8th December 2023

According to Stan Grof, “The essential attribute of the therapist is not the knowledge of specific techniques. Although these represent a necessary prerequisite, they are quite simple and can be learned in a relatively short time.”

In his book ‘Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy’ he writes, “There is a strong tendency among professionals to interpret transpersonal phenomena as manifestations of biographical material in symbolic disguise, as expressions of resistance against painful, traumatic memories, as experiential oddities without any deeper significance, or even as indications of a psychotic area in the psyche that the client should shy away from.”

Yet, transpersonal experiences often have extraordinary healing potential, and repressing or not supporting them reduces the power of the therapeutic process.
According to Grof, “the basic strategy leading to the best therapeutic results requires the therapist and the client to temporarily suspend conceptual frameworks and expectations regarding where the process should go, trusting that the process will find its own way to benefit the client.”

In his book, he adds that “each of the explanatory frameworks [the facilitator and the client] will come up with has to be treated as a temporary auxiliary structure, since the basic assumptions about the universe and about oneself change radically as one moves from one level of consciousness to another.”

Highly skilled facilitators are acutely aware of their own personal challenges and trauma or any potential situation that might trigger them or prevent them from being fully present for the client and their experience.