Beating Addiction -The Human Givens way
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Keith Abrahams Dip.HG.P
8th May, 2012
Paraphrased, substance dependence  is defined by the DSM as fulfillment of any three of the following:
- Preoccupation with the substance – obtaining it, using it and recovering from it
- Unintentional over use – repeatedly taking more than was intended
- Tolerance – increasing amounts are needed for the same effect
- Withdrawal – certain levels are needed to function normally
- Relief substance use – to counteract withdrawal
- Persistent desire to control the abuse – repeated quitting relapse
- Impaired performance - in social and work situations
- Abandoning important events – social, work or recreational
- Continued use of the substance despite health problems associated with it.
The Human Givens approach towards Counselling and Psychotherapy is that it works best when not coming from an emotional or theoretical stand point, but rather from and understanding of what it is to be human. The approach draws down on observation, research, experience (what works), the biological & psychological sciences and the wisdom of the ages. To be effective counsellors we need to help the client identify their innate needs and engage their innate resources, to get those needs met.
As well as feeling safe and secure, individuals need to be able to; dream, have meaning in their lives, with autonomy and control of their environment. There is a need to both give and receive attention, to interact with others, to be a part of the community and to have meaning in our lives. We are problem solving creatures, who seek attention and emotional arousal.
In responding to clients, helping them to engage and build their resources, the Human Givens Counsellor will direct the client’s attention to useful tools including:
- The different functions of the brain
- The effect of the emotional (limbic brain)
- The role of trance to both beneficial and problematic human behaviour/responses
- The recognition of the importance of mind/body connection in healing (sometimes called PNI) 
- The importance of free will and choice
- The importance of the observing self
From this base the Human Givens therapist can begin to work intelligently with the whole person, which is why progress is normally swift and inevitable.
 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV.
 PNI Psycho-neuroimmunology is the scientific study of the key role of our thoughts, emotions and attitudes on the immune system – the body’s natural healing mechanism. The HPA routing (the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal pathway) explains the connection between our thoughts and emotional and our physical health and healing.
Related articles from our experts
- Changing anxious habits
Greg Savva - Counselling Twickenham, Whitton - Masters Degree8th July, 2018
- A new way to treat addictions and compulsions
Imi Lo: Specialist Psychotherapist, Art Therapist (MMH,FRSA,UKCP,HCPC)6th July, 2018
- Living with the legacy: the impact of growing up with parental addiction
Cinzia Altobelli (MSc RGN UKCP reg Psychotherapist/Counsellor & Supervisor)5th July, 2018
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.