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Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology

Dr. Bechtold and a therapist working with a patient.

Johns Hopkins rehabilitation psychologists and neuropsychologists help patients and families understand and manage physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems related to living with or recovering from an injury or illness.

In This Section:

Our Approach | Why Choose Johns Hopkins | Specialty Areas | Team | How We Can Help


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Patient Resource Center
The Patient Resource Center provides assistance between appointments with your physician.
Phone:  410-614-4030 | Fax: 410-614-4033


Our Team Can Help You:

  • Cope with a new diagnosis, disability or changes in functioning
  • Manage difficulties with chronic pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue, bowel/bladder issues, sexuality or intimacy
  • Understand and treat problems with thinking, memory, attention, language processing, reasoning and executive function
  • Become more active and involved in your daily activities
  • Improve your sense of control and confidence in managing your condition
  • Deal with psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, mood problems and PTSD

Our Approach to Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology

  • Psychological and neuropsychological assessments are an important part of our treatment process. Our experts may use several types of assessments that rely on observation, interviews, surveys and reasoning, as well as cognitive and personality tests.

    • Behavioral health and psychological assessment is designed to evaluate your mood, lifestyle behaviors, personality, coping style and other social and family factors. This evaluation is especially useful in helping you manage chronic pain or prepare for surgery. It can help you and your doctor determine the best pain management strategies, evaluate your readiness for a major surgery and identify any barriers to recovery.
    • Neuropsychological assessment is used to evaluate your cognitive functioning in several areas. It may involve testing your memory, attention, language, mood and problem-solving skills. This assessment will help you and your neuropsychologist identify your strengths and potential areas for improvement. Your neuropsychologist will provide strategies to maximize your strengths and cope with any cognitive deficits or weaknesses.
  • Once we gather the information through assessments and collaboration with your other health care providers, we can discuss diagnoses (if applicable) and develop a treatment plan, which may consist of:

    • Counseling and talk therapy to help you understand your mood and behavior and develop additional coping strategies. There are many types of therapies that may be effective for you. Your therapist can provide additional options and information.
      • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on the relationships between our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can help you identify and shift thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that may be contributing to emotional distress. CBT can be especially helpful for treating depression, pain and sleep disturbance.
    • Behavioral, psychological and health interventions to help you adjust to living with chronic pain, illness or disability.
      • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) helps you pursue important life values in the presence of significant hardships. ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help you adopt behaviors that support your core values.
    • Cognitive rehabilitation to help address or compensate for cognitive impairments, such as problems with memory, language or attention.
  • When physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital consider advanced treatments for chronic pain, they often refer patients to the pain rehabilitation psychology team. Because the various mechanisms involved in chronic pain are so complex, expert psychological assessment can help maximize the chances for successful treatment.

    For example, when pain rehabilitation psychologists evaluate a patient for spinal cord stimulation, opioid therapy or other advanced treatments for chronic pain, they examine the patient’s history of pain, treatments, health and lifestyle. They also look closely at how pain affects the patient’s activity, thinking, mood and behavior.

    High-risk individuals can continue to see a pain psychologist throughout their treatment to learn alternative pain management strategies, and if warning signs develop, the psychologist can quickly address them.

    For patients with barriers to recovery, such as unrealistic expectations, depression, anxiety or negative thinking, the team can help to maximize the benefits from the pain intervention.


Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

  • Our rehabilitation psychologists and neuropsychologists coordinate treatments with rehabilitation physicians and therapists, as well as with your other specialists within and outside of Johns Hopkins.
  • We recognize and treat many health conditions — our experts listen to you and take time to understand your individual concerns and symptoms.
  • We approach care using a strengths-based approach — we recognize your current strengths and assets and integrate them into your care plan.
  • Our goal is to work with you and your family to help improve functioning and reduce the negative impact of injury or illness on your quality of life.
  • To achieve this goal, our team uses assessments and interventions based on the latest scientific evidence and research.

Our Specialty Areas

Rehabilitation psychologists and neuropsychologists are involved with several rehabilitation programs in the Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network. Most frequently, we work with patients who come to us for:


Our Rehabilitation Psychologists and Neuropsychologists

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