Developing a Jaynesian Psychotherapeutics

The late Julian Jaynes (1920—1997) theorized that consciousness, rather than a product of evolution, developed as a cultural response to civilizational complexity three millennia ago. Its recent origin means that it is much more malleable than once thought and can be utilized for the self-healing of psyche. I am now exploring how to cultivate the features of conscious interiority (FOCI) as active ingredients that can facilitate self-change. A Jaynesian psychotherapeutics also seeks to inhibit FOCI when they go into overdrive and hinder mental health. Jaynes also theorized that hallucinations once served a socially adaptive purpose; this can be a relief to those who experience them in the modern world. And Jaynes’s view that hypnosis is a temporary suspension of subjective introspectable self-awareness advances our understanding of the power of suggestibility and how hypnotherapy can bring about self-improvement.

For more information, visit the Julian Jaynes Society and view discussions at

Brian J. McVeigh, PhD, LMHC
Senior Research, Julian Jaynes Society

Author of Discussions with Julian Jaynes: The Nature of Consciousness and the Vagaries of Psychology and The Propertied Self: The Psychology of Economic History