Frequently Asked Questions

Woman on Computer

Click a category below to read some of our most frequently asked questions: 

General Cognitive Evaluation

What is a general cognitive evaluation?


A general cognitive evaluation uses numerous standardized tests to measure the thinking processes in your brain, including your: Intellectual capacity (IQ) Attention and concentration Processing speed Language and communication Visual-spatial abilities Memory Some patients may also need sensorimotor and psychomotor function testing. Sensorimotor skills refer to receiving sensory input and using it to produce muscle movement. Psychomotor skills are muscle activities you learn to perform, such as writing, throwing a ball, and playing an instrument. If you have problems with cognition, you can’t learn skills, solve problems, retain and recall events, or perform mathematical equations. You may not be able to comprehend what you read.




When might I need a general cognitive evaluation?


There are many times when a general cognitive evaluation may be performed. Cognitive testing is an integral part of diagnosing and determining the best treatment for many types of mental health disorders that are known to have cognitive dysfunction. Children who are diagnosed with developmental disabilities such as autism and ADHD have a cognitive evaluation. Cognitive testing is also essential in patients with dementia and after suffering a head injury, even if it’s a mild concussion. A general cognitive evaluation may also be required for patients applying for disability from the Social Security Administration.




What should I expect during a general cognitive evaluation?


A general cognitive evaluation is different from a clinical evaluation in which Dr. Murray talks with you about your symptoms or you complete questionnaires rating your emotions and behaviors. Cognitive evaluations use standardized tests that measure your abilities. Much like a test you would take at school, cognitive tests pose questions and you provide answers. Your test may be done using a computer or with a pencil and paper. There are many possible tests used during a general cognitive evaluation. The length of your evaluation depends on the areas of cognition being measured and the number of tests you need to take. For example, an IQ test may take an hour or longer, while other tests only take 10-15 minutes. If you have questions about general cognitive evaluations or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call New York Neuropsychological Services or use the online booking tool.





Psychotherapy

What is psychotherapy?


Psychotherapy generally refers to any type of talk therapy that takes place between you and a trained therapist in a safe and comforting environment. You’ll explore your past and current emotions, experiences, behaviors, and relationships. As you talk, your therapist gently guides the discussion, helping you see patterns of behavior and ways of interacting with others that negatively affect your life. The therapists at New York Neuropsychological Services help you learn why you struggle with your unique issues. Through psychotherapy, you’ll gain insight into your thinking, memory, emotional functioning, and behavior, and then learn the coping skills needed to move forward and overcome your challenges.




What mental health problems can benefit from psychotherapy?


Many patients seek therapy to get through a stressful event, such as separating from their partner or the death of a loved one. Others have a history of failed relationships, they struggle with anger management, or they just have a general sense that they need to change. Any emotional or behavioral problem that interferes with living a satisfying and thriving life can benefit from psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a fundamental part of treatment for most mental health disorders. Even when you take medication to target your symptoms, you’ll get the best results when you also participate in talk therapy. The team at New York Neuropsychological Services offers psychotherapy for many conditions, including: Depression Anxiety disorders Cognitive impairment ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) Bipolar disorder Personality disorder Traumatic brain injury Obsessive-compulsive disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder At New York Neuropsychological Services you can schedule individual and group psychotherapy in the office or through videoconferencing so you can receive the help and support you need while staying in the comfort of home.




What type of psychotherapy might I receive?


The therapists at New York Neuropsychological Services have considerable training and experience in many therapeutic techniques. They work closely with each patient, helping you define your goals, then deciding which psychotherapeutic approach works best for your problems and personal style. Some types of psychotherapy are structured with tasks, while others use free association and open-ended questions to help you identify relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These are a few examples of commonly used psychotherapies: Cognitive-behavioral therapy Psychoanalytic psychotherapy Interpersonal therapy Relational therapy Solution-focused therapy Trauma-focused therapy No matter what challenge you face, psychotherapy at New York Neuropsychological Services can help.





Memory Disorders

What should I know about the different types of dementia?


Dementia refers to changes in your memory and thinking ability that are severe enough to interfere with your daily functioning.
There are four types of dementia that get progressively worse as you get older: Alzheimer’s disease Vascular dementia Lewy body dementia Frontotemporal dementia Dementia is also caused by a range of medical conditions, including kidney disease and vitamin deficiencies. When an underlying disease is the cause, your memory may improve as the condition is treated.




What symptoms develop due to dementia?


Dementia symptoms appear as nerve cells in the brain are damaged and stop functioning. The symptoms you develop depend on the type of dementia and the area of the brain affected.

In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, the area of the brain that forms new memories is affected. As a result, one of the first symptoms is short-term memory loss. By comparison, behavior changes are usually the first sign of frontotemporal dementia.

As a group, the four progressive dementias cause symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and difficulty communicating. Dementia can cause personality changes, anger, and agitation.

People with dementia find it difficult to develop a plan or organize their actions. Psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and hallucinations are also common at various stages of dementia.




What happens during a dementia evaluation?


When you’re worried about memory loss or personality changes and you schedule a dementia evaluation, the first step is usually a quick screening to determine the likelihood of cognitive problems. If that test reveals a reason for concern, Dr. Murray performs an in-depth neuropsychological evaluation of your brain function.

These are examples of the skills evaluated during a dementia evaluation: Memory Language Visual perception Executive function Mood and behavior Attention and processing speed Visual perception When assessing attention, the tests may evaluate if it takes you longer to complete routine tasks or perform math calculations. Common problems with language include not being able to think of the word you want to use or having a hard time understanding communication. Once your dementia evaluation is complete, Dr. Murray works with you and your family to develop an individualized treatment plan, helping you find the support you need, and recommending medications that slow the progression of certain types of dementia.





Pre & Post Surgical Evaluations

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?


Neuropsychological evaluations assess your brain function. Through in-depth testing, Dr. Murray determines how well your brain works, as well as which areas of your brain are dysfunctional and how your specific brain function problems affect your behaviors, emotions, and thinking skills. The tests performed during a neuropsychological evaluation assess: Intelligence Attention and concentration Memory and learning Language and speech Perception Sensorimotor functions Mood, emotions, and personality Executive function (reasoning, problem-solving, organization) Dr. Murray carefully reviews all the information to determine your cognitive strengths and weaknesses.




What are presurgical and postsurgical neuropsychological evaluations used for?


Neuropsychological evaluations performed before and after brain surgery are essential to help: -Compare brain function before and after your surgery Your presurgery neuropsychological evaluation defines your level of cognitive functioning before brain surgery. When Dr. Murray repeats the same tests after surgery, she compares the presurgery and postsurgery results to determine the impact of your surgery. -Guide treatment after your surgery The results of your postsurgery evaluation guide your ongoing treatment and rehabilitation after brain surgery. Dr. Murray typically performs evaluations immediately after surgery and at regular intervals in the months and possibly years afterward to monitor cognitive changes and fine-tune your treatment. -Precisely plan your surgery Brain surgery is carefully planned to treat the underlying problem while protecting as much brain function as possible. Neuropsychological testing helps identify the damaged areas of the brain, as well as critical functioning in nearby areas. Depending on the type of surgery, your neuropsychological evaluation may be used to determine if surgery is a good option.




When might I need presurgical and postsurgical neuropsychological evaluations?


While neuropsychological evaluations may be performed before and after any type of brain surgery, they’re often recommended for procedures such as: Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease: In addition to evaluating cognitive function before and after your surgery, neuropsychological assessment is used to screen Parkinson’s patients considering deep brain stimulation. Epilepsy surgery: A neuropsychological evaluation is often required prior to epilepsy surgery to determine if your thinking skills have been affected by epilepsy and to help your surgical team identify where the seizures originate in your brain. Your presurgery evaluation also assesses your risk for cognitive changes after your surgery. Tumor surgery: Neuropsychological testing determines the impact of a brain tumor on your cognition, behavior, and mood, which is vital for developing interventions to retrain your brain after surgery. Bariatric Surgery: If you’re considering bariatric surgery, the first step is determining if you meet one of the two body weight criteria.
You must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or be more than 100 pounds overweight. Or you can have a BMI of 35-39 if you also have at least one obesity-related health condition, such as: Hypertension
Type 2 diabetes
Obstructive sleep apnea
Osteoarthritis
Heart disease
Abnormal blood lipids If your weight qualifies you for surgery, your bariatric surgeon tells you the additional medical tests and physical examinations you’ll need to complete before you’re approved for surgery. One of the tests you need is a psychological evaluation.





ADHD

What is ADHD?


ADHD is a neurological disorder primarily caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the areas of the brain responsible for activities such as self-regulation and executive function, which is vital for organization, reasoning, and problem solving. The brain dysfunction caused by ADHD makes it difficult to plan activities, multitask, and regulate your emotions and behaviors. Typically the challenges you face are severe enough to affect your performance at work and to interfere with personal relationships.




What symptoms develop due to ADHD?


ADHD symptoms are broadly categorized as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Each person has a different range and severity of symptoms, and you may struggle with one or all three categories. Adults have the same symptoms as children. You may: Have trouble paying attention Have a hard time organizing tasks Fail to pay attention to details Make careless mistakes Find it hard to relax Have a hard time regulating emotions Not follow through on instructions Lose important items frequently Forget daily tasks or miss deadlines Start projects but never finish them Executive function deficits lead to problems with brain processing speed and working memory. Working memory allows you to hold multiple pieces of information in your head long enough to use them, whether for planning activities, doing calculations, or associating one activity with another.




How do you diagnose and treat ADHD?


ADHD is diagnosed through a clinical interview. Your therapist at New York Neuropsychological Services learns about your history and symptoms and uses questionnaires to assess the severity of your symptoms. Adults also complete a self-report that asks about symptom frequency. Though neuropsychological testing doesn’t diagnose ADHD, your therapist may recommend an in-depth evaluation of your symptoms indicate significant problems with executive function. The information learned through a neuropsychological assessment can guide treatment decisions. Once you’re diagnosed with ADHD, your treatment may include psychotherapy, medications to improve attention, or both. The team at New York Neuropsychological Services uses different therapies to teach the skills that can help you with challenges such as time management and organization. Your therapy is individualized to help you develop all the strategies needed to overcome your specific symptoms, whether you need help controlling anger or other emotions, or you need to develop better relationship skills.





Accommodation Evaluations

What is a school evaluation?


A school evaluation is a psychological evaluation that’s performed when a child or teen struggles in school. School evaluations are commonly requested when emotional, behavioral, social, or learning problems interfere with the student’s success. The results of the evaluation are then used to guide educational services to support the student. In many cases, a psychological evaluation is the first step for creating an individualized education program (IEP) for students with special needs.




Who can request a school evaluation?


Parents, teachers, principals, and the school’s special education director can all request a school evaluation. When the school staff begins the process, they notify the parents, explain why they’d like to have an evaluation, and obtain the parent’s consent. If parents see problems and would like their child to be evaluated, they send a written request to the school. The letter triggers the process, and then the school must follow a timeline for obtaining the evaluation.




What types of tests are used during a school evaluation?


Dr. Murray uses different types of assessments, depending on the reason for the school evaluation and the student’s challenges. These are a few of the basic types of tests used: Standardized tests: Standardized tests evaluate your child then compare their score to the test results from a group of peers. The score is reported along with a percentile rank showing how your child compares to other students their age. Rating scales: These tests rate the frequency of specific behaviors, emotions, and skills. Dr. Murray may complete rating scales after observing your child, but it’s also common for teachers and parents to complete the form. Self-report scales: Dr. Murray may ask older students to rate their own behaviors and skills. Interviews: Dr. Murray talks with the student, parents, and teachers to learn about the student’s history of behavioral, emotional, and learning problems. Interviews also provide information about each person’s concerns and goals, as well as information about lifestyle or classroom factors that may affect the student’s learning and behavior. Observations: Dr. Murray may observe the student at school, watching how they interact with other students and teachers. Dr. Murray doesn’t need to use all of these different assessments to perform a comprehensive evaluation. School evaluations are individualized to meet the student’s needs.





Insurance

Do you take insurance?


  • We are out-of-network providers which means that if you have out-of-network benefits, we request payment directly from you and provide you with a statement you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
  • OR We can submit bills on your behalf and have the reimbursement sent directly to you.
  • We have financing options available for neuropsychological assessments.




Do I have out-of-network benefits?


Not sure. Insurance companies do not provide this information to providers. You must call your insurance company and find out what your benefits are, if you have met your deductible and what percentage they will pay after you remit a statement. They are required by law to tell you this information.