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
If people are suffering emotional distress there will always be unmet emotional needs, this is how the Human Givens approach works.
Mark Evans describes how working imaginatively with rewards and punishments has helped his clients achieve very swift change
Hugh McNab illustrates how to successfully detraumatise even the most severe cases of trauma and anxiety-related disorders and help a client back to work and engaging positively with life once again.
Trevor Bailey, head of Worle School, raises issues about the impact of targets and inspections on the well-being of staff and thus on motivation and effectiveness..
Janice Haddon shows how she has drawn upon the human givens approach to work more creatively with corporate clients.
Julia Welstead looks at why we care so much about body image
Jim Penman tells Ivan Tyrrell how biology drives our social history, explaining temperament change within cultures and the rise and fall of civilisations.
Why the human givens approach is important for psychotherapy.
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Our grateful thanks.... to Declan Lyons and Sue Saunders
Date posted: 01/07/2020
Just Released: A new report uses the HG framework to assess emotional wellbeing during the panemic lockdown - contains vital information and confirms the value of the HG approach in assessing mental health.