- Primal therapy
Primal therapy is a trauma-based
psychotherapycreated by Arthur Janov, Ph.D.
Arthur Janov claims that neurosis is caused by repressed pain which is the result of childhood trauma. Janov claims that repressed pain can be brought to consciousness and resolved, by re-experiencing the traumatic childhood incident and by fully expressing the resultant pain in a therapeutic setting. Janov claims that by re-experiencing traumas and expressing long-buried painful feelings, permanent resolution of neurotic symptoms will be achieved.
Janov created primal therapy as the means of eliciting repressed pain and trauma. Janov claims that in primal therapy, patients would find their real needs and feelings in the process of experiencing all their Pain. The capitalized term "Pain" refers in primal theory to any general emotional distress and its purported long-lasting psychological effects.
Arthur Janov claims that therapeutic progress can only be made through direct
emotional experience, which allows access to the source of psychological pain in the lower brainand nervous system. In this view, psychological therapies which involve only talking about the problem (referred to as "Talking Therapies") are of limited effectiveness because the cortex, or higher reasoning area of the brain, Janov claims has no ability to affect the real source of psychological pain in other areas of the brain. This is emphasized throughout Janov's writings.
Janov's first book, "The Primal Scream", was published in 1970. Primal therapy received public attention after ex-Beatle
John Lennonsought treatment from Arthur and Vivian Janov. His experience in therapy heavily influenced his 1970 John Lennon/Plastic Ono Bandsolo album. Janov later trademarked the term "Primal Therapy", then lost a court case over it, and eventually the trademark was withdrawn by the patent office only about five years after "The Primal Scream" appeared. Fact|date=July 2008
The absence of independent
peer-reviewed outcome studies (or experimental clinical trials) to substantiate these claims led to the therapy falling out of favor in academic and psychotherapeutic circles. Primal Therapy is listed at the "Discredited psychological treatments and tests" psychological poll Norcross, Koocher, & Garofalo (2006). Discredited psychological treatments and tests: A Delphi poll. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37(5), 515-522.] . Janov and his associates have continued practicing the therapy at his Center [http://www.primaltherapy.com] in Santa Monica, California.
Janov claims that neurosis is the result of suppressed pain which is the result of trauma, usually trauma of childhood origin. Janov claims that the only way to reverse neurosis is for the neurotic to confront his trauma in a therapeutic setting. Janov claims that by confronting his trauma, the neurotic can "re-live" the original traumatic incident and can express the emotions that occurred at that time, thereby resolving the trauma.
Janov believes that there is only one source of mental illness (besides genetic defects) - imprinted pain. And Janov believes that this unitary source of neurosis implies that there can be only one effective cure - re-experiencing.
Janov felt that much of the pain of childhood is the result of needs going unmet. Drawing from earlier psychologists, Janov described his take on the basic needs in his books. "Our first needs are solely physical ones for nourishment, safety and comfort. Later we have emotional needs for affection, understanding and respect for our feelings. Finally, intellectual needs to know and to understand emerge."Janov, A., "The New Primal Scream" page 5]
"Need is a total state of the human being - and at birth we are almost nothing but need."Janov, A., "Prisoners of Pain" page 3] Janov argued that for the helpless newborn, survival is at stake in nearly every second of existence.Janov, A., "Prisoners of Pain" page 3]
Janov claimed that when needs go unfilled for too long, Pain is the result (He capitalized Primal Pain in his early work, although in later works he dropped the capitalization).
In primal theory, "Primal Pain is deprivation or injury which threatens the developing child. A parent's warning is not necessarily a Primal Pain for the child. Utter humiliation is...An infant left to cry it out in the crib is in Pain...It is not hurt as such which defines Primal Pain but rather the context of the hurt or its meaning to the impressionable developing consciousness of the child." Janov, A., "Prisoners of Pain" page 9]
Arthur Janov described Pain as the pain that doesn't hurt because, as soon as they go into it, it becomes simply feeling. Most of the suffering component is in the blockage or repression.Janov, A., "Primal Healing" page 199]
Consciousness and repression
In primal theory, Janov claimed that
consciousnessis not simply awareness but refers to a state of the entire organismincluding the brain in which there is "fluid access" between the parts.Janov, A. & Holden, e. M., "Primal Man" pages 1-4] Using the triune brain work by Paul D. MacLean, and adapting it to Primal Theory, three levels of consciousness are recognized in Primal TheoryJanov, A. & Holden, e. M., "Primal Man" pages 56-111] Janov, A., "The New Primal Scream" pages 54-55] Janov, A., "The Biology of Love", 106-137]
The following table summarizes some of the fundamental ideas and terms Janov (J) has used as well as conventional terms used in general and scientific papers.
* Janov described defenses as the agents of repression and consume energy while protecting the system from the catastrophic Pain of unfulfilled need. When referring to Pain or defense the word "line" is used instead of "level"; "e.g." first line Pain = early trauma imprinted in the brainstem usually involving physical injury, third line defense = intellectual defense.
* The brainstem has also often been referred to as the reptilian brain as it is the structure which mammals have in common with reptiles.
* Janov claimed that 1st line imprints occur before intellectual abilities such as the use of verbal language have developed, they are at the level of pure sensation and visceral (or gut) reaction. The brainstem is capable of processing the most primitive emotions of rage and terror and these can be experienced very early in life.
Janov claims that Primal Pains are imprinted in the lower brain first then later the limbic system and still later intellectual defenses are formed by the cortex simply because this is the sequence of neurological development. Janov claims that therapy occurs in the reverse sequence: 'There is no way to go deep without first going shallow.'Janov, A., "Primal Healing" pages 182] In primal therapy medication is prescribed for some "overloaded" patients so they don't overshoot into 1st line pains that they are not ready to feel, thereby allowing them to feel the more recent pains first.Janov, A., "The Biology of Love", page 133]
Origins of neurosis
Primal theory claims that many or most people suffer from some degree of
neurosis. This begins very early in life (especially in the "critical period" - the gestation period plus the first three years)Janov, A., "Primal Healing" pages 42-48] as a result of needs not being met. There may be one or more isolated traumatic events but more often it's a case of daily neglect or abuse.
Janov claimed that neurosis may begin to develop at birth, or even before, with "first line" Pains. He also claimed it could be reversed by reliving these pains in sequence, all the way back to birth trauma. Subsequent Pain is thought to be added on top of previous pain in what is called "compounding" the Pain.Janov, A., "Primal Healing" page 94]
Throughout childhood more elaborate "defenses" develop as the early unmet needs keep pressing for satisfaction in symbolic and therefore inevitably unsatisfying ways.
Format and process
The overall strategy of primal therapy has hardly changed from the early days. The therapy begins with an intensive three weeks of fifteen open-ended sessions with one therapist. After this the patient joins group meetings with other patients and therapists once or twice a week for as long as is needed. Private sessions are still available, though not every day. The length of time needed in formal therapy varies from person to person.
A connected feeling, according to Janov, is a "conscious" experience which connects the present to the past and connects emotion to meaning - there may also be a connection to sensations in the case of a physically traumatic experience such as physical or sexual abuse or painful birth.Janov, A., "The New Primal Scream", page 362]
As a noun or a verb, this word denotes the reliving of an early painful feeling. A complete primal has been found, according to Janov and Holden,Janov, A. & Holden, e. M., "Primal Man" pages 137-146] to be marked by a "pre-primal" rise in vital signs such as pulse, core body temperature, and blood pressure leading up to the feeling experience and then a falling off of those vital signs to a more normal level than where they began. After the primal ("post-primal"), Janov claims the patient will be flooded with his own insights.
Based on Janov's own in-house studies, Janov and HoldenJanov, A. & Holden, e. M., "Primal Man" pages 137-146] claimed that the pre-primal rise in vital signs indicates the person's neurotic defenses are being stretched by the ascending Pain to the point of producing an "acute anxiety attack" (the conventional description), and the fall to more normal levels than pre-primal levels indicates a degree of resolution of the Pain.
Janov claims that the "primal" is different from emotional catharsis or . A primal may be referred to as a "connected feeling" but a complete connected feeling will usually take months or even years to feel, in many primals. It should be noted that "abreaction" or "catharsis" as used by other psychologists does not mean a false or unconnected feeling.
Perhaps one of the most questioned claims of Arthur Janov in his first book he said "... by the time someone has reached his eighth month he is generally well." However, years later, even decades later, many primal patients found they were still in therapy or feeling 'primal feelings.' Janov explains this by saying that the finished patient is not ecstatic or even "happy". Happiness, he says, is not a goal of primal therapy. Finished patients may still have many more hurts to feel, so they will have their moments of misery after therapy. One patient explained this anomaly this way: "At least it is real misery with some kind of end to it."'Janov, A., The Primal Scream, pages 101-102 ]
Twenty years later Janov wrote that "The elapsed time before a patient is relatively well is longer than we originally supposed, but the specific time spent at the clinic is not. He now claims that after one year to a year and a half patients are largely on their own, with only sporadic follow up necessary."Janov, A., "The New Primal Scream", page 360] However, this duration is exceeded by many primal patients in practice.
Arthur Janov has printed warnings for many years in all of his books, stating that people could check the credentials of any therapist claiming to be a trained primal therapist, by contacting The Primal Institute or The Primal Foundation in
Los Angeles. Since 1989, Arthur Janov with his present wife, France, has had his own center separate from The Primal Institute, which is still directed by his former wife Vivian Janov. It is not a matter of public record how many therapists Arthur Janov may have trained in Paris in the 1980s when he had a clinic there or how many Janov-certified therapists are currently practicing.
Since his first book, Janov has often written about primal therapists who are not associated to his practice, whom he has referred to as "mock primal therapists" or simply "mock therapists" or "would-be practitioners."
pin-off: The Center for Feeling Therapy
The Center for Feeling Therapy was a psychotherapy group founded in 1971 in Los Angeles. It was founded by two defectors from primal therapy, Joe Hart and Richard "Riggs" Corrier, who had been in the therapist training program at Janov's Primal InstituteMithers, C.L. "Therapy Gone Mad", page 55] , along with seven other people, two of whom had been certified as primal therapistsMithers, C.L. "Therapy Gone Mad", page 60] . Richard Corriere, one of the original founders, had contributed to a scientific study reprinted in Janov's second book.Janov, A. "The Anatomy of Mental Illness", pages 198-210]
Joe and Riggs confronted Arthur Janov with their misgivings about primal therapy, claiming it should focus more on patients' present lives. Janov denied that, claiming that Joe and Riggs were really only interested in power, and were 'abreactors' - people who had emotional outbursts without really feeling anything - and were about to be fired anyway.Mithers, C.L. "Therapy Gone Mad", page 57]
The Center for Feeling Threapy started as an offshoot of primal therapy, but quickly abandoned primal therapy and subsequently went through many theoretical shifts, eventually focusing on a concept called 'Psychological Fitness'.Mithers, C.L. "Therapy Gone Mad", pages 199-202]
Over time, the Center became cult-like and extremely abusive to its members. The abuse consisted of physical assault, sexual humiliation, verbal assault, financial abuse, excessive demands for ritual, inadequate rest, and enforced physical labor. The enforced physical labor was so severe that some members were permanently injured by it.Mithers, C.L. "Therapy Gone Mad", page 352]
After nine years, the members rebelled, and the Center was shut down.Mithers, C.L., "Therapy Gone Mad", pages 325-326] Eventually, some of the former members sued the founding therapists in what was the largest psychology malpractice suit in California.
There have been several reports relating to primal therapy in books and peer-reviewed journals, many negative, over the decades since Janov's first book on the subject.
Arthur Janov wrote that primal therapy is an experiential psychotherapy and that::"Although there are scientific references and citations throughout this work, we should not lose track of the overarching truth--feelings are their own validation. We can quote and cite all day long, but the truth ultimately lies in the experience of human beings. Their feelings explain so much that statistical evidence is irrelevant."Janov, A., "Primal Healing" page 15]
Tomas Videgård's "The Success and Failure of Primal Therapy"
In an early account of the results of primal therapy (published in book form, only in Sweden in English), Tomas VidegårdVidegård, T., "The Success and Failure of Primal Therapy"] reported on a study of a sample of 32 patients treated at The Primal Institute. Patients entered therapy from December 1975 to May 1976.
Outcome evaluation for the patients:
*4 Very Good
*6 Bad (including one suicide)
*5 Unavailable for post-testing
Patients who did not finish the therapy were excluded. (See "Duration" above.) Patients in the sample had been in therapy for between 15 and 32 months.
Videgård himself went through the therapy. The evaluation was based on patients' answers to questions and some projective tests that require interpretation by the tester (Videgård himself). Also there was no control group to make comparsions against spontaneous remission, maturation, and placebo effects. There also seems to have been no controls on other variables that have been shown to help mental health such as nutrition, medication, exercise and non-primal therapy techniques.
Videgård concluded that therapy at The Primal Institute was marginally better than the Tavistock clinic and markedly better than the
Menninger Foundation--the two psychotherapy clinics which he used for comparison.
There is a paper by Stephen Khamsi Ph.D. about this study: [http://www.primal-page.com/success.htm "The Success and Failure of Primal Therapy: A Critical Review"] .
Peer-reviewed journal reports
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=1196453&query_hl=11&itool=pubmed_docsum Janov's primal scream therapy] , 1975. Article in German.
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=848784&query_hl=6&itool=pubmed_docsum Conventional and contemporary approaches to psychotherapy. Freud meets Skinner, Janov, and others] , 1977.
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17093674&query_hl=4&itool=pubmed_docsum Primal therapy : yesterday and today] , 1978. Article in French.
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=464162&query_hl=4&itool=pubmed_docsum Critique on primal therapy] , 1979.
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=7180218&query_hl=4&itool=pubmed_docsum Primal therapy--a clinically confirmed procedure?] , 1982. Article in German.
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=6622628&query_hl=4&itool=pubmed_docsum An outcome study of primal therapy] , 1983.
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed Wilhelm Reich--Arthur Janov--a comparison of their work] , 1984.
Papers by Arthur Janov in peer-reviewed journals
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=592223&query_hl=6&itool=pubmed_docsum Towards a new consciousness] ,1977.
Books by Primal patients about their therapy
*"Facing the Wolf: Inside the Process of Deep Feeling Therapy" [http://www.primal-page.com/wolf.htm] by Theresa Sheppard Alexander (1997), Plume. ISBN 0452275210 ISBN 9780452275218.
*"Healing Fits: The Cure of an Epileptic" by Robert Reese (1988) Big Sky Press ISBN 0944-59200-7
* "Los Angeles Times" book critic Robert Kirsch wrote in his " [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/599194992.html?dids=599194992:599194992&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Mar+27%2C+1970&author=ROBERT+KIRSCH&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(1886-Current+File)&edition=&startpage=F4&desc=Truth+of+Neurotic+Behavior Truth of Neurotic Behavior] ," March 27, 1970 article about the book "The Primal Scream"::: "Dr. Janov is an impressive writer and thinker. Certainly, It is worth reading and considering,” (a quotation that was used on subsequent covers of some future editions of "The Primal Scream"), however, he also wrote earlier in the article that:::"to question the ‘truth’ of primal therapy is therefore neurotic since Dr. Janov claims for his approach the final truth about neurotic behavior...Such hyperbole, such evangelic certainty may make us more determined to suspend judgment.”
* Herman Weiner, Ph.D. wrote a criticism of primal therapy in the [http://www.primals.org/articles/weiner.html "Beyond Janov"] article in the fall 1975 issue of the Primal Community journal. In it he states that "primal therapy is deceptively simple", describes the primal therapist as an "authoritarian pain-dealer", and criticises primal therapy for neglecting the significance of
* In the book "Psychobabble" (1977, ISBN 0-689-10775-7) R.D. Rosen states that primal therapy is trendy, simplistic, glib, and potentially very dangerous.
*In the book "New Age Blues" (1979, ISBN 0-525-47532-X) Michael Rossman comments on the 3 week intensive phase of primal therapy:::"The elements are all pretty traditional: isolation, deprivation, anticipation, and suggestion. You can teach people a lot of different things that way. Brainwashing and the vision-quest both use it." (Page 28)
* Psychiatrist Dr Anthony Clare commented on primal therapy in his book "Let's Talk About Me" (1981), (BBC. ISBN 0 563 17887 6):::"It does appear that the need to cling to a simple, unqualified, dogmatic theory outweighs whatever critical awareness that Janov's readers possess." (Page 121)
*In a 1982 paper [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7180218 Primal therapy - a clinically confirmed procedure?] published in "Zeitschrift für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychoanalyse", Ehebald and Werthmann report that, following a review of the scientific literature, they found "no on-going reports of primal therapy's therapeutic results, no statistical studies and no follow-up studies". Concluding that primal therapy is not a valid therapeutic technique, they stated that most psychotherapists in the Federal Republic of Germany do not use the techniques, believe it to be based upon questionable theory and dangerous in practice.
*In 1996, [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8839319 Starker and Pankratz] published in "Psychological reports" a study of 300 randomly-sampled psychologists. Participants were asked for their views about the soundness of methods of mental health treatment. Primal therapy was identified as one of the approaches "most in question as to soundness".
* The 1996 book "Crazy" Therapies" (ISBN 0787902780) [ [http://skepdic.com/therapy.html Skepdic entry about "Crazy Therapies"] ] [ [http://www.srmhp.org/archives/review-crazy-therapies.html "Review of "Crazy" Therapies"] , 1997] discusses Janov's claim to have discovered the one cure for neurosis:::"Two years after writing his first book, Janov's certitude about having the one cure-all was established-at least in his mind" (page 121)... "Catharsis theory in all its forms has been challenged repeatedly over the years. Evidence that expressing angry, violent behaviour does not drain it away but increases the chances of its recurrence has been presented in the scientific psychology literature for years " (page 128).
*The book "Le Dico des sectes" (which means "Dictionary of Sects" Edited by Annick Drogou, Toulouse, France: Editions Milan, 1998) lists Janov's primal therapy as a sect [http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_bookreviews/bkrev_ledicodessectes.htm] .
* In the 1998 book "Insane Therapy" (ISBN 1-56639-601-8) sociologist Marybeth F. Ayella says that "what Frank (1974:424-25) describes as healing cults more closely resembles what I think occurs in Primal Therapy than does Janov's description" (page 39).
*In the book "Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults" (December 1999, ISBN 978-1-892941-04-6, Algora Publishing), French psychiatrist and cult expert Dr.
Jean-Marie Abgralldiscusses primal therapy on pages 168-169. Abgrall wrote that "primal therapy, which was invented by Arthur Janov, has been all but abandoned, especially due to a lack of evidence that it actually works." [http://books.google.com/books?id=qahfwWCpLn8C&pg=PA168&vq=primal&source=gbs_search_r&cad=0_2&sig=CYSM3NgyqQ7NFE9r_JBm1pgx7YA]
*Primal therapy is cited in the book "The Death of Psychotherapy: From Freud to Alien Abductions." (2000) Donald A. Eisner ISBN 0275964132. In that book Eisner writes::: "Since there is no relevant research, Primal Therapy could simply be chalked up as a placebo and the excessive demand characteristics of the extreme rituals and procedures as well as group pressures." (Pages 51-52)
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/lrb/articles/0,,414548,00.html The Guardian "The dream is over" article] (Dec 21, 2000) is an article about John Lennon. The article discusses primal therapy extensively and eventually dismisses it as a phase in Lennon's life.
*In the [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2699/is_0005/ai_2699000587 Primal Therapy] section from the "Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology", 2nd ed. Gale Group, 2001, Timothy Moore challenges and criticizes primal therapy in a number of ways, including:::"Truth be known, primal therapy cannot be defended on scientifically established principles. This is not surprising considering its questionable theoretical rationale."
*Martin Gardner wrote a critical article called [http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-74523978.html "Primal Therapy: A Persistent New Age Therapy."] in the "Skeptical Enquirer", May 1 2001. In the article Gardner discusses some of what he sees as the problems with primal therapy, and also details a protest over the publication of the book "The Biology of Love" (Janov, 2000).
*In the journal "National Post" article [http://tanadineen.com/media/NatPostMilstone.html "Former Psychologist Says Profession is Self Serving,"] (June 25, 2001) Carol Milstone Ph.D. lists primal therapy as one of the psychology fads of the 1970s.
*The National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) Newsletter of July/August 2001 (Vol. 24, Issue 4) listed primal therapy as one type of treatment listed in the article [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0AYN/is_4_24/ai_n18612958 "Dubious Mental Health."] In the same issue primal therapy is mentioned in another article called [http://www.ncahf.org/nl/2001/7-8.html "Pseudoscientific Psychological Therapies Scrutinized."]
* Primal Therapy is cited in the 2002 paper "Fringe Psychotherapies: The Public at Risk" [ [http://www.selfhelpfraud.com/uploads/3__Fringe_Psychotherapy.pdf "Fringe Psychotherapies: The Public at Risk" at the Simon Fraser University site] ] ::"
Rebirthing, Primal Scream Therapy, and Dianetics ( Scientology) all assert that people can and should recall times in their lives when their brains and cognitive processes were too immature to lay down memories of the sort posited by these theorists" (Page 11)
*The book [http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_bookreviews/bkrev_roadtomalpsychia.htm The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and Our Discontents] by J. Milton (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2002) questions whether primal therapy is as effective and rapid as Janov initially claimed: "where...are the cadres of permanently cleared ex-primallers who live their lives without struggle..." (Page 185)
* In [http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=ppsy.020.0717a The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice: Implications for Psychology and Psychoanalysis] article in the journal "Psychoanalytic Psychology" (20:717-726, 2003) Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D. lists primal therapy as having no empirical evidence to support it, in contrast to other forms of therapy.
* In the winter 2003 edition of the journal "The Skeptic" professor Jill Gordon, an Associate Dean for Medical Education at the University of Sydney, and a practicing psychotherapist, wrote an article called [http://www.skeptics.com.au/journal/2003/2_psych.pdf "Skepticism and Psychotherapy"] in which she states that primal therapy is a "quack psychotherapy" because it's unorthodox, improbable, and not empirically tested.
* In October 2004, the journal "Counselor, The Magazine for Addiction Professionals" included an article called [http://www.counselormagazine.com/content/view/338/1/ "Addiction Counseling Strategies That Lack Research Support"] in which Michael J. Taleff, Ph.D. stated that research does not support primal therapy or ventilation therapies as a strategy for addiction counseling.
*In the book "Popular Psychology - An Encyclopedia" (2005)(ISBN 0-313-32457-3) psychology professor Luis A. Cordon states that:::"...while undeniably an inventive and intriguing approach to psychotherapy, it lacks the underpinning of scientific validation which potential clients ought to be able to expect at this point in our history." (Page 133)
* In a [http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/whatever-happened-to-primal-therapy Discover] magazine article, May 2007, science writer Steve Ornes wrote:::"Timothy Moore, chairman of the department of psychology at York University's Glendon College in Toronto, points out that Janov's ascertains of scientific linkage are based on uncontrolled case histories and personal observations, and as such his work has not been scientifically validated." [http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/whatever-happened-to-primal-therapy article]
* Alice Miller, a well-known psychologist and writer on child abuse, initially endorsed primal therapy. Later, however, she wrote a [http://www.primals.org/articles/amiller.html communication to her readers] in which she expressed some reservations about it. In that communication, she stated that primal therapy could be dangerous when conducted by therapists who are not properly trained. She also stated that there was "too much faith" in cathartic discharge, claiming that the relief was sometimes temporary. She also voiced criticisms about the structure of the initial 3-week intensive phase, claiming that it could provide opportunities for unscrupulous therapists. And she warned of the dangers of developing an "addictive dependency" to pain.
John Lennon as patient
The musician John Lennon, and his wife,
Yoko Ono, both went through Primal Therapy in 1970, and shortly afterward Lennon produced his raw, emotional album, " John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band". (Ono recorded a parallel album, " Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band" from her experiences; both albums were released on the same day on the Apple record label.) Lennon's album featured a number of songs which were directly affected by his experience in therapy, including "Remember", "I Found Out", "Isolation", "God", "Mother", "My Mummy's Dead", and " Working Class Hero". Lennon ended his therapy sessions before completing a full course of therapy. Lennon did not recommend primal therapy after that time. For more on this subject, see the webpage, [http://homepage.ntlworld.com/carousel/pob11.html "John Lennon - Primal therapy,"] which includes excerpts of interviews of John Lennon, Arthur Janov and Vivian Janov, along with an account of one of John's therapy sessions written by Pauline Lennon.
Dyan Cannontold an interviewer in 1972 that she was involved in Primal Therapy. ["$3 Million Wedding Gift for Jennifer" JOYCE HABER "Los Angeles Times"; Jul 5, 1972; pg. H19]
Pre- and perinatal psychology
*Ayella, Marybeth F."Insane Therapy, Portrait of a Psychotherapy cult" ISBN 1-56639-601-8
*Clare, A.W. & Thompson, S. "Let's Talk About Me" (1981) ISBN 0-563-17887-6
*Eisner, D.A. "The Death of Psychotherapy" (2000) ISBN 0275964132
*Janov, A. "The Primal Scream" (1970) ISBN 0-349-11829-9
*Janov, A. "The Anatomy of Mental Illness" (1971) ISBN 0-425-02494-6
*Janov, A. & Holden, e. M. "Primal Man" (1975) ISBN 0-690-01015-X
*Janov, A. "Prisoners of Pain" (1980) ISBN 0-385-15791-6
*Janov, A. "The Biology of Love" (2000) ISBN 1-57392-829-1
*Janov, A. "The New Primal Scream" (1992) ISBN 0-942103-23-8
*Janov, A., "Primal Healing" (2006) ISBN 1-56414-916-1
*Mithers, C.L. "Therapy Gone Mad" (1994) ISBN 0-201570-71-8
*Reese, R., "Healing Fits: The Cure of an Epileptic" (1988) Big Sky Press ISBN 0944-59200-7
*Rosen, R.D. "Psychobabble" (1977) ISBN 0-689-10775-7
*Rossman, M. "New Age Blues" (1979) ISBN 0-525-47532-X
*Singer, M.T. & Lalich, J "Crazy" Therapies" (1996) ISBN 0-7879-0278-0
*Videgård, T. "The Success and Failure of Primal Therapy" (1984) ISBN 91-22-00698-2
Complete list of books by Arthur Janov
* [http://www.primaltherapy.com Dr. Arthur Janov's Primal Center home page]
* [http://www.primalrevivre.ch/ The Primal center "Primalrevivre" in Geneva in Europe of Ansermot Myriam]
* [http://www.primalinstitute.com/ The Primal Institute directed by Vivian Janov]
* [http://primal-page.com/ The Primal Psychotherapy Page - A Resource For Those With Interests In the Regressive Deep-Feeling Psychotherapies]
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