IPA Certification
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Author:  Shelley [ Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  IPA Certification

I see that Jim Pullaro, who just published the new primal book, is certified as a facilitator by the IPA. From their website, only one other facilitator is certified, Barbara Bryan. I think this certification is something relatively new? Does anyone know?

Here are the certification requirements:


I've heard complaints that Janov never certifies anyone. Perhaps this is IPA's response to those complaints?

I'd be curious to know whether anyone would find certification, either by Janov or by the IPA, to be helpful in choosing a therapist. Personally, I don't think I'd give it much weight.


Author:  Phil [ Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:06 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Shelly,

The IPA certification process is recent. Begun within the last 5 years.

Also there is a therapist training program run by Barbara Bryan and Sam Turton. It is their training program but was created after many years of consideration within the IPA. That is my understanding.

I think this came about because of the lack of "qualified" primal therapists. I don't think this is a response to Janov.

I feel the certification has value and holds some weight, at least for me.
It means that the individual has been evaluated in the ways indicated in the link. But because it is new, there are some long time therapists who haven't yet been certified.

With Janov therapists I might want to know how long they spent being trained, whether they were allowed to do sessions at his center etc.
I would be interested since I had therapy at a Janov Center. To become a senior therapist requires a lot of training with Janov.


Author:  Guest [ Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  What makes a 'good' therapist.


Reading Shelley and Phil's posts about IPA certification, and Janov's refusal to certify...

I would love to hear from others as to what makes a good primal therapist? I have heard of recent abuses of power, and cultist behaviour in the primal gossip.

But what is the standard? Where is the benchmark? Is it years of 'experience' or 'Certification.

One man's meat is another man's poison, so besides having to 'shop around' the world, how can one be guaranteed a safe facilitator for this very sigificant process.


Author:  Phil [ Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:50 am ]
Post subject: 


I know you wanted to hear from others, but this is a very inactive forum.

There is no guarantee about a safe primal facilitater. The best way to find one might be to ask around and talk to the pontential therapist.

The client should like the therapist as a person. At least I have found that true for me. The therapist should have already gone through a lot of his or her own feeling work. That is necessary but is not enough in itself.

Self primallers might say that is the safest route, but I think it has a low likelihood of succuess.

It is a good question you ask, I hope there are more responses.


Author:  Dennis [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:44 am ]
Post subject: 

guest wrote:
how can one be guaranteed a safe facilitator for this very significant process.

There's no guarantee. Sometimes you have to take a risk. But informing yourself as much as you can about the Primal process cannot hurt you.

When it comes to self-therapy it doesn't mean you have to do everything alone. It means doing the work without a licensed therapist. You can find other supportive people to help you express and integrate Primal Pain.

Regarding Phil's comment about this being a 'very inactive forum'. John Speyrer's site didn't have many visitors but more than this one and sometimes there weren't any posts for months.


Author:  Shelley [ Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

I agree with Phil and Dennis that there's no guarantee. No guarantee of safety and no guarantee of competence. To some extent, this is true of all therapy, not just primal, but primal therapy is inherently more dangerous than more superficial therapies.

You asked what makes a good primal therapist. I suspect that varies for different clients. For me, it was someone who was client-centered and open to letting me lead the way and do what I needed to do when I needed to do it. I needed a therapist who was not bound by dogmatic belief in a particular methodology or theory of human function. I like a therapist who has enough doubt to be able to say, at least at times, "I really don't know what I'm doing."

All therapists have flaws and blind spots (as do all humans). I would choose a therapist who is willing to share enough or himself or herself on a personal level that a client can learn where the therapist's blind spots are. The therapist should have done enough personal work to be able to verbalize some of that at the outset, and should be willing to look at himself or herself and own whatever is coming from him or her and every point in the therapeutic process.

Now, I've talked to clients who weren't interested in any of that. They just wanted someone there while they did their work. They didn't want an interactive relationship with a therapist. I once remarked to a friend that I hadn't liked working with a particular therapist because she wasn't smart enough, and my friend (who had also worked with her) said that didn't matter to him.

So, I think we're all looking for different things, and in the end, your best guarantee is to look deeply within yourself, try to find what you need, and then use that as your polestar to determine whether you are getting what you need from your therapist. Of course, for those of us in deep pain, especially early in therapy, it's extremely difficult, perhaps impossible to know what we need, and extremely easy to be pulled off the path that we need to follow by incompetent and dangerous therapists who offer us relief from the pain. It certainly happened to me, and I had to keep coming back to myself, over and over again, to correct the missteps that I took.

I'm sorry to talk so much in generalities. I imagine that you're looking for more concrete advice, and that's much harder to give. To me, years of experience means more than certification from a primal organization, but I wouldn't rely on experience, nor would I necessarily reject a therapist simply because he or she didn't have years of experience. I suspect the therapist's experience is more important if you're new to primal work.

Interview therapists. If they've written articles or book, read them. Ask around and try to talk to people who have worked for them. Ask prospective therapists for client or former client references (but know that they're unlikely to put you in touch with an unsatisfied client). Google them. Join a primal group and ask people there (although some groups have rules limiting talk about therapists).

Best of luck,

Author:  Phil [ Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

It can be helpful to work with a supportive feeling friend who isn't a therapist. But I think there is definitely a large set of skills and knowledge to be a primal therapist. I can definitely notice the difference.
And it has nothing to do with standard licensing for clinical psychology.
Safety is only one consideration, although a real important one.
The therapist needs to have the skills to be able to get the person primalling.
At least for me, my estimation is that I would not have made progress at the beginning without a good therapist. But friends have been a great help since then. But it will be different for everyone.


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