Course Description

Why does Nature select certain experiences to be the subject of our dreams? Why do they feel so meaningful to us? And what purpose do they serve?

The renowned Irish psychologist Joe Griffin's illuminating lecture answers these questions and many more as he takes us through the story of how he solved the mystery of why we dream – and discovered at the same time the significance of dreaming for our mental health.

In the 20 years since Griffin first published his hypothesis, every new piece of dream and sleep research has substantiated it – none has contradicted it.

In this talk, he examines the evidence and explains why other dream theories fail to come up with satisfactory answers. (His own 12 year research project was prompted by the realisation that the discovery of the REM state in 1953 meant Freudian and Jungian dream theories were 'dead in the water'.)

Whilst describing his own experiments and the key 'light bulb' moments which finally helped him solve this age-old mystery, he takes us on a fasincating exploration of the significance of various scientific findings in the field – some previously overlooked – before demonstrating how his expectation fulfilment theory of dreams succinctly pulls them together into a powerful explanation that makes absolute evolutionary and common sense. Nature, as ever, has been clever and economical.


Other subjects covered include:

The auto-symbolic process; why all dreams have to be metaphorical to prevent false memories building up; metaphorical pattern-matching; why we evolved to suppress emotions; why dreaming was Nature's way of conserving energy; why dreaming evolved to maintain the integrity of mammalian instincts; the connection between unfulfilled emotional expectations and nightmares; dream predictions; and why all mammals dream.


If you've found this talk interesting, you might like to find out more:

The many insights and practical applications that have stemmed from Griffin's highly original work intro why we dream have huge significance for us all – and they have been quietly revolutionising the successful treatment of mental health and behavioural problems for years through the human givens approach to psychology, psychotherapy and education, co-founded by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell. 

(You can read more about the new insights stemming from the approach here.)

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

    Why do we dream?

    • Introduction

    • Why do we dream?

    • Further resources:

Reviews

5 star rating

Completely fascinating

Felicity Jaffrey

Completely fascinating. Humbly and warmly presented, scientifically compelling, makes a whole lot of sense. I have rarely concentrated so intently on a lecture!

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Completely fascinating. Humbly and warmly presented, scientifically compelling, makes a whole lot of sense. I have rarely concentrated so intently on a lecture!

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5 star rating

Very interesting

emma louis

Very interesting, informative, a great instead to the minds and dreams , will definitely be looking at more courses going forward, Joe is very easy to listen...

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Very interesting, informative, a great instead to the minds and dreams , will definitely be looking at more courses going forward, Joe is very easy to listen to and everything was explained in a clear and precise manner, thoroughly enjoyed this

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5 star rating

Fascinating

Christine Elliott

The presentation given by Joe Griffin was engaging and easy to understand. The information was both fascinating and educational. A most enjoyable hour.

The presentation given by Joe Griffin was engaging and easy to understand. The information was both fascinating and educational. A most enjoyable hour.

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5 star rating

Great taster lesson

Elaine Perry

A great introduction which leaves me wanting to know more! I enjoyed the layout and found the film engaging.

A great introduction which leaves me wanting to know more! I enjoyed the layout and found the film engaging.

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5 star rating

Why do we dream?

Richard Rogers

Absolutely fascinating!

Absolutely fascinating!

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5 star rating

Great

sara-jane perrins

5 star rating

Many thanks

Niki Baggs

I appreciated how such a complex theory was expressed in a way that anyone could relate to and understand. Many Thanks

I appreciated how such a complex theory was expressed in a way that anyone could relate to and understand. Many Thanks

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5 star rating

Why do we dream

paula lynch

Very interesting course information. I gained a lot of insight in this hour.

Very interesting course information. I gained a lot of insight in this hour.

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5 star rating

Well worth listening to:)

Richard Cholawo

Well presented lecture, well structured, good audio and visual. Really helped consolidate my understanding which I gained from the Human Givens book I'm ...

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Well presented lecture, well structured, good audio and visual. Really helped consolidate my understanding which I gained from the Human Givens book I'm currently reading through. Thank you for making this available free:)

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5 star rating

Perfect Title

Gary Chapin

Excellent Presentation. I wish you had included more information related to lucid dreams. HG College: Thanks for your feedback Gary – Joe goes into more...

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Excellent Presentation. I wish you had included more information related to lucid dreams. HG College: Thanks for your feedback Gary – Joe goes into more detail about Lucid dreaming in his book 'Why we dream' - see: https://www.humangivens.com/product/why-we-dream

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5 star rating

Perfect

sarah morris

This session was incredibly informative. It was both well paced and comprehensive with just enough humour and personality to really leave one feeling like Jo...

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This session was incredibly informative. It was both well paced and comprehensive with just enough humour and personality to really leave one feeling like Joe Griffin had an absolute love of his vocation and great scientific and psychotherapy knowledge that one could rely on. Much of his work I'm already aware of and it was a great delight to hear him speak personally. Many thanks to him and to the human givens team for providing this short lecture.

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5 star rating

Brilliant

Dawn Walters

It is always a pleasure to listen to Joe and this was no exception. He makes everything seem so ‘everyday’.

It is always a pleasure to listen to Joe and this was no exception. He makes everything seem so ‘everyday’.

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5 star rating

Great

Tina Braithwaite

Excellent, thank you very much. Very interesting

Excellent, thank you very much. Very interesting

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5 star rating

Fascinating

Joyce MATTHEWS

It made so much sense. It started out haltingly - I’m always disappointed when I see expert reading from slides, but as soon as he left the slides behind a...

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It made so much sense. It started out haltingly - I’m always disappointed when I see expert reading from slides, but as soon as he left the slides behind and spoke passionately about his interest he had me hooked. It’s useful information, a theory which makes sense to me and connects some dots. You’ve made it easy to access, and that’s helpful too.

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5 star rating

Great

Caroline Marie Coleman

Great talk - worth watching

Great talk - worth watching

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5 star rating

5 star

Sinead Farrell

5 star rating

HELPFUL KEY TO UNDERSTANDING DREAMS

Marcella Lo Giudice

I am very interested in dream for personal reasons. I had lucid dreams very interesting in special moments of my life (death of a young brother and other hor...

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I am very interested in dream for personal reasons. I had lucid dreams very interesting in special moments of my life (death of a young brother and other horrible problems in family) , and many other experiences concerning strange state of consciousness, that made me wonder about meanings, looking for biological and psycological, even simbolic and esoteric explanations. Dr Griffin is one of the few people that give me very intelligent and sostaineble keys to understanding. Ithank you for this great opportunity of knowledge. Just I suggest to improuve your video with english subtitle, so italian speakers like me could be listen easily. I wonder what about "Princess Leia brain wave", recently discovered by SALK Institute and what about the function of mirror neurons. My idea is that integration between mirror and normal neurons could be something to further investigate in order to give the idea of dr Griffin some more puzzle tiles.

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5 star rating

Why we dream

Jennifer Stewart-Jones

This was a really interesting and thought provoking lecture.

This was a really interesting and thought provoking lecture.

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5 star rating

Great explanation

Jane Baxter

Just a quick word regarding the dream I had last night after watching the talk ‘why do we dream’. I had been thinking intermittently over the last few, perha...

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Just a quick word regarding the dream I had last night after watching the talk ‘why do we dream’. I had been thinking intermittently over the last few, perhaps ten days or so, “must get a new tooth brush”. I had set intentions more than once, then found myself back at home with the shopping minus a new brush. My reasoning was not because the current brush was looking particularly tired, rather, my mind's wonderings about what may be lurking in the bristles. If one spends a moment or three pondering one can’t help but conclude they are pretty disgusting bits of human kit. I had also wondered about what kind of infections or tummy upsets we could attribute to the apparatus and the process of teeth cleaning. (Clearly I need to get out and about more) My dream: I am searching for my toothbrush. I have in my hand a blue hand brush, the sort that pairs with a dustpan. In fact, I have such a brush and pan in blue which lives happily in the cupboard under the sink in the kitchen, it was definitely mine. As I peer down into the bristles, somehow the brush becomes huge or I become small – not sure which, don’t suppose it matters it’s metaphor after all. I can see from a great height, way down the bristles to the bottom where there is thick black slimy gunk. The bristles themselves don’t look too clean either but nothing like the filthy floor of the brush. My suspicions are confirmed. “I know” I declare, and using my grandmothers cure for ants nests, particularly when they were swarming, pored boiling water over the brush. I watched with relief, the gunk slide off the bristles and the base and satisfactorily vanish down the sink hole. You probably have enough dream stories to fill a swimming pool and giving you one more is probably not warranted. However, it has started me on an experiment of my own for the next month and seem to be off to a good start.Thank you once more for the enlightenment. Regards Jane

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5 star rating

REM-ember, we've got this!!

Síle Uí Chiaráin

At the risk of sounding dramatic, may I say that my life is honestly changed forever having digested the content of this course. I will never underestimate ...

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At the risk of sounding dramatic, may I say that my life is honestly changed forever having digested the content of this course. I will never underestimate the pivotal role that sleep hygiene plays in my life and that of my loved ones again. I am so impressed by the enthusiasm with which Joe delivers this course content, his broad knowledge base and passion for this subject matter are palpable and infectious in fact. Understanding Why we Dream does much more than it says on the tin… This course is satiating brain food for the aspirant HG therapist because it seamlessly scaffolds all aspects of the huge importance of Dreaming from the discovery of its significance in 1953 to how it helps us maintain balance and good mental health and the energy conservation tool that it in fact is; evolution wearing its Sunday best!! Referencing the other respected theories on Why we Dream and blowing them out in one fell swoop was both entertaining and informative in equal measure. The content of this course is clearly Joe Griffin’s baby and he delivers with the passion of a proud parent. Joe’s dedication to bringing his Dream Theory over the line has been a lifetime’s work, a labour of love. In the short term I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be able to do a number of Diploma modules online from a convenience perspective; work and family commitments. I am however so looking forward to being free and ready to attend courses and tap into more aspects of this great organising idea in a face to face setting. The whole concept of Human Givens and all that it has evolved to encompass, embrace and propose, is phenomenal. The online presence of HG, the extensive reading and audio material and the ever expanding range of courses offered are quite MIND BLOWING. I’m delighted to be a student of HG and I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey towards being a HG therapist in the not too distant future. ‘Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast’ Shakespeare Macbeth (2.2.46-51)

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