What is Human Givens Psychotherapy?

At the core of this approach is the understanding that all human beings have needs that have to be met in order to maintain good psychological health. Thankfully we are also born with an innate guidance system, or resources to enable us to meet these needs.

These two components make up the ‘human givens’. How we get our needs met and how we utilise our resources will impact on our sense of emotional well being.

Along with this organising framework, the therapy uses a number of techniques from a variety of approaches coupled with the latest neuroscientific research. Using our understanding of the brain/mind/body connection from the field of neurobiology promotes greater clarity when working towards good mental health. It is this understanding that allows us to know why anxiety may get triggered in certain situations; how depression and low mood can be lifted; how the powerful Rewind Technique alleviates traumas and phobias in as little as one session. These and other issues like them seem far less daunting and complex when the corresponding neurobiology is understood.

Life is unpredictable and our sense of well being can be derailed unexpectedly at times by life events. This approach looks at what life was like before the problem, looking at what might be absent now in terms of needs, and uses that knowledge as a starting point on the journey to feeling better. The finite equation for psychological wellness is different for everyone, but there are “givens” and “resources” as mentioned above, that apply to all of us. Assessment tools in the forms of questionnaires are also used to tailor the therapy to you specifically and to measure success and change. In the complex and confusing realm of feelings and emotions, these enable both the therapist and the client to acknowledge improvement and to know when the goals set have been achieved.

What happens in a session?

Initially we will discuss what has bought you to therapy and why Human Givens therapy in particular is the way of working that appeals to you. You may have read one of the many books on this approach or heard about how quick and effective this way of working is. It may be that you just know that you want to feel better but don’t know where to start. Goal setting, tasks, psycho-education, story and guided imagery are used within this approach to activate your natural resources in a positive way so that you can feel better quicker.

As a Human Givens therapist I work with a solution-focused approach. This means that like the other two approaches, there will be a clear understanding about what you wish to achieve from the work we do together. Would you board a bus that didn’t have a destination? The answer to that is probably no but some talking therapies can certainly feel like that; a meandering journey to nowhere in particular. That is why during our sessions I will be asking questions, using assessment tools and listening carefully to where it is you want to go or rather what your desired outcome for therapy is.

How can you know something is beneficial unless you understand what you wish the end result to be? We will discuss how you will know the sessions are useful and how you will know when your goal has been achieved. Having a clear understanding of what life will look like once you are feeling better will alert us both to when the therapy itself has reached its end.