What Sort of Therapy is MOL?
MOL is a flexible and powerfully effective and efficient transdiagnostic cognitive therapy. MOL engages each person’s internal resources to promote their own recovery in an enduring and generative way. The starting point for MOL is the subjective experience of the individual and, by assisting people to expand their awareness and increase the interconnectedness of their internal worlds, they are able to make different sense of their difficulties and forge new and more contented lives. By providing treatment from the individual’s perspective. As a transdiagnostic therapeutic approach MOL is well suited to complex cases as well as addressing some of the more difficult problems in therapy such as noncompliance, lack of engagement, and poor motivation.
MOL has been used in the UK and Australia in primary care, secondary care, and private practice with good results. MOL focusses on the distress underlying symptom presentations rather than the symptoms themselves so, instead of helping people overcome symptoms, MOL helps people understand and resolve psychological distress.
The Theory Behind MOL
MOL is based on an understanding that the neurocircuitry of the brain is organised according to control system architecture. This architecture is described in a theory called Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). PCT suggests that these hierarchically arranged negative feedback loops ensure that the world is experienced as the individual intends it to be. Control is fundamental to satisfactory and contented day-to-day living. People experience psychological distress when their neural control systems work in opposition to each other. One control system might try to create a sense of safety, for example, while another is striving for excitement and risk. Or one control system might seek social approval at the same time that another is pushing for autonomy and independence.
MOL therapists recognise that they can’t ever really “walk a mile” in another person’s shoes so they don’t even try. Instead, they spend all of their time helping the other person examine in detail the shoes they are wearing, and finding out about the miles the person would like to walk in them. How do they fit? Do they have the right shoes for the job? Where do they plan to walk? What might be up ahead? MOL therapists understand that, fundamentally, people get themselves better when they are psychologically distressed and they work hard at being therapeutically useful by facilitating the “getting better process”.