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
Social work should be about helping people yet, bogged down in bureaucracy, it has lost its way. Jan Little shows how the human givens approach can put it back on track.
With mindfulness now all the rage, many online articles are now advocating breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels.
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.
Doris Lessing believes we are all much closer to craziness than we like to believe. In conversations with Ivan Tyrrell she talks about age, breakdowns and the ubiquitous 'self-hater'.
The expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming put forward by Joe Griffin is, to date, the best explanation for why we dream and why we forget our dreams...
Do you think of yourself as an anxious person? This can lead you to think that anxiety is your lot; that there is damn all you can do about it. Well, that isn’t true at all and you are confining yourself to a limiting box if you continue to believe that...
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’.
Ivan Tyrrell and Richard Bentall discuss patient-centred new approaches to the understanding and treatment of psychotic illness..
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Volume 25, No 1, 2018, the latest edition of the Human Givens Journal is now available.
Date posted: 11/06/2018
Brian Greene and Jennifer Broadley discuss how to apply the human givens approach in couples therapy.
Date posted: 30/05/2018