Category Archives: Education

Human Givens Journal – Issue 53

human givens journal

The latest issue of the Human Givens Journal is now out.

Major articles

Angry Soldier, unstable diagnosis, unholy muddle: Traumatised servicemen and women are getting a raw deal because of squabblings over diagnoses, says Piers Bishop.

“From being incandescent with rage, B, the soldier who was going beserk, now just feels regret about the lost time: ‘I feel sad about the two years I drifted through and wasted, and regret at all the hurt I caused around me. But I now feel that I am able to get on with my life without the intrusive effects of PTSD. I have become much calmer and to this day have not had one flashback or re-inactment episode. I threw out my anti-depressants. I have reconnected to those around me and have been able to hold down a job . I can control my drinking. I hope that the detraumatising therapy which healed me gets the recognition it truely deserves, as it quick and effective. The alternative is wasteful and will put a burden on the already overstretched NHS. For someone suffering from PTSD, there is nothing to lose in having the rewind treatment, and the opportunity to get their life back.'”

The meanings of psychosis: Our own cognitive and perceptual ‘fault lines’ can help us understand psychotic patients. Michael Garrett, David Stone and Douglas Turkington explain

Helpless to help: What it is like to care for a psychotic brother when professionals don’t know how to help

Ask, don’t tell: Noël Janis Norton discusses with Denise Winn how even the most challenging of children can be motivated to learn

“How can you sleep at night?”: Denise Winn finds out how lawyers cope psychologically when defending clients accused of committing abhorrent crimes

On the receiving end: Caroline Gallup describes the emotional upheaval she and her husband experienced during stressful infertility treatment

The carrot and the stick: Mark Evans describes how his use of rewards and punishments in therapy has helped clients quickly achieve change

The journal is also packed with the usual news, views and information, book reviews and letters.

You can read more about the quarterly journal here and subscribe to it here. (UK yearly subscription =£30, Overseas yearly subscription =£38)

Posted by: Eleanor


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.

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“We’re being cruel to teenagers by forcing them to function in the morning”

DJemaa el Fna and the Koutoubia Minaret at night

Fruit stalls against the medina walls

Me looking out from the balcony

I have returned from Marrakesh (which is an incredible city), to this article from the Western Mail posted on our HG forum about teenagers and sleep:

“Timetabling academic subjects such as English and maths for the start of the school day could be putting teenagers at a disadvantage. A leading scientist claims teenagers follow a different sleep pattern from children and adults which means they’re more awake in the afternoon than in morning. The findings defy the traditional notion that mornings are the best time to learn because that is when pupils are most alert.

“Russell Foster, a professor in circadian neuroscience at Oxford University, said making minor changes to the structure of the school day to take this into account could boost pupils’ performances. According to research presented by Prof Foster in a talk, ‘Society, the Brain and Education – Body Clocks and Sleep’, our bodies are design so that bed times and wake times drift later as children reach puberty, meaning that teenagers and young adults prefer afternoons or evenings for both intellectual or physical activities. This pattern continues up until the age of around 20 when it starts to reverse.

“Prof Foster said forcing teenagers to fit in with our early-to-rise/early-to-bed culture, could be contributing to making them one of the most sleep-deprived groups in society. Although the optimum amount of sleep for teenagers is nine hours, studies in America have shown the average teenager gets only 7.5 hours. Sustained lack of sleep can result in poor performance ranging from impaired vigilance, poor memory, reduced mental and physical reaction times, reduced motivation and depression.

“Prof Foster said small changes such as later starting time for schools would greatly improve alertness and the mental abilities of teenagers during their morning lessons. ‘Teenagers’ body clocks can be delayed by two to four hours,’ he said. ‘Our adult body clocks are starting to gear up their cognitive functions at about 8am but in teenagers this won’t start until 10am or as late as midday. Studies in Germany and America show that when schools have changed start times to later, exam success has gone up and truancy and depression have gone down.’

“He said the problem was also evident among university and college students, and was worsened by the fact that many students were now working longer hours to finance their degrees and were using potentially damaging stimulants to stay awake. ‘It is cruel to impose a cultural pattern on teenagers that makes them underachieve,’ he said. ‘Most school regimes force teenagers to function at a time of day that is suboptimal, and may university students are exposed to considerable dangers from sleep deprivation. This imposition may trigger a cascade of events which at best amplify the problems of adolescents and at worst may precipitate a crisis for the developing brain.’

“Rhys Williams of NUT Cymru, said if schools were to change, they would be more likely to move towards the European model which sees pupils sitting at their desk as early as 7.30am.”

– Perhaps this could also attribute a little to increased onset of psychosis in the teenage years, which is often triggered by a lack of REM sleep as I have discussed before in the Bipolar post.

Posted by: Eleanor

MindFields is now a preferred trainer for the Ministry of Defence

Great new developments today, as we’ve just heard from the MOD that we are now one of their preferred educators!

This means that one of the ways in which they can fulfil their pledge for encouraging and funding life-long education of all their staff is by recommending people to attend MindFields College courses.

It will also help many ex-service personnel re-train by taking our Human Givens Post-Graduate Diploma course by making the funding available for them in order to do so.

Posted by: Eleanor