Why was the human givens approach developed?
If you could read a potted history of psychotherapy you would see an evolution of break-neck speed from the birth of the field to the chaotic situation of today, where we have at least 650 models of counselling and psychotherapy. Although many of these offer some effective techniques and useful insights, overall we have an uncoordinated disarray of theories, terminology and methods, which causes confusion among both health professionals and those in need of help.
Mature sciences like chemistry, physics and engineering are built on a broad common ground of understanding. Despite the wealth of psychological and neuroscientific knowledge available to us, this is currently lacking in psychotherapy. It was to address this lack that the human givens overarching idea was first proposed.
Psychologists Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell, co-founders of the human givens approach, looked to the fundamental principles of what it means to be human to develop a simple, robust, scientifically up-to-date, coordinated and agreed bio-psycho-social model of healthy human functioning: a shared language and a practical framework upon which to build an effective, integrative approach to emotional health which truly understands us as human beings with human needs.
Explore our articles and interviews
When we react excessively to events, major or minor, we may be victims of a primitive survival mechanism gone awry, suggests Joe Griffin. Despite often causing years of distress, it can be treated successfully — and usually remarkably quickly.
Sheila Barratt-Smith tells Denise Winn that the images and language used to describe birth can determine whether a woman experiences pain — or euphoria.
By introducing the human givens approach along with outcome measurements, Jayne Timmins has made her mark on Dyfed-Powys police.
Ivan Tyrrell and Richard Bentall discuss patient-centred new approaches to the understanding and treatment of psychotic illness..
With mindfulness now all the rage, many online articles are now advocating breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels.
Listen to Brian Greene’s interview with Sue Saunders (Human Givens College tutor and Educational Director) as they discuss the HG approach to treating mental illness, human givens counselling and our training events.
Ivan Tyrrell talks with Paul Allin about the significance of the Government’s National Well-being Programme and the contribution of the human givens
Emily Gajewski describes how the human givens approach has provided a practical focus for working with women struggling to cope with everyday life