Friday, December 12, 2014

Free Of Charge

Free Of Charge / FOC. 

Recently, I rejected, in a blog, Dr. Janov’s proposal that all psychotherapy should be FOC / on the Health Care bill. I assumed that the Health Care is lacking instruments, of sufficient political and professional caliber, to distinguish between Primal Therapy and CBT.  Cognitive and similar therapies that Janov judges as “treatments of symptoms,” that is without curative long-term effects, will then also hit the taxpayers. Given the immense dominance of therapies addressing only symptoms, Janov’s well intentioned suggestions will, in my eyes, fall on its own exorbitance. We must resign ourselves to pay USD 150 per hour for PT.

Or is there after all a way FOC? In my dream last night, my triune brain and my body were active with deep birth primals. A re-lived suffocation trauma with cramps in the lungs, the bronchi and the jaws, was followed by staggering memories, how I, on and off, for almost 40 years, have lived through my birth trauma, almost FOC. Guided by Dr. Janov’s Primal Principles / Evolution in Reverse, and with the help of other natural therapies, I have managed to be cured, demystify my epilepsy and establish a new lifestyle. This has been done, if I stretch a tad on the concepts, almost Free of Charge.

With the help of a couple of resource-rich employers, I had the good fortune and skill to get my heavy therapy costs converted to development and miscellaneous expenses. Later on, long distance communication with Art Janov and literature of talented writers have supported my arduous journey into and through my birth trauma.

An unwavering confidence in Art and his Primal Principles (FOC) has been my compass that never let me down. The Primal Principles became the “enigma machine” by which I interpreted literature, physical activities (including Rolfing and Micro Movements), experiments with diets and medicines, and last but not least, an exciting and varied career. My jobs were, for several years, both successful and exhausting, but they kept me active and forced me to confront many of life’s challenging and painful aspects.

The literature I have read (almost FOC) consisted of Fjodor Dostoevsky, Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Arthur Janov, Alice Miller, Simone de Beauvoir, Bengt Lidforss etc, etc. They all have, each in their way, given me impulses and stimuli, which I needed to see and understand the implications of how early traumas sometimes develop into refined, but usually degrading life-long neuroses and suffering.

The value of Art Janov’s charisma and his Primal Principles, that I describe, I try, on a daily basis, to put into practice in the contact I have with a handful of people who, as far as feasible, share my interpretation of Art’s Principles. Especially Eva, who I saw again after 53 years, and my daughter Isabel, after studying Janov, share my experiences and can adequately feel how their lives are heading towards a better mental and emotional balance / equilibrium. Free Of Charge / On The House.


Jan Johnsson

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Is Primal Therapy, At No Charge, A Proof Of Love?

Is Primal Therapy, At No Charge, A Proof Of Love?

Instinctively, I didn’t like or agree with the last paragraph of Art Janov’s Reflection “Can we learn to love”. This paragraph is about Primal Therapy at no charge. As an example Art mentions how his “campaign,” among several governments, was ended by his 12 year old son in a meeting with a fellow pipe-smoker, the English Minister of health, who had raised a legitimate question. Maybe his son had his doubts both about the therapy’s curative ability and the possibility, to give a treatment (those days estimated at four months) free of charge.  A therapy which, in his parents Primal Institute, commanded a price of thousands of dollars without providing any guarantee that the patient could be cured.

During the following decades, after the senior and junior Janov’s exodus from the British Ministry of Health, I know people who have invested tens of thousands of dollars in Primal Therapy without being free from mental suffering. They did not receive an adequate counseling, which possibly could have made their therapy journey less cumbersome. To demand Primal Therapy, at taxpayer’s expense, how well intentioned and sympathetic it may sound, may indicate a lack of reality and insight in both the therapy’s success rate and how a health care economy works.

Please note that I am from Sweden (in United States often equated with being a socialist) where we have very high expectations of what health care ought to cover, and I had to fly to the super-capitalistic United States to seek, expensive therapy. A Primal Therapy, which with the help of my qualified planning skills and Rolfing, eventually, saved my life. A variation of the original American success dream, almost on par with a house in Malibu Beach.

Art has during his practical career in psychotherapy focused on human suffering, which must have influenced his view of how an economically just society should be built. All those who, during the same period, have focused their best efforts to get a reasonably healthy society work, they have, indeed, accumulated different opinions and experiences. One would only have hoped that Art Janov’s ingenious insights, about the origin and consequences of repressed pain and mental suffering, had been paired with a better capacity, preferably in a team with peers with supplementary knowledge and experience, developing the Primal Therapy, eventually, to become every man’s property.

Perhaps a comparison with Steve Jobs, the legendary former Apple-founder and PT patient, may give a hint as to where I am aiming; Steve Jobs was a fan of The Beatles. He referred to them on multiple occasions. When asked about his business model on 60 minutes, he replied: “My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.” 

Art Janov is also a fan of The Beatles, but he was content with John Lennon, whose stardom gave a time-limited, major status impact on Primal Therapy. Great things, whether it be in business, research or therapy etc, are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people!


Jan Johnsson

Friday, December 5, 2014

Revised To-Do-List!



In my latest blog, “Evolution is Evolution and Psychotherapy is Psychotherapy”, I noted that it is the journey that matters, not the destination. True to my habits, I had the following night a dream of a long journey:
I was in a foreign country / culture and was lost and there was very few people around, who I could ask for help. Suddenly, I saw two different human-like figures of extraterrestrial character. First I was scared and wanted to flee away, but the beings friendly and sympathetic charisma made me stop and I started to communicate with them. We used no words, but they made me understand what path I should choose, and they both suffered because they seemed to know that I had a long walk in front of me. I said goodbye to these different but beautiful souls and touched them and started my trek against my distant goal. I had a distinct feeling that I was on an endless journey between Boulder, Colorado and Santa Monica, California. When I realized how much, in my usual life, I would miss and not have time for, I started to cry. It was, however, liberating tears even if my whole body ached. Then I woke up.

When I, today, read Art Janov’s Reflection “Can We Learn to Love?”, the two loving souls in my dream appeared in my mind as clearly as if I had actually met them during the night. And of course I had! The two beautiful beings with their kindness, their generosity and their demonstrated interest were Art Janov and Ida Rolf! With them I did not have to worry about intellectual psychological symptoms analysis or theoretical casualties. Both realized that behind my epilepsy, I had a hidden nasty trauma that made my life a humiliating hell. They promised nothing more than, to the best of their abilities, to support my liberation of my repressed feelings, each according to her / his speciality in body and mind.

Art’s exposition, of why it is not possible to learn to love, raises many and contradictory feelings. In order not to neglect my life experiences, I created, as a self-defence, a number of counter-questions;
Could a complex and increasingly intellectual world exist without love? Could a world with limited resources allow medication and therapy to be free? Could a physically and emotionally healthy person be motivated to become a Primal Therapist?, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Without being able to answer these and other questions in an unequal, complex, slow and simultaneously explosive world, it is, however, easy to admit that I always have been at my best when I have met kindness and love. In addition, my person has grown and my feelings rejoiced when I, though not as often as I would have liked, had the ability to display the same natural attitudes of friendliness, generosity and interest towards others.

In Art’s “nope”, to answer if we could learn to love, there is, unfortunately, in fact a pessimistic message to the dominant part of the world’s population and will Evolution allow an understanding of nuance coupled with scientific understanding into one therapeutic perspective?

Jan Johnsson


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Evolution is Evolution and Psychotherapy is Psychotherapy

Oh, Evolution is Evolution and Psychotherapy is
Psychotherapy, and never the twain shall meet…


















A couple of months ago I wrote a reflection on my blog “The Medium Is The Message / Massage” with the ambition to explore how and when PT /Evolution In Reverse can become a reality and when we can feel how we hurt and stop acting out. “Messages / ads seem to work on the very advanced principle that a small pellet or pattern in a noisy, redundant barrage of information will gradually assert itself. Messages / ads push the principle of noise all the way to the plateau of persuasion.”  Marshal McLuhan.

Over and over again, over 40 years, I’ve read Art Janov’s brilliant analysis of the routes of imprinted terror deep down in the brain and I’ve, after dedicating  > 10.000 hours of my life to the consequences of my birth trauma, finally established a zero tolerance to undefined symptoms. However, when it comes to those around me, I am forced to respect how Evolution manages to “make us do anything to deny and divert attention from the real problems… so that we never find out what the source is.”  The strategy of Evolution remains unchanged; to reduce / eliminate imprinted terror and crazy making reactions to achieve the overall goal; survival of the human species.  

Evolution has together with Psychotherapy at least one common function / role, which aims to eliminate repressed deeply imprinted pain / terror. The Evolution tries to embed deep instinctive pain reactions at the beginning of our lives. (That is, for example, what make those who become intellectuals flee to their heads). In general Psychotherapy (especially CBT), later in our lives, acts with limited sustainable success on symptoms (often guided by DSM-5) to hidden causes which the brain developed from the reptile stage, and all the way to the neo-cortex. 

In contrast to Psychotherapy, Evolution is not primarily for the individual, but for the human species. As a consequence of Evolution’s long-term strategic objective for man, it becomes an almost inhuman task even in Primal Therapy / “Evolution in Reverse” to succeed and take patients down to the brain-stem level. “We / Evolution do anything to deny and divert attention from the real problems. The system helps out because our biochemistry works on the gating system and tries to keep it closed so that we never find out what the source is.” 

Because I was an epileptic, I had, from a Primal Therapy - point of view, the “advantage” of having access to primitive terror reactions that no escapes to my head could avoid. Thanks to Big Pharma and their Tegretol (Carbamazepine), I could keep my primitive terror reactions (fits / seizures) at bay. The medication did not eliminate a pain propelled internal pressure and an abnormal energy that drove me through my repetitive pattern of marriages, my business career, language- and cultural changes and unique natural therapies. With Janov's Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse as a basic philosophy, Rolfing, diet awareness and manipulation of my epilepsy medication (and not to forget; financial independence), I managed eventually to re-live / demystify my pain / terror from deep down. Dr. Janov's persuasions and theories have led to a breathtaking journey over four decades. My experiences have, in letters of fire, ruled that it's the journey that counts, not the destiny.

Without Art Janov's Primal Principles, guidance and inspiration, I had never dared or been able to find the source of my pain. Kindly note that Art never with a word has given me advice on how I should go about it in my therapy. On two different occasions, retreats in Paris, France and Bergen, Norway, he steered me wordlessly through long, wordless, birth primals that would otherwise have evolved into grand mal seizures.

Jan Johnsson

The Ballad of East and West

Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
when two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!


Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, October 2, 2014

”The Medium Is The Massage / Message.”

Marshall McLuhan published his master peace ”The Medium is the Massage / (Message) - An Inventory of Effects” 1967, a few years before ”The Primal Scream”. To summarize, the content is about how societies, always, have been shaped more by the nature of the media, by which men communicate than by the content of the communication. The older training of observation has become quite irrelevant in this new time because it is based on psychological responses and concepts conditioned by the former technology - mechanization. Innumerable confusions and a profound feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transitions. Our ”Age of Anxiety” is, in great part, the result of  trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools - with yesterday’s concepts. Fortunately, youth instinctively understands the present environment - the electric drama which is the reason for the great alienation between generations.

From 1978 and two decades ahead I was skeptical and confused by most of my fellow patients in the Primal Therapy. They talked all the time about the importance of ”The Screams” they performed in their sessions at the Institute or in their home built, soundproofed, boxes.The content of the communication in ”The Primal Scream” had shaped them. I was never able to come close to their screams.  However; I must admit I too built a box in 1982. My primal box was the scene of some minor re-lived pain, the creation of allergic reactions but 0 / zero screams. The box cost me a fortune and a lot of headaches to get rid of when my giant, underlying, ”silent scream” provoked my constant need to keep me on the move…

During decades in active therapy, I was a poor screamer, but I have had countless, silent, wordless experiences being trapped, squeezed and unable to get out. During a few intensive years in the 90is (and now and then later) my re-lived birth struggle, regularly, ended in something like a newborn baby’s first cry. Historically, that cry, which welled up through my throat from the depths of my stomach after being trapped since 1940, would, without re-living the imprinted pain, have developed into a grand mal seizure. These experiences became a tremendous relief that gradually led to the improvement of my vital signs into excellence and to end my obsessive, constant activities of moving around.

My confusion as to the meaning of screaming disappeared undramatically. It was as an early eye-catcher ”The Primal Scream” had been most important in my therapy journey. Without the sensational, promising attention, which the publishing of ”The Primal Scream created, I would not have been made aware of and benefitted from the innovative principles that Art Janov eventually developed. Selectively to reverse the evolution, has worked as an enigma machine (alluding to Dr. Janov’s background as a marine telegraph operator) during the process to restore / cure my mind and body. The Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse has caused me to enjoy life in a way that I, previously, would have condemned as boring and free of varieties.

McLuhan’s and Janov’s insights and observations are still clear and accurate.


Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Evolution in Reverse.: Happy Birthday to Dr. Arthur Janov!

Evolution in Reverse.: Happy Birthday to Dr. Arthur Janov!: In recent years, my dreams have been my constant companions. My brain has, in a dream, established connections between perceived / actual e...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to Dr. Arthur Janov!

In recent years, my dreams have been my constant companions. My brain has, in a dream, established connections between perceived / actual experiences, desires and needs in my subconscious. These dreams interpret my abilities and inabilities, and they go to, in reverse fashion, as far as  painful traumas, which allow me to experience the liberating, euphoric happiness once I have re-lived a life-threatening pain.

During many years I was confused by the many theoretical interpretations and definitions, from different starting points and circumstances, developed by psychologists and neurologists. Nowadays, I have no other ambitions than to let the dreams be a part of my life. The definition that matters is the emotional improvement and the relief I feel, not least because I quit / are unable to act out non-real / neurotic needs. I let others, with scientific aspirations, take care of the technical definitions.

Arthur Janovs forthcoming 90th birthday and his and his wife’s presentation of the musical “The Primal Scream” has been rolling around in my head for some time. I have not succeeded in arranging something to show my appreciation or participation. However, suddenly, the night before I left on a trip to Sweden, my ambition resulted in a fascinating dream.

In the dream, I find myself in a huge floor, which appears to be a compilation of the unreasonably many apartments, I lived in during my life. In the center of the floor there is a large living room, in which Art Janov appears, along with  guest ensemble from LA. playing The Primal Scream. I want to enter into the living room, but I’m not allowed in and I cannot get to the stage where Janov is sitting while actors dressed in white presenting their soft, low-tuned musical.

The conductor / director asks me to arrange coffee for everyone. I go to the kitchen while I, in the distance, follow the show. I’m unable to organize coffee preparation and serving. Everything turns into chaos, and I panic and feel cramping. I would ask Janov for help, but a mixture of shame and failure prevents me. Meanwhile, patients to Janov filling a large part of the complex floor conglomerate. It amounts to some 40 patients who all want coffee urgently. I’m considering, in my paralysis, to ask a nearby restaurant to organize the serving of coffee. My oversized kitchen is a myriad of utensils, coffee varieties and water flowing together in a frustrating chaos with myself, and I realize that I can no longer keep my inability at bay. 

I move to my bedroom and lie down and give up my intentions to organize coffee. A numbing feeling of isolation, immobility and cramping dominate me. This condition is changing partly from dream to reality. Suddenly, my cramp and pain is released, and my breathing becomes normal. I am full of desire to write a poem to Janov as a tribute to his 90th birthday. During a few hours between dream and awake my brain is exposed to a poetic cross draft of memories, emotions, and verbal constructions. Finally, after some editing and modification, the following birthday poem became the result:




Happy Birthday  Dear Arthur, Happy 90 To You!



Epileptic Journey

From my early childhood
I was activity addicted
sentenced to a pattern of life
mimicking my birth process

In business I acted out
and even had successes
I over-taxed mind and body
whilst drugs and defenses
kept me disconnected
My defenses leaked
fits and hallucinations;
I was a prisoner of pain.

An avant-garde Scream
became a Janovian stab
at life’s Gordian knot,
and at the CBT model

Referring to your own
and others’ suffering
you avoided categorically
to give cunning advice,
your modest guidance
brought me to a point, 
beyond my symptoms,
to the Journey of my life


You made me slowly free,  
to at front row seat;
watch neurotic dramas
which save and distort our lives


Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pedagogical Dilemmas.

According to a famous evolutionary biologist, it is difficult to write popular science articles. Only a person who thoroughly masters his subject, who masters it completely, understands  what it is in a scientific work that can captivate outsiders. Furthermore, it requires an artistic frame of mind, from the scientific workshops, to promote what is possible to verbalize, and do it in the right living shape. Not to speak about what hell it must be pedagogical to promote that, which one cannot verbalize. Most attempts in that direction are liable to fail.

The foundation for security and lust for life grow out of a loving birth and childhood as well as through a stimulating pedagogical schooling. We know a lot of what happens if there are major shortcomings in our life before, during and just after birth. When I think about my schooldays, which I had hoped would be a stay in a pedagogic greenhouse, I wonder if I got a single impulse for the better, for anything good, intellectually, emotionally, aesthetically, or whatever they called it? No, possibly moral influence. Did I ever get a thrill out of what I call enthusiasm? Unfortunately, I have to answer NO. The same negative answer I got from almost everyone, I asked about their experience.

Nonetheless, I have an indelible memory of a pedagogic teacher. One day, I was 14, we got on the train to the town where I went to school. I sat smoking, being strictly forbidden, when suddenly my new math teacher, to my horror, showed up and sat down by my side. Against my expectation, he looked friendly, and he wondered if I had the cigarette brand, printed on one end of a cigarette, closest to the mouth when I smoked. “Yes, I have, I said.” “Me too, he said.” We managed to take a few puffs and so we hurried on, separately, to the school. The next couple of years math was my favorite subject, the only thing I took seriously. Those times when I acted without moralizing later in life I owe to my concrete experience with MA. Lindholm.

I have indeed, with delight, read Janov’s Reflection “The Merger of Nature and Nurture” in which he pours scientific information from his head and simultaneously bridges to external sources. However, without 40 years of experience of what happened to me in the womb in 1940, this Reflection had stopped at the verbal, where there are words. The non-verbal part, that which is about emotion, pain, experiences and sensations before I had words, I had not been able satisfactorily to interpret “The Merger of Nature and Nurture.”

The ingenious form of pedagogy, that the avantgardist Raphael Ortiz practiced in NY in the 60’s and which Art Janov later developed and followed up in “The Primal Scream” with naked and revealing emotional and physical traumas from patients driven to desperation, meant the way into the non-verbal for me. Then I got in touch with my feelings and realized that there were repressed reactions in my body and mind that at best could be re-lived and influenced / cured. This pedagogic successfully made the uncertainty less uncertain.


Jan Johnsson

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Two Heroes’, Brando And Janov, Different Pain-filled Routes To Fame.

Reading, writing and watching movies is my constant adventure. They fill my daily life, my dreams and my re-living of repressed memories, which mature and appear when I’m ready to feel and understand the pain behind my acting. Sometimes I think it may sound boring in other people’s ears. However, quite the contrary, even if many memories aren’t painless to re-live, the liberation that the experiences provide, is miraculous, curing and freeing.

The highlights of this week have been twofold, a near tre-hour documentary about Marlon Brando’s life and a Reflection “On Primal Memory” by Art Janov. Both have been my heroes; Brando from 1954 and ten years ahead (The Men, A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, Julius Caesar, The Wild One and On The Waterfront). Art Janov, became my new, different kind of hero when I had read “The Primal Scream” in Denmark in 1974.

It is fascinating, in feelings and thoughts, to experience how Brando’s pain, which tragically and unworthily ended his life, drove him to acting achievements which got Hollywood and the acting profession to change and show human signs. In the same part of the world Art Janov re-lives, using Evolution In Reverse, at age 90, his childhoods’ repressed and painful memories of lovelessness. He gives all of us, who read and dare to feel, hope to one day understand why evolution rescued us from the pain that was life-threatening.

When I grew up Marlon Brando and James Dean were my heroes. My religious home with its emotionally inhibited framing made me “a rebel with(out) a cause”. Brando and Dean eased for a couple o decades my loneliness and created moments of near-emotions and caring. Through their life-like / realistic acting, I got a short-lived / temporary comfort for what I was missing. It would last another 40 years before I began to understand that they were acting out worse experiences, from their childhoods, than my own.

The one who has explained the mainspring behind acting out to me is Art Janov. He became my new hero. Amazingly enough, he too has a Hollywood stamp, which though in retrospect seems natural. To explain how desperately strong the force, behind the life threatening pain, is in Brando’s most unforgettable performances, better examples, than those Janov present in his books about The Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse, including my own, is not likely to be found. (My memory turns multidimensional when I remember the scene in which Karl Malden skinned Brando’s back with a whip. This scene I can feel in my own back when my father desperately almost whipped the life out of me.)

Why has Art Janov become my hero? Because he gave me a hope / straw to cling to in the early 1970is to explain / demystify my epilepsy which distorted my inner, and hence my outer, life. Within a decade, he had helped me make it clear that I had been subjected to a different kind of maltreatment by my religiously confused mother. Even in my case the Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse was applicable. 

Fortunately my outgoing desperate need, which is part of my epileptic pattern, made me prepared to go one step further than that Janov recommends. He says; “we may never take the lower memory away from the patient until she is ready because it is crucial to our survival.” Well, being threatened to life from both the epilepsy and its originator, the repressed pain, I took an uncalculated, chance by trying those days’ cruel Rolfing. Later being guided by my hero over decades I succeeded to find a way to experience, also pre-verbally, what my birth trauma made to my life and how evolution helped me to survive until I was able to stop acting out.


Jan Johnsson

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Freud is Getting Off His High Horse.

During a few weeks, I have read Louis Cozolino’s books; “The Making Of A Therapist” and “The Neuroscience Of Psychotherapy.” Both have given in-depth insights into what I have experienced and learned during my almost 40 years in connection with Art Janov and his innovation The Primal Principle. I have experienced Cozolino’s message as a softer version of psychotherapy than Janov’s, but at the same time more instructive, informative and social in its pursuit. Immediate personal reactions in connection with my most intimate contacts have not been lacking, and I have experienced an improvement in my social interactions. As usual, my dreams have not been slow to act around my brain circuits and last night I had an extensive, pleasant dream of freeing character.

In the dream, I participated in a conference in a big city. Participants were people from different positions that I had met during my career as well as a few close friends from way back in time. The conference aimed to improve our general social skills, be honest and dissolve inhibiting repressions. I enjoyed not having to keep track of either time, belongings or documentation. I noticed that my keys disappeard, but it did not worry me (it turned out later that I had them inside my shirt), and my usual concern that travel documents would disappear was gone.

A young man who looked to be suffering from stress and anxiety came up to me, and I held him until he had re-lived a difficult repressed pain trauma. Afterwards, he looked relaxed and healthy, and I told him he did not need any therapy treatment because the feeling had cured him. A woman, to whom I had previously been married came up and expressed her admiration, in an emotional way, over my treatment of a young man.

After friendly but undramatic saying goodbye to a number of conference participants, I left without my previous fear of not finding my way home. I lay down on a giant skateboard deck and rolled, feet first, through a large city (probably L.A.) at breakneck speed and slid smoothly through many narrow passages without striking neither guardrails nor signs. Suddenly I rolled out of town and came to the countryside. The paved road turned into a dirt road and suddenly I had three horses with riders in front of me. I slowed down, and one of the riders stepped down from his horse. I immediately identified the rider as Sigmund Freud, and he took off his hat when I passed him. The two riders in Freud’s companion remained anonymous. My ability to roll forward on the gravelly horse road was limited and with this realization, I woke up and felt glad to have made Louis Cozolino’s literary, psychotherapeutic acquaintance.

Cozolino’s books make my experience and knowledge from Art Janov and Alice Miller complete. The three represents, for me, a complete psychotherapeutic ensemble, but whose individual perspectives I had not fully understood my birth trauma, my neuroses and my confused social relationships. Additionally, Art Janov gave me the courage and the will to penetrate the pain behind my trauma that eventually developed into epilepsy. However, despite all the words in their books, it is the wordless re-experience of the pain that makes the journey.

Art Janov has, for decades, harshly, criticized the tendency of cognitive therapists to repress the pain of their patients due to the fear of their own repressed pain. Instead of asking “WHY symptoms?”, they treat, these symptoms, by repressing, cognitively, the pain further down, over and again. Louis Cozolino realizes this danger and to develop the psycho-therapists’ ability, to in social interaction with patients and supervisors, cure themselves from the mental problems, that originally drove him, her to become a therapist / “caretaker.” “The brain is a social organ of adaptation built through interactions with others. There are no single human brains – brains only exist within networks of other brains.”  

My delight in Cozolino’s therapy training model works until my own stigma of epilepsy. I have a feeling that Louis Cozolino has set a severity / category boundary in his professional therapy ambitions. Fortunately, Janov, without being careless, has not drawn any limits, at least not any that stopped me. My own successful development reflected certainly my experiences of dramatic pain from my epileptic seizures.

Why does not Cozolino with a word mention Janov & The Primal Therapy? That is a question that demands an answer. He mentions Alice Miller, who I believe, is the one of the three who in a personal way, most empathy richly, describes the experience of pain from childhood traumas. She is unyielding in her demands to the patient’s liberation / removal from certain inhibitory family relationships, which have caused a trauma due to lack of care / love before, during and after birth. Her reference to the repressive role of religion (4th commandment) is a cultural and psychotherapeutic eye-opener. 

Louis Cozolino is probably looking for a wider audience than Arthur Janov. He will probably choose, according to Peter G. Prontzo’s review of his book in The Primal Mind, and according to Daniel Kahneman, to follow the model to avoiding (physical and mental) pain is a stronger motivation than the attraction of pleasure. “Based on the way our brains operate, evolution appears to have been far more interested in keeping us alive than making us happy.” Is it an “anti-evolutionary” attitude that keeps Art Janov / The Primal Principle outside neuroscience (research and education), health care and psychotherapeutic literature?


Jan Johnsson

Monday, July 14, 2014

"What Goes Around Comes Around."

3 closed cycles in a week.

From July 8th to today, I have experienced how, three, long, extraordinary cycles have matured. The cycles have included avant-gardism / provocative art, traumas, psychotherapy, soccer, repressed anger and a lot of emotions. Everything is the result of external stimuli which have made my subconscious memories available. The prerequisite for these experiences, named The Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse. Innovator Arthur Janov.

1 - 7  As In A Brazilian Mirror 7 - 1 

On July 9th, 1950, at the FIFA world Cup in Brazil, when I was almost 10 years old, I was involved in one, as it would later appear, traumatic experience. Sweden lost 1 - 7 against the host country Brazil before 133.000 spectators in Maracana stadium in Rio de Janerio. The reporter showed, humanly but completely unprofessionally, his grief with, after every Brazilian goal, to repeat “Ay, ay, ay, this isn’t true.”  When I barely ten years later developed epilepsy, and the gates to my birth trauma leaked pain and anxiety, I could not prevent a slip of the tongue / “riff”; “Ay, ay, ay this is not true” to be part of my hallucination / fit. This habit followed me well into the future until I had re-lived my trauma. 

On July 8th, 2014, at the FIFA world Cup in Brazil, exactly 64 years later the host nation Brazil and Germany, played against each other in the Estadio Minerao, Belo Horizonte. Before the game started, I remembered Brazil’s humiliation of Sweden in 1950. I sensed and wished that Germany would win,  and I predicted that the result would be 7 - 1 to Germany. My prediction would give me a sort of personal vindication for the trauma at 10 years of age. My bet was a hit.

My dislike for longer family visits.

For some time, my friend Eva and I scheduled a visit by her Swedish family in Spain. Yesterday, when we discussed the timing and Eva announced that the family of different reasons stretched out their stay one week more than I had in my mind, I had a hard time hiding my rage. I had no obvious reason to react as I did. As I read “The Making Of A Therapist” of Louis Cozolino, I went, during my conversation with Eva, “down in the body,” in an attempt to feel what my anger was due. In seconds my anger mixed with memories, rose from “forgetfulness” / the subconscious, from my childhood 1945-1948. We had then, for a few years, due to convalescence after cancer surgeries, two of my father’s sisters living with us, which I felt excruciating because they were sick, depressed and mood inhibiting. No consideration was given to me, and no one talked to me about it I repressed my pain during almost 70 years. Janov / Cozolino saved me from, more than necessary, acting out my anger on Eva in 2014.


From Raphael Ortiz avant-garde seances in N.Y. in the 1960is to The Primal Scream: The Musical.  

Primal PRIMAL SCREAM, THE MUSICAL
Primal Scream Foundation
Music by David Foster and Arthur Janov
Script by Arthur Janov and France Janov
Directed by Terry Berliner
Primal Scream, the comical and powerful new musical, is adapted from the best-selling book and teams legendary music composer David Foster with France and Arthur Janov. It frames a compelling story of two people who cannot love due to their childhood feelings, and of four other patients, each resolving problems through moments rendered in provocative, whimsical scenes, underscored by explosively entertaining music. Primal Scream is an exhilarating and unique theatrical experience.
Friday, October 17, 8 PM

When I saw an ad in Art’s Reflection blog, I experienced my third breathtaking feeling in a week: “What goes around, comes around.” From Raphael Ortiz, Arthur Janov and Ida Rolf I received input which continues to enrich my life. The emotional, often wordless, natural treatments / methods, from these outstanding guides, have been an invaluable source of my fitting to both the physical and the mental gravity.

Over the years, Art has in countless reflections analyzed how history’s best actors / artists, with their repressed / unrelieved pain, have incarnated / personalized unforgettable role personalities. Now, Dr. Janov takes the step from Therapy Business to Show Business in order to present, on stage in the form of art, what he learned from Evolution in Reverse. I’m convinced that there is more than enough pain in the corps of actors to make The Musical: “The Primal Scream” into a success. I expect a different, partly verbal, partly cognitive way to promote an often wordless, emotional, Primal Therapy. No Business is like Showbusiness.

Good Luck!

Is it possible to ask for a ticket or two?

Jan Johnsson 


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

7 - 1 As In A Brazilian Mirror 1 - 7






Epilepsy, soccer, avantgardism and therapies. In the honor of Raphael Ortiz, Arthur Janov and Ida Rolf.

Over the past month, I’ve written and read about how e.g. smells, and music evokes memories and elicit emotions in us. My whole experience of The Primal Principle is a constant process of how different stimuli evoke memories and allows me to re-live feelings / pain that I have repressed. “Memory of odors are idea, concept and situation free; they are pure and unadulterated. If we let the patient slip into them totally we often get remote pains that were hardly ever retrievable. A. Janov.” Because my overriding stigma has been my epilepsy, very many of the memories, stimulated and provoked through relationships, audio and visual impacts, smells and music etc., have slipped me into my birth trauma and its related fits / hallucinations.

On July 9th, 1950, at the FIFA world Cup in Brazil, when I was almost 10 years old, I was involved in one, as it would later appear, traumatic experience. Both sadly and surprisingly (at least for me) Sweden lost 1 - 7 against the host country Brazil before 133.000 spectators in Maracana stadium in Rio de Janerio. The reporter whom I, on the radio, listened to was named Gunnar Göransson. He showed, humanly but completely unprofessionally, his grief with, after every Brazilian goal, to repeat “Ay, ay, ay, this isn’t true.” The reporter was thereafter for years nicknamed “Ay, ay, ay - Göransson.” 

What I did not understand as 10-year old was the trauma that the defeat together with Göransson’s miserable report had meant. When I barely ten years later developed epilepsy, and the gates to my birth trauma leaked pain and anxiety, I could not prevent a slip of the tongue / “riff”; “Ay, ay, ay this is not true” to be part of my hallucination / fit. This habit followed me well into the future until I had re-lived my trauma. (In March 1980, I wrote a draft, of my first dramatic primal experiences, which I later presented as a chapter, “From The Sunshine In Beverly Hills To The Darkness In Brokamåla.” In the text, I describe the origins of my epileptic “riff”: “Ay, ay, ay, this isn’t true.” The chapter is included in my book “Evolution in Reverse.” To whom it may concern I’ve included it as an attachment.)

On July 8th, 2014, at the FIFA world Cup in Brazil, exactly 64 years later. In the absence of Swedish participation, the opposing teams, host nation Brazil and Germany, played against each other in the Estadio Minerao, Belo Horizonte. Before the game started, I remembered Brazil’s humiliation of Sweden in 1950. I sensed and wished that Germany would win and when the game started I told Eva, my, after 53 years re-found friend, about the details of my trauma 64 years ago, and I predicted that the result would be 7 - 1 to Germany. My prediction would give me a sort of personal vindication for the trauma at 10 years of age.

To everybody’s enormous surprise, my tip is a hit and Brazil becomes as humiliated as my childhoods Swedish idols were in 1950. However, it hurt me when I saw the sad young Brazilian spectators suffer through the same trauma that I experienced as a boy, it was an incredible experience to be able to feel 64 years of memory span from 1950 until today. Helped by the Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse, I have experienced, what many consider to be, improbable adventures and a miraculous cure. I am a determinist and do not believe in supernatural things, but sometimes coincidences are on our side, and the reality surpasses the fantasy.

Jan Johnsson




Annex from my book Evolution in Reverse:

"From the sunshine in Beverly Hills to the darkness in Brokamåla.

From January 1980, I lived again back home in Sweden and would, after two different sabbatical years find my way back into reality. The Primal Therapy had not immediately become so disruptive as I expected, even if it had slightly opened the door, and still I was not aware of what an explosive power, the last few weeks of deep connective tissue massage in Ida Rolf's auspices in Boulder, Colorado, would have. My reentry into working life was made easy by the fact that I came home with a new understanding of English, knowledge of marketing from UCLA, human and psychological insights, that primal therapy had given me and in physical form that had rarely been better. Although I lacked a green card, a USA work permit, I had through the contacts in a Swedish listed company had the opportunity to  help out in one of their subsidiaries in Boulder, Colorado. I flew there every week during the year and acted during 2-3 days as a consultant during a reorganization and kept an eye on a talented but alcoholic branch manager.

Offers of work assignments flowed quickly in at an extent that I never needed to be worried about my security. My wife and I lived well on a small, beautiful forest farm in Blekinge, in the south of Sweden. The only downside was the long journeys to my clients in Åhus, Vittsjö and Höör and to the airports in Kristianstad or Ronneby. I had exciting change missions and could arrange my days depending on my nightly therapeutic experiences.

When the delayed effects of the therapies in California and Colorado were set in motion in January 1980, I stood before a dramatic personality development that I only now, 30 years later can understand the full scope of. I often wrote down my experiences and documented feelings and insights which I filed in my red Pandora's Box, which I dragged around as a growing memory over the years. Free from having to follow a strictly chronological order, I continue to relate some of my emotions and memories from those primal experiences.

Thursday, February 28, 1980 after about six hours of sleep I woke up, and I went through an often repeated and involuntary process of hyperventilation and feelings which that morning had passed without major problems. I got started quickly even though I was in no hurry to my work on Anna-Modeller in Åhus and I drove a circuitous route over Lönsboda and Kristianstad.

During the journey, I felt initially in an almost manic mood, singing to myself and acting funny. As a result, I suddenly got up hallucinatory memories of my father in which he blamed me because I did not fit the time and was driving circuitous routes. He thought that “I was fooling around and got nothing done.”  To be serious had at a very early stage in my life  been instilled in me. Too soon, so that it became a pressure and a burden for me. It caused me to doubt and be uncertain about my right to relax and be able to judge what I could take lightly.

When I arrived at my workplace, I had a slight discomfort of a guilty conscience because I was late. However, I was relaxed enough to take time and talk with each of my closest colleagues and felt a pleasant touch with everyone. Between 3 and 4 p.m., I felt tired and decided to leave the job and drive home earlier. My reason for that was that I would do a more efficient job at home. On the way home during the car travel, my nose suddenly became clogged, and violent, painful tension deposited under the eyes and just above the nose, and I tried unsuccessfully to blow me continuously. Panic was close.

Upon my returning home, my wife noted how abnormally clogged my nose was. Despite my condition, I conducted a few tasks in the nearby village. I was extremely tense, and, for example, had a petit mall hallucination during a visit to the library. Then I drove back to the farm, had a bowl of soup and some crisp bread. I had shortly thereafter violent tensions in my stomach, which developed into diarrhea, and this was on during about one hour while I drank mineral water. I lay on top of my bed and woke up at 22 o'clock when my spouse came home. I got up and ate a couple of garlic cloves and a plate of buttermilk and a little oatmeal and took my epileptic medicine and then went to bed again without being able to fall asleep.

Since my wife had been annoyed that I did not want to turn off the light, I moved into the living room and put myself in an old sofa to read for a while.  I gave up reading after half an hour, and fell asleep. After another hour I awoke, I was paralyzed and had a sensation of seizures in my head, without, however, getting any seizure. I fell asleep again, and these unpleasant epileptic sensations returned but this time in combination with that I repeated a short phrase: “Ay, ay, ay, this isn't true” which I often repeated as an automatism /"riff" accompanying petit mall seizures. However, I told them in a less rushed and compulsive manner than usual, but there were more repetitions, and they were louder and probably faster.

(The story behind these "ay, ay, ay" phrases originated from when Sweden in 1950  during the World Cup in Brazil lost a soccer game by 1-7 in a degrading way to the host country Brazil. The radio reporter who referenced the match was called Gunnar Göransson and he reiterated an "Ay, ay, ay, this isn't true" after each goal the Brazilians made. For decades thereafter he was nicknamed "Ay, ay, ay - Göransson" and the trauma I went through with him in 1950 was later, for decades, to characterize my petit mall fits / seizures).


My sounds woke my wife up, and she came into the living room and asked me to move into the bedroom again. She felt bad that she had provoked my move to the living room, a fact of which I was very much aware. I went to my bed and fell asleep immediately, but after a while I had violent dreams of the period in my life when I developed epilepsy in the upper teens. In the dream, I had a fight with my two youngest siblings and was also at odds with my mother who could not comprehend that I would need to be doing Primal Therapy.

The dream turned into extremely painful birth scenes where my head is forced through the pelvis of my mother several times. When I during the dream told this to my mother, she screamed and cried and threw herself on the floor in a demonstration against that I relived something she denied. The dream scenes took place in my room at Alnarp, in the house where we lived until the time when I got epilepsy. The situation was a re-experience and felt like the nights when I got my first major seizures 1959. I did not know then that this was Grand Mal epileptic seizures. I only felt a paralyzing agony for what happened to me.

When I came down into the kitchen of my childhood, still in a dream, I was like a mini baby on the kitchen table, and I told my mother that she should expect to get this kind of a damaged child, because she was so narrow and unwilling to feelings and emotional support. In a nasty threatening way, I quarreled with my siblings, including about eating or not eating a variety of sweet ice cream in pink cones that filled the refrigerator.  Continuously, during these nightmarish arguments with my siblings, I had primal / hallucinations that felt like my head being pushed through my mother's pelvis.

When I finally woke up, my wife was sitting awake and terrified at my side, and she told me that I had cried and whimpered as a newborn baby, and I had been breathing as an infant. She had feared that I should slip into a major seizure. However, this did not happen because a birth primal is identical to an epileptic seizure or rather; a grand mal epileptic seizure is my brain's defense response when the birth process is perceived as impossible to implement by the protection mechanisms in my brain; that by repression takes care of my survival.

When I woke up, I felt an unprecedented space in my head. It felt like an oversized room. A variety of sweet, pleasurable words and thoughts flowed in my head and created an unusual feeling of happiness when I woke up. My nose that had threatened to explode out of my face was like new, and the breathing was easy and amazingly comfortable. During the hour or so I felt a new kind of happiness being alive and of having experienced something sensational miraculously, which I certainly had hoped, deep down in my subconscious.

Most of all I would have liked to phone to DR Janov or to Dr Holden, in L.A., to talk about my sensational experience - 40 years back in time. I had a fierce desire to get attention. The attention I never got from my own father. I was trained to withhold my needs, so I did not call LA ...


When you least expect it, but need it most."


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thanks To Janov's Imperfections.


The Primal Principle, Art Janov’s innovation, based on Evolution in Reverse, has had a profound, positive impact on both my mental and physical health. The way I understand, combine and communicate feelings, thoughts and reactions in my body and brain have changed. This change / improvement also applies retroactively. My experiences during childhood, adolescence and for much of my career now appears in a new light. Reality / causation that I previously, neurotically (hoping to survive), filtered off, often turn out to be, repressed, in my memory in a different version than the one I previously represented. There are long-term positive benefits that an unfiltered memory, of different relationships / processes, emerges in a more unvarnished version. A short term, somewhat painful disadvantage is that, under the guise of a mendacious version, there lurks an unpleasant memory propelled by a repressed trauma / pain. The re-living of the pain means that the downside is turned to relief and into a long-term advantage / cure.

During, the last few years, blog-writing, I have repeatedly been confronted with memories from my career as a manager, leader and change consultant, which washes over me and makes me aware of why and what caused both my failures as my successes. My new memory capability has given me new insight into all the management theory I consumed over the years and how I, sometimes, without understanding why, have applied recipes from different gurus. When I, with the insight of the Primal Principle and my own experience of work and therapy, re-read some of the established stars in the leadership-Hall-of-Fame, I understand them better while I understand my strong and weak historical actions. That some of these leadership theories in the past decade has been confirmed by research in neuroscience, reinforces the value of my experiences.

Probably, I have read most of what Art Janov, knowledgeable and pedagogically, has written and expressed in his books and Reflections while he guided me through, my epilepsy-causing, birth trauma. This almost 40-year process has made me virtually free from my original trauma, my neurotic filters and developed my ability simultaneously to combine thought and emotional functioning. My example, in turn, leads me to believe that the ability that Art Janov possess and has developed into “The Primal Principle” is an untapped, renewable natural method that could lift the existing  leadership practices in new ways that would benefit future generations. A broader understanding and use of The Primal Principle could create means that gradually develop help also for the weakest and most traumatized individuals affected by suffering.

As individuals, many organizations suffer, without ever knowing it, from repressed and unconscious pain. Suffering human beings, propelled by repressed early pain and / or traumas, develop depressions, high blood pressure, ulcers, heart diseases, strokes, etc.. Individual sufferers survive for a long time with the help of psychotropic drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and an assortment of painkillers of chemical origin as well as of religious or other convictions. Suffering organizations (companies, divisions, departments etc..) develop, for example, a top-down negative atmosphere, wrong products and markets, negative cashflow and unsatisfied customers. The companies’ suffering leads, further or later, to a negative / red bottom line when the change consultants / turn-around-therapists / “conversational intelligence’s” are connected. All mentioned sufferings, both individual and organizational, are about people and individuals. With wise leadership, knowledge, guidance, feelings and modern communication / conversation, both types of suffering could be reduced very significantly and free up people’s and organizations’ inherent natural, developmental needs.

Art Janov’s books and reflections are about what happens to us later in life if our parents are failing, and misbehave before, during and just after birth. Janov delivers and deepens two messages; A.: To become aware of our suffering and when our organism is strong enough, to feel and re-live the repressed pain (which is diffuse, without form, time or place and often without words), B.: To love, nurture, touch and be there for our children from the moment of conception. Janov is unwavering in his message. In vain, he has for decades sought recognition, for “Evolution in Reverse” / “The Primal Principle”, of the authorities / faculties  of Education, Neuro-science and Health Care. The decision makers (according to the evolutionary law of survival having over-developed intellectual brains) repressed Janov’s natural way to cure the pain. Dr. Art Janov has desperately been looking for perfection throughout his life. For me, he has achieved that, thanks to his imperfections.

If we combine Janov’s imperfection with Peter Drucker’s, Daniel Goleman’s, Judith Glaser’s and several others’ imperfections, and turn to ordinary people’s common sense, we would be able to reverse the tragically unhealthy development that in the U.S. alone, 60 million Americans are on psychotropic drugs. The pharmaceutical industry (since the 1950s and ‘60s, when the large mental hospitals were discontinued) have not managed to introduce any innovative curative medicine. The large pharmaceutical companies are, on the contrary, in the process of shutting down new development of psychotropic medicines. They are moving these resources into a new fashion area of stem cells to concentrate on research that may, possibly, bear fruit about 10 or so years.


Jan Johnsson