Category Archives: Psychosis

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 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

Why do we dream? – New Website Launched

Have you ever wondered why we evolved to dream?

A new website from Human Givens Publishing Ltd has just been launched that explores in depth Joe Griffin’s expectation fulfilment theory, the latest psychobiological explanation of dreaming, which has become an integral part of human givens therapy.

why we dream

Find out:

– why dreams can be so bizarre
– why dreams can feel so meaningful
– why we dream in metaphor
– what the REM state is
– how hypnosis works
– the cycle of depression and how you can innoculate yourself against it
– the link between dreaming and psychosis
– how to interpret your own dreams

and much more…

We are intending this site to be used as a valuable resource and we are hoping if you find it useful, you will be able to share it among friends, clients, collegues, relatives – anyone who many be interested to know more about this influential theory.

(Also, this is the first site I have ever built so if you spot any mistakes just contact me and I’ll do something about it!)

Posted by: Eleanor

Hearing voices

“Researchers at Bangor University are planning to delve into the psyches of people who hear voices, but are not mentally ill.

They say contrary to popular belief, hearing voices is a phenomenon common to all cultures around the world and is a positive experience for most people.

Estimates suggest that at least 4% of the UK population have experienced hearing voices or ‘clairaudience’.

But little is known or understood about the phenomenon as those who do hear voices often do not tell others and it is thought that the actual number is higher than 4%.

PhD student, Katy Thornton, from the university’s School of Psychology, hopes to study people across Wales who are untroubled by the experience of hearing voices.

She said: ‘Contrary to popular belief, the fact that a person hears voices does not automatically mean that they have mental health problems. The majority of people who hear voices have benign or positive experiences. Hearing voices is different for each person. Some find it a spiritual experience; others may feel that their voice is another part of themselves. Some people get help and support from their voices while other people’s voices just talk about mundane matters. Each person experiences it differently – it might be a disembodied voice or it might be their own thoughts with somebody else speaking them.’

Miss Thornton will spend the next six months cataloguing the experiences of those who hear voices.

Historically, hearing voices was considered an important, meaningful and in some cases divine experience. Many important religious figures have heard voices, as have influential thinkers such as Socrates, Carl Jung and Ghandi. Today hearing voices is still seen as a gift in most non-Western cultures, says Miss Thornton.

Psychology lecturer Dr David Linden, who will supervise Miss Thornton’s research, says the experiences of people who are relaxed about clairaudience is an under-researched area. He said, “In clinical practice we would normally encounter patients who hear voices and are distressed by them. However, we don’t know what it’s like to hear voices and not be troubled by them and we’ve not paid the phenomenon enough attention.

Those taking part will be interviewed and asked to complete a questionnaire about themselves and their experience. They will also have a brain scan.

Miss Thornton says she is not going into the work with any pre-conceived notions. ‘I’m not making any prior psychiatric or spiritual assumptions about these phenomena.’”
This article appeared in the Western Mail on May 2nd.

Posted by: Eleanor

Cannabis has a ‘significant impact on the brain’

Scientists have shown how cannabis may trigger psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

The Institute of Psychiatry study gave THC, CBD or placebo capsules to adult male volunteers who had not abused cannabis.

They then carried out brain scans, and a battery of tests, and found that those who took THC showed reduced activity in an area of the brain called the inferior frontal cortex, which keeps inappropriate thoughts and behaviour, such as swearing and paranoia, in check.

The effects were short-lived, but some people appeared more vulnerable than others.

“If something has an active effect in inducing the symptoms of psychosis after one dose, then it would not be at all surprising if repeated use induced the chronic condition” Professor Robin Murray -Institute of Psychiatry.

Read the whole article>>

Posted by: Eleanor

How do you manage your sleep?

A study on sleep shows that rats who have less sleep have a higher level of stress hormone corticosterone, and produces less braincells in the region of the hippocampus. Another indication of the importance of getting the right amount of sleep – well in rats at least.

a rat

We constantly inform people about the importance of sleep and warn that inadequate amounts of REM sleep, either too much or too little, is related to the development of depressive feelings at one end of the spectrum and states of psychosis at the other – but when applying this knowledge to your own life, how can you be sure that you personally are managing your sleep effectively? This is an area in which no clinical study will be able to help you, as each and every person is unique, with thousands of different variables which influence the amount and quality of REM sleep you might need.

As I experience it, despite my awareness and all I have learned about the importance of REM sleep and dreaming – I still have days where I know I would feel better if I had managed my sleep with more care.

I have never been someone who relishes early mornings, and I prefer to stay up late than get up early.  My sleeping pattern is thus: I go to sleep later and later during the week (normally anywhere between 12 and 2am – while waking up at 8.00am) and I mostly sleep in until 11 or so at least one day at the weekend (this is a habit left over from University!).

However, I do now notice that when I have slept and dreamt too much, even if it’s only for one night, I really feel unmotivated, miserable, listless and my head aches for the rest of the day. I now account for this and have learned to recognise when to force myself to not go back to sleep or stay in bed for a few extra hours. So many times I have kidded myself that a lie-in would be nice, and have woken up feeling awful and regretting it.
I’d go so far as to say that one day of too much REM sleep affects me more than a few nights of sleep deprivation, so personally, I monitor my sleeping to accomodate this need. I can see that low periods in my life (not depression, just natural ebs and flows) correlated with times where I wasn’t sleeping properly or getting my emotional needs met.

The one thing that cemented a healthy sleeping pattern for me was having a job and a routine – and I have definitely benefitted from and improved my life through understanding how REM sleep can affect your state of mind.

Posted by: Eleanor

Creating healthy environments in psychiatric wards

no straight jackets

No straight jackets? 

Here’s a cheerful feature from The Guardian about a new male psychiatric ward in South London called The Tarn.  Everyone working at the centre recognises the importance of creating a safe, responsible, stimulating and status rich environment for the severely unstable and often violent men who live there – and the article reports on their very positive results:

 “Francis Adzinku, the trust’s acute and crisis services manager, insists that he and his colleagues developed their distinctive approach in former, very rundown wards, and that it is much more about attitudes and principles.

“If you prepare an environment where you think people are going to throw things around, then they come prepared to do that,” Adzinku says. “But if you put people in an environment where they feel comfortable, where it is clean and where there are nice things to look at, the effect can be wonderful. The philosophy is to have, as much as possible, an ideal environment, and we have a very good multi-disciplinary team who have a clear idea of the philosophy they are working with.” read the article

Posted by: Eleanor