Category Archives: Joe Griffin

What about lucid dreaming?

Something I didn’t anticipate from feedback to our new dreaming website and the theory explored on it was how influential the phenomenon of lucid dreaming was. Lucid dreaming was fed back to us a few times as something Joe Griffin had overlooked, as a type of dreaming that the expectation fulfilment theory could not explain, but this is not the case.

Lucid dreaming seems to be a big issue in America particularly. It’s an ‘Art’, it’s a ‘Science’. Type “lucid dreaming” into Google and it yields 710,000 results, “LUCID DREAM IN JUST 7 DAYS – NEW KIT IS 100% GUARANTEED” – people have dedicated their lives to the phenomenon and are making money from it. People pay to ‘learn’ it and attain that magical state of gaining control of their own dreams.

Who wouldn’t want to be able to control their own behaviour in a dream, to experience all the reality, adventure and meaning first hand, instead of “wasting” those out of control 22 years of your life you spend sleeping, unable to influence your own behaviour like you can during the day?

We have added a section stating our position on lucid dreaming on the Why we Dream website as the subject has been covered in the Dreaming Reality book, we just didn’t anticipate the amount of interest this facet of dream research would generate!

“Theories of dreaming that do not allow for occasional lucidity are, necessarily, incorrect or incomplete, because lucid dreaming is an acknowledged phenomenon. Our view of the REM state and the function of dreaming does not exclude lucidity in dreams.

Lucid dreaming occurs in the REM state like any other phenomenon involving memory, metaphor and imagination. The same effects can be achieved through hypnosis, a focussed state of attention that artificially accesses the REM state. Knowledge of how to do this has been around for perhaps 40,000 thousand years.”

So if lucid dreaming interests you, please read the full What about lucid dreaming? section and other related pages for further information on why the expectation fulfilment theory of dreaming does not exclude lucid dreaming.

Posted by: Eleanor


Free therapy sessions

 joe griffin teaching

A core element of each Human Givens Diploma Course are the two live therapy sessions from Ivan Tyrrell and Joe Griffin on both weeks of the course. This gives our students the opportunity to experience the therapeutic process right in front of them, and is a vital teaching tool for someone being prepared to work effectively with distressed clients.

These two sessions are FREE, with expenses paid, and usual applicants suffer from a range of problems, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, sleeping problems, problematic anger, relationship difficulties, phobias, addiction, psychosis and obsessive compulsive disorder.

We are looking for suitable people to benefit from these free sessions this autumn at Gilwell Park in London on these dates:

Wednesday 12th September 2007 – Session 1
Tuesday 16th October 2007 – Session 2

Friday 14th September 2007 – Session 1
Thursday 18th October 2007 – Session 2

To discuss the free therapy sessions or if you would like an application, either ring Kathy Hardy on 01323 811 440 or email:

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


The Dreamcatcher – New Scientist interview with Joe Griffin

Here is an oldish interview with Joe Griffin answering questions on REM sleep, depression, psychosis, trauma, conflict and cult behaviour, published in New Scientist in April 2003:

JOE GRIFFINWe live in mad times. The WHO predicts depression will soon rank second in the global disease burden, suicide rates are rising, and the trauma caused by war, conflict or domestic abuse is everywhere. The toll is horrific: mental illness costs Britain alone £32 billion a year. And people looking for therapy face a confusing tower of psychobabble, with 400-plus often warring schools of thought. Enter JOE GRIFFIN, who says there is a way to lift depression in a day, and told BARBARA KISER he can prove it.

How can you deal with serious depression in just a day?

The important thing is to know how depression is manufactured in the brain. Once you understand that, you can correct the maladaptive cycle incredibly fast. For 40 years it’s been known that depressed people have excessive REM sleep. They dream far more than healthy people. What we realised – and proved – is that the negative introspection, or ruminations, that depressed people engage in actually causes the excessive dreaming. So depression is being generated on a 24-hour cycle and we can make a difference within 24 hours to how a person feels.

Continue reading

2007 Human Givens Conference

Healthy Minds in a Changing World

For anyone interested in the fundamental connection between psychology, psychotherapy and education — the human givens — and committed to making a difference, the Third Human Givens Conference (which is being held at Sunningdale Park, Ascot, Berkshire on 19th-20th May) promises to be one of this year’s most stimulating and thought-provoking events.

Although it is only ten years since the term ‘human givens’ was first coined, the uptake of the rich ideas encompassed by it has been phenomenal. Now countless people in a wide range of fields, including the NHS, education and social services, use this holistic framework to improve their work and the lives of their clients, often dramatically.

As well as celebrating this anniversary, this year’s conference is a great chance to meet up with old friends, make new ones and hear about, and be inspired by, the ongoing work of people using the human givens approach.

New discoveries about the origin of mental illness and how to enhance emotional wellbeing will be presented, along with fascinating case histories and descriptions of the visionary ‘whole community’ work many HGI members are involved in.

There will be a variety of speakers (including Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell) and the planned topics include:

  • Human givens: not a new branch of psychology but its missing trunk
  • How schizophrenia can be created in 24 hours
  • Amazing transformations: working with molar memories
  • Hope for the future: using the human givens approach in schools
  • Why emotional arousal is the handmaiden of tyranny
  • Case histories from HG practitioners
  • The importance of practice-based research and the HGI PRN
  • What does the human givens approach bring to ethics?
  • Crime and young people: the inside story
  • The AGMs of the HGI and the Human Givens Foundation will also be held during the weekend

The two-day event is open to both HGI members and anyone interested in the human givens approach.

If you would like to book a place, please call Kathy Hardy on 01323 811440 or download the booking form, print it out, complete it and send, along with your payment to Kathy Hardy, at: The Human Givens Institute, Chalvington, East Sussex, BN27 3TD, UK.

The cost is £235.00 per delegate which includes attendance at both days with lunch, a Saturday evening anniversary dinner, tea/coffee at each break and conference materials. (There is accommodation available at Sunningdale Park which can be booked separately.)


Posted by: Eleanor

The treatment of anxiety disorders/Burning Our Money

Next week I’ll be interested to watch a program on Channel 4 about several people with severe agoraphobia being treated with a “revolutionary” new treatment. See here to read an archived Human Givens Journal article about how two counsellors researched the ‘rewind technique’ for treating phobias, trauma and panic attacks (all problems stemming from anxiety), as taught on a MindFields College workshop.

Also, this blog, Burning Our Money, makes for horrifying reading but does very well at bringing to light how UK tax payers money is being spent by the Government.

Posted by: Eleanor

PTSD after July 7 bombings, “The Trickster: medicine’s forgotten character”, and the Tom ap Rhys Pryce Memorial Trust

– The health protection agency has release a report stating that 80% of survivors of the London bombings of July 7th last year have been left with with “emotional upset”. 80% of these were referred to counsellors and specialised post traumatic stress disorder services. Read what Joe Griffin has to say about treatments for post traumatic stress disorder here.

– I would also like to draw your attention to an interesting article I put up on the archive section of our HGI website yesterday from a 1996 edition of The Therapist (renamed the Human Givens Journal) called The Trickster: medicine’s forgotten character:

“In modern psychology ‘Trickster’ is often used to refer to a universal force or pattern within the mind — what Jung called an archetype — that represents the irrational, chaotic, and unpredictable side of human thought and behaviour. This aspect of the mind is contrasted with the logical, analytical, and intellectual side that values order, precision, and control. According to the tenets of depth psychology, a balance between these two vectors of the psyche is required for optimal mental heath. When either the rational or irrational side dominates, self correcting forces come into play to restore some semblance of harmony between the two. The countless Trickster tales describe how this process plays itself out in everyday life…” click to read article

– Further to our post yesterday, I also wanted to add that the Human Givens Institute wholeheartedly supports the Tom ap Rhys Pryce Memorial Trust, which is raising money to help provide disadvantaged individuals with appropriate educational facilities to enable them to lead lives in which the “kicks” of criminal activity will not be required to fulfil emotional needs.

Posted by: Eleanor