What is neuropsychology?: I've got an appointment... - Headway


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What is neuropsychology?

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I've got an appointment with a neuropsychologist. Anyone know what this is? I'm guessing it's not quite "Fraudian" psychology of sitting on a sofa talking about problems in your childhood.

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I had a neuro physio who worked on my balance perception and memory

Could you share details? Any luck?

They are sending me to a neuropsychologist too, I'm not really sure, they explain these things to me but its too much to take in at once, so it's in one ear out the other, if I get there first ill let you know, if you get there first would appreciate if you let me know! X

All it means is that he or she as a psychologist has specialised in issues relating to the brain.

As there are hundreds of types of psychology, a neuropsychologist can help with memory, behaviour impulse, cognition, co ordination etc.

From my experience I have found them to play an important part in rehab, can help you to understand why things are happening and will give you tools and ideas of how they can be worked on.

I hope your sessions go well, and it's nothing to worry about. X

TC1979 profile image
TC1979 in reply to kateo

I see !, psychology which relates your actions and your reactions back to the physical brain rather than relating it back to your past experiences ( not the physical brain but the functional brain ).

davesdad profile image
davesdad in reply to TC1979

Exactly Right, well put!

And to back up what others have said, out of everyone involved in his rehab my son found his neuropsychologist to be the person that was of most help to him.

i found a neuropsychologist.very very helpful they should help you put things in perspective accept your injury by pointing out any difficulties you are not aware of in my case ordering of things to do especially hen out in the real world i also ith the neuropsychologist.did a series of tests that highlighted my issues recollection of short term and anger management techniques

I am also have a neuropsychologist assessment, they will ask about your emotional well being as they need to understand what is a 'normal' reaction to a life event and what is caused by the injury. The main reason I am going is to try and gain some coping mechanisms to handle the headaches and to aid my concentration and focus. Word of advice, if you have already seen one, get to a chiropractor!

I am also waiting to see one...I hope it wont be too much longer......this past month has been especially difficult for some reason...more bad days than good ones.....headaches, tiredness, crying all the time.......some days I am so tired I don't eat properly as making a meal is jut too much....thank goodness for Heinz soup.....I feel rotten today again...but I need to go to bank.....will do that and come back home and go back to bed with some painkillers.......

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spartan300 in reply to sandi07

hi sandi07 i understand how you feel i have the same when i am in england its not good is it, lack of sun will make you ill or make matters worse, ask your doctor for a blood test to see what your vitamin d level is, mine was just acceptable i did not have any vit d on prescription because i was coming to thailand for 3 months, its not the same as over the counter, it will be a high dosage, allso try to get as much sun as poss this may help its worth a try, works for me,lots of love ,john.xxx

How do you feel about that?

I would suggest keeping a diary/journal if you do not already do so and take it along with you.

It's all about assessment of your recovery so the more input you can provide the better the outcome for you.

Getting into a routine of keeping a daily record is good practice for your brain too.

They will want to book you in for flash card and listening test for your memory when they feel you are ready at some stage also.

This is a good sign post in your recovery but take it slow and dont get impatient like me!

As soon as I knew I was having a test, I put so much pressure on myself, I completely blew it! Since then I have done a lot of research and have realized what a fool I made of myself because after all I am still in recovery - this is the brain we are healing not a broken leg! Good luck and remember be patient with yourself

Thanks for that folks......Yes I live in Scotland ...so the sun is rationed:) Yes I think it is a good idea about a diary.....especially this month.....as it has been so bad. Fed up of waking up every day with a headache......Yes the patience thing is a biggy.....I need to remind myself that everyday......Thanks for your encouragement.....Thailland sounds lovely....

headwayuk profile image

Hi jriddell,

Thank you for your question - I just wanted to add a little to the excellent information and guidance given by our members.

A neuropsychologist is a specialist in assessing and providing rehabilitation for some of the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a brain injury. Often it is the less visible effects that they can help with, so they are a really good source of support after a brain injury.

They usually start by talking to you about your condition and how it affects you (so keeping a diary as mentioned above is a great idea), and performing a series of tests to assess your function. These are usually 'psychometric' tests, so they are not invasive and consist of a number of mental activities. It's important to not be concerned about getting things wrong or right, any outcome provides useful information for the psychologist.

I hope this helps, and look forward to hearing any more experiences from our other members.

Best wishes,


TC1979 profile image
TC1979 in reply to headwayuk

I Live in Souhend on Sea, Essex and would like to get a referral from my Dr to see a neuropsycholist. I saw my GP on Tuesday who asked me to get in contact with Headway regarding neuropsychologists in my area as he does not know of any.

I had my head injury 13 years ago and was discharged from rehab without any follow up/ support. I want to get back on track with my life and need to know what areas I need help from employers, friends, partners etc as I just feel like I am crawling through life trying to be normal but do not make a good job of it. Although I look normal, I need to know whether I am.

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Probably the one person who really understands you most and can make the most difference to your life. It's important before you see a neuropsychologist that you spend a great deal of time and effort reflecting on what your problems are and what you most want help with, which might include keeping a diary, meditating, going on long walks in the countryside, wearing tin-foil hats, etc. This might seem hard at first, especially if you're not the type to self-reflect, but it'll mean you get more out of therapy in the long-run and anyway if you haven't already done the hard work first, you'll have to do it DURING the therapy and that will waste precious time.

I've seen psychologists in the past (I haven't seen a neuropsychologist yet!) and one of the mistakes I made (because I was naive and injured) is getting into the frame of mind that the psychologist will make me better. Actually, you realise later is that you get out what you put in and if it's the psychologist making all that difference to your life then the benefits soon wear off once you take them out of the equation.

Everyone who's brain injured should see a neuropsychologist, but they're incredibly rare and hard to find. There seems to be a great deal of variability in the provision and quality of rehabilitation for people who're brain injured, not every rehabilitation service offers neuropsychological services which needs to change fast. Fact is you only spend a small amount of time with these people and they can make a massive difference to your life, so put the effort in.

I was given a normal Psychologist to attend to PTSD.. she couldn't tell me things like why i couldn't multi task or sit in a room with more than 2 people without getting confused as there was to much talking and things to take in, or dropping things. etc etc etc.. i am gutted that i never had A Neuro one nor any cognitive behavioral therapy or anything like that. If it had not have been for Headway and you guys filling me in i would have thort i had lost the plot. I am far from right and my neurologist has retired now dec 2012. his replacement wants to sign me off. Do you think i should now ask for help 3 years after my subdural hemorrhage?

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Hidden in reply to zainey-lainey

i'm asking for help 13 years later, so definately yes.

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Hidden in reply to zainey-lainey

hello,i also have major difficulty communicating dropping things and balance..it has been a fight(including having to change my doctor),but i got to see a second nuro specialist person.and he has referred me to see a memory psychologist.

i had to get the referral from my gp to see the nuro person(who also offered cognitive therapy}.if you had no treatment and you are ill,you have to keep asking.hope this is of help

I attended Queens Square for my initial neuro-psychology evaluation.

The person I saw was very nice, she explained who she was, what would happen and why this process was important. She talked to me and my husband at first and then he left while she and I chatted some more and then we did the assessment. The assessment consisted of lots of little tests and puzzles...which included words, numbers and pictures. Some seemed similar in nature and some were more involved than others. Its not like school tests and there are no right or wrong answers.

At the end of it all she explained what would happen next and asked if I had any questions. She spoke briefly with my husband and I together. Later I received a copy of the report with test results in the mail.

It was quite a lengthy process and I was very brain tired by the end of it so I would advise you to have someone go with you if at all possible, especially if you have any distance to travel for the assessment. I went home and slept afterwards to recharge my batteries.

I also saw a neuro psychologist at the memory clinic a couple of years later and as part of that programme I underwent the neuro psych evaluation at the start, mid point and end of the programme. I found it equally exhausting...probably because I was asked to use my brain in ways I may not have otherwise done and concentrating for longer than I would normally.

Despite that it was so worth all the effort and helped us to uncover issues that we had not realised were confounding attempts to manage recovery.

It is not scary, there is no physical testing and it can be one of the most helpful things you will ever do. I wish you luck.

So is this similar to a cognitive behavioural therapist?

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Hidden in reply to misswingit

Your referring to a type of therapy a psychologist/neuropsychologist provides.

i got an appointment with 1 Monday im a bit nervous about it as i got to try and remember what i felt and put what i feel across to them

Hi, the neuropsychologist is not related to Freud.Usually different testing are used for the evaluation of your cognitive system and impairment related to memory, attention, concentration.It`s not the evaluation of your past experiences as in a psychoanalytic process.It`s more related to neurology and neuroscience rather than psychology in itself.It`s also the evaluation of your actual life after the brain injury, the way you cope, the ability to do things in a new way and so on.

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