On a Personal Note

Where to begin? I’m married and a mom and, like other working women, I find myself pulled in many directions at any given time and have to work hard to make time for myself. Currently I’m working on my pilates moves. I’m not very good at them but I’m convinced that my version of dying swan is more accurate and realistic than the beautiful renditions performed by my instructors and classmates!

two women, one mindWhy neuropsychology and psychopharmacology? I’ve always been fascinated with the brain. I mapped and dissected brains for the first time for an eighth grade science project. No family gathering is complete without someone reminding me that I then wrapped them in aluminum foil and placed them in the freezer (for posterity’s sake?). My mother was not happy when she defrosted what she thought was ground beef for dinner and discovered two cow brains instead! About that time I also began babysitting a boy with a seizure disorder. While observing him pre-, post- and during his seizures I became interested in brain-behavior relationships and the effects of medications on those relationships.

And clinical psychology? I can’t imagine delivering some of the test results and diagnoses that I do and then simply walking out of the room to leave the patient and his/her family members to make sense of it all on their own. I’m also aware that patients bring with them a host of psychological and social issues that need to be considered when developing a comprehensive treatment plan. By offering a more extensive set of services, I feel that I am able to be the best provider for my patients.

On a Professional Note

In addition to holding a doctorate in clinical psychology, I completed formal postdoctoral training programs in clinical neuropsychology and clinical psychopharmacology.

What is clinical neuropsychology, you ask?

image of brain with multiple interconnectionsThe American Psychological Association describes clinical neuropsychology as “a specialty in psychology that applies principles of assessment and intervention based upon the scientific study of human behavior as it relates to normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. The specialty is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of brain‐behavior relationships and the application of such knowledge to human problems.” In addition to completing all of the coursework and clinical training required to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology and to become a licensed psychologist, I completed postdoctoral training in the areas of:
  • Functional neuroanatomy
  • Neuropathology
  • Clinical neurology
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neurological disorders and etiologies
  • Neurodiagnostic techniques
  • Normal and abnormal brain functioning
  • Behavioral manifestations of neurological disorders
  • Neuropsychological assessment techniques
  • Culturally sensitive assessment techniques and interpretation
  • Individually tailored intervention techniques
  • Research design and analysis

What about psychopharmacology?

image of chemical structuresThe American Psychological Association describes psychopharmacology as “a proficiency in professional psychology that involves the application of psychopharmacological principles, scientific data and clinical practices to individual psychopathology and problems across a range of populations. It uniquely blends the scientific study of behavior, its biological basis and the interaction of medication with the latter to produce acute and long term therapeutic changes in normal and abnormal functioning.” In addition to completing all of the coursework and training required to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology and to become a licensed psychologist, I completed postdoctoral training in the areas of:

  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neurochemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Fundamentals of pharmacology
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Clinical psychopharmacology
  • Developmental pharmacology
  • Physical assessment
  • Neurological assessment
  • Laboratory examinations
  • Clinical pharmacotherapeutics