HG Newsletter - May 2018
In this issue:
- HGI gains Professional Standards Authority re-accreditation
- Weekend University Day on Mental Health
- HG in Practice
- GDPR – the data protection law is changing
May is upon us, and with it our biennial HG Conference, which is happening next weekend – 12th and 13th May – at the beautiful Woodland Grange conference venue in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Our theme of ‘Living with Uncertainty' is certainly pertinent in today’s rapidly changing world, where we all need to find ways of staying calm and tapping into our innate resilience and flexibility.
Our brains seek certainty as a survival technique, using the tools of memory and imagination by pattern matching past events to predict what might happen next. And yet as everyone knows, there is nothing so certain as uncertainty, change, and the unexpected. As Douglas Adams quipped in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, “We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”
As a young research assistant, I was tasked with counting wintering geese on the Hebridean Isle of Islay. I'd found a large flock feeding on an undulating field and reported back to my wiser colleagues that I thought I had probably counted 90% of them, but there might be a few over the hill or in the dips. My comment was met with gales of hilarity, “how can you ever tell what’s over the hill?!” Imagine my embarrassment! Decades on, it’s a lesson I've never forgotten.
We can't ever really know what’s over the hill, around the corner or hidden in the dips, but we can learn to relax in the face of uncertainty, thus freeing up our energy and intelligence to deal with whatever challenges await us.
We're looking forward to seeing everyone at this year's Conference, which looks set to be another fun, informative and thought-provoking event – if you can't make the whole weekend, why not come for a day?
HGI gains Professional Standards Authority re-accreditation
The PSA have renewed their accreditation of the Human Givens Institute’s Professional Register of Human Givens Practitioners in the UK with no conditions again, citing two achievements and recommendations. The accreditation covers the period April 2018 to April 2019, and can be seen in full on the PSA website.
This continued Mark of Quality assures the general public, service commissioners and employers that human givens practitioners belong to a register vetted and approved by an independent statutory body.
An excellent outcome, this news will be much appreciated by all HGI members. Our thanks go to Sue Saunders and Ian Thomson for all the hard work that has gone into administering this once again.
The Weekend University – A Day on Mental Health
Author and co-founder of the Human Givens movement Ivan Tyrrell will be giving a talk for The Weekend University (which aims to make the best psychology lectures available to the public via a series of ‘lecture days’), on Sunday 27th May at the University of East London.
Ivan will discuss one of the most important psychological insights of our age: how all healthy human babies are born with a rich natural inheritance – a partially formed mind containing a genetic treasure-house of innate knowledge patterns: 'the human givens'. These patterns seek their completion in our environment.
We all experience these givens as physical and emotional needs, powerful forces that must be satisfactorily met if our minds are to unfold and develop to their fullest potential. The talk will discuss what each child and adult requires from the social and physical environment around them if they are to develop well, and how best to help those who aren't doing so well (and who suffer severe mental distress as a result).
Ivan will also comment on why, despite vast fortunes being spent by Governments on mental health, rates of depression, anxiety disorders and addiction are increasing around the world. He will briefly describe nature’s method of keeping us sane (dreaming), the cycle of depression and how best to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and will also advise on what people seeking help from counsellors or psychotherapists should look for from them.
Fellow speakers during the day will be psychologist Professor Paul Gilbert OBE,speaking on ‘Evolutionary psychology, compassion and mental health’ and writer (author of ‘Lost Connections’) Johann Hari speaking on ‘Depression and anxiety: the real causes and unexpected solutions’.
Doors open at 9.30am and Ivan’s 90 minute lecture on human givens and mental health is scheduled to begin at 10am, with a 30 minute Q&A session immediately thereafter.
HG in Practice
In our bid to find out how people are putting the HG approach into practice, we were delighted to hear from primary school teaching assistant and HG Diploma graduate, Kashfi Khan. Here she describes how she has applied the HG ideas in very practical ways, to the benefit of pupils, parents and teachers alike.
“I am currently a teaching assistant in Hounslow Town Primary School, London, working with children who have English as an additional language (EAL). A few weeks ago we had a language network meeting for parents with EAL children. I was with a group of parents focusing on features of stories, helping them to become more confident in telling stories and showing ways to help their children using creativity.
"The workshop was interactive as parents were given modelling clay and resources to create characters for their story. At the start I introduced the 7–11 breathing technique to the parents, which they found to be so calming and told me they will use this with their children. I then for the first time in my school used guided imagery with the parents. It was so lovely to hear their response after the session. It helped them to relax in their special place as well as imagine the start of their story... " Read more >
How are you using HG insights?
Everyone loves a story, and we’re keen to share as many as possible to raise the profile of the human givens approach to wellbeing so that others can benefit too. You don’t have to write it up yourself, simply get in contact with us via: [email protected]
GDPR – New Data Protection Legislation
On 25th May 2018 the Data Protection Act (1998) will be significantly strengthened when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law throughout the EU, including the UK and Republic of Ireland – you can read more about the main changes under the new GDPR here.
The HGI has produced important guidance for HG therapists on how this new legislation may affect their practice. If you’re an HGI Professional Member and you haven’t yet seen these, please visit the Members' Area of the HGI website, at www.hgi.org.uk/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr – you will need to log in to your account to view the information.
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One last thought...
"Let go of certainty. The opposite isn't uncertainty. It's openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow."
Journalist and author
Explore our articles and interviews
Dr Farouk Okhai opens his casebook to show how the human givens approach can best help severely distressed people.
WRITING down negative thoughts, crumpling them up and throwing them away (as often advocated by therapists) really does help reduce negative thinking, research has shown.
GP Adam Lake describes how he makes effective use of HG understandings and techniques in consultations for mental health conditions.
In the first of an occasional series featuring contributions from HG practitioners, Miriam Chachamu shares two simple therapeutic ideas that fit well with the human givens toolkit.
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.
With mindfulness now all the rage, many online articles are now advocating breathing techniques as a way to lessen anxiety and control stress levels.
Ian Thomson reviews "MindReal – how the mind creates its own reality" by Robert Ornstein and Ted Dewan (Malor Books)
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Sue Gray, who takes over from Dr Declan Lyons, is an accomplished Senior Health & Social Care Director and Clinician...
As you may be aware of the work being carried out by the BACP/BPC/UKCP to create a framework called Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd).