Course Description

Counts towards the HG Diploma Despite the billions spent trying to alleviate mental illness around the world, the rates of mental and emotional distress are increasing. Why? What is going wrong? Why are millions of people so stressed? And what can we do about it?

'From Stress to Psychosis: how to prevent mental illness' gives you the answers – and much more..

Over the last two decades, course tutor Ivan Tyrrell has played an influential role in integrating psychotherapy and counselling with the latest findings about brain functioning and human behaviour. On his enlightening course, you will find out how this knowledge – and the many insights derived from it – can be easily applied to improve the mental health of people suffering from a wide range of conditions, including the more serious.

He explains, among other things, what happens to us when the brain is put under stress; why stress is associated with mental illness; why some people experience psychotic episodes and others don't; what the difference is between being 'stressed' – which doesn't feel good – and being 'stretched', which does. And why people on the autistic spectrum experience stress so intensely.

You will also discover what people need to lead mentally and emotionally healthy lives – and what the best type of help is for anyone requiring psychotherapeutic interventions in order to recover quickly from stress overload, depression and anxiety disorders (including PTSD).

And you will learn about a revolutionary new theory – described by some psychiatrists as "the only model on the table that explains the symptoms of schizophrenia" – which throws much-needed light on this distressing illness and explains why it has been virtually eliminated in communities where the correct approach to dealing with early onset of psychosis exists.

The resulting psychotherapeutic human givens guidelines are already improving treatment – bringing important new hope to sufferers and those working with or caring for them.

What you will learn

  • A better understanding of what 'mental illness' is
  • The three reasons why all mental illnesses arise
  • Why some stressed people – but not others – go on to experience psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations, delusions and hearing voices)
  • A richer understanding of the mind/body connection and its impact on our emotional and psychological health
  • What increasing stress levels do to our brains and bodies
  • Information about more effective treatment possibilities that are opening up for clinical psychology, psychotherapy and counselling
  • A moving insight into Asperger's syndrome
  • Why high functioning people with Asperger's are easily stressed and cause stress in others
  • What everyone needs to be mentally and emotionally healthy – and how to maintain that wellbeing
  • Natural ways of reducing emotional arousal and avoiding stress overload
  • The central role of emotions in our lives – and why taking it into account is essential for psychotherapy to be successful
  • Knowledge of the APET™ model – which rapidly improves psychotherapeutic outcomes and interventions – and how to integrate it into your work
  • Illuminating case histories
  • The brain as a pattern-matching organ – and what this means for mental health and successful therapy
  • A remarkable observation (shown on film) about the connection between stress, dreaming, depression and psychosis
  • Course notes
  • CPD certificate, that also counts towards the Human Givens Diploma
  • and much more...

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Course content

How everyday life affects the mind/body system

We look at what recent scientific findings tell us about brain functioning and behaviour – and the essence of the processes involved. This essential overview includes:

  • the evolution of human brains
  • the importance of developmental templates (illustrated with a filmed discussion with someone with Asperger's syndrome)
  • how emotions lock attention
  • how the brain deals with unresolved emotional arousal
  • perception
  • pattern-matching
  • different levels of awareness and consciousness

The APET™ model explored: its application with stress and depression

  • The connection between the environment, emotions and thought
  • Stress burnout and stress overload are so common in the workplace
  • Why cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) often takes longer than it needs to
  • What happens when patterns in the brain seek completion
  • Why some types of therapy and counselling are more effective than others
  • How the APET™ model connects up effective therapeutic approaches
  • Why depression gives us a wonderful way in to understanding the brain and human behaviour in ways everyone can grasp
  • How to treat depression

Psychosis: what is going on?

  • A remarkable filmed session with someone experiencing psychotic episodes that shows why stress overload and depression can lead to schizophrenia in the small percentage of the population with the genetic pre-disposition for it
  • This film inspired a new explanation for what is happening in psychosis and points to some clear guidelines to follow when working with schizophrenic patients
  • These guidelines are proving remarkably successful when applied both in the counselling and HR professions

Treating psychological trauma quickly

  • How and why panic attacks, trauma, phobias, OCD and other problems can be dealt with much faster when knowledge about the pattern-matching properties of the brain are applied through this approach
  • Summary – how to promote emotional health and wellbeing

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Is this course for me?

  • Anyone working with or caring for stressed, depressed and anxious people, or people suffering from schizophrenia or psychotic episodes, who wishes to understand what's causing the symptoms and how best to help
  • This includes: psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, health visitors, nurses, pastoral workers, social workers, youth workers, HR consultants, HR managers, wellbeing officers, trainee counsellors, psychology students, etc.
  • Anyone wanting to know more about the latest effective strategies for alleviating emotional distress, which incorporate the latest insights from neuroscience
  • This course is for you if – for personal or professional reasons – you want to know the best ways to help someone who is overly stressed and/or you fear they could be heading for a breakdown

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Course format

  •  13 Videos 
  •  17 Quizzes 
  •  3 Texts 
  •  PDF Notes 
  •  6 hrs 

'From Stress to Psychosis' 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).

'From Stress to Psychosis' 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

“A different approach to the medical model – more humane and holistic, which is what is needed.”

Outreach & Development Worker (Mental Health)

“Excellent new insights into psychosis.”


“Very helpful – I've learnt so much about the brain's role in creating disturbed behaviour. All very well explained and easy to understand.”


“A welcome, commonsense approach to helping people.”

School CounsellorRead more

“The best explanation of schizophrenia I have heard.”

Probation Officer

“Brilliant! A frank and straightforward explanation of psychosis – this approach is far too valuable to be ignored. A real contribution to humanity and our understanding of our fellow human beings. Thank you.”


“Lots of new information. And the HG approach helps it make sense, instead of being a confusing mass.”


“A brilliant, sensible and sensitive approach that works.”

Learning Mentor

“Today's session was excellent, and the insights into psychosis/ psychotic behaviour were fantastically helpful and well explained. Really glad I came.”

Probation Officer

“Thanks. Great tutor, always very open to discussion and extremely helpful.”

Full time mother/student

“Excellent insight into psychosis – have a greater understanding of what it is – wish I had known this years ago when I was practicing as a midwife!”


“Literally mind-expanding.”


“What I've learnt today will greatly enhance my practice.”


“The human givens approach has been invaluable to me in looking in a new light at mental health. This day was well explained in simple ways and provides useful knowledge that is easily transferable to practice. I feel I have learned as much that will be of practical use to me in my work today as I did in 3 years professional training at university. The human givens approach is a revelation!”

Palliative Care Social Worker

“Extremely helpful – a much more useful, more relevant perspective on mental health – thank you.”

Mental Health Nurse/MH Lecturer

“The information was very well presented and the discussions enlightening.”

Editor of Academic Research

“An excellent day. It has greatly helped my understanding of how stress can lead to psychosis and depression.”


“New ground, new hope. Thank you.”

TV Producer / Mother of son with psychosis

“...a new and very clear way of thinking about healthy living.”

Social Care Support Worker

“Lots of new ideas and material – excellent organising ideas. Simplifies so much.”


“A good introduction to psychosis for someone who has little knowledge of the condition.”

Behaviour Mentor

“Fascinating – food for thought. Must investigate the human givens approach further.”

Mental Health Nurse

“Wonderful! Today has given me a much clearer understanding of the causes of mental health problems and how to treat them.”


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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. How we acquire knowledge

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. 2. Your emotional needs

    5. – multiple choice questions

    6. 3. Nature’s gifts to us

    7. – multiple choice questions

    8. 4. The APET™ model and motivation

    9. – multiple choice questions

    10. 5. Why we dream

    11. – multiple choice questions

    1. 6. What determines our differences

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. 7. Triggers for emotional distress

    5. – multiple choice questions

    6. 8. Emotions dominate thought

    7. – multiple choice questions

    8. 9. The cycle of depression

    9. – multiple choice questions 1

    10. – multiple choice questions 2

    1. 10. What causes psychosis

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. 11. Treatment protocols for a psychotic breakdown

    5. – multiple choice questions

    1. 12. How to quickly detraumatise the brain

    2. – multiple choice questions 1

    3. – multiple choice questions 2

    4. Further information

    5. 13. Conclusion – how to promote emotional health and wellbeing

    1. You may find these helpful

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