How Can Perceptual Control Theory Enhance the Practice of Psychological  Therapies? A working Bibliography

Assembled by Sarah Alsawy & Warren Mansell (August 2012)

Historical and Philosophical Context

  • Mansell, W. (2009). Understanding control and utilizing control theory in the science and practice of CBT. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 115-117.
  • Mansell, W. (2011). Editorial: Core processes of psychopathology and recovery: “Does the Dodo Bird Effect have wings?” Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 189-192.
  • Mansell, W. & Carey T. A. (2009). A century of psychology and psychotherapy: Is an understanding of ‘control’ the missing link between theory, research, and practice? Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 82, 337-353.
  • Powers, W. T. (2009). PCT and MOL: A brief history of Perceptual Control Theory and the Method of Levels. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 118-122.

lntegrative & Transdiagnostic Theoretical articles

  • Carey, T. A. & Mansell, W. (2009). Show us a behaviour without a cognition and we’ll show you a rock rolling down a hill. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 123-133.
  • Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1999). Control Theory: A useful conceptual framework for personality- social, clinical, and health psychology. In Baumeister, R. F. (Ed.), The self in social psychology. Psychology Press: Philadelphia.
  • Goldstein, D. M. (1990). Clinical applications of control theory. American Behavioral Scientist, 34, 110-116.
  • Goldstein, D. M., White, J., & Powers, W. T. (2011). Perceptual control theory (PCT) applied to personality, psychotherapy, and psychopathology. Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) Clinical Applications.
  • Higginson, S., Mansell, W., & Wood, A. M. (2011). An integrative mechanistic account of psychological distress, therapeutic change and recovery: the Perceptual Control Theory Approach. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 249-259.
  • Kelly, R. E., Mansell, W., & Wood, A. W. (submitted). What is the relationship between well-being, goal conflict, ambivalence, self-discrepancy and self-determination? A control theory model and systematic review.
  • Mansell, W. (2005). Control theory and psychopathology: An integrative approach. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 78, 141-178.
  • Watkins, E. (2011). Dysregulation in level of goal and action identification across psychological disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 260-278.

PCT, Core Processes, Goal Conflict and Mental Health – Research Studies

  • Bird, T., Mansell, W., Dickens, C., & Tai, S. J. (in press). Is there a core process across depression and anxiety? Cognitive Therapy and Research.
  • Cooray, J., Akgonul, S., Li, Y., & Mansell, W. (in preparation). Computer modelling of psychological change in therapy as the reorganisation of hierarchical goal conflict.
  • Higginson, S. (2008). Validation of the Reorganisation of Conflict Scale in a prospective analogue sample [working title]. University of Manchester: Unpublished Doctoral Thesis
  • Kelly, R. E., Mansell, W., & Wood, A. (2011). Goal conflict and ambivalence interact to predict depression. Personality and lndividual Differences, 50, 531-534.
  • Kelly, R. E., Wood, A., & Mansell, W. (in press). Flexible and tenacious goal pursuit lead to improving well-being in an aging population: A ten year cohort study. lnternational Psychogeriatrics.
  • Kelly, R. E., Wood, A. M., Shearman, K., Philips, S., & Mansell, W. (2012). Encouraging acceptance of ambivalence using the expressive writing paradigm. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.
  • Patel, T. (2010). The Development of a Scale to Measure Cognitive Behavioural Processes Across a Range of Psychological Disorders. University of East London: Unpublished Doctoral Thesis.
  • Reid, S. (2009). Intrusive imagery and goals: a control theory perspective. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 134-144.

Method of Levels – lntroductory articles & case studies

  • Carey T, A. (2001). Investigating the role of redirecting awareness in the change process: A case study using the method of levels. lnternational Journal of Reality Therapy, 20(2), 26-30.
  • Carey, T. A. (2008). Perceptual control theory and the Method of Levels: Further contributions to a transdiagnostic perspective. lnternational Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1, 237-255.
  • Carey, T. (2009). Dancing with distress: Helping people transform psychological problems with the Method of Levels two-step. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2(3), 167-177.
  • Goldstein, D. M. & Goldstein, S. E. (2005). Q Methodology study of a person in individual therapy.
  • Clinical Case Studies, 4(1), 40-56.
  • Mansell. W. (2009). Perceptual Control Theory as an integrative framework and Method of Levels as a cognitive therapy: What are the pros and cons? The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 197-196.
  • Mansell, W. (2012). The transdiagnostic approach. In Dryden, W (Ed.), CBT Approaches to Counselling and Psychotherapy. Sage.
  • Powers, W. T. (1992). An experiment with levels. In Powers, W. T. (Ed.), Living Control Systems ll.
  • Bloomfield, NJ: Benchmark Publications.
  • Powers, W. T. (unpublished). The method of levels: A cognitive-therapy synthesis.

Method of Levels – Therapy Manuals

  • Carey, T. A. (2003). The method of levels. In P. J. Runkel (Ed.) People as living things: The psychology of perceptual control (pp. 345-352). Hayward, CA: Living Control Systems Publishing.
  • Carey, T. A. (2006). Method of Levels: How to Do Psychotherapy without Getting in the Way. Living Control Systems Publishing.
  • Carey, T. A. (2008). Hold that thought! A short introduction to the Method of Levels. Chapel Hill, NC: Newview Publications.
  • Mansell, W., Carey, T. A., & Tai, S. (2012). A Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT using Method of Levels Therapy. Routledge. Published in October 2012.

Method of Levels – Outcome studies

  • Carey, T. A. & Mullan R. J. (2008). Evaluating the method of levels. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 21, 247-256.
  • Carey, T. A., Carey, M., Mullan, R. J., Spratt, C. G., & Spratt, M. B. (2009). Assessing the statistical and personal significance of the method of levels. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 37, 311-324.
  • Method of Levels – Formulation & Process Research
  • 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, 2(3), 145-166.
  • Kelly, R. E., Lansbergen, M. L., Wade, M., Mansell, W., Carey, T., & Tai, S. J. (submitted). Client readiness as a predictor of session by session therapeutic change: Is it important and how do we enhance it?
  • Spratt, C. G., & Carey, T. A. (2009). Can a control model approach assist case formulation in psychotherapy? The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 197-210.

Access to lnterventions & Models of Help-Seeking

  • Carey, T. A. (1999). What makes a psychotherapist effective? Psychotherapy in Australia, 5(3), 52-59. Carey, T. A. (2005). Can patients specify treatment parameters? A preliminary investigation. Clinical
  • Psychology and Psychotherapy, 12, 326-335.
  • Carey, T. A. (2010). Will you follow while they lead? Introducing a patient-led approach to low intensity CBT interventions. In J. Bennett-Levy et al. (Eds.), Oxford guide to low intensity CBT interventions (pp. 331-338). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Carey, T. A. (2011). As you like it: Adopting a patient-led approach to the issue of treatment length.
  • Journal of Public Mental Health, 10, 6-16.
  • Carey, T. A., & Mullan, R. J. (2007). Patients taking the lead: A naturalistic investigation of a patient led approach to treatment in primary care. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 20(1), 27-40.
  • Carey, T. A., & Spratt, M. B. (2009). When is enough enough? Structuring the organization of treatment to maximize patient choice and control. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2(3), 211-226.
  • Paige, L., & Mansell, W. (in press). To attend or not attend? A critical review of the factors impacting on initial appointment attendance from an approach-avoidance perspective. Journal of Mental Health.
  • Schauman, O., & Mansell, W. (in press). Processes underlying ambivalence in help-seeking: The Loss of Valued Control Model. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.

Theoretical & Clinical Models of Specific Clinical Presentations

  • Hyland, M. E. (1987). Control theory interpretation of psychological mechanism of depression: Comparison and integration of several theories. Psychological Bulletin, 102(1), 109-121.
  • Johnson, R. (2009). The intrapersonal civil war. The Psychologist, 22, 300-303. [model of dissociative identity disorder]
  • Mansell W. (2010). Bipolar Disorders. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Mental Health Care, 2nd Edition.
  • Mansell W, & Hodson, S. (2009). Imagery and Memories of the Social Self in People with Bipolar Disorders: Empirical Evidence, Phenomenology, Theory and Therapy. In L. Stopa [Ed.] lmagery and the Threatened Self. Routledge.
  • Mansell, W., & Carey, T. A. (2012). Dissociation: Perceptual Control Theory as an Integrative Framework for Clinical Interventions. Dissociation and Cognitive Therapy. London: Routledge. eScholarID:157038
  • Mansell, W., Powell, S., Pedley, R., Thomas, N. & Jones, S. A. (2010). The process of recovery from bipolar I disorder: A qualitative analysis of personal accounts in relation to an integrative cognitive model. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 49, 193-215.
  • Pitman, R. K. (1987). A cybernetic model of obsessive-compulsive psychopathology. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 28(4), 334-343.
  • Tai, S. (2009). Using Perceptual Control Theory and the Method of Levels to work with people who experience psychosis. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 227-242.
  • Webb, T. L. & Sniehotta, F. F. (2010). Using theories of behaviour change to inform interventions for addictive behaviours. Addiction, 105(11), 1879-1892.

Using control theory to understand and apply familiar therapeutic processes & techniques

  • Brady, A. & Raines, D. (2009). Dynamic hierarchies: a control system paradigm for exposure therapy.
  • The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 2, 51-62.
  • Carey, T. A. (2008). Perceptual conflict, as the Achilles heel of perceptual control, offers a unifying approach to the formulation of psychological problems. Counselling Psychology Review, 23, 5-16.
  • Carey, T. A. (2011). Exposure and reorganization: The what and how of effective psychotherapy.
  • Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 236-248
  • Carey, T. A., Kelly, R. E., Mansell, W., & Tai, S. J. (2012). What’s therapeutic about the therapeutic relationship? A hypothesis for practice informed by Perceptual Control Theory. Paper submitted for publication.
  • McEvoy, P., Baker, D., Plant, R., Hylton, K., & Mansell, W. (2012). Empathic curiosity: resolving goal conflicts that generate emotional distress. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2012.01926.
  • McEvoy, P., Law, A., Bates, R., Hylton, K., & Mansell, W. (submitted). Using behavioural activation in the treatment of depression: A control theory perspective.
  • Stott, R., Mansell, W., Salkovskis, P. M., Lavender, A., & Cartwright-Hatton, S. (2010). The Oxford Guide to Metaphors in CBT: Building Cognitive Bridges – Chapters 2 & 5. Oxford University Press.

Using PCT across modalities and  settings

  • Christensen, R. E. (2000). Developing and evaluating a medication and self-help group based on perceptual control theory. Dissertation Abstracts lnternational: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 60(9-B), 4881.
  • Gaffney, H., Mansell, W., Edwards, R., & Wright, J. (submitted). Manage Your Life Online (MYLO): A pilot trial of a conversational computer-based intervention for problem solving in a student sample.
  • Lazare, M. (2012) writes on crisis intervention in mental health settings based on PCT.
  • Morris, L. (2012) runs a group called the Take Control Course, a group form of MOL with clients experiencing  anxieties.  Contact  details:

Qualitative Accounts of Phenomenology of Mental Health Problems and the Recovery Process

  • Alsawy, S. & Mansell, W. (submitted). How do people change to achieve and maintain a comfortable weight? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
  • Brown, J. C. & Carey, T. A. (2012). Perceptual control theory and the phenomenological analysis of the experience of autism: A case study. lnternational Journal of Psychological studies, 4. DOI: 10.5539/ijps.v4n2p67
  • Carey, T. A., Carey, M., Stalker, K., Mullan, R. J, Murray, L. K., & Spratt, M. B. (2007). Psychological change from the inside looking out: A qualitative investigation. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 37, 311-324.
  • Gianakis, M., & Carey, T. A. (2011). An interview study investigating experiences of psychological change without psychotherapy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 84, 442-457.
  • Higginson, S., & Mansell, W. (2008). What is the mechanism of psychological change? A qualitative analysis of six individuals who experienced personal change and recovery. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 81, 309-328.
  • McEvoy, P., Schauman, O., Mansell, W., & Morris, L. (2012). The experience of recovery from the perspective of people with common mental health problems: Findings from a telephone survey. lnternational Journal of Nursing Studies, in press:
  • Stevenson-Taylor, A. & Mansell, W. (submitted). Exploring the role of art-making in recovery, change and self-understanding: An Interpretative Phenomenological analysis of interviews with everyday creative people.