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Scream Your Way to Mental Health

The Primal ScreamThe Primal Scream
Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis

Talk about a blast from the past! Primal Scream Therapy was the “it” therapy for many celebrities in the 70s. The basics of Primal Therapy is that current neurosis is a result of suppressed childhood pain.  Evidently, all you do is relive these moments and release the pain with a big scream and then you are magically cured. (Click here to read the Wikipedia article).

I included pages from the introduction which discusses how Janov made this great discovery in psychotherapy. I just love the idea of screaming and I think this would make a wonderful idea for a staff in-service or a conference program for ALA. As a librarian who has been on the receiving end of many a patron/staff screams, it might be fun to be the screamer for a change of pace!


Primal Scream front flap

Primal Scream back flap

Discovery of Primal Pain

Primal Scream intro

Primal Scream intro

7 Responses to Scream Your Way to Mental Health

  • We had an organized primal scream at my undergrad college during finals week. That was 1988-1992! I wonder if they still do it …

  • This is closely related to the “Going Sane” book, or at least Wikipedia claims as much. I’ll use more mainstream MH treatment for my problems rather than play what amounts to Russian roulette with these quacks.

  • “One of the most dramatic indications that the Primal Scene has been reached is the release of a blood-chilling, terrifying Primal Scream.” If that’s the case, then numerous toddlers are reaching Primal Scenes daily in our overwhelmingly busy children’s department during summer reading season.

  • Whilst it seems very funny, when you think about it, it’s rather disturbing that people with serious emotional problems were told to simply shriek a bit, and that would fix them. I imagine that if you had abusive parents it would take far more than a bit of a squeal to help heal the pain.

  • I seem to recall reading in Steve Jobs’ biography that he used to practice this…

  • “We had an organized primal scream at my undergrad college during finals week. That was 1988-1992! I wonder if they still do it …” Beth, if you went to Smith College, then you’ll be happy to know that, yes, they still do primal scream just before finals

  • I seem to remember that Roland Orzabal, the primary songwriter of the band Tears for Fears, was a big proponent of Primal Therapy, and that some of their songs (“Shout”?) were about his experiences with the process.