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Stanislav Grof (born 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of altered states of consciousness for purposes of healing, growth, and insight.

Grof is known in particular for his early studies of LSD and its effects on the psyche—the field of psychedelic psychotherapy. He constructed a theoretical framework for pre- and perinatal psychology and transpersonal psychology in which LSD experiences and other powerfully emotional experiences were mapped onto one's early fetal and neonatal experiences. Over time, this theory developed into an in-depth cartography of the deep human psyche. Following the legal suppression of LSD use in the late 1960s, Grof went on to discover that many of these states of mind could be explored without drugs and instead by using certain breathing techniques in a supportive environment. He continues this work today under the title "Holotropic Breathwork".

Grof received his M.D. from Charles University in Prague in 1957, and then completed his Ph.D. in Medicine at the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences in 1965, training as a Freudian psychoanalyst at this time. In 1967, he was invited as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA, and went on to become Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center where he worked with Walter Pahnke and Bill Richards among others. In 1973, Dr. Grof was invited to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and lived there until 1987 as a scholar-in-residence, developing his ideas.

Being the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) (founded in 1977), he went on to become distinguished adjunct faculty member of the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, a position he remains in today.


Among Grof's books are:

  • Realms of Human Unconscious, 1975; Souvenir Press (ISBN 0-285-64882-9)
  • LSD Psychotherapy, 1980; MAPS (ISBN 096600194X)
  • Beyond the Brain, 1985; Albany: SUNY Press (ISBN 0-87395-899-3)
  • With Hal Zina Bennett, The Holotropic Mind, 1992; San Francisco: Harper (ISBN 0-06-250367-7)
  • Psychology of the Future, 2000; New York: SUNY Press (ISBN 0-7914-4622-0)
  • The Adventure of Self-Discovery S. Grof
  • Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science S. Grof
  • Books of the Dead S. Grof
  • Consciousness Revolution S. Grof, Lazlo, & Russell
  • Cosmic Game, The S. Grof
  • Human Survival & Consciousness Evolution S. Grof
  • Spiritual Emergency S. & C. Grof
  • "When The Impossible Happens" 2006 S. Grof

See also

External links

Integral Theory/Integral Thought
Integral theorists: Aurobindo Ghose, Jean Gebser, Haridas Chaudhuri, Clare Graves, Ervin László, Michael Murphy, Don Beck, Chris Cowan, Ken Wilber

Integral books: The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Full Circle (book), Spiral Dynamics, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality
Integral themes: Evolution, Involution, Integral ecology, Integral politics, Integral psychology, Integral yoga
Influences on integral theory: James Mark Baldwin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Arthur M. Young, Edward Haskell, Erich Jantsch, Stanislav Grof, Rupert Sheldrake, Francisco Varela
Integral artists: Alex Grey, Stuart Davis, Saul Williams
Integral organizations: California Institute of Integral Studies, Integral Institute

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