Human givens therapy
- a new approach to counselling

The ‘human givens’ approach is an ‘organising idea’. In other words, it organises and builds on well-established theories, principles and known effective techniques in counselling.

Maybe counselling or therapy was the last thing you ever wanted. Perhaps you don’t like talking about your problems, or you think no one can help you anyway. Maybe you've tried it and it didn't work.

Is it becoming increasingly difficult to hide your distress?

Have you run out of steam and finally feel willing to consider counselling, however reluctantly?

I'd love you to start off by learning a little more about The Human Givens. I'll still be here when you come back.

10 benefits of human givens therapy

Human givens therapy can help you to:

  1. Feel happier, lighter and more energetic
  2. Understand why you were depressed and how to prevent it
  3. Feel calmer
  4. Find relief from (traumatic) stress symptoms
  5. Feel better - recover from fears and phobias or heal trauma
  6. Find relief from previously ‘bottled up’ feelings
  7. Enhance your social skills if needed
  8. Meet your essential emotional needs more in balance
  9. Increase your awareness of your innate and acquired resources
  10. Increase your confidence and self esteem

Many counsellors and therapists not trained in the human givens approach will want to use the first session as an assessment.  

A human givens therapist will begin to help you feel better at the very first session. You can find a directory of practitioners via the Human Givens Institute.

Who can become a human givens therapist?

My human givens colleagues come from a wide range of professional backgrounds: GPs, social workers, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, counsellors, medical specialists, physiotherapists, teachers, head teachers and so on.

For more information, see the Human Givens College

Treating you differently

A human givens therapist works in a very solution-focused way. If you opt for this kind of counselling, a qualified human givens therapist will:

  • make counselling/therapy as painless as possible
  • not dwell on the past unnecessarily
  • aim to help you to feel better after every consultation
  • give information and advice if needed
  • explain how your brain works with regards to emotion
  • help you to access the same relaxed state as when you dream
  • increase your knowledge without jargon or ‘psychobabble’
  • use a variety of techniques as appropriate
  • calm high levels of emotions as soon as possible
  • encourage new understandings and solutions
  • adapt the therapy flexibly and uniquely for you
  • avoid using a ’preferred’ theory regardless of your problems
  • support you when difficult feelings emerge without dwelling on them
  • be aware of research in psychology, neurobiology and counselling
  • help you overcome your problems in as few sessions as possible
  • consider the effects of counselling on the people close to you
  • teach you to relax deeply

The importance of meaning and purpose

Have a look at this fascinating video clip of holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Victor Frankl on the importance of meaning...

Now, almost 40 years later, human givens therapists also strongly believe in the need for meaning, and in your capacity - to fulfill your potential.

Human givens therapy  
- effective, practical and research-based

There are hundreds of different counselling/psychotherapy models. The European Therapy Studies Institute (ETSI) was established to look into what makes counselling effective. The ideas that came from that research have been condensed into the human givens postgraduate diploma course.

Counsellors/therapists may be trained by respectable schools and accredited by professional bodies, however, this unfortunately is not a guarantee that their work is effective.

It's important to make sure you take the time to find the best counsellor for you. I can help you with this, so hop over to my page how to find a counsellor or psychotherapist for all the information you need to help you make an informed decision.

Evidence for the Human Givens Approach

From the Human Givens College newsletter:

This year 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 showing 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).

Andrews, W., Twigg, E., Minami, T. and Johnson, G. (11 February 2011) ‘Piloting a practice research network: A 12-month evaluation of the Human Givens approach in primary care at a general medical practice. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.2010.02004

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