Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for most mental health problems. Each different problem is usually treated by a different model of CBT. Yet evidence tells us that the same processes are responsible for long term distress in us all. This handy manual draws on evidence and theory to provide the key principles to aid change and recovery. The transdiagnostic approach is supported by a wealth of evidence that processes such as worry, emotion suppression, self-criticism and avoidance maintain distress across psychological disorders. Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) explains all of these processes as forms of 'inflexible control', and Method of Levels Therapy (MOL) helps people to let go of these habits. The principles and techniques of MOL are clearly and practically described for clinicians to offer a transdiagnostic CBT that is tailor-made to the goals of each client. This novel volume will be essential reading for novice and experienced CBT therapists, as well as counsellors and psychotherapists.
Its accessible explanation of Perceptual Control Theory and its application to real world problems also makes a useful resource for undergraduates, graduates and researchers in psychology.
Introduction. Part I: Theory. Thinking styles and behaviours that maintain psychological distress are transdiagnostic. Transdiagnostic processes overlap to form a core process that maintains distress. The phenomenon of control - perception, comparison, and action. The control of perception - not the control of behaviour. The negative feedback loop. Basic causes of the loss of control. Hierarchies of Control - Going up and down levels. Conflict. Reorganisation - a non-linear process of change. Awareness and imagination. Arbitrary (or inflexible) control maintains distress via conflict. Directing awareness to regain flexible control - a common factor of CBT, effective therapy, and natural recovery. Interpersonal control. Circular causality and model building. It's all perception. Part II: Practice. The setting conditions: A problem that the client is willing to talk about. The stance: To enable the client's flexible control as efficiently as possible. Method of Levels goal one: asking about the current problem. Method of Levels goal two: asking about disruptions. Using the past, controlling the present and living for the future. "Green Apples" - Working through problems without disclosure. What to say at the first session. How much treatment and how often to provide it. A focus on distress rather than symptoms. Outcome monitoring. Evaluating your own practice. The therapeutic relationship - liberated exploration. Building MOL into other therapies and therapeutic practices. Utilising control theory in existing CBT. Interventions without talking - testing the controlled variable.