Stanislav Grof

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Stanislav Grof


Stanislav Grof was born July 1, 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia where he received an M.D. from Charles University in 1956. Later, in 1965, he completed his Ph.D. in Medicine from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences with a dissertation on clinical uses of psychedelic drugs. He is world renowned for his impact and research in the diverse field of human psyche experiences and intrinsic healing powers. As one of the founding father figures to transpersonal psychology, he has been at the forefront of psychedelic therapy, perinatal research, and drug and non-drug potential on the human psyche.

A significant highlight marking Grof’s career was characterized by research into perinatal experiences and documenting case studies. High doses of LSD were administered to participants in order to recover repressed psychodynamic, perinatal, and past life trauma. The person confronting his or her respected fabric of consciousness, in the controlled lab, regained a healthy level of functioning of the physical unit as a result of neurotic and psychotic psychopathologies being treated by psychedelic drugs. Grof was also involved in psycholytic therapy, where moderate doses of LSD were used to treat psychopathologies. His work using LSD in psychedelic research was legally disbarred in the late 1960’s. However, Grof along with his wife Christina have established a healing mechanism which is equally effective as using LSD, called Holotropic Breathwork. Similarly, this technique activates bioenergies to induce the treatment of spiritual and physical units.

As a psychiatrist with over 50 years of experience, other contributions include:

  • Treatment of spiritual emergencies
  • Establishing theory and practice of psychopathologies to revive the healthy potential of individuals
  • Developing the study of transpersonal, transcendent, and spiritual aspects of human existence
  • Discovering mystical states of the unconscious realm
  • Building a fundamental base for transpersonal psychology among other science disciplines with a focus on explaining neurology, biology, and physics as insinuations for psychiatry and psychology
  • The Grof Transpersonal Training program licenses Holotropic Breathwork practitioners with international sites throughout the world
  • Translation of books into 16 different languages

One of Grof’s greatest achievements came October 5, 2007 when he received the VISION 97 award presented by the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation. Among many other distinctions and positions held, Grof has published over 150 journal articles and 20 influential books. Refer to the website address posted below for a complete listing of articles, books, and other scheduled events. He is currently at the California Institute of Integral Studies as a professor of psychology in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Department. In 1995, he founded, and is currently, the president of the International Transpersonal Association. He continues to present training workshops worldwide on transpersonal psychology and Holotropic Breathwork.

See Also

Basic Perinatal Matrix I

Basic Perinatal Matrix II

Basic Perinatal Matrix III

Basic Perinatal Matrix IV

Holotropic Breathwork

Perinatal Matrices

Physical Unit


Psychedelic Therapy


Psycholytic Therapy

Spiritual Emergency

Transpersonal Psychology

External Links

Stanislav Grof's Official Website


Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy

Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research

LSD Psychotherapy

The Transpersonal Vision: The Healing Potential of Nonordinary States of Consciousness