Seeking meaning in the modern world
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June 2016
– Trinity College, Dublin
Joe Griffin's suggestion for this year’s conference theme couldn’t be more relevant in today’s troubled world – as a recent human givens blog post highlights, meaning isn't just crucial for our mental health, it's crucial for our very survival too.
'Seeking meaning in the modern world'
Few leave this world without experiencing some level of suffering.
Since it is meaning that makes suffering tolerable (which is perhaps why we are driven to seek it) the theme of this weekend has critical relevance in these unsettling times.
We search in all directions for significance: in the language and behaviour of people around us; in nature; beauty; weather; science; religion; the arts; our work and play and in the pace of change. Without realising it, all the time we are looking to see if what has happened, is happening or might happen will impact on our ability to get our innate emotional needs met.
In modern times the old certainties have waned and the absence of adequate answers to the questions 'What is the purpose of living?' and 'What should I do?' and 'Why do I exist?' haunt many, giving rise to the 'illness' of meaninglessness, as illustrated by the upsurge in depression, anxiety, addiction and extremism in all its forms.
This conference explored meaning from many angles: Why do healthy children find the world intrinsically meaningful yet some of them grow up to become cynical and bored, or even kill themselves? And why do others end up finding meaning in crazy cults or by adopting destructive views that generate violent conflict and terror?
And why do our greatest moments of happiness seem to arise when we feel connected by love to others and the universe appears imbued with meaning, inspiring a sense of fascination, mystery and awe.
Explore our articles and interviews
Teacher trainer Andy Vass shows how knowledge and application of the human givens approach could help hard-pressed teachers reduce stress and improve the climate in class.
Mark Evans describes how one key idea helped Stephen to master his drug addiction.
Emily Gajewski describes how, as a therapist in private practice, she helped a client overcome the psychotic delusions that were keeping her trapped.
Mark Evans describes how working imaginatively with rewards and punishments has helped his clients achieve very swift change
Doris Lessing believes we are all much closer to craziness than we like to believe. In conversations with Ivan Tyrrell she talks about age, breakdowns and the ubiquitous 'self-hater'.
Aric Sigman explains why craft-based skills are as important as academic ones, and need to be taught in all schools.
THE pain–pleasure recall principle also explains the well-known phenomenon of conditioned taste aversion, which has always presented a problem for classical conditioning.
Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell explain how and why a human givens approach can help therapists shift depression in just a few sessions — or less.
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‘JUST WHAT WE NEED’ is a therapeutic group approach using a Human Givens framework. Dates for the next 2 courses are available.
On Saturday 10th June in London – a special workshop dedicated to developing a process of long-term education about how to improve politics by involving greater psychological understanding in domestic and international relations: the only source of hope for the future...