Dr. Arthur Janov's Primal Center
For treatment, training and research

About Dr. Arthur Janov

Academic Hall of Fame

"Primal Therapy is miraculous, but it is not a miracle, it is science at work"

Dr. Arthur Janov


Dr. Arthur Janov is one of the world’s leading psychologists and author of 11 books, including the international bestseller, The Primal Scream and his newest book, Primal Healing, published in November 2006. He is the Founder and Director of the Primal Center in Santa Monica, California. He has been elected to the Academic Hall of Fame of Clairmont Graduate University.

Dr. Janov received his B.A. and M.S.W. in psychiatric social work from the University of California, Los Angeles and his Ph.D. in psychology from Claremont Graduate School. Before turning to Primal Therapy, he practiced conventional psychotherapy in his native California. He did an internship at the Hacker Psychiatric Clinic in Beverly Hills, worked for the Veterans’ Administration at Brentwood Neuropsychiatric Hospital and was in private practice for 1952 till 1967. He was also on the staff of the Psychiatric Department at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital where he was involved in developing their psychosomatic unit.

The course of Dr. Janov’s professional life changed in a single day in the mid-1960's with the discovery of Primal Pain. During a therapy session, he heard (as he describes it), “an eerie scream welling up from the depths of a young man who was lying on the floor”. He came to believe that this scream was the product of some unconscious, intangible wound that the patient was unable to resolve. Since then, Dr. Janov has devoted his professional life to the investigation of that underlying pain and the development of a precise, scientific therapy that could mitigate its lifelong effects.

Dr. Janov has been conducting revolutionary research in the field of psychotherapy for more than three decades. As the originator of Primal Therapy, he has treated thousands of patients and conducted extensive research to support his thesis that both physical and psychic ailments can be linked to early trauma. He has concluded that patients can dramatically reduce such debilitating medical problems as depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcoholism, drug addiction, heart disease and many other serious diseases. In 1970 he introduced his radical new approach to therapy to the general public in his first book, The Primal Scream, which became a best-seller and has since sold more than a million copies worldwide.

In the last 30 years Primal Therapy has established itself as the only therapy producing deep changes in a host of psychosomatic symptoms and psychological problems. As Director and Supervisor of Research with the Primal Foundation Laboratory, Dr. Janov was the first psychologist to submit his results to scientific scrutiny. Studies at Rutgers, the University of Copenhagen, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in England and the University of California at Los Angeles have all supported his theory that Primal Therapy can produce measurable positive effects on the function of the human brain and body.

Dr. Janov and his wife, Dr. France D. Janov, co-director at the Primal Center, have lectured worldwide on Primal Theory and Primal Therapy, including to the Royal College of Medicine, London, England; Hunter College, New York; Karolinska Medical and Research Center, Stockholm, Sweden. His work has also been the subject of a PBS special in the United States and of documentaries in Germany, England, France and Sweden.

The latest research conducted at Dr. Janov’s Primal Center on the effects of Primal Therapy on the brain was performed by Dr. Erik Hoffman, former Professor of Neurophysiology at Copenhagen University. This research has shown very clear changes in the brain as a result of feeling.

Dr. Janov has authored ten books. His latest is The Biology of Love, published March 2000. These books have been translated into twenty-four languages, throughout the world.  Forthcoming are books on the use of ideas vs. feelings in therapy, and depression.

In 1989 in an effort to expand the Primal network, Dr. Janov established Dr. Janov’s Primal Center in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Dr. France Janov. We recognize the great need for therapists and therapy in the world. It is to that end that Dr. Janov’s Primal Center was established in 1989 as a treatment, training, and research center under Dr. Arthur Janov’s personal supervision. All the therapists here have had years of intense training with us and are all caring professionals. There are also other therapists who practice independently, outside the Center who have completed the training and maintain an association with us. You should verify credentials to practice Primal Therapy through our office.

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209 Ashland Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: (310) 392-2003
Fax: (310) 392-8554
E-mail:  primalctr@earthlink.net