Why Choose Human Givens therapy?

It is short term. Although some people may require more sessions the average amount is four.

You will feel better after your first session and you won’t have to spend months and months of excavating painful memories, as some traditional therapies require you to do.

Intervention is dynamic and practical so that you have tasks and positive, achievable goals to strive for outside of the therapy session.

It does not adhere to rigid; out dated methods and theories but draws upon a variety of sources of information and knowledge.

Human Givens therapists have a sound body of knowledge on how the brain works and why it is you are feeling the way you do.

A human givens therapist will help you to draw on your own inner resources (which may prove greater than you thought).

What Works?

There are currently over 160 different psychotherapeutic models in existence. Since modern psychotherapy began with Freud over a hundred years ago there has been an enormous amount of both scientific and anecdotal evidence offering clues as to which techniques and approaches work, which don’t and which are positively harmful.

What have we learned from this great body of evidence? How best can we utilise this knowledge? Also how do we incorporate the many new findings on how the brain works (from the relatively new discipline of neuroscience) into helping release our fellow human beings from the prison of depression and anxiety?

In 1998 Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrell set up the European Therapy Studies Institute with the aim of answering these questions. Also, with a team of other thinkers they set out to explore questions that have never been satisfactorily answered before:   what is human consciousness, what makes us human, why do things go so wrong for us?

Their ground breaking book ”Human Givens A new approach to emotional health and clear thinking’ provides answers to these questions. It is described by the New Statesman as ‘ a quiet revolution’

Why do we need help?

Human beings are complex! Whereas a plant must have water, sunlight and good soil to survive and thrive, we can thrive only if our emotional needs are also met in a balanced way. If not we can become depressed, stressed and anxious.  Take the emotional needs audit here.

Emotional connection and intimacy; a safe environment; a sense of belonging; status; a sense of meaning and purpose; giving and receiving attention; control over our lives. All these are often compromised in our modern society.

We are all born with an innate guidance system which instinctively directs us getting our needs met. This guidance system includes our ability to learn from experience – a long term memory; an imagination which allows us to plan our future, an ability to form bonds with other people, an ability to understand the world through myth and metaphor.

However our ability to use these gift from Nature can be compromised by having suffered trauma, poor conditioning or an overload of stress. Most of us who suffer emotionally will misuse our guidance system, for example our imagination will be used for excessive worry.

We become dictated to by our emotions and lose touch with the treasure trove of tools we can use to navigate ourselves out of trouble. It is at these times when we need to borrow someone else’s brain for a short time.


This is treated by the unique ‘ Rewind Technique’, developed by the Human Givens Institute and refined to be completely safe and effective.  You will not be asked to relive the trauma in detail as this has proven detrimental to recovery.  It is now used by P.T.S.D. Resolution a charity which treats traumatised service men and women and was recently recommended to be included in N.I.C.E (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines.


Anger is a powerful innate emotion which is essential for survival. However, you may be struggling with anger outbursts or excessive rage – either your own, or someone else’s. This can seriously affect your physical and mental health and those around you. More damaging than stress, anger can cause stroke, raised blood pressure, heart attacks and depression.

A  Human Givens session will help you to learn how relax deeply, be aware of your triggers and manage your anger.


If you suffer from anxiety you may have a generalised feeling of being on edge and unable to cope. This may lead to panic attacks, fears, phobias, lack of confidence or overwhelming stress and pressure.  All can be treated swiftly by a human givens therapist.  Just some of the techniques used would be to rewind any traumas you may have suffered, teach you deep relaxation so that your emotions do not rule your life and helping you to reconnect to your innate resources.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

If you find that you are compelled to do something many times a day which your rational mind knows to be excessive and unnecessary effective help is available.


All forms of addiction, including gambling, computer games and eating disorders can be treated providing the person wants to make the effort to stop. New insights into why we become addicted are explained and used to help you gain control.

Breaking the cycle of Depression.

Meaning and joy can be reclaimed by the use of practical help and powerful psychological interventions.  An extensive recent study concluded that Human Givens was the most effective short term therapy in existence for mild to moderate depression. Many GP.s stock the HG publication ‘How to Lift Depression Fast’ and have a dramatically reduced anti depressant bill.

Joe Griffin’s critically acclaimed book ‘Why We Dream’ explains the link between dreaming and depression. Watch Ivan Tyrell explaining the link between sleep and depression in the video below.

Where does the name Human Givens come from?

Ivan Tyrell on the Human Givens blog explains.

One day Joe and I met with a small group of Ericksonian hypnotherapists and NLP enthusiasts. They wanted to join is teaching Core Skills but from a perspective based on the only models they knew about. Joe tried to explain our ideas about a more holistic approach to well being that drew on scientific findings and well established knowledge.

“It can’t be right that there are so many different models of psychotherapy”, said Joe. “You never find hundreds of models in other fields”.

When this didn’t hit home Joe got more emphatic. “Look! We know that people need to feel secure, it’s a given, they need attention, that’s another given, they need to be connected to the community, another given, people need intimate relationships, they need meaning in their lives, these are all givens! But others around the table didn’t seem to understand what he was getting at – they wanted to stick to promoting Ericksonian hypnotherapy and NLP techniques and restrict ourselves to that market.

We knew that no progress would be made unless a bigger organising idea was developed. We left the meeting feeling despondent at how unadventurous their thinking was, fixed as it was in their belief that they already had the answers, And yet Joe’s presentation had me fired up. As we walked the pavements in the drizzling rain I suddenly stopped, turned to him and said, “Why don’t we call what we are teaching the ‘Human Givens’? No one will have heard of it and curios people – who are the kind we are looking for –will ask us “What does human givens mean?” and that will give us tan opportunity to explain it.

I felt sure that deep inside most people knew that they had innate emotional needs and that they were a ‘given’ and the natural starting point for therapy. Joe liked the idea and so the ‘human givens approach’ was born.