The human givens approach

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.

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7 responses to “The human givens approach

  1. Pingback: “For every child who takes his or her own life, 50 more will try.” « The MindFields College Blog

  2. Hi Eleanor. There’s a reason you should spell it “Sc*entology”… if you keep that post up they’re going to tell all of their Sc*entology friends and you’ll have three or four Cruise-ites posting L. Ron book reviews every week. It will only get worse. I’d suggest turning off the “comment box” for that post…

  3. Thanks for the hint – I think I’ll give it another few days, then perhaps disable commenting. I have to admit I didn’t realise the implications!

    Have you read this, “Exploring the CULT in culture”: http://www.hgi.org.uk/archive/cults.htm

  4. Man, you guys have a book for every contingency… I haven’t seen the site you’ve suggested, at least until now. It’s pretty complete. Having worked in a few Public Relations offices I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the Corporate Workplace into the Cult definition.

    I grew up in a cult. In my experience it comes down to two needs: the need to belong, and the need to conform to The Group. For a Cult to form it needs a belief system, and people willing to conform to that belief system. But… the belief system comes afterwards. The believers were converted before Moses came back with the Ten Commandments. In my case the people gathered together out of a need to belong, then built a philosophy which tied them together into a Cult. People will continue to join afterwards, but the core of the believers is built before the beliefs are properly laid out.

    Sc*entologists are basically harmless, they’re not really the pushy type of Evangelicals anymore… they’re at a weird point in their evolution. They’re slowly marginalizing the more SciFi aspects of their beliefs, and they’re trying to tone down the defensiveness to slights to their beliefs. Until a few years ago they were suing everybody and anybody who disclosed anything about the inside machinations of the Cult. But that led to a lot of the derision of their beliefs, so they’ve backed off slightly. They’d make for an interesting study…

  5. jameswillisisthebest

    This is my first post
    just saying HI

  6. Hello webmaster
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  7. Hi, it was a coincidence I arrived to your website, and althought I have not yet been able to read it most, I would like to congratulate for the approach and teachings in your statementes.
    There is something that for my understanding you have forgoten, you are not talking about an essential issue in any kind of health, weather physical or mental that is our diet.
    Still nowdays people does not realize the importance of the nutrients in our body, and the head can not be cut from the rest of the body.
    The nutrients and the organism capacity of assimilate properly our needs from our liquid and solid intake are a key most of the time ignore.
    Alergies and physical illness can make impossible to recover and in most of the mental cases, the main problem has been that the persons have not been screen properly to elimininate physical factors altering human brain’s state, and once they are put under psyquiatric drugs is really dificult to identify the original source of the illness due to the side effects and withdrawals of the medication that mimics mental illness. It is very sad how so many people is still in that circumstances because the rest of the society is closing their eyes. I would like to think that places like yours can help to stop some of the unhuman suffering that people under psychotic drugs are forced to live in, for reasons that have nothing to do with caring for humans, far away, are more near economical gains.
    You seem intelligent and people with some degree of humanisn still in you please help them.
    Thank you

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