Tim first began learning about MOL in the mid ‘90s. At that time, MOL was more of an idea for therapy that Bill Powers had developed based on the principles of PCT. When he completed his training in clinical psychology, he began developing MOL into an efficient and effective therapy while he worked as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist in the National Health Service in Scotland. As he was developing MOL he worked closely with Bill Powers who provided mentoring and guidance in the application of the principles of PCT to the practice of MOL. He conducted ongoing evaluations of the effectiveness of MOL in routine clinical practice and demonstrated that it was an efficient and effective therapy. He has authored over 100 publications including journal articles, books, and book chapters. In Australia, Tim has used MOL in private practice and continues to use it in his current practice in the public mental health service in remote Australia. He has run MOL workshops in the UK, Australia, and Canada and continues to evaluate MOL and supervise others in its application.
Dr Warren Mansell is a clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist who has been involved in the evaluation and dissemination of Method of Levels (MOL) since 2007. He also uses Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) as a model to understand psychological distress and recovery from a transdiagnostic, or universal, perspective. He has authored over 100 publications including a special issue of The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist in 2009 on MOL and PCT, and a therapy manual on MOL called “A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT Using Method of Levels Therapy”, published in 2012. Warren provides training, workshops, and supervision on MOL in the UK and Europe.
I began my career working in addictions in a variety of settings before training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I first met Tim Carey in 2002 whilst working in a large psychology department providing psychotherapy in primary and secondary care settings. It’s fair to say that Tim and I lived and breathed Control Theory and the Method of Levels for five wonderful years. I have never met anyone who has left such an impression on me professionally and personally. Control Theory revolutionised the way I work with patients and also how I live my life. Tim’s expert and humane instruction on the Method of Levels has had a transformative effect on what kind of psychotherapist I am. We separated company physically in 2007 and I returned to my hometown of Coleraine in Northern Ireland where I continue to use the Method of Levels with a wide spectrum of problems that people need assistance with. I have found it to be a person-centred and humane approach that works across the disorders. In these days of increased demand on psychological services and a need on the behalf of therapists to become more flexible and versatile, working with a wide spectrum of presentations I have found the Method of Levels and Control Theory to be most beneficial and effective.
William (Bill) T. Powers
It’s hard to convey in words the magnitude of Bill’s contribution to the development of MOL, with Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) providing the underpinning principles of the therapy.The idea of a therapy first began to germinate when, in the 1950s, he wondered what would happen if someone were able to direct their attention to ever-higher levels in the perceptual hierarchy. He conducted some investigations with his friend Kirk Satteley and they found that conversations didn’t go round in circles but, instead, they arrived at a contented place of reflection where the whole stream of conversation could be noticed in a detached but interested kind of a way from an “observer” perspective. Bill conducted demonstrations of this technique at workshops, seminars, and conferences and created interest, however, as he was not a clinician himself, he wasn’t able to explore the full scope of this technique in clinical practice. When Tim Carey showed interest in exploring the potential of MOL as a discrete therapy Bill provided detailed and ongoing mentoring and constant encouragement. He extended that steadfast support to other clinicians who became interested in the therapy. Regrettably, Bill did not live to see this website but his influence will live on and we’d like to think he’d be well pleased with the development of MOL and how his seed of an idea from more than half a century ago has grown and blossomed into a potent way of helping people live contented and meaningful lives.
I am a Community Mental Health Nurse Specialist and Team Leader specialising in psychotherapy in Fife, Scotland. I first learned about the Method of Levels (MOL) in 2005 from my wife, Margaret, who was, at the time, working as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist in the same department as Dr Tim Carey. She was learning about MOL and Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), the model which underpins it, from Tim. A few clinicians in their department were developing this approach and were running a supervision group. Immediately seeing something in this theory which I felt was missing in all the cognitive behavioural therapy training I had, I joined this group. Initially I felt completely out of my depth as I learned and recognised that all living organisms ‘control’ rather than ‘behave’, which conflicted with my current understanding of psychology and physiology. I certainly lived through the experience of PCT and MOL being ‘simple, but not easy’! My clinical practice changed dramatically and this was readily reflected in the results I saw with my patients. I went on to be involved in research, national and international teaching symposia, and to write and be published on the subject. 9 years on PCT and MOL are the breath I breathe. I frequently say that this has not only changed my clinical practice but also the way I live my life and relate to others. PCT is both intuitive and logical and I am certain it will grow to be very widely accepted. I teach PCT locally and would certainly recommend that any clinical psychological practitioner consider it and see where it takes them.
Dr Sara Tai is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked predominantly within community mental health services, acute psychiatric inpatient settings, and early intervention for psychosis services, in the context of multi-cultural inner city areas. Her research focuses on the science and practice of CBT and MOL, cognitive theory, and interventions for people experiencing psychosis and mood-swings. She has an international reputation as a trainer in transdiagnostic psychological interventions and is currently involved in clinical trials and experimental research developing psychological interventions for psychosis and bipolar disorders in Texas, Philadelphia, Illinois, Beijing, Europe, and the UK.