Course Description

Despite being on the increase, depression is actually one of the easiest disorders to treat successfully and quickly – once you know how.

Counts towards the HG Diploma This popular online course with psychologist Joe Griffin, a leading expert in the field, shatters the many myths that still surround this distressing condition and how it should be treated. It gives you the new insights, information and research findings that have been quietly revolutionising the effective treatment of depression for well over a decade.

Literally thousands of people in the UK and Ireland have already been helped to recover from depression – often remarkably quickly – as a result of the new information taught on this course.

Among other things, you will discover: what really causes depression; why depressed people wake up tired and unmotivated; the link between worrying, dreaming and depression; why some forms of psychotherapy can actually be harmful when treating depression; why the appropriate type of psychotherapy has a dramatically lower rate of relapse than antidepressants and is also the most effective treatment – even with severe cases and postnatal depression.

For the sake of the millions of people affected by depression around the world (including rising numbers of children, young people and the elderly), this information needs to be much more widely known.

It doesn't just transform lives – it saves them...

What you will learn

  • Essential new information about why people become depressed
  • A better understanding of what depression really is, why it's on the increase and how to diagnose it
  • Clear explanations of symptoms such as waking up tired and unmotivated
  • Practical help to quickly break patterns of depression, move people on and prevent relapse
  • New insights into the dissociative elements of depressive lifestyles
  • An important understanding of why some forms of psychotherapy can make depression worse
  • Techniques for tackling rigid thinking and negative expectancy
  • Why some people are more vulnerable to depression than others
  • How to make a positive difference straight away
  • Ways to talk to suicidal people – this training saves lives
  • The myths that have grown up around depression
  • How to manage bi-polar depression psychologically
  • The links between emotional arousal, REM sleep, dreaming and depression
  • How this discovery dramatically improves our ability to help people get out of depression quickly
  • The most effective strategies for successfully treating depression
  • The causes of postnatal depression and how best to treat it
  • How to help with excessive grief
  • Lots of case history examples which illustrate how these new insights combined with the most effective brief therapy techniques can help people recover as quickly as possible
  • Ways to 'inoculate' yourself against depression
  • CPD certificate, that also counts towards the Human Givens Diploma

Back to top

Course content

  • Why depression is still on the increase, despite huge amounts being spent on improving mental health
  • Why the disease model of depression is not appropriate, particularly for effective treatment
  • How to quickly spot the symptoms of depression
  • The criteria for a major depressive episode and the key questions to ask
  • What causes depression – cultural, family and individual influences – and why it now seems an inevitable part of modern life
  • The use of anti-depressant drugs and their dangerous side effects
  • The research that shows why depression is not a biological illness and why an exclusively biological approach to diagnosis and treatment is mostly anti-therapeutic
  • Suicide – risk factors and management
  • The human givens – our foundation for mental health and wellbeing
  • The newly discovered links between emotional arousal, REM sleep, dreaming and depression
  • Why women suffer more depression than men and, statistically, take twice as long to recover
  • Why more depressed men kill themselves than women
  • Why some common psychotherapeutic strategies make matters worse for depressed people
  • How depression is learned
  • Why depression appears in many different forms
  • The newly discovered links between emotional arousal, REM sleep, dreaming and depression – we take a look at the cycle of depression
  • The connection between anger, guilt and depression
  • Understanding how depression is an emotion that invades all dimensions of a person's life including physiology, thought patterns, relationships, attitude to work and emotional behaviour
  • Depression as a symptomatic trance that can be interrupted
  • The importance of making a real difference for the person straight away
  • Three brief therapy techniques that reliably interrupt the ongoing pattern of a depressed person's experience
  • How to calm anxiety quickly, promoting optimism by challenging negative self-suggestions and dissolving negative trance states
  • The effects of emotional arousal
  • Identifying missing skills
  • Helping people to externalise their problems and be more flexible
  • The importance of 'sequencing'
  • Stimulating positive new patterns through experience
  • Depression, dying and death
  • Using the techniques covered with bipolar depression and postnatal depression
  • Factors that lead to postnatal depression and how we can effectively treat it
  • Managing bipolar disorder by psychological means
  • Summary of what we've learnt
  • And much more...

Back to top

Is this course for me?

  • Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of the causes and symptoms of depression, and why some people are more vulnerable than others
  • All health and welfare professionals ‒ if you have to deal with, treat or care for depressed people, the new insights on this course will make your work easier and more effective
  • Anyone concerned about the side effects of drug treatments who would like to know about the recent discoveries and easy-to-learn psychotherapeutic techniques that combined can lift depression quickly

Back to top

Course format

  •   19 Videos 
  •   28 Quizzes 
  •   7 Texts 
  •   PDF Notes 
  •   6 hrs 

'How to break the cycle of depression' is based on our one-day seminar of the same name. This online course is split into 4 modules, each of which are broken down further into different sections containing filmed lectures given in English by the tutor, Joe Griffin.

Each film clip is followed by a short series of multiple choice questions. These are designed to help you think about and absorb the course content and to check that you have understood the main points of that section before proceeding to the next.

There are also course notes for you to download, plus additional reading information and helpful links.

You can take as long as you like to work your way through the course and can view it as many times as you like.

Once you have completed the course, you will receive a CPD certificate, which counts towards the Human Givens Diploma.

Back to top

Diploma-linked Certificate

When you successfully complete the course, you will be awarded a CPD Certificate by HG College and The Human Givens Institute (equivalent to 6 hours of continuing professional development).

'How to break the cycle of depression' is also a required module of Part 1 of the Human Givens Diploma, so by successfully completing this online course you will also have completed a part of this highly respected qualification.

Back to top

Student feedback

“Inspirational! Really accessible content.”

Primary Teacher

“I feel greatly empowered, better informed and enabled to promote a genuine sense of hope.”

Psychiatric Nurse

“I've been waiting for a course like this most of my career! Very appropriate to a number of clients I visit.”

Health Visitor

“Wonderful stories, great humour, balanced with poignant, sensitive observations. So much great new info – thank you!”

Youth Project WorkerRead more

“The HG approach strikes a real chord with people, it seems so obvious and intuitive. Since discovering it my last 5 years as a GP have been more enjoyable and effective than my first 25.”

General Practitioner

“Clearly expressed and explained in an understandable way – the holistic approach to lifting depression without dwelling on past traumas was excellent.”

Complementary Health

“I found today's seminar enjoyable and well constructed with simple, precise use of language making it easy to understand. Good value for money.”

Registered Mental Nurse

“Finally a course which has shown me what depression is. I know what I've learnt is going to be immediately helpful to some of my clients.”

Occupational Therapist

“Excellent course yet again!”

HR Advisor

“I cannot imagine better training on depression ... so much new information. Gives us all hope.”

General Practitioner

“A wealth of extremely useful information and insight into depression – couldn't be improved.”

Life Coach

“This course has helped to deepen my growing understanding of depression. Having read the Human Givens book 'How to lift depression... fast' the information and case history examples given today have once again proven how much more effective the Human Givens approach is.”

Health Visitor/Trainer

“After 23 years of nursing this is the first time depression has been discussed in a way that makes perfect sense. I've been suffering with depression myself for 10 years and now I've finally found a way forward – today I got my life back.”


“Although I have done some reading on the HG approach to depression, listening to such a cogent, logical outline of the theory has enhanced my understanding and it makes complete sense to me.”

Addiction Counsellor

“Excellent range of information and anecdotes to explain theories and how to put them into practice.”

Community Nurse

“The content and delivery is both inspiring and empowering.”

Senior HR Consultant

“My high expectations were met and even surpassed. Wish I'd known more of this when friends needed help.”

Management Consultant

“I have attended many training days – my expectation is very high – but I am never disappointed by human givens training. Informative, concise, accurate and highly enjoyable.”

Behaviour Consultant

“Excellent presentation, easy to follow and humourous content exceeded expectation. Subject matter covered to appropriate depth of need.”

Behaviour Assistant

“The depth of knowledge of the facilitator was exceptional. Brilliant.”

Social work – adult care

“Excellent information, very useful to me in my work with victims of crime who often fall into a temporary depression.”

Area Co-ordinator – Victim Support Scotland

“Joe Griffin was thorough and accessible, his delivery was engaging, highly interesting and enabling. This whole approach casts wonderful new light on the issue of treating depression.”

Teacher involved in P.S.E.

“Loved the whole day – funny, thoughtful, informative, challenging.”

Social Worker

“Practical, pragmatic approach to depression and its treatment, demonstrated clearly with insightful case histories.”

Social Care Worker

“Very down to earth methods that make sense and, with the right skills, would be easy to apply.”

Lecturer in Further Education

“This was an excellent seminar. I have come away with a huge amount of information which I appreciate will take time for me to process and turn into a skill. I can't wait to use what I've learnt today.”

Social Worker

“...balanced, sharp and decidedly human... has given me amazing new insights into how people become depressed.”


“Clear, uncomplicated style. Great delivery – captured my attention completely. Very useful content.”

Family Court Welfare

“It was inspirational in changing my pre-conceived knowledge of depression. It will immediately help in my work as a welfare officer where mild depression due to organisational change is wide spread.”

Welfare Officer

“The day flowed and kept my interest throughout. I find the topic fascinating. I have many Service Users suffering with their poor mental health who need support with this issue in order to live independently. The thoughts and ideas from today will be extremely helpful.”

Tenancy Support Worker

“To be able to attend a seminar that is delivered with such ease and informality, yet contain evidence-based information that is practical and once learned extremely helpful – as we are dealing with depression daily – has been immensely helpful.”

Health Visitor

“Learning about REM sleep and depression was extremely interesting and made absolute sense.”

Occupational Welfare Advisor

“Excellent presenter – great stories and anecdotes relevant to the seminar topic. Easy to relate to real life experiences – and some real light bulb moments.”

Welfare Advisor

“The ideas are simple and clear enough to feel that 'yes!' they can actually be used for ordinary people!”

Occupational Therapist

“Loved it. Can't think of anyone I know who wouldn't benefit from this course.”


“A fascinating insight into the role of depression and how it may be affecting my physiotherapy patients. Explained in a very easy to understand way.”


“Personally I don't think this course could be improved! Brilliant, thank you.”

Psychotherapist in training

“Completely satisfied – can't think what could have been changed.”

Humanistic Counsellor

“The human givens approach to therapy is like a light at the end of a tunnel – I have been considering becoming involved in therapy/counselling for some time but not known which way to go until now.”

Environmental Health Officer

“Very enjoyable day ... absolutely brilliant ... best way to spend a day's holiday!”


“Refreshing to find a commonsense approach that if used right, cannot fail to make a difference to people's lives.”

Support Worker

“Excellent reminder of the power of human givens therapy.”

Speech & Language Therapist

“Very enlightening and inspirational as always!”

Probation Officer

“I didn't think learning about depression would be so enjoyable.”

Community Wellbeing Worker

“Excellent as always.”

Health Club Operations Manager

“Really inspiring – thank you.”

Children's Service Officer

“A very helpful and informative day, delivered in an engaging and humourous way.”


“What I love about the Human Givens approach is that it just makes so much sense – very practical, and the 'cycle of depression' approach is along the same lines – commonsense approach making sure people's emotional needs are met.”

Environmental Health Officer

“Thought because I knew a lot and had read Joe's book that I might not learn anything new but today was riveting and fascinating – I had trouble keeping up with it, but in a good, challenging way.”


“Absolutely brilliant – pragmatic, holistic – I will definitely be learning more about Human Givens!”

Counsellor/Parenting PractitionerClose

Back to top

Co-Founder Joe Griffin

Joe Griffin B.SC.Hons (Psych), M.PHIL. (Psych), AFBPsS, FHGI is a psychologist with many years' experience both in psychotherapeutic practice and in training psychotherapists - over the last 20 years thousands of health professionals have enjoyed his practical workshops and seminars on effective psychotherapy for treating anxiety related disorders, depression, trauma and addiction.

Course curriculum

    1. Welcome

    2. Please note

    3. Course Notes - download here

    1. 1. Criteria for a major depressive episode

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. 2. The most common misconception about depression

    5. – multiple choice questions

    6. 3. The human givens – our foundation for mental health

    7. – multiple choice questions

    8. 4. Our innate ‘guidance system’

    9. – multiple choice questions

    10. 5. The dreaming connection

    11. – multiple choice questions

    12. Further information

    13. 6. The effects of emotional arousal

    14. – multiple choice questions

    15. 7. What stops people getting their emotional needs met?

    16. – multiple choice questions

    1. 8. Guidelines for treating depression

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. Further information

    5. 9. Breaking the cycle of depression

    6. – multiple choice questions 1

    7. – multiple choice questions 2

    8. 10. How depression may present

    9. – multiple choice questions 1

    10. – multiple choice questions 2

    11. 11. Common patterns underlying depression

    12. – multiple choice questions

    13. 12. Black-and-white thinking

    14. – multiple choice questions

    15. 13. How depression can take hold

    16. – multiple choice questions 1

    17. – multiple choice questions 2

    18. – multiple choice questions 3

    1. 14. Tackling attributional style

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. Further information

    5. 15. Missing skills

    6. – multiple choice questions

    7. 16. Questions from the audience

    8. – multiple choice questions

    9. Further information

    1. 17. Bipolar disorder

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. 18. Postnatal depression

    5. – multiple choice questions

    6. Further information

    7. 19. Summary: how to treat a depressed person

    8. – multiple choice questions 1

    9. – multiple choice questions 2

    10. Depression, inflammation and the HG approach

    11. Depression-Inflammation-and-the-HG approach

    1. You may find these helpful

About this course

  • £159.00
  • 58 lessons
  • 4.5 hours of video content
  • £159.00

    How to make counselling more effective

    Buy Now
  • £159.00

    Understanding and Treating Addictions

    Buy Now
  • £159.00

    Understanding Anxiety – and managing it without drugs

    Buy Now