Human Givens

The principles behind the 'Human Givens' approach grew out of the work of a group of psychologists and psychotherapists who were trying to bring greater clarity to the way people who become depressed, anxious, traumatised or addicted are helped, as well as making such help more reliably effective. 

At its core 'Human Givens' is a highly empowering idea – that human beings, like all organic beings, come into this world with a set of needs. If those needs are met appropriately, it is not possible to be mentally ill. Perhaps no more powerful a statement could ever be made about the human condition: if human beings' needs are met, they won't get depressed; they cannot have psychosis, they cannot have manic deprssion; they cannot be in the grip of addition. It is just not possible.

In other words, we all have a set of emotional needs that, if met, give us what we need to be balanced and well in our emotional state of being;

Those emotional needs include but are not limited to;

1. Safety and security - an environment that allows us to be ourselves and fully develop.

2. Attention from others - an ability to both give and receive, nutrition for the soul.

3. A sense of autonomy and control — having volition to make responsible choices.

4. Emotional intimacy — being totally accepted for who we are.

5. Community - to feel part of a larger group.

6. Privacy — opportunity to reflect and consolidate experiences.

7. A sense of status within social groupings - being able to contribute and show value.

8. A sense of competence and achievement - feeling satisfied witha job well done.

9. Meaning and purpose — a sense of being stretched in what we do and think.

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