What is the Difference between a Neuropsychologist and a (Testing) Psychologist?
A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the area of brain-behavior relationships. Neuropsychologists have additional training in brain anatomy, brain functioning, brain injury, and/or brain disease. With this background, a neuropsychologist has an understanding of brain-behavior relationships.
An assessment performed by a neuropsychologist differs from that performed by a (testing) psychologist in that it is more comprehensive. A neuropsychological evaluation provides an understanding of the underlying areas of difficulties and how these weaknesses are linked to behavior, academic performance, and/or socio-emotional well being.
Neuropsychological tests are standardized tests. Test scores are compared to that of other individuals of a similar age group. Although these scores provide quite a bit of information, a trained and experienced neuropsychologist looks at all the test results and information provided in order to determine a pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
Neuropsychological testing assesses functioning in several areas. These areas may include intelligence, executive functioning (for example, organization, planning, prioritizing, task initiation, sustained effort, and so forth), memory, language, perception, motivation, attention, and emotion. The targeted areas are determined by the reason for referral. In other words, why were you referred for a neuropsychological evaluation. What is it that your doctor, teacher, or you want to know?
Depending on the complexity of the issues, a neuropsychological evaluation can take several hours to complete. In order to obtain the best possible results, the evaluation is generally conducted in two hour blocks over a period of several days.
How to Choose the Right Professional For You?
Psychological evaluations are indeed quite expensive and can vary based on the training and expertise of the psychologist. Too often the evaluation fee is the only consideration taken when choosing a professional to work with. Unfortunately, the decision should not be based on fees! When choosing a psychologist, other factors should be carefully considered.
First and foremost, the professional should be licensed to practice by their respective colleges/orders. They should be "reputable" and knowledgeable with extensive experience and training. Often obtaining a recommendation from a medical doctor, from other professionals, family, friends and/or other people is a good first start.
It is also important to note that a neuropsychological assessment is not a "one size fits all" process. Although certain tests are standard, others are not. A good evaluation consists of comprehensive battery of tests that can pinpoint exactly what is going on. It should answer the reasons for the referral.
In order to make the right choice of professionals for hire, you need to ask the right questions. By doing a little research on the evaluation process, you will have a better idea of some of the questions you should be asking when choosing among professionals.
In addition to those questions, consider asking the following: What happens after the testing is done? How will the test results be given? What if I have additional questions post assessment? Are there additional costs? Will the information be useful and provide a clear understanding of the challenges? Will the report include relevant and "doable" recommendations for both home and/or school settings?
For these and other reasons, the assessment fee should NOT be the only deciding factor when choosing a professional. A decision simply based on the evaluation cost can actually be much more expensive and detrimental in the long run.
What if I Already Have An Evaluation?
If a psychological evaluation was already completed (within a short period of time) with another professional, and dependent on the age of the client at the time of testing, another evaluation may not be necessary. Instead, you may choose to schedule a consultation session.
The goal of the consultation session is to:
- Review the evaluation report,
- Discuss whether additional testing may be warranted,
- Review the specific recommendations and how they could be implemented into the intervention plan as well as
- Suggest any additional services or other options that maybe of further help.
- The consultation fee may also include the time needed to review the psychological report prior to the actual consultation session.
Payment of Fees
Clients are responsible for payment of fees at the time of service. Payment is accepted in the form of cheques, cash or INTERAC e-transfer. Credit or debit card payments at not accepted, so please be prepared before you arrive to your appointment.
Insurance receipts are provided upon request. The client should contact their insurance carrier to determine if the service is covered by their insurance plan.
(Note: Therapy sessions are 50 minute in duration with the remaining 10 minutes devoted to note taking.)