Thursday, December 22, 2011

The left vs. the right brain!

(click to access)
I love your Reflections because they guide my thinking in both my brains and stimulate both. The output has become a new understanding, access to feelings (including music) and a better balance between my emotional and intellectual intelligence. 
Having read your Reflections of “no cure without unity between our brains” I have spent the night in a state of dreaming/thinking and putting words on how I during five decades found a way to establish my communication between my right and left brain.  What I have reached is not a state of exaggerated euphoria, but one of sanity. It has taken 50 years and in my dreams this night I have been zooming in and out of four stages/periods of my life, which can be described in the following way:
1963-65. The years in the “Spirella-bunker”.
1978-80. 2 years spent in LA (with its serotonin heightening sunshine) and Colorado with Primal Therapy and Rolfing.
1996-98. Going through a burn out. Homeopathy. Drastically changing intake of painkillers.  Going into my epilepsy/birth feelings.
2009-10. Leaving neurotic relations and struggles and creating a new well being.
By creating circumstances which, at different periods of time, allowed me an equilibrium between the intake of food, medication, daylight (!!) intellectual and emotional activities and neurotic (unreal/painkilling) activities, I have achieved states in which my body and brain (on tree levels) allowed me to relive imprinted pain and gradually improve my connection between what you pedagogically describe as the right and left brains.
It has taken 50 years to achieve an understanding / awareness; however, I have been guided by intuitive, sub-conscious understanding which I have fed with your articles, books, treatments, intuition and leadership/guidance plus another additional help. I have often said that I have been lucky, and that is true, but the biologic, evolutionary, innate programming in my body and brain(s) has been given a fair chance to react. A reaction which in a coherent manner, with the help of luck and skill, has given me my highest satisfaction: To start to understand myself with my strengths and shortcomings!
I will try to write down my experiences of my four stages during a few weeks to offer an alternative way to cure pain and neurosis. I believe what for me has taken 50 years can be done during a considerable shorter period of time!
"Traveler, there is no road; you make your path as you walk" Antonio Machado
Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Wisdom of a Dream.

In my dreams, I resolve my problems and conflicts, or at least I work on them. After having been through Primal Therapy over four decades and having lived a lot of the pain, which was imprinted during a horrendous birth process, my dreams during the last couple of years have changed in different ways. They are still about getting stuck, not finding my way, being isolated and not understanding what is being expected of me. However, nowadays, in a dream, I can feel the reason, often all the way back to my birth. When I reach this stage, I dare to stand up and explain how I feel, and can ask for explanations about things I don't understand, which are confusing me.
During the spring, I had a fascinating dream. It was a realistic and positive dream, filled with music and good feelings in which epileptic cramps were understood. In the dream, I was singing like Nat “King” Cole and at the same time going through hallucinations of various kinds, both painful and pleasant. Often, my dreams have been about how I was scared of losing my job, which I was supposed to perform without understanding what was expected from me!
Last night I had a dream of this kind, when the people, I worked for disappeared most of the time giving bad management and unable to motivate me but still expecting good result and simultaneously looking for my leadership and initiatives. It went on for a while, and I could feel the pain. Suddenly, I said stop and asked the people to explain to me what this was all about, to understand that they were responsible, and that they had better instructed me than be running away.
All at once, I asked them if they knew what it takes to be able to feel pain? If they, for example, knew that somebody in pain is scared to death to let her/his pain out if she/he is worried to lose her/his job so that she/he cannot support her/himsself or her/his family? Art Janov, I said, could do it because he became economically independent after his pyramidal success with his book “The Primal Scream”. Never more he had to worry about food and shelter. He could live his dream, like John Lennon and Steve Jobs, which both became economically independent of a young age. They had all the subjective well being which Abraham Maslow is talking about in his Hierarchy of Needs, to realize themselves.
In the dream, now I felt I had one answer to why so few are interested in asking for my experiences regarding Primal Therapy and Evolution in Reverse. They are too scared to lose what they have which on different levels give them food and shelter.
First when I woke up, I felt confused. It confused me because I had no one to talk to about my dream, and because I am aware of the fact (especially in Spain) that we are living in a time of crisis when so many are constantly worried about their job, survival, family. Many are far from Maslow’s subjective well being, which is necessary to be able to feel what is behind their anxiety, pain and/or intake of anxiolytics. Though this is, might be, the adequate moment to do it. 
When the confusion left I decided to write down my dream.
Jan Johnsson



  1. Hi Jan,
    Thanks for your post. You make an excellent point about the economic freedom required to get well with primal therapy. You need sufficient money for individual therapy sessions, intensives and retreats, and for taking time off to heal. You need enough savings to quit a bad job and find a better one, or to go back to school to retrain for a healthier career.
    Being poor or dependent on a stressful job is an impediment to primal healing. Being unemployed and in poverty is even worse. The deprivation of the past is mirrored in the present and one can stay stuck in a combination of old and present pain. At the Denver Primal Center, Helen Roth often said, “you’re only as healthy as your environment.” The irony is that the poor and deprived are usually the most desperate for therapy.
    I hear stories from primal therapists about people who stay stuck in their pain, feeling the same old pain over and over, while making no changes in their life. If you have a painful present, the solution is not to feel the pain of the past. A key measure of progress in primal therapy (and any therapy for that matter) is developing the capacity to change your life. Sometimes that means shutting down your access to feeling and doing what it takes to get a decent job. The business world does not recognize deep feeling; you’ll find no primal rooms in corporate offices or factories. You have to suck it up and do your job.
    Arthur Janov says it’s not the job of primal therapy to tell you how to live your life, but people often need career counselling during their therapy to make positive changes. Knowing what to do after spending a lifetime hiding from your inner self doesn’t come automatically. Primal therapy is toughest for those who have the least resources, but they should never confuse their current deprivation with their past deprivation. It takes real grit to do this therapy. Resolving the past while changing the present when you can hardly pay the bills, let alone afford therapy, takes superhuman effort. Some make it; many don’t.
    Sad to say, sometimes the most appropriate thing to do in this unfeeling world is to suck it up and make the money required to find freedom.
    theprimalmind.com
    8 Dec 11 at 10:17 am

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pain by inadvertence or negilence



Janov's Reflections On Pain by Inadvertence (click to access)


Art,
Reading your words: “It was not what my parents did, but what they did not do”, I got icy feelings over my entire body; I was taken back in time, and I could feel the memory of the emptiness from my youth when my parents were waiting for me to provide comfort, when it should have been the other way around. After I have felt a lot of pain over the years, the more I have realized that both my parents were unhappy “kids” who never had got the love they needed. 
An interesting proof of the continued existence and strength of the feelings is that the sentence; “It was not what my parents did, but what they did not do”, in a written, foreign language stirred up the latent memories of being unloved. It was not my parents intention, but they never had anything else than their own pain, so I always had to fantasize about being held and caressed, followed by other neurotic behaviors, in order to survive. 
Whenever, nowadays, I tend to behave with icy feelings towards my daughter, I can fortunately feel it, and I can often tell her how stupid I act, and we can talk about it and give each other hugs!
Jan Johnsson

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Considering the societal value of treatments



Hi Bruce,
Although we can say that the abreaction method was dangerous, there was for many years a breeding ground for the creation of alternative therapies /schools around it. With the spread of economic prosperity that occurred, at least, three phenomena has changed our focus on "safer and more rational therapies". Of democratic, human and economic factors, much of the enlightened world, closed the majority of their mental hospitals (“the cuckoo nests), which was made possible by mass production of painkillers and mass training of psychologists. Like in a tango a few step forward and some back...
Something that once has been established, tends to maintain itself. Although we, as patients may feel differently, cognitive talk therapist, a successful, titanic (sic), pharmaceutical industry mafia and patients (who mostly shut up) have, so far, been considered a great value for the community economy / image. This seems so incomprehensible to us as Primal People. In our internal debate, it is hard to admit that the cognitive therapy treatment has a different total value that makes a general commitment to PT still unrealistic. The fact that PT has a lower  value plays of course also a role from a scientific point of view. 
Art Janov’s genius lies in the creation of conditions, at a laboratory level, for connections with the original primal pain, to live it and thus creating a reverse evolution. Art is not an entrepreneur like Steve Jobs, and therefore, so far, failed to create a platform to have an impact on political and scientific support that could add to PT’s societal value.
During 40 years, I have tried a combination of PT, Rolfing and Homeopathy and to that added a common sense of healthy living based on values I continuously have been working on. I started with Primal Therapy and Rolfing when both were more of young enthusiasts than serious experts, and I have seen and experienced treatments in both that never should have been allowed to take place. However, the two therapies have eventually developed and have established methods with scientific ambitions, and they have great potentials for those who can find them and combine them.
Both therapies, PT and Rolfing, are being invented / developed by two geniuses based on established eternal true principles / values. Primal Therapy on a method to reverse evolution and Rolfing on how to adjust the body / skeleton and mind to gravity. In contrast to the cognitive talk therapies, which neglect the pain, PT and Rolfing are releasing / reliving the pain and connecting our minds and bodies to what they originally, from a feeling point of view, were meant to be.
Based on PT and Rolfing I have succeeded to demystify my epilepsy, which after I have been reliving my painful birth has very little impact on my life. They, epilepsy and pain, do no longer propel crazy neurosis, they do not give me fits. Today, I can see all these years as a positive experience which took me on a journey which increased my knowledge and understanding of the needs for a sane life. Still, I’m surprised about the fact that what I have been through and written about: No one cares! Where are all those who say that they care for science? Science is the method of deciding how things actually work, regardless of how we think they ought to work!
Can you please explain why?
Jan Johnsson


  1. Do you want my own answer to my question in my comments to your article?

    The wisdom of a dream.

    In my dreams, I resolve my problems and conflicts, or at least I work on them. After having been through Primal Therapy over four decades and having lived a lot of the pain, which was imprinted during a horrendous birth process, my dreams during the last couple of years have changed in different ways. They are still about getting stuck, not finding my way, being isolated and not understanding what is being expected of me. However, nowadays, in a dream, I can feel the reason, often all the way back to my birth. When I reach this stage, I dare to stand up and explain how I feel, and can ask for explanations about things I don’t understood, which are confusing me.
    During the spring, I had a fascinating dream. It was a realistic and positive dream, filled with music and good feelings in which epileptic cramps were understood. In the dream, I was singing like Nat “King” Cole and at the same time going through hallucinations of various kinds, both painful and pleasant. Often, my dreams have been about how I was scared of losing my job, which I was supposed to perform without understanding what was expected from me!
    Last night I had a dream of this kind, when the people, I worked for disappeared most of the time giving bad management and unable to motivate me but still expecting good result and simultaneously looking for my leadership and initiatives. It went on for a while, and I could feel the pain. Suddenly, I said stop and asked the people to explain to me what this was all about, to understand that they were responsible, and that they had better instructed me than be running away.
    All at once, I asked them if they knew what it takes to be able to feel pain? If they, for example, knew that somebody in pain is scared to death to let his pain out if she/he is worried to lose her/his job so that she/he cannot support her/himself or her/his family? Art Janov, I said, could do it because he became economically independent after his pyramidal success with his book “The Primal Scream”. Never more he had to worry about food and shelter. He could live his dream, like John Lennon and Steve Jobs, which both became economically independent of a young age. They had all the subjective wellbeing which Abraham Maslow is talking about in his Hierarchy of Needs, to realize themselves.
    In the dream, now I felt I had one answer to why so few are interested in asking for my experiences regarding Primal Therapy and Evolution in Reverse. They are too scared to lose what they have which on different levels give them food and shelter.
    First when I woke up, I felt confused. It confused me because I had no one to talk to about my dream, and because I am aware of the fact (especially in Spain) that we are living in a time of crisis when so many are constantly worried about their job, survival, family. Many are far from Maslow’s subjective well being, which is necessary to feel what is behind their anxiety, pain and/or intake of anxiolytics. Though this is, might be, the adequate moment to do it.
    When the confusion left I decided to write down my dream.
    Jan Johnsson
    Jan Johnsson
    7 Dec 11 at 11:13 am
  2. Hi Jan, 

    Thanks for your post. You make an excellent point about the economic freedom required to get well with primal therapy. You need sufficient money for individual therapy sessions, intensives and retreats, and for taking time off to heal. You need enough savings to quit a bad job and find a better one, or to go back to school to retrain for a healthier career.
    Being poor or dependent on a stressful job is an impediment to primal healing. Being unemployed and in poverty is even worse. The deprivation of the past is mirrored in the present and one can stay stuck in a combination of old and present pain. At the Denver Primal Center, Helen Roth often said, “you’re only as healthy as your environment.” The irony is that the poor and deprived are usually the most desperate for therapy.
    I hear stories from primal therapists about people who stay stuck in their pain, feeling the same old pain over and over, while making no changes in their life. If you have a painful present, the solution is not to feel the pain of the past. A key measure of progress in primal therapy (and any therapy for that matter) is developing the capacity to change your life. Sometimes that means shutting down your access to feeling and doing what it takes to get a decent job. The business world does not recognize deep feeling; you’ll find no primal rooms in corporate offices or factories. You have to suck it up and do your job.
    Arthur Janov says it’s not the job of primal therapy to tell you how to live your life, but people often need career counselling during their therapy to make positive changes. Knowing what to do after spending a lifetime hiding from your inner self doesn’t come automatically. Primal therapy is toughest for those who have the least resources, but they should never confuse their current deprivation with their past deprivation. It takes real grit to do this therapy. Resolving the past while changing the present when you can hardly pay the bills, let alone afford therapy, takes superhuman effort. Some make it; many don’t.
    Sad to say, sometimes the most appropriate thing to do in this unfeeling world is to suck it up and make the money required to find freedom.
    Bruce
    theprimalmind.com
    8 Dec 11 at 10:17 am

Monday, November 28, 2011

The lack of a unified theory of illness.


Suffering from epilepsy (and a number of serious symptoms which all were connected) for several decades, I have gained experience from many neuroligical centers in various countries. (MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging, I have been scanned by, in four different countries). I have experienced how they treated me, taken “care” of me, have talked (often down) to me or what atmosphere they offered and which general technical and human resources was available.
Medications and instruments (EEC and MRI) are universal in the neurological epilepsy management and my hopes that another culture and a new country could offer something different have ended in disappointments. Unfortunately, doctors, waiting rooms and receptions, are a reflection of the standard international pharmaceutical and instrument industry, which means they are cold, formal environments with minimal time and understanding of unified solutions. Doctors, trained neurological technicians on a high level, working with complex problems and squeezed by limited financial resources and efficiency requirements attended me.
When meeting with a neurologist you are overwhelmed by logical, technical and formal skills. Expressions of emotional character - from the right side of the brain - I have rarely witnessed at a meeting with a neurologist, though I have been lucky in this respect, and met some of the best neurologists. There is one unique exception and that was Dr. David Holden, who I met at the Primal Institute, and he introduced me to MRI, when this technique just had been launched in 1978.
The world, who faces an epileptic, is a quite unreasonable, formal and very conservative world. Patients are often disabled, drugged by anti-epileptic medication and without selfconfidence and resources to ask for change and innovation. It is a world I had to respect and to play a formal game with to get drugs, marriage licenses, driving licenses, etc.. However, I have always believed that there were other solutions, and I have on several occasions been awarded for tireless diligence. In particular, Primal Therapy helped me sensationally, but also homeopathy and a proper diet (including health food), various massage technique and physical training has proven very useful in my combination of treatments. All together, they have proven their values in helping to cope with and dramatically mitigate my epilepsy.
In my job as an internal change consultant working in an international environment, it has been a matter of course to work with a unified theory, including business plans, leadership and control. For competitive and survival reasons we established a monitoring system, which meant to follow the outside world and continuously make comparisons where we stood. In my private struggle with epilepsy and in search of alternative solutions, the professional entrepreneurial training often has helped me to take decisions that have been different.
I hope that the future epilepsy treatment will develop an approach in which visions, goals and a team of responsible can raise the quality of treatment as well as the lives of the sick. The explosion of knowledge in the brain research and in the dynamic therapies in combination with modern patient treatment give me the courage to be positive. Future neurological clinics will naturally evolve from today’s technology-oriented centers (hunting for symptoms) with drug recipes as the main weapon, to a more holistic treatment center. Teams will analyze and cross-reference the causes which will be treated with therapies, diets, exercises, medication and possibly surgery if all else fails.
Within a few years, our neurologists have gained a much better knowledge to determine  which type of epilepsy a patient is suffering. There will obviously always be different reasons for developing epilepsy and the guidance of a neurologist is mandatory. Medications are necessary need for those who cannot or will not use, for example, Primal Therapy or other solutions. For those who are able to go to therapy a flexible administration of medicine may act as a balancing aid. This flexibility will depend on teamwork between the patient, the therapist and the neurologist.
The current knowledge explosion is eventually likely to make it less scaring to be an epileptic when the fragmented approach finally has been revealed as inadequate.
Albert Einstein: It is sad to live in a time when it is easier to split an atom than to blow up a prejudice.
Jan Johnsson

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Seal-Crazy

Comments to Art Janovs: 

Seal-crazy
Yes Sir, that is why I survived. I was crazy and creative enough to dare to go to Primal Tharapy and Rolfing when my colleges and friends in the carrier sealed (sic) their gates and  went on climbing the career ladder, making fortunes to bolster their egos. Most management tests categorized me as an overly creative person, which I could not understand then. Now looking back it is obvious that these tests were right on.
The more I understand of your background, from where you are coming, where you got your psychologic experience and with all these years developing, giving and writing about Primal Therapy, the more I understand why I did not meet people with my own background who still were active in business and industry. You never developed an appeal or alternative entrance into Primal Therapy for these people, which I think could have been done. It could be done, for example, through the teambuilding activities so many companies are putting fortunes into. I can imagine negative objections from both, you and the businessenvironment. 
However, I know of excellent tools to work on the different values you, as well as many companies will put up why this would fail. Values are among those areas that have been subjected to extensive and in-depth research and that can be ranked from both internal personal views and external objective views, which with a positive ambition can be used to take us into new fields of human development, make people feeling better and adding new values to organizational functionality. By creating an entrance to the business world, with a great need to dissolve neurotic blockages, resources will be created to take PT to a new level. Suddenly, resources for all kinds of growth could be available including research and development.
Part of creativity is to be able to put your mind in a new environment and the mind, by its innate evolutionary capacity, will take you to new levels. These new levels certainly don’t have to be money or power, but can as well, or better, be about quality of life and a healthy way out of the many crisis we are living with. The astonishing results of finding understanding and compromises between different values are that they create additional values.
“In a sky full of people just some want to fly, isn’t that crazy”
Jan Johnsson



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Needs and abuse of Xanax


Regarding Xanax (Alprazolam) it is available in Englishspeaking countries under 28 different brand names! The marketing and promotion of this drug alone are so big and efficient that everything, ever, being said about Primal Therapy is like a whispering in Siberia. Even Art Janov’s Reflection of the “Abuse of Xanax” is an indirect promotion of Xanax and its 27 fellow brand names when he helps to hammer in the name... He ends nicely by saying: “Let’s not stop the painkillers that ease the suffering of so many.” Earlier in the article he said: “If we finally know what it (the anxiety attacks) is, and instead of pushing it down, we let it up in small doses and be done with it”. Get me right, I’m being a critic, but of course, I agree with his proposal to relive the pain and gradually reduce the use of painkillers.
We know that we can find out of what it is. PT works. There are a number of us who know. I have my (often well documented) story and others of course, have theirs. How about bringing together a number of Primal People to investigate/research why and how some succeeded and others failed. Where did we go wrong and what could have been done differently and better? 
How do we establish a new attractive vision for PT which in its ambition is the main road to health and sane thinking through fulfillment of basic human needs like love and attention. There is a way to mobilize the masses and communicate this, as it ironically turns out, alternative road to get rid of mental pain.
If there ever has been a success in PT, let us bring it up in the open and tell about it repeatedly. Nothing succeeds like success. Everybody wants to be part of a success. Let us start to talk about “Life after Primal Therapy” and write articles about successes and give multidimensional examples of what these successes have meant and how they have turned our lives normal.
Let us be positive, active and productive to give all sufferers something to believe in. To paraphrase Soren Kirkegaard:
    There are two ways not to be fooled:
    One is to believe what is true,
    The other is to refuse to believe what is not true....
I wonder how many people are willing to write articles on “Life after Primal Therapy”....
Jan Johnsson
PS

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Get the stones rolling!



Why do millions of people prefer to kill their pain with different pharmaceuticals instead of looking for the real reason and follow the Primal Route?

One of many reasons is that we have seen our parents and grandparents, during decades, follow the same route, being deceived by the fact that things have improved gradually due to research, innovations and availability of drugs although the painkilling habits very seldom turned into a cure.

However, this constant struggle to fight off returning, rerouted Primal Pain has become an innate neurotic struggle with so much of shared experiences between us human beings that it has become an unconscious lifestyle. It works as if suffering has become a way to show our human side and to receive affection from others. When suffering and poverty are shared, they are easier to bear.

How do we break this treacherous evolutionary pattern, which has brought us to this neurotic age in which we now are living and, which make us very easy to manipulate? We gape and wonder when suddenly a sufferer’s accumulated pain turn him into a serial killer and terrorist. We do not realize that often he is/was part of the same neurotic painkilling principal as ourselves just having been hit harder when he was being propelled by unbearable pain.

A few ideas:

We need to stop the handy pattern of blaming psychotic politicians. We voted for them, being deceived or not. Get involved and elect better politicians!

Develop a vision to improve, the realistic, quality of life by eliminating Primal Pain. 

Make people understand the vision. Communicate and use all the tools and channels available. Explain the Whys! 

Show positive examples and get the stones rolling!

Jan Johnsson

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No, it is not OK that Everybody Hurts!

My comments to Art Janov's Reflection: Everybody Hurts  (click to access)



The interesting thing, with Steve Jobs, was not his Primal Pain, which he probably was aware of, but his exceptional visionary view of how to create closed, user friendly, integrated, tools to be used by everyone of us. They were elegant, irresistible products to improve our daily lives. They were made to communicate, to create texts, pictures, movies, to write, to listen to music, to buy music and to by/read books etc. They have taken us a long way!
He was a tyrant but he probably created more democratic tools than any other human being during the last hundred years. He turned many of the scientific digital innovations into useful tools. The strength of his vision, and sometimes cocky conviction, was that he knew what we needed, and he put it together for us to fill, what I call, with the best of intentions, the Steve Jobs Gap. He didn’t  intellectualize or write about it but with his exceptional talent, he made his friends and co-workers, on all levels, overachieve to make his dreams come true. When, as consumers, we see something, that we desire, that can fulfil our needs, there are resources available. That is and has always been an economic law.
What has this to do with PT?
Well, I have, with pleasure, read your books and Reflections for years and repeatedly been informed (and know from deep and personal experience) that the same humanity which Steve Jobs turned to, has a tremendous problem. Most of them hurts and are swallowing for billions of worth of painkillers, in a noncurative escape from their rerouted pain. From this scam = or treatment of the wrong thing the Pharmaceutical Industry is profiting heavily.
So I agree, lets find out what is really wrong, with how the pain, the PT and the present treatments are being carried out. Let us stop being so nice and confused about how to introduce this fantastic Therapy. Let us put on a more cocky approach and find out how PT can be given to all those who we know need it. I think in this process that both You, Art, and some of your closest pals need an injection of what entrepreneurial innovation and marketing are all about.
The market = the ones who are hurting, you know are there. They are already being deceived by the marketing of the Pharmaceutical Industry without lasting result. We are talking about values that will make PT appear as a comparatively inexpensive treatment. This will, in the future, allow big money now being used for painkillers, to flow into more sound investments.
OK?
Jan  



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Back to comments and reflecions “On Curing Steve Jobs”.


Art Janov ends his Reflections on Steve Jobs by saying: “They look to the properties of the cancer to figure out why, when they should also look into Steve’s early life to figure out why. Maybe therein lies the answer.”
That has now been done. An excellent book about Steve Jobs’ life has been written by Walter Isaacson. Probably knowing that hes life was going to be short, Steve persuaded Isaacson during more than two years to write hes memoirs. Isaacson finally agreed and got the permit to write a ruthlessly honest book and Steve allowed him to interview whoever he wanted, asking all the critical questions he wanted and to write it down without asking for Jobs’ approval. He said he would not even read it.
So Isaacson did and it turned out to be a piece of art, which explains how the genius of Steve developed and turned him into the myth he was long before his final death. A myth so bright and unquestionable that the extensive shadow side of his life could be fully exposed without subtracting nothing from his genius but instead adding to it’s fascination. He walked the line much of his special life, stretching his experiments with diets, drugs and eastern religions to the utmost. He allowed himself to act as an enlightened despot using people for his drive to developing Apple according to his indispensable desire for perfection. He was a man of intuition, “a-right-side-of-the-brain” talent, which helped him to catch all the intellectual “left-side-of-the-brain” capacities by handpicked experts, he needed to put together his visions.
In my comments to Art Janov’s Reflections I regretted that Steve Jobs never underwent Primal Therapy. However, this was not the case. In the beginning of the 70ies, Steve Jobs went to PT, when he still was a teenager. According to Isaacson’s interviews with Steve, “Janov’s argument that repressed pain of childhood could be resolved by re-suffering these primal moments, seemed preferable to talk therapy because it involved intuitive feeling and emotional action rather than rational analyzing.” “This was something to do: to close your eyes, hold your breath, jump in, and come out the other end more insightful.”
“In 1974, he signed up for a twelve-week course of therapy at the Oregon Feeling Center in Eugen run by a group of Janov’s adherents. Jobs confided to close friends that he was driven by the pain he was feeling about being put up for adoption and not knowing about his birth parents.” Steve Jobs later said that Janov’s teachings did not prove very useful. “He offered a redy-made, button-down answer which turned out to be far too over simplistic. It became obvious that it was not going to yield any great insight.” However, a friend of Jobs’ contended that it made him more confident: “After he did it, he was in a different place. He had a very abrasive personality, but there was a peace about him for a while. His confidence improved, and his feelings of inadequacy were reduced. Jobs came to believe that he could impart that feeling of confidence to others and thus push them to do things they hadn’t thought possible.
After having read Walter Isaacson’s book “Steve Jobs” I feel pretty sure that Jobs dominating intuitive personality got an important push by Janov’s Primal Therapy (though he did it long before PT had developed into what it is to-day) and that it has contributed to the development of Apple. Hes life, however, became short due to the impact of extreme physical, dietary and drug therapies, may be enhanced by genetic factors.
Jan Johnsson

Friday, October 21, 2011

My comments on Mindful vs. Mindless Therapy.

Janov's Reflection: On Mindfulness Therapy: Or Mindless Therapy   
(Click to access!)




My comments to Janov’s Reflections on Mindful vs. Mindless Therapy.

The main reason I never tried to become a primal therapist was that I could not understand the logic of the traditional psychology, a fact that was reinforced when I at different occasions met cognitive psychotherapists. Those experiences made me feel blocked and stupid and think that my IQ, though high, was incorrectly measured and too low to allow me to enter into the field of psychology. However, I survived because I loved to work with people even if I had to do it without any formal exam.

Your mindful Reflections are not only an excellent analysis of the dubious intellectual issue of mental “junk-bonds” by a group of officially recognized doctors. Your education is giving me, through its evolutionary logic, verbal clarity and elegance, a compensation for the traditional psychologic knowledge which for different reasons I was not able to digest. I can understand my own experiences in PT as well as I can enjoy your Reflections when I read them. To me that is conscious/awareness.

The theory of how the Jewish intellectuality was refined when the Jews were not allowed into much of the basic industry is a parallel to my own neurotic struggle to survive with a shameful illness like epilepsy. My epilepsy was “fortunately” such a present reminder of my imprinted pain that illogic, mindless and intellectual psychologic knowledge would not enter. Thank You for having put everything together! In this field, You are nothing less than a genius!

Jan Johnsson

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Art Janovs Examination of Psychoanalysis

An Examination of Psychoanalysis 

Wish Fulfillment

Contrary to Freud ’s theories , neurotic dreams, particularly recurrent dreams, are attempts to deal with imprinted pain. Monsters, chaos, and catastrophes all depict the condition of the dreamer's feelings rather than the fulfillment of the dreamer's wishes. In the dream, no matter what the story, there is often a feeling of impending doom; the same feeling that arises just before a patient slips into a devastating pre-verbal primal.

While some dreams may contain wish fulfillment, it is definitely not the essence of dream material. Dream material is woven out of the concrete events of waking realities. If Pain is the chronic ingredient of that reality, it likewise will be the prime mover of dream activity.
Wish fulfillment is a seductive concept that again veils Pain behind a dangerous illusion of insight. Worse, it rarefies the unnecessary Pain of deprivation into an inevitable conflict of infantile desires.

Method

For Freud and his followers, the preferred method of dream analysis – that has remained unchanged for the last century -- uses language, words, and ideas as the main tools of unravelling. Freud believed that when traced back to its origin, a neurotic idea would "crumble" and the patient would be "freed from it." Unfortunately, intellectual tracing seems quite limited because the neurologic system allow s us to go only so far before barring the gates. Ideas can alter, deny, distort, and repress feelings, but they cannot crumble them. Feelings don't "crumble." They are felt and resolved. And with that resolution goes the ideas which were used to defend against them.
Dreams utilize the first and second levels of consciousness -- primarily the second -- and are another type of language. They use scenes, pictures, sounds, scents, and images to portray feeling. While dreams are still symbols for the feeling, they are closer than third-level ideas to the inner reality. Making associations -- interpreting dreams -- thinking about meaning, just results in more symbols to cover the feeling
Analyzing dreams is the same as analyzing an idea and finding flaws in its logic. You can analyze a paranoid idea -- "people are laughing behind my back," for example -- all day long and not change it one bit. When one succumbs to the feeling of the dream, then one is directly experiencing the unconscious. That means giving into the feeling -- which might be one of terror or blind panic -- and riding the feeling to wherever it leads in the unconscious.

Structuring the Dream

Freud's dream work model requires that the analyst structure the dream for the patient. This action in itself modifies the dream, for the analyst can only superimpose his own view and theory. The dream will have a Freudian slant in psychoanalysis, and a Jungian slant in Jungian analysis. The theory is a preconceived set of ideas laid onto the dream in order to make sense of it. However, no theory is necessary at all, because the memory-imprint is all that is needed to make sense. The dream when felt will lead precisely to the time and place of the trauma. No theory need intervene. The analyst cannot possibly know more about the patient's unconscious than the patient himself. And even if his guess is correct, his insight communicated to the patient will not alter the problem within the patient. It will only give him one more idea to think about, and one less reality to feel. Only the dreamer, not the analyst, knows for sure what a dream means, but he won't know until Pain opens the gates and diminishes repression.
Let's take one of the examples Freud used to show how the application of his technique explained the dream.

A lady related that as a child she very often dreamt that God had a pointed paper cap on his head. How are you going to understand that without the help of the dreamer? It sounds quite nonsensical; but the absurdity disappears when the lady says that as a little girl she used to have a cap like that put on her head at table, because she wouldn't give up looking at the plates of her brothers and sisters to see whether any of them had been given more than she. Evidently the cap was meant to serve the purpose of blinkers; this piece of historical information was given, by the way, without any difficulty.
The interpretation of this element and, with it, of the whole short dream becomes easy enough with the help of a further association of the dreamer's: 'As I had been told that God knew everything and saw everything, the dream could only mean that I knew and saw everything as God did, even when they tried to prevent me.' This example is perhaps too simple.[1]

For Freud it was "easy enough" to see the historical parallels between the dream symbols and the dreamer's past. The patient as a little girl was made to wear the cap, so in her childhood dreams she puts the same cap on God -- she saw the plates of food "even when they tried to prevent me." And Freud believed that arriving at an "accurate" understanding or interpretation in this way was sufficient to undo the trauma.
There is a certain intellectual satisfaction in arriving at such a neat and clear parallel. In fact, Freud felt that "this example is perhaps too simple" because the meaning was so easily discerned. We have found that no matter how simple and transparent the meaning of the dream is, experiencing its feeling is, without exception, never "simple." While the intellect can view the connections as a well-fitted package, the body experiences the connections only through confusion, fear, and finally , agony.
What matters in this dream is the Pain that drove this little girl to her compulsive behavior, and the further Pain of her parents' reaction to it. Beneath her insistent need to see if her brothers and sisters had been given more could be the Pain of rejection and neglect. The dinner food was only a symbol for the love she wasn't getting. It would have been best left to her to tell us what it means, which she could have done had she been encouraged to sink into the feelings in the dream, feeling the Pain of that little girl as a little girl at the dinner table. She must re-experience the rejection and the lack of love; she must feel the Pain that drove her compulsive glances. She must feel the even deeper hurt inflicted by her parents. Not only did they not recognize her desperate need, they punished and humiliated her for it.


Jan Johnsson said...
Dreams, my “Camino Real” to the cure which You and PT made possible.
For decades, the pattern of a dream has been that I start a joyful trip, walk or adventure of some kind. However, it takes more time than I expect. Suddenly I cannot find my way and I’m getting an increasing feeling that people around me are changing and starting to threaten me. I become uncertain and the situation, now a full blown nightmare, feels utmost, painful and unbearable.
15 years ago, and earlier, this stage turned sometimes into an epileptic seizure and sometimes into a feeling when I lived and felt the pain and horror of a prolonged birth process which was a painful struggle between life and death lasting for hours. A number of times, during a 20-year period, my dreams / nightmares / imprinted pain took me on dramatic sleep walks. Once I climbed a tall oak tree and had to be brought down by paramedics, another time I went up to the top floor of a Hilton Hotel in Frankfurt and a 3rd occasion I went down into a ravine in the middle of the winter. During my sleep walks, I was  only dressed in my underwear, the way I normally was dressed when I slept.
Having been through these painful feelings during my birth many, many times, the process has over the last 2 decades turned into a process which I now in my dreams can recognize, and these days I can feel a flash of my birth process and be able to “leave” the confusion in my dream, which I now can interpret. Often, I wake up. If I feel tense I can go with the feeling and live my birth, which nowadays is a very light experience to what I went through 15 years ago.
This is an excerpt from an article, “Dream a little dream of me”, which I wrote a few months ago:
“Last night I really had a dream. It was a very realistic and positive dream, filled with music and good feelings in which cramps were understood, and I came alive.
A dream figure, a physiological and psychological creature, who represented someone completely adapted to gravity and with a feeling mind was the main character in the dream. I wanted to be that creature and in between, I was. In the dream, I was singing and listening to “Dream a little dream of me”. Simultaneously, I had feelings, in which I resolved cramp after a cramp. During a moment, I had a feeling of being close to a seizure, being numb and feeling dead, something, which happened when I was 18 (before I developed epilepsy) though without knowing then what was going on.
During moments, I felt identical with the creature in the dream, even if it was not me. The dream which felt very realistic lasted for “hours”. In spite of sensations of cramps and crude feelings, it was a very pleasant dream. I cannot understand how I, who have always been perceived as tone deaf, during the dream, from my memories, could retrieve words and music to “Dream a little Dream of me” and sing it during the whole dream with the timber of Nat “King” Cole. I have not heard that song for many years. Both immediately after waking up and now hours later I feel calm and balanced. Physical health and mental health are the same thing!”
With a simplification, I can say that my dreams are one side of the history of how PT helped me conquer my epilepsy and my pain propelled neurotic behavior.
Jan Johnsson