26th June 2020
Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that is concerned with a person’s cognition and behavior (related to the nervous system). Professionals in this branch focus on how injuries of the brain affect cognitive functions and behaviors. It is both an experimental and clinical field of psychology. Neuropsychology is relatively a new discipline within the field of psychology.
Skills that Neuropsychologist must develop
- Thinking critically: They must be able to think logically and critically, often quickly.
- Clarity when speaking and superb listening: They should be able to listen well to questions and address them thoroughly. When medical jargon is needed, they should also be able to describe these concepts in easy-to-understand terms.
- Writing and documentation: They are expected to keep thorough patient records.
- Problem-solving: Neuropsychologists should have a deep understanding of not only the brain but the person they are treating and should have exceptional problem-solving skills to evaluate options and carry out solutions.
The function of neuropsychologist
- They examine the effects of traumatic brain injuries on a person’s mood, behavior and ability to think.
- They explore different treatment which is suitable for the client whose cognitive functioning has been diminished.
- They develop experiments by spending time doing research.
- They are responsible for carrying out assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of neural-based disorders.
- Treat patients who have suffered strokes or traumatic brain injuries or have developed disorders such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
- They Testify in court cases
- They Consult with pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for patients with neurological disorders
- They conduct clinical research
Where do neuropsychologists work?
- In a lab setting, where they conduct experiments on human or non- human subjects that seek to shed light on the traits functionings. They work to carry out some specific data for both perfectly healthy or ill.
- Their main work is to conduct research, analyze specific cases, formulate methods of applying findings in government-run facilities or private companies.
- They do research in Universities, Laboratories, or research institutions.
- In a clinical setting, neuropsychologists work as members of a much larger team, including physicians, speech therapists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and the like, in order to help the patient to achieve their treatment goals.
- Clinical settings can be in a mental hospital or any rehabilitation center for cognitive mental illness.
- In a forensic setting, a neuropsychologist can also be called on to perform evaluative duties in a forensic context. This duty revolves around offering expert opinions in illegal proceedings. (Often as a clinical trial consultant where CNS function is a concern).
We have to keep in mind that a neuropsychological assessment differs from the psychological evaluations conducted by a clinical psychologist because psychological evaluation does not include tests to reliably capture cognitive difficulties.
First, a bachelor's degree in Psychology, neuroscience, biology, or pre-med studies. Then, a Master's degree in Neuropsychology, neuroscience, or a very closely related field. Along with this, it includes internship requirements in which students must conduct research and clinical work.
One can complete their masters in psychology as both an M.Sc. or an M.A. degree. There is some difference in the focus of the two streams but the eligibility is almost similar. It is advisable to pursue that stream in which you have completed your graduation, colleges do not consider this as eligibility criteria.
However, the majority of jobs in neuropsychology require a doctorate. Doctorate programs last 3-7 years. Times are devoted to subjects related to pathology, psychology, research methodologies, and clinical practices.
How does one get Certified?
To be certified, one must complete a doctoral program from an accredited institution, including internship and residency experiences and, have specialties in neuroscience, neuropathology, psychopathology, and psychological assessment. Certification requires applicants to be licensed as a neuropsychologist ( this involves a generic state license in the field of psychology). Some states offer neuropsychology as a separate license designation.
They must also pass a professional licensing examination known as the examination for professional practice in psychology.
In some states, neuropsychologists must complete their education at an APA-accredited program.
Colleges offering doctorate degree in psychology
- Guwahati University
- Banaras Hindu University
- Amity University
- Allahabad University
- Banasthali University
- Central University of Karnataka
Job offered with a MA in neuropsychology
- Practicing neuropsychologist – one way of becoming a clinical neuropsychologist.
- Other areas of practice – counseling role, educational psychology.
- Researcher – participate in a Ph.D. program, and become an employee of a research lab.
- Teaching job.
Job offered to a licensed neuropsychologist
- Clinical neuropsychologist- conduct assessments and team up with primary care physicians to plan and execute the beat treatments. Their job is to assess the human brain. Eg – CT-Scan, MRI, PET.
- Forensic Neuropsychologist- apply their expertise on the brain to legal issues. They may assess people who have been accused of crimes to bolster an insanity defense.
- Cognitive neuropsychologists- focus on the relationship between the brain and functions. They work directly with patients or they conduct research.
- Pediatric neuropsychologists- focus on the relationship between the brain and behavior of children.
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