The profession of a neuropsychologist is at the crossroads of psychology and neurology. As John DenBoer suggests, the neuropsychologist studies how the different regions of our brain “animate” or have an impact on our behavior.
This specialization, an integral part of the profession of psychologist, is based on the association that the practitioner tries to establish between the structure and the functioning of the brain and the behavior or psychological functioning of the patient. This is a profession that is found in particular in the heart of hospitals, in services related to the treatment of traumas, for example, due to stroke (cerebrovascular accident) and central nervous system injuries, among others. It also includes head trauma, brain tumors, neurodegenerative pathologies or infections such as encephalitis or meningitis. The neuropsychologist can also work with patients with learning, attention or psychopathological disorders.
Diagnose and Prognosis
Faced with these problems, the neuropsychologist is empowered to make a diagnosis, but he can also ensure a follow-up. To do this, its range of interventions ranges from clinical interviews to cognitive tests. The neuropsychologist will endeavor to determine the cognitive disorders if the patient faces problems of language, memory, concentration, reasoning. Once the diagnosis has been made, the professional can establish causal links between the disorders and their origin (injury or other), assess the patient’s capacity for autonomy, establish a prognosis and set up a rehabilitation process. The latter will be declined in an individualized manner, according to the causal link established with regard to the disorder, but also according to the cognitive and/or behavioral impact. The answers provided by DenBoer are therefore extremely varied: exercises aimed at restimulating and training brain areas and deficient functions, use of mental prostheses, setting up activities of daily and/or professional life, work on improving quality. life of the patient.
A Multidisciplinary Approach
Practicing this profession implies a curiosity for neurosciences, a very popular and evolving discipline. As well as a continuous updating of knowledge in neurology and mental pathologies. In terms of human qualities, this requires a great ability to popularize very specific scientific issues, to listen to the patient and his family, to have the desire to help, a sense of empathy and Communication. But also a spirit of analysis and a reasoning structure, a sense of observation and rigor. Stimulation of continuous learning about cognitive functions and brain function is also essential, given the rapid evolution of this subject. According to John DenBoer, in order to be able to read quality studies and research, English is necessarily important!
Profession of the Future
In terms of outlets, they are varied. It is in a way a profession of the future because it responds to a growing demand for problems linked to the aging of the population: cognitive disorders linked to age (Alzheimer’s, dementia, degenerative diseases, Parkinson’s, Stroke, chronic diseases, etc.). He will often have to work at the heart of a multidisciplinary team, made up of doctors, physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, social workers, and geriatric services.
But the neuropsychologist can also start a career in a research center (university or private), work in hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, etc. Neuropsychologists are also called upon to work with children, in the context of school problems (PMS centers) linked to attention or language disorders, for example. Finally, this practitioner can also give courses in universities or colleges, which teach this subject. Setting up on your own is also an option. For more info on becoming a Neuropsychologist, talk to Dr. John DenBoer, the chief medical officer, chief executive officer, and founder of SMART Brain Aging, Inc.