Louise Vernieux - Clinical Neuropsychologist - Private Practice | Minds in Motion | Melbourne Australia
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Clinical Neuropsychologist


What is neuropsychology?


Any sort of process or injury that affects the brain can be devastating for the person and their loved ones.

A neuropsychology assessment can help to find out exactly what the problem is and to provide options for treatment as well as support and advice for carers. It is pivotal for diagnosis of cognitive difficulties, to evaluate a person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses (such as after a brain injury), and to recommended treatment plans.

Neuropsychologists are psychologists who have knowledge about how the brain works, how it affects thinking, behaviour, and emotions, the impact of various disorders and injuries on these processes, and an understanding about how this affects a person’s life and that of their family and friends. Neuropsychologists have a minimum of six years training in the field.

Neuropsychology assessment can also be instrumental in assessing a person’s capacity to make reasoned and informed decisions about various issues such as where they will live, what medical treatment they will receive, if they can manage their finances, or if they can make a decision about their will or enduring power of attorney.

Neuropsychology assessment involves using standardised, well researched tests of cognition that evaluate memory, attention, visuo-spatial skills, reasoning, and so on, to identify the person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

The pattern of results, combined with a thorough history taken from the client, their carers, and their health professionals, is used to diagnose brain disorders, or to explain cognitive difficulties arising from brain injuries or disorders.

This information helps the client understand the consequences of their difficulties on their daily life, and can be used to guide a client’s therapy with other professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, and nurses, and to help with planning for the future.

What does a neuropsychology assessment involve?

A neuropsychology assessment usually involves a session in which I interview the client and their family (if relevant), asking questions about the person’s history, the current problem, and any other relevant information. Information about education and work history, medical history, etc, give me a better idea of how I would expect you to perform on testing versus how you are performing now, that is, I compare you to you.  I also gather as much information as possible about the client’s medical history, including any brain scans and medication history.

I then assess the client’s cognitive function using a number of tests, most of them just using a paper and pencil. This includes assessment of memory, reasoning, attention, visuo-spatial skills, language, the ability to plan and organise, comprehend, reason, judge, engage in goal directed behaviour, and more.

The interview and assessment can be done in one session, usually taking about 6 hours, or over a few days, depending on the client’s needs.

This will be followed by a session where I will feed back the results to the client (if applicable) and their family. The assessment will be followed by a comprehensive written report which will include recommendations.

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Louise Vernieux

CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST
BSc(Hons) Mpsych (Clin) (Neuro) MAPS
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