Course Description

Counts towards HG Diploma With mental health problems affecting ever-increasing numbers of people, there is an economic and moral need for psychotherapy to improve.

Brief solution-focused therapy has been found (in a meta-analysis of hundreds of efficacy studies) to be far more effective in treating anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, trauma and addiction, than any form of therapy that assumes treatment needs to be long-term.

But not all brief psychotherapeutic approaches are the same – some are more effective than others.

On his hugely informative course, Ivan Tyrrell distils the essential components you need to make your psychotherapeutic interventions as quick, reliably effective and long-lasting as possible. He clearly demonstrates how, by combining proven psychotherapeutic skills with new insights and techniques derived from the human givens approach (such as how to work more in tune with the brain by using the APET™ model), we can help distressed individuals and families even more effectively.

The result is a powerful integrative, bio-psycho-social approach that allows you to work flexibly with each client's situation – helping them to recover their lives as quickly as possible – and empowering them with new knowledge and skills that will build resilience against future setbacks.

Anyone working in the welfare and caring professions can safely introduce these new strategies and concepts into their work – you will also gain a richer knowledge of why so many people have mental and emotional problems.

What you will learn

  • A clear understanding of why a bio-psycho-social approach should determine how psychological interventions are structured
  • Novel ways to overcome resistance and motivate people
  • The chance to see skilled brief therapy in action (filmed examples) – with moving and riveting case histories
  • How to make a difference fast, even with 'stuck' clients
  • New treatments for anxiety, panic attacks, depression, anger, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, addictions, relationship/marital/family problems, and to help survivors of abusive relationships more effectively
  • 47 vital tips that will make you more effective
  • How to communicate with the emotional brain
  • Ways to develop rapport quickly and gather good quality information from your clients
  • Knowledge of the APET™ model and why this improves outcomes
  • A better understanding of how emotions affect thought
  • How to use a client's own language therapeutically
  • A richer knowledge of why so many people have mental and emotional problems and what you can to do help them
  • Why brief psychotherapeutic approaches work so well
  • How to establish clear outcomes and realistic goals
  • The best ways to rehearse success and improve outcomes
  • The importance of metaphor
  • Examples of how to incorporate these strategies into your own practice
  • Increased confidence when working with difficult cases
  • Course notes
  • CPD certificate, that also counts towards the Human Givens Diploma
  • and much more...

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Course content

Part 1 – Why brief therapy approaches work so well

  • How modern brief psychotherapy evolved
  • Why doing effective brief counselling or psychotherapy is easy to learn – if you have the aptitude
  • The underlying principles – the human givens – that all mental health workers need to understand to be effective
  • The main reasons people have difficulties
  • The seven skills you need to 'do something different to make a difference today'
  • Case histories

Part 2 – How to apply these strategies with your patients/clients

  • How to quickly develop rapport – verbally and non-verbally
  • How to get good quality information from clients
  • Using the client's language therapeutically
  • Emotion and thought
  • Why cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is not living up to its promise
  • The APET™ Model – working in tune with how the brain works
  • How to establish clear outcomes and realistic goals
  • How to know which approach to take
  • Separating the core identity of the person from the problem (with OCD filmed example)
  • The importance of timing
  • Harnessing the powerful healing abilities of the metaphorical brain
  • Rehearsing success
  • How to make sure the client feels better at the end of each session

Part 3 – Putting it all into practice: seeing it happen

  • The single most important skill for helping people suffering mental or physical distress
  • Focusing on the present and the future
  • Communicating with the emotional brain
  • How to use natural abilities and the power of the imagination to change behaviour and provoke insight
  • Helping clients to focus their attention on realistic goals using guided imagery
  • An enlightening film of a brief therapy session for clinical depression, and the follow-up session

Part 4 – The six steps of effective brief therapy

The human mind/body system – perhaps the most complex information network in the universe – is designed to keep us alive and well as long as possible

  • Why tuning in to what it's doing is essential for all forms of therapy
  • How to dissolve psychological trauma quickly
  • How to transform the negative stories people tell themselves into positives
  • The use of metaphor in treating depression, anxiety, addictive behaviour and sexual difficulties
  • How to structure an effective therapy session
  • And more...

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Is this course for me?

  • Anyone wishing to know more about the best ways to combine brief therapeutic techniques to powerful effect so that individuals can be helped to move on as quickly as possible
  • All health and welfare professionals, including: counsellors, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, midwifes, doctors, health visitors, social or youth workers
  • Anyone who'd like to be able work effectively with each individual they see, in a truly integrated bio-psycho-social way
  • If you'd like to improve your practical counselling or psychotherapy skills so that you can help individuals and families as quickly as possible, this course is for you
  • Anyone curious about why some people get better results than others when working with depression, anxiety disorders and more...

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Course format

  •  11 Videos 
  •  19 Quizzes 
  •  3 Texts 
  •  PDF Notes 
  •  6 hrs 

'Effective Brief Psychotherapy' 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, Ivan Tyrrell.

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.

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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).

'Effective Brief Psychotherapy' 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.

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Student feedback

“Brilliant! I can honestly say I learnt more today than on my 8-week counselling course.”

Children's and Families Officer, Social Services

“Great day, thank you. Very down to earth approach – it demystified some areas of therapy I thought were very complicated.”

Charity Programme Manager

“Excellent day, very informative. Came away with new ideas, new tools and new directions. Helped me with some stuck clients.”


“The human givens approach is quick – and a wonderful tool to contribute towards mental health for very many professions. It also allows for personal approaches and is not dogmatic.”

Art Education ConsultantRead more

“All very useful and informative, but particularly seeing the film of a therapy session where the stages of the process were identified on screen.”


“Great, practical ideas to use with people – no jargon.”

Social Worker

“Another fantastic HG course – thank you. Some of the best training I have been on.”

Outreach Project Worker

“I was so impressed to see how much can be achieved in one session of therapy.”

Case Manager/Registered Nurse

“I always have such a great time at these courses – I feel nourished, enlightened and so motivated.”

Customer Services Manager

“A very enjoyable day presented in a knowledgeable and engaging way – thank you.”

Educational Psychologist

“Very helpful – as I progress with the Diploma I continue to be amazed by the integrity of HG as an organising idea – and the simplicity of it. Looking forward to improving my skills further.”

Occupational Therapist

“What an inspirational and motivated day. Makes so much sense.”


“Today's lecture was enlightening! I have benefited professionally and personally – many thanks.”


“Thoroughly enjoyable – a much needed common sense approach to helping people.”

School Counsellor

“A very enjoyable day. I got exactly what I came for, thank you.”


“Good to learn about a method that is so positive. And how to achieve appropriate results in a short space of time.”


“Answered many of my questions regarding why I've felt that 'normal' counselling doesn't work.”

IT Consultant

“A really clear run through the key elements of the human givens approach. Interesting to see the videos of practice and hear case stories.”

Local Government Manager

“Very enjoyable, enlightening day. The first day of my new training to be a psychotherapist. Thank you.”

School Administrator

“'Humanistic' but based in real science.”

Mental Health Nurse

“Excellent day – I will definitely use the techniques learnt in my role at work.”

Occupational Health Nurse

“Very well structured and organised.”


“The video case studies were very useful visual, practical examples.”

Editorial Worker

“All information highly useful. Can't fault it.”

Therapeutic Inclusion Worker

“A very well presented subject – I appreciated the honesty and simplicity of the methods used.”


“Great tutor, keeping up a good pace whilst working with our questions and issues.”


“Very informative – the day provided a really comprehensive overview of how to be effective. And the handbook and slides complemented each other very well.”


“So many good examples of experience and the tutor was very open to discussion, which was great.”

Interested full-time Mother

“Easy to use techniques which have boosted my confidence.”

Occupational Therapist

“'Real' therapeutic approaches underpinned by solid scientific theory – a very valuable 'Tool Kit' has been built up!”


“Another profoundly useful day of training.”


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Co-Founder of the human givens approach Ivan Tyrrell

Ivan Tyrrell is an English writer, lecturer and psychologist, who worked for many years as a psychotherapist (specialising in brief therapy for depression, trauma and anxiety). His frustration at the poor state of psychotherapeutic practice in the UK in the 1990s led him to found the European Therapy Studies Institute and to the publication of new research and information about depression, psychosis, hypnosis, addiction and trauma treatment in a series of best-selling books written with his co-founder of the human givens approach, Joe Griffin. He has had a life-long interest in the nature of perception and consciousness.

Course curriculum

    1. Welcome

    2. Please Note

    3. Course notes - download here

    1. 1. The evolution of psychotherapy

    2. - multiple choice questions 1 (P1-1.1)

    3. - multiple choice questions 2 (P1-1.2)

    4. 2. The law of all living things

    5. - multiple choice questions (P1-2.1)

    6. 3. How we learn

    7. - multiple choice questions 1 (P1-3.1)

    8. - multiple choice questions 2 (P1-3.2)

    9. 4. Psychotherapy for depressed people

    10. - multiple choice questions 1 (P1-4.1)

    11. - multiple choice questions 2 (P1-4.2)

    1. 5. The patient’s model of reality

    2. - multiple choice questions 1 (P2-5.1)

    3. - multiple choice questions 2 (P2-5.2)

    4. 6. Creativity in counselling and psychotherapy

    5. - multiple choice questions 1 (P2-6.1)

    6. - multiple choice questions 2 (P2-6.2)

    7. 7. The skills involved in doing effective therapy

    8. - multiple choice questions 1 (P2-7.1)

    9. - multiple choice questions 2 (P2-7.2)

    10. 8. The effect of abstract words on feelings

    11. - multiple choice questions 1 (P2-8.1)

    12. - multiple choice questions 2 (P2-8.2)

    1. 9. Using Guided Imagery

    2. - multiple choice questions 1 (P3-9.1)

    3. - multiple choice questions 2 (P3-9.2)

    1. 10. Working with phobias and traumas

    2. Further information

    3. - multiple choice questions (P4-10.1)

    4. 11. What to look for in a psychotherapist or counsellor

    5. - multiple choice questions (P4-11.1)

    1. You may find these useful

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