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
The expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming put forward by Joe Griffin is, to date, the best explanation for why we dream and why we forget our dreams...
Sam Gerrard explores the benefits of 7:11 breathing and shares the results of his own and others’ research into the technique
John Bell suggests that only a radically different, innate needs-based approach to conflict resolution can bring a possibility of peace to the Middle East.
Human givens principles have been introduced to over 200 schools and adopted systemically by some. Here, four headteachers provide a vivid snapshot of their impact.
GP Mona Mahfouz shows how dramatically the human givens approach has altered the way she works
Julia Welstead considers the importance of our human need for connection
Social work should be about helping people yet, bogged down in bureaucracy, it has lost its way. Jan Little shows how the human givens approach can put it back on track.
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Sue Gray, who takes over from Dr Declan Lyons, is an accomplished Senior Health & Social Care Director and Clinician...
As you may be aware of the work being carried out by the BACP/BPC/UKCP to create a framework called Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd).