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