Dr Stanislav Grof: the founder of Holotropic Breathwork™

  They have said...

Stanislav Grof is one of the most important pioneers in the scientific understanding of consciousness. He and his wife, Christina, have contributed both to its intellectual and experiential understanding through their work with Holotropic Breathwork™." - Deepak Chopra

''Grof's work is the most important contribution to personality theory in several decades.'' - Abraham Maslow, founder of Humanistic Psychology

Dr Stanislav Grof 

Stanislav Grof, M.D., (born in Prague,1931.) is a psychiatrist with more than five decades of experience in research of non-ordinary states of consciousness. In the past, he was Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

Currently, he is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), conducts professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology, and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA).

Among many noteworthy awards, he also received Honorary Award of the Association of Transpersonal Psychology for capital contribution in the development of this science, the prestigious 'Vision 97′ Vaclav Havel Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and the Thomas R. Verny award for a key role in the development of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

His numerous scientific papers and books have been translated in many languages, and his revolutionary discovery laid the platform for the prenatal, perinatal and transpersonal psychology.

Although it is difficult to summarize enormous opus of his work in only few words, these are his key scientific contributions:

  • His early experiments with use of psychoactive substances in psychotherapy have developed a theory and practice that to this day remain the only basis for such psychotherapy
  • His 'birth trauma' research has served as one of the cornerstones in the construction of prenatal and perinatal psychology
  • His greatest contribution is creation of extended cartography of the human psyche, which in addition to biographical level, also explains the prenatal and perinatal level (processes before and during childbirth), and transpersonal levels of the psyche
  • Together with his wife Christina, he has developed Holotropic Breathwork™ - advanced therapeutic method by which people can easily and naturally reach enhanced (holotropic) states of consciousness and move along the spiral of development of their personality and consciousness.
  • Along with the famous A.Maslow and A.Sutich, he laid the foundations of Transpersonal Psychology, so-called. 'Fourth Force' in psychology.
  • He wrote more than 150 scientific papers and 20 books, translated into many world languages, among otheres are: Realms of the Human Unconscious; Beyond the Brain; LSD Psychotherapy; The Cosmic Game; Psychology of the Future; When the Impossible Happens; The Ultimate Journey; Healing Our Deepest Wounds; Spiritual Emergency; The Stormy Search for the Self; and Holotropic Breathwork™ (the last three with Christina Grof).

Christina Grof

Christina Grof Ph.D.,(1941-2014) was an author, teacher, artist, psychotherapist, founder of the Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN), and co-creator of Holotropic Breathwork. She was past-president of Grof Transpersonal Training, vice-president emeritus of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA), and an advisor to the board of the Spiritual Emergence Network. For over thirty years, she was active in the field of Transpersonal Psychology, which includes the spiritual aspects of human nature, as well as the emotional, mental, physical, and social aspects, as essential to a full understanding of the whole person.

Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ms. Grof was a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied with mythologist Joseph Campbell and poet Muriel Rukeyser, and held two honorary Ph.D. degrees in transpersonal psychology.

She has given workshops and lectures and coordinated conferences internationally for over 35 years. Her particular areas of interest are the issues of child abuse and the spiritual aspects of addiction and recovery.

Christina Grof is the author of The Thirst for Wholeness: Attachment, Addiction, and the Spiritual Path (Harper San Francisco, 1993), her memoir, The Eggshell Landing (2014), and was working on a book of her paintings in her last years. Her other books, written with Stanislav Grof, M.D., are Beyond Death (Thames and Hudson, 1980), Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis (J.P. Tarcher, 1989), The Stormy Search for the Self (J.P. Tarcher, 1990) and Holotropic Breathwork: A New Approach to Self-Exploration and Therapy (SUNY Press, 2010). Each of her books was translated into many languages.

Christina Grof died unexpectedly on June 15, 2014, of pneumonia.