Emotion Regulation of Others and Self

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Bird, T., Mansell, W., & Tai, S. (2009). Method of Levels: initial steps in assessing adherence and the development of a qualitative framework for mapping clients’ control hierarchies. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2009, 2, 145–166.


Method of Levels (MOL) is a form of cognitive therapy based on Perceptual
Control Theory (PCT). This paper presents the initial steps towards four methods of
establishing the validity of MOL. First, the session was rated by two independent
experts for its adherence to MOL using a newly developed 6-item scale based on the
Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale. Second, each therapist utterance within a session of
MOL was coded and categorized in terms of the therapist’s goal to test for adherence
to the two specified goals of MOL. Third, a macroanalysis of a MOL session utilizing
interpretative phenomenological analysis hypothesized the control hierarchies involved
in a client’s presenting problem and their zones of conflict. Fourth, a microanalysis of a
brief interchange between the therapist and client explored its adherence to PCT. These
methods of establishing validity are introduced and explored for later use in larger scale
studies. The limitations of the present study and suggestions for future research are

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