Why we evolved to dream
Back in the 1980s the Irish psychologist, Joe Griffin, co-founder of the human givens approach, was fascinated by the age-old puzzle of why we dream. Nature is always efficient in her design, he reasoned, so he set about to discover its true purpose.
His extensive published research (carried out over 12 years) resulted in the first comprehensive, scientifically consistent theory of why we evolved to dream – his expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming. This has led, through his work with Ivan Tyrrell (who was one of the first to realise the huge implications of Joe's research), to huge improvements in the treatment of depression, addiction, psychological trauma and the early stages of psychosis.
His discovery, which has significantly advanced our understanding of the causes of mental health and emotional problems, was satisfyingly simple, easy to test ourselves – and consistent with all scientific dream and sleep research to date. No new research has contradicted it. (You can read more here)
Griffin's important work has also thrown invaluable light on the little-appreciated importance of the REM state – which has to do with a lot more than just dreaming.
You can read more about his work and watch Joe giving a lecture about it here, where he also shows how new research continues to back up his theory,
And the book, which covers the story of his discovery and the research findings that corroborate it, is full of dream descriptions which are convincingly explained – including a new analysis of Freud's famous 'Dream of Irma's injection':
by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell
Explore our articles and interviews
Listen to Brian Greene’s interview with Denise Winn (Human Givens College tutor and psychology journalist, editor and author) as they discuss how the human givens approach is used for successfully treating depression.
Joe Griffin goes back to basics to arrive at some powerful new insights into the givens of human nature.
Ros Jeal describes how she is helping women stop themselves from being lured back into abusive relationships.
With mindfulness now all the rage, many online articles are now advocating breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels.
USE of illicit drugs is common in schizophrenia, with a recent meta-analysis showing that as many as one in four patients had ‘cannabis use disorder’.
Sally Nillson reflects on her first year in private practice.
GP Adam Lake describes how he makes effective use of HG understandings and techniques in consultations for mental health conditions.
Primary school teaching assistant and HG Diploma graduate, Kashfi Khan describes how she has applied the HG ideas in very practical ways, to the benefit of pupils, parents and teachers alike.
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