This is an assessment of an individual's cognitive functioning. Using pen and paper exercises, it provides a measure of how the brain is thinking and usually includes assessments of attention, memory, language skills, executive functioning and visual-perceptual ability.
Normal brain functioning may be disrupted by a variety of causes such as head injury, viral infection, stroke, dementia or other forms of neurological disease. The assessment measures changes that may have occurred as a result of injury and considers what these changes could mean for you. Neuropsychological assessment can be used to:
- Identify personal strengths and relative weaknesses arising as a consequence of injury
- Devise rehabilitation programs based on strengths and weaknesses
- Provide advice and recommendations on strategies and techniques to manage or compensate for particular difficulties
- Provide recommendations with regards to returning to work, college or driving. This can involve liaison with your employer or university tutor if you feel this would be useful
- Provide education and knowledge of how the brain is working and how and why brain injury may be affecting thinking skills
- Assess for the presence of mild cognitive impairment, dementia and other neurological conditions
- Provide a baseline of current cognitive ability. This can provide an objective measure of current function in order to objectively measure improvement or decline over time
- Identify emotional distress or other psychological causes of memory impairment
- Determine whether memory or thinking difficulties are the consequence of normal ageing
Following the session, you will be provided with a confidential report which may include recommendations, advice, signposting to charitable/voluntary/NHS services and diagnostic conclusions, depending on the purpose of the assessment.
Rehabilitation and Psychological Intervention
Sometimes it may be beneficial to arrange sessions following the assessment to help put into place some of the advice, recommendations and strategies discussed. This can help to improve independence, reduce psychological distress and/or improve emotional wellbeing.
An individual does not have to undergo a neuropsychological assessment in order to benefit from or participate in therapy. A large proportion of the work I carry out consists of therapeutic sessions aimed at improving mood, reducing depression, worry, anxiety and stress, managing anger and behavioural changes, working with couples and families and facilitating adjustment to the consequences of injury and/or impairment.
I usually draw on a range of evidence-based psychological interventions, including a form of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This form of therapy has a large evidence base and is recommended by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) for many psychological problems. However, all individuals are unique and I predominantly draw upon a range of psychological interventions in order to develop an approach that works for each individual. Other interventions include motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, mindfulness approaches and (neuro) behavioural interventions.
I am able to work alongside other therapists (e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists) to provide a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation, adopting a person-centred, goal-oriented approach to achieving increased independence and wellbeing. Having worked within the locality and specialism for many years, I am well-informed to advise on accessing NHS, voluntary, charitable and independent services within the area.
Supervision and Consultation
I am listed on the Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS), which recognises additional training and specialist expertise in supervision. Consequently, I am able to offer supervision to clinical psychologists, psychological therapists or other disciplines working in neurological settings, or who have clients with a neurological diagnosis or cognitive impairment.
I am qualified to supervise clinical psychologists wishing to pursue the Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology.
I am able to offer training and ad hoc consultation, as and when required, to a variety of organisations and healthcare professionals.