During the first three weeks your therapist will see you individually as you undergo the intensive phase of therapy. Sessions are open-ended and their length is dictated by the needs of the patient, and the judgment of the therapist. Primal Therapy distinguishes itself by breaking certain established psychiatric traditions: in particular, the "45 minute hour". Sessions during the intensive period average between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. A patient will also enter group therapy upon the instruction of his therapist, usually after your first week of intensive.
At the conclusion of your three-week intensive, you will discuss with your therapist a follow-up program that will consist of group sessions and further individual sessions if indicated.
FOURTH WEEK INTENSIVE - An additional week of individual intensive therapy is offered when needed, though it is usually taken somewhere between the sixth and twelfth month.
BUDDY SYSTEM - The Institute's treatment rooms are open throughout the day for private use by current advanced patients. This enables the operation of the "buddy system" whereby patients are able to help each other with their feelings, on the advice of their therapist. We also encourage our patients who are returning home to other cities to inquire in our office about a "buddy list" of other patients who may live in the same area and are willing to meet with you after you return home.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELING - Sessions can be arranged for current patients with their spouse or family members.
SEMINARS - Open to all patients; these meetings are conducted by Vivian Janov and/or members of the Institute's staff. "Primal Pain and Creativity", "Sexuality", "Depression, Anxiety and Suicide " and "Eating Disorders" are some topics that are discussed.
CHRISTMAS GROUP - Christmas Group is held the Friday before Christmas and all of our patients are invited to attend. There is no charge for this holiday group, but each person is asked to bring an ornament to hang on the Christmas tree that best reflects their hopes and dreams for the New Year.
RETREATS - The Primal Institute offers a six day concentrated live-in therapy experience. This program is open to all current patients as well as to our many "former" patients from out of state and out of the country. Conducted by Vivian Janov, Barry Bernfeld, Gretchen Bernfeld and Mark Grieshaber, this is our premier follow-up program that is generally held in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, California. These Retreats attract our patients from all over the world, which in turn makes this a most exciting experience.
THANKSGIVING RETREAT - Our Thanksgiving Retreat begins with a group meeting early Thanksgiving morning at our residential Retreat site in Santa Barbara California. Following group, preparation begins in our dormitory kitchen for an incredible Thanksgiving feast. All participants share in the preparation for this family style meal. This is an amazing 4-day Retreat in which we bring together those who would not otherwise have family to share this special day with, or those who just enjoy the camaraderie of others during the holidays. This special Retreat combines group therapy with many other therapeutic exercises including our "buddy matching" which is an integral part of all of our Retreats.