A Case Study

A young woman, who was a university student, was very unhappy with the course she had chosen and her relationship with a young man broke down. She fell into a severe depression. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and stayed there for several months. She was prescribed powerful antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs and was told she was suffering with Bi-polar disorder. When she realized she was not getting any better, and she was feeling like a zombie most of the time, she discharged herself from the hospital and took herself off the medication. However, she was still severely depressed.

She withdrew from life, living at home with her parents. She kept herself in her room all day, refused to talk to her parents or to see her friends. Eventually her mother persuaded her to go and see Joe Griffen, one of the founder members of the Human Givens approach.


She was so depressed she couldn’t even talk to him during the session. Her mother told Joe what a wonderful person she was and what she had achieved in life and what had happened to her since she became depressed. Joe acknowledged how she was feeling and asked her if she would like him to help her get her life back on track without her even having to talk about it. She nodded.


He asked her to close her eyes and talked her into a deeply relaxed state and got her to imagine being somewhere nice in her mind; this brought down her arousal levels. He then helped her to recall the wonderful achievements in her life and to remember what a wonderful person she was. He then got her to imagine a much better life where she would be re-energised; sleeping and eating properly: where she could say “No” to negative thinking and where she would be re-engaged in life.


Within three sessions of counselling, re-enforcing this viewpoint the young woman completely clicked out of her depression. She took up a job working in a shop, saved a large sum of money, reviewed her academic performance and decided that in time she would switch to a different course. In the meantime she decided to take an extended holiday touring the world.

She got her life back without any further medication and is completely re-invigorated and absorbed in life again.

'Change may be easier than you think'