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What is a Neuropsychologist?

A Neuropsychologist is a type of Clinical Psychologist who studies how the brain and nervous system impact someone’s behaviors, cognitions, and emotions. Their field represents the intersection between psychology and neurology.

One of the major focuses of Neuropsychology is brain injuries and illnesses. These researchers want to understand how something like a stroke changes their patient’s mental functionalities.

Being a Neuropsychologist means interacting with people of all ages and life stages. They get new patients from doctor referrals. If their regular physician suspects they have a traumatic brain injury or another disorder that will impact their brain, they will send them to a Neuropsychologist.

Within Neuropsychology, practitioners commonly treat people with learning disorders, brain tumors, epilepsy, and brain cancer. They can also work with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients or athletes who incurred a sports-related brain and nervous system injury.

Basically, if someone has a misfunctioning brain and/or nervous system, they could be treated by a Neuropsychologist.

What Is a Neuropsychologist Responsible For?

Neuropsychologists are responsible for helping patients with cognitive, mental, and behavioral brain-based issues. Their field is closely related to neurology, which also deals with treating people with diseases that impact their brain. The main difference is that a neurologist uses medicine, and a Neuropsychologist doesn’t.

A Neuropsychologist starts by giving their patient an evaluation to diagnose their brain condition and its severity. Then, they create a treatment plan. These plans often involve interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

Their patients may need assistance with rehabilitating their cognitive processes, so a Neuropsychology could add psychotherapy or neurofeedback into their treatment plan.

These psychologists can also help their patients learn to manage their changed mental state, especially if they’ve lost some of their previous mental capability. This entails organizational techniques, relaxation exercises, and other similar interventions.

Under the care of a Neuropsychologist, patients relearn how to live their regular life. They receive treatment that can reduce their pain — physical and emotional — and help them manage their symptoms.

On the job, a Neuropsychologist can expect to:

  • Evaluate patients’ brain illness or injury and assess the severity of their condition.
  • Research the brain and conduct experiments to answer questions about this extremely complex body part.
  • Create new treatments for brain conditions.
  • Work with patients to help them complete their treatment goals.
  • Give feedback regarding a person’s mental state during a trial.
  • Attend conferences to stay updated on the latest Neuropsychology research.
  • Collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to develop new medicines for brain disorders.

Where Does a Neuropsychologist Work?

Neuropsychologists have the option of working in a lab setting, focusing on researching brain conditions, or in a clinical environment treating patients. Depending on their preference, they can find employment in hospitals, universities, mental health facilities, research labs, and pharmaceutical companies.

What Other Career Options Are Available to a Neuropsychologist?

In this psychological specialty, practitioners need to choose whether they want to be researchers or clinicians. Going the lab route means conducting experiments on both human and animal participants to uncover information about the brain and its response to illness or injury. Being a clinician entails applying the latest in research and technology to create a treatment plan for their patients.

A Neuropsychologist can expect to find a career in the following areas:

  • Clinical Neuropsychologist: These practitioners work with all populations who have brain disorders. Their patients have neurological diseases like dementia or Parkinson’s. Clinical Neuropsychologists assess patients to determine the best treatment plan to alleviate their symptoms and discomfort.
  • Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologist/Child Neuropsychologist: Like their Clinical Neuropsychologist counterparts, Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologists also work directly with their patients to determine a treatment plan. The difference is Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologists exclusively treat children.
  • Neuropsychology Researcher: These psychologists research the brain and nervous system and how they are impacted by neurological disease and disorder. Neuropsychology Researchers are also responsible for developing new treatments for neurological illnesses. They may not work directly with patients, but their research helps other medical professionals provide them with quality care.
  • Neuropsychology Professor: Like researchers, Neuropsychology Professors conduct their own studies and experiments. The major difference between the two is that the professors work exclusively in academic settings. Professors also publish their findings in scientific journals and teach college students about their field.
  • Rehabilitation Director: Being a Rehabilitation Director means managing patient care at a rehabilitation center — directly or indirectly. They create treatment plans for patients and are involved with the facility’s administrative tasks as well.
  • Forensic Neuropsychologist: These psychologists work in the legal field. Forensic Neuropsychologists assess people on trial to determine their levels of emotional and cognitive function. Their evaluations can do things like determine the veracity of an insanity plea or see how much trauma a survivor of a violent crime is carrying after the incident.

What Degree Is Required to Become a Neuropsychologist? What Do They Study?

Being a Neuropsychologist starts with getting a bachelor’s degree in subjects like psychology, neuroscience, or biology. Then, students will need to earn a master’s degree. These programs often have research and clinical work requirements as well.

Most Neuropsychology jobs require a doctorate, so prospective students should be prepared for upper-level work in subjects like neuropathy and psychopathology. After getting this degree a Neuropsychologist must also get licensed for their field.

What Skills are Required in Neuropsychology?

One of the most important skills for a Neuropsychologist is the ability to conduct research.  They must remain current in their field and keep up with the latest Neuropsychology innovations.

Neuropsychologists, whether they’re in a patient-facing role or not should be excellent communicators. It’s imperative for them to be able to successfully explain their findings to their peers or speak with a concerned patient about their treatment plan.

How Much Money Does a Neuropsychologist Earn?

Neuropsychology is one of the best-paying subsets of psychology. Established Neuropsychologists make $92,640 on average and many professionals report earnings in the six-figure range. Initially, Neuropsychologists earn $50,000-$60,000 but this number jumps when they have about five years of experience.

Latest Neuropsychologist Jobs Listings

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Position Company Location Posted
Adult Neuropsychology Opportunities Cambridge Health Alliance Cambridge, Massachusetts US 01/05/2022
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School (HMS), has 2 full-time openings for Adult Neuropsychologists in the Outpatient Neuropsychology and Psychological Assessment Clinic (NAPA) within the Department Psychiatry. CHA is comprised of three hospital campuses and an integrated network of both primary and specialty outpatient care practices in Cambridge, Somerville, and Bostons Metro North Region. It serves a rich culturally, linguistically, and ... More
Pediatric Neuropsychology Cambridge Health Alliance Cambridge, Massachusetts US 02/02/2022
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is pleased to announce an opening for a full-time faculty pediatric neuropsychologist to join our award-winning Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. CHA is a community-based health system that includes the Cambridge, Everett, and Somerville Hospitals. The child and adolescent division provides outpatient care to youth and families in two outpatient clinics, three high school-based clinics, and throughout CHAs primary ... More
Pediatric Neuropsychologist - Rehabilitation The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas US 02/03/2022
Description The Department of Neurology at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School is seeking a full-time Pediatric Neuropsychologist to join the UT Health Austin Pediatric Neurosciences at Dell Children's at the expected rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. The focus of the position is on pediatric acquired brain injury. Eligible applicants would have prior neuropsychological assessment experience in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings. While ... More
Pediatric Neuropsychologist - Epilepsy The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas US 02/03/2022
Description Purpose: The Department of Neurology at the Dell Medical School of The University of Texas at Austin is seeking a full-time Pediatric Neuropsychologist to join the UT Austin Pediatric Neurosciences Program at Dell Children's Medical Center at the expected rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. The focus of the position is on providing assessment and consultation services for children and adolescents with known or suspected neurological conditions, ... More
Clinical Neuropsychologist LifeStance Health Boston, Massachusetts US 02/03/2022
At LifeStance Health, we strive to help individuals, families, and communities with their mental health needs. Everywhere. Every day. It is a lofty goal; we know. But we make it happen with the best team in mental healthcare.Thank you for taking the time to explore a career with us. As the fastest growing behavioral health practice group in the country, now is the perfect time to join our clinical team!**Annual Stock Awards and Sign-on Bonus offered to eligible ... More
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, Clinical Neuropsychologist University of Virginia, School of Medicine Charlottesville, Virginia US 12/18/2021
The Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia is seeking candidates for a full-time (Assistant Professor) clinical neuropsychologist. Salary and tenure status are dependent upon qualifications and experience. The successful candidate will be expected to provide general neuropsychological assessments with a variety of clinical populations, with particular emphasis in providing outpatient neuropsychological evaluations to patients with epilepsy, sports ... More
Penn State Health Children's Hospital Division of Developmental Medicine is seeking a Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Penn State Health Children's Hospital Hershey, Pennsylvania US 01/28/2022
Penn State Health Childrens Hospital Division of Developmental Medicine is seeking a Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Join our Division of Developmental Medicine as a Clinical Pediatric Neuropsychologist Medicine now! We are committed to excellent clinical care, teaching, and research. Interested applicants, please apply here ... More
Clinical Neuropsychologist LifeStance Health Cambridge, Massachusetts US 02/03/2022
At LifeStance Health, we strive to help individuals, families, and communities with their mental health needs. Everywhere. Every day. It is a lofty goal; we know. But we make it happen with the best team in mental healthcare.Thank you for taking the time to explore a career with us. As the fastest growing behavioral health practice group in the country, now is the perfect time to join our clinical team!**Annual Stock Awards and Sign-on Bonus offered to eligible ... More
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