How to become a neuropsychologist
Thanks to advances in technology in the study of the brain , today, we understand better and better how this organ works, so vital for the functioning of the whole body. Therefore, graduates or graduates in Psychology are showing a greater interest in Neuropsychology and what a neuropsychologist does .
Before looking at the functions of a neuropsychologist , we should better understand what exactly Neuropsychology is, because it is a term that covers a wide variety of psychological problems.
WHAT IS NEUROPSYCHOLOGY?
According to the Official College of Psychology of Madrid, Neuropsychology is “a branch of Neuroscience that studies the relationships between the brain and behavior both in healthy subjects and in those who have suffered some type of brain damage. Its object of study is the knowledge of the neural bases of complex mental processes. “
The key in this definition is the last 3 words: complex mental processes. Neuropsychology is the study of any mental process, for example: attention, emotion, language, perception and memory.
It is a broad area of ??mental health that affects people of all ages, from children to the elderly.
WHAT DOES A NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST DO?
The daily work of a neuropsychologist varies greatly. First of all, not all neuropsychologists work in the clinical part dealing with patients directly. Some are dedicated to research, others to teaching; and others, combines both activities as our professors of the Master in Clinical Neuropsychology Online . In any case, they all work in the area of ??Neuropsychology.
To go deeper into what a neuropsychologist does, we leave you a list of the main functions of a neuropsychologist:
- Evaluation : they collect the patient’s information and take their neuropsychological history.
- Treatment and intervention: rehabilitation techniques or neuropsychological stimulation are applied. Depending on the situation, treatment can be individual or in groups.
- Counseling : they inform about neuropsychological disorders.
- Research : several studies are carried out to obtain results and more knowledge of neuropsychological problems.
- Teaching : they design and teach courses such as, for example, our master’s degree at the European University. They also tutor students in their clinical training.
We also give you some examples of the diseases that neuropsychologists evaluate and treat:
- Stroke – This can affect behavior, thinking, memory, and other brain functions. The evaluation can help to determine the severity of the stroke and the intervention, to improve the functionality.
- Parkinson’s disease : An assessment can provide a baseline for determining disease progression and how to intervene to help improve impaired function.
- Alzheimer’s disease : This and other types of dementia can interfere with memory, personality, and cognitive abilities. An evaluation can help identify Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages and decide how to treat it.
- Head Injury: can cause a wide variety of symptoms. A neuropsychologist can help determine how an injury affects functions such as reasoning or the skills to intervene and improve those problems afterwards .
- Learning disabilities : there are many types. A neuropsychologist can help determine the type of learning disorder and develop a treatment plan.
REQUIREMENTS TO BE A NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST IN SPAIN
Obviously, any area of ??the Health sector is regulated. According to the Ministry of Health, to work as a neuropsychologist, it is essential to have “a higher level of training.” Additionally, the Official College of Psychologists (COP) of Spain asks for several requirements to be a clinical neuropsychologist: