Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D., the creator of Holotropic Breathwork and co-founder of Transpersonal Psychology has made major contributions to the fields of psychiatry and psychology and the study of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Holotropic Breathwork breathing workshops and seminars are now attended by tens of thousands of people around the world. Stan Grof, while he currently resides in Northern California, still comes to Los Angeles once every two years to lead a Holotropic Breathwork weekend workshop. Michael Stone, lead facilitator for Holotropic Breathwork LA, went through the Stan Grof Holotropic Breathwork Certification program and was certified in 2009. Below is Dr. Grof’s biography.
Stan Grof and Holotropic Breathwork Basic Information
Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D., the creator of Holotropic Breathwork and one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1931. As a result of his work in the 1960’s with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Stan Grof found that the non-ordinary psychological states of consciousness that were induced through LSD (one of Sandoz’s experimental drugs at the time) had tremendous therapeutic value.
This began a journey that would carry Stan Grof through fifty years of groundbreaking work investigating the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. This research resulted in, among other things, the creation of what Dr. Grof named “Holotropic Breathwork”, a healing modality which uses breath and music to allow parcipants to access the healing potential of non-ordinary state of consciousness. Experiences can include re-experiencing and releasing childhoold trauma, perinatal experiences, sensory experiences that release energetic blocks in the body and transpersonal experiences such as a satori type of breathing experience of union and connection with the universe.
Stan Grof Educational Background
Stan Grof received an M.D. Degree from the Charles University School of Medicine, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1957
Stan Grof received a Ph.D. Degree from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1965
Stan Grof Research
Stan Grof ‘s early research involved the clinical uses of psychedelic substances conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague where he was the principal investigator of a
program systematically exploring the heuristic and therapeutic potential of LSD (after its discovery by Albert Hoffman) and other psychedelic substances. In 1967, Stan Grof was invited as Clinical and Research Fellow to the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
After completion of this two-year fellowship, Stan Grof stayed in the US and continued his research as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Henry Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. In 1973, Stanislav Grof was invited to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he lived until 1987 as Scholar-in-Residence writing, giving seminars, lecturing and developing Holotropic Breathwork with his wife Christina Grof. Dr. Grof also served on the Board of Trustees of the Esalen Institute.
Development of Stan Grof Holotropic Breathwork
Over the course of almost fifty years, Stan Grof has collected data from thousands of case studies which led to the development of his model of consciousness. In the process of his research and his study of traditional cultures and modern consciousness theory, he also developed Holotropic Breathwork, a transformational breathwork technique that combines breath work, creative self-expression, group processing and evocative music in a unique way. Stan Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork is now practiced around the world. Most events are facilitated by Grof Certified Facilitators, but Dr. Grof occasionally still leads workshops in person.
Stan Grof founded the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) in 1977 and is its past and current president. At present, he lives in Mill Valley, California, conducting training seminars for professionals in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology and writing books. Dr. Grof is also Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and gives lectures and seminars worldwide.
Stan Grof Awards
In 1993, Stanislav Grof received an Honorary Award from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) for major contributions to and development of the field of transpersonal psychology given at the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Convocation held at Asilomar, California. On October 5, 2007, Stan Grof received the VISION97 lifetime achievement award.
Stan Grof Quotes
“Western science is approaching a paradigm shift of unprecedented proportions, one that will change our concepts of reality and of human nature, bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, and reconcile the differences between Eastern spirituality and Western pragmatism.”
– Stan Grof from Beyond the Brain
“We are clearly involved in a dramatic race for time that has no precedent in the entire history of humanity. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of humanity and of life on this planet. Many of the people with whom we have worked saw humanity at a critical crossroad facing either collective annihilation or an evolutionary jump in consciousness of unprecedented nature and dimension. Terence McKenna put it very succinctly: “The history of the silly monkey is over, one way or another” (McKenna 1992). We either undergo a radical transformation of our species or we might not survive. The final outcome of the crisis we are facing is ambiguous and uncertain; it lends itself to pessimistic or optimistic interpretation and each of them can be supported by existing data. If we continue the old strategies, which in their consequences are clearly extremely destructive and self-destructive, it is unlikely that modern civilization will survive. However, if a sufficient number of people undergoes a process of deep inner transformation described above, we might reach a stage and level of consciousness evolution at which we will deserve the proud name we have given to our species: homo sapiens sapiens and live in a new world that will have little resemblance to the old one.” – Dr. Stan Grof from his lecture at “The Prophet’s Conference”, 2012.
Publications Authored and/or Edited by Dr. Stan Grof
Stan Grof is the author of numerous books (see below). His most recent book is entitled “Holotropic Breathwork” and is an excellent reference book on the development, theory and practice of Holotropic Breathwork. Stan Grof has also published numerous articles in professional journals.
1) Realms of the Human Unconscious by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (Viking Press, New York, 1975)
2) The Human Encounter with Death by Stanislav (Stan) Grof and Joan Halifax (E. T. Dutton, New York, 1977)
3) Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (State University of New York Press, Albany, NY, 1985)
4) The Adventure of Self-Discovery by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (State University of New York Press, Albany, NY, 1987)
5) Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2000)
6) LSD Psychotherapy by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (MAPS, Florida)
7) The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 1998)
8) The Consciousness Revolution: A Transatlantic Dialogue (two days with Stanislav (Stan) Grof, Ervin Laszlo, and Peter Russell).
9) The Transpersonal Vision (Audiotape Set and book) by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (Sounds True, Boulder, CO, 1998)
10) Books of the Dead by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (Thames and Hudson, London, 1994).
11) The Holotropic Mind by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1992)
12) The Stormy Search for the Self by Christina Grof and Stanislav (Stan) Grof (J.P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, CA, 1990, Putnam Publications).
13) Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis edited by Stanislav (Stan) Grof and Christina Grof (J.P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, CA, 1989, Putnam Publications)
14) Beyond Death by Stanislav (Stan) and Christina Grof (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980)
15) Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution edited by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (State University of New York Press, Albany, NY, 1987)
16) Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science edited by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (State University of New York Press, Albany, NY, 1984).
17) When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Reality by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (Sounds True, Inc, Boulder CO, 2006)
18) The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death by Stanislav (Stan) Grof (MAPS, California, 2006)
Stan Grof Videos and Interviews
Below are links to videos featuring interviews with Stan Grof:
Stan Grof, Holotropic Breathwork and Non Ordinary States of Consciousness Part 1 of 3
Stan Grof, Holotropic Breathwork and Non Ordinary States of Consciousness Part 2 of 3
Stan Grof, Holotropic Breathwork and Non Ordinary States of Consciousness Part 3 of 3
Stan Grof: A Discussion about Mandalas (10:28)
Geoff Fitzpatrick – Menla Mountain Retreat Centre, May 2010
Stan Grof on “Holotropic Breathing” (3:22)
Dr. Grof’s voice begins a few seconds after the beginning of this video.
Brief video of Stan Grof talking about modern and ancient techniques of shamanism.
Added to YouTube: July 04, 2006 by phlip77
Stan Grof and Michael Harner (9:20)
Stan Grof and Michael Harner discuss Holotropic Breathwork and shamanism.
Adventure of Self-Discovery – Thinking Allowed DVD w/ Stan Grof and Jeffrey Mishlove
Discussion of COEX systems in the psyche. NOTE: This is an excerpt from the full 90-minute DVD. (5 minutes) – http://infobot.com/youtube/watch?v=bInP2NDwvZc
Below are links to articles about and interviews with Stan Grof:
Angela Winter interviews Stan Grof for “The Sun” – “Stanislav Grof – On Nonordinary States Of Consciousness”. Reprinted from the August 2009 issue of The Sun, www.thesunmagazine.org.
Alvaro Jardim interviews Dr. Stan Grof in Goiania, Brazil about Holotropic Breathwork, Transpersonal Psychology and more. (21 pages)
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