Understanding what exactly neuropsychology is:


Understanding what exactly neuropsychology is:

Are you wondering what exactly a neuropsychologist is? Or potentially what the field of neuropsychology is all about? Many people ask the exact same question, so it seems a good idea to clarify this!

Neuropsychology is essentially an area of psychology that is primarily concerned with studying the relationship between human behaviour and the brain. Neuropsychology is particularly interested in researching neurological conditions or disorders that affect the brain, and the impact these might have on an individual. Using this information, we are able to help people better understand their conditions and also help treat any difficulties that arise as a result of this condition. A neuropsychologist takes into account somebody’s situation, their previous experiences, and also brain functioning, and looks at the impact all of this is having on behaviour. Therefore, neuropsychology considers a holistic view, rather than just focusing on one specific aspect. One of the main tasks as a neuropsychologist is conducting testing to uncover somebody’s strengths and weaknesses across a range of measures, for example, memory, attention, language, learning, etc. This will be done with a variety of different tests, none of which will be invasive or cause any pain!

You might have heard of many different types of psychologists or of people that study the brain, and this may be confusing to know exactly who does what! A neuropsychologist is a more specialised type of clinical psychologist. A clinical psychologist typically works with people with mental health conditions and aims to reduce psychological distress. They have normally completed a psychology degree at university, and then go onto complete a 3-year doctorate in clinical psychology. So, although they might be called a Dr, this doesn’t mean they are qualified as a medical doctor. Neuropsychologists are clinical psychologists who have opted to look in more detail at the relationship between behaviour and the brain, by completing further training. Another mental health professional you may have heard of is a psychiatrist. Neuropsychologists and psychiatrists work together closely, however psychiatrists complete a medical degree, before going onto specialising in psychiatry. Therefore, they can prescribe medications and typically focus on medical interventions, while psychologists typically opt for therapies as a form of intervention. Just to make matters more complicated, you also get neuropsychiatrists! Neuropsychiatrists are psychiatrists that complete further training, meaning they can also read brain scans, and carry out more specialist forms of testing for brain issues. At the London Neurocognitive Clinic, we are fortunate enough to have both neuropsychologists and neuropsychiatrists, so can help with a wide range of scenarios.

Overall, seeing a neuropsychologist can be an excellent way to determine how your brain functioning specifically affects you, and can therefore provide recommendations for treatment that are bespoke and individualistic, meaning they will be more successful. Therefore, if you’re noticing changes in mental functioning that you believe are holding you back at times, then it could be worth getting in touch and seeing how we are able to help.

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