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Jan 052011

On Saturday, 8 January from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Dr. Brewerton will present a PowerPoint lecture on the concepts of Dr. Stanislav Grof, a Czechoslovakian born psychiatrist and major world pioneer of psychedelic therapy, transpersonal psychology, and Holotropic Breathwork. Holotropic Breathwork is a very powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies (including analytical psychology), transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world. The name Holotropic means literally “moving toward wholeness” (from the Greek “holos”=whole and “trepein”=moving in the direction of something). Don’t miss this fascinating exploration of unconscious processes.

Join us at Gage Hall, next to the Unitarian Church at 4 Archdale Street, Charleston.   Doors open at 4:30 PM and the lecture starts at 5 pm.  There will be light refreshments.

  One Response to “2011/01/08 – Holotropic Breathwork and the Concepts of Stanislov Grof”

  1. Reflections by an old analyst on Tim Brewerton’s excellent presentation
    “Holotropic Breath work and Stan Graf”
    Tim began by reminding us that breath and spirit linked in most religions, showing us the connection between breathing and spiritual work—suggesting the universal appeal of his therapeutic technique.
    While speaking of three kinds of experience: perenatal, biographical and transcendent, the lecture focused almost entirely on the perenatal experience. This seemed to run the risk of being concretistic, and reductive: putting metaphors which express universal human experiences onto the experience of physical birth. There is a danger in reducing universal spiritual experience to simple physical causality. The birth metaphors do indeed suggest universal images and metaphors for the individuation process and seem to dramatically illustrate the individuation process as a transformational model for the path of human development and fulfillment. Graf is here, of course, in good company with Michael Fordham, W. Bion, M. Klein, and Otto Rank, but I still worry that it is reductive.
    One wonders if there is a link between the “Inner Healer” and Jung’s Transcendent Function and to what degree to does breath work compare to Jung’s Active Imagination.
    From my own years of Escalen type group work both Gestalt and with Paul Bindrum’s Peak Experience weekends and nude therapy workshops, I found that such brief meetings of this kind can produce dramatic encounters with the unconscious and open the door to archetypal contents which then needed to be worked through quietly over time to complete the process. The high of such encounters requires the quiet reinforcement of reflection over time and attention to the dreams which follow.
    Graf and his followers have tuned in to a fundamental human capacity and have a method that seems to give acceptance to this archetypal dimension. Certainly my own experience with LSD and other hallucinogens would confirm the healing potential in such dramatic encounters with the Collective Unconscious. The use of artistic expression is a valuable tool in giving the inner images a concrete expression outside the inner world of the analysand. In general my impression is that this is a sort of unchurched spirituality for modern Americans.
    John Romig Johnson, Ph.D.

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