The Primal Scream

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For other uses, see Primal Scream (disambiguation).
The Primal Scream. Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis
The Primal Scream (first edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Arthur Janov
Country United States
Language English
Subject Primal therapy
Published 1970 (Dell)
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 446
ISBN 0-349-11834-5

The Primal Scream. Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis is a 1970 book by Arthur Janov, in which Janov describes his experiences with patients during the months he discovered Primal therapy. The book was popular and brought Janov fame and popular success, which inspired other therapists to start offering imitation primal therapy.


Janov describes the experiences he had with 63 patients during his first 18 months (starting in 1967[1]) discovering and practicing Primal therapy. He claims a 100% cure rate.[2] Janov writes that primal therapy has in some ways returned to the early ideas and techniques of Sigmund Freud.[3]


The Primal Scream has been described as "incredibly popular".[4] Author Albert Goldman writes in The Lives of John Lennon (1988) that Janov sent pre-publication copies of The Primal Scream to celebrities such as John Lennon and Mick Jagger. Lennon underwent primal therapy with Janov after being mailed a copy of The Primal Scream.[5] Janov's book was read by tens of thousands of Americans and brought him fame and popular success. This inspired many therapists who had not met Janov to start offering imitation primal therapy, and led to the proliferation of programs offering happiness through radical personal transformation.[6]


  1. ^ Back-to-Back Fires Damage Analyst's Primal Institute, L.A. Times. 1989
  2. ^ Primal Therapy this year´s rage, Boca Raton News, 16 June 1971
  3. ^ Janov, Arthur (1977). The Primal Scream. Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. London: Abacus. p. 206. ISBN 0 349 11834 5. 
  4. ^ Laing, Adrian (1994). R.D. Laing: A Life. London: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 165. ISBN 0-00-638829-9. 
  5. ^ Goldman, Albert (1988). The Lives of John Lennon. London: Guild Publishing. pp. 381–2. ISBN 978-0688047214. 
  6. ^ Mithers, Carol Lynn (1994). Therapy Gone Mad: The True Story of Hundreds of Patients and a Generation Betrayed. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. p. 54. ISBN 0-201-57071-8.