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  • What is Neuropsychological Testing and do I need it?
    Neuropsychological testing is an interactive testing environment focusing on gaining better understanding of an individual’s neurocognitive health. Areas of exploration include domains of attention, executive functioning, learning, memory, language functioning, visuospatial skills, emotional functioning and adaptive functioning capacity. This information can help to diagnose and treat many brain problems stemming from developmental concerns, damage or disease. Neuropsychological testing is recommended anytime there is a question about cognitive strengths and weaknesses or if there is a known brain injury or disease process underway. Repeat testing is recommended for following a case of brain recovery or deterioration to highlight gains or losses and spur treatment plan development. For example, following stroke, brain surgery or brain damage, testing is recommended at six weeks, six months and one year.
  • What exactly is a forensic psychologist?
    In simple terms, a forensic psychologist is an expert in the areas where psychology and the legal system merge. In addition to possessing a doctorate degree and license to practice psychology, a forensic psychologist has also obtained specialized training, supervision, and experience in select areas of forensics. Though not an attorney, a forensic psychologist has a familiarity with the legal system and is an expert at obtaining and presenting scientific data in legal arenas.
  • What exactly is a forensic neuropsychologist?
    A forensic neuropsychologist specializes in how brain-behavior relationships have relevance in the legal system and typically requires board certification in clinical neuropsychology. For example, many brain disorders such as traumatic brain injury, dementia, stroke, intellectual disability, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder play an important role in impacting neurocognitive functioning and emotional behavior which, in turn, can have impact upon decision making, memory, insight and judgement – factors often relevant in the legal arena.
  • What does it mean to be "Board-Certified" in Clinical Neuropsychology?"
    A certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) attests to the psychologist's competence to provide high quality services within a specialized area of practice, like clinical neuropsychology. A psychologist seeking board certification in clinical neuropsychology must have requisite training and experience, pass a comprehensive written examination, submit work samples in two distinct areas of practice, and pass a three-hour oral examination by three certified specialists.
  • Who requests a forensic evaluation?
    Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys seeking Competency / Insanity evaluations or an Expert Witness on neurocognitive or mental health issues. Defense firms representing defendants with mental illnesses, cognitive deficits or brain damage. Insurance adjusters and case managers seeking Independent Neuropsychological Evaluations (INE) for injured claimants. Judges requesting consultation about sentencing options for people with brain damage or mental health issues. Attorneys representing Workers Comp / Personal Injury / Social Security Disability cases. Human resources managers desiring a Risk Assessment or Fitness for Duty evaluation of a problematic employee. Neurologists and orthopaedic surgeons with patients needing psychological or neuropsychological evaluations prior to, or post, surgery. Federal and State agencies wanting consultation, training, or specialized evaluations tailored to their specific needs. Individuals desiring psychological or neuropsychological testing to be able to appeal a denied mental health claim or obtain a second opinion. Attorneys or judges seeking a Violence Risk Assessment. If there is an attorney involved in your case, please have him or her contact Sid Binks & Associates directly as he or she can best arrange for a retainer and define the forensic question.
  • What is typically included in a forensic evaluation?
    Most evaluations consist of an extensive record review, comprehensive diagnostic interview, appropriate psychological testing, and contact with relevant collateral sources. Sid Binks & Associates tailors each evaluation to the needs of the client.
  • How do I arrange for an evaluation?
    Whether you are interested in an evaluation for clinical or forensic reasons, call or email Sid Binks & Associates for a brief consultation regarding the usefulness of an evaluation in your particular situation. Questions about insurance (if not a forensic evaluation) can be answered at that time. Sid Binks & Associates is a Medicare provider but is considered out-of-network for other insurance companies so an out-of-network deductible and coinsurance payment would apply. 50% down is required to begin the evaluation with the rest due at the feedback session. For forensic evaluations, a retainer agreement will be forwarded to the requesting attorney or disability insurance company. Purchase order agreements are accepted in lieu of a retainer agreement for government work.
  • How long does an evaluation take?
    Evaluation length of time varies depending upon the clinical or forensic question being addressed. Most evaluations will require an interview of between one and two hours followed by testing of between 3 and 6 hours. The longer testing times as in the case of most neuropsychological evaluations are due to a need to understand cognitive weaknesses/impairments within the context of other cognitive domains. Additionally, hours are billed for collateral interviewing, review of records, test scoring/interpretation and report writing. For forensic evaluations, additional time my be required if there are a lot of documents to review or long travel distances.
  • Where do evaluations take place?
    Clinical evaluations take place at Sid Binks & Associates, 3000 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (Across from the entrance to the National Zoo). For forensic evaluations, Sid Binks & Associates will travel, when necessary, to psychiatric hospitals, prisons and detention centers.
  • Do you test for malingering and/or low effort?
    Forensic evaluations are entirely dependent upon getting accurate data during the testing process. As such, it is critical to thoroughly test for adequate effort during testing and whether or not an individual may be malingering (faking) symptoms or over-reporting symptoms. Test results are combined with behavioral observations and historical data to make a determination regarding the legitimacy of a clinical diagnosis. Malingering is an intentional exaggeration of impairment or symptoms in a situation where doing so will result in secondary gain. For example, exaggerating a memory problem in an attempt to gain damages in a law suit, or, falsely reporting mental health symptoms to garner sympathy or to be found Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) for a crime. Despite public perception, the frequency of individuals being found NCR is low. Low effort can occur for many reasons besides malingering. Individuals can be tired, distracted, unmotivated, resentful/angry, under the influence of alcohol/drugs or suffering from medication side effects – all of which can interfere with the testing process and reduce the validity of test results. A good night’s sleep and a strong effort on testing will help to ensure a solid, valid evaluation is performed and gives your forensic expert the data he or she needs to help you move your legal case or insurance claim forward.

If there is an attorney involved in your case, please have him or her contact Sid Binks & Associates directly as he or she can best arrange for a retainer and define the forensic question.

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