The principles behind the human givens approach grew out of the work of a group of psychologists and psychotherapists who were trying to bring greater clarity to the way people who become depressed, anxious, traumatized or addicted are helped, as well as making such help more reliably effective.
THE HUMAN GIVENS APPROACH is a set of organizing ideas that provides a holistic, scientific framework for understanding the way that individuals and society work. This framework encompasses the latest scientific understandings from neurobiology and psychology, as well as ancient wisdom and original new insights.
At its core is a highly empowering idea – that human beings, like all organic beings, come into this world with a set of needs. If those needs are met appropriately, it is not possible to be mentally ill. Perhaps no more powerful a statement could ever be made about the human condition: If human beings’ needs are met well enough, they won’t get depressed; they cannot have psychosis; they won’t fall into the grip of addictions. It is just not possible.
To get our physical and emotional needs met, nature has gifted us our very own internal ‘guidance program’ – this, together with our needs, makes up what we call the human ‘givens’. We come into the world with an instinctive knowledge of what we need and with a set of inner resources that can help us get our needs met, provided we use them properly and are living in a healthy environment.