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HG Newsletter - October 2019

In this issue:

Why are levels of anxiety and depression in young people rapidly rising? What can we do to address this, and to better prepare them for a future in an uncertain world? It’s time we took more notice of the next generation and HG College offers several courses specifically looking at children and adolescents, developed and presented by tutors who have many years experience in the field. For details of these and lots of other HG news, read on….

Troubled young minds

Children are our future, they are the people who will continue to shape and form humanity, and yet we often fail to show them how to survive and thrive in an increasingly manic and chaotic world - perhaps because we ourselves are struggling to understand and cope with our rapidly changing reality.

While failure to help our children develop healthily can manifest through the obvious routes of instability, insecurity, neglect, abuse and abandonment, it can also be caused by quite the opposite. Hypervigilant, over-protective parents render a child helpless, unconfident, unable to get their own needs for volition, competence, achievement and status met, and therefore vulnerable to anxiety and depression. [read article]

HG focus on the next generation

After establishing that her team needed more training to help them in their work with challenging, vulnerable young people, PC Sharon Herbert, coordinator of a uniformed youth organisation in the City of London Police identified human givens in-house training as the best option for their specific needs.

The in-house training day with Richard Brooks that she commissioned provided them with skills and knowledge that have proved to have a “really positive impact” on the way they work with a broad spectrum of young people and has given them a much deeper understanding of their difficulties. This is an excellent example of how HG training is making a real difference for our troubled youngsters.

You can hone your skills for working with young people on the following:

Understanding and Improving children’s difficult Behaviour, which focuses mainly on pre-eleven year-old children. HG trained family psychotherapist Miriam Chachamu presents this inspiring day.

Anxiety & Learning: how to improve students’ academic performance and wellbeing. HG trained Psychological Wellbeing Counsellor Gareth Hughes offers a superb insight into the challenges and stresses of student life, and how to help – the last date for this is coming up on 30th October.

How to work effectively with troubled and troublesome teenagers. HG trained social worker Richard Brook  shares his wealth of experience working with adolescents with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and their families.

Overcoming Self-harm: how to reduce and prevent self-harming behaviours. HG trained NHS therapist Emily Gajewski explains how to understand, empathise with, and effectively help those who self-harm

The impact of trauma on global peace processes

At the end of September, John Bell and Ivan Tyrrell from The Concilliators Guild , which is bringing HG insights to the world of international relations, took part in an intensive international round-table discussion in Oxford to explore the psychological gaps in peacemaking. 

The organisation running the event focuses on conflict prevention and resolution and as a neutral broker is able to draw on vast networks of expertise around the world. The aim of the 2-day meeting was to examine the consequences of trauma on individuals and groups and how it effects countries in conflict. The participants were senior figures from various different countries, all with inter-governmental experience of trying to bring peace to traumatised populations.

This was the first time any of the participants had heard of human givens ideas and our approach to healing trauma. The main focus of the event was traumatised cultures: the Aboriginal people of Australia, the Kashmiris, the Irish, the Palestine/Israel conflict, and the victims of natural disasters like tsunamis and major earthquakes.  

John and Ivan were asked to give further HG input on upcoming projects – in the meantime, you can view their online course about bringing good psychological knowledge to the arena of international and internal conflict, here

More about trauma...

On the subject of trauma, I’d also like to highlight an excellent interview on the HG approach to trauma between Lisa Cherry of Trauma Recovery Resillience and Sue Saunders, and an equally illuminating conversation between “Daughters of Change” podcast host Marie Sola and Kathy Vilnrotter entitled You’re not broken!

Kathy explains how, after years of trying other approaches, one session of HG therapy had a profound impact on her life as it helped her to conquer her PTSD following a ghastly trauma. Since then, Kathy’s gone on to train as an HG therapist and their discussion moves on to bringing HG therapy to America.


Conference Call

An exciting programme is taking shape for our 2020 HGI Conference (16th–17th May) with a number of great speakers already lined up.

To reflect requests at our previous conferences, the two days will also include more practical content, with a focus on inspiring good practice and exploring possibilities in using the human givens approach.

To this end, we'd like to hear from HG practitioners keen to offer a lively and stimulating presentation (which can be 15, 30 or 40 minutes long) in one of the following areas:

  • using the approach effectively in specialised settings, such as with refugees, the LGBT community, prison populations, etc
  • successful use of the approach in a case that was challenging for any reason (eg one stemming from right-brained caetextia), which required a particularly creative approach
  • having to fight back (or being unable to fight back) against bureaucratic insistence that only ‘evidence-based’ methods be used in therapy, thus excluding HG. Individual contributions to this can be very short (eg five minutes), serving to lead into a more general discussion.

We are also open to ideas on other topics relevant to furthering HG knowledge and good practice – presenting at the conference is a great opportunity to play a part in spreading the influence of HG ideas.

Please email a brief outline of your idea to [email protected] by December 31st.

It may not be possible to accommodate all who want to speak and we will make choices based on creating the widest spread of topics and ideas.



Listen up!

Listening, rather than reading, offers a whole new freedom from desk-bound screen-staring and podcasts are a wonderful way to learn new things, to find out key information and to hear other people’s thoughts and stories. Listening to someone speak gives an added dimension to what they are saying, and the act of live conversation offers the speaker a freedom that they might not feel when presenting their information through the written word.


In short, podcasts are brilliant sound bites to tuck into, and they are free too! Have a listen.

The most popular “Ask the expert” podcast so far is Ivan Tyrrell’s conversation with Farhad Dalal: Political deception and the CBT tsunami – and it's well worth a few moments of your time.

Our latest two podcasts ask Dr Grahame Brown Can we reduce chronic pain without using medication? and Joanna Baker How does anxiety affect student learning?

You can find the full Ask the Expert series list here.  Please do share them with anyone you think might enjoy and benefit from listening to these informative conversations.

One last thought

​​​​​​​“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded."

Jess Lair (1927-2000), author, Montana, USA


Julia Welstead - EditorWe hope you've enjoyed this update – do get in contact if you have any news or interesting case studies.

With best wishes,

Julia Welstead, Editor
Human Givens News

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