Talk:Primal therapy

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Serious error in refference[edit]

Current text: According to Psychology Today [Primal Therapy] It is one of the most heavily researched private psychotherapies extant in the world[57]

Please look at the "cited" origin, and note that the statement was made by Arthur Janov (!) during the interview with him, not by "Psychology Today" or even the Author of this specific article.

The structure of the article can be understood here: "Click through to each full post and interview:" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Danizobin (talkcontribs) 23:21, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Holy Honey. You are right. I made this mistake. I am going to correct it right now. Thank you for noticing and writing. In a similar circumstance I encourage you to be bold (WP:BOLD) and correct it yourself, just to avoid the sad circumstance of having incorrect information online. Thank you again Randroide (talk) 17:18, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

NEW EDIT There is a major error in footnote 60, where it is implied Alice Miller took issue with Primal Therapy. This is incorrect. Alice Miller took issue against STETTBACHER, a rogue therpast, ostensibly practicing an unlicensed version of primal therapy. A correct reading of the footnote 60s web page shows Miller revokes her endersment of Stettbacher, not primal therapy. In fact Miller explicitely says that of all the therapies she would recommend she MIGHT endores primal therapy, SO LONG as an emphatic therapist is present "The therapies you mentioned are mostly not interested at all in exploring the histories of childhoods except maybe the primal therapy of janov":

The article at present seems heavily biased against primal therapy. For example, the History and Notebale patients section can be mostly read as an extension of the criticism section.

Again, on the subject of history, I would like to see a reference to modern attachment theory and Bowlby, to whom Janov is clearly relevant.

Also, in what way is reductionism an issue with the therapy? I think thats a ludicrous critique, considering the neurological reduction ism common today.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:50, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Isn't it true though, that Alice Miller entirely disagrees with Janov's classification of homosexuality as a neurosis? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fuckwitt (talkcontribs) 12:57, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

"History" section[edit]

I really feel that your edits are not improving the article, Randroide. The "history" section reads more like a highly fragmentary timeline than a useful history - and again you seem to be inserting contentious material that is also presented out of context. This article seems to be getting worse instead of better. Gatoclass (talk) 11:29, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

The "history" section reads more like a highly fragmentary timeline...
My writing habilities in English can not do better. Please "defragment" the section up to your higher standards if you think it is "fragmentary".
...again you seem to be inserting contentious material that is also presented out of context
The "contentious" material is well sourced. Please take into account the fact that Primal therapy is a contentious therapy. That´s the reason a good, complete, NPOV article about PT must include contentious material.
Please add the context you miss. To my knowledge the section has all the "context" required. My ignorance prevents me to perceive that "missing context" you see so clearly. Please add that "context" and/or tell me where that "context" can be found.
IMHO the article is much, much, much better than a month ago. Please tell me what is better: "Out of context" and "Fragmentary" pieces of information or no information at all??? Randroide (talk) 17:08, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I made a minor correction, looks like somebody else already corrected something else I was concerned about.
I'm not saying that some of the content you have added is not valid and informative, it's just that it's not well integrated into the rest of the article and reads like a random collection of facts (as do several other sections). So I definitely think there is room for improvement. I'm still hoping to come and do some more work on this article, but I don't have the wherewithal right now, hopefully a few weeks from now. Gatoclass (talk) 05:22, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Also moved the "history" section to a lower spot in the article, as it's obviously a less important section than the section about the theory, methodology and so on. Gatoclass (talk) 05:35, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Uh. As a general rule I think that "history" should be the first section in any article. "History" provides the reader with a mental framework to integrate the rest of the material. The first question I make myself confronted with new material (whatever the new material may be, for instance Ak_47#History, Chrysler_building#History or Jehovah's_Witnesses#History. Please note that "history" is always the first section in Wikipedia) is "when did this happened"
Anyway, I can grudgrinly accept the temporary relocation of "history" from the proper place where (IMHO) it belongs for as long as you need to "contextualize" and "defrag" its contents.
Unless -of course- you know any WikiRule/Suggestion/Whatever or any rationale about the issue I ignore. If so, please tell me.
Your corrections are OK. If you have time/interest I beg you to review my edits, because I am fallible and because English is a second language for me.
Of course there is room for improvement, Gatoclass. But OTOH I think that there is slightly less room for improvement now than a month ago. IMHO a month ago the article lacked a lot of whos, wheres and whens. CU! Randroide (talk) 15:21, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that as a general rule it's appropriate for history sections to come early in the piece, but not in every case. In this case particularly, the "history" section as I said is pretty much a random collection of facts that provide a few interesting details but not really a comprehensive picture. So I think it more appropriate to have the section near the bottom. Most people who read this article will, after all, be wanting to know about the therapy itself, not about its "history". Gatoclass (talk) 02:52, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the "history" section should be at the beginning of the article. I think it's best where it is. That way, readers encounter the introduction and concept sections first, so they have a conceptual framework to understand the history they're reading. Otherwise, they'd be reading history about something when they don't even know what it is.
For example, the "history" section opens with this: "In 1967 [72][73] Janov had his pivotal session with Danny Wilson (pseudonym),". Would readers know who "Danny Wilson" is? Or why that session was pivotal?
Granted, the "history" section does come first in some other articles. For example, it comes first in the article about the Chrysler building, as randroide pointed out. However, in that case, the readers already know what the Chyrsler building is, because they're already familiar with the concept of a big building. In that case, they already understand the terminology before reading the history about it. In this case, they would be reading history without knowing what they are reading history about.Twerges (talk) 07:18, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

I see reasons to revert this edit[edit]


1. Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Synonyms_for_say

2. The sources do NOT say that the "defectors" were "trainees". They say they were "leaders", "therapists" and that they "trained" with Janov. The word "trainees" appears nowhere.

Any reasons I am unaware of for this edit?.

OTOH. Could you please advance the "context" you plan to add to "history"?. Thank you Randroide (talk) 16:46, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

I made that alteration from memory. Didn't Janov himself say they were unqualified? As for context - no I can't really expand on that ATM. Gatoclass (talk) 16:56, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I do not know about what Janov said about their qualifications. Obviously a reference about this issue would be an excelent addition. OTOH I can not understand how an editor with your experience (12000 edits are a lot of edits) can make an edit "from memory". I am being extra-cautious dealing with your edits because I suppose that en editor with your experience must have very good reasons (sometimes maybe beyond my inmediate grasp) to make an edit.
If the "defectors" worked as therapists at the Primal Institute (and that is what sources say) it is very unlikely that Janov claimed they were unqualified. It would be like Janov claiming that unqualified therapists worked at TPI.
We could and should (in light of what happened after) certainly add that they were disavowed by Janov [2]. I missed this detail.
Could you then please briefly mention which contents do you miss at "history". I would like to add those contents. To be honest: To have "history" at the bottom of an article (any article) is -in my view- a disgrace. Randroide (talk) 17:31, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, some articles do indeed have the history section at or near the end - the Transcendental Meditation article is one that comes to mind. Many articles on buildings have the history section last. It's really not that unusual at all, where the "history" section is best situated depends on a number of factors. In this case, the "history" section is hardly a history section at all, it's just a jumble of random facts that is almost certainly of secondary interest to the great majority of people who come here seeking to find out about primal therapy. Gatoclass (talk) 04:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

(out-denting) Hello, everyone. I've been away for awhile.

The edit is correct--Hart and Corriere were trainees at the PI, not primal therapists.

Of the seven people who left the PI to form the Center for Feeling Therapy, two of them (Jerry Binder and Steve Gold) were full-fledged primal therapists. The remainder were trainees, including the two founders of the CFT (Hart and Corriere). One other, Lee Woldenberg, was a trainee, but also held the additional title of "medical director" or something similar, because of his medical background (he had an M.D. in neurology or radiology; I can't remember which).

When Riggs confronted Janov on that fateful day, Janov claimed at the time that Riggs was a trainee only, that he was a sociopath who was only interested in power, that he would never have been made a primal therapist, and so on.

This information is available in Therapy Gone Mad by Mithers. Unfortunately, I don't have my copy available at present, so I can't provide a page reference.Twerges (talk) 23:56, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I removed the claim from the history section that Corriere and Hart were "leaders" at the Primal Institute. That claim is untrue and is not substantiated by the source provided.
Here is the relevant text from the source:
Among the defendants are center founders and leaders Richard J.Corriere, now practicing in Aspen, CO, and New York City, and Joseph T. Hart, Jr., now director of counseling at California State Polytechnic University
That text does not claim that Hart and Corriere were leaders at the PI. Instead, it claims that they were leaders of the Center for Feeling Therapy, which is quite different.Twerges (talk) 06:50, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Thankyou for clarifying that Twerges :) Gatoclass (talk) 09:32, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
....However, that LA Times article is a great historical reference and would make a good addition to the article about the CFT.Twerges (talk) 07:19, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Two questions to Gatoclass[edit]

Question 1: Regarding this edit [3]. Could you please tell me where is the wiki police stating that "the word "claim" is appropriate in some circumstances - such as when a statement is completely unsubstantiated and patently self-serving"?

Question 2: Regarding this edit [4], could you please present the source/s naming Hart and Corriere as "trainee primal therapists"?. Thank you. Randroide (talk) 17:15, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

You can't expect wiki policy to cover every nuance of use for every word in the dictionary. WP:WORDS cautions against using words like "claim", but that doesn't mean the word should never be used. In this case, we have a patently self-serving and completely unsubstantiated statement by a therapist who was subsequently discredited and banned from practice. The statements by such a person in such a circumstance are obviously dubious, and therefore "claim" is an appropriate term in this instance.
As for the "trainee" bit - as I said I made that edit from memory based on my previous reading of the sources, but since I haven't gone back to confirm it you can remove it until further notice if you prefer. Gatoclass (talk) 08:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
As I understand WP:WORDS your use of "claim" is a flagrant breach of a crystal clear wiki policie, no matter what we could think about the issue (please do not waste your valuable time arguing your position because I agree partially with you on this point, but the rules are the rules, we like them or not). I see a RfC in our future on this point. Maybe I am too rigid following the rules, I do not know. The RfC about this issue will be good for me. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I beg you to add the source with the word trainee once you have time. Who really were those men at the PI is an important issue. IMHO that trainee piece of information is worth our time and effort. Thank you. Randroide (talk) 10:00, 28 February 2010 (UTC)


The article reads: "Primal therapy is a trauma-based psychotherapy", and yet the abstract of a journal article produced in part by the chairman of the German Society for Psychotherapy reads: "The authors examined the available literature and then came to the conclusion that primal therapy is not a valid therapeutic technique." How on earth can this article as it currently stands be reconciled with WP:FRINGE? WilliamH (talk) 18:05, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

It was invented by a qualified psychologist and is practiced by professionals qualified in the field. The fact that it is not a popular psychotherapy does not mean it is tantamount to quackery. Gatoclass (talk) 17:21, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
That really doesn't mean anything. I can think of something else that was established by a qualified historian and isd still practiced by 'professsionals' qualified in the field, but yet when a large national body states that something is not what it claims to be, Wikipedia presents that accordingly. Why is this any different? WilliamH (talk) 23:52, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Well perhaps you could be a little more specific in your criticisms. Is there something in particular you find objectionable? Gatoclass (talk) 00:48, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
  • My main contention is that this is presented as an actual form of psychotherapy, when according to a very reliable source, it isn't. WilliamH (talk) 18:34, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
That is not the case at all. You have one 30-year-old study carried out by two people in one particular country who came to that conclusion. There is no basis whatever for presenting the therapy from that one POV. Yes, it has declined hugely in popularity since its heyday, leading some to dismiss it as a passing therapeutic fad, but it had plenty of support at one time and still has proponents with qualifications in the field. Gatoclass (talk) 03:21, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

(out-denting) WilliamH, you claim that the article as it stands cannot be reconciled with WP:FRINGE.

WP:FRINGE states that "an idea that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea".

Nothing like that is happening within this article. Primal therapy is not being presented as a mainstream idea, nor is it being given any weight whatsoever in any article about mainstream ideas.

You wrote: "The article reads: "Primal therapy is a trauma-based psychotherapy", and yet the abstract of a journal article produced in part by the chairman of the German Society for Psychotherapy reads: "...primal therapy is not a valid therapeutic technique."

Those claims don't contradict each other. One says that primal therapy is a trauma-based psychotherapy (which obviously it is), and the other is a statement about its validity.

You wrote: "when a large national body states that (holocaust denial) is not what it claims to be, Wikipedia presents that accordingly. Why is this any different?"

That is not analogous at all, for several different reasons. First, you are conflating a large national body (an historical society), with an individual member of such a body. Second, you are conflating an official position statement issued by a large body, with a single study by one of it's members that has not been endorsed by the other members. Third, the sole invidividual member you've found, has not even contradicted anything in the article at present. He's not denying that primal therapy is a psychotherapy; rather, he's denying that it's a valid or effective one.

You wrote: "My main contention is that this is presented as an actual form of psychotherapy, when according to a very reliable source, it isn't."

The source you cited doesn't claim that primal therapy isn't an actual form of psychotherapy or that the word "psychotherapy" shouldn't be used to describe it.

I've quickly gone through the main sources of the criticism section. None of them claims that primal therapy is not even a psychotherapy or should not be described using that term. None of them call it a "non-therapy." Even the most negative descriptions still acknowledge that it's a psychotherapy, and almost all of them call it such.Twerges (talk) 04:13, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

This article[edit]

I have checked out this article several times over the past 4 years, and have been amazed at the massive changes each time I looked. -such as 'Janov's daughter died at 13 in a horse-riding accident' 'Janov's daughter died aged 30-something in a house-fire started by an angry ex-patient' 'no mention at all of children' etc While I consider the main facts about Primal Therapy and Primal Theory to be well written and their complexities very well explained, and thus this article worthy of an award of higher status by Wikipedia, the enduring problem is the veritability of anything outside of the subject of his own published books. I am quite aware that this is Wikipedia, and not fact or truth, however much we all try, I suppose like everyone else coming here I just wish for comprehensive, concrete, useable information.

I will add that the 'criticisms' section, which has been massively reduced, should be massively expanded again, pertaining to very significant and relevant issues, such as:

1 -Janov's French operation and it's closure

2 -Janov's Danish collaboration and it's fate

3 -Janov's claims in the 60's that John and Yoko could be practising Primal Therapy just as effectively as himself, in stark contrast to his later warnings.

4 -Janov's involvement with Dr. Michael Holden, a co-author of one book, who later became a Christian of some sort, claiming that the 'Holy Ghost' descended into him from the sky as a bright light, continued to endorse Primal Therapy, but denounced Janov's denial of 'God', and died prematurely.

5 -The continued operation of the denounced therapy centre run by Janov's first wife, also a co-author of many books, and the implications of that to the content of the early 'Primal Therapy' books.

6 -Critiscism of Janov by first-hand witnesses such as ex-patients.

Discussion of the above is eagerly awaited. Fuckwitt (talk) 14:01, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Also it seems there is a massive gap in the history of Primal Therapy; I see the claims that it's popularity exploded in the 60's due to Lennon's fame, but then what? How was it reduced to it's current status of popular unawareness and professional loathing? Was there some great controversy that I am missing? I wasn't alive at the time and to be honest I can't be bothered to research through 40,000 old newspapers. Information gladly recieved! Fuckwitt (talk) 14:12, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

The final, and perhaps most important issue to be discussed is Janov's own neurosis and probable unresolved pains, and the effect of that on Primal Theory, how Primal Therapy is practised, and Janov's engagement with the mainstream scientific community. tildetildtildetilde Fuckwitt (talk) 14:17, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

This page is terrible and not marked as such so I'm just commenting here hoping someone who knows how Wikipedia stuff works will flag this. User: MarkMM 22:58, 3 September 2019 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)