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
Much more is gained from hearing and telling stories, rather than just reading them, says Pat Williams.
Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell describe a biologically-based theory which explains the shortcomings of purely cognitive approaches and why effective therapies can work fast.
Lee Pycroft describes how a beauty makeover can trigger self-care and self-respect in vulnerable or traumatised women.
Joe Griffin talks with Professor Ian Robertson about the role of experience in the sculpting of our brains, and why certain types of counselling may do harm.
Sheila Barratt-Smith tells Denise Winn that the images and language used to describe birth can determine whether a woman experiences pain — or euphoria.
Read about how a Faulklands war veteran overcame the severe flashbacks and panic attacks he suffered for 20 years after a horrifically traumatising experience during his service in the navy.
Most people think ethics is concerned with truth, justice, equality, loyalty, fairness, values, principles, morals, etc. All these words in italics are abstractions. They are content free. They contain no sensory information. Such words used to be called 'reifications' in philosophy and are now more commonly called 'nominalisations'.
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').
Latest Tweets:Tweets by humangivens
Amárach Research have just published the results of their recent survey of the mental health and wellbeing of 1,000 adults in Ireland, using the Human Givens Emotoinal Needs Audit
Date posted: 07/03/2019
Blue Monday saw the launch of our new podcast series: Ask the Expert. We were delighted that Lee Pycroft agreed to be our first expert...
Date posted: 23/01/2019