Brenda Craven M.F.T


The Catalyst

   I could tell something was different as soon as Tim my former boyfriend stepped off the plane.  He was looser, more relaxed.  A soft smile spread across his face which hinted at  an emotional  accessibility I hadn't seen in him. It was 1973 and I was working at N.Y. State University in Potsdam where I had just finished reading a book titled  "The Primal Scream" by Arthur Janov.  Tim, I had discovered ,was undergoing Janov's Primal Therapy in L.A. and came to N.Y. at my request for a visit.  He was a person I knew, a person I knew well.  He was a test case I would carefully scrutinize to see if there was something real to what this guy Janov said about feelings and the reliving of old traumas.  Were feelings a legitimate path to restoring mental health?  Could people really change doing this therapy?  Was Janov a crackpot or did this therapy really work?



From there I did a requisite and greatly desired year of therapy.  I was invited to join the staff in 1976.  I worked as a junior therapist in training from 1976 to 1981.  During that time I accompanied Dr. Janov, along with another therapist in doing retreats for European patients in Switzerland and Denmark.  While in Denmark I assisted Dr. Janov in a presentation on Primal Therapy  at the University of Copenhagen.  In 1981 I started a private practice.  Twice I was asked by former patients to do retreats in their countries.  I conducted a retreat in Caracus, Venezuela in 1988 and one in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1992.  In the late 80's I attended Dr. Janov's 2 year training program in L.A. and in 1996 was invited once again to join the staff at the Primal Center.  I began seeing 3 week patients regularly and became a senior therapist.  My responsibilities  increased and in the past  three years I have participated in organizing programs and teaching clinical and theoretical skills to trainees aspiring to become therapists.  I left the primal center in May, 2010 and intend to do further study and expand my private practice.

During the thirty four years I have been doing Primal Therapy, I've had opportunity to work with people of all ages, classes, and cultures - 35 countries and 3 foreign islands.  It has been a rich experience to touch and be touched by the world in this way.  And I look forward to it continuing for several years to come.

    It didn't take long for me to realize there was something special and unique that had taken place in my friend.  He was different, better.  I could sense it in his being, the proof I was searching for.  I made my decision and within a couple of years I had saved and borrowed enough money to do the therapy.  With my Master's degree in hand ('70, M.A. in counseling from U.N.C. Chapel Hill,N.C.), and high hopes I headed for L.A. and Primal Therapy.

Certificates and Study

1983  Clinical Hypnotherapy

1986  Ethics Chairperson for the Los Angeles Chapter of Marriage and Family Therapy

1987  Certificate in Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Skills, U.C.L.A. Extension

            (involved a 2 week internship at Daniel Memorial Hospital)

1989  Family Systems Training,  Southern California Counseling Center, Los Angeles, California

2001  Studied "Imago" couples therapy with Dr. Bruce Crapuchettes

2009-2010  Presently studying Relational Couples Therapy with nationally recognized, Terence Real,MFT

I read French and am able to recognize a bit of German from 2 years of classes in college