Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork Educational Program:  Practical and Theoretical Aspects of Exceptional Experience

Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork is an applied, practice-linked philosophy that incorporates the method of breathwork within a metaphysical framework helpful for understanding and integrating psychedelic and exceptional experience. Our approach is based on the works of Alfred North Whitehead and the holotropic theory of Stanislav Grof, pioneering psychedelic researcher, investigator of exceptional human experiences and cofounder of transpersonal psychology. This approach can facilitate personal self-exploration, open up possibilities for working with problematic events in one’s life history, and recover the ecological and spiritual connections to the cosmos that modern culture has disrupted.

Our work is grounded in the continuity of a community of practitioners. The training program is intended to help facilitators develop personal understanding of the process, psychological and group process skills, appreciation for the cultural and scientific significance of the work, philosophical openness, and the confidence to facilitate growth experiences with care, appropriate motivation and ethical orientation. These competences are developed by sharing experience, trust, and multiple levels of understanding with trainers and other group participants. Breathwork experience is endlessly varied, always unique, and surprisingly evolving; with experience, facilitators develop understanding of the powerful and non-directive nature of transpersonal breathwork and profound respect for the innate capacities of breathers.

Breathwork Group, Tavia Ito

Educational Program

Our two-year training program consists of weekend workshops, five-day intensives, online study courses, and a final project, as explained below.

 Weekend workshops: Attendance and assistance at a minimum of four of our weekend breathwork workshops, where we also teach the practical and theoretical aspects of DTB. As people are ready, they begin to step up and help us at these workshops to gain experience.

Five-day training retreats: Attendance at a minimum of four five-day intensives:

  • Overview of Breathwork and Holotropic Theory: Exploration of each of the aspects of Breathwork, including how they combine to create a holistic experience: group process, intensified breathing, evocative music, focused bodywork, expressive art. The history of depth psychology and its culmination in Transpersonal Psychology are provided as a crucial backdrop.
  • History and Theory of Group Process: Integrating best practices of group process into the breathwork experience.
  • Bodywork: The techniques of bodywork demonstrated, explained and practiced in reference to mind/body issues and Grof’s theory of perinatal matrices.
  • Abnormal Psychology: Its nature in the context of breathwork practice and with reference to Holotropic theory and process philosophy.

Consultation: Interview with Lenny and Elizabeth to discuss training experience, including strengths and problems, and design final project.

 Project: Self-designed project demonstrating application of basic DTB principles. Possible examples include presenting a paper, giving a talk, offering a small workshop with our assistance, a creative project, community work.

We recommend reading materials, offer online study courses based on the teachings of Grof and Whitehead and others, and help trainees offer their own workshops and related events when they are ready.