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Neuropsychological Assessment: The Right Tool for the Problem by Dr. H. Daniel Blackwood

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

On March 27th, Dr. H. Daniel Blackwood spoke about Neuropsychological Assessment: The Right Tool for the Problem. Dr. Blackwood was the first neuropsychologist in Arizona to be board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Previously affiliated with the Department of Neurology of Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix and with the Neurosciences Program at Phoenix Children's Hospital, he now splits his time between Phoenix and Prescott. He is consultant to the Arizona Cardinals, assisting in the management of concussions. He is a member of the panel of expert examiners for the criminal division of the Superior Court of Arizona for Yavapai, Pinal, and Yuma Counties. Within the Arizona Psychological Association, he has served as President, APA Council Representative, Chair of the Legislative Committee, and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He has been presented with the APA Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy on Behalf of Professional Psychology. Dr. Blackwood discussed referral questions, purpose and types of neuropsychological evaluations….a variety of conditions (e.g., OCD, impulsivity/borderline, fibromyalgia, cardiac illness, COPD, liver dysfunction, pancreatic illness, multiple sclerosis) that have their roots in the brain. For example, Multiple sclerosis must be differentiated form somatization and anxiety in the early stages, and later may also feature depression ad periods of “low grade” euphoria. Attendees were appreciative to be provided with The importance of testing for performance and symptom validity was addressed, as well as the differences between effort and symptoms reporting. A table was provided to better understand these interactions with four quadrants: (A) Accurate symptom reporting, Adequate effort suggests “what you see is what you get;” (B) Accurate symptom reporting, Inadequate effort suggests “…;” (C) Inaccurate reporting, Adequate effort reveals psychologically disoriented, doesn’t know what to do, and/or overly distressed; (D) Inaccurate reporting, Inadequate effort is suggestive of likely gain from symptoms. We are grateful to have had our esteemed colleague join us for his Zoom debut, sharing vast experience and knowledge with our community.

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