Minnesota 2022
Update Conference

Minnesota 2022 Update Conference: Objectives

Approved by the Planning Commission on 4/25/2022

Values Statement

Clinical Neuropsychology (CN) is a defined specialty dedicated to the study of brain-behavior relationships in individuals across diverse cultures and experiences; advancement of knowledge in brain function as it relates to cognition, emotion, behavior, and everyday function; and the application of this knowledge to the assessment and intervention of neurobehavioral dysfunction. CN includes the promotion of optimal brain development and health; prevention of neurologic and neuropsychiatric illness and associated disabilities; application of scientific knowledge; and advocacy for health justice, training, and application of neuropsychology in service of the alleviation of human suffering to benefit society and improve well-being. CN has always been reliant on the accumulation of accurate and reliable neurocognitive performance data, and on developing an evidence base reflecting the efficacy and effectiveness of neuropsychological practice in serving its constituents. Education and training in CN are based on the existing and evolving body of general knowledge and methods in the science and practice of psychology in preparation for practice.

CN is at a crossroads. It is inherently biased in the western perspective in which it was developed, and it utilizes many methods that are based on narrow, highly selective samples derived from decades-old assessment and intervention strategies. As a result, CN has not been appropriately attuned to sociocultural diversity in the population and technological changes in the healthcare landscape. All scientific knowledge becomes outdated with time, but in addition to what have in the past been typical enhancements in the knowledge base, CN currently requires paradigmatic changes in ways of conceptualizing, knowing and doing science, training, and practice to become more internally and externally valid, equitable, and just. It is crucial that intentional measures be taken to ensure that the current CN workforce comprises clinicians who have cultural connections and experiences that more accurately reflect the sociodemographic makeup of those who need neuropsychological services and communities that experience disparities in brain health. In addition to refining the knowledge base, it is imperative that the specialty foster greater representation of minoritized communities among practitioners and scientists. More broadly, there is a need for CN to recognize, revise, and repair structures, systems, and values that have rewarded and privileged certain ways of knowing and excluded and disregarded diverse perspectives and experiences. To build a sustainable, relevant, and inclusive neuropsychology, CN must now center social justice and representation, develop new knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and remove systemic barriers that have limited opportunities and access to entry into and progression within CN. 

Of additional concern, the field of CN is in need of modernization to integrate new developments in data science and technology. Older approaches to data acquisition, storage, and analysis cannot support our clinical or research practices. The development of new competencies in a broad range of information science areas, including digital communication, the integration of neuropsychological data into electronic medical records for accumulative knowledge base development, recognition of bias in technology and big data, application of modern psychometric methods to develop more equitable and accessible measurements, and technology-based solutions to key assessment and intervention challenges, among others is necessary for CN to train competency in these areas.

The primary goal of the Minnesota 2022 Update Conference is to develop an updated Policy Statement that details integrated education and training guidelines spanning the predoctoral, internship, and postdoctoral levels of training in CN. We seek to develop a comprehensive update and extension of the Houston Conference Policy Statement (1998). We seek to expand the framework for CN competency-based training to be infused with a health justice and equity framework that will prepare trainees to function competently in the workforce, and to apply contemporary technology and tools to maintain and develop clinical neuropsychological services that are valuable to the healthcare and scientific communities, service recipients, and society at large. The secondary goal of the Minnesota 2022 Update Conference is to develop a Consensus Statement on Ongoing Development Activities to support education and training in clinical neuropsychology that will address the broader needs of CN detailed above, as they are relevant to education and training.

Policy Statement

An objective of the Minnesota 2022 Update Conference is to develop an updated policy statement for programs that offer education and training in clinical neuropsychology that

  • formulates a preamble related to discipline values, including equitable access to neuropsychology science, training, and services; comprehensive understanding and consideration of diversity and social justice; and a definition of clinical neuropsychology;
  • specifies evidence-based competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) for entry-level practice in clinical neuropsychology consistent with contemporary competency approaches and inclusive of populations that have traditionally been excluded from our evidence base;
  • fully integrates the evidence base for cultural neuropsychology, the intersections of social and structural forces on clinical neuropsychology into the competency values, framework, and process;
  • creates an equitable process for inclusion of groups that have traditionally been excluded from neuropsychological training, practice, and research, including but not limited to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and linguistic and cultural factors;
  • incorporates the equitable application of technological advances in education, assessment, research, neuroscience, psychometric theory, data analytics, and computing;
  • addresses the need for specificity and flexibility within the training sequence, including incoming qualifications at the internship, postdoctoral, and independent practice levels;
  • outlines a framework and process to ensure open, equitable, and inclusive input from interested and invested parties, including trainees, both for the current conference and ongoing review and updates of neuropsychology education and training; and
  • recognizes limitations in concepts, content, practices, and implementation across countries associated with the North American scope of many current training guidelines and of this conference, and anticipates better integration of world-wide views about training and practice of neuropsychology globally.

Consensus Statement on Ongoing Development Activities

An objective of the Minnesota 2022 Update Conference is to develop a consensus statement on the ongoing development needs to support education and training in clinical neuropsychology that:

  • provides guidance to the participants, stakeholders, and organizations regarding neuropsychology education and training;
  • specifies current and future development needs within clinical neuropsychology education and training, including prioritizing structures and systems that foster development of clinical neuropsychologists that are representative of the general population, and especially representative of people who experience the greatest barriers to receiving neuropsychological services;
  • provides curricular and experiential resources that facilitate multicultural competencies within all training experiences and realms of neuropsychology practice, education, training, and research;
  • creates and incentivizes opportunities for trainees who have traditionally been excluded from, or have faced systemic barriers to, neuropsychological training (e.g., related to medical status, socioeconomic status, family-related responsibilities, etc.);
  • proposes the organizational structures by which development can be achieved and seeks the endorsement of those organizations;
  • initiates a process of engagement with international neuropsychology organizations to facilitate cross fertilization of knowledge, assessment practices, intervention, and training with the overarching goal of developing capacity for the delivery of competent neuropsychological assessments and useful interventions for all persons around the world;
  • develops strategies and curricula to expand educational and career pathways, and foster interest in middle school, high school, and undergraduate students with a particular focus on those students who have traditionally not been exposed to or encouraged to enter the field of neuropsychology; and develops a structure and process for timely reviewing and updating of training guidelines every ten years.