "a lovefest", no different to the love at one of his rallies.
      My uncles and aunts seemed to love each other when they started taunting and mocking their children, turning their kids into a common enemy from which they could all unite and share each other's parenting experiences....so they could understand each other...'feel' for each other, at their kids' expense.
      Don't turn me into the enemy. Just TRY to understand my point of view. Do most outsiders think this forum is a cult? Are they just neurotic pessimists? Or is it a cult?

    4. Richard, I don't think we can expect anyone to be giving if they haven't gotten rid of their own baggage. Anything they do comes from old repressed feelings and an attempt not to be vulnerable. I don't believe you can fulfill someone else's needs when they are a bottomless pit of needs, which we all are until we shed them through therapy. Then we can meet the real needs of our friend or love.
      I think we do care about each other here in the sense that we are bound by our knowledge of what pain does and are willing to be vulnerable and not repress or put up a front, and we know each other has suffered. We are a group not in denial and want to change. That is something.
      And really, how can we truly give love when we are still carrying around a burden of unmet needs ready to be triggered off so easily. The awful way people treat each other is an act-out of inner misery, and it is sometimes sanctioned by others with misery in their hearts too like in the instance of the Muslim beating.
      This isn't a cult here because we want to grow and seek out our neurosis and change. To love each other on-line is not our end but to encourage each other and to be brave enough to look at ourselves is.

    5. Richard,

      What outsiders think of this group is of no interest. People, neurotic pessimists or not, have for half a century had all kinds of opinions about Primal Therapy. That did not deter those of us who needed the treatment. And along the way, people who have benefitted from it are generally considered to be good people.

      So is also the case among commentators on this blog. I can't even understand why you pose this question!

      During all contacts I've had with Art and his therapists during 40 years, it has always been pointed out the importance getting a life, an education, a job, a love relation, try new habits - and NOT hang around with other Patients etc, as Primal Therapy is a treatment, not a philosophy for believers with a guru in the center.

      To use the opportunity here on Art's blog to ventilate what cannot be dealt with elsewhere hardly qualifies commentators as cult members. And I stopped caring what people think when I realized how miserable most people are and how much they envy my health.


    6. Sheri and Erik, good answers. thanks.

      I posed the question to show the difference between healing and acting. There have been many actors on this forum. "Spiritual" types. Hippies etc. They believe they are more enlightened and more feeling than the average joe. Very cultish.

      We shouldn't hang around with other patients? That suggests to me that many of the patients have similar lives and similar defenses, and have a tendency to reinforce each other's bad habits? That's a shame.

    7. Hi Erik,

      I should imagine this explains almost perfectly why (at least in part), when people actually get the real Primal Therapy, they tend to go quiet about it.
      Therefore your remarks about the Legacy being the best form of 'promotion' are probably spot on, and yes, my efforts at 'promotion' are likely misguided, I can see that but it's always been my style to learn by testing my assumptions the hard way. I think they call my learning style: "Hands On"-, I have to keep letting go, falling off and hitting the deck before I learn anything. Which is an analogue for a Primal Therapy room is it not?

      But this 'rift' between pre and post therapy perception will still need to be addressed by future generations of people who read the books, buy the LEGACY, apply for and get Primal etc etc. The issue of promoting Primal has not gone away with the introduction of the Legacy.

      By the way, Envy as a 'passion' motivates me. So thanks because I really want what you have achieved and feeling envious actually drives me to confront my demons, rather than run away from them. But perhaps you knew that. Every bit of feedback from 'post therapy success cases' like yours MOTIVATES me. But envy can destroy others; as I said before: it can involve back into the nasty and vicious snake of jealousy.

      Jealousy is the nastier from of politics. We can see that going on in USA & UK right now - writ large.

      Thanks Erik.

      Paul G.

    8. Paul,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I'm hardly a "post therapy success case". What the treatment gave is the more real me, healthier, more relaxed, more alive in the moment. That doesn't mean all is well, from time to to time I'm still unbelievably stupid, but, changing in the right direction. Most 75ers don't do that.

      Perhaps the most important benefit is how my Diabetes Type 1, T1D, has developed.

      Due to severe, chronic stress from earliest childhood, today should be diagnosed as cPTSD and PTSD, my immune system killed the insulin cells in pancreas for my 30th birthday. After 45 years of insulin treated diabetes, I should normally have some severe, handicapping complications. Or tendencies towards this.

      The diabetes can not be cured with the present state of medical science. I have a minor problem in one eye, that will be fixed with a routine operation, but still holding my drivers licence. Some diabetic neuropathy makes my feet now and then feel like having soda pop in the blood. It's not disturbing.

      So if I would use the word 'success', it would refer to my affinity for inline skating, haha!

  17. Hi, Art thanks for writing…

    I am sure that you hit a nerve with some people who will protest the the thought that homosexuality could be a result of early trauma and lack of love.. I won’t disagree with this but I think that there may be another reason why people become gay, and one that would increase the survivability of people from an evolutionary point of view.

    It is well known biological phenomena that the presence of pheromone’s in the neonatal environment produce changes in developing organisms. For example when locusts swarm pheromone production influences the development, making adult locusts in swarms much different than those in non swarming populations; this increases there aggression and voraciousness.
    I believe that same thing happens in human populations, when humans are exposed to high levels of pheromones. Ancient societies, especially warlike ones, typically housed male soldiers in mens houses where its likely that male pheromones were at high levels. I believe that this changed something in male reproductive systems that created, something akin to a super male, more aggressive and more militant, and more fit for combat. This would be a kind of altruistic behavior, that would spare others more fit for care giving from combat roles, and thus offer positive evolutionary survival benefits to offspring.

    I believe there are several human societies that offer examples of this, the Spartans, Roman Legions, and certain New Guinea tribes that are homosexual and have mens houses like the Spartans did.

    I believe this phenomena can also be seen in prisons where hetero sexual males, some times become homosexual for a time, due to the exposure to high levels of male pheromones, returning to heterosexual status upon their release.

    I think it would be interesting to see the presence of homosexuality in military families. The same phenomena could account for female homosexuality.

  18. Can I find a partner?

    Yes, but I still feel lonely!

    I'm scared to ask for more of what I need for fear of feeling more lonely than what I feel now. I need more conversation with my partner. I called a friend tonight because my partner didn't want to talk, and I'm sick of having to look for friendship elsewhere to fill the gap.

    It's scary but I'm sure I'll find a kind way to talk to him about it. I'm sick of being careful and having to find the right way and time to say what I need to say. I've become so unnatural in my communication because I'm not having flowing conversation. It's all this right and wrong bullshit, and doesn't say the wrong thing.

    I so wish for a partner who can feel his feelings.

    My mother did primal therapy and felt her feelings over 40 years and I've never seen her happily partnered. She lives alone but is the most fulfilled I've seen her. She is really loving herself in life now and extends love to others. She has a lovely life alone, but I wish for what she has with another person for companionship. Maybe that's called friendship.

    Maybe I'm wanting more friendship with my partner than we have now.

    Perhaps I have to start with developing more friendship with myself or maybe he can show me . It doesn't always have to come from me first does it ? I've reached out my hand , I hope that he will hold my hand.

    Actually my daddy did hold my hand occasionally and I used to love just walking with him and holding hands. I missed it so much when he was gone. I only got to hold his hand a few times. That's not a good friend is it? Oh god it still hurts. I'm so used to being alone maybe I need to learn what a healthy, loving, mature relationship is. I'd like to know and experience more of what that is.


  19. All I've got is my feelings and my feelings hurt. But I will feel better when I've felt this hurt.



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.