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HG Newsletter - March 2021

In this issue:


HG in IoD's Mental Health & Emotional Resilience webinar


IoD's Mental Health & Emotional Resilience webinar Image

Earlier this month, the Institute of Directors held a lunchtime webinar in recognition of International Women’s Day to celebrate the economic, social, cultural and political achievements of women. The very pertinent theme this year, Mental Health; Emotional Resilience gave insights on dealing with uncertainty and adversity during the pandemic.

The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, introduced the webinar. HG therapist and tutor Ros Townsend joined a line-up of influential woman leaders including Shantha Dickinson, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Charlotte Valeur, one of the top 100 most Influential women in Denmark (2018), good governance advocate and past Chair of the IoD.

Ros spoke about the pandemic viewed through the lens of the human givens organising ideas, using this as a means of understanding why some have thrived during this challenging time while others have experienced considerable emotional distress. Ros tells us that many of the attendees connected immediately with this ‘blueprint’ for an emotionally healthy life, and she is continuing to make links through social media with those business leaders and directors who expressed interest. Obviously, the more organisations that have this understanding filtering down from the top level of management, the healthier and more productive they become!

Please let us know if you have had the opportunity to spread HG ideas out into other organisations or communities.


Lifting Depression Summit

It’s not too late to book your place at the HGI’s Lifting Depression Summit – which is taking place online next Saturday, 27th February.

The Lifting Depression Summit - replay available image

Our first-ever live online conference was a great success – with over 500 enthusiastic attendees from around the world. If you missed it, don't worry, you can now view the replay.  Ably chaired by HGI chair Sue Gray and facilitated by HG College CEO Jane Tyrrell, the day began with co-founder of Human Givens Ivan Tyrrell explaining the truth about depression, reviewing the organising
ideas especially with regard to the current pressures which are leading to record numbers of people around the world reporting mental health difficulties.

The topic of working within organisations and the workplace was the theme of Joe Griffin’s fascinating talk.  His streamlined ‘traffic light’ approach to identifying unmet needs at work was welcomed, expanding as it did on his presentation to the Human Givens Conference in 2018.  A lively Q&A led to greater elucidation and insights from Joe’s vast experience.

Ezra Hewing of Suffolk Mind looked at how much wrong thinking about depression has come about, and how difficult it is to change that thinking. He described the current state of scientific knowledge and showed how latest findings about the link between inflammation and depression fit entirely with the human givens explanation for depression and how to lift it. Ezra has also written an article on the myth of serotonin imbalance that will appear in the next edition of the Human Givens Journal.

HG practitioner Fiona Sheldon and Human Givens College tutor, Jo Baker, spoke of the positive impact the human givens solution-focused approach has had on clients here and abroad.  Fiona described how she has taken her work to Uganda, there helping many people traumatised by conflict; and Jo spoke of working with an overseas college student to great effect.  Marion Brown reviewed the extensive research she has done, sharing the latest findings on the use of anti-depressants, with a view to helping people acquire a better understanding of what they can do to inform and optimise their own choices.

If you missed the day you haven’t missed out!   You can purchase The Lifting Depression Summit replay at:


Love in a Covid Climate

Photo of a couple kissing whilst wearing masks

No one can be in any doubt about the devastation wreaked upon our societies by the effects of successive lockdowns. Across the world we hear the same stories of impending mental health crises, the impact upon our young of missed time at school, the grief and fear gripping the most vulnerable and the inequalities which allow some to profit while others fall into destitution. What has also hit the headlines is the impact of lockdown upon close relationships. 

Negative news grabs and holds our attention: it puts us in a trance state in which we are subject to influence. The truth is more nuanced. According to a YouGov study in the UK, when it comes to those who are in a relationship, a third of people questioned said the pandemic has actually brought them closer to their partner. The most common response is that the coronavirus outbreak has had no implications on their relationship (53%) while just one in nine (11%) report that they and their partner have become more distant as a result of the disease... [read full article]

Self-harm and self-injury awareness

Slef-harm and self-injury awareness illustration

March 1st was Self-harm Awareness Day in the UK. The organisations, YoungMinds, The Mix and Self Harm UK campaign on this day every year to challenge the stigma around self-harm that stops young people from looking for help.

The HG approach offers invaluable insights into how we can help ourselves and others struggling with self-harming behaviours – and we have gathered together a range of vital resources and case studies – which are clear, practical and suitable for everyone.

The resources include a short video in which HG expert, Emily Gajewski, shares key information for people working with self-harm. Emily explains that self-harming is on a continuum of activity and behaviour: we can all be vulnerable at any given time.  When our innate emotional needs are being met healthily enough, we will often have a good amount of positive self-care. But as soon as stress is introduced into our lives, we can tend to be more reckless with ourselves, our self-care reduces and our behaviour starts to change…

Please do check out and share the resources to find out more.


Denise Winn on eating disorders

Photo of student on laptop

As many of you will know, HG Journal Editor, tutor and therapist, Denise Winn, writes every month for Psychology Today in her blog, Helping Humanity Thrive. Denise is a highly experienced journalist and author – for over 25 years she was a regular contributor at different times for the Sunday Times, Observer, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, and for 12 years she was also Cosmopolitan’s medical writer as well as a contributor to a variety of other national magazines.

>> If you haven’t already seen them, you can check out Denise’s posts, covering trauma, depression, anxiety, prescription drugs, grief, suicide, and many other key mental health topics here. In her latest post, Denise explores how we can prevent eating disorders from becoming chronic illnesses – you can read it here


HGI attended Conference Postponed

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 attended 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 people from all over the world giving delegates a wonderful opportunity to network – and catch up with old friends. We are now focusing all our efforts into planning for next year to make it another rewarding event. The original announced programme 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. 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.


Food for thought

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.



Carol Harper - Editor

I hope you’ve enjoyed this extended edition of the newsletter.

Thanks are due to all those behind the scenes of the organisation, as well as the many therapists whose work continues to improve, influence and inspire lives around the world.

Do get in contact if you have any helpful advice, news or interesting case studies that you think other readers would like to hear about.

Carol Harper
Human Givens News


Latest News:

SCoPEd - latest update

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