Regardless of cultural differences, we are all born with innate emotional needs and the resources needed to fulfil them (collectively these are termed the ‘human givens’). When we are lonely our brain tells us we need stimulation and rapport so we seek out others, when we get emotionally aroused our brain has the capability to rationalise and question the validity of our state, when we feel listless and useless we can learn a new skill or develop our existing talents in order to give us a valuable sense of meaning and being stretched.
Just as it is difficult to think about quantum mechanics when you are dying for lunch, when an environment is not conducive to fulfilling emotional needs, it is impossible to move forwards intelligently and all too often we suffer mental distress and consistently fail to fulfil our potential. Our emotional needs are just as important as our physical ones, which is why if you put a healthy, well dressed, well fed child into a correctly heated and well furnished classroom but don’t create for it the right amount of attention, autonomy, meaning, feelings of connection into wider society, sense of status, security and feelings of achievement, it will be virtually impossible for it to learn and develop.
This basic premise, whilst a fixture in many great ancient cultures, has been greatly overlooked in western society today, leading to many of the problems that are endlessly debated but seemingly impossible to remedy. Psychological schools are divided and dogmatic, rates of depression and other life shattering disorders are rising just as fast as our standard of living, our society is strangled by misdirected government targets, endless amounts of red tape, straight line thinking and form filling. It is obvious to intelligent people that our institutions are sick and that something must be done.
The human givens approach offers a realistic way of how everyone can actually do something to help, using a basic organising idea that is so simple, most people have taken it for granted and forgotten about it. Drawing on scientific findings gathered in the last few decades, it offers explanations of how human being function, why we dream, how depression is not a chemical imbalance and can be cured, how to treat and cure posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, addiction and anxiety disorders, and how to audit organisations to make sure emotional needs are being met and the company is working to its potential.
This blog exists for the authors, Eleanor, Jane and Ivan Tyrrell to promote discussion and put forward information about working with the human givens approach, in everything from individual disorders to business.
We all work for MindFields College, the only specialist brief psychology school in the UK teaching from the human givens approach.