A Neuropsychological assessment provides a picture of a person’s thinking or cognitive abilities, and allows for the development of a profile of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used to determine methods for capitalizing on an individual’s strengths to circumvent any identified weaknesses. The integrity of the underlying brain structures associated with these strengths and weaknesses is determined by systematically evaluating cognitive, emotional, and psychological functions. This information can assist in developing interventions to improve and maximize daily functioning in work, school, home and community settings. This information should allow for improving an individual’s functioning in all aspects of their life.
Neuropsychological assessment may identify the presence of a treatable neurological, psychological, or behavioral disorder (e.g., attention deficit disorder, learning disability, dementia, memory disorder, etc.). A neuropsychological evaluation may be performed to determine whether a patient’s presenting complaints are related to brain involvement, or to determine a person’s ability to benefit from a particular medical treatment, psychological intervention, or rehabilitation program.
An assessment is an integral component for directing and monitoring treatment efforts. The results are likely to be crucial in providing direction/recommendations for patient/client rehabilitation and educational/vocational planning.
How to Choose a Neuropsychologist
A neuropsychologist should have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a post-doctoral fellowship or residency in neuropsychology. A strong background in neuropathology, cognitive psychology, and in clinical psychology is necessary per standard guidelines of Division 40; Clinical Neuropsychology Division of the American Psychological Association. The most rigorous and identifiable evidence of competence and training is achievement of Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP/ABCN). Currently there are only approximately 1000 board certified clinical neuropsychologists in the United States, and and there are less than 100 board certified subspecialists in pediatric neuropsychology..