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on 29 March 2017
Helpful text for anyone working with a strengths based approach, I might have seen this as not very 'academic' if I had read a few years ago, it makes more sense now and helps to reinforce positive work
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on 20 May 2017
This is my Hypnotherapy Bible :) So many good insights into how we work on conscious and unconscious levels.
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on 28 June 2017
interesting book
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on 20 April 2017
Excellent book. Just what I was looking for
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on 27 January 2011
I was recommended 'Human Givens' by a friend who works as an HG therapist, thinking I would find it of interest and I have to say...he was right! From the opening chapter, I can honestly say that I have found it to be one of the most informative and interesting books that I have ever read. I am recommending it to friends and family as a result, and believe that it's a book that has something to offer everybody, professionals within the field of health care and non.

Having studied Mental Health and worked in the field in the late '80's, before leaving the UK, I can only say that I'm sorry not to have had lecturers as inspired and inspiring as Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell during my college years!!

Although a very 'readable' book, there's so much information that I have been reading it in 'bite-sized pieces', and will be re-reading it without doubt. Some of the theories and ideas presented may seem, at first impression, revolutionary, even 'wacky', but intuitively, I feel that the authors may indeed be 'onto something', and feel fortunate that they are making their 'view' so accessible. The topic of sleep has never been so captivating!

Each chapter is encouraging, giving case histories of individuals with a range of Mental Health issues who have experienced positive outcomes thanks to the HG approach. It does not claim
that the HG approach will work effectively for everyone but it does offer, undoubtedly, another tool with which to improve one's state of being (whether troubled by mental health issues or not).
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on 8 April 2013
I did find this an enjoyable book to read. However it did seem a strange mix. Clearly a lot of the ideas put forward are very helpful in understanding and explaining a lot of human behaviour, such as the notion of templates and how they are embedded in the emotional depository of the brain. Also, how the pattern matching can at times become somewhat faulty or destructive with an inapproriate pattern match. The APET is a useful model, although I do not think it is that removed from the CBT model, the basis premise being that emotion and thought are connected.I did get annoyed at the dismissal of the Selfish Gene- which is not all about walking over everybody else. Being altruistic, kind, cooperative etc can help a gene to survive!

Sadly though some aspects of the book seem bizarre- such as the theory of autism (people stuck with the brains of a haddock?!) And the whole theory of relatons which seems like something out of Dr Who. But it seems the authors are on some sort of socio-political quest- which in itself is not a bad thing but wrapping it up in pseudo science is uncomfortable and detracts from the message.

The difficulty with a lot of this is that it cannot be proven-or disproven. What goes on in our heads at night is likely to always remain a mystery. It may well be that sleep allows us to reprogramme and process the previous day's pattern matching but I have no idea how you could prove that. You might as well say that that sleep and REM are times when God is communicating with us(with help from the Spiritons)- and if we don't do that, we die... Try disproving that.

As with any new psychological theory, there are always examples given of how when applied, cures are obtained. Obviously, these are never tested in a double blind situation. We get a clinical trial of 1. And as we know true double blind experiments are so difficult to set up in this field. I am not suggesting that the authors are snake oil salesmen (and they clearly believe in their product)but their enthusiasm will affect the outcome in their patients.

But there does seem to be something valuable in this. It may well be that in terms of pyschotherapy we do need to consider better ways of re-programming destructive behaviour/ emotional responses. But that gets a bit scary. The book does allude to where templates have been noxiously manipulated on a national scale. However, perhaps we should consider just individual emotional distress and how it can be relieved by the techniques described in the book.

From an obvious subjective viewpoint, the key things I have taken in in that we are sometimes disabled by emotional reactions firing up inappropriately (templates).
If that template is to be changed then the brain needs to be reprogrammed-i.e what once was a threat is no longer seen as a threat.
There may be different ways of doing this-e.g cognitive reframing / hypnosis.
Reprogramming is only likely to happen in a relaxed state. If emotions are running high then the logical, sensible part of the brain doesnt get much of a look in.
There needs to be some good quality research done. I would imagine that a lot of psychotherapists/psychololgists might be quaking in their financial boots if it really is the case that a good proportion of their patients can be sorted with a one hour relaxation/hypnosis session.
Something I do connect with in the book is the aspect of emotional needs. Always difficult to define individually but clearly there are consequences if our emotional needs are not met. We can to some degree define our physical needs (eg minimum daily requirements for vitamins!) but it is much more difficult to quantify emotional needs. How do we measure attachment, attention, self esteem, fun...? But if these are absent, emotions and behaviour are negatively affected.

One of the best things about the book though was that it made me think!
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on 20 November 2016
Very interesting book on it's subject
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on 10 January 2010
I recommend this book if you want to improve the quality of your life and the lives of those you engage with both personally and professionally.

I came to it not as a professional but as a graduate with a business background, who has personally experienced ineffective psychodynamic counselling, and the book has engaged my interest to such an extent that I now want to attend some of the authors' seminars, to further my understanding of their holistic strategies for coping with a whole range of life's ever increasing mental problems, from stress to depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Human Givens counselling approach provides sufferers with positive help on their very first session and is generally successful in weeks (or months) rather than years. Of particular interest is their rewind technique for people suffering from PTSD and the empirical study proving how powerfully effective it is: and Human Givens and Education could prove revolutionary within the classroom and has the potential to greatly improve the working lives of the teachers and subsequently provide a much better standard of education for the future generation.
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on 12 July 2013
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on 30 July 2011
i first about human givens at a mental health workshop and after some research decided to give this book a go thank heavens i did.
the book as given me a new perspective on dealing with my own depression which is benefiting me as i write if you've an open mind i suggest you read this great book
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