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 talks to Anne Glyn-Jones author of "Holding up a Mirror" about the dynamics of history that eventually lead to the destruction of security, prosperity and artistic achievement.
Ian Thomson takes a look at a selection of ethical issues of relevance to human givens practitioners.
Angela Austin describes how the human givens approach has informed her work to create an emotionally safe place where children with autism can learn.
Read Mike Beard's therapist account of Nina's treatment.
Do you think of yourself as an anxious person? This can lead you to think that anxiety is your lot; that there is damn all you can do about it. Well, that isn’t true at all and you are confining yourself to a limiting box if you continue to believe that...
How one session of human givens therapy was enough to transform the life of Sarah, a depressed single mother.
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.
Ivan Tyrrell explores with Adam Curtis how Freudian ideas are flourishing in business and politics today and insidiously influence all of our lives.
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Reni Landor is featured in 'The Psychologist' talking about what the human givens approach has brought her, professionally and personally.