Clinical neuropsychology is both a basic and an applied psychological specialty that involves the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of brain functioning in adults and children. The activities of the neuropsychologist build upon the competencies of the general clinical psychologist, and include 1) examining patients with known or suspected cerebral disease, 2) developing and implementing interventions that target cognitive, behavioral, and emotional deficits, 3) consulting with healthcare colleagues, families, and service agencies, 4) conducting research that addresses basic and applied neuroscientific topics, and 5) teaching and supervising students. Because these diverse activities require mastery of knowledge from a variety of disciplines (e.g. neurology, psychiatry, and cognitive science), training is a relatively lengthy and challenging process that involves not only completion of a four- to five-year doctoral curriculum but also a one-year predoctoral neuropsychology internship (or major rotation in neuropsychology) and a two-year postdoctoral neuropsychology residency.
Students who are accepted into the Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut may pursue a supplementary course of study in clinical neuropsychology in addition to completing all clinical psychology requirements. The structure and content of this concentration have been shaped by the “Houston guidelines”, a set of recommendations that identify essential skills that clinicians should have acquired by the end of their training and that offer suggestions for doing so across the three primary phases of professional education (graduate school, internship, and residency). Thus, students complete a variety of courses in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuroscience, in neuropsychologic assessment procedures (including flexible battery and Boston process approaches), and in ethical issues in clinical and forensic neuropsychologic practice. These courses are offered in the Departments of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Physiology and Neurobiology and at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Moreover, students may become involved in a variety of research projects that involve healthy and neurologically compromised adults (including elderly individuals) and children. Current research sites include the UConn Departments of Psychology (Main Campus [Storrs]) and Psychiatry (Health Center Campus [Farmington]) and several collaborating universities, medical centers, schools, and laboratories. Furthermore, students may enroll in clinical neuropsychology practica at regional medical centers and in independent clinical practices (see below).
It is expected that students who complete the UConn neuropsychology concentration will be able to successfully compete for INS/Division 40 neuropsychology internships and for APPCN neuropsychology residencies. After obtaining such training, students should be well qualified to function as neuropsychologic clinicians and/or researchers and, if they are so inclined, to complete the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABPP-CN) board certification process.
We appreciate your interest in UConn’s clinical psychology program and neuropsychology concentration, and we invite you to contact us for additional information as you search for a training site that meets your educational and professional goals.