Kevan Owen

Coherence Counselling & Psychotherapy
The Bell Surgery, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8AU
& Trinity House Practice, 150 Cumberland Street, Macclesfield, SK10 1BP.
and on-line. Tel:07717 289373

Working with Human Givens

Human Givens Therapy is a form of Brief Solution-Oriented Counselling and Psychotherapy focusing on the human needs and resources that form the basis of emotional health and clear thinking. At its heart is the recognition that emotional health is dependent upon the ability to meet basic emotional needs which act as nutrition for the mind.


Originally developed by psychologist Joe Griffin and psychotherapist Ivan Tyrrell in the 1990's, the Human Givens Approach has a well-documented evidence base. The Human Givens Institute Register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.


The Human Givens approach to counselling emphasis the importance of the therapist - client relationship and of identifying clear therapeutic objectives which can then be addressed pragmatically. It combines psychological knowledge with proven therapeutic techniques to relieve emotional distress quickly. It also utilities relaxation and guided imagery.


It was over ten years ago in 2007 that I began to use these principles in my private therapy practice in Chorlton, having in the previous three years undertaken the rigorous training and completed the Human Givens Diploma. The knowledge and experience gained has been invaluable. Combining sound psychological principles with proven therapeutic techniques the Human Givens approach relieves emotional distress quickly.


This approach focuses on basic human needs and highlights the innate resources we can make use of to meet those needs. The extent to which we can use our resources is a good measure of how well we are mentally as well as physically.

Our basic needs include:

  • Adequate nutrition, air, water and shelter from the elements
  • Safety and security
  • Emotional connection
  • Fun, friendship and intimacy
  • A sense of belonging to a wider community
  • A measure of control and autonomy
  • Attention (to give and receive)
  • Status in life (which comes from having stretched ourselves and achieved things)
  • Meaning and purpose

In addition to these basic needs we have an inner guidance system that allows us to obtain these needs from our environment. This is human "tool kit" includes:

  • Imagination
  • Memory
  • Rationality
  • The ability to dream
  • The ability to use metaphor
  • An Observing Self or centre of awareness

Together these needs and resources make up what we call the "Human Givens". As long as these are present and in balance we will be well. Problems arise whenever one or more of these are lacking for some reason.

The most effective types of therapy are those that take this into account and help the client to utilise those wonderful resources to get needs met in balance.


How well are your emotional needs being met?

Take part in the Emotional Needs Audit by clicking the link below:-

Contact details

For Human Givens therapy in the Manchester area feel free to ring up for an informal chat to find out how I can work with you to resolve your particular issue.

Kevan Owen DHypPsych(UK), GQHP, HGdip.P, GHGI

Mobile 07717 289373.

The Bell Surgery, 453 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8AU. Map.

& Trinity House Practice, 150 Cumberland Street, Macclesfield, SK10 1BP.  

Send me an email