“What is neuropsychology?”
Neuropsychology is a subspecialty field of psychology. A psychologist is one who studies human behavior, and a neuropsychologist is one who specializes in the relationship between behavior and brain function.
“What is a neuropsychologist?”
A clinical neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in how behavior and skills are related to brain structures and systems. In clinical neuropsychology, brain function is evaluated by objectively testing memory and thinking skills. A very detailed assessment of abilities is done, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used in important health care areas, such as diagnosis and treatment planning. The clinical neuropsychologist conducts the evaluation and makes recommendations. [From the Public Interest Advisory Committee, Division 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology), American Psychological Association]
The clinical neuropsychologist (minimal criteria) has:
- A doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited university training program.
- An internship, or its equivalent, in a clinically relevant area of professional psychology.
- The equivalent of two (full-time) years of experience and specialized training, at least one of which is at the post-doctoral level, in the study and practice of clinical neuropsychology and related neurosciences. These two years include supervision by a clinical neuropsychologist.
- A license in his or her state or province to practice psychology and/or clinical neuropsychology independently or is employed as a neuropsychologist by an exempt agency.
Board certification (through formal credential verification, written and oral examination, and peer review) in the specialty of clinical neuropsychology is further evidence of the above-advanced training, supervision, and applied fund of knowledge in clinical neuropsychology. –From the Official Statement of the National Academy of Neuropsychology – Approved by the Board of Directors 5/5/2001
“How do I choose a neuropsychologist?”
An appropriately trained clinical neuropsychologist has earned a doctorate degree in psychology from an APA-accredited university. These degree programs include a 12-month clinical psychology internship, ideally including neuropsychology training. Postdoctoral training in neuropsychology is also necessary, according to standards set within the field (referred to as “The Houston Conference”; see http://www.div40.org/pub/Houston_conference.pdf).
A list of board-certified clinical neuropsychologists can be accessed via the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology website; http://www.theaacn.org/diplomates/database/view.php
As you look through our biographies, you will see that our neuropsychologists have completed their educations at outstanding universities and have trained with the top clinicians and researchers in the field. They are members of prominent organizations, have published articles on a variety of topics, have taught university psychology courses, and have supervised neuropsychologists in training.
“Does a school psychologist and a clinical neuropsychologist perform the same evaluation?”
A clinical neuropsychologist provides specialized services because he or she understands a person’s behavior from multiple perspectives: medical, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, educational, and rehabilitative. Our evaluations are not limited by the objectives of a psychological treatment plan or a school setting. Instead, we incorporate extensive detail about one’s medical history, developmental background, cognitive ability, academic achievement, and day-to-day functioning because we intend to make recommendations that are applicable in all major areas of a client’s life.