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
Ivan Tyrrell considers how the miasma of corruption we live in affects many aspects of our lives, often in subtle ways.
Jim Penman tells Ivan Tyrrell how biology drives our social history, explaining temperament change within cultures and the rise and fall of civilisations.
When we react excessively to events, major or minor, we may be victims of a primitive survival mechanism gone awry, suggests Joe Griffin. Despite often causing years of distress, it can be treated successfully — and usually remarkably quickly.
In 1991 Sue Hanisch was caught up in an IRA bombing at Victoria Station, London, lost of her right leg and sufferd from severe PTSD for nine years…
The theoretical understanding for why human givens therapy is so effective.
We all take sleep for granted until we have problems with it and then we quickly remember how desirable a good night's sleep is.
Community psychiatric nurse Liz Potts describes her experience as one of the few primary care professionals in Coventry using the human givens approach.
Read Mike Beard's therapist account of Nina's treatment.
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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.