Human Givens

I went to a talk recently where a lady from Mind came to tell us about what Mind do and a bit about mental health. She talked about a school of thought called Human Givens. Has anyone come across it and tried out any of the therapies or its concepts for managing mental health.

This lead me to look at the caetextia concept which seems far fetched to me.

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  • I've read a bit by Human Givens proponents including Joe Griffin. The basic idea of having universal human needs seems to focus on correct areas for positive change (there's a bit of this in Carl Rogers and person-centred counselling too), but for autistic people the needs may be different or differently balanced. The important thing is for people around you to understand that those needs exist (for company, appreciation, purpose and so on as well as more basic things like peace and quiet). That's fundamental to empathy. Where I think many autistic people develop problems is in recognising those needs in themselves - that's partly down to social context, but maybe also to a missing internal sense ('interoception' or similar). We don't treat ourselves well and find it hard to ask for what we need.

    Human Givens seems more humane than therapeutic approaches (such as the unmitigated donkey cack of neo-Freudian therapy), but the evidence for the importance of dream healing, which HG emphasises, is so far as I know just not there.  I might check out anyway.

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