How Does Primal Therapy Work?

Primal Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that was developed by Rd. Arthur Janov in the late 1960s. The therapy aims to help individuals confront and release repressed emotions, particularly those that originated during childhood. The core belief of primal therapy is that the emotions we repress can cause psychological and physical problems that affect our lives and relationships.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the concept of primal therapy, its uses, and its benefits.

The Theory behind Primal Therapy

Primal Therapy is based on the idea that humans are born with an instinctual capacity to experience and express a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, joy, and fear. However, over time, societal expectations and family dynamics force us to suppress certain emotions, which can lead to psychological and physical problems.

According to primal therapy, individuals develop “primal pain” as a result of traumatic experiences in childhood. 

The Process of Primal Therapy

Primal Therapy involves a series of sessions with a trained therapist. The therapy process is designed to help individuals access and express their repressed emotions in a safe and supportive environment.

In the early stages of therapy, the therapist will work to establish a relationship of trust and safety with the client. They will encourage the client to talk about their emotions and experiences, and help them to identify any patterns or themes in their behaviour.

As the therapy progresses, the therapist will help the client to identify specific incidents or traumas from their past that may be contributing to their emotional distress. 

Benefits of Primal Therapy

Primal Therapy has been used to treat a range of emotional and psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the benefits of this therapy include:

Increased Emotional Awareness: Primal Therapy can help individuals become more aware of their emotions and how they impact their lives. By identifying and expressing repressed emotions, clients can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their emotional patterns.

Improved Relationships: By releasing emotional pain and trauma, individuals can improve their relationships with others. Primal Therapy can help clients learn to communicate their emotions more effectively, which can lead to healthier relationships and improved intimacy.

Reduced Symptoms: Primal Therapy has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. By releasing repressed emotions, clients can experience a greater sense of peace and emotional stability.

Physical Healing: Primal Therapy can also have physical benefits. Research has shown that releasing repressed emotions can reduce blood pressure, decrease chronic pain, and improve immune system function.

Self-Discovery: Primal Therapy can help individuals discover aspects of themselves that they may not have been aware of before. By exploring their emotions and past traumas, clients can gain a deeper understanding of who they are and what motivates them.


Primal Therapy is a powerful tool for emotional healing and personal growth. By allowing individuals to access and express their repressed emotions, this therapy can help to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. 

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