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
Paul Dow finds creative ways of using the human givens approach to help struggling students meet their emotional needs.
Julia Welstead looks at the impact of bereavement and grief
Would you know if someone you care about has depression? Most people probably think that they would, but it isn’t necessarily as obvious as you might expect. Indeed, until some simple screening questionnaires were introduced for GPs to use, half of them were missing the diagnosis in patients that came to consult them.
Janine Hurley describes how the HGI Ethics Committee helped her cope, professionally and personally, when, tragically, a client killed herself.
Among our essential emotional needs are two nods to our need for human interaction, in the forms of both an intimate relationship and community connection.
Joe Griffin talks with Professor Ian Robertson about the role of experience in the sculpting of our brains, and why certain types of counselling may do harm.
Carol Harper explores how we can use the insights from the human givens approach to protect and improve our children’s mental health – not only during the current crisis but for the long-term …
Brian Greene and HG tutor Dr Andrew Morrice discuss the mind-body connection and explore the relationships between the three big E’s…
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The six SCoPEd partners have published their latest update on the important work currently underway with regards to the SCoPEd framework implementation, governance and impact assessment.
Date posted: 14/02/2024
Our next in-person HGI Conference, is being held on the weekend of 20th and 21st April 2024