Primal Therapy As A Naturopathic Mode Of Healing
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
“Scientific controls are essential to any psychotherapy because humans have stopped knowing what is going on inside of them.” (1)
This statement depends upon the client’s history. Has there been severe attachment disorder in the past? We know that severe attachment disorder precipitates severe orbitofrontal pruning of the brain. This, in turn, prevents the client from being able to self-regulate emotional processing. (2) Is there a history of mind altering drugs (legal or illegal)? Is the client an alcoholic or taking drugs? Are there thoughts of suicide? Is there an inability of the client to “own” his/her emotional problems? Is the client a borderline personality? Is the client unable to functioning autonomously in society? Is the client collecting SSI disability assistance?
If the answer is yes to any of these things, then therapy should be left to licensed psychotherapists who have access to a strong support group.
However, most of us are making it through our lives, functioning within society. We are able to hold down jobs. We have relationships with significant others. We have friends, families, and children., etc. Yet, many of us suffer from chronic anger or emotional withdrawal, which causes tension in our relationships. We’re physically/emotionally abusive toward those we care about...and don’t know why. Someone says the wrong thing to us at work and we quit, creating financial instability. Some of us suffer with anxiety disorders or depression. We go to counselors and talk about our problems…yet nothing changes. We sit in couples therapy and endlessly try to understand each other and why our relationships aren’t working… yet nothing changes.
This person can benefit from primal therapy that is led by a naturopath who has been through his own effective primal therapy***.
In chapter 4 of my book (3), I explore primal therapy as a naturopathic modality. Janovian style primal therapy is very important. Yet, it’s beyond the financial ability of most of the population. It is, for this reason, elitist…which is not to say that I am putting it down. When primal therapy can be practiced as a naturopathic modality the cost is more in line with the financial ability of the average person who is suffering.
Primal therapy operates on the long held assumption that fear conditioning is the cause of our anxiety-related problems, including chronic anger, emotional withdrawal, and depression. The primal process allows us direct access to the root of our emotional problem…imprinted pain.
Most forms of psychotherapy address the symptoms of our problems, while leaving the root cause securely in place. We need only study our lawns to understand the difference between addressing symptoms and addressing causes. When the leaves of a weed in a freshly cut lawn are trimmed, the lawn looks good for a few days. Then the leaves grow back. It is clear that the only way to get rid of the weeds is to remove their roots. Emotional problems are weeds. Conventional psychotherapies are the lawnmower that trims the weeds. Primal therapy can cut the roots of our anxiety-related emotional problems.
(1) Janov, A. (1996). Why You Get Sick. How You Get Well. Dove books, California. P.232. (2) . Pat Ogden, Kekuni Minton, and Clare Pain, Trauma and the Body. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006). P.42.
(3) Pullaro, J. (2005). Fear Memory Integration: A natural health alternative to conventional psychotherapy. Iuniverse, Nebraska. Chapter 4.
(***) This is a loaded phrase, is it not? I’ll be unpacking it in another post.