Mary Hynes DanielakThe Counseling and Development Center, USA
Title: Why a good neuropsychological assessment is vital in treatment planning: What you can learn and the limitations
Often times in psychiatry the only approach for medication available is a trial and error method after clinical interviews, and perhaps checklists, with outcomes of medication trials based on the experience of the clinician or the art of changing medication and doses. If properly executed, a neuro- psychological evaluation can minimize the time spent trying to get the diagnosis correct as well as aid in understanding comorbid factors.
For instance, it is common for patients to complain about ADHD medicine not helping their working memory. If a prior measure of verbal and visual working memory had been completed, realistic expectations could be set about improvement in this area. Another common problem is that checklists alone will often be elevated for ADHD, Inattentive Presentation when really the root of the problem can be dyslexia.
Understand what you can and can’t diagnose from an excellent evaluation and how it may aid in treatment planning, or even research
Using several case studies/assessments of patients with differing presenting questions and different age ranges, Dr. Danielak will illuminate the different cognitive functions best understood by an evaluation, the different types of diagnoses best suited for an evaluation, how this impacts your treatment planning and long term outcome. Lastly, she will address the limitations of assessment and what cannot be measured.
Mary Hynes Danielak, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Danielak is one of the founders and CEO of The Counseling and Development Center outside of Atlanta, GA. Dr. Danielak has been in clinical practice since 1994 and has tested over 1600 children, teens, and adults. She has also provided therapy and counseling to thousands of patients. She has developed and ADHD/Executive Functioning Coaching Program and has changed the trajectory of hundreds of students.
She has trained a variety of postdoctoral fellows on best practices of assessment and interpretation of data. Her training in assessment included graduate school in ages 5yrs and up, with additional training post-graduate school in the area of neuropsychological assessment of executive functions for differentiating ADHD from other disorders.
Her original doctoral dissertation research constituted an N=325 for her doctorate was published in Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 3, 40-45], “Doctoral Dissertation: “Comparison of Paternal Factors in Families with and without Daughters with Disturbed Eating Attitudes.” [Danielek, M., & Eme, R., (1995). She was a field researcher for the DSM-5 by the American Psychiatry Association (name is on page 912) and was also involved with the APA’s Quality Measure Development for Behavioral Health Initiative.
In 2019, Dr. Danielak collected data for collecting USA norms for a product developed in Spain with the Nesplora Corporation for the measurement of executive function in children using the Oculus I virtual-reality headset.
In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Danielak also provides Executive Assessment and Coaching in the areas of Emotional Intelligence, C-Suite 360’s and coaching and Senior. Leadership 360’s and coaching.