Grof, Stanislav

Grof, Stanislav (1931– ) – Internationally known psychiatrist, one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, and a pioneer of LSD research. Grof’s early research on the clinical uses of psychedelics began at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, where he was principal investigator of a program systematically exploring the heuristic and therapeutic potential of LSD and other psychoactive substances. Grof went on to become chief of psychiatric research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Henry Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. His research on LSD was published in the form of numerous articles and books, including LSD Psychotherapy (1980), The Cosmic Game (1998), and Psychology of the Future (2000). As one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, he established the International Transpersonal Association (ITA), and at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, he developed holotropic breathwork with his wife, Christina Grof. Holotropic breathwork is “a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world” ( The process combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a safe setting in order to induce “a non-ordinary [altered] state of consciousness,” which is reminiscent of core shamanism practice.


Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007


Related Articles

Tart, Charles T.

Tart, Charles T. (1937– ) – Professor and core faculty member of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California. Tart is internationally known for…

Walsh, Roger N.

Walsh, Roger N. – Professor of psychiatry and behavior at the University of California at Irvine, whose research interests in transpersonal psychology involve the psychology…