Stan and Brigitte Grof

Stan Grof’s Wikipedia page. Stan Grof’s website Brigitte Grof’s website

Dr. Stanislav Grof’s professional career has covered a period of over 60 years in which his primary interest has been research of the therapeutic potential of a large subgroup of non-ordinary states of consciousness that have great therapeutic, transformative, heuristic,  and evolutionary potential. He coined for these states the term “holotropic,” meaning literally “moving toward wholeness (from the Greek holos = whole and trepo/trepein = moving toward something). His research activity can be divided into the following periods:

· Four years of laboratory research of psychedelics – LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, adrenochrome, adrenolutine, and tryptamine derivatives – DMT, DET, and DPT (1956-1960. In the year1960-1967 Dr.Grof spent 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 Baltimore, MD. The first two of these years, he worked as Clinical and Research Fellow at the Henry Phipps Clinic of The Johns Hopkins University and in the Research Unit of the Spring Grove State Hospital in Baltimore, MD. The following five years, he held the position of Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins and Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Catonsville, MD. 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 late wife Christina, Holotropic Breathwork, a powerful non-pharmacological form of self-exploration and psychotherapy combining accelerated breathing, evocative music, and a special form of bodywork.

· Since 2016, Stan has been happily married to his current wife Brigitte Grof, who is a Transpersonal psychologist, Holotropic Breathwork teacher, and artist.  They live in California and Germany, and travel worldwide conducting Holotropic Breathwork workshops and training.

· In late 2018 Stan experienced a major stroke that affected his speech system, causing aphasia.  With the help of Brigitte he is recovering his speech functions and continues to be active with the Transpersonal and Holotropic community of practitioners and students. During his 60 years of professional life, Stan conducted more than 4,500 psychedelic sessions.

For much more information about Stan and his work, the interviews below will provide a deep dive into the incredible story of this fascinating man.

Brigitte Grof is a psychologist, artist and  licensed psychotherapist with 30 years of experience of working with  Holotropic Breathwork. After having completed her studies of Psychology she studied Art at the University of Mainz, Germany and in 1986 she went to the Esalen Institute in California and trained and worked several years with Stan and Christina Grof. Brigitte got certified in the first training groups in the USA and Switzerland and in 1990 she started to work as a psychotherapist in private practice and as a Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, offering workshops and training in Holotropic Breathwork in Germany. 

In 2000 she found her current art teacher and mentor Udo W. Gottfried and has been working with him since then. She has participated in several group exhibitions in Germany and in 2005 published her book “ The true King” with her text and illustrations. Since 2017 this book is available in English translation.

Her artwork is inspired by her own experiences in nonordinary states of consciousness and by shamanic art of  indigenous cultures. Currently she has private practice in Wiesbaden, Germany and offers workshops and retreats.

To get the most from these experiences, view using an Oculus, GearVR or Google Daydream/Cardboard headset and use the SamsungVR app. For other headsets, watch on YoutubeVR using the links for “On Stan’s stroke” here, “On their romance” here and “On synchronicity” here and then add the videos to your custom Wisdom Teachers playlist to access in VR. Need help? Click here.