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Confessions of a Believer
September 03, 2012

Be warned – I am getting a little heavy this week and theoretical. I am introducing ideas that I have been pondering about for some time. They will be developed in future Newsletters.

Many of you will know the central organising idea of Human Givens – that emotionally healthy individuals are those who are using their resources and capacities well enough to be getting their essential emotional needs well met. And that most emotional problems can be identified as arising from a life where needs are not being well met and our (mainly emotional) resources are not working well enough.

This is drummed into us on our Human Givens training and my experience with my clients and indeed myself has absolutely convinced me that this is a brilliant and grounded way to understand emotional problems and so begin to resolve them.

But and there is a but – beyond that what we are taught has always struck me as a little weak. For we go on to learn of nine essential needs – safety, control, privacy, intimacy, community, attention, status, achievement and meaning. And that a deficiency in one can be enough to impact on all. We are told that these nine needs are all equally important – that there is no hierarchy of needs (as Maslow argued).

But actually, this is not case in my opinion.

This is how I would state it.

Feeling safe is the first call. Without that, all bets are off. And after that, our emotional health is directly related to our sense of autonomy and control. We have to find the freedom to take decisive action in the work we do and the relationships we co-create. And thereby being able to take responsibility for the consequences of that action.

As I said, this maybe a bit heavy for a Monday morning, but I promise that in future newsletters, all will become clear.

best wishes

Andrew Richardson
Feelbetter Counselling East London

94 Malford Grove, London E18 2DQ

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg

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