What are the Human Givens?

All forms of mental distress arise because, in one way or another, people’s physical or emotional needs are not being met. Our essential needs and our innate resources to help meet them – the ‘givens’ of human nature – are at the heart of the human givens approach. If all our needs are met in balance, making us confident about our place in the world and the people we connect with, we don’t suffer from disabling conditions, such as anxiety and stress, depression, addictions, phobias or panic attacks.

We all know that we have physical needs – for food, water, warmth and shelter – which must be sufficiently met to enable us to survive and thrive. But people often don’t realise that certain emotional needs are just as crucial for both our mental and physical health. Decades of health and social research have revealed, for instance, that a sense of security, intimacy, social connection, status, autonomy and control, competence and achievement, and meaning and purpose are also vital, if we are to stay in good health and feel fulfilled in our lives. Our innate resources for helping us meet these needs include the ability to build rapport, empathise and connect with others; to learn, problem solve, remember and plan; to use our imaginations productively; and to step back and take an objective look at our circumstances. When any of our important needs is seriously unmet over a significant period or any of our resources is not made best use of, mental and physical ill health may develop.

This is why, when human givens practitioners work with people in mental distress, they look for what is missing in those people’s lives and seek ways to redress that, as well as teaching them important life-coping skills.

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About Human Givens

Why choose Human Givens Therapy?  

Feel better quickly – as Human Givens therapists it’s our aim to help you start to feel better after each and every session. Sometimes just talking things through with another person can make a huge positive difference. We will then work through the issues with you and help you find effective ways to move on with life and to thrive rather than just survive.

Takes as few sessions as possible – Everyone’s situation is different, but we aim to take as few sessions as possible and you can fully expect improvements to begin from the first session. People rarely need more than six sessions to make significant progress and lasting improvements, often as few as three or four are necessary.

Involves minimal dwelling on the past – Whilst we will listen very carefully to you and your history, we won’t ask you to repeatedly dwell on or go over what may be very painful and upsetting events. Research has shown that this is not an effective approach and, in many cases makes things worse. Once you have shared your story with us, we may ask some extra questions but we will then suggest we move on, when you are ready, to thinking about what resources you have available and how they can be used to help you to start the healing process.

Explores your individual needs and resources – our therapy is tailored to suit you and your own unique set of resources to help you move on with your life quickly and effectively. Every person is different and every person will require solutions that are personal to them. We will help you explore the possibilities and agree a way forward.

Finds practical solutions to your problems – helping you find practical ways you can use anytime to manage your issues, especially outside of a therapy session, is a key part of Human Givens therapy.  This could include breathing exercises to calm you, taking a regular walk, or joining or re-joining a group or a sports team. Activities like this all help to regain and maintain positive mental health. Human Givens therapy is a holistic approach that deals with the biological, psychological and social elements that are essential to having great mental health and a life that works for you.


How much does it cost?

Nigel is in the final stage of training ALL sessions are FREE but there may be a small charge of between £8-12 for room hire or cancellation at short notice. Appointments available immediately, with no waiting lists.

To book a session please contact me using the details here


Useful Links

Human Givens Institute
Official website of the Human Givens Institute and professional body of Human Givens practitioners. A valuable resource with information and interesting articles.

Lift Depression
Useful advice and information on the Human Givens approach to dealing with depression.

Effective treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for armed forces veterans.



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