Our service works with people to support them with both emotional and cognitive difficulties with the aim of improving the quality of life for patients with neurological conditions
This is not a crisis service for urgent mental health needs.
If you are feeling at risk to yourself, you are advised to contact your local community mental health crisis team or Emergency Department/GP. Please see the list of local crisis team phone numbers on our clinical health psychology page.
Who is the service for?
Our service is available to individuals with a neurological condition. Neurological conditions are disorders of the brain, spine or nerves. They have a range of causes including illness, injury, infection and stroke. This often results in difficulties with thinking, memory and concentration, known as cognitive difficulties.
People with these conditions can often experience difficulties with mental wellbeing and their mood.
Our service works with people to support them with both emotional and cognitive difficulties. The aim of our service is to improve the quality of life for patients with neurological conditions.
We complete assessments to understand your difficulties, to try to help you know more about what’s going on for you. We also work with people who have difficulties with their mood, behaviour and personal changes from a neurological condition.
We also have a Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) service.
Our service also offers group sessions. One group is based on ACT principles (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and focuses on living with neurological difficulties. We run the Compassionate Minds group, which utilises principles from Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and a cognitive rehabilitation group. We also run a group for individuals with FND.
What will happen at my first appointment?
At your first appointment, we will ask some questions about the kind of problems you are having and what other people have noticed. We might ask you to fill in some questionnaires. Your appointment is likely to last one hour and the purpose is to help us find the best way to support you.
We will agree a plan for any more appointments and what this might involve.
You can also use this appointment to ask any questions.
How many appointments will I have and what will they involve?
You will have an initial appointment to get to know you.
After this, we may invite you to a neuropsychological assessment.
If you are having emotional difficulties, we will think with you about how you are feeling and coping. We will practice skills and techniques to help you, and discuss what support you have.
If you would like to bring someone along with you, we have a seating area where they can wait for you during your appointment.
How do I access the service?
Our service is available to adults with an existing diagnosed neurological condition such as Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Hydrocephalus, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson's Disease and have cognitive or emotional difficulties as a result.
We also work with people with diagnoses of Functional Neurological Disorder (FND).
We primarily offer a service to those who are under the care of Mid Yorkshire Neurosciences service (Neurologist, Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine, Specialist Neurology Nurses, Specialist Neurology Therapies). Any of these healthcare professionals can refer you to our service. We do not accept self-referrals.
Where will my sessions happen?
In Wakefield, we usually see people at the Clinical Health Psychology Department at Gate 3A in Pinderfields Hospital.
In Dewsbury, we usually see people at the Staincliffe Wing at Dewsbury and District Hospital.
Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)
The Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) psychology pathway is for individuals who have been given a diagnosis of FND and have been referred by a healthcare professional.
What is FND?
Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is the name given when someone experiences neurological symptoms (such as leg weakness, numbness, blackouts) which are:
- Caused by problems in the nervous system (the way signals are sent through the body)
- Not caused by physical disease or disorder
- Causing difficulties for the person who is experiencing symptoms
- No known medical treatment/medicine will stop these symptoms
One way to understand FND is to think about what happens when a computer freezes or stops working. It is usually because there is a problem with the software (the systems that make the computer work). Often, there may be too many tabs open that are impacting on the functioning of the computer. Similarly, when you experience FND symptoms, the hardware of your body (brain, muscles) are not damaged; however, the software of your body is not working well or it may be sending information differently to before.
Why have I been referred to a Psychologist?
There is a relationship between the mind and the body and your symptoms are real. There may be an emotional basis for your symptoms and this can occur due to many factors, such as being overworked, bereavement, physical health difficulties and trauma.
What do we do?
Our pathway offers up to 4 sessions with Clinical Neuropsychology. This will include an assessment, learning about FND and recommendations for further treatment. The aim of these sessions is to create a ‘formulation’ with you. A formulation is an understanding of your difficulties and may involve drawing out a diagram. We hope this will help us to identify individual techniques to help you. There are also options to join group sessions within the Neuropsychology Service and we may discuss with you referrals to mental health services, or self-management of your symptoms.
Where can I find out more about FND?
We invite some people to complete assessments. It is not an exam, but it helps us to understand your cognitive abilities; that is, skills such as problem-solving, attention and memory skills, and identify anywhere we might be able to help.
We usually ask you to do tests with a pencil and paper. Most people find some bits easy and some bits difficult. If you wear glasses or hearing aids, please wear them for the appointment. Please let us know if you have any difficulties with reading, writing, hearing or your vision.
The assessment can take up to two hours and sometimes we will split this into three appointments. You only have to do the test once. Afterwards, we will discuss the assessment with you and think about how we could help. We will also send a report to your doctor.