Major Unrecognized Turning Point: There is a major turning point in your primal life that you were probably just thrown into without solid preparation. That happened when you shifted away from formal primal therapy (whether group or individual) to having to do the work by yourself, with or without a buddy. This is a time when you lose much quality outside observation of and feedback about your process/progress. |
Before Leaving the Therapy Womb: While you may not have had the best primal therapist or primal center, that therapist/center did (most always) have more primal skills than you. While doing therapy with even a mediocre primal therapist, your neurosis loses many of its abilities to deceive you because the therapist is able to see through and help you confront many of your clever neurotic tricks.
But, when you stop going regularly to a center/therapist, you lose this valuable feedback and recognition of your neurosis and its acting out. This means that you must now recognize it on your own or with a buddy. Unfortunately, buddies are like us, usually having little experience recognizing effective primal; so too our buddies left the therapy womb with no real preparation. Buddies can become traps for us... more to come on difficulties with buddies.
Feelings Trap: What most of us fall back on when judging primal effectiveness are our own feelings. If we feel better after what looks like a primal, most primal folks judge it as being OK and good. Unfortunately, this is the same tool an addict uses to measure whether things are OK, whether it feels good or not. There is a failure to evaluate whether this feeling-good is a temporary or permanent effect. It is crucial for proper evaluation to have an objective measure of effectiveness; measuring blood pressure, heart rate and extremities' temperature is just such an excellent objective measure.
But who does that? While Dr. Janov has done these measurements for many years with his clients, he seems not to have imbued either clients or therapists with the necessity for doing this outside therapy. My opinion is that because they are not measuring themselves, many of his ex-clients seem to flounder, unable to recognize when their neuroses are running the show. And how many primal therapists are regularly monitoring their own bodies? Few are doing so, and I am sure that many of them would score rather poorly on Dr. Janov's Repression Index, a score that factors in things like blood pressure, heart rate and extremities' temperature. (If you are interested, results of these measurements on my body may be found here.)
Primal Therapy Companion