Listening to Idries Shah

How understanding can grow

by Ivan Tyrrell


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Paperback (448pp)



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As a young art student, on realising that there were serious flaws in humanity, Ivan Tyrrell asked his tutor a question that ultimately led to a long association with work of the Sufi, Idries Shah. This memoir describes the various childhood experiences that informed that question - and his travels and adventures after he asked it…

With humour and insight he covers topics ranging from starting a psychedelic poster business in the 1960s to the abuse of hypnosis by cults; from the shallowness of modern art to conversations with Doris Lessing; from civil defence and warfare to false memory syndrome and near death experiences. He describes how information culled from a perennial source of wisdom by Idries Shah was deliberately seeded into the modern world to await germination.

The book also chronicles Ivan’s involvement with the Irish social psychologist, Joe Griffin. Together, they created the human givens approach to psychotherapy that every year lifts thousands out of depression, anxiety disorders and addiction more speedily than any other form of therapy.

This book was written for those interested in how ordinary life experiences interact with their mind to influence the quality of their personality and understanding. As such it may contain parallels with your own quest for meaning.

  • Format: Paperback (448pp)
  • ISBN: 1-899398-08-2

About the author(s)

Ivan TyrrellIvan Tyrrell's interest in psychology stems from a childhood experience of undergoing surgery under hypnosis. For twenty years he studied the comparative effectiveness of psychotherapy and counselling models, linking this to what science is discovering about the brain and mind/body/mood connections. As Editorial Director of the Human Givens Journal he has collaborated on many major articles with a variety of distinguished clinicians, writers and other individuals with a focus on psychology, social issues and mental health.

Ivan worked for many years as a psychotherapist and lecturer and is now director of Human Givens College. He founded the Human Givens Institute. He has one son and three daughters and lives with his wife, Véronique, in the Cotswold countryside.


Based on 1 review


A very interesting read!

Fascinating book, very thought provoking. I found it highly interesting and inspiring.


Aug 30th, 2017