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Primal Therapy

I have a Masters degree in Counseling. In my 6 years of studying Psychology, I was not impressed with many theories. There were a few that impressed me a great deal, as I think they work. What good is a theory if it does not work to get people better? I want to do an article on each one of these. In fact, I made my own program for healing which is a combination of each one.

Primal therapy is explained in the book by Janov. He is the founder. One can go to California and undergo Primal therapy. I thought about this but decided against it, for a number of reasons. It is far away. It is expensive, but these are not the major reasons. It is very, very, very intense.

I will explain the theory behind Primal Therapy. Primal therapy is based on the reasoning that we build up defenses for survival. These defenses are needed, as we would die without them. However, these same defenses become our prison. Herein, lies the problem. Herein, lies the solution.

The simple answer is that under our defenses is the pristine person of our young, undefiled child( if I can put it that way) A child has access to all his emotions, all his passions, all his needs and all his wants. In short, this makes him healthy. If one grows up with abuse, one has to deny and repress one’s emotions, passions, wants and needs. This is where defense mechanisms come into play. Defense mechanisms serve to repress these things. However, in doing the repressing, we become warped.

A person may not be able to feel joy, which is quite common. A person may feel self hate for being selfish, which is quite common. A person may feel guilty for sexual impulses, which is, also, common. If a person had severe abuse, these defense mechanisms are terrible, terrible prisons. I am sure you have seen this. We, all, have. Most of us have experienced it, to one degree or another. Degree is key when you are dealing with something like this.


Primal therapy is ground breaking in dealing with emotional problems. The down side is that it is super painful . However, any healing of emotional problems is super painful. So, one can either go through the pain and heal, or not go through the pain and stay the same.

Primal therapy pulls off defenses, but it does it in an intensive way. One goes to the institute for 3 weeks. In that time, one’s defenses are pulled off. The manner in which it is done is very intense. There have been stories of people committing suicide, but one does not know if this is true. One does not know the particular circumstances, so one must not let that stop one from healing using this method.

Also, when one breaks down one’s OWN defense, one does it slowly, as they only leave, slowly. God has made us, such that we would stay in denial if the coming out of denial would destroy us. This is the reason for having the defense mechanisms, in the first place.

How does Primal therapy break down one’s defenses? One must go where one does not want to go. If one has shame for being selfish, one must be selfish. If one has guilt for feelings, one must express one’s feelings. If one is afraid of social situations, one must force oneself to go into them.

When one does, all sorts of emotions will come out. These emotions are the repressed emotions. One must feel them. Usually, one will feel very emotional and very afraid. One must walk through it, as there is no other way, but through.

Please read the book “Primal Therapy” by Janov and comment. I would love to discuss anything you care to. You don’t need to read the book to comment. Any questions? Any thoughts?


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