Human Givens Therapy

mental health

What is human givens therapy?

The principle behind human givens therapy is a simple one: that we are all born with the same set of physical and emotional needs, and we’re all equipped with the resources to meet them. These are the “human givens”, and it’s when we’re missing one of those needs that we can experience emotional or mental health difficulties.

Our therapy is different from traditional psychotherapy approaches. A human givens psychotherapist will work with you to swiftly identify which of your needs is falling short.

It’s then a matter of giving you the knowledge and techniques to redress your balance. You’ll get a “toolbox” to use for yourself, so you can find happiness and realise your life potential once again.

The process is so much faster and easier to go through than other therapies, often taking only a short number of sessions.

Please refer to our testimonials to see how our approach has helped others.

What are our needs and resources?

We all understand our physical needs: water, food and sleep. The human givens approach adds the nine emotional needs for us to lead a happy and balanced life:

  1. Security: A safe and secure environment in which we can flourish without experiencing excessive fear.
  2. Autonomy and control: The belief that we can control what happens around and to us.
  3. Status: In understanding our social group, we need to feel accepted and valued as part of it.
  4. Privacy: The time and personal space where we can bring together and reflect on our experiences.
  5. Attention: Not only receiving attention but also giving it to others.
  6. Community connection: Further to your social group, you should feel part of a wider community with which you can interact.
  7. Intimacy: You should have emotional connections with other people, including friendship, fun, love and intimacy.
  8. Competence and achievement: An understanding of what we can achieve and how we’re equipped to meet the challenges of life.
  9. Meaning and purpose: Having meaningful goals and a sense of helping others bring meaning and purpose to our lives.

Human givens establishes that to meet our nine needs each of us is equipped with a set of “resources”. These are:

  • Memory: We’re born with an instinctive knowledge, but our long-term memory allows us to learn and develop.
  • Rapport: Allowing us to connect and empathise with other people.
  • Imagination: An ability to shift focus from our emotions to problem-solving creatively and objectively.
  • Instincts and emotions: A set of basic responses that drive our behaviour.
  • A rational mind. An ability to analyse our emotions, analyse what’s going on and make plans.
  • A metaphorical mind: Using analogies to understand the world better.
  • An observing self: Looking inward and being objective about our emotions and condition.
  • A dreaming brain: Preserving our ability to carry out in sleep, while dreaming, what we cannot in real life.

When can we suffer mental illness?

We experience difficulties when our resources are not satisfying our needs. There are three areas where this is most common:

  1. Environment: Something around us prevents us from meeting one of our needs. Perhaps something or somebody at work, anti-social behaviour, or something we lack, like a community or relationship.
  2. Damage: Something is wrong with our resources, perhaps damage has caused an emotional difficulty like PTSD.
  3. Knowledge: For a variety of reasons we may not have learnt the skills required to meet our need. For example, using our imagination to solve a problem rather than worrying about it.

A human givens psychotherapist will help you identify what need you’re missing and help you rediscover the resource required to fix it.

Why is the human givens approach so effective?

The therapy draws upon the latest findings from psychology and neurobiology, examining how we function. It utilises international research studies that establish which psychotherapeutic techniques are best for relieving many emotional distress and behavioural difficulties.

I won’t get you to dredge up upsetting memories, or take you on long-winded voyages of “self-discovery”. Instead, I offer practical help based on sound knowledge and skills.

The human givens approach is supported by Primary Care Mental Health Education (PRIMHE), affiliated with the Royal College of General Practitioners. As a member of the professional body, the Human Givens Institute, I abide by its conduct and ethics policies.

Ready to move forward?

If you’re experiencing difficulties and would like to find out more, please contact me, or read more about how my background in nursing, the armed forces and health visiting has prepared me so well for a career in human givens psychotherapy.