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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > History and State of Neuropsychology in Japan: A Modest Proposal from a Clinical Psychological Perspective
Published in the Medical Research Archives
Jan 2023 Issue

History and State of Neuropsychology in Japan: A Modest Proposal from a Clinical Psychological Perspective

Published on Jan 31, 2023




Introduction: Neuropsychology is a branch of clinical psychology that specializes in brain-behavior relationships by assessing cognition, behavior, and emotion. Neuropsychology was initially developed in the United States and Europe, and their practices have shaped other countries’ practices such as Japan. However, neuropsychology in Japan also has its own unique history.

Aims: The present paper aims to discuss the history, work environment and licensure, and prospects of Japanese neuropsychology by comparing them to those in the United States.

Methods: Information on four topics, including 1) the history and development of neuropsychology and the license of a clinical neuropsychologist in the United States, 2) the history and current situation of neuropsychology in Japan, 3) the background and process of the licensure in clinical psychology and neuropsychology in Japan, and 4) future directions and recommendations, were gathered through literature searches, official organization websites, and personal communication with clinical psychologists and other professionals in Japan.

Results: While clinical neuropsychologists in the United States have a background in clinical psychology, most of the people conducting neuropsychological assessments and research in Japan are physicians, occupational therapists, and speech-language-hearing therapists. This is believed to be due to differences in the system of health insurance, education and training, cultural factors shaping psychology practice in Japan, funding opportunities, and the research environment.

Conclusion: The care of patients who have neurological injuries and illnesses is one of the most crucial tasks for clinical neuropsychologists. It is important for clinical neuropsychologists in Japan to improve their knowledge and skills in clinical psychology to match global standards.

Author info

Maiko Pomeroy, Yoko Okamura, Nicholas Thaler

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