The Biology of Love / Edition 1

The Biology of Love / Edition 1

4.4 5
by Arthur Janov
     
 

ISBN-10: 1573928291

ISBN-13: 9781573928298

Pub. Date: 03/28/2000

Publisher: Prometheus Books

In this revolutionary work, famed psychotherapist Arthur Janov, author of The Primal Scream, presents the first unified theory of psychology and brain chemistry. Relying on years of experience with patients and a great deal of evidence from psychology and neurology, Janov explains how love significantly affects not only psychological well-being but physical

Overview

In this revolutionary work, famed psychotherapist Arthur Janov, author of The Primal Scream, presents the first unified theory of psychology and brain chemistry. Relying on years of experience with patients and a great deal of evidence from psychology and neurology, Janov explains how love significantly affects not only psychological well-being but physical health and personality traits as well. In fact, its long-lasting biological effects critically influence brain structure and brain chemistry in the developing fetus and the growing child.

Janov's central thesis is that prenatal experience and birth trauma are imprinted on our nervous systems, and if this crucial period of life is beset by trouble and stress, whether mental or physical, the deep-seated effects can result in psychological problems or psychosomatic diseases later in life. By the same token, lack of love after birth, when the infant needs the touch of loving caresses, can be as injurious to the healthy development of intelligence and personality as lack of food. Janov cites scientific evidence to demonstrate how the formation of our nervous system, especially the complex neural connections of the brain, can be influenced by the presence or absence of a loving, nurturing environment, both before and after birth.

But beyond analyzing mental and physical ailments, this book is also about cure. Through Janov's unique therapeutic techniques, he enables patients to relive those critical periods of love deprivation that are at the root of their problems. 

This provocative, original work, synthesizing the latest neurological research and psychological theory with Dr. Janov's long experience of successfully treating patients, is understandable to the educated lay person and will be of great interest to professionals in medicine and psychology alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573928298
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
364
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments13
Introduction15
Part I.The Structure of the Brain21
1.The Structure of the Brain23
The Frontal Cortex and Feelings28
The Limbic System28
Overload and Shutdown: How We Repress30
The Hippocampus30
Messengers of the Brain31
2.The Frontal Cortex: The Thinking Man's Brain34
How an Angry Look Becomes a Chemical in Our Brain38
Transcript of a Session42
At the Crossroads: The Limbic System: The Thalamus, Amygdala, and Hippocampus51
The Thalamus: Switchboard and Relay Station of the Brain52
Organizing Memory: The Amygdala56
The Dopamine Connection57
The Amygdalae: Mother Nature at Work59
Are We Conscious First and Then Unconscious?62
The Repository of Truth66
The Hippocampus: Accessing Childhood Memories67
The Pain of Anorexia72
Sandra's Story73
The Brainstem: Instinct and Survival74
The Work of the Frontal Cortex: On Developing Strange Ideas76
Feeling Our Humanity78
3.Sounding the Alarm: The Reticular Activating System81
The Locus Ceruleus: At Terror's Center83
4.The Hypothalamus: Carrying the Message of Feeling87
The Cingulate Cortex91
5.The Sympath and Parasympath: Shaping Personality in the Womb93
A Therapy of Emotional Emergency100
6.The Three Levels of Consciousness106
First-Line Instinctual Consciousness106
Steve108
Myra109
The Second-Line: Emotional Consciousness111
The Third-Line: Intellectual Consciousness114
The Hemispheres of Love: The Left and Right Hemispheres118
Right-Brain Empathy119
The Left Analytic Brain122
The Battle in the Brain Between Ideas and Feelings123
Nolan127
Roger129
The Chain of Pain132
The Translation of Feelings into Symptoms136
Suzanne137
7.The Notion of Critical Periods144
Synaptogenesis145
The Focal Point of the Critical Period: The Dopamine Connection148
The Loss of the Ability to Adapt150
Part IIWomblife, Memory, and the Imprint153
8.Imprinting Memory155
The Long Story of Memory157
9.Breaking the Code of Memory165
Readjusting the Biological Setpoints171
Damienne: Fill Me Up173
10.The Trigger Effect183
Just Get Over It!185
Anoxia: An Imprint for Life189
Oxygen Deficit and Stress for Life192
11.Womblife: Prelude to Real Life198
To Be Touched Is to Be Love201
Mental Illness in the Womb202
Suicide and Birth206
Womblife and Later Illness209
Pushing the Envelope211
On Being Overwhelmed in the Womb212
Chronic Fatigue in the Womb214
12.The Birth Trauma: How It Directs Our Lives219
Is the Unconscious Dangerous?220
Dierdre224
13.The Stress Factor: Building a Different Brain228
14.The Gate-Control Theory231
The Fear of Death235
The Role of Serotonin in Gating Feelings238
Organizing the Neural Troops241
Alpha Sprouting: Building a Different Brain241
Samantha245
Penetrating the Gates of Repression247
About Rita250
The Administration of Drugs to the Mother and Damage to the Baby253
Ken254
Part IIIThe Power of Love261
15.Love By Any Other Name263
How to Love a Fetus264
The Child Is Father to the Man267
How Do You Love a Brain?267
The Chemicals of Repression270
The Power of Love271
The Trauma of Being Unwanted276
On the Nature of Feeling280
Feelings Are Us283
16.Lack of Oxygen Is the Lack of Love287
17.Oxytocin and Vasopressin: The Hormones of Love291
Love and Survival298
Love and Nursing: The Transmission of Love through the Breast299
The Lack of Touch Equals the Lack of Love303
Love and Addiction: Addicted to Love305
How Addiction Gets Its Start306
Vasopressin308
18.On Sexuality and Homosexuality313
Little Boy Lost315
Rage and the Impulse-Ridden317
Sarah's Story319
19.What's Love Got to Do with It?322
20.Psychotherapy and the Brain: Getting the Brain Well330
Glossary343
Warning!351
Index355

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The Biology of Love 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With all the criticism Janov stirs both for and against him you would be missing out on a lot of mental stimulation if you didn't read this book, it is quite a read from the evidence of all these reviews. This is a fairly new book! At the very least Janov is a pioneer in the field of uniting the field of psychology with provable foundations in the field of neurology and brain chemistry. Arthur Janov keeps proving his points and his critics keep sliding back giving him reluctant praise when the weight of evidence becomes too over whelming for them. The eloquence of a theory is not found in complexity but in a provable simplicity. It is good to note that excellent theories have basic tenets. The incredible understanding of the universe given to us by Einstein was summed up for the most part in one simple equation: E=MC2. Janov doesn't give painful trauma as the solution to painful trauma, he tells us that feeling is the solution. Feeling is not painful, it is the reverse. Feeling cuts fear and fear is key to suffering becoming over whelming. He does not say that pain cures pain, he says that feeling cures pain. When a little girl skins her knee she may forget all about it until she sees her mother, at which time she cries while telling her mother about it, this lowers her fear associated with the injury and this is very similar to what takes place in primal therapy. This is too common an event to discount as something not essential to healing. Often after crying and sharing with her mother the little girl or boy will come out of their mini primal and SMILE. Janov is trying to achieve such smiles, and he is being successful. Reading Janov's critics is a great way to find further proof for the validity of his theory and work. They will claim to have fully understood and read Janov's work and then say things that show they haven't even the most basic understanding of his work. For instance, the notion that people are 'holding their breath' in birth primals. Further study brought on by this critism reveals that in Primal Therapy people don't 'hold their breath' out of an act of will, it happens because in the reliving of the experience they go through the physiological realities of a time where in THERE HAD BEEN NO BREATHING. The fact that people can use degrees to give credence to what they say while avoiding true objectivity shows that the intellectual capacity to learn can be affected by biases. Biases expressed by the critics of Janov are not wholly explained by the need for people to see current main stream psychology as helpful, nor upon the lack of a clear grasp of the theory of Janov. So, we must look deeper. Janov's theory breaks down the defenses against painful doubts about the psychological profession. The profession offers many approaches that have associated studies done by professionals in the field showing that these approaches don't work. There exists a self comforting tendency to worship earlier founders of the field of psychology using statements that have no objective value. Consider the statement by one critic that Janov was not as credible as Freud because Freud had a degree in medicine in his time and had the support of others with similar degrees. First of all, let us point out that even witch doctors in primitive tribes have had forms of education that lasted for, in some cases, up to seven years. Then lets consider that one of Freud's fellow degreed practitioners of medicine felt that there was a disease known as 'hysteria' that afflicted only women and that this could be treated by an operation on their NOSE. Saying that Janov should be counted as less believable and trustable than Freud leaves you scratching your head in amazement. Also one critic said that Janov's theory was a derivative of Freud's model. That is ridiculous. It reminds me of the acclaim some gave to an earlier researcher who believed that
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Janov's book The Biology of Love is too full of unscientific jumps of logic. His assertion that it is only logical to pursue pain to reverse the effects of pain is simplistic. Even if it is true that in the forward direction, trauma causes psychological problems (true I think, and important), it does not neccessarily mean the reverse is obviously true - that to reexperience pain will lead to a joyful existence that resembles the joy of young children. In my experience, the results from primal therapy also shine doubt on Janov's assertions. It is a pity, because so much of the book is valuable and important, for example the emphasis of love, and the criticisms of robotically extinguishing behaviors with behaviorism (not all behaviorism is bad though) are all good. But Janov's theory is taken to the extremes in his books, and by his followers, spoiling the valid points that they make. For example, gentle births and avoiding birth traumas are noble and correct causes. However, claiming that ALL psychological problems may have birth trauma as the underlying cause is pushing it too far. Suggesting reliving birth over and over again will reverse the effects of birth is also getting wacky. Janov's works have a tendency to draw you in with true and emotional themes, but they take you too far into his single deterministic model, and get you beleiving in things that are not proven, and actually unlikely. His model of understanding fails in some circumstances (as do all the grand theories), and in some cases evidence exists that contradicts some of the theory (for example modern research on surgery suggested mammals do better WITH pain medication, in the Primal Scream Janov suggested avoiding pain meds wherever possible, something I thing he may now disagree with, but has made no formal retraction). I would recommend learning about all the models in psychology to put this work in context, and look at all the recent data in the field 1990 to 2006. Despite Janov's attack on Freud, Primal is a derivative of Freudian work, with some of the similar problems and benefits that come from that model. The worst thing you could do is wrap yourself in a primal blanket, and think psychology's rejection of this work is somehow repressed or a conspiracy. Mainstream psychology would correctly argue that the evidence is mostly case study from a specific skewed population of Janov followers, at a specific time in their optimism and therapy cycle. Similar miraculous reports are found in spiritual healing practices, again with believer's testimony being emphasised and published when it is positive. In addition, rememeber this work was written a long time ago, and the diatribe against other psychological treatments is out of date (and in part unfair even at the time). However some of the criticisms of other treatments were valid, and important. Use scientific and critical thinking to make your own decisions about this work. It's not all wrong, if you have your wits about you and you filter the information, it could help fill your life with love and improve the life of your children. Janov is right, love is the most important thing is raising children, and he does a good job of defining love between an parent and child. On the other hand, if you take all of it to heart, and to the extreme, and then go on to destroy all relations with your family, create false memories, and spend decades trying to cry, scream and holding your breath in birth primals, it might just spoil your life. It could go either way, so think independently for yourself. Consider too, I may be wrong, so look at all the data with a critical eye, and draw on all areas of psychological research for clues.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Arthur Janov through treating patients in Primal Therapy has at the very least laid out a clear view of how to PREVENT misery in humans. This book is more than it seems at first, it implies so much. If you are new to primal theory, it will knock your socks off. If you are not, it will explain how much has been learnt in the last thirty years. And this new information, particularly the learning on abreaction (see the New Primal Scream also), is so essential to those people who read about Primal in the early days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think so. First, because I could not put it down. Dr. Janov has written a sophisticated and scientific book about the human psyche, how the brain can change as the result of lack of love. Sophisticated and yet accessible to the lay person of which I am. I was fascinated to read the latest available research in neurology; and how we treat our children affects their brain and who they are forever. So much of it makes total sense. It is brilliant to be able to understand how it all works. Of course, a child treated with respect and love through gestation, birth and childhood. Dr. Janov says loving a child is making sure it doesn't suffer anoxia at birth (a common occurence in the way our children are born these days), making sure mothers treat themselves - their future baby - with respect, that they don't smoke, that they take care of themselves...while creating a new human being in this world. Dr. Janov's book is all about love and how to love our children. I read with amazement a professional review accusing THE BIOLOGY OF LOVE of laying guilt on poor mothers. What a pathetic way to read this book. But to deprive future children of the incredible data this book provides is doing great harm. Dr. Janov has put together in a powerful framework the first unifying theory that at last makes sense of the human sciences, neurology, biology and psychology. Isn't it crucial to know how to become a fully integrated human being that won't be plagued by psychosomatic illness, will have no need to drink and take drugs? And of course the right definition of love for a child is to give them what they need, physiologically, as well as psychologically so that they don't suffer traumas at all stages of their development. Dr. Janov is giving us the formidable tool to understand through research what we can do to make sure our children have all the chances for a life free of neurosis later on. Witness research like: 'A MOTHER'S LOOK AT A CHILD CAN REGULATE BLOOD FLOW TO HIS BRAIN (CORTEX) AND IMPACT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THAT BRAIN.' 'TOUCHING A CHILD ALLOWS FOR GREATER DENSITY OF SYNAPSES IN THE DEVELOPING BRAIN: THE MORE DENSE THE SYNAPSES THE MORE INFORMATION THE BRAIN CAN HANDLE.' 'EARLY TOUCH AND A MOTHER'S LOVE PRODUCE ENDOGENOUS PAIN KILLERS THAT STAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES AND HELP KEEP US COMFORTABLE AND FREE OF ANXIETY.' 'STRESS AND ABUSE ALTER THE STRUCTURE OF A CHILD'S BRAIN (IMPAIRS CELLS IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS WHICH REGISTERS EMOTIONAL FACTS).' 'A FETUS REGISTERS PAIN AND MAKES CRYING MOTIONS IN THE WOMB.' 'STRESS IN A CARRYING MOTHER CAN ALTER THE SEXUAL HORMONES OF THE OFFSPRING AND THEREBY ALTER LATER SEXUAL PROCLIVITIES.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE BIOLOGY OF LOVE presents a unified theory of psychology and brain chemistry. It provides a great deal of evidence from psychology and neurlogy. Dr. Janov explains how love significantly affects not only psychological well-beng but physical health and personality traits as well. Its long-lasting biological effects critically influence the structure and chemistry of the brain in both the developing fetus and the growing child. This original and provocative work synthesizes the latest neurological research and psychological theory with Dr. Janov's long experience of successfully treating patients. It is very understandable and is written for the layperson who wishes to learn how feelings and emotions direct our lives. Dr. Janov takes facts culled from up-to-date research and places them into a frame of reference that cohesively brings together widely disparate results. Dr. Janov maintains that prenatal experience and birth trauma are imprinted on our nervous systems, and if this crucial period of life is beset by trouble and stress, whether mental or physical, the deep-seated effects can result in psychological problems or psychosomatic diseases later in life. By the same token, lack of love after birth, when the infant needs the touch of loving caresses, can be as injurious to the healthy development of intelligence and personality as lack of food. Dr. Janov cites scientific evidence to demonstrate how the formation of the nervous system, especially the complex neural connections of the brain and the hormones that enhance them, can be influenced by the presence or absence of a loving, nurturing environment, both before and after birth. However, beyond analyzing mental and physical ailments, THE BIOLOGY OF LOVE is also a book about cure. Through Dr. Janov's unique therapeutic techniques, he enables patients to relive those critical periods of love deprivation that are at the root of their problems. Using testimonials of patients who have experienced remarkable change, he shows how he helped them to 'reverse history' by releasing the underlying psychological tensions that had crippled their lives for decades. This book opens a new window into the mental mysteries of human beings and will help lay the foundations for a reassessment of how we treat mental illness.