Discover why understanding depression is key to recovery

Special Price: £59
for unlimited access

This exciting new event brings together highly experienced psychotherapists and experts who are keen to share their extensive knowledge and experience with you. Depression blights millions of lives worldwide – even more so as we struggle with the heightened anxiety and havoc caused by Covid-19 – but the good news is that, unlike the pandemic, most depression can usually be lifted quickly and effectively, in any circumstances. Drawing on real life examples and the latest neuroscience, the speakers look at depression from a variety of angles – view programme.
Brought to you by the Human Givens Institute, this absorbing one-day conference provides excellent CPD for welfare and mental health professionals and invaluable information for anyone interested in depression for personal reasons. Our expert speakers will demonstrate how it is possible to help most people overcome depression often surprisingly quickly, answer your questions about depression and signpost you to where you can find help or learn the methods covered. The day also gives you important information about antidepressants, young people’s mental health, depression at work (including remote working due to Covid-19), building resilience, preventing people from becoming depressed – and the latest neuroscientific perspectives on serotonin and inflammation in relation to depression.  Learn more You will leave the event with life-changing insights and empowering information that will help you lift depression in yourself and others…

Special Price: £59

for unlimited access

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The Speakers

Click on each picture to find out more about our speakers.

The good news is that most cases of depression can be lifted quickly and effectively – without drugs.


Welcome and introduction to the day

1st Session

Including live Q&A

Ivan Tyrrell
Ivan Tyrrell

The truth about depression

All too commonly people think depression is an illness, perhaps even an inescapable inherited one. It is not. When people’s lives are not working for them because essential emotional needs are unmet, leading to escalating worry, that is when depression can set in. Ivan Tyrrell introduces the powerful human givens understandings about depression, showing what can embed it more deeply – and what can lift it, enabling depressed people to regain control over, and joy in, their lives. He explores the many kinds of difficulties people may face which can induce depressed states and how the ‘worry load’ inflicted on populations by lockdown and heightened fears over covid-19 have exacerbated mental suffering. He also explains why dreaming is pronounced in depression, leading to exhaustion and loss of motivation which keeps the cycle of depression going, and why meaning in life is key to a healthy mind and body. The human givens model for structuring an effective therapy session, as he shows, is what sets the ground for hope.
2nd Session

Including live Q&A

Ezra Hewing
Ezra Hewing

The biology of depression

It is increasingly recognised that scientists reached premature conclusions about the biological underpinnings of depression. Unfortunately, this hasn’t trickled down to most mental health professionals, including psychiatrists and general practitioners, and so, on mistaken premises, so-called antidepressant drugs continue to be promoted as the solution to depression and prescribed widely to sufferers from this condition. Meanwhile, ‘inflammation’ has become the latest buzzword for explaining depression, with the search on to find drugs that can reverse it. However, this may lead down a blind alley, too. Ezra Hewing explains how all the wrong thinking has come about, describes the current state of scientific knowledge and shows how latest scientific understandings fit entirely with the human givens explanation for depression and how to lift it.

3rd Session

Including live Q&A

Fiona Sheldon

Lifting depression quickly

Highly experienced human givens practitioner Fiona Sheldon has helped innumerable people overcome depression, using the skills, techniques and understandings integral to this empowering approach. She has worked over the years with a wide variety of clients, including older people, children, mothers experiencing postnatal depression and people who have been suicidal, as well as paramedics and military deeply depressed and traumatised as a result horrific circumstances they have had to deal with in their work. In this inspirational talk she tells the stories of a number of people she has worked with, sharing the skills with which she helped them to get their lives back and move forward again with confidence and hope.

4th Session

Including live Q&A

Marion Brown

Antidepressants: what people need to know

Marion Brown outlines important information that anyone thinking of starting, or prescribing, an antidepressant needs to consider and, for those already taking them, ways to recognise what may be unrealised, unwanted antidepressant effects. Because of misunderstandings to date about how antidepressants affect whole body systems, many people have found themselves unable to stop taking these drugs, even when they would have liked to do so. The 2019 Public Health England review of prescribed medicines recognised that antidepressants do cause physiological adaptations and dependence, so that ‘coming off’ is, for many people, quite a tricky process requiring a careful approach and knowledgeable support.  For people who have benefited and been well on antidepressants for many years, ‘staying on’ may indeed be the best option. Marion shares the latest findings with a view to helping people acquire a better understanding of what they can do to inform and optimise their own choices.

5th Session

Including live Q&A

Jo Baker
Jo Baker

Learning to be resilient

Preparing for university always involves a degree of uncertainty but even more so in this past year, with covid-19 taking its toll. There are 2.4 million students studying in UK universities alone, very many of whom, under normal circumstances, experience academic, social and financial pressures, with around a third reporting clinical levels of psychological distress. The pandemic has exacerbated this, across the globe, with many feeling increasingly lonely and isolated, experiencing understandable health concerns and struggling to work in unsuitable conditions. In this talk, human givens practitioner Jo Baker, expert in working with students, shares what she has learned about the diverse challenges they face and describes how she has helped many cope in circumstances which, for some, have triggered a downward spiral into dangerous depression.

6th Session

Including live Q&A

Joe Griffin
Joe Griffin

Depression in the workplace: treatment – and prevention

Joe Griffin has a wealth of experience in working with organisations to help them function in a way that meets employees’ emotional needs, which inevitably leads to increased motivation and productivity as well. He will focus in this talk on depression at work (including the impact of working remotely because of covid-19); describe his work with employees suffering from depression; and demonstrate how he has helped initially sceptical business leaders and managers turn around their organisations to create environments where individual and group emotional needs are routinely addressed and healthily met. Finally, Joe will teach a new powerful three-step process which can help us as individuals resolve conflicts, negotiate more effectively and problem solve more creatively, thereby helping to create a healthy work environment that prevents depression.

Closing remarks. Day ends

We hope you enjoy viewing this absorbing 1-day online conference – you will leave the event with life-changing insights and empowering information that will help you lift depression in yourself and others…

Special Price: £59

for unlimited access

Messages from our speakers

What people say

About the human givens approach

The human givens approach to psychotherapy works from the crucial understanding that mental ill health occurs when essential emotional needs are not being met and/or innate resources to help us meet them are being used wrongly. (These needs and resources together make up our human ‘givens’.) It is a powerful approach that focuses not on what’s wrong with people but on what is not working in people’s lives, and that is what it addresses.

The approach is growing hugely in popularity in the UK and beyond because it is repeatedly found to be fast, effective and reliable. Studies have shown extremely high success percentages, including recovery or reliable improvement in three out of four people.1, 2, 3, 4

Clients find it respectful and empowering – it gives them clear explanations about the causes of mental ill health and troubling behaviour patterns, essential knowledge for establishing and maintaining wellbeing, and specific tools to help them cope with any future setbacks in their lives without sinking back into depression, anxiety or addictive behaviours.

Increasingly, organisations seek the assistance of human givens practitioners when staff are off work with mental ill-health, because speedy recovery is in everyone’s interests – and saves organisations money, too. The approach is also influencing fields as diverse as parenting, politics, education, work, law and communication – indeed, it has a role in any setting where there is a will to understand and nurture people and make best use of valuable human resources.

  1. Andrews, W P, Twigg, E, Minami, T and Johnson, G (2011). Piloting a practice research network: a 12-month evaluation of the human givens approach in primary care at a general medical practice. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 84, 3, 389–405.
  2. Andrews, W P, Wislocki, A P, Short, F, Chow, D and Minami, T (2013). A 5-year evaluation of human givens therapy using a practice research network. Mental Health Review Journal, 18, 3, 165–76.
  3. Tsaroucha, A, l Kingston, P, Stewart, T, Walton, I and Corp, N (2012). Assessing the effectiveness of the human givens approach in treating depression: a quasi experimental study in primary care. Mental Health Review Journal, 17, 2, 90–103.
  4. Tsaroucha, A, Kingston, P, Corp, N, Stewart, T and Walton, I (2012). The Emotional Needs Audit (ENA): a report on its reliability and validity. Mental Health Review Journal, 17, 2, 81–9.


If you can’t find the answer to your question below – please email us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.

Sales are processed through HG College’s Online Courses Portal. You will receive an email confirming your purchase which will include the details you need to access the replay. The replay is accessed via the HG College Online Courses Portal.

You will get unlimited access to the replay so you can watch all the presentations in your own time. You can also revisit any of the content whenever you wish. 

Yes, you will get to see all of the talks and the Q&A sessions with the speakers.

Yes, as well as the films of all the talks and Q&A sessions, there are some useful links and copies of slides relating to some of the talks.

If you are a professional working with people with depression and are keen to be able to offer better, swifter help, you will gain invaluable insights and practical guidance by attending.

The event also includes a wealth of useful information for anyone who has suffered from depression and wants to learn how to stop it happening, or for you if you have a loved one or friend with depression and you want to learn more about what’s causing their distress and be able to direct them towards the most effective treatment.

This online event is a unique opportunity for you to benefit from the considerable experience of our speakers and to put questions to them.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling right now, please visit our register of human givens therapists to find your nearest one:  

Special Price: £59

for unlimited access

Ivan Tyrrell worked for many years as a psychotherapist (specialising in brief therapy for depression and anxiety) and now spends most of his time lecturing and writing.

As a director of Human Givens College, editorial director of the Human Givens Journal, and board member of the Human Givens Institute, his influence in (and knowledge of) the field of psychotherapy and counselling is considerable.

In 1992 he and a group of psychologists and psychotherapists established the European Therapy Studies Institute (ETSI), whose aim was to discover why some psychotherapy approaches appeared to work and others didn’t. ETSI quickly gained several hundred members from a wide variety of professions whose support enabled them to publish a journal, The Therapist, the forerunner of the Human Givens journal.

The human givens approach to psychotherapy and psychology developed out of the work and research of this group as they endeavoured to bring greater clarity to the way people who become depressed, anxious, traumatised or addicted are helped, as well as making such help more reliably effective.

Ivan is also co-author with Joe Griffin of numerous, influential books and publications.

He is a founder member of The Conciliators Guild.

Ezra Hewing

Ezra Hewing

Head of Mental Health Education, Suffolk Mind

Ezra Hewing is an HG practitioner and head of mental health education at Suffolk Mind. Over a number of years, he has trained frontline mental health workers, doctors, nurses, substance abuse workers, members of the emergency services and heads of organisations, amongst others, in how best to understand and help people handle diverse mental health concerns. He holds an MSc in the psychology and neuroscience of mental health from the internationally renowned Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College, London, through which he carried out research resulting in an explanatory model for the causes of the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Joe Griffin

Joe Griffin

Co-founder of the human givens approach

Joe Griffin is a psychologist with many years’ experience both in psychotherapeutic practice and in training psychotherapists. His influence on psychotherapy has been enormous among those who value effectiveness above all. Over the last two decades, as co-developer of the human givens approach to psychology and behaviour, thousands of health professionals have enjoyed his practical workshops and seminars on brief therapy for treating anxiety related disorders, depression, trauma and addiction. Many of these can be watched online.

Since it is widely recognised that much mental distress comes from work related stress he is increasingly in demand by businesses to help them run more effectively by taking account of the innate needs of customers, employees, suppliers, owners and shareholders.

For many years the educational director of the Human Givens College, he is at the leading edge of skills-based therapy research and practice. He is widely recognised as one of the most informed and entertaining speakers on human behaviour and is also co-author, with Ivan Tyrrell, of numerous books and publications.

Marion Brown

Marion Brown

Campaigner and retired HG practitioner

Marion Brown worked as a HG practitioner in Helensburgh, West Scotland, from 2010 until her retirement in 2018. During that time Marion was surprised to learn how many of her clients had been prescribed antidepressants as the first line of treatment for depression and the difficult experiences a significant number had with them, both while taking them and after stopping. This led her to co-found a local support group called Recovery & Renewal, which also became involved in lobbying government and the health service, and contributing to evidence that the newly formed Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry was gathering about unrecognised withdrawal effects of certain prescription drugs. Determined to bring these effects to the attention of both the public and professionals, Marion has published widely, including a co-authored paper in a medical journal,1 and letters published in medical journals and mainstream media. In September 2020, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK finally acknowledged that withdrawal effects of antidepressants can be more wide ranging and long lasting than previously recognised, and amended their guidance accordingly.2

Marion continues to campaign for better understanding of how antidepressants can affect both body and mind and to work with others to share insights and resources to help clients and therapists manage any difficulties that may arise as a result of medications very commonly prescribed for depression.

  1. Guy, A, Brown, M and Lewis, S (2020). The ‘patient voice’: patients who experience antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are often dismissed, or misdiagnosed with relapse, or a new medical condition. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology,
  2. Royal College of Psychiatrists (2020). Stopping antidepressants.
Jo Baker

Jo Baker

HG College tutor and HG practitioner

After a successful career in business, Jo Baker qualified as a HG practitioner in 2011 and set up a private practice. Since 2015, she has worked as a therapist within the University of Derby’s psychological wellbeing service, where she helps students with a wide range of mental health concerns. She also co-ordinates the university’s nationally recognised psychoeducation team, whose workshops are delivered across its academic programmes. In addition, Jo is part of the team that develops and delivers bespoke mental health training relevant to staff roles, as part of the university’s whole university approach’ to mental health.

Jo has delivered training in many other sectors as well, including aviation, design, distribution, education, healthcare and retail, and is a tutor for Human Givens College.

Fiona Sheldon

Fiona Sheldon

HG practitioner

Fiona Sheldon has worked in a wide range of health, social care and community settings for 40 years, first as an occupational therapist in a range of specialties, including 12 years in palliative care for the terminally ill, their carers and families, and from 2011 as an HG practitioner in private practice.

She is skilled in treating anxiety and depression, and has successfully worked with trauma in a diverse range of clients, including children, new mothers, paramedics and (for the charity PTSD Resolution) ex-military, reservists and their families. She also provided psychotherapy for an NHS county-wide weight management service for five years, enabling many anxious and depressed patients seeking bariatric surgery to recognise that emotional needs unmet in their lives lay at the root of their difficulties with eating. Very many have gone on to turn their lives around without surgery.

For the last 18 years, Fiona has also used her occupational therapy and psychotherapy skills in a voluntary capacity in the Middle East and Africa. Latterly she has taught trauma awareness and the building of health and resilience in Sudanese refugees, organising training to enable them to de-traumatise the children in their communities in the bush and in camps in Uganda.