Specific areas of practice

Clinical neuropsychologists provide assessments and treatment recommendations for people experiencing difficulties with memory, learning, attention, language, reading, problem-solving, decision-making or other aspects of behaviour and thinking abilities. Neuropsychologists also provide treatment that may employ cognitive, educational, behavioural or psychosocial methods.

Skills of clinical neuropsychologists

Clinical neuropsychologists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning of a range of disorders and contexts across the lifespan.

Neuropsychologists are trained to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a wide range of conditions, including:

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

Clinical neuropsychologists’ skills are underpinned by knowledge of brain structure, function and dysfunction, and the effects of multiple factors on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functioning.

Neuropsychological assessment

Provides a detailed profile of the patient’s strengths and weaknesses, and is recognised as a sensitive tool for the diagnosis of cognitive impairment, particularly in cases where changes are subtle and not evident on screening assessments or neuroimaging. It helps with diagnosis and treatment planning for people experiencing difficulties with memory, attention, language or other aspects of cognition or behaviour. Because neuropsychological conditions can worsen or improve with time and treatment, neuropsychological assessment is valued as providing a baseline for future comparison of changes over time. It can also be used in predicting and enhancing social, educational and vocational outcomes. Involves a clinical interview and a range of individually administered 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.

Neuropsychological treatments

Are designed specifically for the needs of individual clients, taking into account their unique psychological needs and personalities. Treatments use a holistic framework where cognitive, emotional, motivational and noncognitive functions are addressed, integrating learning theory, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. Neuropsychological treatments can range from a few short sessions to multiple, extended sessions.