Frequently Asked Questions
About Clinical Neuropsychology
Q: What is Clinical Neuropsychology?
A: Neuropsychology is a specialty area within the broader field of clinical psychology that focuses on brain-behavior relationships.
Clinical neuropsychologists evaluate patients who are presenting with a variety of conditions. A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation report includes a description of a patient’s cognitive and emotional functioning with prognosis the goal of diagnostic clarification, prognosis, rehabilitation recommendations, other treatment planning, and/or return to work or school decisions.
Q: What are the qualifications of a Clinical Neuropsychologist?
A: The Clinical Neuropsychologist 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.
- Some Clinical Neuropsychologists may also choose to obtain Board-Certification. Board-Certification is a formal credentialed verification of competency in neuropsychology; resulting in a Diplomate in Clinical Neuropsychology. The Diplomate is the highest degree attainable and is evidence of advanced training, supervision, peer review and wealth of knowledge in Clinical Neuropsychology.
Q: What does a neuropsychological evaluation involve?
A: The clinical neuropsychologist uses psychological, neurological, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological principles, techniques and tests to evaluate patients’ neurocognitive, behavioral, and emotional strengths and weaknesses and their relationship to normal and abnormal central nervous system functioning. Tests include measures of memory, learning, visual-spatial processing, attention-concentration, motor skills, basic sensory-perceptual processes, and psychological functioning. Depending on the referral question, a neuropsychological evaluation typically takes between 3 – 8 hours. Shorter evaluations are typically performed in one day or appointment. Often, longer evaluations are “broken up” into two half-day test sessions.
Q: Should I bring anything with me to the evaluation?
A: You should bring any relevant adaptive aids (i.e. glasses for reading; hearing aids) that you normally use for optimal functioning. It is also important to get a good night’s sleep prior to your evaluation appointment. You should also eat a good meal (i.e. breakfast prior to a morning appointment). You are also welcome to bring snacks/drinks, particularly if your evaluation appointment is more than 3 hours. Please leave your cell phone at home. At the very least, all cell phones should be turned off, as they are a distraction to the evaluation process.
Q: Are parents allowed to watch the evaluation of their children?
A: Typically, testing is done without the presence of a child’s parent (in the room) due to issues related to test validity. Please discuss any concerns about this policy with Dr. Anderson.
Q: How long will it take before I receive results of the evaluation?
A: Results are typically available within two weeks of the last testing session date. Please discuss any time issues with Dr. Anderson prior to scheduling.
Q: Who will receive a copy of the evaluation report?
A: All evaluation results are kept confidential. If you would like to share results with a teacher, physician, family member, etc., you must sign a Release of Information Form (available with the Testing Registration Packet).