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Perceptual control theory (PCT) was first developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Mode draws on the PCT theory which is a theory that provides a framework for understanding psychological functioning as a whole and for understanding what contributes for psychological distress.

PCT is based on the idea that all living things, including humans , control their view of things to ensure their experience is a certain way. This applies to basic things, such as how warm or cold you want to be, through to more complex life goals, such as having a good relationship with a partner. One way of thinking about this is that we have a set of "just rights" in our head, "just rights" being a representation of how we want the world to be. When our experience within the world matches up to our "just rights" then we act to keep happening this way, but when conditions change and things are no longer "just right," we act to bring things back to the way we want them to be.


Within PCT, there is an important role of awareness because without this awareness of conflicted goals then conflicts will not be resolved. Lack of awareness of all relevant goals makes it more likely that a goal will be pursued without taking into account another goal that is also controlling this experience. For example , after a traumatic accident an individual may have recognized the need to discuss their experiences with other people because they recognize that it will give them support and help them understand how to cope better. However, they might struggle to talk about these experiences due to a second goal they hold, which could be something like " make sure people dont think im crazy". In practice they may switch between wanting to talk about their problems and wanting to ignore other people.

In some ways, it is interesting to consider how the distinction between the biological, the psychological, and the social ever arose. Sir William Osler (1849–1919), who has been described as the father of modern medicine, is reported to have said “It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has”.

PCT can help develop skills to maximise your potential.

Please contact us for any further information.

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Here at Mode Rehabilitation, we have been fortunate enough to receive sponsorship from some very highly regarded companies. These companies aid Mode Rehabilitation in providing the best possible care for our clients, for which we are immensely grateful.



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