Thursday, September 12, 2013

Is there a realistic democratic alternative to cognitive behavioral therapy?


A reflection on how we organize and operate a neurotic society:

IDEOLOGIES (a set of doctrines or beliefs) justify our human social / economic needs and aspirations as individuals, group, class or culture.

AUTHORITIES, often political, give a final permission / authorization / sanction that makes a course of action valid.

INDIVIDUALS  implement the sanctioned ideologies. Neurotic (not real) needs often motivate them, which distort their view of reality.

In Nazi Germany, the racial ideology justified the mass murder and the criminal state sanctioned them and put them into a system. In the neurotic universe of the death camps existed all the motivating factors that also exists in normal societies. Greed and the pursuit of a comfortable life was a common incentive in the Nazi organization. Although the right to change jobs, for example, in the Auschwitz camp, to front services and even though they did not like their positions in Mengele’s gas chambers, many stayed blinded by a neurotic desire that through the payment they received, to raise their standard of living, to buy a house and to be able to impress their friends. They did not like the job, but the standard of living was more important. An experienced hell traveler, Rudolf Vrba, puts it this way in George Klein’s book “Pietà”: “The bourgeoisie has a tendency to go berserk when they can satisfy their greed”.

A business to be successful requires a strategic planning. The company’s owners represented by a board initiates a strategy and appoints a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and gives him a mandate, together with a management team, to develop a business idea, create a vision and, over time, to develop a corporate culture. Guided by the orientation sanctioned by the board the management team establishes short- and long-term plans and budgets. Trained and indoctrinated in the company’s strategic and tactical plans, the employees meet the requirements of their job descriptions. If the owners, through the board work, are active and act responsibly and competently, it means that the operational management and the employees optimize the company’s market and competitive situation.

The above development model is well proven and very efficient. But what if it is applied to companies and products that ultimately harm humanity? Many companies that are regarded as the leading examples of success, however, have a dark side that seriously questions the definition of superlatives like well-managed, responsible and future-oriented. Gigantic companies in the defense industry, pharmaceutical industry and the sugar industry are examples of large and successful employers which produce horrible sufferings, which are being collectively repressed.

The CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) paradigm follows, with the law of least resistance, the principle of evolution to suppress pain and its symptoms so that patients will survive and function, at least in the short term. Politicians and health care have sanctioned the priority of the treatment ideology that the APA (the American Psychiatric Association), through its DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) established as the bible of the psychiatric profession. A politically powerful, “well managed” multibillion pharmaceutical industry in close cooperation with neuroscience, psychiatrists, physicians and psychologists has, guided by DSM, in a few decades converted most psychologists and psychiatrists to drug therapy. The effects have not been long in coming and according to PhRMA so are 60 million Americans using psychopharmaceuticals. The U.S. are less than 5% of the world’s population, yet it consume 66% of the world’s psychological medications. Most of America’s 200.000 shrinks are certainly, at times, aware of and concerned about the impact that 60 million people in the U.S. are dependent on psychoactive pharmaceuticals. Most shrinks, belonging to a high income group, repress this fact and many are willing to “go berserk” in order to satisfy their greed, which is one of the mainsprings in the current treatment paradigm.

Primal Therapy is a unique way to cure neurotic behavior. PT is a psychotherapy based on the Primal Principle or Evolution in Reverse. The cure is to re-live pain caused by traumas that occurred during the life before birth, during the birth-process or the first sensitive childhood years. The treatment is even in less malignant / (benign cases), long lasting and can be very costly due to the limited geographical location to LA, Cal.. Lack of organizational resources, which could develop the therapy treatment, plays a crucial role. Thus, Primal Therapy lacks sanctions from political and psychotherapeutic authorities and virtually all modern educational literature in neuroscience reject it.

Fortunately, Dr. Janov, the innovator of the Primal Therapy, is a talented author and has written a complete literature that is essential to understand his revolutionary Primal Principles. Dr. Janov, who is well informed in therapeutic, neurological and genetic contexts, unfortunately, is uninterested in debating potential partnerships with other natural forms of therapy. He regards such efforts as polemic, and he authoritatively rejects them in the same way as his own polemic is rejected by the supporters of the prevailing cognitive paradigm.

By far the most important contribution to future parents and generations from Dr. Janov is the message that every fetus / baby / child must be given optimum love, touch and attention during the life before birth, during the birth-process and during its first few sensitive years. This information seems obvious and is not sensational in itself. The uniqueness of Dr. Janovs message is based on his clinical expertise and on the shocking stories of his patients, which he experiences when he guides them through the therapy built on Evolution in Reverse. They were denied love, touch and attention which created mental pain and imprints and led to devastating consequences in their minds and bodies. Reading Dr. Janov’s books and understanding his message about human unconditional need for love, we get access to a  philosophy of life which carries within itself the hope of the future.

Jan Johnsson