Primal scream therapy
Primal scream therapy, also called primal therapy, is psychotherapy in which the patient recalls and re-enacts a particularly disturbing past experience usually occurring early in life and expresses normally repressed anger or frustration especially through spontaneous and unrestrained screams, hysteria, or violence. Developed and popularized by Arthur Janov, Ph.D., in primal therapy patients would find their real needs and feelings after experiencing all their accumulated pain. The therapy fell out of favor in academic and psychotherapeutic circles due to the absence of peer-reviewed outcome studies to substantiate the claim.
Why should I be aware of this?
Primal scream therapy is supposed to treat neurosis or various emotional and mental disorders which can range from 'simple' neurosis like hypochondria or more dysfunctional disorders seen in deeply disturbed patients. To put it as basic as possible, it is Dr. Janov's belief that these neuroses are caused by deep, primal feelings or traumas that are experienced during a patient's younger, formative years.
Janov claimed that primal scream therapy was a revolutionary theory because it involved overthrowing the neurotic system by a forceful upheaval. But the therapy has remained controversial throughout. Although many people claim to have been helped by the therapy, others denounce it as a 'dubious mental health' practice with unclear benefits, if any.
All about primal scream therapy
Hearing a piercing scream from a client during a therapy session, Janov followed the path of that scream to discover something he called Primal Pain. He hypothesized that this pain gets locked into children’s’ unconscious minds as a way of protecting them from trauma and deprivation which they cannot handle.
Even after the child grows up, this trauma remains locked in the unconscious being from where it causes endless suffering (neurosis) until it is released in an emotional experience of great intensity which Janov called “Primalling.” Through this method adults re-experience their original childhood traumas and deprivations, and in the process free themselves from the destructive effects of his unconscious pain.
The patient is guided back to the primal event and all its attendant pain in a safe and controlled environment, through a gradual process that can take from nine months to two years to make major inroads to effect the recovery.
Though fallen out of favour, primal therapy still exists. The goal is to get patients to "Primal," or reliving a past painful feeling. The Primal can be measured by rising body temperature, pulse, and blood pressure leading up to the actual feeling, and then lowering to below the starting point. After Primaling, patients report having new insights.
- Unfulfilled needs supersede any other activity in the human until they are met. When needs are met, the child can feel. He can experience his body and his environment. When needs are not met, the child experiences only tension, which is feeling disconnected from consciousness. Without that necessary connection, the neurotic does not feel. Neurosis is the pathology of feeling. 
- The child shuts down in stages. Each suppression and denial of need turn the child off a bit more. 
- Each time a child is not held when he needs to be, each time he is shushed, ridiculed, ignored, or pushed beyond his limits, more weight will be added to his pool of hurts. This pool I call the Primal Pool. Each addition to his pool makes the child more unreal and neurotic. 
- Neurosis involves being what one is not in order to get what doesn't exist. If love existed, the child would be what he is, for that is love-letting someone be what he or she is.