Measuring and Improving
Emotional Health and Well-being

What do we mean by Pro-social, Blocks and Executive Functions?

Motional measures different emotional systems in the Brain (CARE, SEEKING, PLAY, FEAR, PANIC/GRIEF based on Professor Jaak Panksepp’s work) and several key executive function skills (handling stress, thinking & concentration, confidence & self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and emotional literacy – written by Dr Margot Sunderland) to give a whole brain picture of a child’s emotional and mental health. Sometimes in Motional we group these together into System Summaries: Pro-social, Blocks and Executive Functions.

What we mean by pro-social systems
  • CARE measures the child’s capacity for compassion toward self and others and pro-social skills in general
  • SEEKING measures the child’s energised engagement in life and learning, level of enthusiasm, curiosity and desire to seek knowledge
  • PLAY measures the child’s capacity to be able to play with ideas (creativity) and to be playful in relationships, meeting others in joy as appropriate


What we mean by Blocks

Here we look at blocks to quality of life and, in particular, blocks to learning due to:

  • Over-active RAGE system (problems with anger which block learning)
  • Over-active FEAR system (problems with anxiety which block learning)
  • Over-active PANIC/GRIEF system (problems with depression / experience of traumatic loss which block learning)


What we mean by executive functions

A set of cognitive processes activated in the pre-frontal cortex. They are key to learning and to being able to handle stress well. They include attention, concentration and stress regulation.