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
The governing organisations of the world seem all at sea. They are missing an essential element: that of the psychology of human nature, which is programmed into us from our genes (the human 'givens').
We all take sleep for granted until we have problems with it and then we quickly remember how desirable a good night's sleep is.
Carol Harper explores how we can use the insights from the human givens approach to protect and improve our children’s mental health – not only during the current crisis but for the long-term …
Renée van der Vloodt describes how a dramatic event during rewind helped a client resolve a whole host of difficulties in her life.
Julia Welstead considers what we should really be giving this Christmas... and all year round too
Ivan Tyrrell talks with Paul Allin about the significance of the Government’s National Well-being Programme and the contribution of the human givens
The torment of ‘caring’ for a much-loved brother suffering from psychosis, to whom the NHS has failed to offer meaningful help …
GP Adam Lake describes how he makes effective use of HG understandings and techniques in consultations for mental health conditions.
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This workshop proved very popular and spaces quickly sold out so we've added an extra date.
Date posted: 18/10/2021
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