Sunday, April 29, 2012

Choosing And Working With A Neuropsychologist

A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist who has specific training in giving and interpreting neuropsychological tests.  None of the 50 states licenses neuropsychology as a specific discipline.  Many psychologists may use neuropsychological tests occasionally, but may not have the specific training that a neuropsychologist has.  Additionally, neuropsychological tests are not controlled items, so anybody who wants to buy and use them can do so. Because of this you will need a plan for choosing the right person with whom to work.
Here are some tips for choosing a neuropsychologist:

Request to review the neuropsychologist’s résumé or curriculum vitae (CV). This document should list the psychologist’s education, training, and experience.  A person who is practicing as a neuropsychologist should have a Ph.D. level psychology degree with specific training in neuropsychology and in the administration of neuropsychological tests.

Some neuropsychologists have a professional certification called a “diplomate certification”.  Because this certification is issued by the American Board of Professional Psychology, it is often referred to as “ABPP certification”.  The psychologist with ABPP certification is likely to have a very solid preparation to practice as a neuropsychologist, although some very good neuropsychologists may not have this certification.

Many psychologists advertise through the Internet.  They generally offer their professional qualifications and experience online.  Others may only offer a name and a means of contacting them.  As above, keep in mind that the best choice for a neuropsychologist is likely to be person who has had specific training and practice in neuropsychology.

State rehabilitation agencies may also provide neuropsychological testing for persons who qualify for services.  Although state agency personnel may be in the habit of referring to specific persons for getting neuropsychological testing, it is still important to be a good consumer in accepting their choices.  Recent legislation and policy trends have emphasized “client choice” policies.  These give the individual applying to state rehabilitation agencies more rights and responsibilities to act as an informed consumer and to be part of the process of choosing a neuropsychologist.


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