An Evaluation of Online Method of Levels Therapy with Young People

Prof Doc Thesis

Gluckman, N. 2022. An Evaluation of Online Method of Levels Therapy with Young People. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsGluckman, N.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Background: Adolescence is an influential stage in a person’s life, where they may experience significant psychological distress. Multiple youth-led reports and a youth-consulted framework (THRIVE) emphasise the importance of challenging the current diagnostic system and promoting accessible client and needs-led psychological support. Method of Levels (MoL) is a transdiagnostic, client- and needs-led therapy which appears to align with these reports and principles. Studies have not yet explored the utility of MoL with young people in ‘late adolescence’ (ages 16-19), or evaluated the delivery of MoL in an online videoconferencing setting.

Aims: This study aimed to explore the patterns of attendance, effectiveness, and participant experiences (i.e. acceptability, accessibility and helpfulness) of online
MoL with young people in ‘late adolescence.’

Methods: This study adopted a quantitative, within-subjects pretest-posttest design. Late adolescents aged 16-19 (N=25) were recruited and offered to engage with online MoL. Participants completed self-report questionnaires pre-intervention, at completion of therapy and at a one-week and four-week follow-ups. Open-text feedback questions were used to explore perceptions of the participant-led practices of online MoL. Descriptive statistics described the patterns of attendance and a Repeated Measures ANOVA tested for changes in the symptom-, process- and life-functioning-based measures. The reliable change index determined the reliability of changes in symptom-based measures. Descriptive statistics of feedback on the acceptability, accessibility, and helpfulness of online MoL were examined.

Results: Mean attendance was between 3-4 online MoL sessions. Scores on ‘goal conflict reorganisation’ (ROC) followed significant linear and quadratic trends over time. A statistically significant cubic trend was found for life-functioning (ORS) scores across time. The reliable change scores between pre-intervention and 1-weekfollow-up suggested a moderate to high practical significance for both symptombased measures (GAD-7 and PHQ-9). Participants reported various patient-led aspects of MoL as acceptable, accessible and helpful (e.g. control over session direction, self-scheduling, online sessions).

Discussion: Online MoL appears to be a useful intervention for older adolescents, and may provide a more efficient, accessible and helpful alternative to current disorder-focused approaches. The occurrence of changes in process- and life-functioning based measures (without significant changes in symptom-based measures) also supports discourse around shifting the current diagnostic approach to psychological distress, and calls into question how change in psychological distress is meaningfully measured in mental health.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online16 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
CompletedSep 2022
Deposited16 Jan 2023
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