Neuropsychology – A Practice Dedicated to Reinvention
life following concussion
For clients or family members who are seeking help with transitions involving neurological conditions that present cognitive challenges to their basic quality of life, neuropsychological evaluation and cognitive rehabilitation can help build a path to increased independence and functionality. The work that I do with clients in my neuropsychology practice is solution focused and pragmatic. It is dedicated to helping clients who experience cognitive challenges; redesigning their approach to living an independent and fulfilling life. Neuropsychological expertise can help with neurological conditions such as:
- brain injury
- other medical or mental health conditions that impact brain functioning
is this normal, or dementia?
Neuropsychological assessment can help clients, family members, and medical providers understand how changes in brain functioning may be impacting behavior, thinking and emotions. Behaviors and mental functions are evaluated using standardized tests as well as an interview with the client and possibly family members. Brain functions tested may include domains such as attention, memory, language, perceptual and motor skills, planning, organization and problem solving as well as emotional functioning.
Why does someone need a neuropsychological evaluation?
There are many uses for neuropsychological evaluations. For example, it can be useful to help guide treatment by therapeutic teams immediately after stroke. It can help a person return to work after a traumatic brain injury by identifying cognitive strengths and weaknesses and making practical recommendations for strategies to compensate for challenges.
Neuropsychological assessment is also used to help physicians accurately diagnose specific types of dementia, and differentiate these from the effects that an existing depression might have on an individual. Results from the evaluation can aid family members in understanding the effects of dementia on their loved one’s emotions and behavior, and provide practical recommendations for improving interactions with their family member. In a final example, it can also provide a baseline of cognitive abilities from which to measure progress after a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
redefining life following a stroke
Treatment following brain injury and other neurological issues is complex. It involves an understanding of brain-behavior relationships, emotional issues, family dynamics, and more. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ proposition.
The therapies that I employ are an integrated balance of cognitive remediation and psychotherapy that address both functional and emotional needs. The ultimate goal is always to guide my patients in a manner that allows them to participate as fully and independently as possible in their lives. Treatment for brain injury and other neurological conditions can involve a number of activities and modalities such as:
- education on how your brain impacts your functioning
- behavior management strategies
- adjustment to changed functioning
- addressing emotions related to feelings of loss
- communication strategies for clients and family members or helpers
- cognitive compensatory strategies
- practical strategies to assist in return to prior roles such as work, school or parenting
In working with clients and their families, I bring with me the knowledge gained through a neuropsychology focus in my doctoral program as well as specialized training and experience acquired over multiple years of internship, post-doctoral fellowship and work at a level 1 trauma center, a chronic pain clinic and on community-based neurological rehabilitation team.
Although treatment is focused on addressing cognitive challenges, getting to know the individual behind the difficulties is something I enjoy. It is also integral to my treatment plan. I use a nuanced approach; taking into account the needs and unique life circumstances of each individual so that they can begin to move forward in their lives with a sense of personal independence and optimism for the future.
Getting to and from regular appointments can sometimes prove challenging for individuals and their families or caregivers after a brain injury and with some neurological conditions. To assist with these concerns, when appropriate I offer sessions conducted via HIPAA compliant videoconferencing (audio and video).
I also provide consultation services to clients, their family members and professionals. Some examples of this work include:
- Behavioral management and communications strategies for family members who may be overwhelmed with caregiving for or unclear on how to best help an elder or dependent adult.
- Neuropsychological evaluation consultation to physicians or mental health professionals for differential diagnosis of cognitive vs. mental health issues.
- Recommendations for successful return to work or college after brain injury or medical illness.
- Professional presentations on brain-behavior connections related to illness or injury.