Primal therapy

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Style over substance

Pseudoscience

Icon pseudoscience.svg
Popular pseudosciences
Random examples
Resources

Primal scream therapy, or simply primal therapy, was an odd bit of woo popularized by Arthur Janov in his 1970 book, The Primal Scream. His theory was that psychological problems are caused by early childhood trauma, such as during birth. These traumatic incidents could be re-experienced and then emotionally discharged by expressing them during therapy by screaming. John Lennon and Steve Jobs were brief adherents of the movement.

Although Janov was then a respected psychologist and did not (as far as is known) derive his theory from superficially similar theories which were already then regarded as quackery, his theory is somewhat similar to the Dianetics (Scientology) theory of removing "engrams" by re-experiencing traumatic incidents and emotionally discharging them, and to the quack therapy of re-experiencing birth traumas through rebirthing. No empirical studies ever found the therapy useful or sound, however, and nothing eventually came of his theory except yet another quack movement. Today Primal Therapy is lumped in with other fringe therapies which emerged as part of the Human Potential Movement.

Having said all that, Screamadelica is a fantastic album.

Contents

[edit] More claims

These are all quotes from The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov, Perigree 1981 softcover edition.

[edit] Primal therapy makes your boobies grow

"Perhaps the most dramatic changes which take place in post-Primal patients are physical...For example, about one-third of the moderately flat-chested women independently reported that their breasts grew" (p. 154)

[edit] Primal therapy makes everything else grow

"Two male patients in their early twenties told of beard growth for the first time in their lives. Several others reported giving off an odor for the first time after perspiring. Several patients noted growth of hands and feet." (p. 154)

"There are neurotic symptoms which are not usually thought of as such--being short, for example...We see that the patient has grown and thus may infer that his being short was indeed a symptom--his idiosyncratic resolution of the inner contradictions which plagued him." (p. 134)

[edit] Primal therapy screams away the gay

"I do not believe that there is a basic genetic homosexual tendency in man. If this were true, the cured patient would still have his homosexual needs, which he does not. Post-Primal patients who have been latent and overt homosexuals before report no homosexual leanings, fantasies, or dreams." (p. 308)

[edit] In case I missed anything

"I could go on endlessly listing all the symptoms which Primal Therapy has eliminated, from menstrual cramps to asthma. But that would tend to make Primal Therapy seem some kind of panacea and thus lessen its credibility." (p. 134)

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Community
Tools
support