The Role of the Clinical Sport Neuropsychologist: An Introductory Case Example

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Saint Louis University
  • 2 University of North Carolina at Charlotte
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Treatment of sport-related concussion and subsequent postconcussion syndrome represents a highly complex and multidisciplinary endeavor. Current practice often includes observation by a physician, brief cognitive testing, and outside referrals (e.g., sport psychologist, clinical psychologist, or counseling psychologist) if necessary. However, it is hypothesized that the role of a clinician with interdisciplinary training in clinical psychology, sport psychology, and neuropsychology, henceforth known as the clinical sport neuropsychologist, would represent a holistic treatment provider. It is predicted that a provider with this diverse training background would have a unique constellation of skills that may generate efficient and effective treatment with concussed athletes. The subsequent intervention program is diverse, incorporating neuropsychology, sport psychology, and clinical psychology principles to effectively treat symptoms of post-concussion syndrome while providing psychoeducation regarding current scientific trends. Throughout the program, consultation ranged to incorporate neuropsychological assessment, sport-focused performance enhancement, and psychotherapy focusing on athletic role-transition. Subjective feedback of the athlete suggested that the intervention program was useful. The current case example introduces the potential value of a clinical sport neuropsychologist working within the intersectionality of these psychological disciplines in treating sport-related concussion and its associated conditions.

Zachary C. Merz and Michael J. Ross are with the Department of Psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO. Joanne E. Perry is with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.

Address author correspondence to Zachary C. Merz at merzz@slu.edu.
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