Psychology

Neuropsychologists

At NPP we have a dedicated team of skilled and experienced Neuropsychologists that work as part of an integrated Multidisciplinary Team.

Our neuropsychologists have a wealth of experience working with adults with Acquired Brain Injury including:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Neurological diagnoses such as Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and dementia.

All are currently employed within the NHS and will also have undertaken post-doctoral training in neuropsychology. Clinical psychologists may also offer treatment under the supervision of a senior neuropsychologist where appropriate.

Within NPP we are able to offer Neuropsychology with respect to clinical assessment and treatment either alone or as part of a treating clinical team. In addition, a number of our neuropsychology staff offer expert reports for the Court in relation to civil (compensation or parenting) or criminal matter.

What is clinical neuropsychology?

Clinical Neuropsychology is concerned with understanding how a range of clinical conditions involving insult to the brain can affect a person’s thinking and cognitive skills, behaviour and psychological and emotional functioning.

Neuropsychological assessments will be relevant to those who have sustained a head injury or those suffering from a range of other neurological conditions which can affect the brain (e.g. dementia, epilepsy, substance use).
A neuropsychological assessment of brain functioning will often be conducted in relation to other expert clinical assessments such as neurosurgery or neurology as well as Occupational therapy.

A neuropsychologist is trained in the treatment and management of brain injury related problems such as memory impairment or other cognitive problems, behaviour management and the treatment of emotional and psychiatric disorders by psychological therapy or psychosocial interventions.

In particular we bring a psychological viewpoint to treatment, to understand how such illness and injury may affect and be affected by psychological factors. We opine as to whether a person is demonstrating difficulties due to brain pathology or as a consequence of emotional or other potentially reversible causes.

Brain function is evaluated by testing memory and thinking skills objectively using standardised psychometric tests. A detailed assessment of abilities is carried out to identify areas of impairment and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses used in diagnosis and treatment planning. Following our evaluation and recommendations, we may then provide treatment, such as cognitive rehabilitation, behaviour management, or psychotherapy. In cases where the neuropsychologist has acted as an Expert for the Court another member of our NPP team would be assigned as the treating clinician to avoid conflict of interests.

How does this help?

The neuropsychologist is uniquely placed to provide an objective opinion on the presence of cognitive impairment post-brain injury as well as the interplay of brain injury with other factors such as mental health, premorbid personality and behaviour.

The neuropsychologist is uniquely placed to provide an objective opinion on the presence of cognitive impairment post-brain injury as well as the interplay of brain injury with other factors such as mental health, premorbid personality and behaviour. This can include the assessment of the impact of functional factors such as effort, mood or fatigue on cognitive performance. The neuropsychologist can help the family and treatment team to come to a fuller understanding of the nature and cause of the person’s problems and identify which barriers to participation in everyday life might be treatable. This may also include identifying barriers to other treatments being provided (e.g. physiotherapy).

Based on behavioural observation of the patient, the neuropsychologist’s evaluation and guidance assists in providing more effective rehabilitation and, thus, a more complete and successful recovery.

The neuropsychologist often works with Occupational therapists to devise relevant and meaningful treatment goals and strategies in the context of the client’s everyday life. In addition the psychologist may provide direct therapy treatment to the client or family or provide support and advice on behaviour management and the management of risk. At NPP where there are complex family issues we have access to our specialists in systemic psychotherapy for either advice or direct referral.