Excerpt from Healing Our Deepest Wounds

Holotropic states tend to engage something like an “inner radar,” automatically bringing the contents from the unconscious that have the strongest emotional charge, are currently most psychodynamically relevant, and are currently available for processing into consciousness. 

This is a great advantage in comparison with verbal psychotherapy, where the client presents a broad array of information of various kinds and the therapist has to decide what is important, what is irrelevant, where the client is blocking, etc.  Since there is no general agreement about basic theoretical issues among different schools, such assessments will always reflect the personal bias of the therapist, as well as the specific views of his or her school. 

The holotropic states save the therapist such difficult decisions and eliminate much of the subjectivity and professional idiosyncrasy of the verbal approaches. This “inner radar” often surprises the therapist by detecting emotionally strongly charged memories of physical traumas and brings them to the surface for processing and conscious integration. 

This automatic selection of relevant topics also spontaneously leads the process to the perinatal and transpersonal levels of the psyche, transbiographical domains not recognized and acknowledged in academic psychiatry and psychology. The phenomena originating in these deep recesses of the psyche were well-known to ancient and pre-industrial cultures of all ages and greatly honored by them. In the Western world they have been erroneously attributed to pathology of unknown origin and considered to be meaningless and erratic products of cerebral dysfunction.

Grof, Stanislav. Healing Our Deepest Wounds


Stan Grof defines Holotropic States


  • Holotropic states can be induced by psychedelics, breathwork, certain forms of yoga, meditation, shamanic initiation rates, and dark retreats. 


Quotes of the Week

Though I hate tennis, I like the feeling of hitting a ball dead perfect. It’s the only peace. When I do something perfect, I enjoy a split second of sanity and calm.

  • Andre Agassi, from his autobiography Open


I never think about the play or visualize anything. I do what comes to me at that moment. Instinct. It has always been that way.


I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in the silence, and the truth comes to me.

  • Albert Einstein


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