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Jim Aberdein, Human Givens Counsellor and Psychotherapist, HG.Dip.P., MHGI

About me

For many years, I have enjoyed helping people to learn and to develop their skills and understanding. That stretches from the 1980s, when I taught English as a foreign language in Rome, through three decades as a trainer and manager in a UK-based nature conservation charity, to my current work as a Human Givens Counsellor and Psychotherapist.

What are human givens?

I particularly enjoy working with the Human Givens approach for a number of reasons: it provides a remarkably common-sense explanation for both distress and well-being; it can be creative and fun; it focuses on practical solutions; and it can provide relief from a range of emotional difficulties quickly.

The phrase, ‘human givens’ refers to what we can take as established fact or given about human nature – the innate emotional needs we are born with and the innate resources that help us get those needs met. These emotional needs include feeling safe and secure, connecting with other people, feeling we are valued and reasonably in control of our lives and feeling that life has meaning and purpose. Our innate resources include imagination, memory and our abilities to learn and to get on with others.

What makes a knowledge of human givens helpful?

Whenever someone isn’t getting their needs met in a well-balanced way or they have trouble using their resources effectively, such as when a person worries excessively, learns a way of coping that is harmful or is haunted by painful memories, this inevitably leads to difficulties in a person’s life. On the other hand, it is also a given that, if we are getting our essential needs met in a balanced way, we cannot become excessively stressed or mentally ill.

What can I help with?

I have helped alleviate and remove symptoms of including poor sleep, excessive anxiety, guilt or shame, depression, post-traumatic stress, addiction, lack of confidence, physical pains, relationship problems, burn-out  and excessive anger so that people can get on and create a life that works for them. I have also helped people build their confidence for positive and challenging events such as job or academic interviews, starting a new job and giving birth.

What does treatment involve?

The treatment begins with me finding out about you, your life and the difficulties you are experiencing. Often, right from the first session, we will use relaxation methods, together with a range of other techniques that include reflective listening, cognitive and behavioural exercises, explaining causes of difficulty, stories and guided imagery – whatever it takes to help you view your situation calmly and find ways to get your needs met in balance again.

We will work together to set goals  that are clear and meaningful to you, starting with small steps and continuing at a pace which suits you. From here on we use your natural resources such as self-awareness and imagination to help you feel better and take back control of your life.

At each session we check your progress and work through any unanticipated difficulties. Treatment ends when you are happy that you can continue living a healthy life without regular assistance from me. (Human givens therapists do not encourage people to become dependent on therapy.)

How long will it take?

Everyone's situation is different, but I aim to help find solutions as quickly as possible. You can expect improvements from the first session. People rarely need more than six to eight sessions to make lasting progress. Often as few as three or four are needed.


“I left our last session with the self-belief that I could manage my emotional health all by myself.”  - Writer, Waltham Forest Echo

“For the first time that I can remember I was completely uplifted and feeling I can achieve something and there is hope.” - Researcher and Care worker

Training, qualifications & experience


Human Givens Diploma (HG.Dip.P.),  Human Givens Institute

Post Graduate Certificate in Human Givens Psychotherapy, Nottingham Trent University

BA (Hons) Biology, University of York


Registered Member of the Human Givens Institute (MHGI) and Member of the European Therapy Studies Institute (ETSI),

Member organisations


Human Givens Institute

The Human Givens Institute (HGI) is both a membership organisation and a professional body representing the interests of those in the caring and teaching professions who have an interest in or utilise the human givens approach. Counselling Directory register Registered Members (MHGI) and Fellow Members (FHGI), who will have completed the Post Graduate Practitioner's Assessment (Part III) and who are fully qualified to practise as a human givens therapist or counsellor. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

Human Givens Institute

Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

Therapies offered

  • Human Givens psychotherapy


A session lasts about an hour and costs £63.00

Further information

Whlie social distancing restrictions are advised I am offering therapy online via Zoom and over the telephone.

When meeting in an enclosed space is sensible again, I will return my practice to a pleasant room on the second floor of a complementary therapy centre in Waltham Forest, an east London borough, 2 minutes from Walthamstow Central Station, which incorporates the Victoria underground line and the overground line from Liverpool Street to Chingford. (Please note that a room with easier access can be arranged when the time comes.)

In the meantime, and weather permitting, I am happy to meet face to face in a park or other appropriate outside setting.

I am happy to accept insurance, organisation and NHS referrals.

I have a Basic DBS disclosure certificate

Ashlins Natural Health
181 Hoe Street
E17 3AP

Type of session

In person
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language
Other languages None


Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Wheelchair user access


I am available on Thursdays and Fridays - morning, afternoon and evening. Other times may be possible by arrangement. Please contact me to discuss arranging an appointment.

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Jim Aberdein, Human Givens Counsellor and Psychotherapist, HG.Dip.P., MHGI

Jim Aberdein, Human Givens Counsellor and Psychotherapist, HG.Dip.P., MHGI