Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.

“Having started this research as a convinced materialist and atheist, I had to open myself to the fact that the spiritual dimension is a key factor in the human psyche and in the universal scheme of things.” 

                                    Stanislav Grof


Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.



Stanislav Grof is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years of research into non-ordinary states of consciousness (induced by psychedelic substances and various non-drug techniques) and one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology. .He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he also received his scientific training - an M.D. degree from the Charles University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences.


Dr. Grof 's early research in the clinical uses of psychedelic substances was conducted 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 psychedelic substances. In 1967, he was invited as Clinical and Research Fellow to the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.


After completion of this two-year fellowship, he stayed in the US and continued his research as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Henry Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. In 1973, Dr. Grof was invited to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he lived until 1987 as Scholar-in-Residence writing, giving seminars, lecturing and developing Holotropic Breathwork with his wife Christina Grof. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Esalen Institute.


He is the founder of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) and its past and current president. In this role, he has organized large international conferences in the United States, the former Czechoslovakia, India, Australia, and Brazil. At present, he lives in Mill Valley, California, conducting training seminars for professionals in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology and writing books. He is also Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and at the Pacifica Graduate School in Santa Barbara and gives lectures and seminars worldwide.


In 1993, he received an Honorary Award from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) for major contributions to and development of the field of transpersonal psychology given at the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Convocation held at Asilomar, California.


In 2007 Stan was awarded the prestigious Vision 97 award from the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation for his pioneering work on the frontiers of human consciousness.



Overview of life's work

New Perspectives in Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychotherapy
Dr. Stanislav Grof's overview of his life's work and thought (288-page PDF)
New%20Perspectives Grof life work articl[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.1 MB]


Grof accepts Havel award in 2007





Stanislav Grof Receives Prestigious VISION 97 Award


Stanislav Grof, M.D., accepted the prestigious VISION 97 award granted by the Foundation of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel in Prague on October 5, 2007.


The foundation’s philanthropic mission supports cultural and social projects and ground-breaking prototypes with the potential to bring meaningful change to the future.


Former recipients of the annual VISION 97 award include Karl Pribram, American neurosurgeon and thinker, Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, psychologist Phillip G. Zimbardo, MIT professor of computer science and pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Joseph Weizenbaum, and semiotician and writer Umberto Eco.


Vaclav Havel, writer, dramatist and former President of Czechoslovakia, describes the significance of this award:


    "It is given to thinkers, whose scientific work returns science into the framework of general culture, transcends the dominant concepts of knowledge and being, reveals unknown, surprising, or overlooked connections, and touches in a new way the mysteries of the universe and of life. It is thus an Award, by which we would like to bring the attention of the public to spiritual achievements, which in the best sense of the word do not meet the criteria of the established ways of exploring realty."

Grof Havel Speech
Dr. Stanislav Grof's speech in accepting the 2007 Havel Foundation Vision 97 award.
Havel Speech_rev2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [27.4 KB]


List of published works in English


Dr. Grof has published over 140 articles in professional journals, as well as the following books, which have been translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Russian, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish, Japanese, and Chinese:


1. Realms of the Human Unconscious. Viking Press, New York, 1975. Paperback: E. P. Dutton, New York 1976.


2. The Human Encounter with Death. E. P. Dutton, New York, 1977 (with Joan Halifax).


3. Beyond Death: Gates of Consciousness. Thames & Hudson, London, 1980 (with Christina Grof).


4. Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science. State University New York (SUNY) Press, 1984 (ed.).


5. Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. State University New York (SUNY) Press, New York , 1985.


6. The Adventure of Self-Discovery. State University New York (SUNY) Press, 1987.


7. Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution. State University New York (SUNY) Press, 1988 ( ed .).


8. Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis. J. P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, 1989, (ed. with Christina Grof ).


9. The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational Crises. J. P. Tarcher, Los Angeles, 1991 (with Christina Grof).


10. The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. Harper Collins (1992), (with Hal Zina Bennett).


11. Books of the Dead: Manuals for Living and Dying. Thames and Hudson, 1994.


12. The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness. State University New York Press, Albany, NY, 1998.


13. The Transpersonal Vision: The Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness. Sounds True, Boulder, CO, 1998.


14. The Consciousness Revolution: A Transatlantic Dialogue (two days with Stanislav Grof, Ervin Laszlo, and Peter Russell). Element Books, Rockport , MA, 1999.


15. Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research. State University of New York Press, Albany , NY , 2000.


16. Call of the Jaguar. A science fiction novel available currently only in Russian translation (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology Press and K. Kravchuk Publishing House, Moscow, 2001) and Danish translation.


17. When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Realities. Sounds True, Boulder, CO, 2006.


18. The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and The Mystery of Death. MAPS, 2006.