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June 2022

Music therapy assessment: toward a comprehensive model

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to present a model for music therapy assessment that has been designed to elicit information about an individual's cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal functioning. The model, utilizing the principles of an assessment battery, merges two separate assessment instruments into a single clinical assessment tool, for the purpose of providing a comprehensive understanding of an individual adult personality. Musical behaviors are the primary vehicle through which assessment data are generated. The model is recommended for use by trained music therapists who, as part of an interdisciplinary team, may use the elicited information to contribute information about an individual that would not otherwise be available through more traditional assessment methods. Chapter one provides a definition of clinical music therapy assessment, and elaborates the need for a conprehensive assessment measure in the field of music therapy. Chapter two discusses the content of such an assessment, and provides support for the unique contribution that the assessment of musical behaviors offers in the realms of an individual's cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal functioning. Chapter three explains the concept of a clinical assessment battery, and includes a basic exposition os psychometric criteria used in the selection of individual assessment instruments for inclusion into such battery. Chapter four presents the model itself, which is a combination of a cognitive instrument adapted by the author from that of Dorgeuille, and an instrument, developed by Nolan, that is recommended for use in the interpretation of ego psychosocial, emotional, and interpersonal functioning. Chapter five includes a brief summary and a critical evaluation of the model, including implications for future development. Two appendices provide illustrative information for the adapted Dorgeuille and adult musical behaviors.

Keyword(s): Assessment, model, cognitive, emotional, interpersonal.


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