Official site of Primal Therapy

Ken Seman, LCSW, Director
Dr Arthur Janov, Founder
Dr France Janov, Founder

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:

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
A collection of articles by Dr Arthur Janov and comments from his readers.


Primal Therapy is not Primal "Scream" Therapy. Primal Therapy is not just making people scream; it was never "screaming" therapy. The Primal Scream was the name of the 1st book by Dr. Janov about Primal Therapy.

Those who read the book knew that a scream is what some people do when they hurt. Others simply sob or cry. It was the hurt we were after, not mechanical exercises such as pounding walls and yelling, "Mama." This therapy has changed what was essentially an art form into a science.

This therapy is dangerous in untrained hands. There are hundreds of people practicing what they call "primal therapy" without a single day's training and others who claim to have been trained by us who were either not here or who were nowhere near completion of either their own therapy or the training at Dr. Janov's Primal Center.

Once people have been opened up to their pain, they are vulnerable to manipulation. A therapist who needs to control will control his patients and control the course of their therapy, never realizing that his patient needs to lose control into his/her feelings, leading to places the therapist cannot imagine because he won't let himself lose control. A therapist who acts totally out of control and has an "anything goes" attitude towards therapy will miss the fragile patient who needs structure and so drive someone to madness or suicide. The possibilities for abuse are limitless.

It takes years to train therapists in Primal theory and teach them to do proper Primal Therapy, honed by Dr. Janov and his staff with 30 years of experience into a scientific tool, instead of an art form. We have rarely seen the therapy practiced correctly by others outside of the Center and spend a great deal of time treating patients from these other so-called "primal" clinics. We have seen the damage that can result when therapy is done incorrectly. If you are thinking of having therapy with someone, we will verify any claims they make regarding training with us and address any concerns you may have.


Dr. Janov has not been associated with the Primal Institute of Los Angeles for over forty years, and we have no idea what they do. Our work, at the Primal Center in Santa Monica is based in part on modern neurological science, and has been refined over decades to ensure that our Primal Therapy comprises the latest in brain science. We also work directly with brain scientists.   

Do not be misled by false advertising.  The only people qualified to do “proper Primal Therapy” have been trained only by Drs. Arthur and France Janov.  Dr. France Janov has recently completed a five-year project called the Primal Legacy detailing our work, and exploring how Primal Therapy must be practiced.   It is now available for purchase:

The program’s part 1 is available now at:, and part 2 at:

For comments or more information, please e-mail us, or otherwise contact us.

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