The Clinical Neuropsychology Training Program housed within the Psychology Department at the University of Utah is carefully designed to provide excellent training that is in accordance with the principles and guidelines set forth by the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology (also known as the Division 40 guidelines). These guidelines express the philosophy that core psychology and clinical competencies are crucial building blocks of successful neuropsychology training.
In addition to obtaining their general training in clinical psychology, graduate students in the Clinical Neuropsychology Track obtain their neuropsychology training through several means: Didactics, Practica within the Department of Psychology, Clerkships at the University hospitals and clinics and the Salt Lake City broader community, and neuropsychology research. After completing their coursework and clinical requirements, students go on to complete an internship and postdoctoral training in accordance with the Houston Conference Guidelines.
The Clinical Neuropsychology Track offers the following didactic courses:
- Biological Bases of Affective and Cognitive Processes
- Functional Neuroanatomy
- Neuropsychological Assessment
Additionally, graduate seminars are offered on a variety of topics of special interest. Some recent examples include:
- Embodied Cognition
- Neuropsychology of Emotion
- Medical Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology Vertical Team
A key and unique feature of our program is the suite of practicum courses known as the Neuropsychology Vertical Team (VT). These courses consist of cumulative sequence of practicum experiences in which students gain exposure to and eventually master many of requisite competencies that prepare them for internship and, eventually, independent practice.
The specific courses are:
- Neuropsychological assessment Observation(usually in the first year)
- Neuropsychological assessment Pre-practicum (usually in the fall of the second year)
- Neuropsychological assessment Practicum (usually in the spring of the second year)
- Neuropsychological assessment Supervision (usually in the third year through graduation)
For more information on the Neuropsychology Vertical Team or the specific courses, click here.
All students in the program are expected to gain additional experience with neuropsychological assessment by becoming trainees at approved clerkship sites. Students begin to register for clerkships in their third year in the program, having been prepared to function in these “real world” neuropsychological settings by their prior observation, testing, and didactic experiences in the Vertical Team.
Our program emphasizes a semi-structured clerkship sequence where all students complete their first clerkship at a closely-allied site, which provides for close communication regarding student training needs and site expectations. Later on in their training students begin rotating to other sites that offer various different experiences (e.g., clinical settings, patient populations) that fulfill other individual training goals.
It is expected that students will complete a series of several clerkships, so as to gain experience with different clinical settings, clinical populations, and assessment styles. Key neuropsychology clerkship sites include:
- The Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging, and Research (CACIR), affiliated with the University of Utah Department of Neurology
- Drs. Kevin Duff, Dustin Hammers, Brock Frost, and Linsdsay Embree
- The University of Utah Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- University of Utah Department of Psychiatry and the Salt Lake City VA
- Intermountain Medical Center, Neuro Specialty Rehabilitation Center
- Dr. Atonietta Russo
- Wasatch Pediatric Neuropsychology
- Dr. Julien Smith
All students in the program are expected to complete an APA approved predoctoral internship at a site that follows the guidelines put forth by the Division 40 of the APA. The guidelines for neuropsychology training at the internship level emphasize the goals of enabling students to complete their training in the general practice of psychology, and extend their specialty training in neuropsychology, before going on to advanced specialty training in a postdoctoral residency.
Links to internship sites offering training in neuropsychology can be found here.
Consistent with Division 40 training guidelines, students in the program are expected to complete a two year post-doctoral residency in neuropsychology following internship, and we strongly encourage and support our students in this process throughout their training. Completion of the residency provides trainees with the advanced skills necessary for specialty practice in neuropsychology, and is designed to ensure their eligibility for licensure and eventual board certification in neuropsychology.
Our core program faculty, many adjunct faculty, and graduates of our program have all successfully applied for and completed residencies affiliated with the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology. We value board certification as the final step in demonstrating professional competency as a practicing neuropsychologist, and our program is designed to ensure that our graduates are well-prepared to eventually obtain board certification.