Saturday, May 29, 2010

Welcome to our May e-newsletter...

In this issue:

The Arab Journal of Psychiatry features major article on human givens psychotherapy
Canadian government interest in the Human Givens Charter

How one HG therapist triumphed over adversity and got to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Major article on HG in the Arab Journal of Psychiatry

The latest edition of The Arab Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 21, No. 1, May 2010) features an extensive article on human givens psychotherapy. Written by the HGI's chairman, Dr Farouk Okhai, the article gives a wonderfully clear and useful overview of the approach and the benefits and new insights it brings to the field of psychotherapy.
As the abstract says: "There is a profusion of psychotherapy models, most of them formulated in the west, confusing both those seeking and those striving to give help. The human givens approach seeks to integrate the effective ingredients of all therapies using as its organising idea what human beings need in order to live healthy lives. As such it will have a universal appeal, in keeping with the increasing recognition that individuals and societies have much more in common than their relatively superficial cultural differences would indicate."
The article is well worth reading, click here to download a PDF version.


Canadian MP's interest in the Human Givens Charter

A big thank you to everyone who forwarded the link to the new HG Charter website to people of influence that they knew. It is already causing a stir and has been picked up by civil servants and MPs in a number of countries.
In Canada, Carolyn Bennett MP was inspired after a presentation about the human givens by Aubrey Davis,
a supporter of our work, to read the Charter. She then shared it with thoughtful colleagues and has invited their comments as a
first step....
So, please don't stop sending the link around - - ideas always take time to percolate!


HG therapist meets Desmond Tutu through her work with the Forgiveness Project
In 1991 Sue Hanisch was caught up in an IRA bombing at Victoria Station, London, England. 40 people were injured that day and Sue lost her right leg and suffered severe permanent injuries to her left foot, as well as to her right hand.
"It was only nine years later", she says, "that I got any relief from the intense trauma following a session of human givens therapy which included the rewind technique. Previously I had received hours and hours of person-centred counselling which had only made matters worse. We would go over and over what had happened to me….we would try to normalise my belief system and try to reframe all my experiences….but still I felt even more hopeless about any permanent relief. Thankfully, in the technique used by the human givens approach, the traumatic memories from the bombing and all the negative body-image/self-worth issues were effectively de-traumatised and I was able to stand back at last and see the bigger picture of my life and its meaning."
Sue qualified herself as a human givens therapist and is now working hard with others who have suffered from often intensely traumatic experiences. For many years she has also been involved with The Forgiveness Project, an organisation which works at a local, national and international level to help build a future free of conflict and violence by healing the wounds of the past. By collecting and sharing people’s stories, and delivering outreach programmes, the project aims to encourage and empower people to explore the nature of forgiveness and alternatives to revenge.
"The human givens approach has helped me greatly and is very pertinent
to the work I do now. (I particularly remember Ivan Tyrrell saying on the Diploma course that 'None of us can choose the bed we are born into',
which has helped me to hear the other side to the story and not judge
others' actions, and Pat Williams saying 'We can either live in the past or
in the present, but not both at the same time'.)
"Studying the human givens approach gave me the opportunity to challenge many of my 'tyranical' and limited beliefs, my projections, my judgements about 'right' and 'wrong'. It also gave me the opportunity to look at blaming behaviour and victimhood behaviour, and provided the right conditions to get excited about my life again and get excited about making changes and taking lots of responsibility for my actions. A state which I now relish and my life now serves me very well, and has lead me in unbelievable directions and provided me with incredible opportunities, which were bigger and greater than any of my original dreams."
It was through her work with The Forgiveness Project that Sue recently met its patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was in London on 12th May to give the inaugral lecture, 'Is violence ever justified?', of the Project's lecture series. (Featured in the above photo with Sue, who is standing just to Archbishop Tutu's left, is Mary K Blwett from Rwanda who lost 50 members of her family in the genocide there.)
"The Archbishop was a lovely man to meet, and very funny, but this hasn't been the only wonderful opportunity that has happened to me since I was injured all those years ago. Working within the Forgiveness Project I speak in prisons, travel and meet people from all cultures. Last year I was also invited to join The Sustainable Peace project in Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland and South Africa, during which time I travelled widely with 15 other people from both sides of the Irish conflict, many of whom had been released from The Maze (Long Kesh) as a result of the Good Friday Agreement.
"Exploring the idea of forgiveness is a huge ongoing task which gives me
so much scope to grow and learn from others as well as myself. Sharing my ideas regarding survivors' guilt has also been very important.... it's not often addressed ... and usually only by women."
Click here to read more of what Sue's been up to recently.
Read Sue's story in full on The Forgiveness Project's website.


One last thought...

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We hope you've enjoyed this latest newsletter. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think would be interested to learn about the human givens approach.

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With best wishes from all of us at the HGI.

Jane Tyrrell
Human Givens Institute

Further information:
Useful publications:
Courses and
Talk about the human givens:
Website about depression:

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