The Human Givens Conference 2007

human givens conference

It has been 10 years since the term ‘human givens’ was first used, and last weekend, on the 19th-20th of May, the third Human Givens Conference, attended by over 165 delegates, was held in Sunningdale Park near Ascot.

The event was a huge success, and we thank everyone who attended for making it the inspiring and entertaining weekend it was.

For those who were unable to attend, or for those who read this blog and would like to see some of the people and organisations who are implementing the human givens approach with great success into the ‘real world’, here is a short summary (a longer one is being prepared for the next HGI Newsletter for professional members of the institute) of all our speakers over the two days, complete with photos!

hartlepool mind

First up, after an introduction from Pat Williams, were Iain Caldwell and Julian Penton from Hartlepool MIND (website coming soon!), where they have had fantastic results (which you can read an article about here) using a human givens approach ‘recovery model’ with members of the community of Hartlepool who have mental health problems. They reported back on the progress of their organisation, gave some insight on how they got government funding, and proposed some new plans for getting similar projects going in other areas of the country.

david grist

Next was David Grist, the youngest member of the team working at The SPACE, a residential therapeutic community for children aged between 8 and 19 years. He gave a case study of how he was able to creatively tackle the problems of a boy with difficulties during a game of Badminton, using simple human givens therapeutic principals. Read more about the fantastic work being done at The SPACE here.

judith desbonne

Judith Desbonne, a human givens therapist, then gave a talk about culture competency and what this means for someone from an ethnic minority working from the human givens approach.

steve osmond

Steve Osmond, Head of Education in a secure children’s home, has many years’ experience working with disturbed young people, and he described in his moving presentation the changes that have come about since the introduction of the human givens approach into his work.

richard brooks

Richard Brooks then talked about his experiences with young offenders. He is a Senior Practitioner with a Youth Offending Team, and teaches a workshop for MindFields College – Effective Interventions for Young Offenders.

After lunch…

…came a very entertaining talk called “Experiencing Education” by Jenny Moss, Trevor Bailey, Mike Beard and Sean Flynn.

Trevor Bailey, head teacher of Worles School and Jenny Moss, headteacher of Westhaven School told of how both their schools have embraced the human givens approach, after gaining Pathfinder Status in the Government’s new Trust Schools program. The HGI is a partner in the Pathfinder Trust.

Mike Beard, who has long been a prominant exponent of the human givens approach in education and is the head of the HGI Education Section, shared techniques for showing younger children how their brains work, including a fantastic demonstration from Sean Flynn…

sean flynn

.. who is has a background in art, dance and drama.

joe griffin

Joe Griffin then presented on his new theory of Molar Memories, one that he has worked on for many years and is now concrete enough to be shared. For those who were at the conference and were helped by the explanatory diagram (proposed by Piers Bishop) using the APET model, it is reproduced here:

molar memories

Also shown was a film of a discussion between Joe and an anorexic woman who, after 10 years of battling with the condition, was cured in one session of human givens therapy using molar memories. This video may be available online soon.

The second day, Sunday, was chaired by Consultant Psychiatrist Farouk Okhai…

farouk okhai

… and began with a highlight of the weekend, our guest speaker, Anne Moir.


Anne Moir Ph. D, co-author of Why Men Don’t Iron and author of Brain Sex, and Sex Matters, gave an enlightening talk on the brain differences between men and women and their consequences, and showed us some clips from her TV programmes on gender. Her books are well worth reading as the information in them, among other issues, contain huge implications for education because of the different needs of girls and boys in the classroom.

piers bishop

Piers Bishop, a human givens therapist with a background in the media then presented a case study within his special interest, PTSD and trauma. He told the story of how he treated a soldier with severe PTSD. Piers then highlighted the need for fast trauma cures (the rewind technique) to be more widely used to detraumatise soldiers returning from Iraq. His case study will appear in the next edition of the Human Givens Journal.

chris dyas

Chris Dyas, who works with children, gave an example of his innovative way of working with an inspiring case history of how he used ‘play therapy’ to treat a suicidal 9 year old girl. Read more about Chris’s work here.

ethics and the human givens

Harold Mozley, who works in the legal sector in family courts, discussed what the human givens approach brings to ethics. This fascinating topic has the potential to be expanded into an entire ethics weekend, so do contact me for Harold’s email address if you might be interested in this.

ivan tyrrell

The final talk came from Ivan Tyrrell who, although plagued by time constraints, managed to cover the prehistoric origins of mental illness, the confusing way psychotherapy and psychiatry attempts to deal with it and how the human givens approach has the potential to bring clarity to this chaos. He emphasises the importance of the REM state in all forms of mental illness, and gave everyone a lot to think about regarding what occurs when essential emotional needs aren’t met in healthy ways.

pat williams


After an eloquent summing up by writer and therapist Pat Williams, there was a lively panel question and answer session between the audience and all the speakers.

bill andrews

Throughout the weekend Bill Andrews, the driving force behind the Human Givens Institute Practice Research Network worked hard at his stand explaining the use of outcome informed measures and encouraged therapists to use and submit their ORS/SRS and CORE forms for the commencement of a multisite study later this year.

The importance of becoming outcome informed was raised again and again over the course of the weekend, especially in Bill’s presentation at the Human Givens Foundation’s AGM on Sunday morning, and we encourage all human givens therapists to visit his website and aid him in his research.

Posted by: Eleanor


2 responses to “The Human Givens Conference 2007

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