Why we evolved to dream
Back in the 1980s the Irish psychologist, Joe Griffin, co-founder of the human givens approach, was fascinated by the age-old puzzle of why we dream. Nature is always efficient in her design, he reasoned, so he set about to discover its true purpose.
His extensive published research (carried out over 12 years) resulted in the first comprehensive, scientifically consistent theory of why we evolved to dream – his expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming. This has led, through his work with Ivan Tyrrell (who was one of the first to realise the huge implications of Joe's research), to huge improvements in the treatment of depression, addiction, psychological trauma and the early stages of psychosis.
His discovery, which has significantly advanced our understanding of the causes of mental health and emotional problems, was satisfyingly simple, easy to test ourselves – and consistent with all scientific dream and sleep research to date. No new research has contradicted it. (You can read more here)
Griffin's important work has also thrown invaluable light on the little-appreciated importance of the REM state – which has to do with a lot more than just dreaming.
You can read more about his work and watch Joe giving a lecture about it here, where he also shows how new research continues to back up his theory,
And the book, which covers the story of his discovery and the research findings that corroborate it, is full of dream descriptions which are convincingly explained – including a new analysis of Freud's famous 'Dream of Irma's injection':
by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell
Explore our articles and interviews
The governing organisations of the world seem all at sea. They are missing an essential element: that of the psychology of human nature, which is programmed into us from our genes (the human 'givens').
Read about how a Faulklands war veteran overcame the severe flashbacks and panic attacks he suffered for 20 years after a horrifically traumatising experience during his service in the navy.
Trevor Bailey, head of Worle School, raises issues about the impact of targets and inspections on the well-being of staff and thus on motivation and effectiveness..
All children have an innate need to be stretched and connected up to more of reality. It is a psychological law of nature. Consequently we can say that, whenever teachers are having difficulties in schools, it invariably comes down to the fact that they are not working with, or being allowed to work with, that fundamental truth.
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.
Ivan Tyrrell considers how the miasma of corruption we live in affects many aspects of our lives, often in subtle ways.
Ivan Tyrrell asks Professor Richard Noll, author of ‘The Jung Cult’, to unravel the lies Carl G Jung told to aggrandise himself and his charismatic psychoanalytic movement.
The fundamental new direction in therapy is more than just a set of new techniques explains Bill O'Hanlon in an article first published in 1995.
Latest Tweets:Tweets by humangivens
‘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...