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Posted August 10, 2007
Dr. Ablow Using Primal Therapy Concepts
As soon as I started to read this book I had the realization that it sounded very much like the Primal Therapy books written by Arthur Janov. Dr. Ablow wants you to abandon defenses and get to your pain, the truth about your past, by being open with family members, spouses, children, etc. In this respect, it is not like Primal Therapy since Primal Therapy does not specifically require you to work out your problems with people you are in relationships with-Primal Therapy would rather have you work it out in your own mind in the therapy room with a Primal Therapist or in a Primal Therapy group and experience your pain there. However Dr. Ablow liberally uses the word 'pain' throughout this book and the only other author who stresses experiencing pain is Dr. Janov who, in his books, has Pain with a capital P to stress its importance. Dr. Ablow needs to concur in this analysis of his book in that he has borrowed Primal Therapy concept and ideas and to specify how his theraputic approach differs and how it can be more successful than Primal Therapy or less successful than Primal Therapy. Regardless, Dr. Albow is somewhat naive in his assertion that getting to the truth by abandoning your defenses and communicating with parents, siblings, other relatives, etc will be curative. He is naive in believing that these other people are ready to participate in this process. For example, he mentions treatment of sexual abuse victims: would the abusers really want to talk about this as easily as his book suggests?-I doubt it. Let's take a less noxious example: is a person really able to come to grips with the many variety of defenses they have to hide/bury emotional pain and confront these demons in themselves?-I doubt it. First it would take a great intellect to be able to isolate their defenses and second it would take an enormous committment and amount of time to work on themselves. Then of course the question of what type of effect experiencing emotional pain would have on the person must be considered. Would they be able to function at their jobs, would their relationships change as the result of this type of work, would their sleep be affected? Dr. Ablow might have actually written a book that, when used by many people, could be dangerous and require them to seek professional help and counseling to work thru these problems. Unfortunately Dr. Ablow is a rare breed of psychiatrist who only uses drugs to help the person to work thru issues and that is admirable. But many psychiatrists are not interested anymore in helping patients work thru issus and mostly prescribe drugs to alleviate symptoms, the same sypmtoms that Dr. Ablow would recommend you use to work with to get at your Living the Truth pain. This begs the question: what was the purpose of writing Living the Truth since Dr. Ablow is probably very aware of all of these problems when a person works on eliminating his/her defenses and working on painful issues.? Perhaps Dr. Ablow truly wants to change the face of therapy and this is admirable but for some patients 'opening Pandora's box' this can become a nightmare. Dr. Ablow needs to address all these issues, perhaps in a follow-up book as soon as possible. However they should have been addressed in Living The Truth. I would only recommend reading this book as an intellectual exercise otherwise following it prescription may easily result in unexpected anxiety, confusion and disorientation. Although I support Dr. Ablow's assertion that one has to fact their truth about their past and present, his book is missing important guidance on how to handle this process and suggest it is easy to do. This is not true.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.