Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology Services

Program & Goals

The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation offers comprehensive rehabilitation psychology and neuropsychological services to help patients and families cope with the unpredictable and sometimes unchangeable aspects of chronic illness and disability.

Integrated Care Model

Rehabilitation psychologists/neuropsychologists are part of the team of rehabilitation professionals. Services and educational materials are available to patients and families at the UNC Health Care Rehabilitation Center, the UNC PM&R Outpatient Clinic and through our community outreach programs.

Rehabilitation Psychology

Rehabilitation psychologists provide care for individuals across the lifespan, including individuals with chronic illness or injuries resulting in physical or cognitive disabilities. The psychology team routinely assists patients with amputations, spinal cord injuries (SCI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and medical illness such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic pain conditions.

The Rehabilitation Psychology Program provides the following:

  • Comprehensive psychological evaluation with standardized testing
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, anxiety (including PTSD) and stress management
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy for pain management and medical illness
  • Brief interventions for improving readiness for medical or surgical treatments
  • Relapse prevention treatment for addictions
  • Guided imagery and relaxation training
  • Patient and family education

Rehabilitation Neuropsychology

Neuropsychologists are specialists in helping patients, families and other health care providers understand how injury, illness and aging can cause changes in an individual’s thinking, memory, judgment, emotional functioning and behavior. The neuropsychologist works with people who have had strokes, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors or other insults or injuries to their brain. Because many other kinds of illnesses also can affect brain functioning, many people referred for services may have histories of neurological disease, epilepsy, autoimmune disease, dementia or other chronic health issues. The neuropsychologist also assists individuals with histories of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, learning disabilities or psychiatric issues.

The Rehabilitation Neuropsychology Program provides the following:

  • Cognitive screenings using standardized tests to identify the need for further evaluation or treatment
  • Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations to measure learning, memory, language, visuospatial abilities, higher order cognitive abilities, fine motor skills, perception, mood, personality and adaptive functioning
  • Baseline assessments and repeat testing to measure improvement or decline over time
  • Rehabilitation treatment planning
  • Patient and family education
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients and caregivers cope with changes in cognition, emotions or behavior resulting from injuries or illnesses that affect brain functioning
  • Forensic consultation
  • Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs)

Clinical Neuropsychologists

Karla Thompson, PhD
Jennifer Hiemenz, PhD
Matthew Harris, PhD

Resources

We also recommend the A-Z index of general health topics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to learn more about specific conditions and treatments.

Become a Partner

Your gift will enable us to advance our mission of providing excellence in rehabilitation through patient care, state-of-the-art research and education. Your tax-deductible donation, whether large or small, makes a tremendous impact locally and globally.