In Memoriam: Christina Grof, Ph.D.

Summer 2014: Vol. 24 No. 2 Research Edition

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Christina Grof, Ph.D.

December 30, 1941—June 15, 2014

On June 15, 2014, at the age of 72, Christina Grof passed away unexpectedly from pneumonia. Along with her husband Stan, Christina co-created Holotropic Breathwork, founded the International Transpersonal Association (ITA), and founded the Spiritual Emergence/Emergency Network (SEN).

Christina was an author, teacher, artist, and psychotherapist, and was very active in the field of Transpersonal Psychology. From 1976 until 1988, she was in residence at The Esalen Institute, where she led month-long educational programs and transformative workshops with Stan.

In the late 1970s, Christina and Stan developed Holotropic Breathwork as means to bring about therapeutic, non-ordinary states of consciousness. Together, they travelled the world conducting workshops and leading training programs. By the mid-1990s, they had facilitated Holotropic Breathwork sessions for more than 25,000 people.

It was through Christina’s own personal struggles that she created avenues for others to find help. Having battled alcoholism in mid-life, she developed an understanding of successful addiction treatment through the lens of transpersonal psychology. She founded the SEN in 1980 to connect people who were going through difficult transformations with experienced guides, and the ITA was formed in 1978 for the purpose of sponsoring international conferences and promoting transpersonal education and research.

Christina was a prolific author, and received copies of her memoir, The Eggshell Landing: Love, Death, and Forgiveness in Hawaii shortly before her passing. She spent 15 years on and off working on her personal story of forgiveness and redemption during her dying stepfather’s last days. Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart, wrote, “Christina Grof offers us a beautifully crafted and moving memoir of transformation of family at the end of a life, of unconsciousness and abuse, understanding and redemption.”

Additional books include: Beyond Death; The Stormy Search for Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational Crises; Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation; and Holotropic Breathwork: A New Approach to Self-Exploration and Therapy (all co-authored with Stan), and The Thirst for Wholeness (a classic on the subject of healing and overcoming addiction). Christina was recognized with three honorary doctorates in her lifetime, and deeply touched many thousands of people around the world.

“My Beloved Christina– my wife, lover, best friend, teacher of love, beauty, and compassion, Muse, coworker, co-author, companion in countless adventures in consciousness, globe-trotting, and in our spiritual journey in tandem –passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, June 15. She left a big vacuum in my life, but continues to reside in my heart and soul.” –Stan Grof