Our courses

 

IntroductionWhat are the human givens?Our needsOur resources
BenefitsNew insightsHistory of the approachResearchMore informationPublications


Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFollow our blogFollow us on LinkedInFollow Human Givens on YouTube

Sign-up to the Human Givens Newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest Human Givens information, insights
and courses.

Our emotional needs

There is already widespread agreement as to the nature of our emotional and psychological needs (see below) – our core list focuses on those that are truly essential to our ongoing emotional, mental and physical health.

We also deliberately list these needs in a specific order. This is because some needs will over-ride others. For example, if our immediate security and very survival is threatened we would be very unlikely to be concerned about our status at that given moment, but when our need for security is met adequately enough, this need will also affect our emotional health.

Emotional needs include:

In terms of the history of where our knowledge about human needs comes from, there has been a distinguished cast of contributors, going right back to ancient times. More recently William James, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler explored human needs, and there was an outstanding contribution by Abraham Maslow, the pioneer of humanistic psychology, who first talked about a hierarchy of needs. [1]
It was Abraham Maslow who introduced the idea that, until basic needs are met, people can't engage with questions of meaning and spirituality – what he calls selfactualisation.

Another contributor was William Glasser, who put forward the idea that fulfilment of people's needs for control, power, achievement and intimacy depends on their ability to behave responsibly and conscientiously; he argued vehemently that mental illness springs from these needs not being met. [2] So the human givens approach belongs to no specific people, certainly not exclusively to its co-founders Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell, as Griffin states "although we may have named it; it belongs to the human species. We are just talking more precisely about what nature has gifted us, and there have been many great contributors down the millennia and the centuries, who have contributed to our understanding of the human givens.

"What we have started to do, in what has come to be called the human givens approach, is look at human needs in the light of increasing knowledge and recent discoveries that flesh them out, so that we can define them and concretise them and make them more real. We now know that having meaning and purpose, a sense of volition and control, being needed by others, having intimate connections and wider social connections, status, appropriate giving and receiving of attention etc, are crucial for health and well-being. (Attention needs weren't understood in Western psychology at all, before the contribution of Idries Shah.) So, on one side of the equation, we now have a much fuller understanding of human needs.
"And, on the other side, we have our human resources — the innate guidance system. We are learning much more about how that works and the more we understand, the more effective we will be, for sure."

References
1]. Maslow, A H (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. Viking, New York.
2]. Glasser, W (1965). Reality theory. Harper & Row, New York.
3]. Aserinsky, E and Kleitman, N (1953). Regularly occurring periods of eye mobility and concomitant phenomena during sleep. Science, 18, 273—274.

 

 

Return to top