Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2022 Attended Conference



Due to Covid-19 and the ongoing uncertainty over when large groups will be able to reconvene safely, the HGI has made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s conference until the weekend of 14th and 15th May 2022. We appreciate that this will be disappointing – and we thank you for your continuing patience and support. 

Our in-person conferences are always inspiring and stimulating events, attended by interesting people from all over the world – and we will now be putting all our efforts into planning next year’s to make it another rewarding event. The original announced programme (see below) may have to change slightly as time has moved on – we will post details of the final programme as soon as they are confirmed – so please watch this space for further information. 

If you already had tickets for the conference, please be assured that these have been automatically transferred to the new date.  The 2022 conference will be held at Woodland Grange, Leaminton Spa, Warwickshire, UK.  Prices for 2022 are still to be finalised too.  If you would like to reserve a place, or have any queries at all, please call our friendly team on +44(0)1323 811662.


Saturday - original programme (may be subject to change)



Introduction to the conference
Sue Gray – HGI chair


Brain inflammation and disturbed sleep

GP and HG practitioner Andrew Morrice shows that the links between inflammation in the brain and disturbed sleep are more subtle and various than previously thought. The new detail deepens our understanding of depression and illuminates the connections between sickness behaviour, fatigue and malaise, and pain.


Keeping HG up to date

The Research and Update Group introduce their ideas for updating human givens education in line with the latest research and new neuroscientific understandings. They also introduce their proposal for an HG ‘Wiki’ research website, which could be used to compile evidence supporting the HG approach, and explain how individual HG practitioners can contribute.


Tea/coffee break


Challenges of therapy with veterans in prisons

HG practitioner Carol Harper has seen a high number of PTSD Resolution clients in custody and has also begun working with the mental health team at HMP Dartmoor, seeing non-veterans in a voluntary capacity. She describes the challenges of working within the constraints of a prison environment. Her presentation will be followed by a short film made by students at Ravensbourne University, featuring a veteran with PTSD who has been in prison several times and commentary from academics.

12.15 Just What We Need in the community

HG practitioners Carmen Kane and Linda Hoggan, who originated the HG Just What We Need parents’ programme 12 years ago, update us on its evolution into wider community applications, including its current role in local government’s back-to-work schemes, organised through the Department for Work and Pensions. They also show how the model can enrich one-to-one therapy. 




When a client complains…

Mark Stobbs, Director of Scrutiny and Quality at the PSA, leads a challenging, interactive session on circumstances which, unexpectedly, might lead to complaints from a client against a therapist, and how to anticipate/avoid or best handle. He is also willing to respond to questions from the floor – it would be especially helpful to have these in advance, so that Mark can give them thought.

Please send any question suggestions to [email protected]  Eg: is it okay to see an existing client’s partner individually about their own issues, at the request of both? What are the pitfalls when trying to find clients to ‘practise’ on, when still a trainee?


Tea/coffee break


Working with refugees and asylum seekers

HG practitioner Malcolm Hanson discusses his experience of receiving NHS referrals (often for the effects of torture, persecution or other forms of control) for trafficked individuals and those seeking asylum. His talk includes an overview of people’s perception of the system they find themselves in, treatment strategies he found most effective, issues around use of translators and outcome measures, impact on the therapeutic relationship with this client group, and dealing with asylum outcomes and how to manage them with clients.


Conference Day ends


Annual General Meeting of the HGI
chaired by Dr Declan Lyons
(Not part of the conference but open to all HGI members)


Conference Dinner


Sunday - original programme (may be subject to change)



Dr Declan Lyons


The paradox of schizophrenia

Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience, Ezra Hewing, HG practitioner and head of education at Suffolk Mind, presents fascinating evidence for the theory that hallucinations can be explained as REM state phenomena, and also resolves the paradox of dual negative and positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Identifying mechanisms which underlie psychosis and REM state phenomena has been the focus of Ezra’s MSc research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.


What ENA is telling us about mental health in organisations

Naomi Simons, research and data lead at Suffolk Mind, describes how, using a version of the Emotional Needs Audit (ENA), data collected from over 6,000 people living in Suffolk show how well, or not, their emotional needs are being met. These include employees from NHS hospitals and clinical commissioning groups, a creative arts organisation, a fire safety business and Suffolk Mind’s own staff, as well as the general Suffolk population. Surprising findings include the stable and predictable pattern that has emerged and what it tells us about the environments people live and work in; how ENAs can identify hierarchy and autonomy in organisations; the needs which are best met at the expense of others; and how this information can be used to improve mental health and workplace performance.


Tea/coffee break


Using HG to change the culture in care homes

Sue Gray, HG practitioner and consultant for Eastside Primetimers, a social sector management consultancy, describes outcomes so far in a pioneering consultancy project at an 80-bed specialist care home for people with complex disabilities. The aim is to use the human givens model to help change the prevailing ‘I care for you’ culture into a more re-abling one, where individuals are enabled to meet their own needs wherever possible. Staff, volunteers, residents and family members are all being educated in HG understandings and in practical ways to use needs and resources to influence processes such as re-ablement planning, creating a therapeutic day and monitoring wellbeing, so that together they can create the changing culture. Research and evaluation are designed into the programme throughout.


Telling the truth about psychiatric medication

Retired HG practitioner Marion Brown has been at the forefront of the campaign to urge the royal colleges for psychiatrists and GPs to acknowledge and provide patient guidance on the full range of possible side- and withdrawal effects of psychiatric medications. Here she provides the latest in this still-developing story, summarises recent guidance for psychological therapists and invites questions and discussion around how best to help/inform confused clients, particularly about akathisia, the little-recognised side/withdrawal effect linked with many psychotropic medications, leading to extreme restlessness, insomnia and even suicide.  


Working with females on the autistic spectrum

For a long time, females on the autistic spectrum have gone undiagnosed and their needs are only now being better recognised. Miriam Chachamu, HG practitioner and family therapist for her local CAMHS, describes her wide experience of working with girls and women on the autistic spectrum – how they present differently from males; what to look out for/be alert to; concerns that commonly come up; and especial challenges faced, including sexuality/gender issues. She illustrates how she uses HG methods to work successfully with this client group.




The first national mental health charter for universities

Gareth Hughes, an HG practitioner working in psychological wellbeing at the University of Derby, describes his major role in developing the first national mental health charter for universities, a government-backed project designed to help universities support good mental health in staff and students. The framework for this aspirational charter launched late last year and universities will be able to apply for Charter status from the autumn of 2020. Gareth tells the compelling story of how the university sector and government were brought onside in taking a whole system approach to mental health – one that goes beyond services into all aspects of university life that impact on needs, from physical environment through to social life.


Professional survival skills in an age of political and corporate nonsense

Gavin Jinks, HG practitioner and senior lecturer in social work at the University of Derby explores how we can best cope with the plethora of changes to working practice or culture that get passed down from management or government, with remarkably little evidence to support them. He shows how easy it is for those in power to publish, manipulate or control information in a way that avoids scrutiny and argues that individuals or small groups can take practical and powerful steps that make a big difference, drawing on examples from different sectors to illustrate this.


Resurrecting common sense

Ivan Tyrrell explains how the wisdom in HG ideas and skills grew out of common sense. There is no wisdom where there is no common sense because, under that condition, it cannot find any expression. That is why, he says, when HG practitioners come up against rules created by people devoid of common sense, our task, first and foremost, is to find ways to vigorously champion this endangered characteristic. 


Tea/coffee break


Taking HG onwards and outwards

Questions and discussion around the ideas explored by Gavin and Ivan, with contributions related to personal professional experiences welcome from the floor.


Thanks and close



Full details - including price and accommodation costs - will be updated as soon as they become available.

If you would like to reserve a place, or have any queries at all, please call our friendly team on +44(0)1323 811662.

Latest News:

Save 20% off HG College's online courses and webinars

Whether you're interested for personal reasons, are thinking about becoming a counsellor, or are looking for effective mental health CPD, check out Human Givens College's online courses - and save 20% off many of them ...