IMG_0686Hi all, after a recent discussion with colleagues regarding the the lens in which we, as therapists, assess and work with client’s specifically in the areas of affect or emotion and cognition, several questions emerged that I like to ask the good folks who follow and read this blog. I would love to hear what others think.

So, here goes::

1) is it possible for the music therapists to assess emotion or affect through a cognitive lens?

2) Is it possible to assess affect or emotion without context of an emotional experience?

3) Is it possible to assess cognition without considering emotional or effective processes? (in other words, can cognition be assessed as an isolated domain area?)

4) If any of the above are answered with “yes,” does that imply that emotion can be “taught”‘ through cognitive processes ( such as teaching a child the emotion of anger through a song that includes the theme of anger, or via a photo of an angry face).

5) Can emotion be assessed and fostered or “learned” via relational experiences that embody emotion or affect (in other words, “learning affect or emotion, through and in actual experiences)? Thoughts?


In thinking about I began to think about a terrific chapter written by Dr. Stanley Greenspan , The Affect Diathesis Hypothesis.  The chapter is taken from the ground breaking book: The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, & Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern HumansAlthough Greenspan contextualizes that particular chapter within autism spectrum disorders, he is basing his theory on typical child development.

Thanks for reading, folks!

Best,

John