Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D. (1931 – )
My Studies and Work with Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.
I began ongoing study in 1984 with Stanislav Grof, M.D in transpersonal psychology and non-ordinary states of consciousness. I became a certified Holotropic Breathwork™ Practitioner, was active as a senior trainer in the Grof Transpersonal Training from 1993-2000, and have assisted Stanislav Grof at many large workshops and trainings. I have written books about Holotropic Breathwork, the technique developed by Stanislav Grof and his wife, Christina (now deceased), and described in their book Holotropic Breathwork.
Stan Grof has written about the role of a therapist:
The essential attribute of the therapist is not the knowledge of specific techniques; although these represent a necessary prerequisite, they are quite simple and can be learned in a relatively short time. The critical factors are his or her own stage of consciousness development, degree of self-knowledge, ability to participate without fear in the intense and extraordinary experiences of another person, and willingness to face new observations and situations that may not fit any conventional theoretical framework.
~Grof, S. Beyond the Brain (1985, p. 375)
What have I learned from Stan Grof?
As a result of the deep Holotropic Breathwork™ work he and his wife Christina designed and in which I participated, everything in my life changed. It changed turbulently for a while, but very much for the better. The key thing I learned was to trust the process experientially—to trust not only the process that happens, always surprisingly, in deep inner work, but to trust what happens out in the midst of ordinary life as well. Ordinary life is also a process unfolding. I am very grateful for the Grof Cartography of the psyche which provides a template for all human experience and which is described in his books and summarized in the 3 minute video below. I have been so blessed in my life to have his mentorship in the 90s.
I also learned quite a bit also from GTT Trainers, Tav Sparks and Diane Haug when we worked together through the 90s training Holotropic Breathwork® facilitators.
Below Grof Transpersonal Training folks (January 2018 at a GTT module in Joshua Tree, CA) Cary Sparks, Kylea Taylor, Tav Sparks, Diane Haug, and Jim Schofield.