Personal Review of “Human Givens” (Joe Griffin, Ivan Tyrrell)

Having just finished this book, I’m making a quick post about it, as much for my own reference as anything.

(1) The human need for “inclusion” or “attention” is profound and omnipresent. (~p115)

It’s better to be the pantomime villain, the political radical, the disruptive student, the class fool, or (to use an example from Milton Erickson) the inconsolable melancholy relative – all of these are better than being ignored, forgotten. In the ancestral stone age, social exclusion meant death. (And a lot of the social, political, and religious views of people – specifically, the views where the person has no personal expertise or direct interest – these get imported from whomever is paying attention to them.)

(2) The “autistic spectrum” is more usefully thought of as “Caetextia” – context blindness. (~p218)

  • Asperger’s is a type of this
  • left- and right- brained caetextia have different symptoms
  • right-brain caetextia is often co-morbid with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, 

(3) Three vital principles: (p242)

  • The brain is primarily a pattern matching process.
  • Emotion comes before thought – all perceptions and all thoughts are ‘tagged’ with emotion. (Emotion is what prioritises a course of action or thought.)
  • The higher the emotional arousal, the more primitive the emotional/mental pattern that is engaged. 

(4) The RIGAAR model for effective therapy: (p307)

  • Build rapport
  • gather information
  • set goals
  • access resources (e.g. ‘remember that time they were confident’, to get the ‘confidence’ resource, etc)
  • agree  strategy with the client
  • rehearse success

(5) The Rewind technique (p336)

  • EMDR, EFT, and the Rewind technique may all have the same underlying mechanism. (p335)