Monthly Archives: April 2007

Cannabis has a ‘significant impact on the brain’

Scientists have shown how cannabis may trigger psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

The Institute of Psychiatry study gave THC, CBD or placebo capsules to adult male volunteers who had not abused cannabis.

They then carried out brain scans, and a battery of tests, and found that those who took THC showed reduced activity in an area of the brain called the inferior frontal cortex, which keeps inappropriate thoughts and behaviour, such as swearing and paranoia, in check.

The effects were short-lived, but some people appeared more vulnerable than others.

“If something has an active effect in inducing the symptoms of psychosis after one dose, then it would not be at all surprising if repeated use induced the chronic condition” Professor Robin Murray -Institute of Psychiatry.

Read the whole article>>

Posted by: Eleanor


Why do depressed people wake up exhausted?

Just another plug for Ivan Tyrrell’s (Principal of MindFields College) YouTube video on the link between depression and dreaming – if you haven’t already seen it!

For further information on why depressed people wake up exhausted see here:

Posted by: Eleanor

The Problem with Smart Drugs

‘Smart drugs’ are in the news a lot at the moment, as the Department of Health commissions the Academy of Medical Sciences to assess their impact.

These drugs are billed as something people can use to work and play longer, harder and with less sleep and could become as “common as coffee”.

The two main issues with I can see with this are:

1 – There is a danger, with a lack of knowledge about the value of sleep, that the importance of getting the right amount of REM sleep might be minimised,

2 – There has been little mention of the risk of becoming addicted to these drugs. We are potentially at risk of becoming addicted to many (most?) things, but surely “as common as coffee” implies that taking these drugs copiously will be an option, with all the more chance for the addiction process to begin?

Posted by: Eleanor

Bystander Intervention

Today we have a guest blog post from Fiona, a reader from New Zealand who has written about the psychological research into the phenomenon of bystander intervention and apathy. It’s fascinating how many different approaches there are to this issue, which was kicked off by the infamous death of Kitty Genovese.

kitty genovese

* * * * * * * * * *

Catherine ‘Kitty’ Genovese’s untimely and gruesome death in 1964 hardly caused a ripple in the media of the day. Reported only in a small column of the New York Times, it was purely through a conversational misunderstanding between New York city police commissioner, Fredrick Lussen and journalist Abe Rosenthal that lead to further examination of the Genovese case. What was unusual about Ms. Genovese’s death was that it had been prolonged, loud, and witnessed. It was not witnessed by just one or two people, an astonishing thirty-eight of Ms. Genovese’s neighbours heard her screams and pleas for help over the thirty five minutes it took for her attacker to repeatedly stab her, sexually assault her, then leave her to die. Not one of these thirty-eight people made any attempt whatsoever to assist Ms. Genovese, not aiding her physically, or even contacting police until it was too late.

The horrific nature of this event, not just the torturous murder of a young woman returning home from work, but also the apparent cruel paralysis that gripped the bystanders, sparked an important series of experiments in social psychology. Psychologists sought to understand and predict the phenomena that came to be known as bystander intervention. There are various theories as to what causal influences corroborate to create bystander intervention (or nonintervention). Some of these have included social-cognitive theories while others have focused on perception of self by others . There has been discussion emphasizing that each theory has arisen in a specific historical and social climate that has profoundly influenced them . As well as those who are critical of the ‘mechanical and causal’ approach these theories have taken. Contemporary neurobiological theory and the Human Givens approach can also be applied to expound and perhaps negate bystander intervention.

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The Definitive Guide to Power Napping at Work

 We have said time and time again how important getting enough sleep is, but sometimes it seems like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get the sleep you need to function well at work.

However, Rich from the Spine Health blog brings us this fantastic guide to power napping at work and suggests that if employers created less ‘anti-nap’ environments, this would only benefit their businesses and employees.

“The main goal of a power nap is to reap the energizing, refreshing benefits of sleep in the least amount of time, which for most people is 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the body to complete two sleep cycles, providing rest and relaxation for the mind and body, but avoiding the deep slow wave sleep cycles.
Waking up between 30 and 60 minutes of sleep will usually produce sleep inertia — an undesirable effect that makes it hard to focus both mentally and visually. It’s very important that you avoid waking up during this time frame and allot the right amount of time for your power nap.
Of course, a longer nap of one to two hours is a great luxury, allowing you to complete an entire sleep cycle by reaching your deep sleep and REM stages. This type of restorative nap is difficult to attain during the workweek, however, and is best left as a weekend indulgence.”

Read the whole article >>

Posted by: Eleanor

Human Givens Conference Programme: 2007

Here is a copy of the 2007 Human Givens Conference programme:  

Saturday 19th May Chair: Piers Bishop

9.30 am –  Pat Williams: An idea in practice — Welcome and introduction.              
9.45 — Iain Caldwell, Julian Penton: Recovery — Taking HG into the whole of Teesside.
11.30 — Badminton: A case history from David Grist.
11.45 — Judith Desbonne: Developing cultural competence: A case history                                
12.00 — Steve Osmond: Crime and young people: the inside story
12.30: — Richard Brooks: Working with young offenders in the community

1.00 pm — Lunch

2.00 — An interactive session with Mike Beard, Trevor Bailey, Jenny Moss and Sean Flynn
‘Experiencing’ Education: human givens through movement, art and creative practice
3.30 — Tea/Coffee
4.00 — Sudden transformations: How uncovering molar memories can bring instant therapeutic results, with reference to anorexia, sexual deviance and unexplained anger outbursts with Joe Griffin
5.00 — Break
5.30 — HGI AGM (HGI members only)   
Farouk Okhai

8.00 — Dinner

Sunday 20th May

9.00 am — Human Givens Foundation AGM (All welcome)
Chair: Piers Bishop

10.00 am —  Chair: Farouk Okhai
Male/Female: Crossing the great divide Anne Moir, coauthor of Why Men Don’t Iron, and author of Brain Sex, and Sex Matters, describes the latest findings about the different ways men and women have evolved to think and behave.
11.15 — Tea/Coffee
11.45 — The angry soldier: Case history from Piers Bishop
12.00 — Play therapy: Case history from Chris Dyas
12.15 — Harold Mozley: What does human givens bring to ethics?

1.00 pm — Lunch

2.00 — Human givens: not a new branch of psychology but its missing trunk.  A presentation ranging from the prehistoric origins of mental illness right up to the confusing way modern psychotherapy and psychiatry attempts to deal with it. Ivan Tyrrell will then show how a new contribution from HG ideas can bring order to this confusion.
3.00: — Tea/Coffee
3.30: — Panel discussion and questions from the audience:
4.15: — Pat Williams: Closes

The conference is being held in the beautiful setting of Sunningdale Park in Ascot and with such a diverse programme, it should make for a fascinating weekend.

Places are going fast, so if you haven’t already booked, simply call Kathy Hardy on 01323 811440 or download the booking form which can be found here:


Posted by: Eleanor