the work of the Grofs

In reading over the introductory notes to this seminar, I would have to say that the main focus that called me to join (or at least check-out) this group was the fact that this is the material that Stan and Christina Grof first introduced me to "formally" through their book on the subject.  I first encountered it (20 plus years ago) when I was working with the chronically mentally ill and a little later with people who are heavily involved in every part of the drug use field. My focus these days is still with the drug using community.


So I guess my initial question would have to be: is this going to add anything to my life that will truly be of use to me or is this really just for people who work with the worried well? Or maybe just the worried well themselves?

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  • Hi there! I hope to get to know who you are and that you will decide to stick with us. Can you please clarify about the drug use: do you mean using them in terms of dreaming, with regard to spiritual emergence, or something to do with recovery--or a mix and match of any or all of the above? I intend this group to add something to the lives of all who participate, regardless of whether they work with chronically mentally ill, users of drugs, the worried well, or whether they are the worried well!  There is a theme in my study that can be amplified regarding the wounded healer. I would be much obliged if you might consider helping us do that together in our newly forming online community here!

    • The people who I work with would usually (and possibly correctly) be classified as hard core addicts. "Junkies" in the modern day language. The drugs would range from anything from heroin, cocaine, speed, pharmaceuticals that have been prescribed to them, others that have not and pretty much anything else that you can imagine. Are they using these in terms of dreaming? No, I would have to say that they are using them simply to keep functioning at the very basest of levels. Dreaming is possibly the farthest thing from their minds.


      Often times, these people have reached a crisis point in life and, simply to get through it, they turned to the drugs to act as a crutch. Why? Because they were there and nothing else was visible to them. I don't know--maybe nothing else really was there. In any case, one thing leads to another and it's like Brer Rabbit doing battle with the tar baby. Soon they are stuck beyond belief even though they want to get out. Just as soon as they get high again. 


      Aside from the standard procedure of going to detox and treatment and then AA, NA and AAA meetings to fill in their time, what can we really offer them? After all, drugs used to be fun for them. Maybe for all of us. When did this change?

    •  Well, this is the cool thing: just like they sometimes have drug dreams when they're coming off the dope, they can also have spiritual emergence dreams.  We can offer them the exploration of what their drug dreams mean, and the hope or remembrance of spiritual dreams that belong to them just as much or moreso than the drug dreams--for these are their birthright and not the afteraffects of addiction.

       Additionally, it was Jung who helped one of the founders of AA to see that the answer to his addiction to spirits was in the Spirit. Or, as Erickson would later put it, within the problem lies the solution. In order to empty one's bottle of spirits, one must yearn to be filled instead with the Spirit--whether that's the Great Spirit or the spirit of life, or any other Higher Power, is up to the individual.

       For my study, I specifically chose participants who were not drinking or using at the time of their experiences, so as not to muddy the waters--but as you may remember, Grof worked with LSD before he came upon holotropic breathwork.  I find this a good clue/hint that holotropic breathwork may be indicated for people in recovery, especially since Christina was in recovery herself and became one of the founders, along with her husband, of the holotropic approach.

       What are your thoughts about using dreamwork/breathwork with your clients/patients?


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