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Clinical neuropsychologists

Areas of practice

Clinical neuropsychologists assess and treat people with brain disorders that affect memory, learning, attention, language, reading, problem-solving and decision-making.


Clinical neuropsychologists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning of disorders and contexts across the lifespan. Clinical neuropsychologists are trained to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a wide range of brain conditions, including:

  • Developmental
  • Degenerative
  • Demyelinating
  • Infectious
  • Vascular
  • Immunological
  • Inflammatory
  • Nutritional
  • Endocrine
  • Metabolic
  • Drug/alcohol
  • Toxic poisoning
  • Epileptic
  • Cortical dysplasia
  • Psychiatric
  • Traumatic

Clinical neuropsychologists’ understand brain structure, function and dysfunction, and the effects of multiple factors on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functions.


An assessment typically provides a detailed profile of a client's cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and is recognised as a sensitive tool for the diagnosis of cognitive impairment, particularly in cases where changes in behaviour are subtle and not evident on CT scans. An assessment can helps with diagnosis of mental disorders and treatment planning for people experiencing difficulties.

Because neuropsychological conditions can worsen or improve with time and treatment, neuropsychological assessment can provide a baseline to compare changes over time against. It can also be used to predict and enhance social, educational and vocational outcomes. Involves a clinical interview and a range of individual tests.

They can range from brief consultations to detailed comprehensive evaluations involving several hours of face-to-face contact. The results of the assessment are then used to assist with developing individual treatment recommendations or plans.


Treatment is tailored for the individual's specific circumstances and taking into account their unique psychological needs. Treatment could involve a framework in which elements of cognitive, emotional, motivational and noncognitive functions are applied, integrating learning theory, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology.

Neuropsychological treatments can range from a few short sessions to multiple, extended sessions.