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  • Arthur Janov

    Arthur Janov

    Dr. Arthur Janov is one of the world's leading psychologists and author of 11 books, including the international bestseller, The Primal Scream and his newest book, Primal Healing, published in November 2006. He is the Founder and Director of the Primal Center in Santa Monica, California. He has been elected to the Academic Hall of Fame of Claremont Graduate University.

    Dr. Janov received his B.A. and M.S.W. in psychiatric social work from the University of California, Los Angeles and his Ph.D. in psychology from Claremont Graduate School. Before turning to Primal Therapy, he practiced conventional psychotherapy in his native California. He did an internship at the Hacker Psychiatric Clinic in Beverly Hills, worked for the Veterans' Administration at Brentwood Neuro-psychiatric Hospital and was in private practice for 1952 till 1967. He was also on the staff of the Psychiatric Department at Los Angeles Children's Hospital where he was involved in developing their psychosomatic unit.

    The course of Dr. Janov's professional life changed in a single day in the mid-1960's with the discovery of Primal Pain. During a therapy session, he heard (as he describes it), "an eerie scream welling up from the depths of a young man who was lying on the floor". He came to believe that this scream was the product of some unconscious, intangible wound that the patient was unable to resolve. Since then, Dr. Janov has devoted his professional life to the investigation of that underlying pain and the development of a precise, scientific therapy that could mitigate its lifelong effects.

    Dr. Janov has been conducting revolutionary research in the field of psychotherapy for more than three decades. As the originator of Primal Therapy, he has treated thousands of patients and conducted extensive research to support his thesis that both physical and psychic ailments can be linked to early trauma. He has concluded that patients can dramatically reduce such debilitating medical problems as depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcoholism, drug addiction, heart disease and many other serious diseases. In 1970 he introduced his radical new approach to therapy to the general public in his first book, The Primal Scream, which became a best-seller and has since sold more than a million copies worldwide.

    In the last 30 years Primal Therapy has established itself as the only therapy producing deep changes in a host of psychosomatic symptoms and psychological problems. As Director and Supervisor of Research with the Primal Foundation Laboratory, Dr. Janov was the first psychologist to submit his results to scientific scrutiny. Studies at Rutgers, the University of Copenhagen, St. Bartholomew's Hospital in England and the University of California at Los Angeles have all supported his theory that Primal Therapy can produce measurable positive effects on the function of the human brain and body.

    Dr. Janov and his wife, Dr. France D. Janov, co-director at the Primal Center, have lectured worldwide on Primal Theory and Primal Therapy, including to the Royal College of Medicine, London, England; Hunter College, New York; Karolinska Medical and Research Center, Stockholm, Sweden. His work has also been the subject of a PBS special in the United States and of documentaries in Germany, England, France and Sweden.

    The latest research conducted at Dr. Janov's Primal Center on the effects of Primal Therapy on the brain was performed by Dr. Erik Hoffman, former Professor of Neurophysiology at Copenhagen University. This research has shown very clear changes in the brain as a result of feeling.

    Dr. Janov has authored twelve books. His latest is "The Janov Solution, Lifting Depression through Primal Therapy- published September 2007. These books have been translated into twenty-four languages, throughout the world.

    In 1989 in an effort to expand the Primal network, Dr. Janov established Dr. Janov's Primal Center in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Dr. France Janov.

    We recognize the great need for therapists and therapy in the world. It is to that end that Dr. Janov's Primal Center was established in 1989 as a treatment, training, and research center under Dr. Arthur Janov's personal supervision. All the therapists here have had years of intense training with us and are all caring professionals. There are also other therapists who practice independently, outside the Center who have completed the training and maintain an association with us. You should verify credentials to practice Primal Therapy through our office.

    Source: http://www.primaltherapy.com/about-arthur-and-france-janov.php

    Bibliography

    • The Primal Scream (1970) - (revised 1999)
    • The Anatomy of Mental Illness (1971)
    • The Primal Revolution: Toward a Real World (1972)
    • The Feeling Child (1973)
    • Primal Man: The new consciousness (1976)
    • Prisoners of Pain (1980)
    • Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience (1984)
    • New Primal Scream: Primal Therapy 20 Years on (1992)
    • Why You Get Sick and How You Get Well: The Healing Power of Feelings (1996)
    • The Biology of Love (2000)
    • Grand Delusions—Psychotherapies Without Feeling (2005); unpublished manuscript available at the Primal Center's website
    • Sexualité et subconscient : Perversions et déviances de la libido (2006)
    • Primal Healing: Access the Incredible Power of Feelings to Improve Your Health (2006)
    • The Janov Solution: Lifting Depression Through Primal Therapy (2007)
    • Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives (2011)

    From Primal Healing:

    Case Study: Nathan (page 120 - 122)

    I've been on edge lately. Actually, I've been losing it really, but with good reason. Everyone is conspiring against me, even the therapists. That is how I went into my session on Tuesday. So you think I'm smoking dope again, and you told all the other therapists and everyone now hates me. Valerie (my therapist) didn't respond much, except to say, "How does that make you feel?" I'm always getting screwed; somebody is always out to get me. I'm always getting blamed for something, and everyone always ends up hating me for some reason or another. As I'm saying this, I start to feel a knot of tension in my stomach and a deep sadness. My eyes start to get blurry, and it's hard for me to talk. What's happening? Valerie says that I feel that I'm not good enough, I can't do enough, and nothing I do will ever be enough! I can't please everyone. I can't be perfect! I start to break down and cry.
    The feeling keeps penetrating and my crying becomes serious. I lose all sense of time, and then out of the blue, this flashback pops into my head. I'm in high school during computer class hiding my face in my arms and pretending to sleep while everyone else is busy doing their work. I was miserable back then, and I would usually spend my days in class sleeping or pretending to sleep. The teacher called me up to her desk, and I was thinking, "Oh shit, I'm in trouble again," or maybe she was going to ask me if something's wrong. That's what I wanted her to say: "Is something wrong Nathan? What's the matter? Can I help you? You can talk to me, I'll listen." But no, she asked me some stupid question about my homework, I answered and went back to my desk to sleep.
    Now the tears are pouring because nobody can see how much I hurt, nobody wants to help me, nobody cares, and I feel worthless! My muscles start to clench and I start to cough. I cough and cough and cough, to the point where it feels like I'm going to vomit. But I don't. A pressure seems to release after these coughing fits and I just lay there limp and flooded with tears. I calm down a bit and Valerie says, "Ask for help."
    "No, I don't want to!"
    "Ask."
    "No, I don't want to; they should have been able to tell. They should have been able to see how much pain I was in, how hurt I was."
    "Ask."
    "Help me! Please help me! I need help!" And I'm back in it, full blown crying, spasms, muscles tensing up, and coughing. It goes on like this until I remember that phone call I made.
    Just a few days ago, on Mother's Day, when out of guilt more than anything, I called my mom. "Happy Mother's Day," I said. But all heard back was how well my brother is doing. He just bought a new motorcycle, he just got a new dog, he just did this, he just did that. And I feel like shit, because my life is shit, and I can't get it together. She just keeps rubbing it in, making me feel worthless. Nothing I do is good enough. I can't do anything right; I'm such a disappointment! Here come the tears again. I realize that these present-day feelings stem from this. These memories of being neglected and manipulated all my life. But not only that, as the session winds down, my therapist tells me that she didn't think I was smoking dope, and she didn't tell the other therapists anything like that. It was all in my head! The animosity isn't real, the conspiracy isn't real, everyone against me isn't real. It was all just a feeling, me acting out a feeling. And for me that is the hardest thing to take. Realizing that my feeling's distort reality so much that I can't even tell what is real anymore, and then realizing that I have been doing that my entire life. Repeating this vicious cycle over and over and over. I think of how much time I've wasted chasing these false ideas. All the untrue things my feelings led me to believe and how it has made my life a complete mess.
    But I feel relieved as the session ends, like some weight has just been lifted. And that is what makes this therapy so amazing. It is what makes these therapists so amazing. They are able to pull these things out of you, things you didn't even know were there and not only recognize them but feel them so you can change them and rebuild your life, a real life.

    Case Study: Daryl—Three Non-Feeling Therapies

    In cognitive behavioral therapy, the therapist focused almost exclusively on asking me to "change my negative thoughts" to more positive thoughts. For example, I was feeling very negative toward myself at the time this therapy occurred, and I would find this kind of self-talk happening within myself: "I'm a failure in my career." The therapist would ask me to "re-word" this statement to myself to say, "I'm not succeeding in my career at the present time." Well, this did not help at all. In fact, I simply got all jumbled in a lot of mechanistic ways of trying to handle internal problems that only ended in frustration and discouragement.

    Another key approach of this cognitive behavioral therapist was to present me with a list of 12 "should" statements that people tend to use. Then, she would ask me to repeat the statement without using the word "should." For example, one of the original statements might have been, "I should be more competent." She would ask me to re-phrase this to say, "I am competent." Of course, this did not help at all because I did not, in fact, become any more competent by simply saying, "I am competent. " Much of her approach revolved around convincing me of the irrationality of my behavior in using "should" statements. To a great extent, she provided me with a list of rules and asked me to obey those rules. This approach completely ignored the feelings below the surface that were driving me to feel what I felt and, therefore, to say what I would say. Her approach did not take into account the principle of repression.

    This therapist became very frustrated working with me. In fact, she discounted and denied the role of feelings in the therapeutic process. I reacted to her approach by being frustrated, discouraged, and disillusioned because her approach did not work for me.

    In Jungian therapy, the therapist introduced me to the classical concepts within Jungian psychology: archetypes, anima, animus, collective unconscious, persona, shadow, active imagination, guided imagery, the Self, and interpretation of dreams. He also tried to stay within the classical Jungian psychological model in his therapeutic approach with me. He was a very intellectual person himself, and my gaining an understanding of these primary concepts was important to him. Therefore, he spent a lot of time with me in simply helping me to understand all of these Jungian terms and concepts. He did acknowledge and recognize the principle of repression, and he said that those things that have been repressed are now in "your shadow." His whole approach resulted in one prerequisite to healing on the part of the patient: the patient must have an understanding of these terms, concepts, and principles. His premise was simple: once the patient gains an understanding of her/his problem and these Jungian concepts, healing will naturally occur. So, understanding automatically brings healing.

    But, in my case, understanding did not bring healing. Understanding brought mental gymnastics. The process of gaining an intellectual understanding brought a false illusion of healing. I frequently said to myself, "Now that I have an intellectual (intelligent) understanding of what the problems are within me, I will be cured. I had this belief over and over, but it never did bring about true healing. Instead, it brought about a temporary false sense of confidence that "now I've got the problem nailed down, I will be okay."

    The Jungian approach helped only temporarily and then, only slightly. However, each time I came to understand the problem, I truly thought that I would be cured. It never happened. As a result I became discouraged and disillusioned. In fact, the process of intellectualizing actually slowed down the healing process in that it covered over the real feelings that needed to be felt.

    In Gestalt therapy, the therapist gave an initial impression that feelings would play a primary role in my therapy. In fact, they never did. Gestalt therapy, for me, ended up somewhere in between cognitive behavioral and Jungian therapy. My Gestalt therapist made use of role playing as a way of trying to help me gain insights into my behavior. At times, she would say, "I want you to play your father and use this scenario." At other times, she would ask me to play the role of the boss with whom I was having difficulty at that particular time. In all cases, the role-playing scenarios did nothing to bring about healing. The therapist was very impressed with her approach and what she thought was happening, but I was not experiencing anything significant in terms of real progress. Therefore, over a period of six months to a year, I became discouraged and disillusioned with the process. In fact, I lost confidence in this particular approach as well as in the therapist. She sensed my frustration and this caused friction in our relationship. Eventually, I discontinued my therapy with this therapist.

    In conclusion, let me comment on what I see as the need for patients to evaluate and provide feedback to the therapist. It would be so simple for therapists of all psychological approaches to develop an evaluation/feedback form in order to seek feedback on how the therapeutic process is going. What the therapist thinks is occurring might not be the case at all.

    Feeling better is fine. But we must keep in mind that the caring we get now cannot make up for the lack of it when it was critical. The critical period has passed. If it hadn't, then the doctor's caring would heal us. Because it is after the critical period, it is only palliative. It may help stabilize a shaky defense system, but it never eradicates need. I will repeat ad nauseam: we cannot love neurosis away. Even if we could resurrect Momma and have her kiss and hug her grown-up child, no amount of love in the present can reverse the damage. That is why a kindly therapist, who is concerned and interested, cannot re-establish equilibrium in his patient. No amount of his caring and insights will induce any profound change. No psychotherapy can alter those needs, nor can the drug-taking or other act-outs they drive, once they are sealed in.
    More broadly, we must keep in mind the futility of using ideas to treat the effects of deeply ingrained traumas. As we shall see, it is not possible to use ideas and thinking processes, which literally came along millions of years later in the evolution of brain development, to affect what is lower in the brain and evolved millions of years earlier. (page 52)

    No amount of fulfilment later on can replace an early deficit of love and caring. This means that no amount of caring by a therapist can produce any profound change in the patient. She is long past her critical period. To repeat: you cannot love neurosis away. Of course, caring in the present can act as a holding action, keeping the real deprivation at bay for a short time; it tranquilizes but cannot be curative. And it has to be tranquilized all of the time lest the pain surge forth. That is why many patients seek conventional therapy ad infinitum. (page 109)

    There is a book called The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. (4) Dr. Pinker is a well-known writer on matters of the brain. His specialty is cognitive neuroscience. ("Cognitive neuroscience" seems to be one more oxymoron. If neuroscience limits itself to the study of the thinking brain, the rest of the central nervous system and its interrelationships with the thinking area are likely to be ignored.) Pinker claims throughout his work that nurture, the environment, is never a match for nature—what we inherit. He points out that criminals are rarely rehabilitated, which is proof, he believes, that criminal tendencies must be inherited. What he does not consider is first, the impact of early life shaping future criminals, and second, that perhaps our treatment of criminals is what is wrong, particularly when he is an advocate of the cognitive approach, which is bound to fail with criminals. The logic then continues: because we cannot make the criminal well, it must be because it is an inherited tendency. Naturally, this reasoning doesn't put his therapeutic approach into question. Few, if any, professionals have seen the depths of the unconscious and observed the pain imprinted there. Therefore, they cannot know what nurture really is and what it can do to us. This is doubly true when the months of gestation and the first months of infancy are ignored. Because there is hardly any cognition going on, to speak of, in the first three years of life, when cognition is the focus, one is bound to ignore the most crucial formative times in life. (page 129/130)

    I must hasten to add a caveat here. Nearly every cognitive/insight talk therapy fills the needs of the patient symbolically. The patient is acting neurotically in the hope of getting well. She is being a good, smart, helpful patient. The therapist is focusing only on her. How long has it been since someone paid exclusive attention to her? And for an hour! Is it any wonder that her therapy is addicting; the insights are a small adjunct to it all. The attention is preponderant. I point out elsewhere that the choice of the therapy is often another act-out. The patient is going back for love, caring, and approval. She gets it and it is another symbolic act, and therefore her neurosis is reinforced. The therapist gives us exactly what we needed from our parents; it is, unfortunately, 20 or 30 years too late. It is a bottomless pit that no one can fill. (page 135)

    Constantly being on the move is a good example of this act-out; a mad flight from the feeling, just as others who feel as if they are failures are in a desperate search to try to feel like a winner. As I have noted, the definition of an act-out is behaving out of unfulfilled needs. Unfulfilled needs start the accelerator going. Even in depression, which looks like total lethargy and passivity, there is a highly active system. (page 137)

    It is easy to become entangled in a mesh of thoughts that bind us, the more labyrinthine the better—hence the attraction of insight therapy. One is now a captive of those beliefs, and he enters into his slavery willingly, because this slavery is also an important defense. If fascism were ever to come to America, it would no doubt come by popular vote not by autocratic edict. We would slip into unquestioning obedience to the leader gladly, for it would relieve us of having to think for ourselves. He would protect us from the evil "out there." I am reminded of those who dive for sharks in steel cages. They have no freedom of movement but it is a fact that the sharks cannot get to them. Their steel cage is their defense and their prison. Chemical prisons are just as strong as those steel ones. They allow for few alternatives in behavior. Beliefs are the psychic equivalent of repression. We can rechannel the flow but we will not change the volcanic activity. We can cap the explosion with ideas, but there is always a danger of another eruption; sometimes it is in the form of a seizure, other times it is found in being seized by a sudden realization—finding God and being born again. (page 178)

    In rebirthing or LSD therapy, the patient is plunged into early remote pains; too often the result is incipient or transient psychosis. One of our patients went to a weekend meditation group that practiced deep breathing. (This was without our knowledge. It is forbidden in our therapy, for obvious reasons.) He came back to us in pieces, totally symbolic, speaking of cosmic forces and past lives. That deep breathing weakened his defenses and opened the gates artificially. The overload threw him into symbolism as the frontal cortex struggled to make sense out of liberated pains that were not ready to be felt and integrated. (page 183)

    If we follow evolution and allow feeling before ideas in psychotherapy, then we cannot go wrong. If we defy evolution, and use ideas before feelings, then we must, perforce, go wrong. The same is true for those rebirthers who decide to plunge patients into remote and devastating pains right away in psychotherapy. There is no integration because the valence is so heavy and the pains are thrown up out of sequence. The same is true for those who use drugs and hallucinogens to get to deep early feelings. The system cannot possibly integrate (even though often the patient and therapist are convinced that progress has taken place). Integration means a slow descent from the present and top level prefrontal cortex to lower limbic/feeling areas and finally to the deeply rooted and engraved imprints around birth and infancy. We need to prepare the soil for heavy pains. When they intrude suddenly into the top level, there is of necessity a disintegration taking place. We see this in our vital sign research where signs go up and then down sporadically without any cohesion to them. They tell us there is no integration. (page 205)

    A person is suspicious of being hurt by others because he was hurt so badly by insensitive parents; in Dan's case, a cruel mother. He projected this fear onto others who he thought wanted to hurt him. Dan was slightly paranoid at the start of therapy, questioning even the nice things he would hear. "Did you really mean it? I thought you were putting me on." His suspicions went from the personal and idiosyncratic (his mother in the past), to the general (everyone else in the present). "They" are trying to hurt me. When we took Dan back from the universal "they" and transformed it into a personal "me," the paranoid ideas were diminished or eliminated. The general had become the particular, which then produced a general law. (page 211)

    If the therapist has the need to be helpful and get "love" from the patient, he can act this out in therapy. I remember feeling my need to become a therapist and be helpful, trying symbolically to help my mentally ill mother to get well and be a real mother. No one is exempt from symbolic behavior. And it is certainly more comfortable for a patient to act out his needs and get them fulfilled (symbolically) in therapy, and imagine he is getting somewhere, than to feel the pain of lack of fulfillment. It is understandable that the idea of lying on a matted floor crying and screaming doesn't appeal to some. Pain is not always an enticing prospect. Thus, the cognitive/insight therapist can be similarly deceived and entangled in the same delusion as his patient: both getting love for being smart. It is a mutually deceptive unconscious pact. (page 227)

    Religion puts a moral slant on our hidden "evil" forces, but it amounts to the same thing. Psychology becomes religion by another name. If not, what are those impulses? Where do they come from? Are they immutable forces that cannot be changed? If not, how do we change them? Their leitmotif is that demons live inside of us that shall remain unalterable and nameless, a kind of genetic evil. We are born with it, and that is that. Here is where the cognitivists join the Freudians, who join the Jungians, who join the priests in thinking our main job is to hold down these dark, evil shadow forces. The reason that so many psychologists consider those negative forces immutable is that not having deep access, there is truly no way to change them, hence they are immutable. This is an example of circular logic. (page 228/229)

    The following are two patients with two different kinds of compulsions. The first, a woman who must hang all her shirts in the same direction. She gets very nervous if one shirt isn't hanging right. The insight in her feeling was, "I could never get it right. Nothing I could do would make my parents say, 'You've done a good job.'" As it is with her shirts, she had to check over and over again because she still felt she didn't get it right. She was acting out symbolically, "Everything I do is wrong. Nothing I can do will make them approve and love me." Another patient is addicted to video games. It is not something he just plays; he is addicted and must do it. Why? To feel like a winner. No matter how many times he won, however, he still felt like a loser, something his father called him constantly. He was trying to shake that feeling, but never could. In life he felt like a failure; he didn't know what else to do to get rid of that feeling. He chose, as in every neurosis, a symbolic channel. Until he felt in a session over and over again, "I'm not a failure, Daddy. Say I'm good— just once!" Feeling that stopped the act-out; he had to feel that many times. (page 252)


    From Prisoners of Pain:
    I use to believe in God but now I understand my religion was more or less an attempt to get closer to my dad, who was a devoted, if not dedicated Christian. That would have the way to close the gap between us, the way to look in his inner life and to show him mine. When I told him enthusiastically about my believe (enthusiasm based on hope I would finally get the answer I desired), no reaction came. It was like I casually had said something. Looking back I realized that from that moment I rejected the whole Christianity. What I intensely had hoped to get from my father, I hoped to get the same from God. I needed someone who could see my Pain, someone I could turn to and talk in confidence with. No one in my environment was like that, so God became that one. I couldn't bear the Pain I was surrendered to, but that became the burden of an Almighty. All I needed was someone who could understand me; and if someone by definition could understand everything, the better it was. God was the father I wanted to have. God was the father in the sense of an enlightened authority, and Christ was the father of friendship and hope. Because I hadn't suc­ceeded to win my father for me by joining him in his 'cage', I stepped out determined and started to pound the bars. I wanted to challenge him to an open reaction from man to man. I got involved in the left-wing politics. It's clear to me where I'm standing now that my involvement in this area (not to mention the objective correctness of my motive) was neurotically motivated. My passionate struggle against the establishment was a symbolic reflection of the struggle with my father. By attempting to make the establishment act justified by pointing on society's injustice, I know that in reality I was trying to push him awake to tell him: 'Look at me, dad; look what you've done to me!' I remember saying very insulting things to him about politics, just to provoke him into a reaction. I did that because he usually was showing such a passive, non-reac­tive appearance. I symbolized my need for dad by demanding the rulers to take care of the poor and minorities. I proclaimed socialism because I wanted justice for all. (...) I never received what I needed. I stood up for the socially oppressed because for my own oppression

    From The Primal Revolution:

     
    I believe that the war on drugs is part of the overall suppression that occurs in a neurotic society. The first reflex of unreal systems, both personal and social, against change is suppression. Drugs that aid suppression, which allow for accommodation to a suppressive mode of life, are considered 'safe'. Drugs (like people) that tend towards liberation, towards feeling and towards acute insights, are the threat. There is much more evidence of the harm of cigarettes, evi­dence that indicates the ingestion of the nicotine drug over a period of time can be fatal. There is far less evidence that marijuana causes any harm. Why, then, do users of marijuana go to jail? Why is it all right for a person to get smashed on alcohol, endanger lives while drunk driving, and only have a driver's license suspended, while a person in possession of LSD can go to prison, for decades in some cases. I don't think that these are fortuitous events. They are the result of living in a suppressive society where feelings themselves become a threat. Indeed, feeling people would not accommodate to an unreal society, nor would they go out and kill their fellow men. Feeling people are indeed the threat to the business-as-usual group. (Page 112)

    When I'm feeling shitty, I can either not like me and try to figure out what's wrong with me, and all the shit I should go through to get me to like me, or I can just feel the pain. Many times I choose the mind trip, and cover up the pain. It hurts, dammit! I don't want to feel it all the time. But always, sooner or later, the 'thinking it out' trip becomes ridiculous, and my Primals begin. (Page 136)

    Give a depressive a new outlet, a new job, a party, or a chance to go shopping, and all of the inner-directed pressure now pours out in manic activity. He will literally 'throw himself' into his work. He will be 'happy' for those moments when his work will make him happy. What has really happenedis that he has found an outlet for tension - an outlet that continues to hide the Primal sadness. But great r­elease of tension feels like happiness for the neurotic, and the relief feels better than that inner-pressured feeling that accompanies depression. So we can see that some of us shut down early in life and, sans outlets, become 'dead' and depressed. Others shut down and 'act' alive. If being the 'happy clown' pleases one's parents, then the act will continue. The child will still be sad because he could not be himself. If there was no way to please, if one was disliked, sup­pressed, and rejected at every turn, then deadness and depression will result. Take away the 'happy clown's' chances to perform, and the lurking sadness will begin to ascend. (Page 142)

    Neurotic societies further the dichotomy between the mental and the physical. There are mental workers and physical ones (white-collar and blue-collar workers). In the popular mythology, labourers aren't supposed to think or use big words, and intellectuals do not perform physical labour. Both, being split, may be exploited so that their brains and brawn are used and corrupted in the service of the system. The division between mental and physical workers means that an intel­lectual can study and work at something, coming up with solutions that have no relevance to real people. The worker can remain at a mindless job, never using his brain at all. In a real society there would be no dichotomy, no split between the body and mind worker. Intelligent people would not tolerate a neurotic, split society. They would not be content to work at unthinking jobs. I believe that the neurotic split has been the reason that a truly psychobiological psychotherapy has not been discovered heretofore. Mental workers (psychologists) have tried to find 'mental' solutions that were psychobiological. (Page 162)


    From The Biology of Love:


    Today's conventional psychotherapist inadvertently and mistakenly reinforces the gating system of patients by using the tools of con­cern, lis­tening, care, guidance, and advice. Therapy can become another act-out for the patient who is unconsciously getting what he wants (symbolic ful­fillment) instead of what he needs (feeling the lack of fulfillment as a child). The implication is that you can have good intentions and love neurosis away. If all those fail, the thera­pist uses the more direct means of quelling need/pain by prescribing tranquilizers. A therapist who tries to build a patient's self-esteem by telling her, "You really are capable, you know," is actually encouraging the patient to block out her real feeling of "I'm bad. People don't love me because I'm worthless." By trying to "love" pain away by being "nice," the therapist is fighting reality. He is functi­oning as the brain gate for the patient. In Primal Therapy, we want to open the gate and let in love, beauty, and life! To do that we must open the gate to real feelings of "No one loves me. I'm unlovable. It is all so hopeless," etc. (Page 279)

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  • Sinéad O'Connor on Child Abuse

    by: Bob Guccione Jr.

    Interview Sinéad O'Connor on Child Abuse, September 1991

    Interview by Bob Guccione Jr. Translated from Dutch from the Belgian magazine Humo, September 1991

    Sinead 
O'Connor - 1995A few days before the award ceremony of the Grammies last February, in the middle of the bombing of Bagdad, Sinéad O'Connor dropped a few bombs by herself: she boycotted the Grammies out of protest against the Gulf War and she would quit making music. The ridiculous idea that someone would care about that, is exactly what these statements made so important. The conviction of Sinéad that this was an important reaction to the war and the apathy of the music industry, MADE her important. They were reported all over the world - and discussed.

    Sinéad is not just important for the sales of her records; the raw, spontaneous honesty of her rebellion makes her important. She's a mouthpiece because she speaks.

    Last year in August, Sinéad caused a huge incident by refusing the American anthem to play before her concert would start. The massive press jumped up ready to lynch her. In all that anger, she argued that they hadn't understood her well and she gave a careful stated press release to try explaining her points of view. In reality not a single statement had made a difference with the war-mongering crowd. Finally America could give itself amnesty for Vietnam and no bald Irish woman of 23 could come in between.

    Sinéad didn't show remorse and retreated in London, where she lives and where she attended acting school. She says she will play Jeanne D'Arc in an upcoming movie. In July 1991 she released My Special Child, a single with 4 songs, and she donated the proceeds to the Red Cross help program for the Kurds.

    We talked with her in the office of her manager in West London, in a terribly warm and stuffy meeting room, of which the windows had to stay closed because otherwise too much noise from traffic would come in. She expected the interview to last exactly 3 cigarettes and which she neatly had lined up, like pencils, on the table. Afterwards it turned out to last 9 cigarettes.

    When we were done, I played a little with her 4-year-old son Jake, while she was going make a few phone calls to people. He was kicking me constantly - he enjoyed that. So I grabbed his ankles and held him over my shoulders upside down -I enjoyed that. 'Yuck, you smell dirty!', he yelled. 'You have quite some guts, for someone hanging upside down in the air', I told him. And then I realized that it's an excellent description of Sinéad.

    Why did you want to make the song My Special Child?

    Sinéad O'Connor:
    I wrote the song from my own experience. I wanted to release it and use the profit to make people aware about child abuse. Then the situation came with those Kurds and that seemed really urgent, so I thought I had to do that first. The song itself is about my experiences, when I had an abortion last year, how I felt and how I handled it.

    Why did you want an abortion?

    SINÉAD:
    Actually I didn't want an abortion. I had become happily pregnant and was crazy about the father of the baby. But it didn't go well between us. We argued a lot. I was on tour and was constantly nauseous. I didn't know what to do and he wasn't really interested in the baby. So I had to decide myself if I would keep the baby or not, because I understood that the father wouldn't be present a lot. I decided it would be better to not have the child, that I rather have a child later when there's a father who would feel committed. I had the feeling I couldn't handle it alone.

    Was that hard for you?

    Sinead 
O'ConnorSINÉAD:
    Yes, because I was very happy with my pregnancy. Before that I had received a miscarriage three times and I was really worried if it would go right this time. Well, it looked like it was going to be all right. That's why I was so desperate. It wasn't a decision I had made light-heartedly - no one does. Only after a year I was over it, but it was the right decision. I'm convinced that if a child is supposed to be born, it needs to be born; it doesn't matter if you had a miscarriage or an abortion. I'm pro-choice. I don't want to demonstrate for or against abortion, but I would like to take thorough action for the right of women to decide themselves what's happening with and inside their bodies. No one has the right to tell another what he has to think or believe. Especially not the Catholic Church, if you look at the number of murders and plundering it has committed.

    Has the fact that you were raised Catholic influenced you a lot?

    SINÉAD:
    That's never been very important in my life. I believed in God and the Holy Virgin Maria and the Immaculate Conception and I love all those things. So I kept from the Catholic faith what I liked, the image of Maria and all those kind of stories. But I didn't feel hyped by it, I didn't take it that serious. What I liked and what appealed to me, I picked up.

    Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?

    SINÉAD:
    No, I don't believe in a heaven or hell. I really don't believe one should burn. I don't believe it's good to teach children that God is someone who punishes them when they don't behave well, that God isn't someone who understands everything. That's child abuse.

    Do you believe in Heaven?

    SINÉAD:
    I believe in different stages of a spiritual consciousness and Christ is someone who has reached the highest level. The highest level of spiritual consciousness is closest to heaven. But I don't believe in heaven and hell as they are portrayed.

    When you grew up there was a lot of pain around you. Did you believe God had abandoned you?

    SINÉAD:
    No, I believed very strongly in God. I didn't believe I was being punished or that God had abandoned me. I kept believing and prayed a lot and took a lot of comfort from God's mother.

    Were you lonely as a child?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I believe so, but I don't think I was aware of that. I found it very difficult to talk with people. I was sitting like this (she bents forward) in the classroom; that's why I have such a bad posture. I talked with no one and didn't hang out with anyone. I didn't know how to. Even a year ago I couldn't watch anyone in the eyes when I talked with him or her.

    Why were you so shy? And how did you overcome it?

    SINÉAD:
    I forced myself to get over it, but I haven't completely yet. But I forced myself because I didn't function well and I couldn't continue like that. Why I have become like that is because of the abuses and the constant lack of help and understanding. No one from outside my home family helped me.

    How old were you then, about 8 years?

    SINÉAD:
    Even smaller. When a child is abused, there are several ways to react to that. I retreated myself. I couldn't communicate with anyone, I couldn't learn. I could read and write but it didn't interest me. I couldn't get myself out of it.

    Were you physically scared?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I was always scared to death, constantly. I'm one of those millions of people who grew up in such circumstances, who were always scared to death.

    What did you think about? Did you have fantasies, which you later verbalized into songs?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I lived in an imaginary world. That's how I survived.

    My parents were divorced but no one got beaten, thank god. The family had very close ties. But at the age of 15, it was actually me who had to run it all.

    SINÉAD:
    That's abuse as well.

    Yes, but a very mild form

    SINÉAD:
    When a child cannot be himself, if a child cannot be a child, then that's child abuse.

    Don't you think that happens in the real world anyway?

    SINÉAD:
    It shouldn't happen.

    In a perfect world it wouldn't happen.

    Sinead 
O'ConnorSINÉAD:
    The world can become perfect. All problems in the world are according to me caused by child abuse. That is a lack of understanding for children, for whom they are and for the fact that they should be themselves, to form their own opinions and taking their own decisions. From the moment a child is born, especially in the USA, but I think everywhere but just that it is the most obvious in the USA, it gets conditioned. Everything that the child sees on TV, or learns at school, or hears on the radio, or reads in magazines or whatever it comes in contact with, is based on the fact that the child needs to be formed into a specific kind of person, someone who can't think for himself, someone who don't have an own opinion, someone who doesn't have an own mind. From the moment a child goes to school it's done with, he can't be himself anymore. You are not allowed to ask questions, you are not allowed to have an own opinion. You just learn what's in the history books, all lies, and you have to believe that.

    Do you think the media are programming the people?

    SINÉAD:
    I think they very cleverly use it to condition the people. The USA is by far the most obvious example, but it's the same all over the world. I think television all together should be abolished. It's totally destructive. There's nothing positive of it, absolutely nothing.

    And what about MTV?

    SINÉAD:
    Should be abolished.

    Why do you say that?

    SINÉAD:
    Because TV has killed free thinking. And not just that, also art, poetry, theatre, all those things. TV conditions people; they sit in front of them all day and they believe everything that comes on. And just from a scientific point alone, it's when an image changes constantly - and MTV is the worst example of that - the brain doesn't learn to concentrate because you're getting so used to it seeing things for a second, that what you see is not really getting through. It's bad for people who want to study or learn something. The people have lost their spirituality. We don't have contact anymore with who we are and what the meaning of life is and we don't have contact anymore with God. The reason is that we have started invading countries and exterminated whole races and cultures, just to gain in a material way. Because we have lost our spirituality, we feel empty. There's an enormous hole inside of us, I don't think anyone can say that he doesn't feel emptiness in his life, and that they try to fill it materialistically, because that's the only thing they see on TV or in the paper. They see that if you make it materialistically far, you're happy, so in order to fill that void, they try to reach that. They reach for drugs, alcohol, sex, cigarettes, all just to fill that void. They never see anything that tells them to fill that void another way. That when you are at peace with yourself, you also attract peaceful things. You learn from an early age that you have to work for a living. You have to do shit work, even though you hate it so much, just so you earn enough money to buy food and therefore you never discover who you are and what you are able of. The biggest problem is child abuse.

    That's an unbelievable radical statement

    SINÉAD:
    If you look at the whole history, you'll see that all serial killers are abused or misused as a kid. All of them, without one exception. All alcoholics are abused as a child. All drug addicts. All rapists. All sex offenders are abused as a child. Hitler was an abused child; Saddam Hussein as well.

    How did you get over it? You're enormously strong and brave.

    SINÉAD:
    Courage meanSinéad: the fear to continue. I'm still not completely over it. I'm still working on it, but I got over it. It was an endless cycle - it's a cycle of abuse. A child gets abused, it never expressed itself because it doesn't get encouraged to express himself. It gets encouraged to shut up. I realized it just went on. I also realized that I was quite much messed up and that I had to work hard on myself and that I had to seek help.

    Did you have a therapist?

    SINÉAD:
    No, I believe the most in the so-called 12-step groups, may that be Alcoholics Anonymous or Anonymous Addicts. There's a group called Adult Children of Alcoholic/ Dysfunctional Families, and I went to that.

    Did that help?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, absolutely. It helps you to learn that it's not your fault that you're so confused and that everything else isn't your fault either. I'm always thinking of those people who are in college, who are the same age as I or younger, and I imagine there are many who have experienced abuse of whatever kind. And I know there will be a stage that you think you're nothing more than a piece of shit - that's the result; that you think you're worthless, a piece of shit. Every time you look into the mirror, you see an ugly ape.

    Do you also feel like that?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I do.

    But you're incredibly beautiful

    SINÉAD:
    I don't see that myself.

    But why not? I'm surely not the first man who's saying that.

    SINÉAD:
    It doesn't matter what someone says. I could be standing on stage 7 nights a week and 5000 people can cheer me and tell me how wonderful I am, but for me that doesn't make any difference, because I don't love myself. I do now, but until that time I didn't love myself. It doesn't matter who tells you that you're wonderful, if you don't think that yourself and if your father and mother didn't think so. You will never think that of yourself unless you work on yourself and learning that you're worth while.

    What do you advice people who have been abused?

    SINÉAD:
    The first thing I would tell those people is that I have felt exactly like them as they are feeling now. In the first place you have to admit to yourself that it has affected you and that it is your full right to say that you have been abused and that it is unfair and bad. Many times I had the feeling, when I was talking about the abuse, that I was exaggerating tremendously, but that's of course nonsense. You think you don't have the right to such feelings, because they have told you that your whole life. So therefore you try to build another personality, so that everyone will love you. I would tell them: go to the 12-step groups or read the books by John Bradshaw and Alice Miller. They defend the child-adult syndrome, which means literally thiSinéad: when a child experiences something very shocking or traumatic, it doesn't allow itself to experience it consciously, it secludes itself from it. The brain turns itself off because it's too shocking, so those kids only experience it in their subconscious. They don't feel. The child can be afraid of it, but it doesn't understand what it feels. And those feelings are piling up, more and more, the older you get. You have been standing still literally in your development from that point on. You're 3 years old, but you walk around in a body of 55. The world is lead by adult children. It's literally so that you live here (pointing at her chest) and that you're so small (points out with her hands approximately 60 cm) and you are inside an adult body. When I was 21, I had temper fits, I behaved like a 3-year-old child. I had no idea of what I was doing. I looked at myself then and said: 'What in god's name are you doing?', even at the moment when I had such outburst. Screaming and being confused and not being able to leave your bed, crying the entire day, just being so damned angry and being an ass to people. Then I couldn't control myself. You are being controlled by the child inside of you. That is pulling all the ropes. And you have to make contact with it, to help it develop. It's scared to death.

    What were your individual experiences?

    SINÉAD:
    I've experienced abuse of every kind you can image. My mother was very unhappy and used a lot of violence. She couldn't handle life, of course because of her own experiences of her childhood. I've been beaten with all things with which you can beat a child. I didn't get food, I was locked up for days in my room, without food and without clothes. I had to sleep in the garden at night. An entire summer I slept in my home's garden.

    How old were you then?

    SINÉAD:
    Then I was about 12. But before that I already had to sleep in the garden with my brothers and my little sister and didn't get food. I was also abused psychologically, because I was always told that I wasn't all right, that I was a piece of shit, that it was my fault that my parents had separated. That I was filthy, that I was dirty, that I was crazy. I was mostly a piece of shit because I was a girl and because I never did anything right.

    Were you the oldest?

    SINÉAD:
    No, my brother was the oldest. I was beaten every day and so were the others. Very, very badly. My whole life I was always terrified. Just the sound of my mother's footsteps on the stairs was enough to let us tremble of fear. We were neglected, we were beaten and we were psychologically and emotionally abused.

    When did it stop?

    SINÉAD:
    I was 13 when I left my mother. I do want to say that I have discussed this with my family and we have overcome it. And I love my father and mother very much. I'm not saying now: 'Assholes' or 'poor me' or something like that and I think it's important to make that clear for my family. But also to other people - that such a thing is possible. I was always encouraged to steal and one of the ways to not be beaten was coming home with money or something, so my sister and I committed theft. We never went to bed before 2 am, we never made our homework. That's why I don't have any diplomas. We were always sick; we were always completely confused. So by the time I left, I didn't know who the hell I was or what I did. I always had problems with the police because of the stealing. So when I started to live with my dad, I suddenly had all that freedom and I couldn't handle that. So I was skipping school and started to steal again. Then I was sent to one of those institutions for girls with behavioural problems. You were re-educated there. But I was never re-educated and neither were the other girls. They were nice people, but no one ever took the time to talk with me and to prepare me for society. I was mainly being punished because of who I am and I was rejected for who I am. Because my parents had made me so and because society had made my parents so. It's not enough that you take a child away from its parents. The parents themselves also need help. It's not enough to take the children away or to lock them away. The laws need to be changed, so that children can really be helped. Many times the police visited our house because the neighbours heard us scream and then the police came in and they asked: 'Is everything all right?' and then we were shitting our pants, because we couldn't say that everything was not okay, because what could they do? They would return and then we would be beaten into a pulp if we had told them that everything wasn't all right, so we said: 'Yes, everything is fine'. And then they left. The police cannot do anything. There should be more help from the government for women with children. Women lose themselves when they get children. Women shouldn't get to hear that they need to stay home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because that's just not good. A woman should be able to be herself and lead her own life. So the governments can help with that. When I grew up, I was always told how ugly I was, that I should be ashamed for my body and if you liked your body, you were a tramp, a piece of shit. It was never told to me that sex was something natural between two people who love and understood each other. The media taught me that sex was something you could have with anyone and that it was completely acceptable. That was also made clear by Rock and Roll.

    Did that bother you when you heard that in Rock and Roll?

    SINÉAD:
    It seemed as if sex was the only situation in which people could feel love. Only there, they can be intimate, so therefore they do it with everyone around them. But that doesn't work. That's just not the solution. We see that, so we try it, but if we see something else, we may try that.

    Did the Church confuse you about sex?

    SINÉAD:
    In my opinion the Church should just shut their mouth about sex for the following reasons. At first they never have sex themselves, or at least, they're not supposed to have sex. The second reason is, that they do have sex. During the referendum on abortion, priests in Ireland were regularly fucking young girls and making them pregnant. I know many examples of that. I know a woman who has a relationship for 20 years with a priest. He always stayed priest, also after the referendum on abortion and the referendum on divorce, and so on. What would he have done if she got pregnant? I know another case of a priest who impregnated a young girl, sent her to London for an abortion, picked her up from the boat and was looking at his watch so he wouldn't be too late for the mass at home. And this was during the referendum on abortion. They should keep their goddamn mouths shut, because they're all screwing around. They may start a lawsuit against me, but it's the damn truth. They should just shut their mouths.

    What do you think of the way sex is being talked about in rap?

    SINÉAD:
    That's of course sexism, but if you start on black music, you also have to mention white music. There are examples everywhere of disgusting videos of abused women. What do you think of that 'Cherrie Pie' record with that video where that girl is being hosed down with a garden hose? What do they want to say with that? And what do you think of 'Love in an Elevator'? What is that about? Do people have to understand from it that you can just have sex with a girl that you accidentally meet in an elevator?

    It's all about fantasy, black or white. Rock and Roll tries to be an entertaining fantasy.

    SINÉAD:
    I don't believe Rock and Roll is about entertainment.

    Neither do I, but it is entertainment.

    SINÉAD:
    It has become entirely entertainment.

    It's been always that way, right?

    SINÉAD:
    No, that's not true. Look at the 1960s. There was entertainment and there were other people, who had to say something, and everyone's record was being played. Then people started to realize that those people were getting too much power and then the records by people who had to say something, weren't played anymore. The people who provided entertainment, were shoved forward, but those are people who have nothing to say, about anything, but they write very nice tunes, that everyone likes. But the others are pushed aside. Our records are not being played anymore, we don't win Grammies. We don't win awards because we are good at…

    Your records are being played.

    SINÉAD:
    No, that's not true. 'Nothing Compared 2 U' was played. But before that they had never played a record by me and from now one they most probably wouldn't play a record by me.

    I think so

    SINÉAD:
    I don't think so. It has nothing to do with the audience. Because the audience only knows what it gets to hear and if there's something they don't hear, they can of course not have an opinion about it.

    Isn't this more like 'what came first, the chicken or the egg'? What's being played on the radio and what's shown on MTV is what the audience wants.

    SINÉAD:
    It wants what it's used to.

    Do you think English and American society is apathetic and complacent?

    SINÉAD:
    We are made that way. It's been done so we don't want anything anymore, we're becoming a race that never asks questions anymore. They don't have a clue of the evil that's around, of what's been manipulated and regulated. They don't know that what they see, has to form them into a kind of person that don't asks questions, one that will fight for America and then thinks that it's damn good.

    What's your opinion on the Gulf War

    SINÉAD:
    I found it despicable, because so many lies were being told. But about that war, the truth will surface one day. Do you really think America gives a damn what is happening to the people in Kurdistan? What about then with Panama?

    Let's stay a while with Kuwait. Actually the US has encouraged Iraq to invade Kuwait, that we know for a fact. But what I find disgusting is that we didn't celebrate that we had liberated a people, no, we had celebrated that we had beaten someone.

    SINÉAD:
    We are made that way. We don't even mind when our sons die for those reasons. We think it's a good deal. We don't doubt it. We don't say: 'Why is my son in Kuwait?' We say: 'My son is in Kuwait, isn't that great?' That's child abuse. The fact that they sell stickers of the Gulf War to young kids, to put in their albums, is disgusting. Very disgusting. If all money that's being spent on weapons, would be spent on something constructive, if we would invest that in the earth, then there's no reason why not everyone, to the last person on this planet, would have enough to eat. Every day 40,000 children die because of hunger. Of hunger. Imagine, that your child would die of hunger.. That's happening to 40,000 women now. And it's really not necessary.

    When you refused to allow the American anthem before your concert, very few people have defended your point of view.

    SINÉAD:
    Nobody stood up for me with that Grammy incident, and I'll remember that. No one. Not a single asshole stood up for me, they are all shitty cowards. And I'm talking about the artists then.

    I thought it was interesting that people like DJs, who usually are left-liberal, and are playing songs like 'Ohio' and 'Give Peace a Chance' on the anniversary of the Kent State Murders, were attacking you.

    SINÉAD:
    That's just 'in'. South-Africa is 'in'. Neil Young is 'in'. That's safe.

    Why do you think that people wanted to throw you out of the country?

    SINÉAD:
    For starters because I'm a girl. If I was a man, they would have never been so insulted. A woman with a shaved head, wearing Doc Martens shoes, who doesn't do what is expected from women, who hasn't finished her school, and didn't become what they wanted her to become, and then has the guts to complain about the American anthem. They'll tell everyone that I'm evil all the way.

    When you look back to that incident, would you handle it differently?

    SINÉAD:
    No, absolutely not. I'm proud of it. Until the day I die I'll be proud of that and that Grammy stuff. Something like, put on your seatbelts, because I'm not done yet.

    You rarely meet a person like that nowadays, Sinéad, someone who speaks out so clearly.

    SINÉAD:
    We don't have any spirituality anymore, that's it. We don't have the slightest idea why we are here. We have not a clue of - Jesus came to Earth to show that the truth is important enough to die for. Jesus chose to be crucified, a horrible death. He shit his pants. No one should tell me he wasn't scared. He sweated blood. But he rather did that, then saying that what he was telling wasn't true. And I believe that. I kept that from religion, that Jesus came here to show me that the truth is important enough to die for.

    What will happen when your next album comes out and your record company saySinéad: Sinéad, you have to apologize for that stuff with the anthem, because otherwise no one will play it.

    SINÉAD:
    I couldn't care less, if they will play my records on the radio or not, because what I do, I do for myself and my record company doesn't understand that. They would throw in their own windows, so you wouldn't think they will say something like that? They are not that stupid by the way. They surely know I'm not that unique. I just express what millions of people feel. I can bring those ideas forward. I do that for all abused children, for all women and for all people who are completely oppressed.

    Is society really afraid for woman?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, and therefore they kept women under the thumb. The women who are being admired, are women with blond hair and fat lips, wearing red lipstick and short skirts, because that's an accepted image of a woman.

    Why?

    SINÉAD:
    Because it's safe. It's not threatening, intimidating. I'm threatening and intimidating because I don't conform to such things and I just say things what I think. Madonna is probably the biggest example for women in the USA. That's a woman where people look up to, who they see as someone who puts an effort into the rights of women. A woman who has insulted me, who has said that I looked as if I was hit by a lawnmower and that I was just as sexy as a rolling-shutter. So that's the woman to which America is looking up to, who supports the rights of women, someone who puts another woman down because she's not sexy.

    What's the solution for women? I mean, I assume you're not taking one of those radical-feminist views…

    SINÉAD:
    No, I'm not a feminist or whatever. I'm just a humanist. I believe in people and I believe in God. And so I live my life. That's all. I have an idea why I'm here on Earth and what will happen next.

    What drives you? What motivates you?

    SINÉAD:
    My belief in God.

    Do you have the feeling that God manifests itself in Jake?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I have that feeling.

    When I met you for the first time, you seemed very shy. Today you certainly don't come across as shy. Do you have the feeling, that you can change the setbacks in life, into energy?

    SINÉAD:
    I don't hold myself back by setbacks. And I know what's true; I've seen examples of the truth and because of the fact that God exists. You can find examples everywhere. I know the truth is important enough to fight and die for. It's worth it all. What Keith Richards said about his problems with the authorities and drugs, that's the truth: 'I don't live by your petty little rules.' That's not necessary. And if there's something that I want to show people, it is that they don't have to either.

    Do you find yourself ethical?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I'm extremely ethical.

    Do you find yourself a good person?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I try to be a good person. I'm not a bad person. I do my best to be as good as possible. Or rather, I do my best to live according to God's word. I think organized religion is like a crutch. It regulates everything. They tell you what to think, what to believe and who you have to be. I don't believe in one Catholic Church. I believe in every church. I believe in Buddhism. I believe in Hinduism. I believe in every religion. I believe you can get something out of every religion. There's however only one God. It's just different interpretations and many different things you have to learn. You can't exclude any religion. I used to lie scared to death under my bed, because I believed I was going to hell and burn there. It's outrageous to tell a child that God sees everything and knows what you think and that you will burn in hell. That's child abuse. It's bad to teach children that God isn't present in them. That God is larger than them. That God is outside of them. That's a lie. That's why children are so empty.

    Which artists are, according to you, occupied with something else than their own success?

    SINÉAD:
    I think the Hip hop movement cares about a number of things. It also has some negative aspects though…

    Niggers With Attitude couldn't care less

    SINÉAD:
    N.W.A. are important because they come out for the truth. They speak about how life is for certain people. If you don't like what N.W.A. is saying, then you have to find out why they are saying that. How come that adult men have that attitude towards women? Child abuse.

    What do you think of Public Enemy?

    SINÉAD:
    In my opinion Public Enemy has done a lot of good. That professor Griff is completely crazy of course. He's completely mad. But other than that I think they've done a lot of good. In my opinion the Hip hop and reggae has done a lot of good. More than I've ever experienced.

    I find that very interesting that you say that, because the rappers are constantly getting their asses kicked for being sexist.

    SINÉAD:
    So why not Heavy Metal then?

    Because they are predominately white, I think

    SINÉAD:
    Exactly. White men are allowed to be sexy, but black men aren't. As soon as us white women felt attractive towards black men, the problems started. As soon as we started to think: 'Oh, what a nice people', the problems started. They don't want that we get children from black men. They don't want us to understand the black man and the black race.

    Isn't it difficult to not get stuck in your own problems? How do you do that?

    SINÉAD:
    I'm constantly asking myself questions. And I have my spiritual convictions. I believe it helps, when you don't think yourself as being so great. Because God knows when I'm a dammed fool.

    How do you handle your fame?

    SINÉAD:
    You get used to that. I didn't like it at all and there are sides to it I still don't like, but it's my destiny nevertheless.

    Do you think the fact that you're famous, isolates you?

    SINÉAD:
    Do you mean that because of that I don't know how it is for other people?

    I mean, that you're not being treated as ordinary people.

    SINÉAD:
    But I am an ordinary person and I'm being treated the same way. I experience a lot of prejudice because of my appearance, by who I am, what I am and what I stand for. Just like everyone else.

    That's because people are afraid of you. You intimidate them.

    SINÉAD:
    I don't do that on purpose. They are afraid of me because I don't conform to what they expect of me, because I have a shaved head, because I say what I think. But if they feel intimidated by that, then it's not my problem. I've to fight against that, may I can't lose myself in the struggle. That's one thing fame has done for me, I have the possibility to really mean something. And I'm planning that.

    Do you feel alone?

    SINÉAD:
    No, no, not that. I felt isolated, I did. Because people know beforehand what kind of person you are.

    Are you working with new music now?

    SINÉAD:
    No.

    Are you soon planning to?

    SINÉAD:
    Not soon no.

    When then? In a year?

    SINÉAD:
    I've no idea. But right now I have nothing to say through music.

    I think that people, at a certain level, enjoy your opposition.

    SINÉAD:
    More than the media let you believe. Because I've never received an insulting letter from anyone. I receive hundreds, really hundreds of letters of people and they all support me.

    How do you convince the other artists, that they will take such a powerful stand like you have?

    SINÉAD:
    You can't. You can only manage that with yourself. I've given up convincing other artists.

    So you did try?

    SINÉAD:
    I expected that people would put their money where their mouths were when that controversy at the Grammies took place. Bu now I've really given up. I just do what I want and they can all go to hell. Either they stand behind me or they don't; but I don't care anyway. If you look at the Hip hop scene, I think they are the only people who have fought for the truth one way or the other and been yelled at for it the most. It's easy to yell at them because they are black.

    They are also threatening and scary.

    SINÉAD:
    Because they are black

    Who are your heroes now?

    SINÉAD:
    The black people are my heroes. Bob Marley is a big hero for me. I think that the African culture and the people who have fought for the preservation of African culture, are my heroes and my example. Also the Buddhists are an example for me.

    Do you fall easily in love? Can you easily love someone?

    SINÉAD:
    Oh yes. But it's not easy for me to show my love. I also don't feel very comfortable when someone verbally or physically expresses his love for me because I - of course uh, I don't know, I'm very insecure and have little self-confidence.

    Which part of child abuse is intentional according to you?

    SINÉAD:
    It's all unintentional. They're all just adult children with their own children. It was all not intended.

    Have you ever talked about this with your mother?

    SINÉAD:
    No. Before I could talk about it with my mother, she had passed away for a long time, but I know that she knows how I think about it. I did talk a lot about it with my father. It was all not intended.

    Did he know what had happened?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, he knew it. He really tried his best, he did what he could do, what was in his power. It was all not intended.

    Have you never hoped, deep in your heart, that he would drop by and take you all with him?

    SINÉAD:
    He did that, he had done that. But we also couldn't live without mother.

    You rather wanted to go back?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, look, instead of letting kids go from one parent to the other, you have to help the parent. It's him or her who needs help. You know, it doesn't happen all on purpose, that's the sad thing about it all. They are wasted lives, very sad.

    Would you wish you could talk with your mother now? Do you wish she was right here?

    SINÉAD:
    No, because it's better for her and for me that she's dead. Now that she's dead, I have a better relationship with her than when she was still alive. I remember that I talked about it before she passed away and I said: 'Why did you hit us?' And she said: 'I've never done you anything.' She believed that she had done nothing, because it was too shocking for her to deal with it. Now I'm very sure that she was very sad when she had hit us, because my father has told me that afterwards she was always completely upset. I think that she - and my father thinks the same by the way - was destined to be unhappy. She had in her life all possibilities to be happy, all circumstances were there for her. Just like with me. But she couldn't be happy. She couldn't express herself, she couldn't give love. She had to be abused as a child, one way or another. She really couldn't show love. She just couldn't handle it. I love my mother. I've always loved my mother. I've always understood that she didn't mean it that way, even when she hit me. I've never hated her; I've never had a grudge against her. I've always understood that she suffered herself and that she didn't know what she was doing.

    Do you notice the fact that you're famous causes a problem for your family?

    SINÉAD:
    Absolutely. It has been one big source of misery. Because there was so much crap in our family, it was easy to blame me for all that crap, because I was famous and really, my family couldn't handle that. Because they saw me more often in papers than in real life, they thought I only worried about myself and that I couldn't care less about the rest. In the beginning of this year I just had a nervous breakdown, because I had the feeling I was behind a wall from which I could look outside but no one could look inside: nobody saw me and around me were all those people who said I didn't care about anyone else. Nobody talks with you about the weather or the price of eggs, dammit. I wanted to kill myself, because there was such a big gap between me and the family. Numerous times I've seriously considered committing suicide. Because I just didn't see a solution. But now everything is all right and we've talked it through, because we love each other and love always conquers. Fortunately.

    Why would someone say that you only care about yourself?

    SINÉAD:
    Because I managed to escape. I've escaped, that's all. I've taken care that my dreams have come true. Mine have come true, but those from the others not at all. I remind the people constantly that they are suffering. And when I talk in public about these matters, they don't like that. Because they rather want to wipe these things under the rug.

    Which of your dreams haven't come true?

    SINÉAD:
    None of my dreams have come true: it's an ongoing process.

    And your dreams about men?

    SINÉAD:
    I'm not dreaming about a man. I dream about the things of which I learned to dream as a child. That's all bullshit. That's child abuse as well. You are raised with the idea that a woman isn't complete if she hasn't found a man, and so on, and so on, and not having any kids. That's bullshit.

    Don't you agree with that? I'm not feeling complete without a woman

    SINÉAD:
    No, I want to be complete myself. Also with a man you can be incomplete. I strive to be a complete person. If that means that a man belongs to me, fine, but I'm not complete because he belongs to me. Of course I desire after a man who falls desperately in love with me. If that happens, it happens and I cannot do anything about that. In the mean time I'm dreaming that I discover myself. Because I'm bald, people assume I'm angry. And because I express myself rather direct and have a face of which you cannot always read what I feel or think or what I say - I just always look angry, real angry. But I'm not. I'm Irish. I invite anyone from the USA to come to Ireland and study Irish women. I'm a typical Irish woman, especially a typical Irish woman from Dublin. We are tough women. At the same time we are soft, but we are tough and don't mess around. And we curse a lot.

    Suppose you will meet a man and you would fall in love with him and he with you and he would say: 'I love you and I'm crazy about you, but I saw a picture of you with a wig and you looked fantastic. Don't you want to let it grow?

    SINÉAD:
    Then I would realize that he doesn't love me at all.

    But maybe he would really love you. It's not a trick question; I don't try to trick you.

    SINÉAD:
    Oh, no, no. I just would think: 'Get the hell out of here.' Look, if I want to grow my hair - which I want - then that's something I want and not because someone else would like that.

    Is that kind of intimidation something you have thought out yourself?

    SINÉAD:
    No.

    Are you sure?

    SINÉAD:
    Absolutely. I haven't consciously made up such thoughts. That's because of…

    You've thought it subconsciously?

    SINÉAD:
    No! It's because I enjoy wearing certain clothes. It's because I like to have my hair a certain way and that I feel the same as all other people. Everyone judges a book by its cover. The have always scolded me about my appearance.

    Is that the reason why you shaved your head?

    SINÉAD:
    No. I just refuse to become someone else because of that.

    Do you want to wake up every morning with the feeling you have to defend your views in life?

    SINÉAD:
    I have to do that every day, yes. In certain situations.

    Don't you ever want to get away for a long weekend, and to leave behind all those things Sinéad O'Connor has to deal with every day, just to not care about it for a while?

    SINÉAD:
    What I'm dealing with, is what God instructs me. And I gladly do that.

    You are really sincerely convinced by that, right?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, I believe that God doesn't load someone with more than he can handle.

    Is the fact that you keep shaving your head - clearly a conscious choice - is that, perhaps even subconsciously, because you're a victim as well? Was a victim.

    SINÉAD:
    First, the fact that I had shaved my head was never conscious. I mean, I didn't try to say anything with that. I just got bored once, and I wanted to shave my head, that's all. It was already shaved at the sides and I didn't want to go further then. That stuff with hair is in my opinion a huge subconscious standpoint, yes. Yes, I suppose that's it's a subconscious rejection of conforming oneself, and from family and everything that you can understand in that word 'family'. I'm letting it grow at the moment.

    Do you have the feeling that you're a victim?

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, me and millions of other people with me, we are the victim of a society that strives after material success to fill the void in them. And the result is, that people are immensely suffering and that leads to child abuse. And I'm a victim of that, yes. I'm a victim of a society that doesn't believe in self-expression or fights for the truth.

    What's the future of Rock And Roll, you think?

    SINÉAD:
    That's very difficult. At first, you can't see music separately from politics, because music has always been the voice of the people. If you like it or not, it's always been that way. (Sighs) God, I believe that the music industry nowadays is a micro cosmos of the world in its whole. And you can see that the most important goals in the music industry are materialistic and the most important goals of the artists are: fame, being famous, money. That's what it's about and they stuff their videos full of it and tell everyone else. I wish that would change.

    Hip hop is doing that more than anything else

    SINÉAD:
    I don't believe they're doing it more than the others. They're doing it as much as the videos of Heavy Metal.

    In Hip hop they are more aware of status symbols

    SINÉAD:
    Yes, because the black people are the poorest people in the USA. And they don't want to live in poverty and they are convinced it's about material success, that it's about that. And that is just not true. And it's outrageous when artists keep promoting that conviction.

    Do you believe Rock and Roll will continue to exist in the future?

    SINÉAD:
    It's in decline. You turn on the radio, to any station in the world, and the only thing you hear is crap. You never hear a record. You hear entertainment and a part of that is very good; but you'll never hear conscious music. You'll never hear something that inspires you, by which you start to think, by which you start to fantasize. You'll never hear that. It's in decline.

    One last question: What's the best Irish joke you ever heard?

    SINÉAD:
    Why are Irish jokes so stupid?

    I don't know, why?

    SINÉAD:
    Because the English are supposed to understand them.

    Bob Guccione Jr.

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  • Frederick Leboyer

    Frederick Leboyer

    Frederick Leboyer (born November 1, 1918) is a French obstetrician, best known for his 1975 book, Birth Without Violence, which popularized gentle birthing techniques, in particular, the practice of immersing newly-born infants in a small tub of warm water — known as a "Leboyer bath" — to help ease the transition from the womb to the outside world. He graduated from the University of Paris School of Medicine.

    The book "Birth Without Violence" can be read here. (PDF)
    An excerpt:

    "Do you believe that birth is an enjoyable experience "for the baby?"
    "Birth?... Enjoyable?"
    "You heard me! Do you believe that babies feel happy coming into this world?"
    "You're joking."
    "Why should I be joking?"
    "Because babies are just babies."
    "What is that supposed to mean?"
    "That babies aren't capable of intense feeling."
    "What makes you so certain?"
    "Babies don't have fully developed feelings."
    "How do you know?"
    "Well, don't you agree?"
    "If I did, I wouldn't be asking."
    "But everybody knows they don't."
    "Since when has that ever been a good reason to believe anything?"
    "True. But newborn babies can't see or even hear, so how can they feel unhappy?"
    "Even if they can't see or hear, that doesn't stop them from crying their hearts out."
    "A baby has to test its lungs. That's common knowledge."
    "Nonsense." "Well, that's what people say." "People say all kinds of stupid things. But do you really believe that babies feel nothing at all while they're being born?"


    Bibliography

    • Birth Without Violence (1975)
    • Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage (1976)
    • Inner Beauty, Inner Light (1978)
    • Birth Without Violence (DVD, re-released 2008 through New Earth Records)



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  • The Empathetic Author List

    Here's a random list of authors, who have written in an empathetic and understanding way about how people are seriously damaged during their childhood, birth and their prenatal life in the womb.

    - The Drama of the Gifted Child, (1978, revised in 1995)
    - Prisoners of Childhood (1981)
    - For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence (1983)
    - Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child (1984)
    - Banished Knowledge: Facing Childhood Injuries
    - The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness
    - Pictures of a Childhood: Sixty-six Watercolors and an Essay
    - Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios (1998)
    - Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth
    - The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness (2001)
    - The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting (2005)
    - Free From Lies: Discovering Your True Needs (2009)
    http://groups.google.com/group/realpsychohistory?hl=en
    http://lists.topica.com/lists/psychohistory/read?sort=d&start=0

    - The History of Childhood (1974)
    - A Bibliography of Psychohistory (1975)
    - The New Psychohistory (1975)
    - Jimmy Carter and American Fantasy (1977)
    - Foundations of Psychohistory (1982)
    - Reagan’s America (1984)
    - The Emotional Life of Nations (2002)
    - The Origins of War in Child Abuse (2010)
    http://www.freedomainradio.com/FreeBooks/psychohistory.aspx
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB3CHwRZKxE
    • Jim Duffy & Robert Scharf
    • Robert Scharf
    http://www.arthurjanov.com
    - The Primal Scream (1970, 1999)
    - The Anatomy of Mental Illness (1971)
    - The Primal Revolution: Toward a Real World (1972)
    - The Feeling Child (1973)
    - Primal Man: The New Consciousness (1976)
    - Prisoners of Pain (1980)
    - Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience (1984)
    - New Primal Scream: Primal Therapy 20 Years on (1992)
    - Why You Get Sick and How You Get Well: The Healing Power of Feelings (1996)
    - The Biology of Love (2000)
    - Grand Delusions: Psychotherapies Without Feeling (2005, online)
    - Sexualité et subconscient : Perversions et déviances de la libido (2006)
    - Primal Healing: Access the Incredible Power of Feelings to Improve Your Health (2006)
    - The Janov Solution: Lifting Depression Through Primal Therapy (2007)
    - De Stem van het Jonge Kind. Over de affectieve rechten van het prenatale en jonge kind (1997)
    - Het Miskende Kind in Onszelf. Invloeden van de kindertijd op het latere leven (2001)
    - De Mythe van de Gelukkige Kindertijd. Zoektocht naar het miskende kind in onszelf (2006)
    The Misrecognized Child in Ourselves (PDF)
    Caesarean birth: Psychological aspects in babies (PDF)
    - Screams From Childhood (2004)
    - Bradshaw On: The Family (1986, 1996)
    - Bradshaw On: Healing the Shame that Binds You (1988)
    - Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child (1990)
    - Creating Love (1992)
    - Family Secrets (1995)
    - Reclaiming Virtue: How To Develop The Moral Intelligence to Do The Right Thing At The Right Time For the Right Reason (2008)
    - Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (1987)
    - A Gift to Myself: A Personal Guide to Healing My Child Within (1990)
    - Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition (1991)
    - Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting, and Enjoying the Self (1994)
    - Memory and Abuse: Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma (1995)
    - The Truth About Depression: Choices for Healing (2003)
    - Misinformation Concerning Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors (2002)
    - My Recovery: A Personal Plan for Healing (2003)
    - The Truth About Mental Illness: Choices for Healing (2004)
    - The Power of Humility: Choosing Peace Over Conflict in Relationships (2006)
    - Intimate Violence: The Causes and consequences of Abuse in the American Family (1988)
    - Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Children (1994, 2001)
    - Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family (2006)
    • Thomas Stone
    - Cure by Crying: How to Cure Your Own, Depression, Nervousness, Headaches, Violent Temper, Insomnia, Marital Problems, Addictions by Uncovering Your Repressed Memories (1997)
    -Review: http://primal-page.com/crycure.htm
    - Betrayal of Innocence (1978, 1988)
    - Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You (1998)
    - Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (1990, 2001)
    - Alice Miller: Discoveries and Contradictions (2008)
    - Beyond Medication: Therapeutic Engagement and the Recovery from Psychosis (with David Garfield) (2008)
    - Take These Broken Wings (documentary) (2008)
    - From Trauma to Self Enlightenment: Self-Therapy in Twelve Steps (2009)
    - Toward Truth: A Psychological Guide to Enlightenment (2010)
    - A Way Out of Madness: Dealing with Your Family After You've Been Diagnosed with a Psychiatric Disorder (with Matthew Morrissey) (2010)

    Youtube Video Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/dmackler58
    - The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal (2009)
    - The Franklin Scandal (2010)
    - The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct (1961)
    - The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement (1970)
    - The Myth of Psychotherapy: Mental Unraveling as Craziness, Rhetoric, and Oppression (1978)
    - Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted (1996)
    - Psychiatry: The Science of Lies (2008)

    "Psychiatry as an Arm of the State"; Lew Rockwell show podcast, Nov 19, 2008
    http://www.empathictherapy.org

    - Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the "New Psychiatry" (1991)
    - Beyond Conflict: From Self-Help and Psychotherapy to Peacemaking (1992)
    - Talking Back to Ritalin: What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Stimulants and ADHD. Revised (2001)
    - The Heart of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence (2006)
    • Konrad Stettbacher
    - Making Sense of Suffering: The Healing Confrontation with Your Own Past (1994)
    - The Assault on Truth :Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory (1985)
    - A Dark Science: Women, Sexuality, and Psychiatry in the Nineteenth Century (1986)
    - Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing (1988, 1993)
    - Final Analysis: the Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst (1991)

    • Daniel Stern
    - The First Relationship: Infant and Mother (1977, 2002, 2004)
    - The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Development (1985, 1998, 2000)
    - Diary of a Baby: What Your Child Sees, Feels, And Experiences (1990)
    - Motherhood Constellation: A Unified View of Parent-Infant Psychotherapy (1995)
    - Birth of a Mother: How the Experience of Motherhood Changes You for Ever (1998)
    - The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life (2004)
    • Frederique Leboyer
    - Birth Without Violence (1975, 2009)
    - Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage (1976)
    - Inner Beauty, Inner Light (1978)
    - Birth Without Violence (2008)
    - The Art of Giving Birth (2009)
    - The Problem Family (1949)
    - The Free Child (1953)
    - Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing (1960, 1995)
    - Children's Rights: Toward the Liberation of the Child (1971)
    - The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life (2009)
    - How Babies Think: The Science of Childhood (2001)
    - The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind (2000)
    - Words, Thoughts, and Theories (Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change) (1998)
    - The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost (1986)
    - The Language of the Body (1958)
    - Love and Orgasm (1965)
    - The Betrayal of the Body (1967)
    - Pleasure (1970)
    - Bioenergetics (1976)
    - Depression and the Body: The Biological Basis of Faith and Reality (1977)
    - The Way to Vibrant Health: A Manual of Bioenergetic Exercises, co-author Leslie Lowen (1977)
    - Fear of Life (1980)
    - Narcissism: Denial of the True Self (1984)
    - Love, Sex and Your Heart (1988)
    - The Spirituality of the Body (1990)
    - Joy (1995)
    - Honoring the Body: The Autobiography of Alexander Lowen (2004)
    - The Voice of the Body (2005)
    - Father-Daughter Incest (1981, 2001)
    - Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror (1992, 1997)
    - Soul Murder: Persecution in the Family (1973)
    - The Story of Ruth (1981)
    • Leonard Shengold
    - Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation (1991)
    - Father, Don't You See I`m Burning?: Reflections on Sex, Narcissism, Symbolism, and Murder: From Everything to Nothing (1991)
    - The Boy Will Come to Nothing!: Freud`s Ego Ideal and Freud as Ego Ideal (1993)
    - Is There Life Without Mother? Psychoanalysis, Biography, Creativity (2000)
    - Soul Murder Revisited: Thoughts about Therapy, Hate, Love, and Memory (2000)
    - Haunted by Parents (2007)
    - Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process (1994)
    - Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999)
    - Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guide (2004)
    - Angry Adolescents (1969)
    - Religious Thinking from Childhood to Adolescence (1968)
    - Show Me Yours: Children Talking About Sex (1988)
    - Show Me Yours: Understanding Children's Sexuality (1988)
    - Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective (1997)
    - Circumcision, The Hidden Trauma: How an American Cultural Practice Affects Infants and Ultimately Us All (1997)
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  • J. Konrad Stettbacher

    Making Sense of Suffering

    Stettbacher is a psychotherapist in Switzerland, mostly known for his book Making Sense of Suffering (1991), which at the time received much appraisal from Alice Miller, who wrote the foreword. Stettbacher developed his own Primal Therapy and his book builds on the work of Arthur Janov and Alice Miller. He describes a four-step program that enables adults to reconstruct their histories, find and heal their primal childhood traumas.Despite some success stories, Alice Miller denounced him in 1996. Miller wrote: "I inform my readers that I no longer, in any way, support or recommend the therapy developed and practised by Mr. J. Konrad Stettbacher." The reasons she attributed spurred a lot of discussion on the Internet at the time. Though she never was a patient of Stettbacher, Miller's experience with Primal Therapy was with an unknown primal therapist in Switzerland.


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