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CITE: Janov, A. The Primal Revolution: Toward a Real World. Delta Book. 1970.

SUMMARY

In the book, Janov argues that the root of most psychological and emotional disorders lies in early childhood trauma, which causes a disconnection from one’s true self and emotions. He proposes that traditional talk therapy is ineffective in accessing and healing these deep-seated wounds, and instead advocates for primal therapy as a more direct and effective method.

Dr. Janov explores – through the feelings, the actions, the words of his patients – the way in which Primal Therapy solves neurotic problems for faster, far more effectively and far more permanently than other therapies.  Through Primal Therapy a person can quickly gain awareness of his real feelings and his true needs, giving up the defences and role-playing that block his capacity for a deeply feeling and satisfying life.  The neurotic or troubled person often clings to religion, philosophy or conventional psychotherapy in order to give life some meaning.  The Primal Revolution tells how the techniques of this amazing new therapy have helped more and more people overcome many different neurotic afflictions – form tension and anxiety to such complex problems as alcoholism, drug addiction and homosexuality.

Janov also discusses the cultural and societal implications of this theory, suggesting that much of human behavior and societal structures are based on repressed emotions and the avoidance of pain. He proposes that a widespread adoption of primal therapy could lead to a more authentic and healthy society.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Janov argues that primal therapy is not just a therapeutic technique, but a movement towards a more authentic and connected way of being.
  • He emphasizes the importance of accessing repressed emotions and traumatic memories in order to truly heal psychological and emotional disorders.
  • Janov criticizes traditional psychotherapy and psychiatric treatments, which he argues do not address the root cause of emotional suffering.

SELECTED QUOTES

  • “The absence of emotion, the failure to experience joy, love, or satisfaction, is the greatest source of pain in our society.”
  • “Most people would rather endure almost any amount of pain than face their own feelings.”
  • “Primal therapy, in essence, is the reintroduction of feeling into life.”
  • “The revolution will come from the bottom up, when enough individuals start to awaken to the reality of their own inner pain and seek a way to heal it.”
  • “He senses that he has never lived and doesn’t know how to live.  He is willing to trust others to lead the way because he gave up the only real answer years before – himself.  Primal therapy restores that self to him.”
 
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