Bay Area Neuropsychology

The Clinic

Psychiatrists & Psychologists Across The State Of California

Bay Area Neuropsychology is available at The Clinic! With convenient locations across the bay area, we provide expert neuropsychological assessments for children, adolescents, and adults. Our clinicians evaluate and make treatment recommendations for a wide range of cognitive issues, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, dementia, and behavioral, executive, and motor functioning skills deficits. 

Neuropsychology Q & A

What is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships. Clinical neuropsychologists conduct detailed assessments to assist in the diagnosis of brain disorders and to facilitate effective treatment planning. In addition, neuropsychologists make recommendations to help patients reach their education or vocational goals. Our Bay area neuropsychologists not only help clarify potential diagnoses, but determine which skills and strategies will be most effective to optimize overall brain function and foster general well-being.

We specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of neurological, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychiatric/behavioral problems in children, adolescents, and adults. We conduct complete neuropsychological examinations with the goal of discovering patterns of cognitive strengths and deficits that can aid in the diagnosis of biological brain malfunction, as well as therapy suggestions. Patients with neurological, psychological, and general medical disorders can also benefit from psychotherapy/counseling.

What is Evaluated During a Neuropsychological Assessment?

A neuropsychological examination can be used to evaluate various aspects of brain functioning. These may include:

 

  • General intellect
  • Attention (the ability to concentrate for an extended period)
  • Language skills (understanding instruction and communicating ideas)
  • Executive skills (organization, planning, impulse control, flexibility)
  • Learning and memory
  • Visuo-spatial skills (the ability to find your way around in a new environment, recognize patterns and put things together)
  • Motor skills (dexterity, coordination)
  • Behavioral and emotional functioning

Who Can Benefit From a Neuropsychological Assessment?

Referrals to a neuropsychologist are often made by healthcare professionals or educators and can be useful in determining treatment and management approaches, such as classroom placement for students who have learning issues. Some of the common reasons a patient or student is referred to The Clinic for a neuropsychological assessment are:

 

    • Memory problems (including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease)
    • Dyslexia or learning problems
    • Trouble concentrating (including ADHD)
    • Changes in behavior or emotional control
    • Difficulty with solving problems
    • Trouble communicating or understanding others
    • Difficulty finding the right words
    • Recent brain injury, tumor or stroke

What is Involved in a Neuropsychological Assessment?

The initial interview is dedicated to establishing initial assessment and treatment goals and permits our clinicians to answer questions you or your family member may have about our services. Next, you will be asked to complete a series of tasks designed to assess cognitive skills such as: attention, learning and memory, processing speed, language, visuospatial abilities, and executive functioning. Some tasks will be easy; others will be more complex. The assessment may be scheduled over one or more appointments. Following testing, the clinician will analyze the results, compare them to results from people who are like you in significant ways, and prepare a comprehensive report. Finally, your provider will meet with you to review the assessment results and offer recommendations.

What Preparation Does a Neuropsychological Assessment Require?

Get a good night’s sleep before the examination, and be sure to bring any hearing devices or eyeglasses you may need to complete the tasks, as well as, any previous test results and related medical records. Also, coordinate medication dosage times with our neuropsychologist prior to the examination. You will probably find the examination interesting and the detailed results gathered will contribute to your care.

Meet Your Bay Area Neuropsychological Assessment Providers

Jessica Foley, PhD, ABPP-CN

Clinical Neuropsychologist in San Francisco, CA (Van Ness & Bush St)

Dr. Jessica Foley is a Diplomat of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN). She conducts neuropsychological evaluations for patients presenting with suspicion of neurodegenerative illness. She also performs comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of adults with a variety of known or suspected neurologic illnesses. Dr. Foley is specialized in the assessment of adults across the lifespan with concern regarding neurologic and neurodegenerative compromise. Read More About Dr. Foley >

Rayna Hirst, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist in San Francisco (Van Ness) & Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Rayna Hirst is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist conducting neuropsychological evaluations, including dementia, psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, ADHD), and medical/neurological diagnoses (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, neuro-oncology). Dr. Hirst is an Associate Professor and Director of the Neuropsychology Program at Palo Alto University, providing didactic and supervisory education to doctoral students who are training in clinical neuropsychology. Her research focuses on the validity and interpretation of neuropsychological assessment in a variety of clinical disorders. She is a member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology Conflict of Interest and Clinical Research Grants Committee, the International Neuropsychological Society, and is Member-at-large and former Treasurer of the Northern California Neuropsychology Forum. Read More About Dr. Hirst >

 

Joaquin Burciaga, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist located in Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Joaquin Burciaga is a clinical neuropsychologist. He has extensive training in the neuropsychological evaluation of individuals. This includes the evaluation of adults and older adults with epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and other dementing disorders, and answering questions of decision-making capacity. Dr. Burciaga also conducts pre- and post-surgical evaluations for candidates pursuing surgical interventions for treatment of epilepsy and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s. Read More About Dr. Burciaga >

Sarah Asmussen, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist in Palo Alto & San Jose, CA

Dr. Asmussen is a clinical neuropsychologist offering therapy and assessment. Her focus in therapy is facilitating in-depth relationship work by using an integrated approach applying Mindfulness, CBT, Psychodynamic and Couples-based treatments. By using integrated therapeutic techniques, Dr. Asmussen works closely with her clients to strengthen and deepen the core relationships in their lives, and also treats terminally ill patients and their family members. In addition to providing relationship support through clinical interventions, she provides comprehensive neuropsychological and psychological evaluations.

Dr. Asmussen enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families, as well as offer neuropsychological assessment across the lifespan in Palo Alto, San Jose, and via telemedicine across the state of California. Read More About Dr. Asmussen >

We Offer Remote Video and Telemedicine Services

(415) 843-1523

**Announcement**
On June 11th, our current electronic health system will transition to a new and advanced system to better serve you: Athena. Prior to the transition date, you will be sent a registration link to create a new patient account in Athena. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist, or call our office to speak to a staff member. 

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