A brief history of Human Givens

if you have not heard of Human Givens, then you’re in for a real treat. If you have heard of Human Givens, then this brief background and history will set the scene.

Human Givens is much more than it seems

The first seminars and workshops by Ivan Tyrrell and Joe Griffin, the founders of the Human Givens approach were in the UK in the late 1990’s. Ivan and Joe have stepped back from being the main teachers and drivers of the project, yet these last 20 years have seen a quite astonishing development – though still mainly confined to the UK.

At the core of the HG approach is a very simple, easy to understand yet profound Organising Idea. And to this has been added some original science (including a new theory of why we dream) and a brilliantly expressed and delivered synthesis of the best of modern psychology, neuroscience and counselling.

From all of this, Joe and Ivan have created a teaching programme which is delivering a small number of really excellent counsellors and in addition a greater number of mainly public sector administrators and health professionals who know a little bit.

And these are attempting with various degrees of success to influence the UK provision of mental health, education and public services generally.

Main Human Givens websites
Human Givens Institute
HG Publishing
 HG College

The ideas are genuinely profound (in my humble opinion) and have relevance for many areas of human endeavour. This can cover the organising of societies and groups, for companies and even diplomatic relations. And in the biannual Human Givens Journal these possibilities can be read and admired.

The teaching of Human Givens is where Joe and Ivan earn their livelihood though there is now also an impressive body of literature available – most of which is either written by Joe and Ivan or closely supervised by them.


Evidence for the Human Givens approach

In 2011 The British Psychological Society’s leading peer-reviewed journal, Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice published a 12-month evaluation of the Human Givens approach in primary care at a general medical practice.

The result showed that more than three out of four patients were either symptom-free or reliably changed as a result of HG therapy*. This was accomplished in an average of only 3.6 sessions, significantly better than the recovery rate published for the UK government’s flagship IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme, which uses therapists trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).