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Sarno and the context of his times....

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by hodini, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. hodini

    hodini Peer Supporter

    Hi All,

    I thought some you might find this of interest.

    For those of you "young" enough to remember. The 70's was full of inventive and innovative, alternative therapies of all types. I had completely forgotten about this until reading it today. Primal scream was just one among others such as rebirthing, flotation tanks, Synanon just to mention a few. Possibly Janov may have influenced the development of Sarnos theories???

    Oct 6, 2017
    Los Angeles Times
    Associated Press
    October 4, 2017

    Arthur Janov, a psychotherapist whose "primal therapy" had celebrities screaming to release their childhood traumas and spawned a best-selling book in the 1970s, has died. He was 93.

    Janov died at his home in Malibu on Sunday from respiratory arrest following a stroke, his wife, France Janov, said.

    Janov, a clinical psychologist, became an international celebrity with his idea that adults repressed childhood traumas, making them neurotic and leading to problems such as mood disorders, drug addiction and even epilepsy.

    His ideas rode the counterculture wave of the late 1960s and were embraced by celebrities from John Lennon to James Earl Jones. The 1980s rock group Tears for Fears said it — and the songs it recorded — were inspired by Janov.

    Over the decades, though, many of the bedrock principles of Janov’s teaching were dismissed as unsound.

    Janov believed that what he termed "Primal Pain" could extend as far as birth.

    "Coming close to death at birth or feeling unloved as a child are examples of such Pain," he wrote.

    "When the Pain is too much, it is repressed and stored away. When enough unresolved Pain has occurred, we lose access to your feelings and become neurotic," he wrote. "The number one killer in the world today is not cancer or heart disease, it is repression."

    His therapy method involved having people relive their traumatic memories by "regressing" to infancy or childhood in order to confront and exorcise their demons.

    His Santa Monica center provided props such as cribs and stuffed animals. Patients, who might pay thousands of dollars, would scream or shout as their supposedly pent-up traumas were revealed.

    "Once you feel it, people just become themselves," his wife said. "People don't need the drugs, the smoking, the acting out... not to feel that pain."

    Janov contended that the therapy could cure everything from stuttering to drug addiction to epilepsy, and might even lead to an end to war.

    He included homosexuality as a curable condition, although the American Psychiatric Assn. took it off the list of psychiatric disorders in 1973.

    His 1970 book, "The Primal Scream," made him an international celebrity.

    In a 1975 book, Janov called his therapy "the only hope if mankind is to survive" and suggested that what he called primal consciousness "certainly means an end to war."

    As with many other emotional-release therapies of its time, primal therapy now is widely rejected by mental health professionals as unscientific and ineffectual.

    However, Janov's widow said it still is practiced around the world.

    "It changed so many people's lives," she said.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-arthur-janov-20171004-story.html (Arthur Janov dies at 93; 'primal scream' psychotherapist with a rock star client list)
    plum likes this.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for posting this. We seem to have lost many sweet souls in their 90's this year. Bless their hearts. I think I prefer Sarno's quiet elegance to Janov's theatrics which I doubt are true primal equivalents. Once again the words go to nature come to mind. All the terror and beauty resides there in abundance.
  3. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Although his PST was rejected by the American Psychiatric Assoc. the premise of his work seems in line with the work Sarno was suggesting; that is, dig deep into our past to uncover trauma and other negative memories that may be triggering our brain to create a pain syndrome in some body part. Once uncovered, these past memories can be released and our brain can be freed from the negative results our bodies are feeling, e.g. pain. I only knew of a few people who did use the primal scream therapy, but do not know their current state of their well-being. I guess my thought is that sometimes a seemingly 'crazy' idea is not really that far off the mark. Like Plum, I think/thought the primal scream therapy was too 'primal' for me to have much faith in it. Too demonstrative, too aggressive for my tastes, but, to each his own I suppose, as long as no one is getting hurt.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    PST seems like a 'temporary fix" (as they say). Letting all those emotions out in a burst seems very theatrical to me, but being with your emotions as in Michael Brown's presence process modality seems like it would be effective in the long run.
  5. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    I would agree with your assessment as a temporary fix. Can you write more about Michael Brown's presence process?
  6. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Kind of difficult to explain in 30 words or less. But there is a string on the Forum or Wiki dedicated specifically to working the Presence Process. Run a search.

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