Why we need to understand healthy minds
It took millions of years for the human mind to evolve into the self-forming creature we can now become. We have reached a watershed where exciting recent discoveries about how the mind/body system works enable us to understand the processes by which the human nature of a new child can successfully unfold to create an effective and fulfilled individual.
Science has discovered that nature endows each healthy human conception with a wonderful array of living genetic 'templates' – an infinitely rich treasure house of patterns that instinctively seek completion in the environment from the moment of birth. This genetically driven process continues as we grow and evolve throughout life.
These patterns are expressed as physical and emotional needs and are in a state of continuous ebb and flow. And nature is doubly generous, as she also brings us into the world with the means to help us get those needs met.
It is precisely the way these needs are met, by the impact life has on them, that determines the individual nature, character and mental health of each person.
Only by cooperating with these natural processes — the human givens — can children be educated and matured into independent, fully integrated and fulfilled adults. And, when things go wrong and people seek help, only by working in alignment with the human givens can other people help them overcome emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, addictions, anger disorders and psychotic breakdowns.
HGI members are concerned with how the practical consequences of this knowledge are spread and applied in education and mental health care and social policy making.
Human imagination has created an environment that now, to many, seems out of control, whirling around us so fast and in such disturbing ways that we can no longer passively accept that our culture can reliably provide everyone in it with the psychological nourishment needed to properly unfold ourselves as human beings.
The speed of change, and the carelessness with which we instigate change, is partly why there are such massive increases in many forms of mental illness. The latest statistics show that half of all people in our culture (Europe and the USA) will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives and up to 20% of the population is mentally disturbed at any one time. The same figure applies to children, a fifth of who are said to be seriously emotionally disturbed, a fact that is having a massive impact on the education system.
The pressure is building rapidly because these trends are worsening. If we were to observe such a rapidly escalating rate of dysfunctional behaviour in any other species we would conclude that environmental pressures were endangering its survival.
Explore our articles and interviews
Emily Gajewski describes how the human givens approach has provided a practical focus for working with women struggling to cope with everyday life
Ivan Tyrrell explores with Adam Curtis how Freudian ideas are flourishing in business and politics today and insidiously influence all of our lives.
Renée van der Vloodt describes how a dramatic event during rewind helped a client resolve a whole host of difficulties in her life.
The final version of the Emotional Needs Scale resulting from Brett Culham's research into emotional needs.
Andrew Jones describes how the human givens approach has transformed his effectiveness in his demanding role as a chaplain in the Royal Air Force.
How one session of human givens therapy was enough to transform the life of Sarah, a depressed single mother.
In the first of what will become an annual feature, Ian Thomson, deputy chair of the HGI’s Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC), shares learning points from cases presented within the past year for adjudication or advice.
We take a look at what's been achieved since two pioneering psychotherapists put a name to this powerful understanding of human nature and mental health...
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The Human Givens Institute (HGI) was one of the six organisations, along with BACP, UKCP and NCS, involved in developing the SCoPEd framework,
As you may be aware, after 26 years as editor of the Human Givens Journal, Denise Winn will be stepping down at the end of 2023. Despite advertising for a successor last year, we have been unable to find any one person who could fulfil the role.
Date posted: 13/04/2023