DDN_April_2024 DDN April 2024 | Page 15

Statue 1101 , affectionally known as ‘ Tommy ’, in Seaham , County Durham , stands over nine feet tall and was created by artist Ray Lonsdale in 2014 . As well as referring to the first minute of peace as the armistice came into force at 11am on 11 November 1918 , Lonsdale also intended the sculpture to represent post-traumatic stress disorder , which many returning soldiers endure .
substances or behaviours to numb their pain or gain a semblance of control in their turbulent lives .
‘ The therapy doesn ’ t merely focus on the addiction itself but addresses the root causes by ensuring that the individual ’ s emotional needs are met in balanced and healthy ways ,’ says Hanson . ‘ It emphasises the importance of security , attention , emotional connection , and a sense of achievement among other needs . By fulfilling them properly , the reliance on addictive substances or behaviours diminishes ,’
Human givens therapy equips individuals with the resources to rebuild their lives . These include the ability to develop memory , build rapport , employ imagination constructively , and harness the power of their emotions and instincts in a positive way . The therapy sessions aim to empower individuals to find fulfilment and meaning in life beyond their addiction , using their innate capacities to heal and grow .


Jake is a veteran of Afghanistan who completed the PTSD Resolution therapy programme
‘ I was in a dark place , drinking , drugs , not answering the phone or door . I had been treated for PTSD at a clinic , but it didn ’ t work . I was an addict . I was violent to my wife . I was suicidal . I went to PTSD Resolution . After the third session , I felt more positive straight away . A few sessions in I started seeing a big difference .
‘ So did my mum . She said I was much calmer , and I drove on the motorway – in the rain – for the first time without having a panic attack . I got a job on a building site , only temporary but better than nothing . And I got a girlfriend . I was smoking less too , slowly . Coming off weed after years is hard . The best thing I learned in therapy was this technique that stops you from spiralling out . Turns out I needed it .’
Bumbleedee / Dreamstime
The human givens approach recognises the past and sets positive , achievable goals , activates innate resources , and rehearses successful outcomes .
Human givens therapy is based on the premise that addiction – whether to substances like alcohol and drugs or behaviours such as gambling – is often an unhealthy coping mechanism for underlying emotional distress . This can frequently be traced back to trauma , with affected veterans turning to addictive
STRONG STRUCTURE Central to the human givens approach is the premise that therapy should swiftly move individuals from a state of distress to one of empowerment and autonomy . The therapeutic journey begins with establishing a strong rapport between the therapist and the client , ensuring a safe and trusting environment , says Hanson . ‘ This foundation enables effective information gathering , where the therapist finds the unmet emotional needs and misused resources contributing to the client ’ s addiction . Crucially , this stage also involves information giving , where clients learn about the human givens approach and how it applies to their situation , fostering an understanding of their own behaviour and its underlying causes . It ’ s practical and makes sense to clients .’
Goal setting then directs the therapy towards tangible outcomes , with goals defined by the client ’ s aspirations for recovery and wellbeing . These goals are not distant ideals but
immediate and achievable steps towards overcoming addiction . Accessing resources taps into the client ’ s innate capacities – such as memory , empathy , and imagination – rekindling skills and strengths that had been overshadowed by their addiction . This empowerment phase is critical for building the client ’ s confidence in their ability to change .
Finally , agreeing on strategies and rehearsing success involves planning practical steps towards meeting goals and envisioning a future free from addiction . This not only prepares the client for challenges ahead but also solidifies their commitment to a healthier lifestyle .
REGAINING BALANCE Unlike many other therapies , there ’ s no requirement in human givens therapy for clients to explore or even talk about past events that may have traumatised them . Therapy is conducted confidentially and in private – just the client and therapist , either in person or by
phone or online .
‘ Neither verbal recounting of the traumatic memory nor group therapy sessions form any part of the programme ,’ says Gauvain . ‘ They may just reimprint the trauma and reinforce the problem . Instead , the human givens approach recognises the past and sets positive , achievable goals , activates innate resources , and rehearses successful outcomes . Veterans are guided towards regaining balance and satisfaction in their lives by assimilating past events into their life experience , rather than continuing to rely on addictive substances or behaviours to block out painful memories and associations .’
As more veterans like Jake find their way to recovery through PTSD Resolution ’ s therapy programme , the charity ’ s impact will only continue to grow , offering a path to healing and hope for those who have served their country .
For further information visit www . PTSDresolution . org
Patrick Rea is trustee director at PTSD Resolution