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Book Review: The Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator’s Manual

by Melody Sullivan
Edited and posted by Alysson TrofferThe Inner Door Editor, InnerDoor (at) ahbi.org

[Editor's Note: This book review was originally published in the February 2008 issue of The Inner Door.]

When Kylea Taylor said her revised edition of The Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator’s Manual was about to be published, I asked to write this review. Based on my experience with the previous edition, I couldn’t wait to write the following words to those in the Grof Transpersonal Training (GTT) and all certified facilitators. “This book is a must!” because if you have ever organized a workshop on your own, you’ll quickly recognize the tremendous amount of time saved in owning this manual. Now that I have the revised edition in my hands, I will fine-tune my recommendation to say that this book is not only a must, it’s a necessity, basic need, requisite, and every other synonym for “you just have to have this book!”

Kylea brings several years of experience and wisdom to this manual. She has studied the theory and practice of Holotropic Breathwork with Stan and Christina Grof since 1984. She completed the three-year training program in 1990 and the first edition of this manual in 1991. Since 1993, Kylea has been a staff trainer for GTT and has facilitated workshops for thousands of breathwork participants in several countries. Kylea states, “My understanding of and respect for the structure of this deceptively simple technique has grown ever stronger during the 17 years in which I continued to facilitate Holotropic Breathwork in public and private workshops.”

I thought that I would skim through much of the book—as I have relied on Kylea’s first edition of this manual in every workshop I’ve offered—for the same reason she states in her new manual: “to remember to convey all crucial information to participants, because inevitably, whenever we forgot to talk about something, that would be the issue that would appear in a session!” However, I found myself reading each page of this new edition that has expounded on the essentials in providing a Holotropic Breathwork workshop. Topics such as advertising and promotion, interviewing potential participants, the introductory talk, facility and meal needs, bodywork, group sharing, music, follow-up, and much more, are thoroughly covered.

In fact, this revised edition contains nearly triple the information of the old version. New topics have been added, including ethics in the practice of Holotropic Breathwork, challenging situations in facilitating and what might help, and trauma and Holotropic Breathwork. And of particular interest to me are the responses to frequently asked questions of facilitators and participants—a chapter I will return to again and again. In addition, there are 25 appendices ranging from checklists for facilitators and participants, to ethical agreements of Holotropic Breathwork facilitators, just to name a few.

The included CD saves a tremendous amount of effort and time, as it includes several data management forms, handouts, Holotropic Breathwork research questions, introductory talk outlines, a press release, registration forms, and bibliographies.

All and all, Kylea Taylor has created a manual that might very well become the most utilized book of Holotropic Breathwork facilitators. Thank you, Kylea!




Melody Sullivan is a freelance writer and certified Holotropic Breathwork facilitator in Santa Barbara, California. Melody is the author of the children's picture book, Lillibit's Dream, which Stan Grof illustrated.

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