Neuropsychologist: What Is It? and How to Become One?

The neuropsychologist or psychologist specializing in neuropsychology is the health professional whose mission is to establish the nature and extent of disorders in certain functions of the brain. Neuropsychological disorders are those that can affect memory, the ability to pay attention or concentrate. This is called cognitive function disorders. They can also be behavioral or emotional. They can occur following accidents such as stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident) or following certain neurological or psychological diseases. These disorders have different severities which vary according to the mental illnesses. They can interfere with the capacity for autonomy, social and professional life or even the prognosis of reintegration. They can increase the risk of relapse. In this context, the intervention of the neuropsychologist will not be limited to a simple diagnosis, but will also offer treatment adapted to the problem of each person. His intervention will be organized into several highlights. We will find the clinical interviews first. Through these interviews, the neuropsychologist will try to understand the functioning of the person as a whole and its complexity. This “clinical meeting” helps to establish a relationship of trust and empathetic listening, and to determine the difficulties experienced, their frequency and their impact on a daily basis. It is also the clinical interview that will guide the neuropsychologist and his patient to the second stage of treatment, which will consist of offering a neuropsychological assessment in order to clearly identify the cognitive difficulties experienced. Each neuropsychological assessment is specific to each person’s problem depending on what they relate, their therapeutic plan and the objectives of the assessment. The neuropsychological assessment can also help to understand what the difficulties are due to (illness, external factors, lack of self-confidence, etc.). As for the return of the assessment, this is another important moment in the care. It allows to discuss with the person the continuation of the follow-up. It will be part of a therapeutic multidisciplinary care project with medical, paramedical and social teams that can follow the person in parallel.