The Biology of Love
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.
Focusing on prenatal experience, Janov says, "Womb life is the precursor for all the rest of our lives": health-conscious mothers-those who take care of themselves during pregnancy; who eat nutritious foods; avoid ingesting toxic substances like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco smoke; and carry the fetus to term in an emotionally positive, low-stress environment-bestow on their newborns innumerable advantages.
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, The Biology of Love is also a book 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. 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 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.
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