Neuropsychology Demystified!

What is Neuropsychology? 

By the books, Clinical Neuropsychology is a “specialty in professional psychology that applies principles of assessment and intervention based upon the scientific study of human behavior as it relates to the central nervous system.” What does that mean? Clinical neuropsychologists have an understanding of neuroanatomy (how your brain works!) and how changes resulting from neurological, medical, developmental, and psychiatric conditions affect your feelings, thinking, and behaviors. Assessment and intervention help enhance the patient, family, and treatment teams understanding of brain‐behavior relationships and how the structure and function of our brain impacts our mood, behavior, and cognitive functioning. By “assessment” we mean use of neuropsychological tests (often paper and pencil), patient history, observations, and support from neuroimaging and other diagnostic medical procedures. In our eyes, the assessment is a collaborative process where we work together to better understand your needs and answer questions you or your providers may have. 

What does it mean to see someone who specializes in neuropsychology? 

In addition to training in clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychologists have specialized knowledge of functional neuroanatomy, principles of neuroscience, brain development, neurological disorders and etiologies, neurodiagnostic techniques, typical and atypical brain functioning,and neuropsychological and behavioral manifestations of neurological disorders (stroke, brain injury, dementia, ADHD, learning disorders, epilepsy, etc). Professionals trained in clinical neuropsychology collaborate with the patient to complete assessments to help patients and treatment teams better understand mood, behavior, and cognition.  

What is a neuropsychological evaluation? 

Neuropsychological assessments can look at any variety of these brain functions: •General intellect •Higher level executive skills (e.g.,sequencing, reasoning, problem solving, planning) •Attention and concentration •Learning and memory •Language •Visual–spatial skills (e.g., perception) •Motor and sensory skills •Mood and personality 

Why have I been referred to a neuropsychologist? 

A community provider (doctor, therapist, teacher, etc.) may refer you for a neuropsychological evaluation to help you and other providers better understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working. You may be having some difficulty remembering or concentrating. You may be having more trouble at school. You or others may have noticed some subtle changes and want to support your growth and success.  

What will the results tell me? 

·Cognitive strengths and weaknesses. ·Differentiate between condition/diagnosis. ·Establish a “baseline” ·Treatment planning and recommendations. At completion of scoring and interpretation, you will receive a customized, comprehensive report that can assist in understanding your abilities better. 

How long will it take and what will it cost? 

Great questions! Each evaluation is tailored to the client’s specific needs and the referral question;therefore, it is difficult to provide a general length of time for evaluations. Cost is also determined upon meeting the client and understanding their specific needs/the referral question. Please contact us to help us understand your needs and provide a more individualized response to this question!