Joe Griffin

Joe Griffin

Joe Griffin is a contemporary psychologist and the co-creator of human givens therapy. 

Professional Life

Joe Griffin graduated from the London School of Economics and began his clinical practice shortly thereafter. Griffin has spent much of his professional life training other psychotherapists to deliver psychotherapy in an effective way to achieve positive outcomes for psychological issues including depression, addiction, anxiety, trauma, and anger.

Along with his colleague Ivan Tyrrell, Griffin has published many books on psychotherapy and on his unique approach of human givens. He hosts television and radio shows and is known for his entertaining style and warmth. He sits on the editorial board for the journal Human Givens that he helped to establish. Griffin is the Director of Studies for the Human Givens College in the UK.

Griffin has published several popular psychology books, including Human Givens: A New Approach to Emotional Health and Clear Thinking; Dreaming Reality: How Dreams Keep Us Sane or Can Drive us Mad; How to Lift Depression [. . . Fast]; Freedom From Addiction; and How to Master Anxiety: All You Need to Know to Overcome Stress

Contribution to Psychology

Human givens describes a therapeutic approach that aims to meet the “givens,” or needs, of humans. Griffin and Tyrrell describe human givens as a bio-psychosocial approach to therapy. Human givens argues that psychological distress results when basic human needs are not met. The therapist acts as a guide who helps the client discover which needs aren't being met and establishes goals that enable the client to find healthy ways to meet basic needs. The core needs are:

Human givens was introduced in 2003, making it an extremely new therapy. There has been limited research into the practice, but several small studies have found improvements in people who received human givens therapy.

Griffin has also conducted research into dream realization and theorizes that our dreams may be a product of our worries. When a person worries about a problem during the day, they may carry that stress and anxiety into their dreams during the night and it may be expressed through metaphors. Human givens recognizes this theory as part of its approach to treatment, especially for people suffering from troubled sleep. Depressed and anxious people in particular often struggle with worrisome thoughts and difficulty sleeping. Griffins's research has found that people with depression, for example, tend to have more vivid dreams than people who aren't depressed. Human givens has yet to gain international acceptance, but is widely recognized as an effective form of therapy in the UK.

What are the Human Givens? (n.d.) Human Givens Ireland. Retrieved from:

Last Update: 07-07-2015

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