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Human Givens

“It has become obvious that something is not right. But what? To answer these rather big questions, we need to go back to what it means to be human”.

Julia Welstead

The human givens approach comes from the understanding that, when essential emotional needs are met and our innate mental resources are used correctly, a human being will be emotionally and mentally healthy. Essential psychological needs include needs for autonomy, sense of control, security, connection, attention, achievement, status and meaning. Innate resources include our abilities to learn from experience, plan, judge, imagine, relate one thing to another, empathise, develop a moral sense, remember, etc. It is when emotional needs are not adequately met, or are met in unhealthy ways, or when innate resources are damaged for some reason, or are unintentionally misused, that undesirable mental states such as anxiety, anger, depression, addiction and psychosis develop. The Human Givens approach is a set of organising ideas that provides a framework for understanding the way that individuals and society work. At its core is the idea, that human beings, like all organic beings, come into this world with a set of needs. If those needs are met appropriately, we will be well. To meet our physical and emotional needs, nature has gifted us our very own internal ‘guidance programme’ which, together with our needs, makes up what we call the human givens.

Human Givens can help with issues such as: anxiety, depression, anger, addiction, relationship difficulties, and to improve coping skills.