Malibu Musical

Locals and supporters came out to support the premiere of “Primal Scream: The Musical.” Pictured, from left: Writer/lyricist Arthur Janov (center) and producer Marie Ferro (back right) with the cast

The father of primal scream therapy, Arthur Janov, died at his home in Malibu. The popular psychologist was 93. Janov gained fame in the early 1970s after his book, “The Primal Scream,” was published. He became a frequent guest on TV talk shows of the era, touting his therapy as “the most important discovery of the 20th century.” The psychologist said loosening repressions could cure mental illness and a list of other ailments, including drug addiction. Along with gut wrenching screaming, Janov used teddy bears, cribs, dolls, baby rattles and blankets in his therapy sessions to access repressed traumatic childhood memories in an effort to bring liberating effects. His most celebrated clients were John Lennon and Yoko Ono who, in 1970, released an album—”John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band”—reflecting their treatment with Janov. He also treated James Earl Jones and pianist Roger Williams. 

The Janov Primal Center is still operating in Santa Monica.

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