Replays of Psyche Unbound: An Event Celebrating the Life and Work of Stanislav Grof are now live!
Pioneers and leaders in the fields of psychology, philosophy, spirituality and psychedelic medicine gathered in January 2022 for a virtual symposium celebrating the life and work of renowned psychologist and researcher Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD.
Dr. Grof, accompanied by his wife and fellow psychologist Brigitte Grof, joined the first session from Germany as honored guests. The event celebrated Dr. Grof’s extensive body of work as well as served as a launch event for Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof, a new book co-published by Synergetic Press and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
The day-long symposium, presented by Synergetic Press and MAPS and hosted by City Lights, a bookstore and press based in San Francisco, included the editors of Psyche Unbound, Richard Tarnas and Sean Kelly, as well as Rick Doblin of MAPS, Charles Grob, Tom Riedlinger, Diane Haug and Jasmine Virdi, and Roshi Joan Halifax, to name a few. For a full list of panelists and to their biographies, click here.
Session one – Charting the Way of the Psychonaut: Early Witnesses and Allies
A storytelling event and tribute featuring Stanislav and Brigitte Grof joined by Rick Tarnas, Sean Kelly, Rick Doblin, Susan Hess Logeals, Will Keepin, and Diane Haug. Moderated by David Presti. Click here to read about the panelists.
Session Two – Psychotherapy and Consciousness
An overview of the research and main ideas of Stanislav Grof with Michael Mithoefer, Roshi Joan Halifax, Charles Grob, Paul Grof and Jenny Wade. Moderated by Janis Phelps. Click here to read about the panelists.
Session Three – Comparative and Theoretical Studies
This final session explores how the work of Stanislav Grof has been applied and looking toward future paradigms of therapeutic practice. A panel discussion with Tom Riedlinger, Tom Roberts, Diane Haug, Jasmine Virdi and John Buchanan. Moderated by Maria Mangini. Click here to read about the panelists.
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Session One - Charting the Way of the Psychonaut: Early Witnesses and Allies
David Presti Ph.D. teaches neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has been on the faculty in molecular and cell biology for 30 years. For more than a decade he worked in the clinical treatment of addiction and of post-traumatic-stress disorder at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. And for the past 18 years, he has been teaching neuroscience and conversing about science with Tibetan Buddhist monastics in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. He is the author of Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey (2016) and of Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal (2018).
Stanislav Grof is one of the founders of transpersonal psychology and is recognized by many as having both inherited and extended the great revolution in psychology begun by Freud and Jung. His investigations of the nature and healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness led him to propose a model of the psyche which honors the full range of human experience. Unconstrained by the dogmatic prejudices of mainstream psychology and of the dominant – reductive, mechanistic, and materialistic – scientific paradigm – Grof offers a liberated, and liberating vision of psyche unbound. Brigitte Grof is a Dipl. Psychologist, licensed psychotherapist, and artist with over 30 years of experience in Holotropic Breathwork and Holotropic States of Consciousness. In 1986 she was trained at the Esalen Institute in California and got certified in the first training groups in USA and Switzerland.
Richard Tarnas, co-editor of Psyche Unbound, is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He was formerly the director of programs and education at Esalen, where he worked with Stanislav Grof for many years. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche, which received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network and is the basis for the documentary series The Changing of the Gods. He is past president of the International Transpersonal Association and served on the Board of Governors for the San Francisco Jung Institute.
Sean Kelly, co-editor of Psyche Unbound, is a professor of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He is the author of Becoming Gaia: On the Threshold of Planetary Initiation and of Coming Home: The Birth and Transformation of the Planetary Era; he is also co-editor of Ken Wilber in Dialogue: Conversations with Leading Transpersonal Thinkers and co-editor of The Variety of Integral Ecologies: Nature, Culture, and Knowledge in the Planetary Era. Along with his academic work, Sean teaches taiji and is a facilitator of the group process Work that Reconnects developed by Joanna Macy.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a 34-year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and three children.
Susan Hess Logeais is the Producer of the film, The Way of the Psychonaut, exploring the life and work of Stanislav Grof, Czech-born psychiatrist and psychedelic psychotherapy pioneer. Stan’s quest for knowledge and insights into the healing power of non-ordinary states of consciousness, influenced the discipline of psychology and profoundly changed many individual lives. One of those transformed by Stan is filmmaker Susan Hess Logeais. The documentary utilizes Susan’s personal existential crisis as a gateway to Grof’s impact, from the micro to the macro.
William Keepin, PhD is co-founder of the Satyana Institute and the Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI) project, which has organized more than 300 trainings in twelve countries for reconciliation between women and men. Keepin is a mathematical physicist who conducted extensive research on sustainable energy strategies for abating global warming and climate change, and presented testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives and several European governments. He trained with Stanislav Grof for three years in the late 1980s, and has applied holotropic breathwork extensively in his work. He is author of four books, including Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men, Belonging to God: Spirituality, Science, and a Universal Path of Divine Love, and co-editor of Song of the Earth: The Emerging Synthesis of Spiritual and Scientific Worldviews.
Diane Haug is well known in the Grof community as a longtime teacher of Stanislav’s work and lead facilitator of holotropic breathwork workshops in many contexts and many different countries. Having completed the first three-year training program offered by Stanislav and Christina Grof, Diane taught and led training events under the umbrella of Grof Transpersonal Training for three decades. Diane Haug has maintained a strong interest in applying holotropic principles within a wide variety of cultural contexts including social and environmental activism, women’s leadership, transformational education, and gender equity and reconciliation. Since 2016, she has taught Grof’s theoretical work and supported experiential breathwork sessions through the Center for Psychedelic Therapy and Research (CPTR) certification program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Diane Haug is currently serving as the Director of the 2021 CIIS/ CPTR Mentoring Program. As a founding director of the Grof Legacy Project USA and a Grof® Breathwork Facilitator, she is particularly interested in developing and leading Grof Legacy Project programs supporting those training for roles as psychedelic therapists and sitters. Diane lives in the mountains outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Session Two - Psychotherapy and Consciousness
Janis Phelps, PhD, is a full professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, CA. She served as the Dean of Faculty at CIIS for the graduate departments in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. A licensed clinical psychologist, she has held faculty positions in the East-West Psychology graduate program (founded by Alan Watts) and clinical psychology doctoral program. She is currently the founder and director of the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research, which conducts the first academically accredited, professional certificate training program for psychedelic-assisted therapy and research. Dr. Phelps is a board member of the Heffter Research Institute, which has conducted psilocybin research since the 1990’s. Her recent publications focus on the competencies and training of therapists in psychedelic-assisted therapies (article in Journal of Humanistic Psychology and chapter in Advances in Psychedelic Medicine, edited by Winkelman and Sessa). Dr. Phelps is contributing to the development of a national accreditation board for therapists and to methods of scaling effective training programs to meet the burgeoning need for well-trained mental health and medical professionals in the field of psychedelic medicine. Dr. Phelps maintains a private practice in Mill Valley, CA.
Michael Mithoefer, M.D. , has been conducting Clinical Trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD for over 20 years, sponsored by The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The inspiration for this research and the approach to facilitating the therapeutic process in these studies stems largely from their experience in the Grof Transpersonal Training 30 years ago. Michael is now a Senior Medical Director at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. He has been board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Affiliate Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina.
Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress. From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.
Charles Grob is a professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Pediatrics and director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center. He received his two BS degrees from Oberlin College and Columbia University, before getting an MD from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. Grob’s research interests include anxiety and mood disorders and also self-medication and substance abuse. The FDA approved one of his Phase 1 studies to study the psychological and physiological effects of MDMA and the hallucinogen ayahuasca. Grob is also the editor of Hallucinogens: A Reader, originally published in 2002. The book is a collection of psychedelic texts covering a wide range of topics, such as shamanism, society, and psilocybin research. It contains excerpts from figureheads of the psychedelic movement, including Terrence McKenna, Albert Hofmann, and Ralph Metzner.
Jenny Wade, Ph.D., distinguished professor in the Integral and Transpersonal Psychology doctoral program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, is a developmental psychologist specializing in the structuring of consciousness and the spontaneous openings and intentional practices that expand human potential. Her research of variations in normal adult consciousness forms the basis of a leadership and organization development consulting practice. Prince Alfred of Leichtenstein and The International Peace Foundation recently commissioned her to produce an advanced transpersonal leadership curriculum, and she is a founding board member of Millennium School, a laboratory middle school based on her developmental model. A frequent media presenter, she is the author of Changes of Mind: A Holonomic Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness, Transcendent Sex: When Lovemaking Opens the Veil and many academic articles. Particular interests are consciousness at the extremes of the lifespan, war magic, and an astronomical basis for ancient Indo-European paganism.
Paul Grof is a Canadian research psychiatrist, clinician and administrator. He has been using psychedelics in the treatment of mood disorders since 1962 and involved in transpersonal activities for six decades. He utilized Holotropic Breathwork and psychedelics with clients suffering from severe mood disorders, meditators, and psychiatric residents. In addition to his therapeutic and research work in North America and Europe, he has worked in the National Institute of Mental Health, USA, and as Expert at the World Health Organization, Geneva (1985-2000), where he chaired the Committee on Psychotropic Substances. Presently Dr. Grof is Professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Director of Ottawa Mood Disorders Center. He is actively involved in teaching the appropriate use of psychedelics for treatment and personal growth. For his research, Dr. Grof has received several international awards in the USA, Canada and Europe, He has authored and co-authored 516 publications and three books.
Session Three - Comparative and Theoretical Studies: Current Applications and Future Paradigms of Therapeutic Practice
Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has been a family nurse midwife for 25 years. Her academic interest has been the historiography of psychedelics and she has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries. She has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. She completed her doctorate in Community Health Nursing at UCSF, where her research centered on drug use and drug policy. Currently, she is the director of the MSN/FNP program at Holy Names University in Oakland. She has 31 years of experience in family practice and women’s health, including 22 years with the primary care practice of Dr. Frank Lucido, one of the pioneers of the medical cannabis movement. Their practice was one of the first to implement the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 when it became law. Her current project is the development of a Thanatology Program for the study of death and dying.
Tom Riedlinger is a licensed professional counselor and group therapist in the inpatient psychiatry unit at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA. Born and raised in the Chicago area, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968-72 and then worked many years as a magazine editor while attending college part-time at Northwestern University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He then enrolled full-time at Harvard University, earning a master’s degree in theological studies and world religions with plans to pursue a career in pastoral counseling. Along the way, he served three years as an Associate in Ethnomycology at Harvard Botanical Museum under the auspices of mentor Richard Evans Schultes, was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and became a professional member of PEN America. His two published books are The Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Essays for R. Gordon Wasson, and Mortal Refrains, the collected works of 19th century Michigan poet Julia A. Moore. He also has written and published hundreds of articles and essays in academic journals, newspapers, and magazines, as well as chapters in anthologies pertaining to cultural uses of psychoactive plants. Tom is married to hospital chaplain Beverly Jenden-Riedlinger, whom he met while both were in graduate school at Harvard. They will be students together again starting later this year in the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Certificate Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Thomas B. Roberts promotes the legal adaption of psychedelics for multidisciplinary intellectual uses, primarily their academic and spiritual implications. He formulated Multistate Theory coined singlestate fallacy, mindapp, neurosingularity, metaintelligence, the ‘impossible problem,’ mindappAI, and ideagen, and he named and characterized the Entheogen Reformation (2016). He is a founding member of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a co-founder of the Council on Spiritual Practices and the International Transpersonal Association, and originated the Rising Researcher sessions for the 2008 Basel Psychedelic Conferences. He launched the celebration of Bicycle Day (April 19th) to commemorate the day that Albert Hofmann first intentionally took LSD.
Diane Haug MA, LPCC is well known in the Grof community as a longtime teacher of Stanislav Grof’s work and lead facilitator of holotropic breathwork workshops in many contexts and many different countries. Having completed the first three-year training program offered by Stanislav and Christina Grof, Diane Haug taught and led training events under the umbrella of Grof Transpersonal Training for three decades. She has maintained a strong interest in applying holotropic principles within a wide variety of cultural contexts including social and environmental activism, women’s leadership, transformational education, and gender equity and reconciliation. Since 2016, she has taught Grof’s theoretical work and supported experiential breathwork sessions through the Center for Psychedelic Therapy and Research (CPTR) certification program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is currently serving as the Director of the 2021 CIIS/ CPTR Mentoring Program. As a founding director of the Grof Legacy Project USA and a Grof® Breathwork Facilitator, she is particularly interested in developing and leading Grof Legacy Project programs supporting those training for roles as psychedelic therapists and sitters. Diane Haug lives in the mountains outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. To learn more about the Groff Legacy Project, click here.
Jasmine Virdi is a freelance writer in the psychedelic space. Since 2018, she has been working for the independent publishing company Synergetic Press, where her passions for ecology, ethnobotany, and psychoactive substances converge. Jasmine has written for Psychedelics Today, Chacruna Institute for Plant Medicines, Lucid News, and Cosmic Sister, to name but a few. She is currently pursuing an MSc in Spirituality, Consciousness, and Transpersonal Psychology at the Alef Trust with the future aim of working as a therapeutic practitioner within the psychedelic space. Additionally, she is a volunteer for Fireside Project’s psychedelic peer support line, aligned with their mission to provide compassionate, accessible, and culturally responsive support to all. Recognised for her work, Jasmine was included in the “40 Under 40” Outstanding BIPOC Leaders in Drug Policy by Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Jasmine’s goal as an advocate for psychedelics and plant medicines is to raise awareness of the socio-historical contexts in which these substances emerged in order to help integrate them into our modern-day lives in an ethically integral, accessible, and meaningful way.
John Buchanan received his Masters degree in humanistic/transpersonal psychology from West Georgia College, and his doctorate from the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University. He has been trained and certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner by Stanislav and Christina Grof. Currently, he is writing a book based upon his continuing interests in process philosophy and transpersonal psychology. Dr. Buchanan also serves as president of the Helios Foundation. His new book “Processing Reality: Finding Meaning in Death, Psychedelics, and Sobriety” will be available in May 2022.
Special Thanks for the following for their support of this event: California Institute of Integral Studies, Tam Integration, Psychedelic Seminars, Esalen Institute, Psychedelic Society UK, Psychedelics Today, and DoubleBlind magazine.
This event was made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.
About the book
Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof is a compilation of 22 essays that honor the path-breaking lifework of Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, the world’s leading researcher in psychedelic-assisted therapy, breathwork, and the exploration of non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Edited by Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., and Sean Kelly, Ph.D., Psyche Unbound also features contributions from renowned academics, scientists and researchers including Charles Grob, Michael Mithoefer, Jenny Wade, William Keepin, Thomas Purton, Thomas Riedlinger, Fritjof Capra and more.
About Synergetic Press
For over 35 years as an independent publisher, our mission has been to promote mindful discussion of humankind’s present and future lives. We have published unique and paradigm-shifting ideas in subjects such as ecology, sustainability, psychedelics, consciousness, and cultural anthropology that inspire both individual and social change.
Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. For more information visit maps.org.