Stanislav Grof, Sam Stern
May 8, 2020
Archive Edition: Today we're pleased to bring you an interview conducted on August 5th, 1985, with the godfather of psychedelic psychotherapy, Stanislav Grof. At this point, Grof had been a scholar-in-residence at Esalen for more than ten years. The interview was conducted at Esalen by a young Perry Holloman, now a well-known figure at Esalen himself, having become over the course of his career an accomplished bodyworker and beloved Gestalt therapist. During this recording, he and Stan investigate the emergent tendencies of transpersonal psychology, and the context from which they emerged out of Abraham Maslow's and Tony Suttich's Humanistic psychology, touching upon the non-ordinary states of consciousness which Grof is known for as well as Jungian archetypes and the concept of synchronicity. They also go into the profound connection between Freudianism and Newtonian thinking, and chat about how new discoveries in quantum physics have affected most other scientific disciplines, including psychology. It’s a superb discussion conducted by two very smart people. By its end, if your'e listening closely, you will have an enhanced understanding of why transpersonal psychology became an appropriate container for psychedelic psychotherapy - and indeed any therapy that seeks to go beyond personal biography and delve into the realm of the spiritual and the mystic. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.