“Rate of speech and emotional-cognitive regulation in the psychotherapeutic process: a pilot study” by Marco Tonti and Omar Gelo

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between a client’s rate of speech (ROS) and emotional-cognitive regulation during a psychotherapysession. The ROS was measured in words per second on the timed transcript of a single session of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Emotional-cognitive regulation was assessed using the therapeutic cycles model on emotional tone (ET), abstraction (AB), and their combination in emotio-abstraction patterns (EAPs). The results were mostly consistent with our hypotheses and showed that: i) the ROS negatively correlated with the conjoined ET and AB; and ii) the ROS in the connecting EAP (high ET and high AB) was significantly lower than in other EAPs. The results support the hypothesis that a significant reduction in the client’s ROS may be a reliable marker of in-session change processes. Clinical implications and future developments are discussed.

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Dr Vito Evola

Vito Evola

Affiliation: Universidade Nova de Lisboa

As a researcher, I’m responsible for the Multimodal Communication/Linguistics section of the BlackBox project, investigating performing arts from cognitive and ethnographic perspectives.

Previously, I did post-doctoral research on cognitive semiotics, metaphors, metonymy, gestures and epistemic stance at Humtec – RWTH Aachen University (Germany) with the Natural Media – Gesture lab, teaching Master’s courses in Media Informatics on “Media, Culture and Mind” and “Semiotics and Embodied Cognition in the Digital Age” from 2009-2014. I held a one-year FIIRD fellowship granted by the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue for research on multimodal cognitive semiotics in relation to religious and spiritual thought at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). I was also lecturer at the University of Palermo (Italy), where my doctoral training began, which was also conducted in the USA at the University of California-Berkeley (Linguistics) as visiting researcher and at Case Western Reserve (Cognitive Science) as visiting scholar.

Broadly, my research lies in the intersection of language, culture and cognition, focusing on multimodal cognitive semiotics and symbolic systems (e.g. religions and religious discourse; performing arts and literature) and the socio-anthropological aspects of conceptual blends. One special research interest of mine is on multimodal metaphors (speech, gesture, cultural artifacts) and how these might be applied in other domains such as in psychotherapy and forensic interviews in order to better understand the epistemic stance of the speaker and how it’s represented in “natural media” (voice, gestures, posture, gaze, etc.). In this sense, I adhere to an embodied and embedded view of the human mind following contemporary cognitive science.

Within the BlackBox research framework, I’m interested in investigating what dancers and other performers might be able to inform science about the relationship between body and cognition and creative processes in general.

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