HGI Logo What Doctors say about Human Givens

Human Givens (HG) in Primary Care by Dr. Frank Hargreaves MRCGP
Mental Health Lead for Liverpool South


When I refer a patient for HG therapy, virtually everyone responds quickly and in a very sustainable way. They become stronger, are able to think more clearly, are much calmer and have regained control of their lives. These new strengths are not only useful in solving their current concerns, but also in preventing future similar issues from arising therefore achieving both short and longer-term benefits.

Emotional distress can occur in anyones life (none of us are exempt) for a whole variety of reasons, and although the symptoms can be very disturbing both for the individuals concerned and those around them, most conditions can be treated using HG Techniques very quickly indeed.

At least one third of the patients I see in Primary Care have a significant mental health issue contributing to their illness, and only a small number of these will benefit from taking medication. The HG approach does not work from the same model that we GPs tend to use (the illness model), rather it works on a real-life assessment and our ability to draw from a deep well of inner resources which can be tapped into and used to restore our emotional state.

HG therapy has now become a fundamental, and often preferred, treatment for my patients with mental health issues. I have been suggesting a visit to Hugh Macnab to my patients for some time now and they consistently say how helpful, non-threatening and empowering his input has been in helping them quickly regain control of their lives.

Peoples personal lives are often much more complicated than any GP has the time to deal with effectively, whereas an HG therapist can take the time to deal with all relevant issues in a respectful and discrete way. Everyone is very much treated as an individual and even complex issues appear to respond well indeed.

I am very aware many patients believe that emotional distress and mental illness are two sides of the same coin, and also that many people believe that when they succumb to emotional distress they not only have a serious problem but they are also now likely to have recurrences throughout their lifetimes. HG therapy is proving everyday that these beliefs are absolute myths.

Human Givens (HG) in Primary Care by Dr. Mona Mahfouz MRCGP
Mental Health Lead Dudley


I have been a GP for twenty years and am one of three partners in a seven-doctor practice in Dudley, a deprived area 12 miles from Birmingham with high levels of unemployment, chronic ill health and mental illness. I have long been interested in mental illness and was one of the first to recognise the high prevalence of depression and was a high prescriber of anti-depressants. However my whole approach changed the instant I became aware of the Human Givens approach.

I first encountered HG in October 2005 and it has now entirely changed my practice. My anti-depressant prescribing has plummeted and my surgeries all run late because this approach is so effective it is better to spend twenty, thirty or even forty minutes of initial surgery time in order to really help patients quickly.

Using HG techniques I am so much more able to help my patients both with their immediate problems, while perhaps even more importantly, helping them prevent recurrence of similar problems in the future.

I am currently attempting to commission a primary care mental health team specifically trained as Human givens practitioners

Human Givens (HG) in Psychiatry by Dr Farouk Okhai
A consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy with the Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust


Recently, with great relief, I closed the file on Alison, a 37 year old woman who was referred to me early this year. She had already had four spells as a psychiatric inpatient and three and a half years of psychoanalytic psychotherapy elsewhere but, after just five sessions of the Human Givens rewind technique for quick and effective resolution of trauma, she said she needed no further help. It has now been over 6 months since I last saw her and I have been told by others that she is looking extremely well.

Alison's case is just one of many successes I have had through the use of the rewind technique and other aspects of the Human Givens approach that I learned in the course of studying for my Human Givens Practitioner Diploma. I am one of a small but fast-growing number of psychiatrists using the HG approach in daily NHS work.

The unit where I work as a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy has 35 psychiatric inpatients beds but I mainly see patients referred to me as out-patients by GPs, clinical psychologists, general psychiatrists or other members of our community mental health teams. Half of my patients are viewed as having intractable problems: often, as in the case of Alison, such patients end up receiving a variety of therapeutic help and still keep coming back, their problems no nearer being resolved. Many of them have experienced some severe trauma, which continues to haunt them and leaves them depressed, anxious or changed in their personality.

I am convinced that the rest of the patients I see do not really need the services of a psychiatrist. Professionals such as social workers, community psychiatric nurses or occupational therapists could easily help them in the normal course of their work, but they are often not confident about their psychotherapeutic skills. They would be, however, if they learned the HG approach, as many are now doing.

I quickly wove Human Givens ideas into my working style. I had been schooled in psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, cognitive analytical therapy, interpersonal therapy and group therapy, required as part of my psychiatric training in psychotherapy. The HG approach encompasses all therapy techniques that are effective, without being rigidly confined to any single model. As a result, it is efficient and satisfying. I liken it to being a plumber. Plumbers don't stick to a pre-set model: they learn all the different ways to look at a problem and do whatever is most appropriate to fix the one in front of them as quickly as they can.

Hugh Macnab - Human Givens Practitioner (Tel: 01606 79400)
Send Hugh an e-mail at hugh.macnab@googlemail.com