Official site of Primal Therapy

Dr Arthur Janov, Founder
Dr France Janov, Clinical Director

Dr. Arthur Janov examines the power of beliefs and how they are used as a mechanism for dealing with early trauma that goes as far back as birth. Beliefs are a way to rationalize with pain rooted deep in the unconscious, and reveal that love is a biological need. Dr. Janov applies engrossing case studies and his many years of experience to bring the reader one step closer to understanding human behavior, and how pain can become converted into an idea. Available on Amazon:

Life Before Birth

(shipping cost: $10)

This is Dr. Janov's opus magnum, a revolutionary work in every sense of the word. It may help to change the practice of psychotherapy as we know it, and above it, how we give birth today; the shoulds and should nots. It explains in detail how early trauma and adversity can have lifelong consequences and result in serious afflictions from cancer to diabetes. It can have monumental implications for medical practice, as well, and points to how we can rear healthy children.

Dr. Arthur Janov's Blog
Every week, read new articles by Dr Arthur Janov and answers from his readers.

Special Events

At Dr. Arthur Janov's Primal Center we continually offer special events for our patients. Some events are open to former patients and/or the general public; this is particularly true when Drs. France and Arthur Janov give a seminar or roundtable. We announce these events regularly in this section of our web page.
You can also check with us by e-mail, at, or call us at (310) 392-2003.


We have had many mini-retreats at the Center over the last few years and patients seem to really enjoy them.

The purpose of a mini-retreat is to bring together all people participating in Primal Therapy: Staff, trainees and patients, for a weekend of communal living. Mini-retreats typically include a roundtable and a group dinner.

Mini-retreats are especially helpful for those of you who are loners, and have difficulty socializing. It allows you to take new steps and feel whatever might come up right then and there, in a safe environment.

Mini-retreats are more than the sum of their events. It is the continuum of all that happens, sharing feelings and experiences that have made them significant events for those who have participated.

"I will travel 3,000 miles anytime to come to your retreats." C.N., New Jersey


Drs. Arthur and France Janov conduct roundtables regularly on various topics at the Primal Center. A roundtable is an open forum of ideas with audience participation. Our roundtables are always open to patients, and often open to the general public. Subjects for roundtables in the past have included: Sexuality; Primal Therapy: An Extraordinary Tool; Feelings and the Brain; The Influence of First Line in our Life; What is Wellness?; and Birth and Its Lifelong Effects.

DVDs of some of our past roundtables are available for purchase. Please click here for information.!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The idea of a primal Halloween group is that you all come dressed as your secret self. This means the person you are but are afraid to show, the person you wish to be, you don't want to be, etc.

Anyone who does not come in a costume (street clothes are not considered a costume) or is not dressed as his/her secret self will not be admitted.

You do not have to rent anything expensive. You can express it very simply and do it yourself. Examples: we have had a computer (wrapped in foil), chains (for those prisoners of their pain), clowns, dressing as the opposite sex, etc.

Halloween group is an extraordinary event and we recommend that you attend. A lot of feelings can come out of it.

Art and France usually run the Halloween group.


A Thanksgiving dinner is usually part of the mini-retreat that occurs around that date. The meal involves a catered traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which has been excellent. The Thanksgiving dinner usually follows a roundtable. The roundtable and Thanksgiving dinner are open to all "old patients", as well as the general public. The dinner is usually very significant to those who attend, especially those don't have a family with which to spend Thanksgiving.


All current patients and "old patients" are invited. As our patients change through therapy, a lot of them - already talented, or discovering a new talent- use the opportunity to show off their talent in a night of great fun and feelings. Attended by patients only, Talent Night is always a memorable evening - and we are always impressed to see how creative our patients are.


In the spirit of Christmas, this is a free group. The fee for the group can be donated to the Primal Foundation. Directed by Drs. Arthur and France Janov, with a special appearance by Santa Claus. All patients are invited to attend as well as "old patients". Drinks and cookies afterwards. This is always a productive evening in terms of feelings as Christmas carried a lot of significance for most patients when they were children. It is also heart-warming especially for those who are alone for Christmas or far from their family. Lots of Christmas get-togethers are organized among patients during this evening.


While in therapy, patients can attend a program of education in the fundamentals of Primal theory and how it applies in their own therapy. Orientation is held once a year for eight weeks in January and February. We encourage all patients to take advantage of this unique opportunity to increase their understanding of Primal theory and apply it to their own experiences.

The program is a combination of lecture and open discussion on such topics as Need, Repression, The Chain of Pain, The Three Levels of Consciousness, Act-Outs and Symptoms, What is Proper Primal Therapy, Resolution and Integration in Primal Therapy, Primal Therapy and Sexuality, Drugs, What is "Wellness", etc. This program is not in effect at the moment.

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