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Perceptual Control Theory and the Method of Levels approach to therapy

Two of the senior clinical psychologists at Psicon recently completed a three-day training workshop led by Professor Tim Carey on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) and the Method of Levels (MOL) approach to psychological therapy. PCT, first developed by William T. Powers in the 1950s, holds that actions are an attempt to achieve balance between perceived and preferred states – that is, between how a person feels and how they would ideally like to feel. The MOL approach builds on this model with the assertion that psychological distress results from an inability to reach the desired balance, and that successful therapy depends on a bringing to consciousness and subsequent reorganisation of these unconscious or “background” conflicts.

 

Dr Dan Simmonds highly recommends the text Principles-Based Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Method of Levels Approach (Carey, Mansell & Tai, 2015) for a comprehensive review of the theory and practice of MOL. Psicon have held two in-house workshops for all clinicians to discuss the approach as part of their Continuing Professional Development programme.