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Life Before Birth
Life Before Birth

Life Before Birth

The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives


290 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $24.99 (US $24.99) (CA $27.95)

Publication Date: December 2011

ISBN 9780983639602

Rights: US & CA

NTI Upstream (Dec 2011)

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A remarkable follow-up to the international bestselling The Primal Scream, groundbreaking psychologist Arthur Janov cites in this examination hundreds of studies showing how experience in the womb and at birth have enduring life consequences, laying the foundation in later life for anxiety and depressive disorders, heart attacks, and even cancer. Janov explains how during pregnancy and the first years of life, events are imprinted in the brain that affect how aggressive or passive people will become, how despairing or optimistic they will be, and even how long they will live. Destined to have as profound an impact on psychotherapy as The Primal Scream, this book compels doctors and pregnant women to consider the lasting impact of events that occur during pregnancy.


“Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, nonverbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.” —Gabor Maté, MD, author, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

“A thrilling journey of discovery . . . Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest. He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right.” —Paul Thompson, PhD, professor of neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

“An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future.” —K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, DPhil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology, anatomy, and neurobiology, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

“Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well-being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well-being need to be studied in the context of evolution—from the brain stem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.” —Lou Cozolino, PsyD, professor of psychology, Pepperdine University

“Life Before Birth is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies.” —Paula Thomson, PsyD, associate professor, California State University, and professor emeritus, York University

“Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate PhD theses topics for decades to come.” —Ed Park, MD, MPH, founder, Recharge Biomedical Clinic

“Life Before Birth is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not.” —Jaak Panksepp, PhD, Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science, Washington State University, and author, Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions

Author Biography

Arthur Janov, PhD, is one of the world’s leading psychologists and the founder and director of the Primal Center in Los Angeles. The originator of primal therapy, he has treated thousands of patients while undertaking extensive research in support of his thesis that both physical and psychic ailments can be linked to early traumas. He has lectured at the Royal College of Medicine in London, Hunter College in New York, and Karolinska Medical and Research Center in Stockholm, and his work has been the subject of documentaries in England, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United States. He is the author of 10 books, including The Primal Scream, which have been translated into 24 languages. He lives in Los Angeles.