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HG Newsletter - May 2021

In this issue:

Psychological dimensions of Peacemaking

Psychological dimensions of Peacemaking Image

A while ago, John Bell and Ivan Tyrrell from the Concilliators Guild attended an international two-day roundtable discussion on the psychological dimensions of peacemaking, at which Ivan gave a well-received presentation about the human givens.

Psychological insight is often surprisingly lacking in high-level negotiations and political circles and as a result of that meeting Ivan was asked to write an article for the New England Journal of Public Policy (the journal of the Graduate School of Public Policy and Global Studies at the University of Boston, Massachusetts). It has just been released.

This academic publication is forwarded to and read by policy makers, politicians, diplomats, peace negotiators and others around the world.  You can view the Journal and read Ivan's article here.

If you'd like to learn more about what war, terrorism and bullying reveal about the human psyche and gain an improved ability to see through political and cultural assumptions, you might like the online course How to overcome fear and political chaos, currently available at 20% OFF.


Managing the unexpected

After deciding to grab a life-changing opportunity – made possible by the pandemic – HG therapist Roberta Hutchins has been working remotely from Barbados since November.

Managing the unexpected imageMoving her life to the tropics brought plenty of challenges and learning opportunities as well as perks – not least when a volcano on the nearly island of St Vincent ferociously erupted, showering Barbados with volcanic ash for days and the supply of enough fresh water for everyone became a real concern.

Struggling in the heat and trapped inside for days, with no air conditioning, was says Roberta “another great opportunity to put HG techniques into personal practice in order to keep well resourced on a personal level to maintain sufficient capacity to continue working with clients”.  We were delighted when Roberta agreed to take some precious time out to tell us more about her experiences – you can read her article here.

Thankfully things are returning more to normal now in Barbados and Roberta has recently returned safely to the UK.  (read the article)


Self care for the caring professions

This last year has been tough for many, as the dramatic increase in people looking for help with their mental health confirms, but what of those looking after them? We need to have enough 'spare capacity' to be able to help others safely and effectively, whatever our role – sadly ‘burnout’ is all too common amongst the caring professions.  Even if we know good stress management techniques, and what we should be doing to maintain our own wellbeing, this often isn’t enough.

Self care for the caring professions article image

How to avoid burnout is a new live-online workshop with Emily Gajewski designed to help anyone who is struggling with the unique pressures of working with vulnerable and distressed people.  Drawing on her wealth of experience, she examines the particular ways working in the caring professions can impact us, provides practical steps to take and ways to identify your particular vulnerabilities. She also looks at the most up-to-date guidance on keeping ourselves well and thriving in caring roles and will help participants develop a realistic plan for their own continuing wellbeing.

The workshop is limited to 20 participants so that there is enough time for everyone and will run for the first time on Thursday 23rd September on Zoom.

To find out more, click here.


How HG embodies person-centred care

How HG embodies person-centred care Image

You may be familiar with the term person-centred care. But even if you’re not, you might well have been a recipient of it if you live in the UK. It is a term for an initiative that has been rippling through the NHS for some years now, with the aim of changing care, in whatever setting it is delivered, from something that is done or given ‘to’ people to something that is achieved with them.

In other words, it is about partnership. As NHS Health Education England has put it, “Being person-centred is about focusing care on the needs of the individual – ensuring that people’s preferences, needs and values guide clinical decisions, and providing care that is respectful of and responsive to them.”

This approach is as applicable to mental health needs as it is to physical needs. So, as mental health is the domain of HG practitioners and those trained in HG who use it in their NHS work (as psychiatrists, GP, nurses, occupational therapists and more) it is instructive to compare how our standard practice accords with the goals of person-centred care…  [read full article]


Could you work for the HGI?

Human Givens Institute Logo

The Human Givens Institute is currently looking for lay people (non-HGI members) to sit on its External Oversight Committee (EOC).  This committee is an important check and balance for HGI members and the general public in the event of anyone having concerns about anything the HGI has undertaken. There is an annual retainer fee of £250 for attending meetings, with £20 an hour paid for any specific work carried out.  If you, or someone you know, might be interested please email Sue Gray at [email protected]

Peer Group Representative Board Member needed

The HGI ( also has a vacancy for a registered HG Therapist as a Peer Group Representative on its Board (the role is shared between two board members). If you would like to know more or are interested in applying, please contact Sue Gray [email protected] for further information.


Frontline 19 commissions HG training

Frontline 19 Logo

Frontline, the charity set up last year to offer free and confidential psychological support to anyone working in the NHS and frontline services in the UK, recently commissioned HG College to deliver online training on trauma and how best to treat it to the therapists and counsellors working for them.  As a result, HG tutor and therapist Ros Townsend is going to be running a series of sessions on trauma awareness over the coming months.

Numerous HG therapists have kindly offered their services to help other caring professionals via Frontline and many report back about the toll working in ‘war zone’ conditions has taken on their clients.

Action Trauma Summit

Photo of Rosalind Townsend

As mentioned last month, Ros Townsend is also going to be delivering a workshop entitled ‘Human Givens: A holistic approach to treating trauma’ at the Action Trauma summit in June, which features numerous well-known trauma specialists from around the world and reaches a wide international audience.


New mental health blog

You can now read a range of useful and insightful short articles relating to aspects of mental health and psychology on a new blog section of the website.

The College will regularly be adding new information to this section, so do keep returning to find out more.


Food for thought

“ For me context is the key – from that comes the understanding of everything ”

Kenneth Noland, American painter


Jane Tyrrell - Editor

I hope you've found this issue of the newsletter interesting, and thank Carol Harper for her editorship over the last 10 months.

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.

Jane Tyrrell
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