- Category : Healing-Fields-Psychologist
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (12,52,59)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Industry 2
American author and clinical psychologist who discovered a controversial "primal therapy" which elicits screams from patients as part of a process to achieve healing. He attended UCLA undergraduate and graduate training in social sciences, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Claremont Graduate School. He has written 12 books, founded a research and training institute and publishes a journal about primal therapy.
Arthur Janov was born to Conrad Janov, a butcher and truck driver, and Anne (Corey) Janov. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended Los Angeles High School, graduating in 1943. That year he entered the U.S. Navy and served in World War II. After his discharge in 1946, he entered the University of California, Los Angeles and majored in social sciences. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949 and stayed on for graduate work. For his graduate thesis he did research at the Los Angeles Veterans Hospital. He continued there part-time with the music therapy program for several years as a member of a jazz group called the Psychopathic Syncopators. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1951, he entered private practice, and was concurrently on the staff of the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital from 1952 to 1955.
In 1960, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Claremont Graduate School, where he majored in clinical psychology with a specialization in neurophysiology. In January 1967, after 17 years of conventional therapeutic work, an incident with a patient led to a crucial psychotherapeutic breakthrough. He asked a patient in group therapy to cry out for his parents. The patient at first refused, but later gave in and was soon writhing on the floor in agony and making a piercing, deathlike scream. Janov repeated the sequence with other patients and began to develop his primal theory and primal therapy. The basic tenants of this new approach were discussed in his book, "The Primal Scream," published in 1970.
Enthusiastically received by the media, "The Primal Scream" found adherents among popular cultural heroes such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono and other celebrities. This acclaim was a two-edged sword that brought with it the criticism that he was a media-conscious maverick. His second book, "The Anatomy of Mental Illness," published in 1971, was intended to answer his scientific critics. By the time he published his third book, "The Primal Revolution," in 1972 he was making broad claims for cures in all sorts of disorders and deviations including homosexuality, violence, murder, drug addiction and psychoses. His belief that he had the only valid cure for mental illness led him into what some critics believed were extravagant claims. Many other books followed, further elaborating on his findings. "The Biology of Love" was published in March 2000.
Janov registered "Primal Therapy" as a service mark with the U.S. Patent Office and established the Primal Institute to train therapists. The Journal of Primal Therapy debuted in 1973, with Janov as editor in chief and a New York City branch of the Primal Institute opened in 1977. Janov continues to conduct research and write in the field of psychotherapy.
Janov, who has undergone primal therapy, has been described as handsome and hawkish, with deep-set eyes and a small, thin mouth. In conversation he is soft-spoken and poised.
He and his first wife, Vivian, have two children. Though the Janovs were separated, their son, Richard, shared administrative duties with his father and mother at the institute in 1980. Their daughter Ellen died in a fire in the late 1970s. Janov and his current wife, France, established a Primal Center in Venice, California, in 1989 where she is co-director and doctoral candidate.
On 1 October 2017, Janov died in his sleep at the age of 93. At the time of his death, Janov was suffering from a throat disease which limited his ability to speak, and was living in Malibu, California.