Jim Aberdein, Human Givens Counsellor and Psychotherapist, HG.Dip.P., MHGI
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),
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
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
A session lasts about an hour and costs £63.00
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