What are ‘Human Givens?’

 What are the ‘Human Givens’?

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The Human Givens approach is a bio-psycho-social model of psychotherapy developed in the UK and Ireland by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell.

As human beings, we have various needs, and these needs must be met. These needs are called the ‘givens’ of human nature. Whenever our emotional needs are not met, or when our resources are being used incorrectly, we suffer considerable distress. And so can those around us.

The Human Givens are the needs and resources that all human beings are born with.  They include our essential biological and emotional needs and all the innate resources that have evolved in humans to help us get these needs met.  When we use our innate resources correctly this enables us to get our needs met, thus allowing for a happy and productive quality of life. It is a law of Nature that, if we are getting our innate needs met in a balanced way, we cannot become stressed or develop mental illness.

Our emotional needs include:

Our resources include:

Emotional distress can occur if our essential needs are not being met and/or our innate resources have been damaged or are being misused, and can manifest as depression, addictive and compulsive behaviour, eating disorders, anxieties and phobias.

 

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