Thursday, February 20, 2020

Basic mental capacity

Basic mental capacity

If we want to be able to stand up for ourselves we need to be dangerous / cocky and confident. However, at the same time, as socially dependent beings, we need people to like us, hence we need to be able to keep the “dangerous / confident” part of us under control to establish friendships / families / relations. The confident / dangerous part is our protection when we meat people who might turn mean and malicious. To those who are reasonable our protection will make sense and we will respect each other and can go on in an eqaul / constructive way.

Since all of us have potential behaviors on a scale from need of love to aggression and we are ridden by feelings from sane fear to passion I think these are the areas, in for example a therapy project, where we might help people come to terms with their problems. I see no big differences if we are talking about individual life, family life, neighborhood relations, societys, companies and countries. At least within related cultures we are talking the same notes, possibly different octaves, rythms and scales. Sometimes played in C Major and sometimes in G Minor etc., which enriches our emotional color scale.

I've always listened to music, mainly jazz music. Suddenly I tried to understand it at a high age. Now I know why. And suddenly I see life through musical metaphors…


Monday, February 10, 2020

The Shifts Of Life

The Shifts Of Life…

December, January have, as far as I can recall, represented my shape and energy curve's low-water marks. I thought that with "wisdom", through therapy and good living in its positive sense, I could change this. Not so. It's as if I have an imprint, programmed for these two months of spiritual and physical cleansing to be able to function well during the remaining months.

Today on February the 10th I woke up and felt excellent. The image in the mirror surprised me, it was again in balance in a positive old-fashioned way. Calmness and harmony existed within me and this was reflected in my charisma. A feeling and a day to take advantage of. Playing piano, project meeting on the internet and physical exercise will color the day.

Two of the weekend's videos about trauma and exaggerated climate reports I should see again. They may have contributed to my sudden return to wellbeing. "Demian", a book by Herman Hesse (friend of Carl Jung), which I re-read gives me satisfactory evidence that my life's trauma management has contributed to today's wellbeing. Unfortunately, my own Demian, aka Art Janov, is no longer alive, but the memory of his radiance, thoughtfulness and wisdom is in my subconscious. So does his view of how we become shaped by what our trauma has programmed into us, unless we have been able to relive the original pain and turn evolution to our advantage.

The pen runs away with me. Training, video calls and piano exercises should also be taken care of.

Life is a cabaret, old chum!
Start celebrating
Right this way, your tasks are waiting…

Jan Johnsson

Monday, December 23, 2019

A Crystal Clear Memory

A Crystal Clear Memory

At the age of almost 80, Eva and Jan have been friends for 67 years and are best friends for 8 years. Being best friends means in their case ruthless honesty about the appearance, memories, dementia, prostate and why weight, blood pressure and blood sugar sometimes is out of balance. Often their long discussions emerge from something that one of them has spontaneously expressed. It can be a point of view, positive or negative, on themselves, on a television participating, in any of their children or grandchildren or any friend or acquaintance.

Analyzes and opinions go back to the 1940s. Eve's long-term memory has been surprisingly well preserved after a stroke a decade ago. Her short memory however is blamed for things that do not work, for placement valuables and for periods not kept. They have become addicted to these recurring conversations that fluctuate between facts and psychotherapeutically grounded emotions and thoughts. They take inspiration from books, TV shows, spontaneous memory fragments and from factual information via the Internet / Google.

Eva sometimes states that she speaks without thinking. By that she means single words and sentences that can be her spontaneous response to a biting comment from Jan about someone or something. This causes the flame of their analytical desire to flame up and they produce in-depth analyzes of both Eva's intuitive reactions and Jan's sharp statements.

For almost 8 years, with this form of in-depth analysis, they have dug out and straightened their lives back to early childhood. Eva's long solid experience from the academic world of research duels with Jan's experience from 40 years of continuous contact with Arthur Janov, The Innovator of The Primal Scream, and from a career as a crisis consultant in business. Together, they are provided with practical and theoretical human knowledge that favors their therapeutic ambitions. Many of their dormant memories have been restored to living new-old memories over the past 8 years. All details need not be exact, but evoked memories must feel right. Not infrequently the emotions cause it to shed a tear or provoke a disarming laugh.

Regarding the accuracy of memory, associations that can be proven are sometimes evoked. When Eva said the other day: "I talk without thinking," suddenly in Jan's memory came a famous philosophical phrase: "I think, so I am." As soon as he uttered the phrase, the name Descartes appeared in his brain. As usual Jan googled Descarte's claim and had his memory confirmed in detail.

The memory had surprisingly and elegantly presented both the philosopher's name and his statement. The process of Descartes, "I think, thus I am" and the confirmation via the internet boosted his self-esteem and his confidence in his memory which, with age's right, sometimes falters. Jan thought it was this year's Christmas present from Eva and another memory to preserve.

Encouraged by Descartes, Jan stated, without being able to prove the logic, that Eva should think, since she is…

Jan Johnsson

Lund on December 21, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Rather listen to the string broke, than never stretch a bow….

Rather listen to the string broke,

than never stretch a bow….

“Bad Blood” is a book about a girl, Elisabeth Holmes, who at 19 dropped out of college like Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg and started Theranos in Silicon Valley to revolutionize healthcare/bloodtesting by way of a simple needlestick in a finger to extract one to two drops of blood. A modern vision/panacea appealing to the medical world and to patients, doctors, health care plus food chains hungry for new business ideas (like i.e. Walgreens) etc.. 

The name Theranos, an abriviation of Therapy and Diagnosis, leads the mind to another sensational promise, 50 years ago, of a quick fix in psychotherapy, when Art Janov in his bestseller “The Primal Scream” promised to cure most neroses and mental illnesses in 4 months. Since the time gap between the two revolutionary visions of quick fixes cover almost two generations, then the basis for direct comparisons are difficult from a scientific, economic and technological point of view. 

Except for monitoring vital signs, Primal Therapy had very little to do with digitalization and instrumentation, while Theranos relies on  high-tech instruments inspired by Steve Jobs’ Apple development. Add to that the fact that Art Janov never showed ambition to exploit his therapy treatment like Theranos. His conviction was that the Primal Therapy method's superiority would triumph and make other treatments unnecessary in some natural way.

There are interesting similarities and differences between these two revolutionary visions. Theranos ambitions were to cover medical blood tests in virtually all diagnosable disease areas. All people are of obvious reasons interested, for themselves or a family member. Since we prefer accessible, quick and painless treatment a low cost service that meet these needs can lure us even to seduction. Primal Therapy was the cure-all of mental illnesses. However, in contrast to Theranos, Primal Therapy was never a low cost alternative…

Art Janov had and Elisabeth Holmes has a striking personalitiy with charm, carisma, intelligence and an intuitive custom behavior for individuals as well as large groups. Both arrogantly convinced of their ideas. Both protected anxiously their "trade secrets" which increased the hype around their respective activities. They had nothing to spare for those who doubted their visions. Here, however, there is a crucial difference between them in that Art Janov never tried to consciously manipulate reality. On the contrary, for 50 years he gradually tried to correct his original promise from a quick fix of 4 months, first to a couple of years, then to a couple of decades to finally gently announce at the end of his career that it could be a life long process. Elisabeth Holmes could, without blinking, adjust the truth when she was pressed about Theranos’ delaying the completion of their mini-analyzers and about how she allowed her company to cheat by developing tests using traditional methods when their own instruments did not work. 

Both inventors exploited their sensational health / therapy versions relentlessly utilizing marketing techniques with television, press and celebrities and their location in Cilicon Valley (Theranos), and Hollywood / Santa Monica, (Primal Therapy) provided them with excellent opportunities to establish contacts. Naturally, the superior media and communication techniques of modern times enabled Holmes to recruite board members among politicians and researchers with reputations greater than life such as Henry Kissinger, Georg Shultz, James Mattis and others. Not to mention investors like Tim Draper, Larry Ellison and Rupert Murdoch. President Obama appointed her a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship, and Harvard Medical School invited her to join its prestigious board of fellows. Theranos managed to raise $ 700 million in a few years. At most, the company was valued at $ 9 billion, of which $ 4.5 billion was Holmes' net-worth.

From an economic point of view, at least from an investor's point of view, Art Janov can never be accused of causing unreasonable capital destruction. Possibly, a number of patients over the course of 50 years can complain about the result of their high fees. Janov's most important promotional succes occurred when John Lennon went into primal therapy and created a hype through his (Beatles) personality and through some beautiful songs which alluded to his emotional experiences. The John Lennon effect in Primal circuits continued for a long time despite John living with much mental pain and returning to drug use before being tragically murdered in January 1980.

As a follow-up to his treatment experiences, Art Janov wrote readable books in which he sensitively and skillfully cherry picked unique moments in a patient's treatment process to illustrate how early trauma, step by step, being relieved and how neuroses can be resolved as a result. More and more often through his books he repeated that the only sure guarantee of good mental health is a loving treatment from the moment of conception, during the pregnancy, the birth process and the critical first 3 years. It was as if he subconsciously, over the course of 40 years, realized the difficulty of achieving the treatment success that the first primal experiences had provided a vision of.

Both therapy that cures mental pain and blood sampling that can be done quickly, easily and linked to safe analyzes and medication / treatment methods are fascinating areas of activity that affect us all. From an economic point of view, these areas have multiplied for a century, as has our average age and our increasing need for care. Thus, it is no wonder that sharp creative minds are constantly inventing innovative solutions to solve treatment problems in a socially affordable manner while creating private wealth and fame for their creators.

Creativity is constantly increasing to develop instruments with new digital, chemical and material solutions in a world that is governed by algorithms in Internet controlled deliveries, communications, payments and remote surgical operations. Therefore, the possibility of developing control mechanisms that guarantee the safety of users / patients becomes extremely complicated and difficult to grasp and regulate from a knowledge standpoint.

Skilled manipulators will always be one step ahead of the responsible controlling bodies. Theranos is a typical example of how easily a young intelligent and abitious girl, with tear-jerking emotional arguments in a sector with a crying need for simple, financial and practical solutions, could seduce researchers, doctors, patients, stockbrokers, investors, politicians, lawyers and the media. The reason; everyone liked her vision to succeed, she looked credible and no one had the insight to grasp her cientifically complicated project. Elisabeth Holmes herself also had limited knowledge and experience, but she had a unique intuitive, unscrupulous vision to exploit the hype that Silicon Valley had developed and the privacy drama that legislation and lawyers allow in connection with new business / patent development. The result was a large number of mis-analyzed patients whose lives were at stake, ill-treated employees, deceived investors and $ 900 million in smoke!

Having for decades utilized both simple blood tests and Primal Therapy and had significant yields from them, I must admit that the visions that Elisabeth Holmes and Art Janov introduced continue to captivate me. That none of them succeeded with their original intentions does not mean that fascinating opportunities cease to emerge. Now we are more experienced when someone dares to stretch a  bow in problem areas that need solutions.

Jan Johnsson

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

To Rape The Psyche (The Human Soul, Mind, Or Spirit). 

The other day, a female fellow patient published the above cartoon in a patient blog. It was by someone regarded as hilarious = extremely amusing. As I have seen the play with the syllables in the psycho-the-rapist a few times, it tore up memories and feelings from near and far, with many common human traits in the European, Latin, and American environments I lived in. Just to mention a few of them:

A long time ago, there was a beautiful girl who seemed obsessed with sex. She wore out a number of good-looking guys while she still lived in her parents' house. When she left the home she suffered from depression and started going to therapy. This helped for a time and she felt better until she had seduced / let her be seduced by the male therapist. Around the same time, she fell in love with a married man, who out of consideration for his wife did not want to have sex with her. This drove her into a deep depression. 

After a while, she came in contact with a female therapist. The therapist herself had lived through how it felt to be severely abused as a child, but later received help to get beyond her suffering. After working with the female therapist for more than a year the gates to the repression opened and it became obvious that the repressed trauma occurred when the woman was between 6 and 10 years of age. The father then had abused her sexually. It was this mental pain she constantly acted out.

When my father beat me up badly when I was 9 years, the most painful was not that he hit me blue and bloody, but that he tried raping my psyche and forced me to ask for forgiveness. When I uttered the words “forgive me dad", I experienced the worst pain of my 75-year life. To re-live this pain was a crucial experience to later re-live my birth trauma. The sum of these experiences of being raped made it later possible to live a life of self-development and to make my own journey through life.

Because of a nervous fingering, the woman, who published the above cartoon, sent it by “mistake” to my computer. Because I know her for several years, I reacted and pointed out to her that I did not think it was very funny. Then she changed her mind and her suffering welled up as well as her anger and anxiety towards the therapy center, where she was in treatment. This anger over poor treatment to unwarranted costs pursues her daily since a very long time. She feels destroyed, raped and abandoned. How raped she feels, in general, she showed when she said that I too had conceptually raped her when we at some point had discussed a visit to Spain, which she had interpreted would be at the price of sex. However, I had pointed out to her that she should find her therapy support somewhere else because I might be a too easy victim for her obsession, sexually, to seduce her therapists.

My conclusion of the published / above cartoon is that there are few healthy, liberated, cured, experienced psychotherapists who can be trusted and in whose hands you can put your life. Their trustworthiness is limited to the degree at which they have re-lived their own pain.

I never saw the cartoon as the joke it might have been, I saw it as an act out from my friend!

Jan Johnsson

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thank Heaven For Tickle Dreams

Thank Heaven For Tickle Dreams

My title paraphrase of Maurice Chevalier's famous song fits well with how I, the last many years, evolved to see and interpret my memories and reactions to my vivid dream life. During more than the first half of my life, however, I experienced my dreams, predominantly, traumatic. They contained sudden falls from mountains and tall buildings, searching for exits that never appeared or participation in insoluble projects/crises. Surprisingly often, I decided, in the midst of the most traumatic part of the nightmare, to cancel the futile struggle in which I participated. When I withdrew, I woke up without feeling too well.

After I experienced my first success with PT / The Primal Principle directed by Art Janov, my dream life changed gradually. The turning point was related to the fact that I experienced how an epileptic grand mal seizure was transformed into a traumatic, painful and wordless birth primal. This dream process developed over many years and was becoming less dramatic as my life became less neurotic. The process, which starts simultaneously with REM sleep, have, for many years, emptied my pain clusters/containers into an extent that my birth trauma = my epilepsy has been reduced to an easily tolerable level of pain. Nowadays, an everyday conflict/failure (eg to find the right rhythm with my tenor sax) is during sleep being translated into a dream, which eventually ends in an electric tickle in the brain. The dream development, and thus the tickling feeling, is often linked to a female partner who symbolizes my father. It happens that I, stimulated by the tickle, wake up laughing with flowing tears. A bearable and pleasant situation that feels curative. 

Yesterday I had a tough day with my tenor sax. It sounded miserable no matter which reed or mouthpiece, I combined. Add to that my inability to play from my memory ... Therefore, when I later went to bed, tired and disillusioned, I expected nothing encouraging in my dreams. However, things do not always progress as one would expect, they may even be better. My wandering life (literally) was played back in the dream. My walks in beautiful surroundings in the south of Sweden, in Denmark, in and around Santa Monica, Ca., in Boulder Col., in Valencia and in Genovés became a vision of the future. I imagined how resources were at the disposal of the residents. They would be able to preserve and develop the beauty I passed on my walk. There would be an automatic balance between private, municipal and business interests in order to prevent abuse and selfishness.

I imagined a common goal of sustainable development for future generations that mental health, beauty, and personal development would benefit everyone. Psychotropic drugs could be virtually eliminated and psychotherapists found work as personal coaches in beauty and environmental conservation. Suddenly I came to a treatment center, and in the door,  I saw Dr. Janov. He wept uncontrollably. I was immediately overwhelmed and hurried to comfort my benefactor. Jan, he said, do not worry, I weep for joy! I cry because I am no longer needed. Now I finally have time to deal with my own shit before it's too late!

Jan Johnsson

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” - Albert Einstein 


When I later today trained with the tenor sax, I managed to perform fully intelligible versions of both "All Of Me" and “Autumn Leaves “.....   JJ

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"The Body Never Lies"

"The Body Never Lies"

A Scandinavian woman told in a TV program how her head in a car accident hit the windshield, and she lost her memory from the previous nine years. She told us about the complicated rebuilding of her memory. She filled her reconstruction with doubt and mistrust directed both to herself and others. It took a long time because memory is an elusive individual phenomenon that also changes, for example, being stained in a problematic way to predict (which research has confirmed, e.g., in connection with witness psychology). 

A key point in the woman's story was that she had had a child under the lost memory period. She had no recollection that she was a mother. However, the word memory received a new dimension when she and her child confronted each other. The child rushed, at the reunion, spontaneously up to her mother and embraced her, overwhelmed by happiness. Then the woman felt how physical memory/recognition welled up in her body. Just as Alice Miller so brilliantly described it: "The body never lies." It has no fake/alternative news!

Primal circles consider my combination of PT and Rolfing with skepticism and warnings, but I have not understood why. The curative aim of Rolfing is, with deep physiotherapy, releasing blocked/fixed grown memories. They are physical manifestations/extensions which reinforce/defend the memory of repression of painful experiences (of varying types) back to the fetal period. The goal of Rolfing, to restore posture and fascia in harmony with gravity laws, has, in my case, freed several memories of painful (repressed) character. My body's memories have not lied to me. However, behind an unaware, abnormal physical deviation (a crooked spine, a stooped posture, blocked or shallow breathing, etc.), there has been a link to the experiences during early childhood and adolescence. When I / my body released / re-lived those memories, I became aware of the painful experiences, which I thank Primal Therapy, eventually have been able to enter, which meant access to experiences during my dramatic birth and hence to the root of my epilepsy. 

During a Rolfing treatment, the therapist asked why I wore my hat in a certain way because it affected my head posture. I had no prepared answers. Suddenly, I remembered how a former female partner and my father criticized me for being cocky and confident. This made me provocative, choose a style that was pretended to be easygoing and challenging, and this manner grew firm for decades and hid my underlying uncertainty. When I slowly dared to show my deep uncertainty (which was hidden first by ADHD and later by lifelong activity mania), my repressed memories from a 48-hour traumatic birthing gradually floated to the top and took over the role from my longstanding epilepsy symptoms. In my therapy process, spread over 40 years, two series of treatments, at 30-year intervals, with Rolfing, have played a crucial role in stimulating my re-living the process of my birth trauma. Here I want to emphasize the importance of the knowledge that I received from Art Janov in how evolution has developed a survival method to suppress pain, which was too extensive that a fetus could survive. I have internalized these insights into the Primal Principle, both in practice and theory, for several decades and on a few crucial occasions in contact with the inventor himself. Without my insights/knowledge from Dr. Janov, the meaning of my sessions of Rolfing had been significantly reduced. The same can evidently be said, regarding my sessions in PT/knowledge of the Primal Principle, unless Rolfing had been available.

The combined, natural, Janov / Rolf methods have given me a less neurotic life with good health/good vital signs, and I am now capable of a moderate pace. I have re-evaluated several of my activities. Music got no active place during my first 75 years, though I listened. When I now work with my tenor sax, I realize how my body and psyche still create blockages/tensions, which were initially meant to hold off the explosive pain from my birth. In woodwind, producing a relaxed sound, transposing, and going from classical music to jazz swing is not without problems for most youngsters. For a 77-year-old neurotic with built-in tensions, it is an extra challenge. The rhythmic issues haunt me, sometimes, into my sleep. During REM sleep, my father or former female partners may appear and criticize my activities, and my immediate pain takes me, through an awakening, infallibly into my birthing. Nowadays, re-living remnants of the birth process is a piece of cake, however painful and wordless. The re-living means after a few days that my tenor-swing sounds better (and that I, hopefully, am less torturing my neighbors ….).

The body never lies... Alice Miller wrote about it, and Ida Rolf treated the physical effects. Art Janov has, over the past 50 years, practically and theoretically proved the same. However, with his own suffering, AJ has outperformed the academic/intellectual world when he skillfully and innovatively informed and treated us of the consequences of the two-headed nature of evolutionary repression. Repression is a lifeguard for the sensitive fetus/child. However, at the cost of later/future wear and diseases, the organic body system is the weakest/most worn.

Jan Johnsson