Conversations with families

Using music therapy assessment when 'good enough' parenting isn't good enough

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As you know, conversations with your clients about needs, skills and capacities can be complex. Especially when you are assessing a child or have noticed issues that may be difficult for the client or family to face. We need to spend time preparing and creating strategies both to assess what exactly is going on, and then to convey that information in the clearest, non-judgemental way possible.

Good assessment and good communication allow us to gather unique and detailed information to help support our clients. And there are many benefits to this - it is both motivating and engaging for clients to have clarity, gives us confidence to set new goals and a clear way forward.

In this tutorial Dr Stine Lindahl Jacobsen discusses why assessment is important and how we can ensure we are using it ethically and effectively. She also discusses how to communicate our assessment findings or clinical observations to families (or clients) in a respectful and ethical manner.

In music therapy we have a lack of standard assessment tools due to the highly individual nature of our clients and our medium. As we all know, musical expressions and interpretations are unique to individuals and can be hard to capture in meaningful ways. This can be frustrating for us clinically and result in lower therapist confidence.

In this tutorial Dr Jacobsen briefly describes the assessment she has developed - the Assessment of Parent-Child Interaction. The APCI is a wonderful example of an assessment tool which captures and classifies meaningful client data that directly assists Dr Jacobsen in her goal setting with families.

Dr Jacobsen provides case studies to illustrate how assessment has been helpful in her clinical work and also provides several strategies and suggestions for managing any subsequent difficult conversations with clients.

So if you're interested in using assessment to provide quality information to your clients, devise more specific and relevant goals, build your confidence as a therapist, and learn how to manage difficult conversations - then this tutorial is for you.

Your Instructor

Dr Stine Lindahl Jacobsen
Dr Stine Lindahl Jacobsen

Stine Lindahl Jacobsen, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor and Head of Art, Health & Technology Education, and Head of the Music Therapy Research Group at Aalborg University. She is also Head of the Regional Arts and Health Center at AAU and the Head of the International Music Therapy Assessment Consortium. She has developed a validated music therapy measure called the Assessment of Parent-Child Interaction (APCI) and trains music therapists and researchers internationally. Publications include edited book chapters, manuals and articles and she has given numerous lectures and keynotes all around the world. Her clinical & research areas mainly include arts and health, families, effect studies and music therapy assessment.


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For MT-BC’s in the US and Canada you can submit your certificate in the workshops/independant learning category as an ‘other continuing education opportunity’. You can use the following CBMT Domains when you submit your CMTE certificate.
II Referral, Assessment, Interpretation of Assessment, and Treatment planning.
B. Assessment. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
C. Interpret Assessment information and Communicate results. 3. 5.
III Treatment Implementation and Documentation
A. Implementation. 1 a, b, c, d, e, f, g. 2.
V Professional Development & Responsibilities
A. Professional Development. 1. 2. 3. 6.