The Notebook of a New Clinical Neuropsychologist : Stories From Another World book cover
1st Edition

The Notebook of a New Clinical Neuropsychologist
Stories From Another World

ISBN 9781138565043
Published November 28, 2017 by Routledge
242 Pages

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Book Description

Have you ever looked at a heavy volume on neuropsychology and wondered what it would actually be like to become a professional clinician, working every day with neurological patients in a busy hospital while simultaneously learning your craft? This book tells the story of that journey.


The Notebook of a New Clinical Neuropsychologist vividly details the experience of starting work in clinical neuropsychology, exploring early-career learning and development through an intimate, case-based approach. Topics include the learning of basic clinical skills and knowledge, counter-transference, the clinician’s emotional experiences, ethical and moral dilemmas, and the development of clinical reasoning. The book is structured around individual studies from the author’s early caseload, with each vignette containing the relevant neuropathology, clinical presentation, history, neuropsychological test finding and other clinical data. Chapters are also organized around key neuropathological conditions, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and brain infections, which provide a broader context for the narrative focus of the book.


Few academic books explore the personal, intellectual and ethical dilemmas that face a new clinician working with patients in a neuropsychological setting. Tailored to facilitate experiential learning via case studies, reflective practice and problem based-learning, the book will be of interest to students and professionals working within the broad area of neuropsychology and brain injury services.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Robert Jones


1. Birth

First days in neuropsychology

2. Toughness

Traumatic Brain Injury


3. Fragility

Cerebro-vascular pathologies


4. Badness

Infections in the brain


5. Fate

Unpredictability in brain injury


6. Shock

Epilepsy and pseudo-seizures


7. Reality

Co‐morbidity in clinical neuropsychology


8. Life

Psychiatric aspects of neurological injury


9. Inheritance

Genetic disorders


10. Death

Dementia and neurological devastation




Appendix 1: Bibliography


Appendix 2: A short note on tests


Appendix 3: About the author

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Dr Rudi Coetzer qualified with distinction as a Clinical Psychologist in 1987. He is Consultant Neuropsychologist and Head of Service with the North Wales Brain Injury Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board NHS Wales, and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neuropsychology in the School of Psychology, Bangor University.


At the beginning of this book, a young Rudi Coetzer asks a senior colleague for help: "How to resemble a clinical neuropsychologist, just a tiny little bit more as I go along?". This question is also continually asked by my students. This excellent book provides an answer and will help students and young professionals develop. A mixture of sound theoretical knowledge, experience, understanding, and most importantly, deep clinical wisdom, this is a great and highly-needed book for young and more experienced psychologists alike. (Sanna Koskinen, Clinical neuropsychologist, University lecturer, PhD, University of Helsinki)

This beautiful book interweaves the vulnerability and modesty of a budding new neuropsychologist with the narratives of patients as experienced from the clinician's side of the desk. What adds great weight to the value of the book is that Rudi Coetzer has remained true to the origins of his first cases and refrained from the temptation of choosing only the extraordinary cases – as a result his book is both remarkable and a precious addition to the literature. (Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive, The Encephalitis Society, Honourary Fellow, The University of Liverpool)