Clinical Neuropsychology

The American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP oversees and authorizes the credentialing activities of thirteen specialty boards.  The ABCN is responsible for establishing criteria related to the definition and requirements for education, training, competencies, and the examination, which leads to Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology.  The ABCN is governed by a Board of Directors who are certified in Clinical Neuropsychology and are representative of the specialty on a national basis.
 
The Board, in association with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), is responsible for conducting Board examinations in the specialty of Clinical Neuropsychology, mentoring and training examiners, and awarding the Diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology.  Board Certification by ABCN, is intended to certify that the successful candidate has completed the educational, training and experience requirements of the specialty, including an examination designed to assess the competencies required to provide quality services in the specialty of Clinical Neuropsychology.  The primary objective of the ABCN Board Certification process is to recognize, certify, and promote competence in the specialty.
 
 

DEFINITION OF A CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST
 
 

Clinical Neuropsychologists have specialized knowledge and training in the applied science of brain-behavior relationships.  Clinical Neuropsychologists use this knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan who have neurological, medical, developmental, or psychiatric conditions.
 
The Clinical Neuropsychologist employs psychological, neurological, or physiological methods to evaluate patients’ cognitive and emotional strengths and weaknesses and relates these findings to normal and abnormal central nervous system functioning.
 
Clinical Neuropsychologists use this information, in conjunction with information provided by other medical/healthcare providers, to identify and diagnose neurobehavioral disorders, conduct research, counsel patients and their families, or plan and implement intervention strategies.
 
A definition of clinical neuropsychology, a description of the work settings in which clinical neuropsychologists are employed, and other associated information can be found in the Practice Guidelines published by the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN).  This document can be downloaded from a link on the AACN website (http://www.theaacn.org)
 
The services provided by Clinical Neuropsychologists typically include:
 
Assessment (evaluation, diagnosis, formal psychological testing)
Consultation with others professionals in diverse settings
Intervention (treatment, prevention)
Conduct of clinically-relevant research
Supervision, teaching, and management activities (e.g., program development, administration)
 
It is expected that Clinical Neuropsychologists will demonstrate sensitivity to and skills in dealing with multicultural/diverse populations. In this manual, we will use the terms ‘multicultural’ and ‘individual and cultural diversity’ interchangeably.  Individual and cultural diversity recognizes the broad scope of such factors as race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, class status, education, religion/spiritual orientation, and other cultural dimensions.1
 
Preparation for the practice of clinical neuropsychology at the specialty level of competency characteristically entails some combination of pre-doctoral internship, and post-doctoral education and training experience.  Specialized competency presumes the establishment of both a basic and applied generic core knowledge base in psychology and in the clinical neurosciences.
 
The candidate is expected to demonstrate more than a narrow or circumscribed adjunctive skill in order to meet competency criteria, though he or she may declare an adult or child emphasis for examination purposes. In addition to the basic and applied generic core courses that all applied psychologist must have, competency in clinical neuropsychology requires a foundation in the clinical neurosciences, including neurology, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology.  Two years of supervised training in clinical neuropsychology and at least two to three years of overall experience in the specialty area, depending on the year a candidate received their doctoral degree, are required to become eligible for the examination in clinical neuropsychology.
 
For more information about the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, or to apply for board certification, click here
 
1 American Psychological Association (2002). Guidelines on multicultural education, training,
research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists
. American Psychologist,
58 (5) 377-402. http://www.apa.org/pi/multiculturalguidelines.pdf  
 

 

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