Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Human Givens Approach

Hi Everyone

I am really excited, as I have just come across a mental health therapy that looks absolutely perfect.  As usual, when I come across something new in this field, I am a little miffed that I didn't know about it before...  However, I think that sometimes knowledge comes to us when we are ready for it. 

Anyway, the following link should take you to a page on the Human Givens Institute's website that has an article on schizophrenia, and from there you can research further for yourselves.

The article was written in 2006.  But I only heard about Human Givens today, from a friend who was visiting with her children.  She has a nursing background, and has done some counselling work.  She came across Human Givens through her work, and found it fascinating.

Anyway, hopefully this will be as interesting to others as it is to me.  It offers a great deal of hope. The idea as I understand it (and I have only read a very little about it so far) is that as long as certain human needs are met, mental illlness is not possible - and if breakdown does occur, then it can be fixed, by paying attention to those same human needs.  And - in case this needs pointing out - medication is NOT one of these human needs! 

So, for those of you who think this blog had deteriorated somewhat into a boring ramble about the state of my feet (and it had) I hope this redeems me as a useful member of the mental health blog network.  Not that I have done a great deal of networking yet, but you know what I mean.  I want to be useful - things are changing in the way people are viewing mental health, and in the treatment of mental illness, and I want to be part of those changes.  At a selfish level, I want to be sure that my children don't suffer as I have - on a wider level, I think the world will be a better place as treatment and understanding of mental health problems continue to improve.

Louise x


  1. Smells like snake oil to me.
    Like many money-grubbing purveyors of quackery they have an impressive looking website, but it's just filled with the usual new age psychobabble, no doubt to try and disguise the fact that there's a complete lack of scientific evidence to support any of their fantastic claims.
    Sorry for ranting on your blog but I find scam artists who target people suffering mental illness particularly disgusting.

  2. Hi Ed

    The thing is, there is also no scientific evidence to support the existence of schizophrenia as a 'chemical imbalance in the brain' - but that hasn't stopped many people's lives from being ruined by this inhumane diagnosis.

    I did wonder whether Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell had 'kissed the blarney stone' - but the reason I gave the approach enough credence to look into it further is that I heard about Human Givens through a friend who leanrned about it during her work with the police force.

    And from what I have seen so far I think it is a force for good - they are saying that people can get better from mental illness, and this can only be a good thing. Especially compared to the old school attitude, which told people (me included) 'Your life is effectively over, you have schizophrenia, you will get worse as you get older'.

    Griffin and Tyrrell are not the only people moving in this new positive direction - change is coming in the field of mental health treatment, and not before time. And they are not targeting the mentally ill - they are aiming to educate those who are treating them. It may require a leap of faith to look at matters from a new viewpoint, but sometimes this may be necessary to create change.

    I have ordered a couple of Human Givens books, and I will review them on here when I have read them. Although actually their reviews on Amazon are already very enlightening - by no means everyone is in favour, but a lot of people think they have a good point. It looks to me (by no means an expert) very similar to CBT but with more background on why people get ill in the first place - and their explanation about this resonated very strongly with me when I read it.

    Obviously, I don't know if they are just after everyone's money. I hope not. Their courses are expensive and I would not recommend rushing off to do one, but I would ask you and others to keep an open mind.

    Louise x