Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring April 2016 - Growth - Page 47

Human Givens

by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell

A new edition of the life-changing book Human Givens which contains a wealth of new material that will enhance its already considerable reputation. The authors describe one of the most important psychological insights of our age: how we are all born with a rich natural inheritance - a partially formed mind containing a genetic treasure-house of innate knowledge patterns: 'the human givens'. We all experience these givens as physical and emotional needs, powerful forces that must be satisfactorily met in our environment if our minds are to unfold and develop to their fullest potential. Includes a new chapter on the biological basis of content blindness - caetextia - that blights the lives of millions. Ultimately this book is uplifting and practical because it brings hope in these troubled times by clearly spelling out what each child and adult needs in order to develop well, how to help those who aren't and who are suffering severe mental distress, including depression and post-traumatic stress.

Reviews from Amazon:

I recommend this book if you want to improve the quality of your life and the lives of those you engage with both personally and professionally.

I came to it not as a professional but as a graduate with a business background, who has personally experienced ineffective psychodynamic counselling, and the book has engaged my interest to such an extent that I now want to attend some of the authors' seminars, to further my understanding of their holistic strategies for coping with a whole range of life's ever increasing mental problems, from stress to depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Human Givens counselling approach provides sufferers with positive help on their very first session and is generally successful in weeks (or months) rather than years. Of particular interest is their rewind technique for people suffering from PTSD and the empirical study proving how powerfully effective it is: and Human Givens and Education could prove revolutionary within the classroom and has the potential to greatly improve the working lives of the teachers and subsequently provide a much better standard of education for the future generation. (JH)

Human Givens - The new approach to emotional health and clear thinking by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell,is an important,groundbreaking Psychology ABC-book and also a self-help book. With common sense it informs distinctly and clearly and with support by latest science, what we need to be able to function as balanced individuals, groups and societies. Teachers and CEOs interested in a good climate in their classes and companies would find this book very useful. Hopefully it will mean the beginning of the end of our time's, often dysfunctional, psychiatry.

But not everything is wrong. Some of the ideas and treatment models that exist today – each a useful tool under certain conditions, but not the only right one in all – fit in under Human Given's organizing, overall idea. Their open perspective, with the claim that what they say must be in line with science, feels liberating. In the end of the book there is a very practical guide to take you whole skinned through the jungle of more than 400 psychological “schools”, many both harmful and dogmatic. (On Human Givens Institute's homepage are listed HG-therapists in UK and the other parts of the world).

What I find very interesting is what the authors write about emotions, that they stem from the more primitive part of our brain, the one we have in common with the animals and where our instinctive reactions come from.

First comes emotions...

and after that we think and analyze with our new brain, the neocortex that separates us from the animals.

Sometimes our primitive brain takes over completely and “cuts off” the new brain and we stop to think: we're in the grip of very strong emotions like severe depressions and other life threatening dangers.

And as depression is the main cause behind suicides and is becoming an alarmingly common condition in Western society, it is of utmost importance that we learn the ABC of our emotions and how to handle them.

This book is well worth reading – reflectively and many times. (Ulrike Eriksson)