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There are Many Benefits to Neuropsychological Evaluations

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Orlando Neuropsychological Evaluations are important because they can determine whether thinking skills, mood, or personality have been changed or affected by a neurological abnormality. The evaluation includes the establishment of a baseline by which changes in skills and personality can be compared over time, for purposes of monitoring the condition and deciding on appropriate treatments or courses of action. Neuropsychological evaluations also help the patient and their family make important decisions pertaining to personal responsibilities, work, and their lifestyle. Family members can be educated on how the disorder or abnormality affects the patient’s functioning, allowing them to understand and aid the patient more effectively. These evaluations also allow the patient’s supervising doctor access to information that can help them decide on medication or treatment methods. This may prevent unwanted side effects, and improved cognition. Neuropsychological evaluations are required for any person who is contemplating deep brain stimulation as a method of treatment, in order to identify whether such a treatment would be appropriate. These valuations can also allow doctors to make more specific diagnoses, especially when the neural dysfunction does not outwardly seem to have one specific, categorical cause. The brain does not tend to have clear-cut, distinct boundaries for functioning and cognition; if an injury or abnormality occurs within the brain, a plethora of disorders can result. With neuropsychological evaluations, neuropsychologists are given a much clearer picture of how the damaged areas are affecting the patient. 

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IDC-10 Has Been Postponed

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Friday, April 11, 2014

Last week, the US Congress postponed the mandatory implementation of the IDC-10 for diagnosis and billing purposes in the medical and psychological community. This move is designed to give all providers more time to implement this new system. It will now be mandatory to use this system beginning October 2015. This gives providers additional time to learn the IDC-10 and the DSM5, the new version of the Diagnostic and Statical Manual. The coding for both IDC-9 and 10 are included in DSM5, streamlining the process for all providers. Along with the change, adjustments are needed for the entire process of reaching a diagnosis. DSM5 no longer uses the multiaxial system; it adopts a dimensional format for ranking severity of disorders based on symptom severity. New diagnostic categories have been added and other diagnosis have new criteria. For example, there is a new category for Neurodevelopmental Disorders in children. This includes diagnosis that are the very mild front-end of the Pervasive Developmental Disorder spectrum, such as the new Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder. This system has done away with the Global Assessment of Functioning score, instead adopting the WHODAS, a less subjective 30 question, self report questionnaire. This face valid instrument has a form that can also be completed by the clinician.


For further information about these very significant and far reaching changes, please go to the website Psychiatry.org/DSM5.

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Benefits of Hypnotherapy

Deborah O. Day, Psy.D - Thursday, November 07, 2013

 Hypnotherapyhas almost always been considered “alternative” medicine, but recent developments in the art of hypnosis have shown how hypnotherapy can help someone access repressed thoughts and memories, as well as develop relaxation and anti-anxiety techniques. Hypnosis is used most often to treat phobias, anxiety, sleep disorders, PTSD, and to augment grief counseling.

 

Whether specific scientists believe in its power to access buried memories, they cannot die the healing and stress-relieving properties of the procedure. Those who undergo hypnosis to help with their smoking or overeating habits have seen considerable success, suggesting that this procedure is effective in behavior modification. For this reason, some parents may elect for their child to undergo hypnotherapy as part of a psychological evaluation, in order to fully understand why, in times of stress, like that of a divorce, the child is acting out, and also to help the child develop appropriate ways to deal with his stress and anxiety.

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