Created  Feb. 1, 2012                   updated Jan. 11, 2014       new section

Dr. Janov Reconsidered

The Premise
Beware of Janovian Elitism
Brenda Craven M.F.T.
NY Integrated Feeling Therapy
Real Personal Growth
International Primal Association
Frances Rinaldo - Psychotherapist      Aug. 11, 2012
The Primal Mind
The Primal Psychotherapy Page
The Reality of Life
Another Psychology Critic      New Jan. 11, 2014
My Final Judgment

Related Articles

The Premise
Back to Top

As a follow up to my own theory of Holistic Psychology and a critique of Dr. Janov's ideas, many of which I support and some of which I disagree with, I address some of Janov's words and actions which I have concerns with. I am also going to use this article to show what his fans believe, and most importantly, his former therapists who believe his therapy needed some amendments and changes, as well as any other critics. All voices deserve an open consideration to conduct a fair trial. Janov's writings in his books, by my opinion, take on a different character in the 90s. His words on his blog and his strict control of what gets posted by others, to me, also speak volumes and deserve more explanation. Knowing that he is not likely to do so, I leave you to make your own decisions, even as I have made mine to some degree.

No science theory should be accepted without careful review. But most followers of his do not do this. A careful review is one where all sides and voices are heard, those both for and against. This would be the conduct for any good fair trial. But I have voiced my own ideas and choose to look a little more closely at Arthur Janov, the man, for more insight into his ideas of primal pain and primal therapy.

Back to Top

a.k.a. Beware of Janovian Elitism

The following is from the site following:


For those who are worried about people who do primal therapy but were not trained and sanctioned by Arthur Janov or the Primal Institute, I think it is important to know some history of the development of Primal Therapy.
Arthur Janov was the pioneer in writing about Primal Therapy, but he was just one of many people who were instrumental in developing primal therapy. Janov registered "Primal Therapy" as a trademark with the US Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office in May 1972, a status that gave him the sole right to use the term. His trademark became well known when he tried to prevent other primal therapists from using the term. A few individual therapists along with the International Primal Association (an organization of laypeople and professionals) challenged the trademark Janov had received in a hearing before the Patent Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on October 11, 1977. Ten months later, the board issued a decision which totally and completely canceled Janov's trademark.

>>It is the prerogative of a doctor or researcher to name when he discovers. But it does not give him exclusive rights over the concept described by the name, nor the name itself, for which he uses to describe a theory or condition. He does not act like a doctor or scientists. He acts like either an out of control control-freak or a business man protecting his market.<<

Instrumental in the decision was the overwhelming evidence presented by the IPA and other interested parties that there were MANY other therapists who, prior to and concurrently with Janov, were instrumental in developing primal therapy. There was overwhelming evidence that Janov was not the only (and some say, not even among the best) "true" practitioner of Primal Therapy. Now Janov has moved on to start another primal organization and, as best I know, still claims to be the only true practitioners of Primal Therapy and that any therapist not sanctioned by him is dangerous. These dire warnings have many people unnecessarily alarmed. He continues to claim sole "ownership" of something that he obviously was not alone in developing.

It is sad that the best-known spokesperson for Primal chose to separate himself, incorrectly claim sole authority on all things primal, and denigrate the fine work of many outstanding professionals - a practice that Sam Turton refers to as Janovian elitism. My connection with primal therapists (in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, the greater San Francisco Bay area and Melbourne) has been one of sharing, mutual support, and professional encouragement and growth. The intermixing of techniques borrowed from other disciplines, including Jungian sandplay and dream work, Gestalt, psychodrama and various bodywork modalities, has contributed to making primal an even more powerful and effective therapy.
I do support his belief that primal therapy is a powerful tool and, in the hands of inept or incompetent practitioners, can do great harm.
However, I do advise seekers to not be terribly worried about whether a therapist is certified by Janov or the Primal Institute. It is much more important to find out who therapists are as people and whether they still do their own work, whether they've gotten advanced training as a therapist, and to follow your own deepest sense of what is right and helpful. And, not every therapist suits the needs of every client - and even therapists who are very good for you overall might not be able to meet all your therapeutic needs.
Best wishes for finding a therapist who truly suits your needs.

About Terry Larimore:

Training to be a Practitioner
In 1986, after a solid grounding from 10 years in therapy as a client and getting my Master's Degree in Social Work, I attended a residential training program, offered by a team of experts and pioneers from across the country. This multi-modal program, called "The Ark" (because it lasted 40 days and nights!), was based in primal therapy and offered a solid grounding in a variety of techniques to access, release and heal deep feelings, and integrate those changes back into real life.
Opening my Private Practice
In 1986, with a Master's Degree under my belt and with the training I had received in the Ark, I started a part-time private practice in Houston. For many years I worked with and trained with some of the top therapists in the world.
Credentials and Further Training
I was an LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker) in Texas 1981-1998. When I moved to California in 1996 to train, I chose not to pursue a California license - for two reasons. One is that it would take so long to get California licensing because my experience in Texas would, for the most part, not be accepted in California. Second, and most importantly, is that it is an illusion that having a license is meaningful for the kind of work I do. There is no therapeutic specialty that covers pre- and perinatal psychology. Even if I had a license (no matter what kind), to do the work that I do would be operating outside the scope of that license which is, in and of itself, a violation of most licenses. This work is very powerful and is a new paradigm in emotional work, but there is not yet a certification for competence in pre- and perinatal work.
In addition to the training described above, I have had extensive experience with primal therapy, Jungian Sandplay and training in Gestalt, dreamwork, expressive arts (including writing and mandala drawing), movement and music, meditation, tantra, guided visualization, Access and more. As a staff member of The Ark until 1996, I got to work intensively with clients under the supervision of expert therapists. In Houston I ran groups (on-going as well as with special themes including dreams, sexual abuse and birth trauma) and have seen individual clients since 1986.
I was a Board Member of the International Primal Association 1987-1999 and served for 7 years as its Newsletter Editor. I chaired four international conferences and have served on the steering committee for the 1997 and 1999 APPPAH Congresses. For two years (1999-2000), I served as Newsletter Editor for APPPAH (Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health).


Aware Parenting is a philosophy of child-rearing - developed by developmental psychologist Aletha Solter, Ph.D. - that has the potential to change the world. Based on cutting-edge research and insights in child development, Aware Parenting questions most traditional assumptions about children, and proposes a new approach that can profoundly shift a parent's relationship with his or her child. 
International Primal Association - The International Primal Association is a community of feeling-oriented individuals who value primal process, abreaction and other deep-feeling work to promote healing, growth, wholeness and authentic being. This link is to the website that the IPA is developing; more IPA information is available on the Primal Psychotherapy Page (see below).
Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health - APPPAH is a non-profit organization of lay and professional people interested in the effects of prenatal and birth experiences on our long-term mental and physical health. 
International Society of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine - The European counterpart of APPPAH.  If it is not in English, just select English on the first page. 
Primal Psychotherapy Page  - John Speyrer has gathered a lot of information on primal work in this interesting and multi-faceted webpage. (At this point, it contains more information about the IPA than the IPA page does.)
Birthing the Future - Suzanne Arms is a videographer, photographer and birth activist who teaches, lectures, and publishes videos and books. The purpose of her organization is to inspire, foster and  advocate vision and practical models for the and well being of life on this planet. Contains startling information about the state of birth in America!!

EVEN MORE GREAT LINKS: Go here for links to related websites who have received the "Babies Are Aware Award."

Last updated May 2, 2005

end of Site Material <<<

>> As you can see from the exposure at the beginning, Arthur was not alone in developing the therapy. But he makes every effort to own and control it all, on the pretense that only he is well motivated enough and skilled and intelligent enough (I gather) to be able to practice this. Well, those are absurd claims in my book and I have felt that way since at least 1990. What can you make of an ego and what seems to be an obsessive controller? Many doctors of psychology have developed theories and methods, but they do not try to own them and prevent others from practicing it. In fact, they usually recommend and encourage others practicing their method. But not Janov.

But Terry shows this is not reasonable as well. I'll deal more with the integration of other techniques later. Her links are impressive. She is involved in prevention as well as treatment and cure. as far as resources go, her page is among the finest. Arthur is clearly not the only one promoting or developing Primal theory and therapy. But his spin would not have you believe this and his scare tactics speak of the horrors of bad practice. But if this were truly so, he could easily pass on what the errors are and how to avoid them. That he does not, suggests that either the errors are fabricated, or that he has some very selfish motives, or that the problem was the patient and not the therapy.

Update, Dec. 8, 2013. Indeed, if Primal Therapy is as dangerous and elusive to learn and practice, really, we ought to question rather it should even be practiced at all. What kind of therapy can it be that is nearly impossible to do right with the guiding hand of the psychological messiah himself, Dr. Janov. But there is yet another reason why I ask this.

The Psychological and Psychiatric worlds are loaded, yes saturated, with clandestine secret government operatives & operations, so say those claiming to have once been mind-controlled (and I personally believe them), and many psychologists and psychiatrists cooperate with these "agents." Due to this fact, one might wonder if anyone should even bother with psychology and psychiatry. It is not something to easily dismiss.

It is my opinion that one would be very wise to stay as far away from anything even remotely connected to any sort of secret operations, regardless of who is behind them. "Mind-Tempering" (one of my own labels) is the rage of mid 20th century onward. It is bad enough that schools program us and entertainment, too. We don't need to add to it, especially something as totally dangerous as any sort of MK Mind Control, too.

I do not suspect Janov of such operations, but nothing could or would stop any "agent" from busting in and forcing doctors to cooperate or else. Why take the chance, if you happen to be one who is independent in thought, word, or deed. Janov does avoid the topic of Mind Control when asked about it. So he at least knows enough to fear it and not dignify it, which is reason enough as I see it, to be concerned about it. We live in a very dangerous world and we have every good reason to be extremely cautious and careful with anything involving mind manipulation, treatment of it or behavior, or anything related to it. Never ever submit to hypnosis, would be my advice, for whatever that is worth.<<

Brenda Craven M.F.T
Back to Top

From the following:


From there I did a requisite and greatly desired year of therapy.  I was invited to join the staff in 1976.  I worked as a junior therapist in training from 1976 to 1981. During that time I accompanied Dr. Janov, along with another therapist in doing retreats for European patients in Switzerland and Denmark.  While in Denmark I assisted Dr. Janov in a presentation on Primal Therapy  at the University of Copenhagen.  In 1981 I started a private practice.  Twice I was asked by former patients to do retreats in their countries.  I conducted a retreat in Caracus, Venezuela in 1988 and one in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1992.  In the late 80's I attended Dr. Janov's 2 year training program in L.A. and in 1996 was invited once again to join the staff at the Primal Center.  I began seeing 3 week patients regularly and became a senior therapist.  My responsibilities  increased and in the past  three years I have participated in organizing programs and teaching clinical and theoretical skills to trainees aspiring to become therapists.  I left the primal center in May, 2010 and intend to do further study and expand my private practice.

During the thirty four years I have been doing Primal Therapy, I've had opportunity to work with people of all ages, classes, and cultures - 35 countries and 3 foreign islands.  It has been a rich experience to touch and be touched by the world in this way.  And I look forward to it continuing for several years to come.

Certificates and Study

1983  Clinical Hypnotherapy
1986  Ethics Chairperson for the Los Angeles Chapter of Marriage and Family Therapy
1987  Certificate in Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Skills, U.C.L.A. Extension
            (involved a 2 week internship at Daniel Memorial Hospital)
1989  Family Systems Training,  Southern California Counseling Center, Los Angeles, California
2001  Studied "Imago" couples therapy with Dr. Bruce Crapuchettes
2009-2010  Presently studying Relational Couples Therapy with nationally recognized, Terence Real,

I read French and am able to recognize a bit of German from 2 years of classes in college

In addition to Primal Therapy, I also do couples therapy and regular counseling.  My primal work is based on the therapy, practice and supervision of Dr. Arthur Janov over a span of thirty four years. Since the publication of his first book, "The Primal Scream" in 1970 he has published the following books.

End of her site info

>> She was quite involved with Arthur Janov at one time and has studied other forms of therapy as well. She has, in my opinion, received enough training and is persuaded in the validity of Primal therapy to qualify to practice it. And her ideas matter as much as anyone else's, including Dr. Janov. She was invited by Janov in 96, to practice. I know he says that is no longer valid but that is absurd. He may have improved his technique, but the rest may have, too, apart from Janov. Her main focus is in his type of therapy.

As Terry pointed out near the beginning, Arthur is not considered the best practitioner of Primal Therapy by some, if not many. I find in him things of concern. I would not seek treatment from him. But he had been far more into self promotion than all these other sources put together. Further, they do not bad mouth each other and they share their ideas. Arthur makes lots of accusations, but with no specifics, whatsoever. Accusations unsupported are not worth bothering about. They are hot air and clashing cymbals in the breeze. Don't be intimidated.<<

The New York Centers for Integrated Feeling Therapy
Back to Top

The above is a clever title for, as best as I can tell, another form of Primal Therapy. But perhaps with some needed improvements added. I do not quote from his site continually, but skip over to main points. That is, its condensed but looks continuous, which it is not. I'll let his site talk from here.

Primal Therapy Has Evolved : Jeffrey T Cohen, LMHC, the Founder and Director of the Integrated Feeling Therapy Centers of Manhattan and New Paltz, has created a therapy that combines the power of deep feeling with the will to change.

Since the advent of Primal Therapy in the 1970s, Jeff has been a fierce advocate and a reluctant critic. He has recognized the brilliance of Dr. Arthur Janov's discovery of a way to relive our traumas from womb/birth onward. This was a great leap forward in our understanding of the roots of mental illness. Unfortunately, traditional primal therapy treatment has some significant shortcomings. It is not enough just to "feel" and relive trauma; this is only the beginning of the healing process. These traumas must be integrated into a solid psychotherapeutic framework that incorporates the "will to change".

Integrated Feeling Therapy (IFT) helps clients heal from their wounds with love, kindness, support, honesty, and cognitive understanding. We help our clients transform themselves from victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse into adults who are able to give and receive love. True healing occurs only once this transformation occurs.  As you read this website, please keep in mind: The guiding principle of IFT is to enable all clients to love and be loved.

Jeffrey T. Cohen is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, licensed to practice psychotherapy by the State of New York. He completed his B.A. in psychology at the City University of New York. His initial clinical training was in classical primal therapy from 1981 through 1986, first with Julienne Jones Scanlon, one of the initial therapists trained by Dr. Arthur Janov. He completed his primal therapy training with Theresa Sheppard Alexander, M.A., the former Resident Director, and Director of Training of Janov's New York Primal Institute. He also was trained in classical and Eriksonian hypnosis and is a certified hypnotherapist. He has studied mindfulness-based meditation, including hatha yoga. His work was also supervised by Dr. Herman Weiner (formerly a supervising analyst at NPAP), over a four-year period in the early 80's. He is a member of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society (EGPS), the American Group Psychotherapy Society (AGPS) and the US Association of Body Psychotherapy. Jeff has lectured at various universities and therapy seminars, and has been a guest on radio talkshows, including recently on WBAI's "The Positive Mind". He has developed, and teaches, a comprehensive training program in the theory and clinical technique of Integrated Feeling Therapy and Integrated Feeling Life Coaching.

"I have known and admired Jeff Cohen's work for 25 years, first as the Director of the Manhattan Center for Primal Therapy, and now as the Director of the New York Centers for Integrated Feeling Therapy. He has expanded his psychotherapeutic vision beyond his early training in Arthur Janov's primal therapy and has incorporated innovative principals that address the most current brain research by creating a balanced integration of the feeling emotional brain with the neocortical cognitive brain." - Herman Weiner, Ph.D, New York University

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen:

My training was in classical primal therapy, from 1981 through 1986. My initial training was with Julienne Jones Scanlon, one of the first therapists trained by Dr. Arthur Janov. She left the Primal Institute during the 1970's to start her own practice in New York. After her retirement I completed my training with Theresa Sheppard Alexander, M.A., the Director and Director of Training of Janov's New York Primal Institute.

An Overview Of Integrated Feeling Therapy

So, my early years were involved in the study and practice of Primal Therapy. I began seeing the strengths and weaknesses of Janov's model of therapy. The main theoretical strength was the concept of the three layers of pain (first, second, and third line pain). This was a brilliant leap forward in our understanding of mental illness. The main clinical strength was the development of a process whereby the therapist assists the client to follow the line of pain from present day distress all the way back to the beginning of their life. At this point, early preverbal trauma can be accessed. It was felt that just by feeling the pain, neurosis would be cured. However, I discovered through my work that this was not the case. In fact, that belief turned out to be one of the main weaknesses of primal therapy. This is where I emphatically diverge from classical primal theory. Just feeling the pain is not enough to heal.  

The analogy I like to use in describing my discovery is the following: just feeling that the well is empty (as in cathartic primal experience) doesn't automatically give us the ability to fill up the well. In other words, feeling the lack of love, feeling the various manifestations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse that so many of us endured doesn't in and of itself give us the tools we need to learn how to love and be loved as adults. Primal mainly teaches us how unloved and rejected we were. In my opinion and clinical experience that is not enough to cause healing to occur.

IFT is built entirely on the concept of learning how to love and be loved.  This is a crucial departure from classical primal work.  In IFT, the client does not just feel old pain, but rather is engaged in an actively transformative process.  IFT gives a person the tools they need to become truly able to give and receive love.  I believe that very little real healing happens until this transformation occurs.  It's moving from being the victim to being the victor.  The entire therapy (including the training of IFT therapists, the intensive, private therapy, group therapy, and couples therapy has this as the primary goal of treatment: transforming the unloved child into a loving adult.

I view the therapist-client relationship as crucial to healing.  The modeling, the feedback, the honesty, the integrity of this relationship is the most important "tool" to aid in the transformative process.  If is often through this relationship that the client first experiences trust in another human being.  In order to truly love, we must be able to trust in another.  We consistently challenge the client to take the information gained from IFT to go out and make positive changes in their lives.  This is often the harder part of therapy, harder than just feeling old pain in a therapy room, yet this is where true healing begins to occur.  In order to do this, the client needs to have the will, in other words, the combination of desire and strength, to change their lives.  The relationship of trust between the therapist and client provides the bridge to assist the client in the integration of past pain to present day change.  This is the heart of the work.

Therapeutically speaking, will is a combination of the desire and strength to effect change.  It is the crucial determining factor to success or failure in therapy, and involves the client letting go of old patterns of behavior while actively seeking new positive choices and ways of being.  Since the old patterns were rooted in early relationships based on the deprivation or denial of real needs, the client needs a lot of support during this time.  The process is akin to taking baby steps, in that often, it is three steps forward, two steps back.  Support is provided through both individual and group therapy, and the physical environment at the therapy centers.  The Institutes in New York City and in New Paltz, are beautiful, soundproofed, walls are padded, lighting is soft.  The message is one of safety, confidentiality, and respect, which create the right environment for healing.  This allows the "will" of a person to find a true voice.  Clients become connected, often for the first time in their lives, with their true healthy adult needs.  Clients become empowered to transform themselves from the abused and hurt child of their early lives to become productive, creative, loving members of society.

In my early years of doing group work I followed the classical primal therapy model. Clients would come into a large room, lie down, and for 1 hours try to access their feelings Therapists would go around the room and try to help people go into their feelings. This would be followed by a half hour post-group, when people would share what they felt their primal was about. Then everyone would leave. Over time, although many clients deeply felt their feelings and had tremendous insight into the roots of their pain, I observed that feeling pain and having insight was not enough for many clients to effect change in their lives. People needed guidance at this point. My frustration with the limitations of this type of group led to the development of the IFT model.

I began thinking of the dynamic of a dysfunctional family, in which the real self of the child isn't recognized or supported to grow. Vulnerability is often not allowed, creativity is often squelched, honest confrontations aren't allowed or supported. I found myself exploring ways to structure the group to function as a supportive, guiding family. I felt that this corrective group therapy experience combined with the deep work of individual therapy would enable me to help people in a more effective way.

I developed the IFT model of a therapy group, which has a number of unique aspects. Lasting two hours, it starts with a 10 minute meditation that I designed to help each client focus inward to get in touch with the most important issues to bring up in the group. Group then proceeds to a deep sharing by each client. It includes asking for support to do the difficult things in life, asking for honest feedback about a problem, learning how to honestly confront, and be confronted by, another person in the group. These are all encouraged and eventually expected from all the group members. Music, dance, or theater may be used to release repressed feelings and get our energy moving. Clients are encouraged to share personal expressions of creativity, in whatever form that might entail. Of course, deep feelings arise in the group, but they are not the focus, the focus is to give those in the group the tools they need to use their insights to effect change in their lives. The combination of this type of group, in conjunction with private therapy is profoundly transformational.

An IFT group teaches the client how to find a healthy support system outside of therapy.
An IFT group shows the client that change is possible at any age, at any time of life.
An IFT group helps the client recover from psychological injuries.    

End of IFT site info <<

Cohen really resonates with me. I love everything coming from him. What he says about deficiencies is exactly what I came up with, independently. I find many primal "graduates" a complete aimless wandering mess. They are incompletely. Cohen as recognized this. Arthur left half the package out, so to speak. Cohen gives patients the tools and skills to handle life properly. We should have gotten this from our parents but they did not bother.

Jeffrey speaks of the "will to change." This was an important part of my theory. One must be committed to one's self and determined to find fault in themselves in order to get well. Most who seek any sort of therapy are not committed and sincere. Art tries to force commitment by requiring $6,000, but when dealing with the human will, a million would often not be enough. I am also impressed with Eriksonian hypnosis and its potential, for which Jeffrey is trained. He also recognizes that importance of fixing thoughts, developing strategies and other training we should have gotten from mom and dad. Life Coaching is related to this. Dr. Jeffrey Cohen brings many tools to the table and that is what is needed. broken minds need fixed in many ways, not just one solitary way. Arthur is too limited and stubborn as well.

Dr. Cohen calls his therapy, Integrated Feeling therapy, which is what Arthur often uses to describe his process of integrating feelings. I will also point out, too, that the patient is the most important part of whether any therapy succeeds or not, as Cohen seems to recognize. Further, I maintain that since the internal deep mind is the controller of this automatic instinctive process, it should not be that complicated.

Were I to need or pick a therapist and therapy at this point, this would be the guy! He goes right to my nerve center. He tells you specifically, what his differences are. Nothing to hide! I have tried to contact the Primal Institute, run by Arthur's former wife, Vivian, but get no response when I ask what professional differences might exist between her institute and Arthur's. No answer!

>> Dec. 8, 2013. At this point, I would not seek out any therapist for any reason. I believe one can find their own answers if they truly and sincerely want to find the answers. Only those with major disturbances might have trouble doing this, and even then, the only real question would be, do they really want the answers they are seeking.<<

Dr. Cohen, on the other hand, give full public confession and explanation. Now this guy behaves in an open honest manner and professional way with accountability. Lets see Arthur or Vivian do this! Put up or shut up! Cohen's entire site is what I call full disclosure and explanation. And it is so sensible and logical. I would honestly like to see Arthur address some of the stuff Cohen brings up; but maybe in subtle ways, Arthur has, and has failed to do so adequately.

As best as I can tell, Jeffrey Cohen is the real deal. But he does not publish books continually promoting himself and denigrating the rest (without explanation). Nor do I sense an ego with Cohen, nor a hard edge and dogmatic tendencies. He has a much softer feel.

Now this does not mean NY IFC can deliver on what it suggests. Its suggestions are good and needed. An interview would be a good start if you are considering a therapy. But I think this place has great potential, more that Janov offers.

Real Personal Growth
Back to Top

Welcome to the Real Personal Growth website of some of the research of Robert S. Vibert.

All content copyright 2006/9 by Robert S. Vibert

What is Personal Growth?
Personal Growth can be defined as being comprised of two main activities:

Both fixing and enhancing are needed for each of us to grow. They work together, although usually not at the same time.
We cannot properly enhance something which is broken and fixing is not required when we just want to improve a skill.
We must apply the correct tool for each requirement, after determining what is actually needed.

"Integration can also be enhanced by attending to the elements of everyday life, such as balanced diet, exercise, creative development, stress reduction, conflict resolution, career counseling, and coping skills."

Further Reading

To read more about primal therapy and primal integration, the following articles are available:

What is Primal Psychotherapy by Larry King
Primal Integration (brief) by John Rowan, Ph.D.
The Seven Stages of Primal Therapy by Stephen Khamsi, Ph.D.

Primal Therapy

What It Is and What It Is Not
(Written in 1986, revised in 1988 with important footnote: year 2000)
by Réal Beaulieu, MA, MFT, Primal Therapist

[I was trained by Dr. Janov from 1989 to 1995, and worked at his Primal Training Center with certification as a primal therapist under supervision from 1993 to 1995.]

This article originally appeared in the Winter, 1986, issue of L'Orientation Professionnelle. The author, a primal therapist, will soon relocate from Los Angeles to Montreal and plans to open a private practice there. Réal Beaulieu believes that the article has historical value and can encourage healthy discussions. Since it was written, he has undergone five years of training at the Primal Training Center under Dr. Arthur Janov's supervision. Mr. Beaulieu is no longer employed at the Primal Training Center.

Actual Writing:    >> He is a big supporter of Primal Therapy and Janov but then covers his differences below <<

Also, inherent to the nature of Primal therapy, there is the danger that the primal patient, having been promised a cure, puts too much hope and reliance on "feelings" alone. I must emphasize that this remark applies especially to the early days of Primal Therapy. In those days, the process was considered as potentially dangerous, even by Janov himself.

The process of getting in touch with one's feelings and expressing them is not dangerous in itself. It can only heal. The real danger occurs when the patient is confronted with more pain than he or she can handle and integrate (overload). This is likely to happen when one's quality of life is getting worse, or simply isn't improving. We all have a good understanding that a miserable present in conjunction with a miserable past can only lead to despair.

It appears to me that the process of Primal Therapy could be improved if the therapists paid more attention to the quality of life of their patients. In that sense, I would propose a reversal of procedure. Instead of initially focusing on the Pain, one should help the patient to get a better life first. In due time, the Pain will come up. When the therapy is applied in this manner, the patient cannot lose and the risk of an overload is practically eliminated.

I have other criticisms. For example, I always felt the cost of the three-week intensive to be prohibitive and even anti-therapeutic for that same reason. Let me explain. The intensive is only the tip of the iceberg. Some people have to work years or use up all of their savings in order to only “start” a process that may last a lifetime. This puts them under enormous pressure to “feel old feelings” (called primals here) and sometimes leads to abreaction or trying too hard to do the therapy. In other words, it becomes unnatural, therefore anti-therapeutic. Once again, this is a discussion about how the Therapy should be applied, not a questioning of the theory itself. One can take a thousand trips around the world, become a famous writer or movie star, be admired by millions, and still feel miserable. The kind of pain we are talking about doesn't go away just because of a change in lifestyle. It eventually has to be dealt with and felt for what it is.


- IMPORTANT NOTE - In this article, I was trying to classify primal theory historically in terms of Freudian, Cognitive-Behavioral and Existential-Humanistic psychology. The latter puts a strong emphasis on the client’s responsibility for his/her own present and future growth.

The danger here is to ignore the tremendous responsibility of the therapist in that growth process. A un-acknowledged mistake (especially an egregious one) by the therapist or the people in authority (therapy-wise), especially when confronted by the client, can contribute to catastrophic overload in a primal client. This overload can last for a lifetime.

This is compounded even more, if in the name of clinical expertise, the mistake is endorsed by a whole group of therapists and people in authority. Then, the reality of the client is clearly taken away which may lead to dire consequences, including suicide and psychosis. For many primal patients, primal therapy represents their last hope. Where will they turn if the people who gave them that hope turn their back and deny the validity of their reality, perceptions and feelings in the same way their parents did?

We all have the responsibility to look at ourselves as therapists and face the consequences of our acts. It is human to make mistakes, but is is inhuman to deny them when there is so much at stake. The main quality of a good therapist is humility and non-defensiveness. It is a grave mistake not to be able to say:
“You are right, I am sorry.”

>> I suspect, tied up in these words, are implications of Janov and company. The words show a real depth and understanding. This site and participants also strongly resonate with me. They have seen the errors and corrected them and made adjustments.<<


The 3 Steps to Healing - Awareness, Expression, Resolution    by Robert S. Vibert

I recently realized what was missing in many emotional healing techniques - a systematic and comprehensive approach that would ensure that the three key aspects of the emotional healing process would be properly handled.

Since early 2001, I have engaged in a dedicated and intense research project with a wide range of emotional healing modalities. I have participated in numerous workshops and conferences on healing approaches and modalities, read countless books and articles, watched dozens of training videos and been trained and certified in a number of these modalities. I have discussed the process and methodologies of healing with many experts in the field, and had the techniques applied to myself as well as applied them to willing "clients".

Thanks to my other income streams, and unlike many people involved in this arena, I have not approached it as a way to gain a living, and this has enabled me to easily abandon techniques that do not work well in favour of those that do. I did not hang up a "shingle" as healer, mainly because I was not satisfied with the results in both myself and others with most of these systems.

Drawing on my background in systems analysis, I watched for patterns and what underlying structures existed in these techniques. While I do not consider the research project complete, a clear picture has emerged concerning the emotional healing process and what steps are involved, in addition to how well many methods achieve their stated healing goals.

There are many excellent methods and processes which help people uncover their emotional pain and many that allow a good expression of that pain, but few properly addressed the final step - resolution of that pain, so one can live free of it.

My research reveals that there are three steps one needs to take for healing to be complete.
Copyright Robert S. Vibert May 2006, all rights reserved. First published on May be freely distributed with this copyright notice intact.

Resisting Change    by Robert S. Vibert

Curious about this topic, I did a quick Google search and found that more than 36 million web pages refer to people's resistance to change. Many of the initial 30 or so pages I looked at discussed this in the context of the business environment, but many addressed the general reasons people resist change. Here's part of a list of reasons, that I found on

There a number of books on the topic of resistance to change, and many consultants offer workshops and services to assist organizations deal with change resistance. Given the wide range of material on this topic, I am lead to conclude that we are still searching for the real answer.

Interestingly enough, I did find one author (Al Kaniss) who included in his material that we resist change because it represents "A THREAT TO OUR SECURITY, SAFETY OR SURVIVAL". I suspect that he is very close to the mark, although the examples he gives deal more with the installation of nuclear plants in someone's backyard.

>> This is a great article and so is the entire site. You should read it. It supports Primal Theory but also takes a closer look at what sometimes interferes in this therapy.<<

Cognition - The Legacy of Descartes    by Robert S. Vibert

>> This too, is recommended. Sort of supports Arthur, really. Vibert really is a supporter of Primal theory and therapy. But elsewhere, Vibert has shown that more is needed. But here he does down thinking or cognition, as the only approach and being a limited approach.

Warning! I have abbreviated much of these articles above and below from this site, to present the main ideas.<<

The Myth of Choice        by Robert S. Vibert

Is it true that we can choose our emotions, our thoughts, our beliefs? Unfortunately, this concept is only partially true and only valid under certain circumstances. In reality, much of our thinking, our emotional responses and our beliefs are determined by the various factors that either contribute to their creation or impede their free choice.

Beliefs can be defined as the conviction of the truth concerning some statement (or collection of thoughts) or the reality of some being or phenomenon. However, no matter how strong our conviction is, these beliefs may not be true or even valid. Beliefs need to be verified to be true by objective validation.

Beliefs are not reality, but really only value judgements. However, this does not stop us from treating beliefs as if they were real. You may have heard the expression "Don't confuse me with the facts; I've made up my mind" which of course sounds like nothing more than a well-practiced set of thoughts. Often beliefs can be found just under the surface of our consciousness, ready to be blurted out without much thinking - statements like "I'm never on time" and "I'm not good enough!", "I'll never get well!", "No one likes me!" etc...

Where does a thought or belief come from?

There are a number of factors which contribute to the creation of thoughts and beliefs, and emotions related to these. Some of the more common factors are peer and family influences, cultural norms, and traumatic events. All of these have an impact upon us, and trigger the creation of thoughts and deeply embedded beliefs, which we can mistakenly think are our own. Although they are deeply embedded, they are not our own, as we did not consciously create them.

Making choices when in pain

The other part of this equation is that whenever we are in pain, especially emotional pain, our capacity to think clearly and make clear choices is severely diminished. There are plenty of studies which show that the parts of our brains that react get the most blood flow when we are emotionally triggered, leaving our thinking brain parts with much less blood than normal.

In other words, we can't think straight when we are in a highly charged emotional state. If we can't think straight, then it is going to be darn hard to make informed choices. So when someone tells you that you can choose to feel or think differently, don't beat yourself up if you cannot.
Copyright Robert S. Vibert May 2007

Avoiding Responsibilities in Life        by Robert S. Vibert

Every day, in so very many ways, people from all walks of life avoid taking responsibility for their actions, using denial and obstructive tactics. Even something as simple as accepting responsibility for parking their car outside the designated zone is unacceptable to them.

A good example of this is what Gay Hendricks, a relationship specialist, tells in his books of the time he spent working in the American prison system. Almost every single person that had been incarcerated stated to Hendricks that the responsibility for being in prison was not theirs. They would blame the justice system, the other people involved in the crimes for which they were convicted, and even their own kids for turning them in.

And then, there is perhaps the most classic excuse of all: "The devil made me do it.", which was immortalized by the late Flip Wilson, comedian and television actor, who starred in The Flip Wilson Show in the 1970s.

Why run away from Responsibility?

So, the 64 dollar question is - why do people run away from taking responsibility for what they have done? Apart from all the other possible reasons, there is one that is crucial - fear of shame. Shame is a very life diminishing emotion for many people. In fact, some studies have determined that shame can be a key factor in suicide attempts.

But, how do we get to feeling shame from avoiding responsibility? The link is the human desire to avoid pain and a common misconception about guilt and shame. If we take as an example what happens when someone does something that they know is not right. Whatever the path that led them to that situation, they know that their act was not acceptable by the standards of their society or culture. According to Shelly Pinnell, a Licensed Social Worker with many years of experience in dealing with this phenomena, just the knowledge that they did something wrong is enough for many people to
activate their pain avoidance mechanisms.

It is pretty easy to see that humans avoid pain much of the time. And, there is an innate sense that shame is painful, often very painful. "What makes this more complicated, Pinnell says, is that people often confuse guilt with shame and lump them together in the 'that which we avoid' group."

"Guilt about a wrong-doing is normal and can serve as a motivation to right a wrong or make amends. The problem arises when people confuse the guilt they feel with the shame they don't want to feel and enter into a state of strong denial about the whole matter."

Although the terms Shame and Guilt are used rather interchangeably by many people, they are not one and the same. You can differentiate between the two by remembering that according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary

As we can see, the terms are related, but shame incorporates pain, humiliation, disgrace - all much more intense in nature and which build upon the feeling of guilt.

From Bad to Worse

Given the strong avoidance tendencies that most people have around painful feelings of shame and the confusion of guilt with shame, it is not surprising that so many people avoid taking responsibility for anything that might trigger those undesirable emotions.

And, as people have more and more interactions with others, the number of opportunities to engage in actions which may not be the most suitable, let alone acceptable, grows constantly. As a result, in many societies there is less and less acceptance of responsibility and the trend is in the direction of this getting only worse. Some societies have entered the era of no personal responsibility - we blame our DNA, our parents, our poverty, our riches, whatever we can point at, so long as we do not point at ourselves.

It is time for this tide to turn, and for people to start distinguishing between a twinge of conscience and blast of shame and to start taking more and more responsibility for their actions.

But when children have guilt-laden care-givers that are hung up on their own uncorrected mistakes ( for which the care-givers have taken no responsibility) they become locked into the culture of shame and guilt from which there appears to be no respite other than not accepting responsibility.

One can ask, "Under these conditions what child would want to accept responsibility?

If we do not model to our children and ourselves a high degree of acceptance of responsibility, in the context of suitable forgiveness, we will sink lower and lower, away from a mature and life-enhancing way of life. All it takes is a few moments to model this for others, much like that which was demonstrated with generosity in the movie "Pay it Forward". Let us do this for our children and others. Let us initiate a culture of courage and responsibility for future generations.

Copyright Robert S. Vibert February 2006

End of Site info <<<

I love the approach of this site as well. You should definitely visit this site and give it a going over. Great work! But as well, Vibert is telling you exactly what he is about. He is very Janovian and yet has differences and is making those know to us all. Nothing to hide! But as well, Vibert is promoting, defining, enhancing, evolving and man enough to recognize deficiencies and make improvements. Like Cohen, he inspires confidence and trust. You (at least I do) feel good about him as a person with growth and good qualities.

Vibert puts out a little more in theory than most. I like that. Vibert does not heavily promote himself like Arthur does. But Vibert does have many book recommendations and articles and has given much time to improving the whole therapy involved. He mentioned how it is easier for him to admit an error and change when required. I read implications into that.

My opinion is that Arthur can not admit error or shame. His ego will not allow it and his practice is all of his income. I would like to see Arthur step up to the plate and address what these various practitioners have found and put into practice.

>> Dec. 8, 2013. Vibert hits upon what I have come to believe. Part of what causes trouble for many people is their poor ways of handling various situations that often come upon in life. Just as an athletic coach might teach you how to play a sport better, a psychological behavioral coach could teach you better ways to handle these situations that can bring so much trouble in life. By eliminating the bad patterns and stop acting without thought, and trying something new, we establish new patterns and encounter new types of experiences which can be life changing experiences that stimulate more changes in brain wiring.

When you substantially reduce the trouble you encounter due to your own behavior, you will experience far less trouble. With far less trouble and drama, you will have more time to focus and concentrate on what is important, without distraction and drama. You may also gain the of the sub-conscious, referred to in some circles as the "hidden observer," named by E. Hilgard. The hidden observer is the real decision make in most of our thoughts and behavior. If one is having problems feeling or primalling, it may be the hidden observer blocking such release of feelings, believing there is too much chaos or danger in its life at that time.

By substantially reducing the danger and winning over the confidence of the hidden observer, one might then begin to feel and primal. I can only tell you that mind control victims, due to no one really knowing how to treat them, since such things had never been known of or accepted when the first victims came forth, no one knew how to treat them. Victims were often left on their own to figure it out and they did. They often "primalled" as well, though they did not know Janov or that name.

Mind control victims had experienced hundreds and even thousands of traumas and were racked with pain, yet they eventually found some heading and relief. It has been done, despite the overwhelming odds against that.

I maintain emphatically, that the most important ingredient in any recovery of psychological abuse, whether typical or extreme, is the will and desire of the person wounded, to truly want relief and answers. Trying to get your own hidden observe to cooperate may be your biggest challenge. I'll write on this all extensively one day, but not at this time. Too busy right now.<<

International Primal Association (IPA)
Back to Top

Our purpose is to explore, study, research, and promote deep feeling forms of psychotherapy and growth, including those that emphasize uncovering and resolving traumatic experiences, and to develop a community that is congruent with the principles developed from this work.

The IPA is a non-profit organization founded in 1973. Its membership is made up of professional and lay persons interested in exploring and advancing primal abreaction and other forms of deep feeling psychotherapy and growth. Members come from a broad cross section of backgrounds, occupations, and interests. The IPA seeks to provide a safe and honest environment for validation of the Self as an individual, the Self as a community member, and the Self as a professional practitioner. Those sharing or seeking this path of self-discovery may enjoy the social events and joyous community activities built into the IPA's way of BEING.

The IPA respects and appreciates the pioneering work of Arthur Janov. However, the IPA is not affiliated in any way with Arthur Janov or the Primal Institute of Los Angeles.
The desire to reach and process deep conscious and unconscious human experience, thus releasing the crippling effects of repression, is common to IPA members.
We honor the work of many pioneers in the field. The paths are diverse but the end is unified: to help integrate body, mind, and spirit in a natural, inner directed, fully alive individual capable of being.

IPA Statement of Essence

The International Primal Association is a community of feeling-oriented people, interacting within an atmosphere of love, acknowledgement, permission, and support, who highly value primal process, abreaction, primals, and other deep feeling work as modalities for promoting healing, loving, growing, wholeness, authenticity, and BEING.

>> Basically, the IPA allows for freedom of speech and the freedom to disagree. It is tolerant, which is vital if growth and development of the theory is to take place. It was started quite early, in 1973. So they saw a need, even way back then, to free up the direction Arthur Janov has started. Possibly, Art made enemies quickly with his "wonderful" personality.<<

What is Primal Psychotherapy by Larry King
Primal Integration (brief) by John Rowan, Ph.D.
Primal Integration (extensive) by John Rowan, Ph.D.
The Seven Stages of Primal Therapy by Stephen Khamsi, Ph.D.

These external links may also be helpful:


IPA Member Links

>> Obviously, I can not vouch for all of these or any of these. You should evaluate any particular one. But they are all working toward the same goal and deserve a hearing and respect.<<

Juliana Brown and Richard Mowbray  (
Primal Integration programme explores deeper levels of consciousness with a view to being more alive and living more authentically. Located in London, UK.

Juliana Brown and Richard Mowbray  (
Group workshops and individual sessions with a variety of approaches to personal growth. Located in London, UK.

Barbara Bryan  (
Primal Integration Center of Michigan
Counseling and Deep Feeling release of old wounds, individually or in groups.

William Emerson  (
Emerson Training Seminars
Workshops and training programs dedicated to the pursuit of psychological and spiritual evolvement in infants, children and adults. Based in California, USA.

Dianea Kohl  (
Dianea Kohl is a psychotherapist who is primalling now for 10 years, and written four books...three on the healing power of tears, and one about why we laugh.

Ruth S. Nyman  (
Janov-certified primal therapist. Trained and worked at Dr. Arthur Janov's International Primal Center in Venice, California, from January 1994 until June 2006. I offer intensives and sessions in English and French. Will do some follow-up by phone when appropriate.

Esta Powell (
Esta has over 14 years experience as a therapist in Europe and US, and has specialized training in Psychosynthesis, Gestalt Therapy, Psychodrama, and Primal Integration.

Esta offers deep feeling/primal work for individuals and couples. Phone/Internet sessions available.

John Rowan  (
A published author, his website provides information about Sub-personalities, The Transpersonal, Male Healing and his Primal Integration practice. Located in London, UK.

John Speyrer  (
Primal Psychotherapy Page
A resource for those with interests in regressive Deep-Feeling Psychotherapies that includes book reviews, interviews and articles on primal theory.

Sam Turton  (
Sam's Primal Integration practice, extensive leading-edge discussions on personal growth and healing, primal theory and process, emotional expression and release, healthy living, and Zen meditation. Located near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Gary Thomas Wareham  (
Primal Therapy of Denver
A psychotherapist and mental health professional trained in Primal Therapy by Jules and Helen Roth, he provides week long intensives as well as individual and couple sessions.

Other Primal Sites

>> Dec. 8, 2013. Janov has recently warned on his site about false primal therapists, who are really not qualified and have had many screw-ups. Again, he has never specified much. We will have to take his word for it, maybe. But for sure, anyone still wanting to pursue Primal Therapy, which I no longer recommend, really, then you need to very carefully find out what your potential therapist truly has for qualifications, and ask for patient references and ask him or her, even as I have asked here of Arthur, exactly what their success rate has been and what sort or failures they have had.

Every good therapist is bound to have plenty of failures, because most patients, regardless of the type of therapy, or therapist, are usually the real problem and obstacle to their own progress. If your potential therapist denies failure, he/she is a liar and not to be trusted. There are lots of questions to ask. But really, I still advise against any therapy now.

I recently watch a Tony Robbins TED video on Youtube. Robbins recommends strategies, sort of like Vibert in mentioned previously here in this article. I deeply respect the Philosphy of Robbins. I have met "fans" of Robbins. They love his presentation, which are sort of like a religious revival meeting, minus the religion. But they have not understand the key that Robbins has been teaching for over 20 years and it has never changed and it is very effective if you actually apply it. But most never do apply it! Why? Because their hidden observe senses it might lead to uncomfortable truths, conclusions, or other such possibilities.

In short, Robbins can do nothing for you if you will not do something for yourself. Therapists do not usually deserve the blame. The very best of them have a high failure rate. Janov blames therapists but Janov never really dicusses his possible failures, of which I have come across a few, I might add. Its more common than you might think.

So I leave you with just 2 simple things Robbins has long advocated. Who are you, really, and what do you truly want? It may take time and pondering to carefully and honestly determine those 2 questions. Or you can just lie to yourself or accept simple easy answers that answer nothing at all. Its up to you!<<

Asociacion Primal (Spain)
Lists links to other sites for information (in Spanish and English) about Primal, Parenting and Family Constellations.

David Joseph Alpert   (
A healing method with unique elements:

Jan Armitage   (
Helping clients towards self-discovery, insight and change, in a safe environment. Located in Brighton and London, UK.

Janice Berger   (
Janice Berger and Associates
Deep Emotional Processing Therapy helps people discover and activate their own natural healing ability. Located near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Andy Bernay-Roman   (
Facilitating deep feeling, body-oriented psychotherapy in South Florida, USA.

Susan Cowan-Jenssen  (
London Association of Primal Psychotherapists
Trained by Arthur Janov, this group of therapists offers individual, couple and group psychotherapy sessions.

Susan Cowan-Jenssen  (
The Online Resource for Psychotherapy offers wide-ranging information about psychotherapy, psychology and counselling. Our aim is to supply services and network facilities to the mental-health professional community in the UK and abroad. The site contains a broad range of resources that are available to registered mental health professionals through subscription: case seminars, interviews, lectures, which are delivered in both audio and text so that you can listen and download the transcript; directories of registered practitioners and discussion forums. The Features pages, Books reviews and sales, and the Directory for the Public are all open to non-subscribers.

Stephen Khamsi  (
A teacher and licensed psychotherapist with a doctorate in psychology, Stephen has operated a private practice since 1985. Located in San Francisco, California, USA.

Terry Larimore  (
Early Trauma Treatment and Training
Recognizes that emotional wounding before, during and after birth requires a different approach to healing than later traumas. Based in San Francisco Bay area, USA.

Heide Maria Druecke, M.D. (
Body-work, Primal-work, Breathing Sessions, Meditation, Aura-Soma. Located in Heidelberg, Germany.

Heide Maria Druecke, M.D. (
Gesellschaft für Integrative Primärtherapie (GIPT)
Group of primal therapists based in Germany, Heide Druecke director.

Barbara Findeisen  (
Star Foundation
A transformative 10-day personal growth retreat with a carefully structured program of accelerated self-healing. Located in California, USA.

German Primalforum
German language primal forum site.

Paul Hannig  (
Psychotherapy Help
Telephone & Online Therapy: Solution Oriented Psychotherapy for Self & Relationships. Located in the Los Angeles/Southern California area.

Agnes and Ernst Oslender  (
Primal Center of British Columbia
Intensives and advanced Primal Therapy in English and German. The Oslenders assist people to access the memory of their cellular consciousness to undo the very early painful experiences and restore the primal innocent self.

Primal Psychotheory
A website designed to encourage discussions on all topics related to primal psychotherapy.
by Frederick M. Farrar

Pat Törngren  (
The South African Primal Therapy Support Page
An international resource for those interested in Primal Therapy and other Deep Feeling Regressive Psychotherapies and includes a World Wide Online Primal Support Group.

>> It is also clear from the above that Primal Theory and Therapy are widely embraced and supported. Arthur would lead you to believe otherwise. What I like about all this so far is that there is no certification board or licensing or similar bullshit required.  They do have certification for members recommendations if you require such a thing. Anyone can claim ability. Freedom allows for abuse, it is true, but it also prevents anyone from advancing the therapy in meaningful ways without being blocked for political reasons. It is up to you, the reader and potential patient to evaluate each source individually and make your own informed decision, which is as it should be.

I really like this next section. It recognizes that a number of movements and ideas have been moving toward Primal ideas and are helpful to it, not a hindrance. As the Bible even suggests, he who is not against me, is for me.<<

Related Modalities

Susan Aaron
The founder of Psychodramatic Bodywork for therapists and counselors, Susan leads workshops on a variety of topics, offers anger videos and ongoing personal growth groups.

C. Barbarow   (
The Accelerated Recovery Process is a well developed, planned recovery system combining some very well known and successful applications of recovery techniques that Heal (not Just Cope with!) Emotional trauma and also free one from severe cognitive disorders... those severe negative and abusive inner thoughts that drive us to our addictions, wrong decisions, limit us and have catastrophic effects on our relationships... based on experience and dramatic results, not  theory.

Adopted Life
Dedicated to improving society's understanding of adoption and fostering issues with an emphasis on emotional experience and human rights.

APPPAH (Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health)
An association interested in the psychological dimensions of prenatal and perinatal experiences

Aware Parenting Institute
A philosophy of child-rearing that questions traditional assumptions about children, the website includes a book list.
by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

Global Alliance for Intelligent Arts
A worldwide alliance of performing, visual, & healing artists dedicated to human development.

Liedloff Continuum Network
A website created to educate those interested in the well-being of infants and children by advocating principles described in the book "The Continuum Concept."

Lloyd deMause's Psychohistory
Examines the emotional origin of the social and political behavior of groups and nations, past and present.

Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor (PBSP)
An internationally used technique in which people re-experience past trauma, then re-enact the event using ideal parents who satisfy the early developmental needs.

Reevaluation Counselling
A system in which two people, alternating between counselor and client roles, use talk, emotional release and reevaluation to resolve issues.

>> There is a great recommended reading list ( ). Arthur Janov is fully supported and recommended. Many other great works have been published. This, in contradiction to what Arthur says. If you have only ever known Janov, you would not be aware of any of these. Thanks to the IPA and like minded ones, we can be aware now, if we so choose.

This next article is ESSENTIAL. It nails it good and did so way back in 1975.<<
Beyond Janov    by Herman Weiner, Ph.D.

Despite Arthur Janov's brilliant discovery and enlargement of primal catharsis, he has seriously underestimated the strategic significance of at least one very central aspect of long term psychotherapy - the transference phenomenon. This crucial omission of the omnipresent transference, threatens to create a solipsistic cult of primal technicians. The transference in cultism is, ironically, embodied in slavish imitation of the authority figure.

Thus, for example, the "three week intensive" becomes sacrosanct, and total isolation is demanded even of schizoid patients whose lives have been long scarred by chronic isolation. Similarily, the self-abnegating hair-shirter is proffered a "primal" hair-shirt. Pleasure and joy are not universally accepted. They often provoke intense anxiety among applicants to primal therapy. Yet, the role of pleasure, so important for Reich, is conspicuously absent in Janov's theory. He views the therapist as essentially a "dealer of pain."

An authoritarian pain-dealer, understandably, must dispense with the phenomenon of transference in the therapist. This eliminates the therapist's responsibility for excess and needless pain inflicted upon the patient. Seemingly, the more pain the better the primal therapy, for only pain provokes primal feelings. The simplism of this idea is demonstrated by patients who characteristically celebrate their screaming masochism interminably without therapeutic change. In such instances, an old child-parent transference may be re-enacted endlessly, just as it occurred in the crib.

The therapist does not wish to comprehend that he is now the uncaring mother who tolerates this old pain felt by the child. Urging the patient to "tell it to your mommy" does not exonerate the therapist's ignorance of transference. The specific nature of the transference and of the therapist's own emotional reactions, must ultimately dictate what the therapist does or does not do. If the patient's mommy felt helpless, or annoyed, or angry, or indifferent, eventually the therapist will begin to feel those corresponding parental feelings.

Only by understanding the nature of such re-enactments in the here-and-now with himself, can the therapist hope to transcend his own reactive transference feelings towards the patient. If not, he will unconsciously conspire with the patient to recreate the old child-parent pattern. Not only will the painful pattern of feelings be perseverated (preserved?) needlessly, but the patient may lose trust in a therapist who can only deal him the same pain his parents dealt him.

Primal therapy is deceptively simple. Almost anyone can learn to begin the primal process in someone else. And, the primal process is sufficiently powerful to provide dramatic and early breakthroughs. But there is much more to therapy than primalling, for at certain junctures, impenetrable resistances may arise which tend to halt and even undo earlier gains.

It is at these crucial points that the therapist's knowledge of his own reactions as a potential part of the therapeutic blockage may be vital. His own transference and counter-transference feelings may provide stifling feedback and keep the patient "stuck" in therapy. That is the junction at which gimmicks and techniques may provide illusory but short-lived movement. No technique, however powerful, can substitute for critical self-awareness in the therapist once the primal honeymoon is over. At this point, the primal facilitators and the competent psychotherapist may be distinguished.

The transference (or re-symbolization) of unfelt early feelings is endemic in our culture. It finds expression in every variety of symbolic substitutes for the past, in present "objects," physical tensions, and in behavioral patterns. An optimal "primal" is an actual living out of an experience that has been repressed rather than fully felt and expressed. It is, ideally, a return to the origins of the transference. This primal paradigm probably led Janov to dispense with transference. "The primal does not deal with the transference." He is busily engaged in having the patient feel his wants towards his parents. In fact, "the patient-therapist relationship is ignored entirely."

Then, he paraphrases Freud: "I believe the transference is the memories. . ."; Janov, however, believes that all transference acting out can be "shut off by the primal therapist" as he pushes the patient to feel his pain. Moreover, the problem of counter-transference in the therapist is presumably resolved because no Janov certified primalist is still neurotic.

One could heartily wish that Janov was, indeed, right about this. But, neurosis, and therefore transference and counter-transference, are here to stay - at least for several more generations. The patient-therapist relationship "ignored entirely" by the therapist, stubbornly remains operative. To ignore these ever-present two-way interactions between the therapist and the patient serves to emasculate the primal method, and it deprives the therapist of a very important source of self-awareness. For example: The therapist's need for "success" with his patient, can become part of the patient's problem, because of his own earlier experience with his parents' need for success foisted upon him.

In such a case, the primal work may circle endlessly around these old family feelings blindly re-enacted by both patient and therapist. Subtle, but persistent needs for power and control by the therapist may limit the primal work as it sets up an apriori inequality: the real, non-neurotic therapist vs. the unreal, neurotic patient. Once again, here, an old and familiar parent-child relationship is repeated and reinforced. At some point, the patient is compelled to choose continued submission and abasement, etc., or exacerbation of somatic symptoms, or acting-out in his external life, or even flight from therapy rather than express his mounting rage towards his parent-like therapist.

The potential infantilization (not therapeutic regression) of the patient implies the overly sanguine division of humanity into the sick and the healthy, the patient and the therapist, as propounded by the notion of a "cured," transference-free therapist. It is difficult to imagine a more "unreal" conception than the "normal therapist" notion!

However curative the primal experience may be, there is no evidence and even less reason to assert that primal therapy can finally "cure" neurosis. Janov has made an overly zealous leap from his brilliant primal paradigm to the unreal belief that primal actually produces non-neurotic therapists as well as "normal" patients. Given the complexity of life-long reinforcement of neurotic character structure in our almost totally neurotic culture, the expectation of a "cure" seems a patently naive one. Certainly the ex-patients and therapist-trainees of Janov's thus far encountered are visibly far from cured non-neurotics.

>> Boy, do I agree with the above paragraph. In fact, I find Janov, himself, to be very neurotic and his logic deeply flawed and inconsistent. That is what moved me to create the articles such as this one and 2 others.<<

The "primal pool" dug by decades of living cannot be totally drained by several weeks of intensive and 18 months of group work. Nor does the primal pool seem likely to have a finite depth in any practical sense. What must be admitted, however, is that primal therapy can be quicker and more profound in its therapeutic impact than any other known form of psychotherapy. This palpable efficacy is the major cause of primal's rapid, world-wide dissemination. More people are turning to primal for help, and more traditional therapists are beginning to modify their practice in a primal direction.

The primal breakthrough, after three quarters of a century of fairly futile psychoanalytic therapy, is indeed an epochal one. Its immense efficacy is very promising both for the individual and for society. But like all great revelations, primal is quickly threatened with dilution and erosion. Its experiential core becomes overlaid and obscured by dogma and ritual in the very process of transmission from teacher to student, from guru to followers.

The pioneering genius who cuts a path into the wilderness of the unknown, begins to block the path with his own formidable stature. As he defends his precious discovery, his views may become defensively rigidified and his followers may begin to worship his personal idiosyncracies which become elevated to dogma. Dumb fetishism and cultism begin to flourish around the leader as idolatry obscures fresh experience and further discovery.

>> In my opinion, this above is what has become of Arthur Janov and his followers.<<

But the primal breakthrough can continue to break through only if it continually faces this ancient parent-child repetition. That "repetition", in the therapy sphere, is transference to and from the patient and the therapist. The elimination of transference is an ideal goal which may be approached for the greater good of both patient and therapist, if the therapist continually directs his patient and himself back to the underlying origins of the transference neurosis. This is much easier said than done, but it must be worked on ceaselessly. Let's face it: Sisyphus is still alive, and not well.

This article appeared in the Fall 1975 issue of the International Primal Association's journal, Primal Community. Reprinted with permission.

End of Site info <<<

One thing I would like to see is a feedback or rating system from former patients of Primal Practitioners. Arthur and some patients claim they have had bad therapy results from others. There are bound to be some. But not all bad reports will be legitimate, either. But open feedback is valuable and constructive. It would enable improvement as well.

Frances Rinaldo  --  Psychotherapist  MA MS LMFT PIT
Back to Top

>>Frances found me, I think thru a search engine, looking for stuff on Janov. She believes in Primal Therapy as I do. She has been a patient and received some training in the therapy. Art says if you have not been certified recently, you are not qualified. This, of itself, is not  a good reason. If what Art had been practicing for 30 years or more was not right or correct, then how can he find fault with others who do the same? He has never been able to address this.

She practices right in the LA area, so she is not far from Arthur or his former wife's Primal Institute, either. Her education and practice are wide in scope. I think it provides a good range. I do not know enough to say more. I hope to hear more from her. Anyone seeking a therapist should interview them. Even good well qualified therapists may not be the right fit for some people. Your best way of telling is to talk to them. She is another example of a believer in Primal Therapy. That is not a bad thing, that is a good thing.    Below is from her site.<<


As a licensed psychotherapist, I provide short and long-term therapy and counseling for individuals, couples and families. I am also a dispute resolution mediator. I work with people of all ages to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles and to resolve a range of crisis issues including PTSD.

My more than 17 years of clinical experience includes:
• Training in Primal Therapy with the prominent psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov
• Counseling teenage boys in Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall
• Counseling foster children and their families in L.A. County as an
  L.A. County Social Worker and psychotherapist
• Working with couples, families and individuals in my private psychotherapy practice.
  My clients are from all socio-economic levels and diverse cultural backgrounds.

• Master of Science, Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy*
  California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1997
• Master of Arts Cinema Production, University of Southern California, 1994
• Bachelor of Arts Humanities, California State University, Long Beach, 1987

I am a member of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and a member of the Mental Health Team of the American Red Cross (Santa Cruz Chapter).

>> Dec. 8, 2013. I have never heard from Frances since. Like many, she seems to have good qualifications, though not verified by me, anyway. But she has not expressed any ideas on primal therapy or where she stands amid the pros and cons of whether Janov is right in asserting that only his guidance is an assurance of success or not. Being somewhat critical in my thinking by nature now, I wondered why she has had so little to say, here, or anywhere else that I can determine. I offer anyone a chance to speak out in any way they like on this subject and no one on either or any side wants to do so.

This is yet another reason why I hold the entire field of primal therapy and psychology as a whole, in a certain amount of suspicion. A good primal therapist should have no problem at least discussing past treatment successes and failures or what they might have learned or improved upon, in their opinion. Janov has long had the option of dealing with any issue more publicly on his own blog site.. He has chosen to remain silent or with me by email. I can say no more. Too much silence in too many directions. Hidden Observers Beware!<<

The Primal Mind     by Bruce Wilson
Back to Top  

Exploring the primal roots of mental health

About The Primal Mind
with 2 comments

Neuroscience has come of age and is going in some truly fascinating directions. We now have hybrid “neuro” disciplines such as neurophilosophy, neurotheology, neuroanthropology, cultural neuroscience, cultural neuropsychology, and neuropsychoanalysis.

The most exciting development is the shift away from cognitive neuroscience towards affective neuroscience. Human and animal emotions are now a rich area of scientific study and thanks to the work of pioneers like Jaak Panksepp, emotions are now regarded as bona fide experiences, and not just mechanical reactions to stimuli. A rat that squeeks joyously when tickled can now be said to be “laughing” and not “undergoing a positive response to pleasurable stimuli.”

The purpose of this blog is to explore recent findings in affective neuroscience and their relation to mental health and psychotherapy in order to create lives with more authenticity and love. The blending of neuroscience with psychotherapy is an emerging area, and although many attempts are being made to link the two disciplines, there is a serious need for the study of deep feeling psychotherapies, such as primal therapy.

Sadly, psychotherapies that explore deep feelings are often viewed as obsolete, unscientific, and unhelpful at best or dangerous at worst. This misunderstanding is exacerbated by practitioners who combine deep feeling approaches with supernatural or transpersonal approaches that take people deep into imaginary states with little or no connection to reality. (Examples are so-called past-life therapy or cellular consciousness.) The greatest tragedy is that deep feeling therapies are commonly misrepresented as “scream therapy” or “primal scream therapy” because of the title of a book by Arthur Janov, called The Primal Scream.

In this blog, we will address these misunderstandings and hopefully stimulate a lively dialog among psychologists, psychotherapists, affective neuroscientists, and others who want to see this field advance in a truly scientific way. We believe that these efforts are critical to helping people who are emotionally damaged and need something more powerful than talk therapy. More importantly, we hope to contribute to the creation a truly compassionate society that will eventually eliminate the need for psychotherapy.

Welcome aboard!        Bruce and Peter

Who we are

with 5 comments

Bruce Wilson is a freelance science and medical writer based near Montreal, Quebec. He possesses an infinite curiousity about science, human nature, and naturalistic spirituality. He is driven by a desire to see a more caring, loving, compassionate and feeling world. His other blog is

Peter P. Prontzos teaches political science, political psychology, and political philosophy at Langara College in Vancouver, B.C.  He is working on a book about the human condition and another on primal therapy.

End of Site-Blog info <<<

Bruce Wilson is very approved by Arthur Janov. That is both a good thing and a hindrance, too. My impression is that Bruce never wanders far from what Janov promotes. On the other hand, his articles are good and worth considering if you have the time and interest. But I like those that are not Janov approved since they have rid themselves of the Janovian neurosis as I would call it. They dare to differ with the Zen master. That is a good thing.

The Primal Psychotherapy Page
Back to Top

- A Resource For Those With Interests In the Regressive Deep-Feeling Psychotherapies -

At 86, Dr. Arthur Janov, continues to rapidly add articles to his personal blog, Reflections on the Human Condition.

His blog presently contains over 155 articles with many interesting comments from readers. I liked The Timetable of Feelings . Another of my favorites is, Life Before Birth (revised) . Be sure to read his most recently uploaded, Who Do We Marry? Answer: Ourselves. Most excellent.

Primal Therapy was discovered by Arthur Janov, Ph.D. in the late 1960s. With E. Michael Holden, M.D., a neurologist and at that time, medical director of the Primal Institute, Dr. Janov formulated a rich body of knowledge relating to why and how primal therapy works (See the bibliography reference below for a listing of Dr. Janov's writings).
Criticized by some because he does not reveal his techniques for inducing primal regression, Janov has steadfastly insisted that dissemination of this information into the hands of the untrained is dangerous.
A clinical psychologist and successful songwriter, Dr. Janov, in his late eighties, presently operates the Primal Training Center in Venice, California. His book, Sexualité et la Subconscient was published in France 2006. It will soon be published in the U.S. as Sex and the Subconscious. His forthcoming book, Life Before Birth, is scheduled for printing in early 2011.
The first primal center was the Primal Institute, which for many years was associated with its founder. The center is presently operated by Dr. Janov's former wife, Vivian Janov. The institute earlier published the Primal Therapy Journal and still publishes The Primal Institute Newsletter. To view a less than complete listing of its articles, click on index.
Since the late 1960s many articles and books have been written about primal therapy. Stephen Khamsi, Ph.D., a primal therapist in San Francisco, has compiled such a bibliography.
Book reviews - 147 book and movie reviews relating to the deep regressive psychotherapies

Therapists & Training
Primal-type Therapists and Training Centers

End of Site info <<<

This is a great resource for all things related to Primal Theory & Therapy. Good articles with it, too. This perhaps, should have been the 1st reference appearing in this article but I wanted to feature therapists, first. But this site is a broad range and not indebted to Arthur Janov nor supportive of Janov's exclusivity and elitism. It might be your number one source for all things Primal. Very recommended.

Back to Top

Debunking Primal Therapy  .  .  .  A friendly heads up about primal therapy and other repressed memory therapies

Now here we truly have a turd in the punch bowl. This site is shear nonsense when actually addressing the fundamentals of primal therapy and theory. Strongly influenced by the Skeptical Inquirer and Skeptics Associations, it seeks to suppress and deny the whole movement/science and not just Janov. Further, they do not even refute Janov's basic theory at all, reasonably, anyway. Janov's theory is valid, even if not perfected or distorted a little. It would be a serious mistake to judge this basic theory because a man or practitioner was flawed. Address the flaws and critique the therapy accurately.

These are, in my opinion, the worst of all academic and supposed "scientific" vermin. Totally corrupt in their motives. Not worth the time of day. This said, it has to be admitted that many of their articles often have a considerable validity to them as to criticisms. Postings are interesting.  A piece on "Saint" John Lennon is very interesting, for sure.

I found both valid criticisms and unfair ones in this: "The therapy did not work. Primal Therapy did not cure neurosis."  The problem with Arthur's claims is that his basic core therapy is not wrong or a failure, but it is often incomplete or flawed in some particulars and in some cases, incompatible, and therefore, fails at times. Maybe many times. There is a good possibility that Arthur fails far more than he wants to admit. This seems to be subtly implied by many former therapists of his or those who are very familiar with him. Maybe they have met some of his former patients ;-) There are some good observations made.

There are concerns in Ethics Codes:
But on this one, I will say that sex is something bound to happen in nearly any circumstance of life. It is powerful and hard to stop. Like transference, I do not believe it can be stopped very easily. Abuse of sex takes place in politics, business, employer/employee relations, professor/student, mixed ages, etc. We carry on many pretenses in our society and laws. I think many of them are unfair. This idea of vulnerability is valid but yet, prevalent and pervasive. When it comes to sex, both parties are vulnerable. Money and power change that dynamic but each person has to be responsible for themselves and not blame others.

Let me put it another way. A powerful or influential person also had lots of sexual vulnerabilities that he can satisfy, but just as easily, he can be taken advantage or or exploited. We all have vulnerabilities to sex. It is a strange force, for sure, and a very powerful one.

I believe in self responsibility. I do not believe in blame games so popular in law and society today. So I do not find sex between therapists and patients to be the serious ethical violation that is commonly maintained. Yes, that is bold but I assert it strongly. No patient should give a therapist full unquestioning faith. I believe the Bible assigns very little blame for sex relations. Both participants are held equally accountable by God. No one sided blame! Allegations of male therapists are not certain and even if they were, I would have little to say about it.

As well, I find most fields who often brag about ethics are themselves full of flaws and unethical conduct in their work and beyond, "skeptics" in particular. Science and Academia are very flawed. Medicine is saturated with ethics flaws by my accounting. Religion is loaded with ethical problems. No field is more corrupt than politics. So if we are talking about ethics, I say, to borrow a line, let he who is sinless cast the first stone.

Sex will forever make monkeys of us all. Deal with it! Stop blaming one side or the other. Let the buyer beware, right?


I felt these were somewhat valid:

Reasonably valid:

Absolutely valid:

Just in case: Recommended Books for Recovery from Primal Therapy

While this site has done little to invalidate the basics of Primal Theory, it does bring up an awful lot of concern. One can better appreciate why many therapists left for their own practice and why they have banded together apart from Janov into an independent organization that has real peer review and input. For this reason, this is a necessary and important site. It serves a useful adequate purpose. It is essential for a rounded view of the whole field of "Primal Therapy."

More concerning is that Janov's Primal Therapy almost certainly is grossly exaggerated in its claims to benefits and effectiveness. In fact, nearly any therapy seems problematic. Really, when you assess it carefully, how do you undo a lifetime of damage and abuse? How do you remove (or protect yourself from) the pervasive world wide out-of-control human nature that harms us all and by which we harm all others. I think too much is expected of all therapy.

But It is my belief at this point, that the therapist is the most important part of the process. They must have the right and proper skills for such a practice. Not just anyone can do it. Janov needs, deserves, and merits analysis that includes critics and former patients and therapists. And understand that Arthur Janov will never give you that. You need to go find it on your own and the site in this section is part of that. It may not be great, but its all we got and it suffices.

The biggest problem is that Primal Therapy as promoted by Arthur is flawed and incomplete. That does not mean it does not have successes. Other therapies also have success stories. Some people heal, despite their therapy and therapist. Some heal because of those. But Holistic Therapy (my own invention), which is really much like what former primal therapists are now offering, requires the full human treatment with respect and no insults or games. Those might work at times but they are not necessary and can be quite harmful.

The Reality of Life
Back to Top

In my Holistic Psychology article, I deal with Janov quite a bit. I also expose his flawed contradictory logic on his otherwise very good article on Hypnosis, a subject deserving of far more consideration in examining human nature. And Arthur is flawed in logic. Were these his only faults, I might not have more to say, but my findings amount to much more.

Humanity as a whole, has been deeply wounded. Many individuals are deprived, scared, traumatized, vulnerable, weak, defenseless, untaught, unprepared, unfortified, confused, and often very desperate. In most cases, they do not have many answers or reasonably intact facilities to cope with things. They are going to need help and mercy. Their chances of finding it are slim, since finding good help requires a little bit of sound thinking, in spite of all, and maybe more than a little luck. So it would help if someone can give them pointers that might help guide them. I have tried my best to lend a hand and reveal what I have found along the way.

Deep psychological trauma, the essence of primal theory, is usually a major contributor to suffering and dysfunction, ineffectiveness. No doubt there. But there is so much more that is a problem. Parents, in an idealistic world, would teach their kids knowledge and skills to cope with various aspects of life. Wounded people have not received much of these. They are without skills, and abilities developed. This also needs corrected.

Such ones are often isolated, without social support or connections, that many fortunate ones are born into, the ones with silver spoons in their mouths, right?

These wounded ones can barely function or hold on to sanity at times. I am describing the most debilitated, of course. To lesser degrees, we might all qualify at any given time. But generally, wounded ones will be suffering, whether in the middle of a current crisis or not. As such, they are not able to stand up to psychological assaults or any other type, either. There is no foundation or internal reinforcement, no defense, and easily preyed upon.

It would be very unprincipled to prey on such ones or exploit them but it happens all the time. They are sitting ducks. They do not need any more abuse or exploitation and can not likely handle anymore.

So a psychologist has an awful lot to fix in order to make a person functional again or functional for the 1st time. It is not just integrating old feelings of wounds and traumas. In fact, before those can be processed, a number of things have to be in place, 1st. This is the major failing of Janov's Primal therapy. It is all about feelings and nothing else. But in fact, it is the "else," the tools in place, that are needed in order to accept pain and integrate it.

Its a bit premature to start building a house before you have a foundation in place. It is also premature to bring up pain before the person has the skills and abilities to absorb, process, and use that pain and its revelations.

My Theory

Pain knows when it is time to come up, in ideal circumstances. Pain often comes up prematurely or by defect, leaky gates, or whatever. But pain is held in reserve until the circumstances are right. When our deep inner core, what Janov would call our 1st level, senses all is right, then up it comes, almost like when we vomit. What are those right circumstances? Enough understanding of the world and life. Abilities and skills to handle and cope with the pain. Pain is tough to handle, coming up. But if we are well prepared mentally, rationally, psychologically, pain felt will be more like a formality. There will be little to fix or conclude from the pain that has not already been deduced, ideally. We have a strong system in place awaiting to receive the pain and make use of its info.

We would also be plugged in to a social network; we would have a place in our world and society. Ideally, a loving family, community, nation, world. In reality, we will have much less. If we have 1 or 2 friends, we are lucky. We might well have a social network of limited use and value. But very damaged people also have little to no place or acceptance.

If a therapist is to be of any real value to a patient, he (which includes all she's as well) will need to help build some human contact for these isolated individuals and teach them social skills that enable them to bond and function socially, something they have not been able to do, previously. They will need a variety of skills, knowledge, etc; in order to adapt to any number of situations. These will enable them to weather a storm and fend off some attacks.

This will be important since, if one is to bring up pain and former attacks, one does not also need to be holding off a mounted attack in the present. If one can reduce a conflict to small sizes, dimensions, and proportions, then they can add integrated pain into their lives. But if they can barely survive, then the forces deep below inside us are not going to want to let pain up.

So a good therapist and therapy will involve creating the proper infrastructure to handle life, living, and finally, bring up pain from the past. Imagine a country who wants to become a manufacturer to make some money, but has no energy resources, no people with skills in engineering, manufacturing, and management; nor roads, electricity, bridges, or anything else that we call infrastructure. They are unprepared to become an industrial nation.

Arthur puts the cart before the horse. Lets bring up the pain and create chaos and see if we can make any sense of it. Well, it sounds like a wonderful recipe for failure. Worse, if you badger, attack, and assault a person who is not equipped for such, you will only do much worse, and maybe even create a few new traumas as well.

I think many former Janovian therapists have realized and recognized this and have sought remedies. They have tried to build things in place to enable some functionality in a person so that they can handle most life matters adequately.

When you think about it, most parents have failed to give their kids proper instruction and preparation. A therapist has to undo that damage, which is really that lack of ability kids are left with. The love of a parent is often lacking. Love is not just hugs. It is instruction and preparation. This is the giant task that a good therapist has to address as a major issue. If not, the therapy is likely to fail. Therapists will have to take on the mantle of the parents, at least for a while. Eventually, the patient is "weaned" off his breast feeding, which I use symbolically to represent skills and knowledge, as well as some reinforcement.

Janovian Deficiencies

Janov loves to pick on mainstream therapy. Janov only sees pain in the 1st and 2nd levels. This is his major short coming. Pain can be created in the present and cause chaos in the present. Patients need to learn how to stop creating lots of chaos and problems so that they can free up some personal resources to focus on other problems.

I am sure that getting primal pain to come up has always been a very difficult problem. Part of why it is difficult is that we are trying to force it up, when "it" has a mind of its own and will not let pain up till "it" believes all is relatively right. If it senses lots of "wrong" in the present, then it will resist releasing pain. In other words, traumatic pain of the past is possibly the last part of any good healing. At the very least, there need to be enough things present in our brain structure and skills, as well as our social environment, for the inner being to feel safe enough and comfortable enough to release the hidden buried pain into the cortex.

Janov works very hard to get pain up and out, for he believes, somewhat correctly or partially correct, perhaps, that change can not be enabled without the pain being released and integrated. But he is fighting the inner soul who does not want to go along with the agenda. An idealistic therapy would not fight with the inner being, but instead, cooperate and work with that inner being so that it cooperates willingly and helpfully.

The trick is to gain the confidence of the person, the deep inside part, in particular. If they do not sense warmth, caring, understanding, kindness, gentleness, mercy, decency, sensitivity, then they will not respond and will resist feeling pain.

Now I have always insisted that the patient is the most important part of any therapy. The patient must be willing and determined to heal, and willing to face any bitter personal truths about themselves and their egos. If they are not, there is little that even the greatest therapist can do. But among patients, are various levels of commitment. Some strongly determined and committed, some reasonably so, some to some degree, some to a small degree, very little degree, or no real degree at all.

How far can a therapist reach into those levels of commitment? That is the task at hand. If there is a fair amount of commitment, then the therapist becomes the most important factor. He might be the determining factor on whether a particular person can be reached. If the therapist can connect with the patient, and apply the right things at the right times, then success can be had. But if that therapist is a bull in a china shop, failure will be a common result. Ideally, a dedicated patient  and a great therapist can produce seeming miracles. Likewise, a particular sort of patient might do great if paired with the right sort of matching peculiarities of a particular therapist, whereas not every patient is a good fit for a particular therapist.

Since patients often do not know what to look for, it is often luck that makes good matches between a patient and therapist. But again, a bull in a china shop drastically limits the degree of success that can be expected.

Shelter and Protection

Janov speaks of feeling. Well, we are talking about sympathy and empathy, aren't we? But the attacks I have heard alleged, which may or may not still be part of the treatment, are just plain wrong. People in deeply wounded states are like exposed open painful wounds that are easily aggravated and kept from healing. People need protected in this state.

I watched 2 or 3 seasons of "Celebrity Rehab" on MTV, with Dr. Drew Pinsky conducting the rehab. Drew has a very good demeanor about him that is attractive to many. I like him. But some of his choices do not sit well with me. He would sometimes let patients rip into each other savagely. He would let some break rules and get away with murder, or even let it get to the point where staff might lose control, due to being pushed beyond their reasonable limits. Both staff and patients need protection and care. Some patients were not committed to the treatment and should have been sent home. There should be ground rules strongly enforced. Some people should have been rejected as patients. But they were accepted for their "entertainment" value, I suspect.

But patients were continually "assaulted" verbally by other patients in various ways. It was very counter-productive to healing and progress. It favored some over others. It left things to be desired.

Deep inside, we all have egos and also have that very sensitive child inside us and our walls of defenses. That needs to be protected and addressed correctly. Patients need respect and protection. They often did not have those as kids. They need to be able to learn and trust someone in someplace, somewhere, at some time. The therapist and therapy are that time, place, circumstance and person. Janov may be cynically referring to this when he speaks cynically of "feel good" therapy. Its not about feeling good or having people tell you how good you are, a sort of ass kissing, really. But you do accord them human compassionate treatment.

What would not be acceptable is allowing a group to circle around someone and attack them. They may be assholes and might even deserve some accurate observations. Can you say Janice Dickinson? But when in therapy, assholes can not heal if you continue the treatment that made them assholes to begin with. Therapy needs to be their place of shelter, protection, and relief from that harsh world.

Primal therapy has often involved "breaking" people. Done, I have no doubt, to touch off, stimulate and bring up stubborn pain. The intentions may be good. But the result may often be more damage and harm, or at least an eroding of that trust and confidence that patients need to be able to develop, so as to get them to let down their defenses some.

I see Art try to break people on his blog. I suspect it is still a common practice at his center. And I think it is wrong. It could possibly be the only way to get feelings to come up for some, but I also think that feelings should not be forced. But I have addressed why in other parts of this article. There have to be rules and boundaries for both patient and therapist, toward other patients and therapists. Therapy has to be shelter and protection, a sanctuary to promote healing, not more attacks.

Arthur's preoccupation and obsession with getting feelings up is the problem. Feeling is everything in his book. But a proper state and place in a person, needs to be prepared before the feelings are bought up. Art does not believe this. Just get the feelings up, he says. Everything else will change after. But he fails to report to us in his books, the many failures. Failures are possible or even likely indications that the treatment is not correct for the failures. The failures are the scientific data that should not be ignored. Selective data is a no-no in science. Or worse, ignoring or throwing out data.

If Janov and company are so feeling and sensitive, why the harshness? They act almost as if they are wounded and protecting their own egos. Or maybe they are not caring enough? Maybe they are not feeling the empathy. All I can say is, that where there is smoke, there is fire. So we can only ask, in the case of Dr. Janov, is he the right guy for the right job? Is his theory correct, the whole theory? Is it whole? Is it missing anything? Is Arthur missing anything as well? Is his treatment missing anything?

Another Psychology Critic                New Jan. 11, 2014
Back to Top

I have come across a Ph.D by the name of Marvin Minski. He is a MIT wizard working with others at MIT on Artificial Intelligence and trying to duplicate the human brain. I have a deep respect for Minski. His 1st book I read was called "Society of Mind" and I am still reading the 2nd, "The Emotion Machine." A lot could be said about AI. There is what is discussed publicly and then there is what has been alleged by mind control victim Brice Taylor, who says there are brilliant computers that can solve nearly anything imaginable. We can not be sure of what we are dealing with but can be certain that much is being withheld from us.

But from "The Emotion Machine," pg. 232, I offer this quote:

"In other words, we can sometimes improve our Ways to Think by creating higher-level Selectors and Critics that help to reduce the sizes of the searches we make. However, to make such kinds of credit assignments, we'll need to use higher reflective levels of thinking than those that have hitherto been proposed in most traditional "theories of learning.""

>>"higher-level Selectors and Critics" are names for specific forms of brain functions that Minski refers to. This is his best attempt to help us understand how these function. Minski and MIT (and far beyond MIT, too) seek to understand the mind on a far great scale of depth and detail that any psychologist has ever dared to venture.  This is not to Psychology's credit, either.

Note carefully the 2nd underlined portion above in the quote of Minski. New territory is being trail blazed in advancing "theories of learning." That is a very good thing. But since we are just getting under way, its also going to be a challenge.<<

    "How do we organize our collections of Critics? How do we make them and how do we change them? Do some of our Critics scold other ones when they produce poor performances? Are certain minds more productive because their Critics are better organized? "

   "How do we organize our collections of Ways to Think? How do we make them and how do we change them? Do some of them recognize when other ones tend to produce poor performances? Are certain minds "more intelligent" because their Ways to Think are better organized?"

   >> These are delightfully tough, but very good, questions. Janov has never answered or addressed any of them and I ought to know. I have long been the biggest critic of him on his blog site. Minski speaks of how we think and rationalize. Janov says that is all a waste of time. Just feel it! and primal away! Janov seems to detest logic and reason, as if such were an impossibility. Maybe for him they are. But note very carefully what Minski says next!<<

    "The following sections will argue that, today, we have no plausible answers to questions like these—and that these issues should be recognized as central to the development of psychology."

    >> I will accept Minski's declaration that we have no answers at present for these tough questions we ponder. But there are those allegations of others who also ought to know a thing or two on the matter, like Brice Taylor. I do not ignore her testimony but nor would I thrust it upon anyone else. But Minski strongly asserts that though we have no answers, these are the very ideas that should be pursued by psychology, in order to further develop it. These directions to pursue are central to that development. Minski is saying, as best as I can tell, that psychology has not been doing its job well at all. It is certainly my opinion that psychology has been doing a lousy job in many respects.

What I also want to point out is that Janov has never even come remotely close to pursuing any of these central issues. In fact, to me, he seems to run from them and declare them impossible to know. Its all about feeling says he. Janov has taken about as big a wrong turn as a psychologist can possibly take, as I see it. I am going back to black text now.<<

I understand Janov's possible frustration with the difficulty of trying to help people who do not really seem to want to be truly helped. He wanted a full proof way to "fix" people and heal them. That is commendable, but it might not have occurred to him that it might not be possible. The thing is, he has had many failures or at least patients who never took the therapy all that far. I have encountered some on the net. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make Hilgard's "hidden observer" drink. But I can only find Janov's anti-intellectual attitude, which often seems to me as if he hates the intellectual functions of the mind, as very disturbing as a fan of science, of him supposedly being a scientist of sorts. What a contradiction! Neither Psychology nor Janov seem ready to tackle serious examination of thinking as a process with sub-functions, etc.

In fact, I see Primal therapy only being useful if it can make us better thinkers, more effective reliable thinkers with better results. Can we advance as individuals or as a species if we can not advance our thinking processes and judgments? I think not! Do we accept as Janov seems to assert, that we are hopelessly enslaved to our emotions, or do we have some ability within us somewhere that can over come a fair amount of dumb decisions and counter-productive results?

As I have often said, it only takes one person to prove an idea wrong. If just one person can make substantial progress in thinking, then Janov becomes wrong in his proposition/assertion. But Minski, who may well be in a better position than Janov to determine that, seems to suggest it is possible. If one accepts the concept of a Creator God, then it is possible.

I take up one other cause now. Janov has recently indicated mock or fake primal therapists as having caused problems and not practicing true Primal Therapy and this is no doubt true. But he has not addressed people I have in this article, as far as I know. But I do say this: Since Primal Therapy is not well received by the establishment, they may well be the ones encouraging useless primal therapists in order to hurt the movement.

NCR Cash Registers, back in the early days of registers, use to buy up competitors broken down registers and even working ones and then make them defective or cause them to break down quickly so as to make those brands look even worse. Business was a nasty business back then and psychology has a lot in common with those tactics, I suspect.

Make Primal Therapy look bad and then people will move away from it, perhaps. If Janov continually looks like the only one that can perform adequate Primal therapy, it certainly does put that therapy into suspicion. But surely a few could have mastered this besides Janov. If not, then Primal therapy is just too tricky and dangerous for anyone to reliably perform. I just don't subscribe to Janov's elitism or what some might now call "exceptionalism." In order for it to be a valid theory and practice, it needs to be reproducible, as all good science and science experiments need to be.

The real problem as I see it, is that Janov seems quite unaware of the many times he violates the principles of the Scientific Method, which is an intellectual process. Little wonder he does not grasp it.

My Final Judgment
Back to Top

After having reviewed criticisms, former patients, former therapists, and having had a number of dealings with Janov myself on his blog and in a letter to him in 94, and the response of his nearly hysterical wife to it, I have some major concerns about the man and his therapy and theories. It was in researching this article that I really came to realize the full weight of the problem as I see it now. Even just a week before (I first wrote this article), I might have had a milder outlook. Now, I must issue some warnings.

I have always been a big fan of Primal therapy and theory. But I was left with concerns (very early, beginning in late 87), which in time, led to a letter to Janov in 94, addressing some concerns. I discovered Primal Therapy through "The Primal Scream" of 1970, in April 1987. It was mind blowing. A bit tough to accept at first, but impossible to continue to deny. But by 1990, concerns began to grow. Now, In the last 2 years I have been keeping up with his blog and commenting. I had read his more recent books, too. I thought "The Biology of Love" was a great book. But the one before that and the one after, "Primal Healing," left me with some lingering concerns. The blog really brought it all to a climax. The "Arthur" I came to know on the blog, was not the Arthur I expected and was the one that caused me great concern. Who was this man, really?

I found his logic very flawed and contradictory at times. He would blame the 1st level at times as being strong, dominant, and overwhelming, and then at other times suggest is was all the cortex and intellect (3rd level) that was the problem and that the 1st level was a poor weak helpless victim of that mean old intellect. But blaming the 3rd level cortex almost seemed like he was denying everything else he had ever published or promoted. He really almost seemed irrational or insane. I could not reason with him. He would not answer much, either. So I had to do it for him. So the 3 articles you have on Janov and Primal Pain from me, are the results.

Primal Pain is a valid concept and at the root of many problems, and ideal healing would involve integrating that pain into 3rd level consciousness.

But the path or road to healing is not always a straight direct one. Arthur seemed to despise any sort of thinking or analyzing, which seemed like a refutation of the entire field of science and philosophy as well. Psychology really, came from philosophy. Arthur did not like being cornered with logic and reason. His theories were revealing some contradictions, prejudices, and bias. So bad were they, that I had to wonder if he was all there and how useful he was as a therapist. I considered the few failures I have heard alleged as well as what I had learned from mainstream psychology and had expanded on or changed in my own views. It was mainstream psychology that led me to Primal Therapy. So how could I totally turn my back on mainstream psychology? But Arthur had seemed to have done that very thing.

I pondered for a couple years and then did the research for this article. Dr. Janov, the man, is not a warm or reasonable person, to my view. He is, in fact, someone who rubs me very much the wrong way. It is hard to imagine him having all that much success as a therapist. I could go into detail, but it might be better if you read his blog from 2009 into 2012. Note in particular the one who identifies himself as "apollo" in his posts. That is me. Then you can decide without me tainting your finding ahead of time, though it is not unreasonable, if I had chosen to do that.

I have found his therapy grossly inadequate for many, if not most. He has had success, for sure, and he promotes that intensely. But Arthur is a spin doctor and I sense from the feedback and the fact that he can not keep therapists or expand his practice, and still control it all, that he is controlling in an extreme way. Secretive, dogmatic, hard headed, egotistical, defensive, censoring, lacking candor, and certainly elusive. In short, a very disappointing person and personality traits. Is this a man I  want to trust or rely on? Not a chance in hell.

Now what do we really know about his therapy? Only what patients tell us, or former therapists. If Art has changed anything, he won't tell us. He is secretive and protective of his "techniques," or maybe it is just a mystique he tries to create to benefit his market and income. But if he will not answer to anything, then what we have by way of observation must stand, unless he wants to account for himself or explain and defend himself. I have not found him willing to do so. So he will be judged on what we have available. He leave us no choice. That is his fault and only he can change that. But I have never found people hiding and resisting accounting to be a good thing, EVER!

Sycophants and Acolytes

What what amazed me most was/is Janov's power over his fans, enamored by his authority and celebrity. It scared the hell out of me as well. I had come from an abusive controlling religion, commonly accused of "mind control." But they had nothing on Arthur. These people/fans have no critical thinking ability and are lost, as you would expect of deeply wounded people. In fact, it was the often total lack of intellectual skill that most got my attention. And they really loved kissing his, well, you know what I am hinting at, right? It was sad and disgusting. He beats on them and they thank him for it. Elsewhere, this has sometimes been called co-dependency.

But it has been said that you can judge a person by the company they keep or attract. I was concerned by the quality and type, of his fans. And they, for the most part, seemed very anti-intellectual and anti-reason and anti-logic. No critical thinking allowed. They did not want to hear the other side. No objectivity. I can not quite call it a cult, but I certainly would say mind control. Art uses censorship on his blog to silence any critics or those who dare question anything. I know 1st hand about this ;-)

I have addressed my own theories on psychology, and my concerns with Janov's therapy, that are the common concerns of those who have engaged in primal therapy without Janov's approval. Janov mentions the horrors and damage that those "untrained" or "unapproved" by him have caused, which he has had to fix. But oddly, Arthur has never described at all, exactly what damages were done or how he fixed them. If no explanation is given, then I can not consider his accounts valid. Either he explain in detail, as he does in success stories, what was done wrong, or shut up. But to the contrary, in very careful limited language, break away primal therapists have described, without blame, why they have found more needed than what Arthur supplied.

Many things might have been implied. Having my own experience, I sense subtle implications against Arthur. I suspect it is many of Janov's failures, refugees, and cast-aways that have made their way to these "unauthorized" (though very capable, it would seem) primal therapists, for a more kindly and considerate therapy, which Arthur might call "feel good" therapy, which he says in a negative way. Perhaps indicative of his own possibly harsh "unfeeling" treatment.

I also suspect that Janov has been the cause of much harm to many patients. Like some others, I find many of his patients a mess. For any therapy to be called good or effective; I expect, and you can call me harsh, to see a person feel better and be better off than they were before. But let me qualify that.

Some patients of Janov complain of feeling bitter, cynical, seeing the world in much worse terms than before. This might be nothing more than harsh reality setting in, which reality they were blissfully unaware of, prior to therapy. I am not sure Janov deserves blame for this. But even though more cynical, they should have found a healthy way to deal with that. For this, Janov might deserve some blame.

It is also possible that Janov might have caused cynicism or bitterness in some, for all I know. But without explanation, Janov must remain innocent.

But the patient should be more sure, more capable, more functional, and better able to reason, analyze, contemplate, etc. Only one problem? Janov does not teach these or believe they are necessary. In fact, I think he might despise them. Little wonder his patients do not improve. He does not give them the tools and skills to enable them to better cope.

As I have heard it said, the fruit don't fall far from the tree. And that is the problem. Some ex-therapists seem to suggest that Janov might not be the best therapist or maybe even a qualified therapist, based on treatment and results.

Let me state that my opinion is, that he is not a good therapist, and could potentially do a lot of harm, as some seem to suggest he has done in the past. I think you can do much better with these "unapproved" primal therapists. Just make sure they really do practice primal therapy or explain why they believe you need some other things first. They may be right. But if they are, they should be able to convey that to you in a way that makes sense.

Arthur expects a lot from patients, upfront and continually. You will spend years in his treatment, quite likely. Well, it does guarantee a good income and I hear it alleged that he lives in a very fancy house and drives very nice cars. Could that be a reason for his exclusive claims, so common among other advertisers of other products?

Arthur says "unapproved" therapists do harm. But no info or examples are given. On the other hand, Janov's mistakes are well known and evident to all and are common, too. So who do you trust? I say, the logic favors the "unapproved." Janov offers no real evidence to support his claims of damage. Anyone daring to seek out info, can find lots of evidence for damage on the part of Janovian therapy. The supporting evidence again, seems to favor the "unapproved" therapists. I just think your odds are far better with the break-away primal therapists who offer the whole package, who have been able to recognize failures and adjust to them, accordingly.

Patients come in many varieties. Each needs their own special care. One way does not work for every case. The therapy must be varied as the patients vary. Janov claims that patients lead, not follow or obey. I say that is a deceptive claim. Janov does lead and bully and has all sorts of one-way rules and mantras. His way or else! It is actually the independent primal therapists who practice individual unique therapy for each patient, as it should be.

Now I am no therapist nor do I have a degree or any formal education. I am well read and studied on the subject and I can think and I have opinions. By far, I think you are in better hands with therapists who do not have to obey the rules of a tyrant and can modify their therapy to address individual patients and not have to follow some strict formula or be beaten and burned at the stake.

Janov has put a great spin on things but I feel it is totally dishonest. What I beg you to do is openly and objectively investigate the evidence, most of which I have supplied in this article, directly, by references, and by links, enabling you to go right to the original sources. Read Janov's blog. See for yourself what he is or is not?  See what his competition is or is not. Conduct your own trial. I think it will be hard to come to a verdict any different from what many like myself, or independent primal therapists, have found.

Arthur promotes himself well, and often. He has been writing the same old thing for years now. He says he has new improved techniques but I see very little difference in 40 years. He has celebrity endorsement in John Lennon or Steve Jobs. Most independent primal therapists do not do promotion or do very little, such as just a website. They might seem to sort of ride on Janov's back, who obsessively promotes the theory, and they stand ready to intercept his harvest, so it would seem.

But Arthur is no fool. By continually insisting that no one else in the world can do what he does, he insures that all those who read his books will come to him only. So independents do not really benefit from Janov. They just help clean up his messes. As well, fans of Janov will buy each new book, as if some great new revelation was to be revealed in them, but it never is. Its the same old same old. It does keep Arthur in good income, though.

I speak out to independent primal therapists now! How about telling us about your patients? Tell us your experiences with Janov rejects and your success stories. Lets not just let Arthur do all the bragging. Its time to blow your horns and do a little promoting here. Find some patients who want to tell us about what they think and feel. Part of Arthur's success is his successful patients and that is as it should be. His competition needs to do the same. And that they do not, leaves them without representation of the most important part, which is the patient feedback process. We need it and should not have to beg for it. If you are Primal practitioners, lets hear from those who were treated by you. That is fair and necessary!

In all honesty, though Janov seems to hate religion, he imitates the hell out of it. Arthur sounds almost identical to the Pope. Janov is the vicar of primal therapy and only he can interpret the deep science of the mind and convey it to you. If you try to do it yourself or listen to others, you will burn in a hell of failed harmful imitation therapy. And you will waste your time on cognitive therapy or other such named therapies. God Janov is a jealous god, who will tolerate no rivalries with other gods.

I also point out that Janov's therapy lasts years, most of the time. Often it never ends. Really, self improvement is this way by nature. Learning is life long. But it should not cost a fortune and once you have the essentials, you should be able to carry on, on your own, or only occasionally require a session or 2. I have always believed that no one can search your soul better than you can. Try it!

The Biggest Problem

Arthur will not admit any value whatsoever in any other type of therapy. This is patently absurd. Many will gladly claim how they have been helped by various therapies or techniques. They can show change and progress. Arthur just blindly, and practically psychotically, ignores it all. In this alone, there is serious fault to be found. The man ain't quite all there. Just my opinion, of course.

Arthur's special technique. Arthur is very much a spin doctor. Often, a deceptive one. He likes to change definitions so that he can say something is a failure because it does not heal. He has a very special selective meaning for "heal," and therefore, he is correct according to his very narrow "corrected" definition and possible intentional deceit in doing so. But this is circular logic. According to an objective and nearly universal definition, he is wrong by denying other results and successes.

I know this tactic well, having studied and experienced the best religious liars on the planet, Jehovah's Witnesses. As well, being quite the conspiracy theorist, due to the overwhelming evidence supporting such a position, and giving much thought and study to it, I can readily recognize a "spin doctor," a term I use most often in a very negative sense.

Denial of reality is a common trait of liars. A liar is anyone who denies reality and evidence, in my book. Redefining words and meanings is another common tactic. It helps to cover over lies and deceit. This has been called by some, "double speak." Call something what it is not! For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency. Protection? Don't they mean destruction? Oh, I'm just kidding . . . maybe. Many things are called what they are not. Arthur loves to create his own definitions. It is one of his most common tactics.

Arthur is also skilled at aggressive authoritarian assertiveness. He takes the offensive and tries to put critics on the defensive. But this tactic is very effective with weak vulnerable minds. Any one who says there is nothing to NLP, Neuro-Lingusitic-Programming, is a patented liar. Arthur, knowingly or not, uses a forceful type of bold assertiveness to overwhelm the weak. It works like a charm. I saw my father use it often, like a charm, for years. He was a big bluffer. Politicians and spin doctors love the technique.

Now the big problem, besides those I mention above. Using all the above, Arthur will not admit any value to any other therapy, theory, or technique.  A cardinal sin for which Arthur should be ex-communicated, if not burned at the stake. I speak only in humorous metaphor. He has many patient failures, which he does not admit. Instead, he will blame the patient or the intellect, or religion, 2 of his more hated concepts. Therefore, he has no failures to report, no responsibility or guilt/blame. His theory is complete and infallible.

But honest therapists have realized the short-comings and made changes to try to address these. I will sum up the problem

Arthur Janov ignores everything but deep primal feelings. He does not admit our thinking is part of our psychology and being. He gives little attention to belief systems. He sees religion as pure evil, in my opinion. It has no value at all to him. So as far as Arthur is concerned, all other aspects of human psychology such as thinking, beliefs, strategies, skills, tactics, diet, habits; these mean nothing! They affect nothing, they do nothing, they are irrelevant. He has made the most serious mistake of his career. These play a huge part in our lives and functioning. He has left out most of the aspects of the human mind and function. Could you be any more ridiculous?

Part of the problem is that while feelings set off meters and instruments and show themselves in big noticeable ways, thinking can be much more subtle and less noticeable. Bringing feelings into consciousness and memory, does often produce great impacts. That can not be disputed. But decisions and choices can also be huge and momentous in impact and just as noticeable. Thinking can lead to both good and bad paths. There are strategies and skills to be learned. Not just as in crafts or labor skills, but skills in dealing with people and situations, in raising kids, in many things. To Arthur, it is all nothing.

He has left out at least half of what psychology is; what the function of the mind is. The mind thinks as well as feels. But not to Arthur. How can a man be so narrow minded and simplistic? I have a suggestion. I have 2 possibilities. Either Art is out of his mind, which actually, I tend to doubt, or he has an agenda that we do not recognize or understand.

What I can tell you is that in the academic world, there are those obedient ones who routinely and systematically block and deny as much as possible. They know many things are true, but their job is to cast doubt and hinder the growth of knowledge and understanding. So they deny the obvious, slight the evidence, ignore the evidence, make absurd assertions, and use authority as a reason to believe them.

So is Arthur deliberately serving another cause and seeking to prevent intellectual growth, so feared by powerful controllers and manipulators? It is at least a possibility. The other is that he is motivated by economics and his own desire for profit and so has to make claims of being the only one with the true answers so you can only go to him for relief and "cure" as he defines cure. And maybe this is why he seems to hate religion, because he is much like a religion and does not like the competition.

But we got 3 choices from this. He is mad, He is greedy, or he serves the interests of those above him somewhere. Hey, maybe it is a mixture of all 3 or the last 2. But it is my deep conviction that there is something seriously wrong with the this man, be it his agenda or his mental state.

On the other hand, independent primal therapists seem far more honest, broad, compassionate, reasonable, etc. I might offer  just one caution on them. They belong more to the mainstream. I have always mistrusted the mainstream, which has always been somewhat antagonistic of primal therapy and theory. It also has many political agendas as well. Arthur has more of an appearance as a rebel or at least he portrays himself that way. I find him rather mainstream and conventional, myself. But anything mainstream deserves caution, for it serves a cause antagonistic to average peoples' interests, in my view.

But the evidence, which is strong, highly favors the independent primal therapists. But that they do not promote or "evangelize" a little more, does concern me. Maybe they are just getting enough business so that they do not need "promotion." That is fine, but since we do have a questionable and possible charlatan in Arthur Janov, it might be the humanitarian thing to do, to help people avoid a near cult like mad man and his practice. I do think what he does is that serious. Maybe the independents all need to get together and share their vision and findings of holistic primal psychology, similar to what I have done here in my site and give their opinions on Arthur a bit more voice.

Also, independent primal therapists do not offer my Holistic Theory Therapy. Which is? I say that learning how to think, analyze, reason, distinguish, deduce, weigh, search, evaluate, and produce sound logical lines of reason, which are of vital importance; these need to be pursued as well. No school of psychology promotes, offers, or recognizes this and for good reason. Because people with strong intellects are impossible to fool, manipulate, or use, and they often have big mouths and influence others. Philosophy used to pursue this. Philosophy has become quite corrupted now, as I see it.

Now logic and rhetoric are taught, in theory, in universities, but within the realm of philosophy, meaning love of wisdom. But they are to the mind what pumping iron is to the body. A strong mind is a healthy one and a powerful one. Knowledge and wisdom are power and protection. Sound rational thinking will usually produce sound rational results in thinking, speech, actions, behavior, even choices we make. Well, far more than minds without sound rational thinking. And because sound thinking produces sound minds and behavior, then sound thinking as an art form, does belong in psychology and how!

But short of that, independent primal therapists are your best bet, since I am neither educated formally, certified, or licensed to practice psychology. But since the pursuit of wisdom is not a recognized field, much anymore, and is often blended into philosophy and/or religion, you got the best there is right here at this site ;-) And I'm real modest about it, too ;-)

Related Articles
Holistic Psychology
On Hypnosis
Janov Reconsidered
Janov in Action
Educate Your Children
Teaching and Learning
Motivation Speakers
The Psychology Factor
Christian Behavior & Practice
Christian Community
Sexuality Topics Page

Back to Home/Index       Truth 1 - The best site on the internet!

Back to Top