What are the Human Givens?

The Human Givens (HG) counselling approach is common sense, without the “psychobabble”. The central idea (termed an “Organising Principle) is to bring together the latest understanding from medical, counselling and neuro-scientific research to deliver the best of effective methods from a variety of psychological approaches.

Developed, taught and applied in the UK for over ten years in the HG has rapidly become recognised as a simply important improvement in the understanding of human functioning.

As well as being taught to diploma level by The HG Institute, Nottingham Trent University now teaches an MA in how to use the very latest psychological research and the best of Counselling, CBT and other approaches, such as NLP , to deliver a simple, quick and effective method of strategic, solutions based counselling.

The Theory:
The ‘human givens’ are those physical and emotional evolutionary needs that nature expects as to have met in order to be at our peak of human performance. In order to “get those needs met” nature gives (or provides) us a set of accessible resources. These resources can be added to by any new acquired experience or skill we develop.  Our effectiveness or emotional health is a measure of how well our needs are being met.

However, if our innate emotional needs are not being well met, for whatever reason, or our resources are being
used incorrectly, we can suffer considerable emotional distress – and so can those around us!

Human needs include:
Security (stable work and home); connection to others through friendship and joint objectives; belonging to a wider community such as a company; status and self-esteem (that comes through learning and the competent application of skills); a sense of autonomy; attention (to give and receive it) and a drive
for meaning.

Human resources include:
Curiosity; long-term memory and learning; imagination (which enables the human to focus either to the best, or worst of our abilities, affecting our ability to objectively “problem solve); the ability to use metaphor and stories to learn, the ability to pattern match (essential for effective learning and application of new skills – poor patterning is frequently the reason people underperform); the capacity for empathy; an observing self (to stand back from our emotions); a dreaming brain; and a rational mind that can check our emotions, and make good decisions.

Consequences of not getting needs met:
As the leading psychologist and co-Human Givens originator, Ivan Tyrell stated “When emotional needs are not met in individuals it leads to stress, anxiety,  depression and other expressions of distress such as anger and addiction”.

The solution:
As ever the starting point is an acceptance that a need is not being met. Follow this link to make an assessment of your needs. A desire then to address that deficit is needed, at that point, HG counselling is designed to help the individual re-access their forgotten or misused resources and where necessary build new resources, to get their needs met.

As Mick Jagger sang “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need.”

We should all get what we need.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Stevenage SG1 & London W1G
Written by Keith Abrahams, MBA, MHGDip
Stevenage SG1 & London W1G

The most common reasons clients seek help from me are related to stress, anxiety, depression, anger, relationship, and work-related issues. This might be related financial stress, promotional issues or challenging life, business, and career choices. Often these challenges have their roots in issues...

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