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What is Human Givens?

All humans, regardless of their background or culture, have evolved innate physical and emotional needs which include:

  • Security – safe territory and an environment which allows full maturity and development
  • Attention (to give and receive it) – a form of “mental nutrition”
  • Sense of autonomy and control – having volition to make responsible choices
  • Being emotionally connected to others
  • Feeling part of a wider community
  • Friendship and intimacy with someone who is accepting of the total person, flaws included
  • Privacy – opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
  • Sense of status within social groupings
  • Sense of competence and achievement
  • Meaning and purpose

These innate needs are something that we are all born with – a given of human nature – hence the name Human Givens.

These basic emotional needs have to be met in balance if we are to be mentally and socially healthy and ensuring that people’s emotional needs are better met – that they are using their innate resources effectively – is what we call the Human Givens approach.

The focus of the therapy is the discovery and rectification of any blocks to these needs being met.

This way of looking at behaviour and mental health is not only being successfully applied to the counselling of distressed people but is also influencing fields as diverse as parenting, politics, education, work, law, psychology, philosophy and communication – wherever, in fact, there is a need to understand and nurture people or make best use of human resources.

The Human Givens Institute is the membership organisation for anyone who wishes to support the human givens approach.