Institute for the Study of Peak States
"Methods for Fundamental Change in the Human Psyche"
Institute Update: November 21, 2008

Newsletter Spotlight
From the editor
Volume 2's Contents
Professional Trainings in More Countries
Institute Clinics
"Pay for Results"

From the editor...

Dear Colleague,
We are extremely pleased to announce the publication of Peak States of Consciousness: Theory and Applications, Volume 2. The book is subtitled Acquiring Extraordinary Spiritual and Shamanic States; but it delivers more than a simple how-to. People who have seen the early drafts compared this work, in importance and scope, to Grof's Adventure of Self-Discovery and The Cosmic Game. Not only does it catalogue various realms of unusual experiences and extraordinary peak states; it also presents an underlying theory of how consciousness interacts with biology, opening the road to various applications in improving quality of life, and also in healing certain medical and psychological conditions that had been considered incurable.
The book was 8 years in the making, the first drafts interspersed in what later became Peak States of Consciousness, Volume 1. It soon became clear that we needed a second book. The manuscript's girth and scope increased as we kept exploring the ramifications of the theory, and looking for explanations of the various oddball phenomena that people encounter as part of various peak experiences and peak states, on one hand, and in certain types of distress and illness, on the other. There were several last-minute rewrites when experiments yielded long-sought answers that coloured the whole theory.
The book was also Grant McFetridge's doctoral thesis, and we congratulate him heartily on the addition of the letters 'PhD' to his name. This is yet another watershed moment, after many years of hard work and personal sacrifice.


Peak States of Consciousness: Volume 2's Contents
The back cover reads:

Breakthroughs in Understanding the Biology of Consciousness

"This textbook covers fundamental discoveries about the biological basis for spiritual and shamanic states, transpersonal experiences, and consciousness itself. Derived from explorations into the very earliest prenatal development, this book describes how consciousness is based on biology inside the cell.

  • Developmental Events: Spiritual and shamanic states are a legacy of our earliest prenatal growth stages.
  • The Primary Cell: Consciousness extends from just one cell of the body.
  • Triune Brains: The cell organelles are the basis of the ‘subconscious’ triune brains.
  • Transpersonal Biology: Spiritual, shamanic, and psychic phenomena are based on access to, or perception of, biological structures inside the cell.
  • Inherent Dangers: Triggering certain prenatal traumas may cause serious or life-threatening problems.
"With this theoretical foundation, we can now understand what traditional spiritual and shamanic practices do at a biological level, as well as understand what makes different healing therapies effective. More important are the very practical applications – entirely new techniques for spiritual growth and healing become possible, through a synthesis of traditional concepts with modern microbiology.
"This textbook on the theory of peak states and the biology of consciousness is used in our therapist training classes. Although it is written for professionals, we’ve made it available for laypeople that are interested in the cutting edge of consciousness research and its applications to psychology and medicine."

Inside the book:
The book is divided into sections on 'The Biology of Consciousness', 'Shamanic Realms', 'Spiritual Realms' and 'Implications'. (The table of contents is found on our website.) Rather than give specific methods (except as examples), it gives enough underlying theory so that technique developers can adapt their own work to the theory. Many of our peak state processes involve some degree of risk - a reality that is present, albeit unacknowledged, in most techniques for psychological healing. Therefore the step-by-step methods are only given in workshop settings, in a context that allows us to set up support networks and teach the proper degree of caution. What we have here, in this book, is the background information that will, hopefully, help in the development of other approaches to peak states and health.
There is a foreword by our dear departed, the late Dr. Adam Waisel. The book ends with a chapter on ethical issues by Wes Gietz, a teacher who has studied shamanic tradition with Tom Brown, Jr., and who also participated in the Institute's early experiments.
This is a companion book for Peak States of Consciousness, Volume 1; it builds upon the concepts explored in the first volume.

Where to purchase:
The book is available online through Amazon. Here's the links: in the USA in Canada in the UK

The book can also be ordered from your local bookstore.


Professional Trainings in More Countries

Since our last public newsletter, we have expanded into yet more countries, with trainings in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Each country now has some certified therapists, and several are opening clinics. The first group of certified therapists is about to complete their year of mentoring and that means a new phase for ISPS that is now in preparation: the teaching of advanced skills, previously done only one-on-one with people dedicated to research, will soon move to group format.

For a complete list of upcoming workshops, please go to the Peak States website at

Institute Clinics
ISPS clinics have taken a step closer to reality with the opening of the UK clinic and retreat centre. So far, the main support and back-up for our therapists had been a small team working over the phone and online. As of November the UK clinic, which has lately been coordinating this work, moves into a residential centre allowing both for small training courses and for Peak States graduates to come on retreat.
The retreat centre concept is particularly exciting as it allows the possibility for anyone having taken a Peak States course to visit on a residential basis whether to brush up on their skills, receive advanced therapy or simply take a break in a relaxing, healing environment. There is also the possibility of internships as people learn advanced techniques.
The centre is located 5 miles from Findhorn, the internationally renowned spiritual eco-village community. It is surrounded by rolling countryside and has magnificent views out over the Moray Firth towards the Scottish mountains.
Plans are also underway for clinics in Australia, Poland and Denmark. The Denmark centre is planned to open at the end of November in Copenhagen while Nemi Nath is looking to officially open the Australian clinic early in the New Year.
While the research team continues the work on autism, schizophrenia and other serious diseases, the clinics will go ahead doing general Peak States therapy. The exception to this is the Australia clinic, which is also looking to work with partners to establish an addictions facility. We hope to run a 3 week residential addictions program in May on a trial basis to explore the possibility of a permanent program.
For any enquiries about the clinics or the retreat centre, contact Rob Egan – rob [at]

"Pay for Results"
The Institute is also a pioneer in a new way to charge for therapy (and peak states). Therapists who become certified and licensed by the Institute agree to charge clients only for results, not for the time they spend. If you are interested in reading more, see


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Phone: 250-413-3211
We welcome your questions and comments, email: support [at]
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Copyright 2008 by Grant McFetridge