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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Neuropsychology?

A: Neuropsychology is a specialty of clinical psychology concerned with the relationships between behavior and how brain functioning affects behavior. This brain-behavior relationship is evaluated through the use of various assessment techniques.

Q: What is a Neuropsychologist?

A: A Neuropsychologist is a clinical psychologist who has undergone specialized training and study in the area of Neuropsychology and has a comprehensive understanding of the brain-behavior relationships.

Neuropsychologists' have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in the field of psychology. They typically work closely with neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and other medical specialist to optimize treatment planning.

Q: When may someone need to be seen by a neuropsychologist?

A: There are a variety of situations in which someone may benefit from a referral to a neuropsychologist.

Typically, a neuropsychological examination is sought when there may be a problem with behavior or thinking that may be related to impairment in brain functioning. Many dysfunctions are not severe, and often lend themselves to simple treatment outcomes.

Because of the complex nature of the brain and how it can effect behaviors, a neuropsychologist can often accurately answer many questions about the origins of the behavior. For this reason, even simple behaviors can have complex causes that may be overlooked by medical professionals and other psychologists. When an accurate identification of the causes of the behavior is found, treatment can be strategically focused on the specific issues, which often saves time and valuable resources. Because of advances in technology, more and more complex behaviors and their causes are being understood comprehensively and outcomes continue to improve.

Q: What is involved in a "neuropsychological evaluation" and the rehabilitation process?

A: An examination typically involves the following steps:

  1. The examiner reviews previous medical, academic or psychological records on the patient.
  2. A detailed history of the patient and family is taken.
  3. After reviewing the nature of the referral question and information gathered, a decision about techniques or instrument to be administered is made.
  4. The examiner then administers the instruments assessing the client's thinking, functioning and strengths and weaknesses. Testing may take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours depending on the referral question, the age of the client, and their level of functioning.
  5. Based on the results of testing, a report is written that identifies specific strengths and weaknesses of the client, and makes suggestions on how to ameliorate the problem through medical, chemical, psychological, and/or physical or occupational techniques.
  6. After the evaluation is complete, the results are reviewed with the patient and/or family and plans are made for follow-up with the physician, psychiatrist, school personnel, and/or other rehabilitation professionals.