What type of expert do I need?
It is imperative that a psychologist be endorsed in the respective area of practice. This ensures that they have the required level of knowledge and training to conduct the assessment. Information about the different types of psychologists, the unique and specialised skills of clinical neuropsychology and forensic psychology can be found here. Forensic psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology are both separate endorsed areas of practice recognised by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and the Australian Psychological Society (APS), as they each require different and specialised formal training and education.
What is Forensic Psychology?
Forensic psychology is a specialised field in which the psychologist has training and expertise in evaluating the psychological functioning of an individual in relation to the law, including legal questions such as capacity to stand trial, risk of reoffending, and legitimacy of a compensation claim. Forensic neuropsychology explores the relationship between brain functioning and behaviours within the specific context of the law. More information can be found here.
What is Clinical Neuropsychology?
Clinical neuropsychologists work closely and collaboratively with primarily medical practitioners, families and treatment providers assessing a client’s brain functioning and conditions which impact the central nervous system, in order to assist with diagnostic and treatment considerations as well as informing future planning and lifestyle decisions. More information can be found here.
What can I expect?
Neuropsychological assessments generally take between 3-5 hours of face-to-face time; although this can vary depending on the complexity of the case and client needs. Breaks are taken throughout the evaluation as necessary. If required, the assessment can be conducted over multiple sessions. Several hours will subsequently be spent scoring, collating information and report writing.

The process includes review of all medical, clinical and legal relevant material; a comprehensive interview with the client and if possible, a significant other (e.g. a spouse, child, friend or other); and completion of paper and pen tasks evaluating a person’s thinking and learning including attention, memory, language and problem solving. The tests are designed to inform how your brain is working at present and detect any changes that may have occurred over time or as a result of a brain injury or medical condition. The assessment may also include tests to evaluate mood and sometimes personality style and characteristics. A helpful Guide to Neuropsychological Assessment can be found on the Arbias website.

What can I do to prepare for the assessment?

  • No drug or alcohol use for at least 3 days prior to the assessment (ideally at least one week)
  • Bring any hearing or visual aids including hearing devices and glasses
  • Take your regular medications and bring these (as required) as well as a list of your medications and dosages to the assessment
  • Bring any brain imaging reports and medical records (where applicable)
  • Bring any school/academic records (where relevant)
  • Bring a snack and drink
  • Allow ample time for the assessment to ensure that the assessment can be completed

Do I need a referral?
For a clinical neuropsychological assessment, a letter of referral from a medical practitioner is helpful however not essential. Referrals from individuals, families and carers are accepted.

For forensic assessment, a detailed letter of instruction is required from the instructing lawyer or insurance provider detailing specific questions to be addressed. The referral letter should indicate when the report is required so that NAFS can ensure on time service. All relevant medical, legal and other documentation to be reviewed should be provided prior to the assessment.

What does it cost?
Fees are dependent on the referral source and purpose of the assessment. Please contact Dr White to make an enquiry.