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

Document Type

Audio File

Publication Date



The current growth and success of MDMA clinical trials is part of Stan Grof’s legacy. Stan’s work inspired us to change the direction of our careers. What he and Christina taught us about trusting and supporting each individual’s healing intelligence formed the foundation of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in our research. We will discuss Stan’s influence on our work, summarize the design and results of MDMA clinical trials for posttraumatic stress disorder, and share quotes from research participants describing the profound effects of this “Holotropic” approach to healing.



Michael Mithoefer, M.D., is a psychiatrist who practices in Charleston, SC, where he divides his time between clinical research and his outpatient clinical practice specializing in treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy, including Holotropic Breathwork. He and his wife, Annie Mithoefer, conduct MAPS-sponsored research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2008 they completed the first clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with treatment-resistant PTSD. They are now conducting a similar study in military veterans, firefighters and police officers with PTSD, as well as an FDA approved study administering MDMA in a therapeutic setting to psychotherapists who have been trained to work in MDMA clinical trials. Michael is Medical Monitor for other MAPS sponsored MDMA studies in the US and other countries, and he and Annie conduct training for therapists who work in those trials. He is a Grof certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Annie Mithoefer, BSN, is a psychiatric nurse, Grof certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is trained in Hakomi Therapy. She and her husband, Michael Mithoefer divide their time between Clinical Research with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and clinical practice using experiential methods, including Holotropic Breathwork. They are co-therapists for MAPS-sponsored clinical trials, and they conduct training programs for other MAPS-sponsored researchers elsewhere in the US and other countries.