Human Givens is based on understanding the behavior of humans. This theory presents a unique and innovative way in which we look at mental health and behavior patterns, and it is being widely used in the fields of psychology as well as politics, education, law, business, parenting, and any other area that necessitates the ability to extract the most out of human resources. It was developed by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell.
The theory of Human Givens is founded on the belief that every human has certain resources, such as skills, creativity, and money. Additionally, each person has specific needs, such as recognition, purpose, shelter, and food. When the resources people possess are being used properly and all of their needs are being met, people achieve a fulfilled and balanced life. This theory suggests that it is only at times that these needs and resources are lacking that people fall victim to symptoms of addictions and other disorders such as depression. The goal of this method of therapy is to identify and clear any obstacles that are preventing the realization of these needs. The theory states that there are several core needs that each of strives to have fulfilled, including a feeling of safety to grow and flourish, psychological and emotional attention, autonomy and responsibility, connectedness to the world around us, significance in a social context, unconditional acceptance, and intimacy. People also have an innate need to possess a feeling of achievement and adequacy, maintain an element of privacy, and identify and pursue their true life purpose.
The fulfillment theory of dreaming has often been linked to the Human Givens method. This theory suggests that people dream to release the feelings of frustration over unmet needs from the previous day. In addition, several other experts have used Human Givens for the treatment of therapy by focusing on this blended vision. These clinicians believe that people who suffer from depression are exposed to more intense dream states that cause them to receive less than restful sleep episodes, therefore increasing fatigue and demotivation. Human Givens has been used to help people who suffer from phobias, anxiety or distress, or who are unable to cope with specific traumas, relationship problems, or other disorders.
According to the founders of the Human Givens approach, Drs. Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrell, their theories are founded in decades of scientific evidence. Because they claim that Human Givens integrates the most effective techniques from various existing psychotherapies and applies them in a way that brings fulfillment to an individual’s core needs, or givens, the lack of empirical evidence supporting Human Givens by itself is irrelevant. However, critics of Human Givens believe that clinical studies and scientific data supporting the singular method of Human Givens are necessary to validate the technique. Additionally, many in the mental health community are skeptical because they believe Human Givens rejects some of the traditional aspects of therapy, such as supervision. In sum, the critics are concerned that Human Givens is merely an unsubstantiated therapeutic approach that offers the client merely an illusion of authenticity.