Having completed the work on this book, I would like to remember with deep gratitude some friends who have given me important help at various stages of this project. Dr. George Roubicek, former Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at Charles University School of Medicine, was my first preceptor and guide for my first LSD session in 1956. This experience was the beginning of my profound interest in and life-long commitment to the study of unusual states of consciousness. Dr. Milos Vojtechovsky was the head of an interdisciplinary team with which I started my research of psychedelic drugs. He introduced me to several new psychedelic substances and gave me basic training in scientific research and its methodology.
Much of the work that was of crucial significance for the development of the ideas presented in this book had been conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Its director, Dr. Lubomir Hanzlicek, through all the years of my clinical research with LSD, showed unusual understanding and support for this unconventional scientific venture. I also feel deep appreciation for the help of my colleagues at the institute and for the dedication and enthusiasm of the nursing team.
My initial work in the United States was made possible by a generous grant from the Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry from New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Joel Elkes, Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, invited me to the Henry Phipps Clinic, first as a clinical and research fellow and later as Assistant Professor; he gave me invaluable help and guidance during the years of my stay there.
The period between 1967 and 1973 that I spent at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Catonsville, Maryland, was a time of exciting team cooperation with a group of enthusiastic and congenial researchers. I would like to thank Dr. A. A. Kurland, former director of the center and Assistant Commissioner for Research of the Maryland State Department of Mental Hygiene, as well as my colleagues and friends from Spring Grove, for their contributions to my work and enhancement of my personal life.
The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, has played a very important role in my life. Since my first visit in 1965, it has offered me many opportunities to conduct seminars and workshops and share my material with open-minded and sympathetic audiences. In the last five years it has become my home base and a unique emotional and intellectual resource. In this extraordinary natural laboratory of the human potential movement 1 met many creative people pioneering in experiential psychotherapies and had the opportunity to relate their work to my own. This made it possible for me to integrate the observations from LSD research into a broader theoretical context. Of particular value have been the experiences from a series of experimental educational programs for professionals, which my wife Christina and I have been conducting at Esalen. These events, which organically combine didactic input, intrapsychic exploration and group work, and have a guest faculty ranging from Mexican and North-American shamans to theoretical physicists, have become an invaluable source of inspiration. I would like to express my deep gratitude to Michael and Dulce Murphy, Richard and Chris Price, Julian Silverman, Janet Lederman, Beverly Silverman, Gregory and Lois Bateson, and all our other friends at Esalen, for all their support and understanding. Of these, Rick Tarnas has been extremely helpful during the preliminary work on the manuscript and Kathleen O'Shaughnessy in the typing of the final version.
Other friends whose interest and support I would like to gratefully acknowledge are Louis and Hazel Valier, Edward Dreesen, and Joseph Chambeau.
My deepest appreciation is reserved for hundreds of patients and LSD subjects who participated in my psychedelic research over the years. Without their trust, dedication and courage, this book could not have been written.
Stanislav Grof Big Sur, California April, 1979
Continue reading here: Early Laboratory And Clinical Lsd Research
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