Biography - Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.

Stanislav Grof’s professional career has covered a period of over 50 years in which his primary interest has been research of the heuristic and therapeutic potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. This included initially four years of laboratory research of psychedelics - LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and tryptamine derivatives - (1956-1960) and fourteen years of research of psychedelic psychotherapy. He spent seven of these years (1960-1967) as Principal Investigator of the psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia. This was followed by seven years of research of psychedelic psychotherapy in the United States.
Stan Grof
The first two of these years, he worked as Clinical and Research Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University and in the Research Unitof the Spring Grove State Hospital in Baltimore, MD. The following five years, he held the position of Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. In this capacity he headed for several years the last surviving official research project of psychedelic therapy in the USA.

From 1973 until 1987, he was Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he developed jointly with his wife Christina a powerful non-drug form of self-exploration and psychotherapy that they call Holotropic Breathwork. They have used this method in workshops and in professional training in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. They have also worked with many individuals undergoing spontaneous episodes of non-ordinary states of consciousness, psychospiritual crises or “spiritual emergencies.” During these years of psychotherapeutic research, Stan Grof has made the following contributions.


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He has performed a great service for us in drawing upon not only psychedelic and holotropic breathwork data, but upon literature, cross-cultural studies, ancient mystical sources, and psychological data in his profound articulation of what we now know about non-ordinary states of consciousness.

- Richard Alpert, Ph.D. (RAM DASS), psychologist, spiritual teacher, and author of Be Here Now and The Only Dance There Is.