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
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..
Denise Winn talks with Professor John Ratey about the brain as a social organ, and the need to be alert early to inept social skills.
Listen to Brian Greene’s interview with Sue Saunders (Human Givens College tutor and Educational Director) as they discuss the HG approach to treating mental illness, human givens counselling and our training events.
Sian Withers shows how she makes very good use of the human givens approach thousands of feet up in the air.
Treatmenta for schizophrenia that involve no drugs, or only low doses of them, urgently need investigation, suggests Dr Tim Calton, lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Nottingham, and colleagues.
Chris Dyas vividly describes how he teaches troubled children to be their own therapists.
In this article, Joe Griffin suggests that techniques which can yield immediate success, may share an underlying mechanism.
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Volume 25, No 1, 2018, the latest edition of the Human Givens Journal is now available.
Date posted: 11/06/2018
Brian Greene and Jennifer Broadley discuss how to apply the human givens approach in couples therapy.
Date posted: 30/05/2018