A psychotherapeutic exploration of Holotropic Breathwork®

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Luebben, Olaf
Issue Date
MA in Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Holotropic Breathwork® (HB) is a special breathing technique that can foster healing and support the psychotherapeutic process. “Holotropic” comes from the Greek and means “oriented towards wholeness”. The Czech psychiatrist and psychotherapist Stanislav Grof, together with his wife Christina Grof, established the procedure to bring about a healing state of consciousness. The focus is on the processing of traumas and coping with the past, back to pregnancy and childbirth. The goal of the technique is to achieve mental healing. The aim of this investigation is to develop and contribute to existing HB research by analysing the interviews of three psychotherapists who are also HB facilitators. The interviews were analysed utilising interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to obtain deep insight into the experiential world of the facilitators. From this analysis, three themes emerged: HB; integration of HB and psychotherapy; healing trauma, and transpersonal. Analysis of the interviewees indicated a notable positive attitude towards HB and its environment. The participants described their experiences as facilitators and presented a meaningful insight into what appears to be a complementary nature of HB and psychotherapy. A profound quality of healing through this breathwork was highlighted by the interviewees. This included a suggestion that HB is also powerful in healing trauma.