Warren Mansell, Timothy A. Carey, Sara J. Tai
A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels Therapy
To many, the title, A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels Therapy: Distinctive Features (Routledge, 2012) , may seem incongruous with a podcast channel called “New Books in Systems and Cybernetics.” However, listeners familiar with my previous interview with Richard S. Marken about his co-authored book, Contolling People: The Paradoxical Nature of Being Human, will be aware of contemporary developments of Willam T. Powers’ essentially cybernetic Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) and the Method of Levels (MOL) approach to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that emerged from Powers’ revolutionary vision. Marken’s co-author, Timothy A. Carey, has been the driving force behind the evolution of MOL and is also the co-author, along with Warren Mansell and Sara Tai of the University of Manchester, of this episode’s featured book. Lead author, Mansell, and his colleagues have deftly crafted a clear and concise introduction to the underlying principles and practical procedures of this therapeutic approach that is as digestible and useful for students of cybernetics in general as it is for practicing psychotherapeutic clinicians. In our conversation, Mansell crisply outlines the growing transdiagnostic conception of mental distress, the hypothesized system of hierarchically nested control-systems undergirding human behaviour, and the stunningly simple yet powerful therapeutic approach that is grounded in this cybernetic hypothesis and that is gaining ever more robust empirical support with each passing year. This is important work for researches in all disciplines committed to exploring a cybernetic conception of adaptive (or maladaptive) human behaviour.