Expanding and Reenchanting the Psyche: The Pioneering Thought of Stanislav Grof

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Since 1990, FDA has been willing to approve research with psychedelic drugs. Currently Phase II studies have been conducted or are underway for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), LSD, psilocybin or MDMA for end-of-life anxiety, MDMA for autistic adults with social anxiety, psilocybin for addiction, psilocybin as an adjunct to meditation, and other uses. These psychedelic psychotherapy sessions are being conducted using insights and approaches that Stan Grof has helped develop during his extensive experience with LSD administered in a therapeutic context. Some of the key lessons from Stan that MAPS has incorporated into our therapeutic approaches in our FDA-approved studies include the theoretical model, the non-directive approach, the male/female co-therapist teams, the extensive focus on preparation and integration, and the openness to transpersonal experiences. Furthermore, several of our Principal Investigators have been directly trained by Stan and Christina Grof.



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 thirty-four 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.