Formal neuropsychological assessments can help to identify your strengths and weaknesses and provide a clearer path forward for your mental health care particularly if it involved a head injury or illness effecting the brain. Insight’s trained therapists provide assessments that assist individuals of all ages to improve their lives when it comes to brain functioning and capacity. Neuropsychological assessments are helpful in identifying your levels of symptoms and functioning objectively. While assessments can vary from individual to individual, most times they include testing, interviews, observation, and consultation with one of Insight’s trained professionals. Some components of neuropsychological testing can be done as part of therapy but some may require a higher level of formality depending on the level of need and purpose of the assessment.
What is a neuropsychological assessment?
Neuro-psychological assessments use specific neuropsychological tests to measure cognitive function, mental status, cognitive functioning orientation, new-learning/memory, intelligence, language, visuo-perception, and executive function (the thinking skills we use to successfully handle our everyday life) . It should be remembered, that as with any assessment, the testing is only one part of a diagnosis and other components such as psychological, personal, interpersonal and wider contextual circumstances need to be explored and understood as well.
The history of the neuropsychological assessment was to assess the extent of impairment in relation to a particular skill to attempt to determine the area of the brain which may have been damaged following either a brain injury or neurological illness.
Why is the assessment used?
Neuropsychological assessments test the functioning component of a part of the brain that typical neuro-imaging techniques can only identify as damaged. Testing will look for:
- Brain injury
- Exposure to toxin
- Brain tumors
- Epilepsy/seizure disorder
- Emotional disorders
Neuropsychological assessments also look for why there may be a lack of progress or decline in intellectual functioning.
The assessment process
The psychologist will do a background/history review as well as administer tests, score and review these tests, then debrief with you. Done in the office, neuropsychological testing is usually done on a computer or with a pen and paper. Tests commonly look at:
- Motor skills
- Memory skills
- Cognitive functioning
- Oral skills
Depending on the methods used, the amount of time for these assessments to be completed can vary. In general, the process from start to finish is about 16 hours and involves the client for about 5-9 of those hours.
Please contact Insight Psychological if you’re interested in learning more about neuropsychological assessments.