REBECOMING
REBECOMING

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Long-term Abstinence Following Holotropic Breathwork as Adjunctive Treatment of Substance Dependence, by Timothy D. Brewerton, MD(1); James Eyerman, MD(2); Pamela Capetta, M.Ed.(3); and Michael C. Mithoefer, MD(1)

 

1 Medical University of South Carolina

2 University of California, San Francisco

3 Private Practice, Williamsburg, Virginia

 

Abstract: Many recovering addicts and clinicians stress the importance of spiritual issues in recovery, and 12-step programs such as AA are well-known approaches that embrace this philosophy. Holotropic Breathwork (HB) is another powerful, spiritually oriented approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and many mystical traditions. HB offers the addict many opportunities for enhancing addiction treatment, including entering non-ordinary states of consciousness to seek healing and wisdom via a natural, non-addictive method, a direct experience of one’s Higher Power, and for physical and emotional catharsis associated with stress and prior trauma.

 

We report the successful use of HB in 4 cases in which complete abstinence was obtained and maintained for extended periods. These include: 1) 14 y/o WM with polysubstance abuse in residential treatment for 2 years when he began monthly HB sessions. He achieved abstinence for 2 years, had a brief relapse, then another year of abstinence when he was adopted; 2) 31 y/o WF with suicidal major depression in recovery from alcoholism and polysubstance abuse who after 2 HB sessions improved and achieved abstinence for 3+ years when she was lost to follow-up; 3) 49 y/o WM with recurrent major depression, PTSD, and marijuana abuse/dependence for 30 years. Despite multiple courses of psychotherapy and antidepressants his addiction continued unabated until he began HB. After 4 sessions he became abstinent for 6 months, then relapsed, but after 20 more sessions over 2 years he became completely abstinent and remained so for 5+ years; 4) 50 y/o WF with 29 years of alcoholism/polysubstance abuse, PTSD, and major depression began a series of 25 HB sessions over 5 years beginning 60 days after getting sober with AA. Nine years after beginning HB she remains abstinent from all substances.


The published paper is listed with a link to access online via the Springer Journals service: http://www.grof-holotropic-breathwork.net/page/2182480:Page:850



Long-Term Abstinence Following Holotropic Breathwork as Adjunctive Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Related Psychiatric Comorbidity, by Timothy D. BrewertonJames E. EyermanPamela Cappetta and Michael C. Mithoefer.  International Journal of Mental Health Addiction.

 

Abstract:  Addictions remain challenging conditions despite various promising traditional approaches. Although complete, long-term abstinence may be ideal, its attainment remains elusive. Many recovering addicts and clinicians stress the importance of spiritual issues in recovery, and 12-step programs such as AA are well-known approaches that embrace this philosophy. Holotropic Breathwork (HB) is another powerful, spiritually oriented approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and many mystical traditions. HB offers the addict many opportunities that may enhance addiction treatment, including entering non-ordinary states of consciousness to seek healing and wisdom via a natural, non-addictive method, a direct experience of one’s Higher Power, and for physical and emotional catharsis associated with stress and prior trauma. We report the successful use of HB in 4 cases in which complete abstinence was obtained and maintained for extended periods of time (2–19 years).

HB-Brewerton.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [93.7 KB]

Holotropic Breathwork: The Potential Role of a Prolonged, Voluntary Hyperventilation Procedure as an Adjunct to Psychotherapy, Joseph P. Rhinewine, Oliver J. Williams. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. September 1, 2007, 13(7): 771-776. doi:10.1089/acm.2006.6203.

 

Objective: This paper poses the question of whether Holotropic Breathwork (HB), a prolonged, voluntary hyperventilation procedure, might be useful in treatment of common psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depressive disorders. 

 

 

Design: This is a hypothesis-posing paper pertaining to a potential novel treatment. 

 

Summary: The neurophysiology and psychology of hyperventilation are reviewed, including findings demonstrating that hyperventilation leads to significant changes in central nervous system activity as measured by various technological means. Preliminary evidence suggesting efficacy for HB is reviewed. A tentative biopsychologic hypothesis is offered, suggesting a potential mechanism that may underlie putative therapeutic effects of HB.

 

Rhinewine--Williams.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [91.3 KB]

  

Use of Hypnosis and Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness in Facilitating Significant Psychotherapeutic Change, by Linda Edwards, PhD, published in The Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis in 1999.

 

This is a general article about the healing potential of non-ordinary states in which Holotropic Breathwork's approach is described.

Edwards.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [77.0 KB]

An Argument for the Use of Holotropic Breathwork as an adjunct to Pscyhotherapy, by Laurel Watjen.  Published in the Journal of Transperonal Research, 2014, Vol. 6 (1), 103-111.   

 

The psychoanalytic viewpoint proposes that insight into one’s unconscious thoughts, feelings, and motiva- tions can be helpful in understanding and changing personal constructs (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013). Converse- ly, anything that stands in the way of accessing that material may present a barrier to effective psychotherapy. Holo- tropic Breathwork, a process of rapid, deep breathing to evocative music, induces a non-ordinary state of conscious- ness (NOSC) (Taylor, 2007), which reportedly allows deeper access to the unconscious. Rhinewine and Williams (2007) offer a hypothetical, bio-psychological explanation of the disinhibiting mechanism of holotropic NOSC’s, which reduce the self-protectiveness of the logical/thinking part of the brain, and potentially result in opening to new insights. Ryan and Deci’s (2008) Self-determination Theory (SDT) model offers a current and accepted framework from which to explain the potential effectiveness of the therapeutic setting and practice of HB. SDT proposes that there are three universal psychological needs which are essential for the occurrence of growth toward psychological health and well-being: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. This paper describes how Holotropic Breathwork ful- fills those three needs, potentially resulting in therapeutic benefit. An overview of research on the healing benefits of NOSC’s, and in particular, on the use of HB as an adjunct to psychotherapy is included to support the argument that HB may be beneficial in this context. 

Watjen-2014.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [11.8 MB]