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Stan Grof, co-founder of spiritual psychology, details introduction to LSD psychotherapy and its benefits for treating trauma patients

Stanislav Grof

(NaturalNews) Born in Prague in 1931, Stan Grof M.D., Ph.D., is the pioneer of Transpersonal Psychology, a sub-field of psychology involving the integration of spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience, also referred to as "spiritual psychology."

Grof has more than 50 years of experience "researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness," according to StanislavGrof.com. In 2005, he published a book entitled When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Reality, detailing his introduction to LSD psychotherapy.

In the early 1960's, Grof gave a lecture at the Congress of Social Psychiatry in London in which his piece was "part of a symposium on LSD psychotherapy." There he met "several prominent psychedelic pioneers" that piqued his interest in using hallucinogenic drugs to treat trauma patients.

"There I connected with two remarkable women, British therapists Joyce Martin and Pauline McCririck," Grof writes in his book. "Both of them had traditional training in Freudian psychoanalysis, but were now practicing LSD psychotherapy in Joyce's palatial house on London's famous Welbeck Street.

"They had jointly developed what they called 'fusion therapy,' a form of psychedelic treatment that was too revolutionary even for many therapists who were open-minded and courageous enough to administer LSD to their patients

"This method, particularly suited for patients with a history of abandonment, rejection, and emotional deprivation in infancy, involved close physical contact between therapists and clients during LSD sessions. During their sessions, these clients spent several hours in a deep age regression, lying on a couch covered with a blanket, while Joyce or Pauline lay by their side, holding them in close embrace, as a good mother would do to comfort her child," Grof writes.

"Their revolutionary method effectively polarized the community of LSD therapists. Some of the practitioners realized that this was a very powerful and logical way to heal 'traumas by omission,' emotional problems caused by maternal deprivation and bad mothering.

"Others were horrified by this radical 'anaclitic* therapy;' they warned that close physical contact between therapist and client in a non-ordinary state of consciousness would cause irreversible damage to the relationship."

*An infant and a toddler have strong primitive needs for instinctual satisfaction and security that pediatricians and child psychiatrists call anaclitic. These involve the need to be held, caressed, comforted, played with, and to be the center of the caregivers' attention. If these needs are not met, it has serious consequences for the future of the individual.

"I was among those who were fascinated by Joyce and Pauline's 'fusion therapy' because it was clear to me that 'trauma by omission' could not be healed by talking therapy. I asked many questions about their unorthodox approach, and when they saw my genuine interest, they invited me to spend some time at the Welbeck clinic, meet their patients, and have a personal experience with their approach."

"I was impressed when I found out how much their clients benefited from the nourishing physical contact they had received in their psychedelic sessions

"It also became clear to me that Joyce and Pauline encountered considerably less transference problems than an average Freudian analyst with his or her detached 'deadpan' approach to therapy.

"At the International Conference on LSD Psychotherapy held in May 1965 in Amityville, Long Island, Joyce and Pauline showed their fascinating film on the use of the fusion technique in psychedelic therapy.

"Pauline provided a very interesting and convincing explanation why this approach presented less problems in this regard than the orthodox Freudian approach. She pointed out that most patients who come to therapy experienced in their infancy and childhood lack of affection from their parents. The cold attitude of the Freudian analyst tends to reactivate the resulting emotional wounds and triggers desperate attempts on the part of the patients to get the attention and satisfaction that had been denied to them.

"Pauline explained that this paralleled the situation in the early development of object relationships. Individuals who receive adequate mothering in infancy and childhood are able to emotionally detach from their mothers and find mature relationships. By contrast, those who experienced emotional deprivation remain pathologically attached and go through life craving and seeking satisfaction of primitive infantile needs."

For more on Grof and his work in alternative healing, pick up a copy of his book today!




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