What are The Human Givens ?

In the last ten years we have come to a new and deeper understanding of the ways in which the human mind works, and how to help it heal. 'The Human Givens Approach' to psychotherapy focuses on helping each individual to develop their skills so they can meet their own emotional and physical needs with the innate resources with which they were born.

Our 'given' needs naturally look for fulfillment through the ways we interact with our environment and through the use of the resources that nature gave us. However, when our emotional needs are not fulfilled, or when our resources are being used incorrectly, we may suffer considerable distress. Of course, those resources may have been damaged in some way by events in our lives over which we had no control, so we may need help in developing those resources and 'repairing' the damage that was done.

There is now widespread agreement as to the nature of our emotional needs -


Security - safe territory and an environment which allows us to develop fully


Attention, to give and receive it - a form of nutrition


A sense of autonomy and control - having the ability to make responsible choices


Being emotionally connected to others


Feeling part of a wider community


Intimacy - to know that at least one person accepts us totally for who we are


Privacy - opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience


Sense of status within social groupings - acceptance within the tribe


Sense of competence and achievement - feelings of success


Meaning and purpose - which come from being stretched in what we do and think

Along with physical and emotional needs, we have been given tools to help us meet those needs -


The ability to develop complex long-term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge, and to learn


The ability to build rapport, to empathise and to connect with others


Imagination, which enables us to focus our attention away from our emotions, to use language and to problem solve more creatively and objectively


A conscious, rational mind that can check out emotions, and which can question, analyse and plan


The ability to 'know' - that is, to understand the world unconsciously through metaphorical pattern matching


An observing self - that part of us that can step back, be more objective and be aware of itself as a unique centre of awareness, separate from intellect, emotion and conditioning


A dreaming brain that preserves the integrity of our genetic inheritance every night by metaphorically de-fusing expectations held in the autonomic arousal system because they were not acted out the previous day.

Over hundreds of thousands of years our 'Human Givens' underwent continuous refinement as they drove our evolution forwards. They could perhaps be thought of as inbuilt, biological templates that continually interact with one another and (in undamaged people) look for their natural fulfilment in the world in ways that allow us to survive and thrive together as individuals in a great variety of different social groupings.

It is the way those needs are met, and the way we use those wonderful resources, that determine the physical, mental and moral health of any individual, and as such the 'Human Givens' are the benchmark position to which we must all refer in education, in mental and physical health and in the way we organise and run our lives at work, at home and in our leisure pursuits.

When we feel emotionally fulfilled and when we are operating effectively within society, we are more likely to be emotionally and mentally healthy. But when too many innate physical and emotional needs are not being met in the environment, or when our resources are used incorrectly, unwittingly or otherwise, we suffer great distress, and so do those around us.


Emotional Needs Audit

What Are The Human Givens

Why Choose Human Givens Therapy


Treatment For Addictions

Coping with Addiction

Anger Management Treatment

Techniques to Combat Anger

Treatment For Anxiety

Techniques to Reduce Anxiety

Treatment For Depression

Techniques to Reduce Depression

Reduce Exam Nerves And Increase Sports Performance

Marriage Relationship And Couples Counselling

Techniques to Improve Communication

Relieve Pain and Accelerate Healing

Techniques to Take Care of Yourself

Treatment for Phobias

Treatment for Trauma and PTSD

Autistic Conditions and Behavioural Problems

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Schizophrenia And Psychosis


The Importance of Perception

Sleep and Dreaming



Aims of The Human Givens Institute

Useful Links

Hereford Human Givens Site Map


Contact Hereford Human Givens - Mobile:07973 307471 - Email:contact@herefordhumangivens.co.uk - Click Here for alternatives.