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').
The theoretical understanding for why human givens therapy is so effective.
An article about the human givens approach that appeared in the major American publication, Family Therapy Magazine.
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'.
It took millions of years for the human mind to evolve into the self-forming creature we can now become.
Aric Sigman explains why craft-based skills are as important as academic ones, and need to be taught in all schools.
Ivan Tyrrell reviews "The Buddha Pill: can meditation change you?" by Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm (Watkins Publishing, £10.99).
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.
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‘JUST WHAT WE NEED’ is a therapeutic group approach using a Human Givens framework. Dates for the next 2 courses are available.