Have you ever heard a yoga teacher say that we “store trauma” in our bodies? Have you heard a doctor tell you that your mental stress is affecting your physical health? The connection between physical and mental health is a relatively new one, but professionals like neuropsychologists are researching and working right now to study how these connections affect our overall well-being.
If this field of study interests you, you might want to consider a career (or at least an education) in neuropsychology! Read on to learn more about what neuropsychologists do, who they work with, and how top neuropsychologists are shaping the way that we view the mind-body connection.
What does a NeuroPsychologist Do?
NeuroPsychologists work in a branch of psychology that studies how behavior, cognition, and the nervous system are connected. This field was only established as a speciality by the American Psychological Association in 1996, and is continuing to evolve due to the hard work of today’s neuropsychologists.
Neuropsychologists, like many other psychologists, earn a doctorate degree before they start practicing in their field. Very few jobs will accept a Master’s degree, and doctorates are typically required to be licensed or board certified as a clinical neuropsychologist.
This may take up to seven years to complete, but the payoff is nice! With a doctorate degree, you can start the process of getting certified in any state. You will also need to complete an internship or an exam to earn these recognitions, but these opportunities will come up as you complete your degree and work with your professors.
Neuropsychology is a hot field of study, and companies are willing to pay big bucks for someone who specializes in this field. You can certainly earn six figures in this career!
Neuropsychologist Reported Salary
Schools for NeuroPsychology Degrees
Although clinical neuropsychology has only been recognized as a speciality recently, there are plenty of options to study neuropsychology at the doctoral level:
- University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Brigham Young University - Provo (Provo, UT)
- University of California - San Diego (San Diego, CA)
- San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
- University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
- Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA)
- University of Houston (Houston, TX)
- Washington State University (Pullman, WA)
- Kent State University (Kent, OH)
Companies That Hire NeuroPsychologists
Insights from neuropsychologists can help a wide variety of people. A person dealing with addiction or injury recovery may benefit from learning how their mind and body work together to influence their behavior and well-being. Corporations that want to elevate their experience with clients and internal employees may also hire a neuropsychologist as a consultant. Neuropsychologists may also open their own private practice and work with individual clients. The possibilities are endless, even though this field is so new!
As a neuropsychologist, you might end up finding job postings from:
- Colleges and universities
- Rehabilitation centers
- Research facilities
- Private practices
- General healthcare providers
- Private corporations
Interviews from a NeuroPsychologist
How do people get involved in neuropsychology? What do they do day to day? The best way to really get these answers is to ask a neuropsychologist themselves!
Fortunately, many people have already done that. You can read an interview with neuropsychologist Dr. Raphael Wald or watch interviews on YouTube. These interviews range on topics like the day in the life of a neuropsychologist to how neuropsychologists see the impacts of COVID-19 on overall well-being. There is so much to learn from these stars in the field!
Although neuropsychology is relatively young in terms of recognition from the APA, these theories have been floating around for centuries. Many consider Aristotle and Hippocrates to be neuropsychologists because they wrote about the connection between the brain and the heart or the brain and the rest of the body, respectively.
Karl Spencer Lashley is considered a well-known figure in neuropsychology for his work on where memories are “stored” in the brain and physical body. Paul Broca did similar work, and there is actually a part of the brain named after him! Broca’s area is in the frontal lobe, and it lights up when speech is produced.
Neuropsychologists may have different responsibilities depending on who they work for and what they’re researching. As a neuropsychologist, you might spend your days:
- Evaluate a client who has a nervous system disorder
- Researching the effects of Parkinson’s disease
- Consulting corporations on healthy habits and how employees can improve their well-being
- Teaching a course on neuropsychology at a university
- Presenting a paper on research at conferences