Archive; Patients Survey 2004
Results from Patients Survey
a survey among the current Primal Center patients.
The feedback we received was so impressive that we decided to publish it on
our website, as well as some of the commentary from our patients.
As you will see in the following statistics, to the question "Do you feel
the therapy changed your life?", the answer was overwhelmingly yes.
We were happy to see the overall satisfaction with the treatment. Also
extremely positive was the general feeling regarding the Center and Staff,
as well as Primal Therapy as a tool for life.
To the question "Do you feel generally better?", the answer was also
confirming what we knew empirically, that Primal Therapy, when done right,
allows us to feel generally better in our life, "feeling more alive", as
indicated in the survey, being a big part of that good feeling.
Below are the statistics. We included additional comments, pertinent to the
Countries of origin:
90% feel the therapy changed their life.
95% have access to feelings.
75% are able to feel on their own.
90% noticed improvement with insomnia, 70 % with blood pressure, 95% with
heart function, 50% with depression.
50 % reported a much better quality of life.
75% feel generally better.
80% feel more alive.
decisive factor to come to therapy:
therapeutic process had ever worked for me, and I felt that the method
used might have some hope of success.
Fascinated by the research on the brain.
have a life, didn't feel, other therapy (which had been doing for years)
all my life.
Depression, suicidal tendencies
how it changed your life:
severe, relentless depression vanished after 10 months and I was able to
go off all medication.
I had a totally uncontrollable compulsion to regularly torture myself
physically which vanished, never to return after 10 months. Perhaps
there is significance in the fact that these two dreadful problems were
healed at the same time.
Before Primal Therapy, I was a cardboard cutout, a spaced out zombie.
Now my whole body feels like living flesh and blood for the first time.
This transformation started to happen dramatically immediately after a
primal scream in the third week of therapy, and was accomplished by
increments. I'd read about all this, but never seriously considered that
it could happen to me.
The instant after the primal scream, all my senses came good - colors
were vivid, sounds were vital and the world glistened. Although I am not
very religious and am a poor singer, at the start of the next session I
actually stood and sang an old hymn I remembered: The World Looks
Very Beautiful (And full of joy to me;/The sun shines out in glory/On
everything I see)! I realized that the world had not changed at all,
but that my senses had been dulled and had now become normal. The
improvement has been permanent, with no deterioration to this day. I was
totally skeptical when I entered Primal Therapy, having endured three
decades of therapeutic disaster.
I was a workaholic, with a full time responsible executive position plus
four unrelated part time jobs. There is no way I'd put myself in that
situation now. I always worked to pathetically try to please others -
now my work is for myself.
I was painfully shy and inhibited, but now am much more relaxed and
outgoing. My body movements and speech were contrived, now they are both
more natural and spontaneous.
I always felt physically sick, but never knew what was wrong. I must
have been tested for just about every disease under the sun - always
with negative results. (I have certain injuries due to violent physical
abuse during childhood - but that is a different issue). I always felt
very upset when all the doctors and hospitals I consulted failed to come
up with solutions to my feelings of physical distress.
days, I don't even have a physician, and never set foot in a hospital.
Before Primal Therapy, my mind was always working frantically over the
supposed wrongs a doctor or a hospital had done to me. (Although there
was substance in my concerns sometimes). I always had a non-existent
social life, and was agonizing over it all the time. I was always left
out of social events and felt - no doubt correctly - that people didn't
like me. The difference now - after Primal Therapy - is that I don't
care whether people like me or not! In other words, my self-esteem has
I'm not depressed any more; I am calmer and more content; I have more
self confidence; I'm in a relationship; I am doing excellent in my work,
and have a level of responsibility that I never would have been able to
depressed any more; I am calmer and more content; I have more self
confidence; I'm in a relationship; I am doing excellent in my work, and
have a level of responsibility that I never would have been able to
knowledge of how feelings work makes life soooo easy.
I am less
afraid of people, more outgoing.
more alive and more myself.
ease, more myself, less pressure, more ready, more alive, more in the
present, feel much better, more complete.
weeks, I made a good start. The previously impenetrable shell
around my feelings was cracked open in the area of feeling and
expressing love. I had thought I was unfeeling but I was only SHUT-DOWN.
I actually felt a lot!
I had a
lot of pain and terror attacks. The therapy changed how I interact with
people. Much less terror, I am closer to others, I have friends and a
work that is steady.
started but already I can sense the changes and the potential of
transformation in my life.
me from trying to function in terrible pain with no tools to feel it.
Originally, I had tried some other therapies and they obviously were
useless. Then, I read The Primal Scream…
life now. I can make eye contact, very little fear of crowds. Developing
a strong sense of my self worth. Not thinking of death on a daily basis.
want to change with nobody.
optimistic but I need to test myself back in everyday life after 3
Better - insights are accurate for the first time. Other therapies
always led me to have ridiculously incorrect insights.
makes perfect sense.
Comparison with other therapies:
want me to write a book full of horror stories? More Tales from the
Crypt perhaps? The previous therapies I tried over 34 years either
had no effect or made me worse. Most of them were talk therapies, and
medications were used very often. The more competent the therapist, the
worse I'd get. (I told you I was a back to front person!). I presume I'd
get worse because they would start to uncover my negative emotions but
there would be no proper resolution of them.
The medications always made me feel unwell - sometimes I would be
driving under their influence and the road would seem to be spinning
under the car. I drove because I had to go to work, and was never
advised not to.
However all of these treatments have made one big difference to my life
- if I hadn't had them I'd be rich.
By comparison, Primal Therapy healed naturally without medications. I
would like to say too, that the method of working together in a
friendly, relaxed environment where people get to know each other if
they wish is, in my opinion, the best possible way. Otherwise there is a
situation where the patient is permanently isolated with the therapist,
and even if there are group sessions they become negative discussion
exercises where (in my experience) you can be made to feel even more
primal therapy performed by someone who wasn't trained to perform the
therapy. (I didn't know this at the time.) Although I gained access to
feelings, I didn't feel the feelings very deeply, and didn't connect
them with past memories, which means that feeling them wasn't healing.
Although I did feel better in some respects, there were areas of my life
which actually started going worse - I was unable to concentrate at
work, and became so unproductive that I feared at one point that I might
lose my job. And later on I had terrible insomnia. I came to the
conclusion that I was actually functioning worse than before in my life
after this therapy.
trained in Hypnosis, Gestalt and a few others, but the concept of PT is
the only one that works.
Transactional Analysis: therapist blamed me for not responding well
enough, getting well quick enough, for feeling the way I felt. Lot of
pressure. Not Ok to be where I was. Sometimes she talked more than I
previous therapies - traditional non-feeling therapies - can't compare
to the improvement I've made in Primal Therapy.
Individual Adlerian Psychology. No other therapy could take away my
tension and anger.
Scientology (reducing emotional charge on past incidents), Transpersonal
Psychology (emotions, thoughts, dreams and spirituals aspects),
Cognitive/Reliving Emotive (changing your mind/thoughts).
comparison. Other therapies did not help at all.
Therapy helped more than Bio-Energetics.
and change could be felt within days of starting Primal Therapy. With
"talk therapies", I never felt sure of any progress, even after many
comparison. Psychotherapy = 1965 Volkswagen Beetle, Primal Therapy =
2004 Porsche. Primal Therapy is top of the line and was life changing
for me. It gave me the desire to live life to the maximum.
Psychotherapy: no changes, just stirring up pain and making it even more
difficult to function. Emotion = energy in motion. The energy shifted,
causing more problemes. Never resolved (felt) with no insights for
feel more alive?
Let's put it this way: I feel alive for the first time. Before that, I
didn't know what alive meant. And of this started to happen when I was
50 - at an age when most people feel that they have been through the
best part of their lives!
improve your relationships?
Traditionally, I have not had proper friends - only fellow misfits with
whom I had friendships of sorts. Since my improvement, I have been able
to separate the sheep from the goats, and some of them were goats, so I
don't see them anymore. But I seem to be making new, more appropriate
friends. Before Primal Therapy, I was quite often associating with
inappropriate types of people. I can see that I was mixing with others
who were dysfunctional. That has stopped.
I have decided that I would rather have no friends than abusive friends
- another demonstration of increased self-esteem. I have also made a
number of decent friends in America - some are other Primal Therapy
patients and others are not. We keep in touch by e-mail.
social relationships are much better - except those with my abusive
family, which are much worse - devastatingly bad in fact.
to me that the intake therapist (Jim) was the first person ever who
really listened sympathetically and understood accurately.
me that the Primal Therapy books were the only books about psychology
(and I have read very many of them) that actually described the
evolution of my illness accurately.
Therapy heals as claimed (and it has in my case and in other cases I
have heard of), the patient may have to deal with a whole new negative
family situation - such as I have described above. Where is help and
support with this novel and potentially extremely damaging phenomena
meant to come from? Just as you are doing well and improving, you are
being re-traumatized by your abusive family. In my opinion, the solution
is not simply to do more Primal Therapy. Why should anyone do therapy
for someone else's neurosis? Why should I do therapy because my son in
an alcoholic and hates me because I won't pay for his alcohol? Why
should I do more therapy because the female members of my family hate
men, and step up their abuse to fever pitch just as I am starting to
feel more masculine? I have been left with a dreadful dilemma. As
improvement has happened, my family has turned viciously against me. I
don't know how to handle it. I don't know what to do. The family
neurosis has become well and truly unmasked. I am being made to be the
victim, and I have no idea how to react. I have tried many avenues of
getting help, but all have come to a dead end.
should translate some of the newer books in German. Also you should work
or open a center over here in Germany. Primal Therapy booms over here!
Read the German Psychology Today Newspaper. A LOT of people offer primal
Therapy here. No other advertising than Primal Therapy Centers. Off
course nobody is trained in California. But patients here are
interested. Just a suggestion. I am not talking about tomorrow, but
maybe in the next 20 years or so. Otherwise I think that it's very very
good that you have more Therapists working at the same time in one
Center. Those way patients have the possibility to change their
Therapist any time in case there therapy does not work well! I have no
more criticism; you guys do a great job over there!
disappointed that one of the main factors or reasons for coming to
Primal Therapy remained unresolved. This related to 2 LSD experiences I
had in the 1970's. David explained to me that in the process of Primal
Therapy we deal with feelings in the present and work toward deeper
levels of feeling involving pain, hurt, etc.
longer have low self-esteem or depression. Therefore, I am NOT unhappy.
On the other hand, If I had had 30 years of proper Primal Therapy I feel
that 2 issues may have been more adequately addressed as well:
- The possibility of being able to have a physical, sexual,
relationship with a woman.
- The resolution of the fears behind my bad dreams.
This latter issue being the most stressful and exhausting. I can deal
with this to a degree where I can cope.
Therapy has changed my life. I'm facing to go back to my home country in
2 weeks, which I'm quite afraid of. Will I be able to feel on my own?
Will I be able to afford phone sessions when I need them? The answers
are "yes, I will". I have made it to come so far, so I know that I will
be able to go on with my life. Primal Therapy is an easy tool, just
sometimes hard to do. I want to make changes in my life and keep
Thank you to all of the Primal Center, you have made it possible for me
to see a tomorrow. Thank you!
scientific basis of Primal Therapy and the peer review procedures were
Everything is great! Thank you for your incredible work.
impressed with the emphasis on distinguishing between authentic Janov
Center trained therapists and imposters or those only partially trained
yet pretending to be accredited. This made me feel safe.
like the therapists and the secretaries. I think they are very
professional, warm and caring. The mini retreats are very helpful.
important to say that a major good was attained for me despite the
shortness of my time. I ended a misbelief which has been in place for at
least 2/3 of my life, namely that I can't or don't feel much. I
discovered I have been feeling strongly all the time but it's all been
hidden from the world and from ME! The trick is to access it and marry
up the outer life with the richer parallel but hidden life. But it's
enormously heartening to know it's THERE!
really changed by life, thank you, thank Art for the continued research.