Primal therapy is available at the Primal Center under the personal supervision of Dr. Arthur Janov. The therapy is performed by our highly-trained staff, who have undergone a minimum of five years of intensive training at Dr. Janov's Primal Center. Most individual sessions are videotaped and therapy is monitored by either Dr. Arthur Janov or Dr. France Janov with the participation of the senior staff, so that each patient is supervised on a continuing basis.
New patients who apply and are accepted at the Primal Center typically begin treatment with three weeks of intensive individual therapy. After the three-week intensive there is recommended follow-up therapy, which may consist of ongoing individual sessions, group therapy, buddying, telephone and/or video therapy, and occasional mini-retreats. We also hold an orientation for patients lecture series every year.
Please click here for information about Primal Therapy for children at the Primal Center.
Please also see: What is Proper Primal Therapy?
The therapy starts with three weeks of individual therapy. It is the first and most important step towards learning about your Pain and learning to feel it. To that end we usually require new patients to spend the three weeks of individual therapy in isolation, preferably in a motel or any place where he/she can be alone.
Upon starting therapy, new patients will receive detailed instructions regarding the three weeks. It is recommended that patients do not work, make phone calls, snack, smoke, take drugs (unless prescribed), etc., during the three weeks. The patient is encouraged to write and keep a journal of his or her experiences. Sessions during the initial three week period are open-ended but average about two hours in length.
It is also recommended that you bring your childhood pictures or anything else that brings up memories which have a special significance for you.
Although the length of the therapy varies widely, our recommendation is that all applicants should be prepared to stay an average of one year at Dr Janov's Primal Center. For those of you who have had previous Primal Therapy and wish to enter Dr. Janov's Primal Center, please contact the office for special instructions.
Although individual needs for therapy vary, the optimum therapy includes at least one individual session and one group session per week for the first six months. Individual sessions are open-ended. One must have the financial means that will allow for continuing therapy, particularly more individual sessions during the year. After the third week of individual therapy the patient may return to work.
Unlike any other form of group therapy, Primal groups are really individual therapy performed in a group setting. Being in a group setting allows patients to express their feelings, be triggered by each other, and realize that most of us carry a burden of pain. The patients deal with their own feelings and any interaction with others in the group or with the therapists has feelings as its aim.
Groups are held twice a week.
Our patients come from all over the world, and cannot always stay beyond a certain time, but they can still benefit from the feeling process.
have found over the years that "Telephone Therapy" works perfectly well.
We are currently doing telephone therapy with patients in England, France, New
Zealand, Australia, Germany, and several other countries, as well as the USA.
Once patients have access to their feelings, the therapeutic process can go on
perfectly well through the phone. It allows the patient to maintain
his/her therapeutic relationship with the therapist.
We have in the last year implemented a program of video therapy that has worked very well all over the world. In the cases when it is beneficial for the patient to be seen by the therapist and/or for the patient to see the therapist, we are offering therapy via computer where patients and therapists can see each other.
We want our patients to become independent of the therapist as soon as possible. Our goal is to teach our patients how to get themselves into their feelings so that feeling becomes a natural way of life. To that end, after several months of Primal Therapy, when patients have adequate access to feelings, they can enter the buddy system where they can help each other.
The Center provides therapy rooms for that purpose, depending on availability, at no charge to the patients.
The format of the mini-retreat was created by Dr. Janov at the Paris Institute and was an immediate success. The idea is to bring together all people participating in Primal Therapy -- current and former patients and staff (including trainees, therapists and interns) for a period of communal living.
It is an intensive weekend where participants can have their feelings, individually in sessions and buddying and in the group setting, attend a live lecture on a subject of interest to patients’ lives, view “Primal” movies and other available Primal material, play music and, generally, get to know each other.
The mini-retreat is open to "old" patients as well, meaning people who have had prior Primal Therapy and who meet certain requirements before attending. Please contact the office for further information.
Mini-retreats are held twice a year. Click here for information about upcoming special events at the Primal Center, including the next mini-retreat.
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. The orientation is open to all current patients and 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, levels of consciousness, act-outs, symptoms, the conditions for good therapy, resolution and integration, sexuality, drugs and “wellness”
We are happy to welcome non-current Primal patients who wish to return to the Primal Center as well as patients having had Primal Therapy outside of the Primal Center. Please call or e-mail the Primal Center to get the necessary information.