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Primal Therapy and Sex Differences

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:14 pm
by Guest
In reading more about trauma integration to the brain, it is starting to become apparent that the "unisex" view of the human brain in primal therapy might be missing the boat. It's of course far worse in traditional therapy, where the model is almost completely feminized. Our early brain structure was forged in the context of a tribe, and in the western world, women basically have to "be the man" and get needs met in a very unnatural way. I think that makes them mad. So it makes sense that therapy reflects that. Women are not getting their needs met at a very deep level, and men are being feminized...and it's impact is lost amidst a huge primal suppression of feelings ( the addict culture of the west).

I came across one article that seemed to address this via the topic of sexual abuse.

"Because Schiffer's research indicated that childhood trauma was associated with diminished right-left hemisphere integration, we decided to look for some deficiency in the primary pathway forinformation exchange between the two hemispheres, the corpus callosum.In 1997 Andersen and I collaborated with Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health to search for the posited effect. Togetherwe found that in boys who had been abused or neglected, the middleparts of the corpus callosum were significantly smaller than in the control groups. Furthermore, in boys, neglect exerted a far greater effect than any other kind of maltreatment. In girls, however, sexual abuse was a more powerful factor, associated with a major reduction in size of the middle parts of the corpus callosum. These results were replicated and extended in 1999 by De Bellis. Likewise, the effects of early experience on the development of the corpus callosum have been confirmed by research in primates by Mara M. Sanchez of Emory."

It would make sense that all trauma is read differently depending on sex differences. Considering the definition of "primal" to be integrating the whole brain ( imprints absorbed and recognized), wouldn't RST ( as a primal therapy) be also not accounting for sex differences? Wouldn't this impact therapy strongly? How about trusting feelings? Often a man is punished in western society for not acting like a woman. Would this not be woven into defences? What if a man is "discussing all his feelings" with a woman in a primary relationship and thinks this is intimacy? How far can his primal therapy go? Here in Latin America it doesn't seem as apparent, although the most matriarchal societes are "machista".

When I read about primal therapy it almost sounds as if one size fits all. And this doesn't reflect reality.

For some people this might have devastating impact on their therapy ( if a man is using a woman therapist for example....or the reverse). The values of a uni-sex society are so impregnated into the culture, that some people may even have to search for "why it could be a problem". Some of the DEEPEST primal disintegration might remain....disintegrated. When codependent behaviour ( repression of primal feelings using projection in a social structure) is seen as self-enhancing in this context, and the patient thinks he's "doing well" via reflecting his progress off an unnatural non-tribal culture..would this not negatively effect his chance to go "all the way down" and integrate as deeply as possible?


Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:23 am
by Dennis
Small babies are not aware of their sex. It's the other people (adults and older children) that acknowledge their sex by social conditioning. The needs of a small baby are not gender related.

You wrote:
Often a man is punished in western society for not acting like a woman.
Could you explain this more? I see men getting punished for acting more feminine, not the other way around. For example, if I would take my knitting out during a break at work, with the other men, I think I would be ridiculed.

How are men being feminized? Could you give some examples how a man is being feminized?


Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:29 am
by Guest

When I pull out my knitting on the subway, people are going to laugh at me. That?s what happens in feminized societies that don?t understand status as a driver. In tribal societies ?people laughing at me? or any other social rejection concept has already been taken care of at the status level ( where masculine energy emanates from). Dogs don?t ?wait to work it out? during social activities. You have a top dog. You have dogs around him?.in relation to him in a hierarchy, and you have the themes of access to mating rights and resources?and territories that follow suit
(in feminized society, this natural process is seen as ?bad? or ?unfair?...which only reflects the primal pain suppression ). If the male dog started acting female ( being himself?and owning his female part) , all other dogs would simply refer to his status. His primal core. And the dogs that are unsuccessful in mating or territory either die or serve the top dog?or dogs a little bit down in the hierarchy. This is the BASE of our primal nature. Is socialization optional in this context? Do you think it is with humans? Ok to software, but lets please understand the hardware issue. Sure, you could go back to cellular consciousness and skip the human experience, but lets just assume for the moment we?re talking about the ?human school of learning?.

Right now here in Chile dogs bark a LOT. They are all separated and trapped behind huge fences because this is a society where we need guards to stop poor people from stealing from people that have anything. So they are in distress. They are neurotic ( fight or flight repressed). They bark a lot. I think the knitting issue could start to be solved on the subway if EVERYONE would bark and express more. In a truly masculine society this would not be cause for ridicule. At least there would be a more obvious expression of a serious problem going on if people started barking.

Consider the bottom of the argument here. Think of a triangle with 45% angles and a point stuck in the ground. Birth of two humans is happening. One is a male and the other a female emerging from the ground and moving up their respective sides of the triangle in ?identity space?. They reach their ?male? and ?female? status at the respective touching of the next angle. And they are apart a certain distance. DIFFERENT DEVELOPMENTALLY ( primal issue don't you think?). Then they proceed in a straight line, continuing their development, which passes through the corresponding changes?until death. They move about their setting in the world of natural selection, so that genes may be passed on. So now the stick drawing looks like an upside down house with no floor?with the roof stuck in the soil.

Is this reality dealt with in the primal context in a feminized society? Are you saying that because a baby simply feels and is surrounded by people with beliefs, that he is not ?on his way? to growing into THE most fundamental aspect of his identity already programmed? What would your basis for saying that be? How do you account for nature? Do you believe that someone who is not right-left brain integrated is a co-dependent? That?s my premise ( feeling repression at the primal ( natural) level, living in social projection). Isn?t co-dependency de-selfment? Isn?t this situation what feeling the feeling or redirecting the projection what Primal-RST is all about? I?m not sure where you are starting?and where you think you can end up. I would say that a man can?t integrate his left and right brain without including his very nature in the equation. This is what a feminized society tries to suppress and requires a lot of mood-altering to manage ( addiction-codependency..or trapped tears....anger-tears). Do you think that nature will happen spontaneously without consciously choosing these primal needs being met ( after lots of pain has been integrated)? Isn?t this part of the task of a man realizing he is a feeling being in a non-feeling society? I do remember learning something new on this forum when realizing that it?s all about basic needs being met. In a feminized society, basic needs are not being met. Thus the urgent need for primal type therapies. Add to that the fact that addict behaviour creates the illusion that the strategy of mood-altering primal pain is working, and most
people would simply have no idea why primal work is needed.

Perhaps you believe that with enough feeling, one?s defences will lower and an integrated right?left brain will simply ?figure out? that there is a problem with IDENTITY going on? Perhaps this is true to a certain extent, but what about going all the way down? What about that? You know, I?ll have to challenge you on that. Feeling the feeling leads ( with enough going back) to imprint integration and right ( natural) action? It seems as if you are saying exactly that, by default.

A man is both feminine and masculine. So is a woman. For your examples of feminized
(emasculated) men, think to all the examples of non-primal integration in men ( work, sex, social activites, sports, marriages etc.) Men disown their nature and think that social contact is about ?being fair? or ?50-50? and even deny the basis of sexual attraction ( as if that were possible) to meet the needs of a pain-suppressed society. This is simply the parent protection racket and keeping Mom alive as the "solution"...either directly or via the parent replacement. Codependency ( or trapped primal pain in a social setting) works this way.

Attraction is not a choice. How many men are ashamed of being a man? How many women are raging at men for this? Even though the ASK a man to act otherwise ( they must test for strength...and the man takes it literally).

Status means identity. Identity is the basis of sexual attraction which is a driver to passing along genetic information. Our emotions SERVE this process. At the most basic level. In our society, men actually apologize for being men and hope to PLEASE WOMEN by doing so. The cartoon ?success? of this principle of men not pleasing women ?working? and thus generating sexual attraction, would be the bad boy getting the girl. At least it is somewhat right in principle, since it does somewhat reflect nature. Pamela Anderson was with Tommy Lee because he at least acted on his primal energy. It?s a good start. Nice guys should be in extinction or lower down in the pack ( in primitive ( primal) times, they just served the pack). In the reality of survival and replication, Pam certainly shows great replication assets, and Tommy doesn?t give a damn ( strength signal). ?He?d be good at survival? reads Pamela?s sexual engine. So at least we can have some sexual attraction going on. ( overlaid by all the dysfunction and drug abuse which surely matches Pamela?s childhood environment). Society is SO feminized that the only way you can tell the difference between male and female is in the sex act...where masculinity CAN'T be banned. And men have done it. They blame women ( their mothers) for their longing and hunger for wholeness.

But you see the point about sexual attraction and DIFFERENCES between men and women?at a primal level. Nice guys ( emasculated men?or feminized men) are talking about ?social equality? at a primal level. What? No wonder people primal for 30 years and still stay neurotic.

Feminized society. Isn?t this very connected to the mother-son relationship? The irony is that a man who has been feminized in a feminized culture ( the strongest example of a feminized culture is the United States?look at George Bush..he is a leader??) actually is rejecting his feminine. He is trying to get his mother back because his primal wound has not been healed. His feminization is a caricature of the real feminine?which is the entire breadth of the human soul. Intuition?knowing?.the ?all?. Man is challenged to fall into the ?nothingness? and to do so in the company of other men. Initiating adolescents and serving his community. Instead he is ridiculed for not being what he THINKS masculinity is ( showing deep primal disintegration). He thinks masculinity ( in modern society) is cruelty?unfeeling (the core primal issue) and domination. Women angry at their fathers agree, and ask for more justice. And get ever more angry?at a primal level. They of course end up projecting. The man ( in his anger aimed at himself instead of his mother) becomes a GUILTY ICON?..anger-in. Shouldn?t primal therapy be addressing this error? Will ?feeling the feeling? be enough to get him there? I imagine you can see the value of RST if these projections are more clearly understood.

Cruelty. Uufeeling. Domination. Men think femininity is the opposite of this, and makes that a goal?his ?virtue?, and then falls short ( of course). He becomes his mother?s failed son. A repeat of his ashamed father. Where is the leadership? In family systems, don?t you think that the rage for this is going to float around systemically between men and women and babies are going to born into that structure? THIS is what is socialized into babies and it is THIS that is causing the fight or flight suppression at a very basic level.

This is about the core of identity. So it needs to be addressed as a primal issue, not many layers removed and taken out of context ( such as knitting on the subway and being laughed at). We are after all talking about primal therapy, theory and practice.

I believe the focus needs to be on the primal context for the issue of primal therapy and sex differences.

Feminized society isn?t just about the massive pain suppression, it?s an indicator of lack of direction and twisted unnatural identity. It's about Lost Boys fighting it out in an insanity of materialism and greed. Isolated. Addicted. Godless.



Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:31 pm
by Dennis
I'm not sure I understand you this time, John. But are you saying that men have instincts and that they should act on them? Go out with a weapon and hunt? Beat up those who are lower in the hierarchy or challenge the ones higher? And that the women in society have forced men to make laws that prohibit these? But an individual can go out and hunt or beat up other men (in war, football, street territory). But is this natural healthy behavior?

Macho men are usually men who are severly repressed when it comes to expressing their emotions. Janov showed that those men who had a high level of testosterone, had a significant drop after therapy. And those with an exceptionally low level, had a significant increase. After therapy it was more balanced. Men who don't cry have high levels of stress hormones. This has an effect on testosterone. Crying is not feminine behavior. Male and female babies cry just as much (or as little). It's the social conditioning that tell boys not to cry, tell them they are not allowed to express their hurt through a natural human ability.

The generalizations you make don't hold up. If a dad doesn't spend quality time with his son, yes, the son will look for other ways to get a bond with a male idol. Maybe that's the wish for leadership in a boy's life: the wish to have a dad who motivates you, who values you.
Feminized society. Isn?t this very connected to the mother-son relationship? The irony is that a man who has been feminized in a feminized culture ( the strongest example of a feminized culture is the United States?look at George Bush..he is a leader??) actually is rejecting his feminine. He is trying to get his mother back because his primal wound has not been healed. His feminization is a caricature of the real feminine?which is the entire breadth of the human soul. Intuition?knowing?.the ?all?. Man is challenged to fall into the ?nothingness? and to do so in the company of other men.
I have no clue what you're trying to tell us here. Phrases like 'primal wound' don't mean anything. Besides that, you can analyse anyone else to the bone but it's what you feel, think and experience. There are many things wrong with society. But every action has its counter-action.


Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:25 am
by Guest

I like this point : ?It?s what you think and feel that matters?. I believe that this puts balance into the ideas here, and can lead to something very dynamic. Also remember, the bottom line would be primal therapy, practice and theory. How would the ideas in this discussion help someone feel more and have a better quality of life? What principles are being laid bare or raising questions? What is being said here that could be defined better?

Let?s start at the point at which primal therapy starts to really make sense: When defences are broken and passed...leading to feeling and high-low brain integration. ?It?s what you feel and think that matters?. Then lower and higher consciousness can be integrated. All my feelings are in me, not anywhere else
( codependency believes the opposite, thus the success of RST by identifying projections and redirecting them back continually, and improving this process with time and experience?the more I know about my denial ( by feeling) the more I will redirect when I am ?going against? my feelings or am engaging in a defence).

I can only get past my defences ( using primal therapy) to the extent my therapist or those around me mirroring my self-beliefs have themselves. If I IDENTIFY with them, my primal therapy will stop short. I will believe
( for example) that it?s always a ?good idea? to speak in a deeply emotional way with women ( their world) and that is ?intimacy?. In no tribe did this ever happen, and in no way would that allow a man to get to his unique male issues. Men are simply wired differently than women, and are not meant to be in ?equality? with them on the basis of human social function. Value is of course 100% for each, but differentiation is almost eliminated in feminized societies. How would a man reach his deepest aggressions if he is suppressing his hardware?

Women have not at all forced men to do anything. Men have decided this entirely. Macho men are absolutely the most feminized aspect in a feminized society. They are hard like glass and break with the slightest blow. These are the isolated and addicted men, unable to cry and unable to go to war to defend their tribe. They have no boundaries, no self knowledge. What would they fight for?

War. Is what the United States doing ?war?? I hardly think so. Primal wound is by me meant as ?the split?. The place where the self is left behind. The "decision" as a survival mechanism.

It?s not that it?s good or bad that men still seek mates and mate via status ( like dogs)?it just simply is. Imagine the cap on primal material and reinforcement of defences by thinking that unisex primal therapy can work at the deepest of levels. As a rule.

In my own life I have seen that my greatest suppression of feeling occurs at the level of identity. Can you think of a more elemental aspect of identity than being male or female? I would suggest that people deny the extent of this for personal reasons?.their own primal pain. It may happen in a group or be a shared idea, but shared ideas are held by individual people, just like feelings.

The tribal men who integrated into the environment and were forced to have strength to do so, simply acted out who they were. Do animals kill each other out of cruelty? Only humans do that?in modern society. Without our anger at this basic level ( the healthy survival based level) we would have no defence ?we would not have survived. Tribal men didn?t just cry, they wailed together. At age 13 some tribes in Africa actually scarred young boys in the chest during initiation so that they would feel the pain of separation from their mother. I?m not saying we DO this, I?m saying that maybe it might show something about our nature. About what might be down in the split.

A feminized society ( like the United States) means that boys aren?t initiated. They are taught to worship the things that will help them manage unmanageable pain. Do the impossible. I think this is why you see the kinds of violence you see in the U.S. and societies like it.

You know Dennis, it?s funny how the issue you have brought up concerning your impression of instincts in men, and the role of status and how it plays out in men, actually strikes at the very heart of fight or flight suppression. Keeping rage down. How heroic a man has to be to actually BE HIMSELF in a society that threatens him with marginalization if he does.

No, the "nice guy" is about mother-bonded men. Western men have made women idols and thus dehumanized them in the process. Women have ceased to be people in a large way in these societies. They become bodies only...which reflects the anti-spirituality of an anti-self society. All idols don?t feel?.like the men who made them.
This is a topic very easily misunderstood, but worth distilling down to something useful to help a person get through even more defences.

Why bring this up? Why not simply feel feel feel? I think that it might be that defences are more clever than that. Imagine how far I would go feeling, feeling, feeling with a woman therapist?who absolutely cannot understand what it is to be a man. Imagine how far my therapy would go if I started to "build relationships" of "honesty" with women by "sharing everything" and "listening" to my mate in this context! Sexual energy dies, and gender is lost.

By paying attention to human nature, I can learn more about my codependency map ( projections) and the amazing ridigity of my defences as I go down down into the feeling world.

This isn't an easy topic, but I really think there's some gold in it.

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:48 pm
by Dennis
This particular discussion you are having is going in too many directions. I don't understand the concept of feminized society as if men are the victim.
I will believe (for example) that it?s always a ?good idea? to speak in a deeply emotional way with women ( their world) and that is ?intimacy?. In no tribe did this ever happen, and in no way would that allow a man to get to his unique male issues. Men are simply wired differently than women, and are not meant to be in ?equality? with them on the basis of human social function.
Why would you assume that a post-primal man would have the need to talk emotionally with a woman? Are you sure you are not using this theory to explain a failed marriage of your parents or your own? Because I recognize this from older women, who often complained their husband doesn't want to talk about his feelings. What those women want is their father to have talked to them when they were kids.
It?s not that it?s good or bad that men still seek mates and mate via status ( like dogs)?it just simply is.
Could you explain what you mean by 'mate via status, like dogs'?

I'm not denying that men and women can have deep problems with the acceptance of their gender. Janov stated that some women during primal therapy had grown bigger breasts and men started to develop chest hair or developed a deeper voice. I think when a child becomes conscious of its gender, and there's a repressive environment, the body reacts to that.
Do animals kill each other out of cruelty? Only humans do that?in modern society.
Very few humans kill and kill each other out of cruelty. A human that kills, does so because of a terrible traumatic childhood and nothing else.
Why bring this up? Why not simply feel feel feel? I think that it might be that defences are more clever than that. Imagine how far I would go feeling, feeling, feeling with a woman therapist?who absolutely cannot understand what it is to be a man. Imagine how far my therapy would go if I started to "build relationships" of "honesty" with women by "sharing everything" and "listening" to my mate in this context! Sexual energy dies, and gender is lost.
The therapy you're describing isn't primal therapy. A therapist doesn't have to understand the patient. The patient has to understand him or herself (by feeling the repressed pain). If you long after understanding from a therapist, you're longing for understanding from a parent. The need to share everything is a childish need. No post-primal person or healthy person has the need to share everything. They are satisfied both as indivuals as part of a relationship.

Since we're talking about believe systems and identification with other men, I would like to mention an excerpt from Prisoners of Pain (Janov):

I used 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 been 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 intensily 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 Allmighty. 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.


Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:57 pm
by Guest

You're right. I bit off too much on this. I haven't answered all your questions or responded to everything, but here is something. A lot of your points are well taken and clarify ( I'd like to say more about that later). I'm not sure how well I can communicate the importance of status in primal therapy. Status is the key modulator of sex differences, since it is how we as humans line up, mate, see power and individual identity.

Identity = Status = Attraction.

Thus the huge "success" ( initially) of bad boys with women. And I thought it was always money! Learning about status and identity ( what primal therapy deals with) was like discovering fire for me.

Here are some ideas ( attempts) to create something impactful out of these newly combined ideas.

A. Evolutionary psychology as a guide to understanding deeper identity ( and status integrated into this). Man?s limbic brain has been referred to as the ?dog brain?! We are pack animals. That?s what we are. Feminized society carries this reality or denying human nature, but not with men as the ?victims?. Men did it. Nobody is guilty. It?s not ?bad??.it?s just disintegrated from human reality.

B. Understanding codependency as a map to where projections are happening. Point A is a huge generator of codependency in family systems and the broader social system (and nothing is perfect, this is not about that).

C. Doing the work (primal, RST, self-care, spiritual life).

Good quote about religion and the man-son relationship. To me that shows how in a severely codependent or addict family, there is no healthy concept of God. This is what the 12 steps address. This to me is what primal therapy also addresses by releasing the earliest trapped pain aimed at protecting parents-family system. Making Gods out of PARENTS (?and then their replacements later in life via codependency) to try to manage primal pain.

Step 1 admits the pain is unmanageable.

Step 2 says that there is something greater than me.

Step 3 makes that decision to LET IT ALL GO. Primal therapy to me is letting go of the pain?..and getting past the defences is necessary for that.

Your comments about men-women and men-men are dynamic to me. I see that that is important in this discussion (getting to more depth concerning primal theory and practice). Man?s lack of identity coming also from his father ( look at his conception of ?God?) leading to a pillar of the feminized society: Addiction ( codependency). In that family I?ll bet both men are competing for ?God?: Mom. When the son goes out into the world he likely duplicate that as a ?fruitless search? to deal with the spiritual bankruptcy ( primal pain) and protect Mom( his primal pain container). Would you say the western society supports that in spades? Even encourages it in every way?

Men-women. This description of inter-dependent beings with identity is definitely to the point. No sharing everything. Boundaries. Identity. Internal locus of control. Higher Power relationship ( Identity is the engine of status). This is the outcome of successful primal therapy. I?m confused here though. How would these people have a sexual life? Wouldn?t this be like living with your sister? Where?s the spark? The sexual tension? Do you accept the ?romantic? view of western society as a dominant role? Does any man if he?s in his masculinity? ( I know these questions are controversial and would be exciting to explore).

What I do see though is connecting your two points. A man can get ?God? ( or higher power) from his father when the father has that himself?..and then both are in tribe. Human ( not more than human or less than human). The man that does that is likely not severely codependent with his wife ( rare) and has community?tribe. Then the son has that due to a good relationship and needs met in his family system. He has a ?higher power? in that sense. He?s ?himself? in that sense. He?ll be tribal?.part of a community and relate to a woman in this way. Status flows. Human nature ( natural selection for genes) flows. I don?t see the flow in your example. It seems sealed. I don?t know what this couple is doing. It?s grey. A mystery. This is Janov and VanWinkle. Where I think they both fall short.

How can a couple or a person live in a box? Isn?t identity tribal? ( not codependent). What is their life like outside of their individual world and ?couple world?? How do they relate to that? ( do you know of any primal therapy discussion about a feeling man living in an unfeeling world?....same area of discussion). Can you be more specific? For a man this is crucical?because this will determine his intimacy with the woman. Status ( evolution at work) won?t accept less. I see ?siblings? in your frame at the moment.
Back to uni-sex primal therapy. It doesn?t fit reality.


Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:06 pm
by Guest
Dennis...adding to the last post, something about therapists in primal therapy, ,since clearly it was confusing in my post. The therapy all comes from inside the patient, you're right.

Status ( the basis of evolutionary psychology?or natural selection) is such a huge topic, and it?s critical to primal therapy in my opinion. It?s even tied to the therapist if a person tries to use primal therapy. It?s revelevant too when using group support if one is using RST. The therapist issue is important in defence clearing as the patient does only go as far as the therapist in the vast majority of cases. This due to codependency, since his DEFENCES are the issue in primal therapy and how far he goes. It is the patient himself that does all of the work. I had a female therapist for 3 years. Now I see that the whole area of status (natural selection) was invisible to her as a factor ( and this to me)?and all of the primal emotions tied to my very nature as a male animal remained frozen. It was HERE where my biggest trouble was. HERE where my understanding of my deepest primal identity was blocked in the pain. My biggest pains! ( anti-male has been the core of my family belief system..which is why I selected a female therapist). My relationship to her was something my pain frozen brain would focus on, stopping me from feeling repressed pain ( I did this, not her?and she didn?t ?make? me defend?.I don?t think anyone consciously keeps up these levels of defences. They are almost entirely unconscious?so the sending and receiving going on between therapist-patient is critical to getting defences broken ).

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:22 pm
by Phil
What I think is that during therapy it is a good idea to use different primal therapists and buddies. I have found that to be helpful to me.
This will help to avoid any "blind spots" with any particular therapist. The process flows from the primaller and not the therapist in good primal therapy. At least for me, I'm not looking for the therapist to direct me.
I'm looking for qualities of the therapist which help me to express my feelings because my pattern was always to hold them all in.
In fact, a big thing, is for the therapist to know when to be quiet.


Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 4:06 pm
by John

This has proven to be critical for me ( changing buddies and therapists...moving things often in this context). I remember a comment from Dennis regarding getting around healthy people too. My problem was being with therapists and groups ( like my particular group of Al-Anon, and a powerful group therapy community where there were only 7 males in a group of 35 people ) where everyone saw "positive" and "love" as a goal.... and I found that this automatically meant I suppressed feelings, leaning towards "explaining" and "asking for permission". Like breathing for an ACOA. The poisonous pedagogy is built on obedience and approval seeking. I fight this daily ( and am winning). This is why I am hoping for evermore consciousness around deeper levels of identity
(like those touched on in this thread). My primal health seems to attract people around my level. Even in therapy. This idea of switching around is excellent...and also going purposely into groups where people are CLEARLY emotionally healthier.
It's not easy to do...nor is it easy to even know that your therapist is limited in important ways. Ways that can hold you back for years.

Maybe diving into identity at the level of male-female and it's roots in status is wishful thinking as a tool to get ahead in primal therapy. I don't think my wishful thinking will however change what's what. A therapist is human....he or she will be just as driven by status as I am.


Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:30 am
by Guest
Hi John,

It is very rare to find people who understand the need to let feelings go deep. A lot of people are emotionally healthier than me because they were lucky enough to have had a healthier childhood. These people often don't or can't understand why anyone else may have emotional problems.

So I find it is very useful to get together with other primal people but it isn't possible for me to do very often. There aren't that many of them around.
If you are interested, there are a lot of discussions and support on the yahoo primal support group. There are people there posting from around the world, some very experienced and others just starting. I am a member but don't really participate. I find that I can't really get support on the internet.


Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:35 am
by John
Your post brings up such an important point Phil: Support. The challenge is finding it. And one other thing. A person with a lot of primal pain actually doesn't want to find it, because without it at least the old identity
(usually that of a victimized child) can still live ( and wait endlessly for what wasn't given come "one day"). Remember the choice we were presented with. Us or them. No child packs his bags and leaves home at age 3. Thus the split. Finding a therapist who will witness my journey to the inner child and watch me release him, and finding a group of people who will offer support in the process, is doubly tricky.

Support...always that.

My history of seeking support was problematic precisely due to the nature of most therapy. It doesn't seem to consider what the nature of a man is. It's not done on purpose, and it doesn't mean that all of the help offered is bad. I had to figure out on my own that the culture of treating a man's problems like a womans was probably my greatest challenge. I floundered in 5 years of therapy with this. Most men have not been initiated and are distanced from their fathers and taught to dislike the nature of a man...and are overbonded to their mothers ( either through her emotional distance, or suffocating emotional incest). Often people talk about primal therapy in cool intellectual terms, because they haven't gotten to their deepest pains. They have released their female identity....but that's all. Are the deepest pains those buried in the heart of a man's masculinity? His deepest identity?

Janov wrote about the "intellectual" talk that has characterized "support" and understanding in the past....imagine adding that to the burden of the grown little boy who only knows of the woman's feeling world as he wakes up from his pain.

Even after saying all of this, when a person is in pain he needs support. People who care.

You're link would be appreciated.


"In taking patients to the depths of their unconscious, we have yet to see the mysteries heretofore described in the psychiatric literature. It is not the vault of Danteesque phantasmagoria. There are not demons from the eighteenth century, no id or shadow forces a la Freud, no mystical consciousness to aspire to, nothing that involves a transcendental process. What we find is just sad, terrified little us."

-- Dr. Arthur Janov in Why You Get Sick and How You Get Well

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:57 pm
by Phil
Hi John,

Here is the link for the Yahoo primal support group: ... =126376914


Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:42 pm
by John

Thanks for the link. I see the style offered is like that of a CODA
(Codependency Anonymous) meeting.
Here we can share problems that we are encountering, or pass on things that are helpful and are working for us. So it's basically not a group for "analysing" other people or "advising" them or a place for requesting or receiving "advice". Rather, it is a place for sharing and for getting in touch with our own pain to resolve it.

The group is for sharing primal issues, problems, feelings, and hopefully growth. However, if group members have issues that they can't resolve with each other, they will be encouraged to "take it back to childhood" and work through any unfelt traumas that may be causing the problem.


I'm going to give it some time and growth on how to get past the "CODA" style and still integrate male identity. I don't attend ACOA for the same reason now. I fell into "trying to convince" others to "change" ( ACOA's love the impossible) and that was codependent and self-destructive. I really don't have any ideas at the moment. The above seems so "complete" as support. Yet it would mean I'd be talking to Sally and Bill in the same way.

Plus, it's across the net. I understand the limitation you suggest. It's still an excellent resource.

Thanks again....John

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:45 pm
by Dennis
John, I don't follow you in this male status connected to identity. For most men/ boys, their first awareness that they are a man (boy) is when they are told they have a penis and women (girls) don't. The penis becomes their first identification for being a man. Now I know that in the US, 90 percent or so of men were circumcized as boys. You said that many men hate themselves for being men. But could it be that they really hate their penis? Because it was not accepted by the parents?
Status is the key modulator of sex differences, since it is how we as humans line up, mate, see power and individual identity.
Nowadays many people socialize online, without status, without gender. How do you interpret that?

Do you believe men should inflict physical pain on boys to break their bond with their mothers, like an initiation ritual?

In the old days, when we lived in tribes, physical strength was the most valueble and therefore heirarchies were built on that. Nowadays men don't need strong muscles anymore; there's technology. It's another hierarchy where other values are set. If this conflicts with old instincts (if that exists), men adapt and evolve.

But I believe that modern men do need a bond with nature. It's part of our existence.