Hot topic on the PPP
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Mojo [ Sat Dec 24, 2005 4:11 am ]
Post subject:  Hot topic on the PPP

After months in the doldrums, the PPP message board has livened up - thanks to a "Dr. Ferenczi" who claims to be a relative of Freud's disciple, Sandor Ferenczi. Of course, anyone can lay claim to any identity they choose in cyberspace. They could be sitting at a terminal in a public library while they create a persona.

I searched for the name "Francesco Ferenczi" on Yahoo, MSN and Google without success. I also searched for the (mis)spelling he used once on the PPP: "Ferenzci". And the same for "Dr. Ferenczi". Apart from the famous Sandor Ferenczi, I didn't find any psychologists or therapists with that name. There are thousands of people called "F. Ferenczi" however. Some of them might be psychologists.

It's amazing how many people are engaging in extended debates with someone who, in all likelihood, is the 'endless questioner' who wore down Dr. Paul Vereshack -- a patient and tolerant man according to accounts by his clients.

* Mojo *

Author:  Guest [ Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

It wasn't just once he used the alternative spelling. More like half and half.

Author:  Guest [ Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

I was hoping this forum would take off because so many of the threads on the PPP consist of people sniping and arguing. But maybe that's all people want. The Ferenzci/Ferenczi fracas has already taken up two thirds of the message board.

Ian copeland

Author:  Dennis [ Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes, it's pretty sad what's happening in the other forum. Jungian dream analysis mixed in with chatter of who's right or not and who's who. While internet gives us the oportunity to exchange ideas and discuss matters in a very direct and global way, not many forums actually use this. Before Internet, people would be ecstatic with the notion of discussing the things they find interesting, with people from all over the world, without spending a dime on traveling.

I will soon start again to promote this forum. I did change the opening page, for those who missed that: http://www.freepgs.com/primalforum

Or click on the banner on the top of the page.


Author:  ian [ Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Suggestion

The Edward Burtynsky photograph is like something out of a dystopian movie. I haven't eaten chicken for years because of the factory methods used to rear them.

I recently visited the forum from a computer that had a screen resolution of 800x600. I had to do horizontal scrolling to read the dates of the latest posts. I think it's because the logo is a wide image. That doesn't happen on phpBB boards that use the default phpBB logo. Even today, 20% of the internet population still have 800x600 monitors - see:


According to surveys, horizontal scrolling annoys people almost as much as banner ads. Is there any chance of using a narrower logo? Maybe people with 800x600 monitors would visit more often if they didn't have to do horizontal scrolling to participate.

ian copeland

Author:  Mojo [ Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:34 am ]
Post subject:  Primal Chaos

The debates on the PPP with Dr.F. have now taken up the entire page from top to bottom. An announcement of Paul Vereshack's training workshop in Ireland has vanished. On this forum older topics don't disappear to make way for new ones. The onslaught from Janovian defenders towards Dr.F. could actually do more harm to the reputation of primal therapy than Curtis Knecht's warning against cultism. If you eliminate all the argumentative threads on the PPP there aren't many left. It's a good thing that this forum has a moderator who doesn't favor cultism.

* Mojo *

Author:  Phil [ Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:12 am ]
Post subject: 

This forum has been mostly inactive the last few weeks.
At least on the PPP the discussions
have been lively lately. It is amazing that Janov causes such strong feelings among people even if they haven't been to one of his clinics.

On a primal forum it isn't surprising that there will be a lot of discussion
about Janov. It is clear that he has been the main theorist on primal therapy.
Actually, although the PPP is a great website, what is missing are writings from Janov and his trained therapists. It is too bad that this material isn't readily available. Because of this, the website doesn't have a balanced representation of primal therapy, not due to any fault of the website's owner.
This forum isn't balanced either, with the article by Curtis Knecht in a permanent place. Why would what Knecht says necessarily have to be accurate? It is worth reading and pondering, no doubt, since he was a high level therapist at the Primal Institute.

I really don't think that primal therapy has much of a reputaion which could be damaged. I have a book on the history of psychology. It is a big thick book. There is one small paragraph about primal. It says that patients "release the locked up hurts by feeling the ancient feelings and screaming like an enraged infant". It mentions Janov's claims that primal therapy cures mental illness and is the only cure, everything else being invalid. So it doesn't say very positive things. It also states that "the world has not accorded it (primal therapy) the place Janov said it deserved, and it is now an oddity, practiced by relatively few therapists". Unfortunately Janov has largely been the one to damage primal's reputation. But then he built it up in the first place.
I really feel the people who have useful things to say about him and the quality of his therapy are the ones who have been to his clinics as patients and experienced it, or current and past therapists who have worked there.


Author:  Mojo [ Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:20 am ]
Post subject: 

The PPP has had its share of quiet periods, sometimes lasting two or three months. The point is, Phil, that when it erupts into chaos lots of informative postings get eliminated. What you call 'lively' could also be described as a flame war.

What if someone from Ireland visits the message board for the first time? They'll no longer find the announcement of Paul Vereshack's workshop. In fact, I can't remember whether it was Linda Smith or Clare who posted the announcement. The posts are no longer there. I didn't save them because I don't live in Ireland. However, I do think that anyone who has an annoucement of that kind would be better off posting it here.

The reason Janov causes such strong feelings is because he claims that only the therapists he has trained himself are competent to practice primal therapy. Curtis Knecht was one of the ones who served a long apprenticeship. However, as soon as any of his certified therapists leave, he disowns them. Originally, he claimed primal therapy would cure people more quickly than other therapy methods, but that hasn't turned out to be the case. You yourself are an example.

These 'lively' debates are not between outsiders who are trying to peddle cognitive therapy or Freudian psychoanalysis. They are attacks on people who are drawn to feeling therapy but who have misgivings about claims for which they can find no independant confirmation. That's a great pity, because neuroscience has confirmed the biological basis of primal theory. The arguments center around Janov's claim that his techniques are the only ones that work. I don't see Janovians providing references to recent research which confirms the neuro-biological part of the theory.

I guess people who have truly overcome neurosis as a result of primal therapy don't seek out forums to continue debating the theory. But that doesn't stop the ones who are 'stuck' from claiming they are supremely knowledgable about the science, theory and effectiveness of primal therapy. The problem on the PPP is not the quality of the articles on the main website, it's the recurring altercations on the message board.

* Mojo *

Author:  Erron [ Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:50 am ]
Post subject: 

I guess people who have truly overcome neurosis as a result of primal therapy don't seek out forums to continue debating the theory

- you know, that strikes me as the problem in al this: we 'still fucked up' types want to hear from 'the cured', but they no longer need to be involved in such a struggle as trying to 'prove' the therapy's effectiveness.


Author:  Shelley [ Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

And then there's also the possibility that nobody has ever been "cured" of neurosis by primal therapy. That would certainly explain the absence from the message boards of any such people.


Author:  Clare [ Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Primal Chaos

"The debates on the PPP with Dr.F. have now taken up the entire page from top to bottom. An announcement of Paul Vereshack's training workshop in Ireland has vanished. "

Hi Mojo,

I live in Ireland and have been reading the posts on this forum since its inception, and have now posted details of Paul Vereshack's Irish Workshop for anyone who might be interested.

Thanks for reminding me.


Author:  ian [ Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

I was under the impression that you are a moderator for the PSG mailing list. Have become disillusioned with the primal approach? Is there a specific reason?

ian copeland

Author:  Shelley [ Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:50 pm ]
Post subject: 


I was a moderator at PSG for a short time. I'm still a member there, but not a moderator anymore.

Interesting that you chose the word "disillusioned." I came into primal work with many illusions about it. Over the years, I have, indeed, lost those illusions -- in part because primal didn't live up to the hype, but also in part because the feeling work itself burned away some of my need for illusions.

I'm an oddball in the primal community. I've benefited from using the techniques, but I don't believe in the explanations generally offered for what happens when I use those techniques.

I made my comment about the absence of the "cured" from the message boards simply because it seemed logical. I think that people whose lives were dramatically changed for the better by primal work would be likely to want to tell others about it and/or connect with other post-primal people.

And frankly, even if cured folks are too busy living their lives to participate in discussions of primal on the Internet, it seems to me that their friends and families would be so impressed with the cure that the primal centers would be flooded with new patients. Never happened. Why?


Author:  ian [ Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the reply. I'm not really sure why I continue to participate myself. The truth about how my emotional balance got screwed up from childhood onwards isn't better explained by other theoretical systems, but I no longer think primal 'techniques' have much value beyond breaking down defences in the first place. At the end of the day, when troublesome emotional issues have been worked through, a person still has to adapt and function within a social system that is largely unfeeling. Mojo mentioned biographies. These days I no longer consume self-help books. I read autobiographies that deal with similar issues to the ones I have had to deal with. It helps me to feel less alone in a world where most people subscribe to conventional notions of how everyone should feel and behave.

I guess these thoughts really belong in a new topic as they are not related to the 'chaos' on the PPP.

ian copeland

Author:  erron [ Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:18 am ]
Post subject: 

I think that people whose lives were dramatically changed for the better by primal work would be likely to want to tell others about it and/or connect with other post-primal people.

Shelley, you miss my point: the primal hypothesis (not mine) is that people who've felt their pain feel no need to further indulge in struggle of any kind. Argument is a struggle. The need to convince others of anything (such as therapy's effectiveness) is a struggle, continuation of the(ir) struggle. Messianic/proselytizing types are by definition, still in the struggle...


Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC + 1 hour [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group