PRIMAL MAN: The New Consciousness by

PRIMAL MAN: The New Consciousness

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A combination of clinical ""findings"" and further ""theory"" on behalf of Primal Therapy. Post-""primalling"" studies show, among other things, larger penis sizes and better urination. Attitude changes are more marked still: ""Primal Man is essentially anarchic. Very few that I [Janov] have observed become involved with politics""; patients no longer ""search for the meaning of life,"" or care about external morality; they have few wants and aspire to little more than ""a life in peace."" This placid state is produced by ""regressing"" the patient into ""feeling"" childhood wounds: unlike Freud, Janov leaves the patient in an infantile state. To justify this technique, the authors set forth a profusion of rotgut theories based on the claim that neurosis stems from blockage of ""impulse or fluid"" from one part of the brain to another. The brain itself is divided into an ""intellectual side"" and an ""emotional side,"" and the latter is alleged to become withered from overdevelopment of the former. This neo-phrenology is elaborated by Bernard Campbell, who asserts that the misfortunes of human speech, confined spaces, cold climates and demanding technologies have thrust us away from the ""integrated emotionality"" of the apes. Campbell thus explicitly reduces men to beasts; Janov explicitly combats adult responsibility and adult creativity. Even the least discriminating reader may be aroused to reflect on the presentation of such views as liberating psychotherapy. Campbell is a professor of anthropology at UCLA; the other contributors are connected with Janov's Primal Institute and Primal Research Laboratory.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1975
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell