An Introduction to the Method of Levels

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    • 00:04

      SPEAKER: The Method of Levels is an exciting newtrans-diagnostic cognitive therapy.Trans-diagnostic just means that it'sa cognitive therapy that applies across different disorders.So it's not specific to depression or social phobia,for example, but can be used across a rangeof different disorders.And that's very helpful clinicallybecause a lot of people don't come in

    • 00:25

      SPEAKER [continued]: to see a psychologist or counselors or therapistswith neat disorders.So we need therapies that are applicabletrans-diagnostically, and that's what the Method of Levels,or MOL, is.The cognitive aspect of the Method of Levelsjust means that the Method of Levelsfocuses on people's internal experiences.So their thoughts, images, feelings,

    • 00:47

      SPEAKER [continued]: experiences that they're having thatonly they know from the inside.And the Method of Levels helps people kind of sortout the internal experiences that they'rehaving to make sure that they arethe way they want them to be.Method of Levels or, MOL, is based on Perceptual ControlTheory, or PCT, which is a rigorous scientific account

    • 01:07

      SPEAKER [continued]: of human behavior, based on the ideathat the meaning behind human behavior is one of control.So humans behave in order to controlthe things that are important to them and in the environmentsthey live in and the relationships that theyhave with other people.So PCT informs the Method of Levels

    • 01:29

      SPEAKER [continued]: and, based on the principles of PCT,MOL's a very simple therapy that justhas two essential goals that a therapist or a clinicianwould focus on.The first goal of MOL is to just encouragepeople to talk about whatever it is that they're currentlyfinding distressing or problematic.So MOL doesn't make any assumptions

    • 01:50

      SPEAKER [continued]: about what the person's problem might be,but seeks to find out from them the waythat they are currently experiencing life and the waythat they would like to experience it.So the first goal is just to have people talkingabout their problem and then, the second goalis to pick up on something that we call disruptions.Now, that's a very interesting idea, that when people talk,

    • 02:11

      SPEAKER [continued]: they don't just talk from A to B, but they kind of pause--or you might even notice me doing it now.People pause or look away, or they might kind ofshake their head as they're talking or they do something,there's some break in their flow of dialoguethat sort of disrupts what is they're saying.In the Method of Levels, we assume

    • 02:31

      SPEAKER [continued]: that when there are those disruptions,they're just momentarily.They might have been a background thought or somethingelse going through the person's mind thatcould be very useful for them to become aware ofand to focus on.So the second goal of MOL is justto ask people about disruptions.So the first goal is to have people talking, and the reason

    • 02:51

      SPEAKER [continued]: that we want people talking about the thingsthat they're finding difficult, or the things that they'dactually rather not talk about, is so that sooneror later there'll be a disruption, whichis likely to represent some kind of background thoughtor something else that's occurring to them while they'reexplaining the problem to you.And an MOL therapist focuses on thatand asks them more about whatever

    • 03:12

      SPEAKER [continued]: it was that stopped them just a moment before.So MOL therapists don't wait until the person getsto the end of their sentence, but whenan MOL clinician or therapist notices this disruption,they just ask something very naturally like,what occured to you just then?Or, what popped into mind?Or what made you smile just now?Or when you shook your head just then,

    • 03:34

      SPEAKER [continued]: what was it you were thinking to yourself?Something like that, which draws the person's attention awayfrom the current problem that they're experiencingand onto what might be a background thought,or something that's related or associated with the problem,but something that they may not be fully aware of yet.Based on PCT, the MOL idea about psychological distress

    • 03:56

      SPEAKER [continued]: that MOL seeks to kind of help people resolveis one of psychological internal conflict.So MOL assumes that people become distressedwhen there are two goals or two states that are incompatible,but they're trying to solve simultaneously.So for example, someone might have a desire for oblivion

    • 04:17

      SPEAKER [continued]: and a thirst for life at the same time.Now, you can imagine that trying to pursue both of those thingsat the same time would lead to a state of indecisionand vacillation between the extremes.Similarly, people might want to feel autonomousand that they're kind of in charge of their own lifeand controlling their own destiny,

    • 04:39

      SPEAKER [continued]: but they also might really like social approvalas well and the affiliation of others,and at times, those things can become conflicted.So MOL seeks to help people kind of resolvethose conflicts by looking for the background thoughtsand kind of searching for, or helping people,to search for the higher level goals,or the things that are the more important

    • 04:59

      SPEAKER [continued]: to them, than either goal itself,either of the incompatible goals.And within PCT, there's a model of change called reorganizationthat suggests when awareness does go to those higher levelgoals, and ideas, and beliefs, that a reorganizationprocess occurs to kind of reconfigure

    • 05:22

      SPEAKER [continued]: the current cognitive structures of the personso that they can achieve a more contented and satisfying wayof living.So that's MOL in a nutshell.As I said, it's an exciting and innovative new trans-diagnosticcognitive therapy with a growing body of evidence behind it.

    • 05:43

      SPEAKER [continued]: And importantly, the evidence has allbeen accumulated, or very much of it,has been accumulated in routine clinical practice.So we actually know what the experience of cliniciansare when they use MOL in their routine clinical practicewith people who come through the door with problemsof everyday living.

    • 06:04

      SPEAKER [continued]: There's a website called you can find out lots more information,and also a website for PCT, www.PCTweb.orgwhere you can find lots more information about the theory.I hope you find it really useful,and I hope it helps your practice become even more

    • 06:25

      SPEAKER [continued]: effective than it is now.Thanks.

An Introduction to the Method of Levels

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The methods of levels (MOL) is a trans-diagnostive cognitive therapy that focuses on internal experiences: thoughts, images and feeling. MOL is based on Perceptual Control Theory, which says that human behavior aims at control of our environment.

An Introduction to the Method of Levels

The methods of levels (MOL) is a trans-diagnostive cognitive therapy that focuses on internal experiences: thoughts, images and feeling. MOL is based on Perceptual Control Theory, which says that human behavior aims at control of our environment.

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