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
GP Adam Lake describes how he makes effective use of HG understandings and techniques in consultations for mental health conditions.
In this 2009 article, Bill Andrews describes the practice-based evidence that has emerged from studies of the human givens approach to date and explains why the future looks positive.
Counsellors who use it know that the 'rewind technique' is fast, safe, painless and effective for dealing with trauma. Keith Guy and Nicola Guy have tested it in research.
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.
Julia Welstead considers what we should really be giving this Christmas... and all year round too
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...
Most people think ethics is concerned with truth, justice, equality, loyalty, fairness, values, principles, morals, etc. All these words in italics are abstractions. They are content free. They contain no sensory information. Such words used to be called 'reifications' in philosophy and are now more commonly called 'nominalisations'.
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Our grateful thanks.... to Declan Lyons and Sue Saunders
Date posted: 01/07/2020
Just Released: A new report uses the HG framework to assess emotional wellbeing during the panemic lockdown - contains vital information and confirms the value of the HG approach in assessing mental health.