Introduction & Definition

European definition of Clinical Neuropsychology
(Accepted on 11 Oct, 2018 by the SC on Clinical Neuropsychology)

 Neuropsychology is a specialized domain of psychology that is focused on the multiple relationships between (1) cognitive and affective functioning, (2) normal or abnormal neurobiological correlates, and (3) the behavior of the individual – either isolated or in interaction, in different contexts and phases of the life cycle. This is achieved by the application of a variety of methods and techniques, some of which are specific to Neuropsychology, while others are common to other areas of Psychology and Neuroscience.

 Clinical Neuropsychology is the application of neuropsychology in clinical situations across the life span. The activity of Clinical Neuropsychology is directed at inferring alterations in the cognitive and affective functioning of the individual and how these relate to the nervous system in general and the brain in particular. The practice of Clinical Neuropsychology is fundamentally based on the exploration and systematic evaluation with the use of psychological and neuropsychological assessment instruments, along with other sources of information. A clinical case formulation thus produced is used both for diagnostic and prognostic purposes, which contribute to: (1) planning, (2) implementation and (3) evaluation of neuropsychological intervention.

 A Clinical Neuropsychologist draws upon scientific and technical knowledge comprising the skilled use of clinical interview techniques and standardized instruments. The practice of Clinical Neuropsychology demands at a minimum: formal knowledge of psychometry; psychopathology; neurobiological correlates of normal and abnormal cognitive functioning and affective mood.  Consideration is given to how such phenomena are expressed in different stages of development and in context of the individual, family and society. The Clinical Neuropsychologist in the context of normal functioning and aquired and developmental brain injury, will apply to the individual needs, such skills to understanding and implementing individual and group interventions. This may include behavior management or modification, psychoeducation, and psychological support, as well as the implementation of programs involving stimulation, maintenance, or rehabilitation of neuropsychological functions.


2015-2017 : Task Force on Clinical Neuropsychology

In July 2015, during the General Assembly in Milan (Italy), EFPA created a Task Force (TF) on Clinical Neuropsychology.

The starting point is the increasing needs of the public in the field of neuropsychology which contrasts with the lack of legislation or general consensus on who is a neuropsychologist, leading to confusion and misconceptions among patients and the public. Training models seem to differ between European countries and the quality of the services of clinical neuropsychologists appears to be highly variable. Some countries offer advanced training with a title or specialist certification in clinical neuropsychology and practice conducted only by specialists in neuropsychology. In other countries, however, no specific training program exists and neuropsychology is practiced by a variety of professionals. In addition, the legal status of clinical neuropsychologists as a subspecialty of psychology varies between countries.

The TF was therefore entrusted with the mission of carrying out an action from 2015 to 2017 with the following missions:

          - To analyse the situation of the field of clinical neuropsychology in Europe.

          - To collect information on the current situation on the specialization training within clinical neuropsychology in the different countries of Europe (both in the universities and in the clinical practice). 

          - To collect information on the legal and professional status of clinical neuropsychologists within the profession of psychologists in different European countries. 

          - To present the information and best examples to the EFPA Member Associations.

          - To make recommendations as how the specialization training in neuropsychology can and/or should be developed in the future.

The TF's presented its first results at the EFPA General Assembly in July 2017 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

2017-2021 : Standing Committee on Clinical Neuropsychology

July 2017: EFPA General Assembly in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) decided to transferred the Task Force into the Standing committee on Clinical Neuropsychology to be a permanent body of EFPA.