Primal Therapy

Primal therapy, developed by psychologist Arthur Janov, is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the release of repressed, deep-seated emotional pain and trauma through intense emotional expression and reliving past experiences. It is based on the belief that many psychological issues are rooted in unresolved childhood traumas and that by revisiting and expressing these painful emotions, individuals can achieve emotional healing and personal growth.

Primal Therapy


Primal therapy, pioneered by psychologist Arthur Janov in the late 1960s, was a groundbreaking departure from traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. It posited that repressed emotions and unresolved childhood traumas underpinned many psychological issues, and it aimed to address these by encouraging intense emotional expression, often involving screaming, crying, and reliving past experiences. Primal therapy gained significant attention in the 1970s, but it gradually lost mainstream acceptance due to a lack of empirical evidence supporting its effectiveness and concerns about potential retraumatization.

Today, primal therapy is considered a controversial and fringe psychotherapeutic approach with few practitioners. The mental health field has shifted toward evidence-based modalities, making it crucial for individuals interested in this therapy to conduct thorough research and consult with mental health professionals for well-informed treatment decisions.

Focus theme / core-concept

Primal therapy is a type of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Arthur Janov, which centers on the belief that repressed childhood traumas are the root of psychological and emotional issues in adulthood.


Emotional Release: Primal therapy may provide a platform for individuals to release repressed emotions, potentially leading to emotional relief and a sense of catharsis.

Trauma Resolution: It aims to address and resolve unresolved childhood traumas, which could help individuals work through past experiences that continue to affect their emotional well-being.

Insight and Self-Awareness: The process of revisiting past experiences may lead to increased self-awareness and a better understanding of the roots of emotional difficulties.

Coping Skills: It may help individuals develop healthier coping strategies by addressing deep-seated emotional issues.

Personal Growth: Some individuals report personal growth and improved psychological well-being after undergoing primal therapy.


Emotional Release: To facilitate the release of deeply repressed emotions and trauma.

Healing Childhood Wounds: Address unresolved childhood traumas and experiences.

Catharsis: Achieve emotional catharsis by expressing intense emotions associated with past traumas.

Personal Growth: Promote emotional healing and personal growth through emotional expression.

Controversial Approach: Acknowledge that it is a controversial and unconventional form of therapy.


Cathartic Release: Patients are encouraged to express their deep emotions, such as crying, screaming, and intense verbal expressions, as a means of releasing repressed feelings.

Regression: The therapist may guide the patient to regress back to childhood or earlier life experiences to relive and emotionally process those memories.

Primal Scream: The "primal scream" is a notable technique, where individuals are encouraged to scream and shout as a means of releasing pent-up emotions.

Role Play: Patients may be asked to reenact past traumas or significant events, allowing them to experience and express the emotions associated with those events.

Breathing Exercises: Deep and rapid breathing exercises can be used to intensify emotional release during sessions.