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What is a neuropsychologist?

There are many types of mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers.  We all have basic knowledge and skills in common, and most offer counseling services.

Psychologists are scientists who study human behavior, thinking, and emotions.  Clinical psychologists apply this knowledge to treat human problems.  Clinical psychologists differ from psychiatrists in that their training is exclusively in mental health, and not medicine. 


This training includes medically-oriented topics such as anatomy, physiology, mind-body interactions, and types and uses of psychiatric medications.  Many psychologists are trained and work in medical settings, such as clinics and hospitals.

Psychologists are specifically trained to perform psychological evaluations, administer and interpret psychological tests, accurately diagnose mental disorders, and to provide high-quality counseling services.   Very few psychologists prescribe medication, but most all work closely with medical professionals in identifying the need for medicine, selecting the appropriate type and dosage, and evaluating medication effects.

As defined by the National Academy of Neuropsychology a neuropsychologist is a professional within the field of psychology with special expertise in the applied science of brain-behavior relationships. Clinical neuropsychologists use this knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and/or rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders.

Neuropsychologists often use special tests of mental functioning to help diagnose brain disorders, plan rehabilitation programs, and help people and their families cope with their medical problems.

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