Program Information

The neuropsychology training program at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) educates postdoctoral residents in rehabilitation neuropsychology. The training program offers a combination of clinically supervised experience and in-depth educational opportunities.

The postdoctoral residency program is APA-accredited.* We are also a founding member and member-in-good-standing of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology, APPCN.

Our Team

The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology at RIM consists of rehabilitation psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists. All hold faculty appointments in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Some faculty members also hold joint and adjunct appointments in other academic and clinical departments.

Training Program: Postdoctoral Residency

Full-time postdoctoral resident positions are awarded for two years of training. Residents are recruited from APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology and must have completed an APA-accredited internship. Extensive neuropsychological assessment experience is required. Additional experience in medical rehabilitation settings (or with medical rehabilitation populations) is highly desirable.

The training program is modeled after the principles set forth at the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology. It is scientist-practitioner based and is an integrated program of formal education and training through practice. The core domains identified by the Houston conference are addressed through specific rotations and educational opportunities.

Core domains include:

  • Assessment
  • Treatment and intervention
  • Consultation
  • Research
  • Teaching

Our mission

To build upon core knowledge obtained in clinical graduate courses, practice, and internships, primarily in the areas of brain-behavior relationships.

This includes functional neuroanatomy, neurological disorders, neurodiagnostic techniques, neurochemistry, neuropsychology of behavior, specialized assessment and intervention techniques, integration of research findings and data, professional issues and ethics of neuropsychology, and practical implications for neuropsychological conditions.

RIM specialized services include:

Our department has additional specializations in:

  • Demyelinating disorders
  • Neoplasms
  • Dementias
  • Encephalopathies
  • Psychotherapy, including treatments integrated into rehabilitation plans
  • Pain evaluation and treatment
  • Presurgical evaluations

This diversity of presenting conditions allows for comprehensive training of assessment, intervention, and research in neurological and neurologically-related conditions. The training program cultivates skills through clinical practice, formal education, and modeling by faculty.

During residency

Trainees spend 50 percent of their time in direct patient service and/or clinically relevant activity such as rounds. Rotations are in neuroscience, spinal cord injury, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, corresponding to the specialty units at RIM. Residents also complete a rotation in an outpatient setting. Residents complete four six-month rotations.

Postdoctoral residents receive a minimum of two hours of formal weekly supervision, with most receiving additional supervision daily. Residents may request additional supervision at any time.

Educational activities & research

Residents have the option to engage in research during their residency, supported by faculty, including for presentation and publication of their research

Formal educational opportunities include:

  • Weekly didactics
  • Monthly continuing education
  • Board review
  • As the primary rehabilitation facility for the Detroit Metropolitan area, the patient and staff populations provide our residents constant exposure to diverse individuals. Appropriate interaction, assessment, and treatment of persons from diverse backgrounds is therefore a priority for our training program, as well as for faculty research and ongoing professional development. Emphasis upon diversity in the training program includes efforts to encourage minority participation in the field of neuropsychology, as well as in our residency program, and as faculty members. Our didactics and other training opportunities, as well as supervision of the residents' daily work, support their learning and efficacy in working with diverse persons. We encourage applicants' awareness of the following guidelines research resources pertaining to working with diverse persons.

    Exit criteria include:

    1. Advanced skill in the neuropsychological evaluation, treatment, and consultation to patients and professionals sufficient to practice on an independent basis
    2. Advanced understanding of brain-behavior relationships
    3. A formal evaluation of competency in exit criteria 1 & 2
    4. Eligibility for state or provincial licensure or certification for the independent practice of psychology
    5. Eligibility for board certification in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

    Clinical Training Opportunities

    Neuroscience Rotation

    RIM is the major provider of acute inpatient rehabilitation services for individuals with brain injuries and other neurologic conditions in southeastern Michigan. The psychologists on this service provide ongoing assessment of neurobehavioral status in order to assist the team, patient and family in effective treatment planning. This includes serial evaluation of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral status, plus an outpatient neuropsychological assessment when the patient deemed ready.

    Intervention is a strong part of the training, and we work collaboratively with the interdisciplinary team to manage patients' confusion, restlessness, agitation, or emotional distress. The rotation provides the opportunity to follow patients closely through early recovery, and to be integrally involved in their medical, nursing, and rehabilitation treatment process.

    Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:

    • Administer and interpret neuropsychological tests with individuals who have sustained a brain injury
    • Develop practical team consultation skills
    • Learn behavioral management skills to address restlessness, agitation and confusion and increase treatment adherence
    • Develop basic psychological intervention skills in the treatment of patients who sustained a brain injury, and their families

    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Rotation

    The inpatient Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation service provides care for individuals with diverse disabling conditions. The primary role for neuropsychologists is working with individuals who have suffered stroke, anoxic encephalopathy, organ transplantation, cardiac conditions, limb amputations, or changes in cognitive status due to an associated health condition.

    The neuropsychologist evaluates each patient to determine the status of their cognitive and affective functioning. The neuropsychologist works closely with the attending physician, medical resident, therapy staff, and nursing staff to identify teaching and intervention strategies to assist with the patient’s rehabilitation treatment plan. The neuropsychologist works closely with patients and their families to help the patient's adjustment.

    Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:

    • Conduct bedside mental status screenings
    • Assess emotional functioning and adjustment to medical condition
    • Administer, score, and interpret neuropsychological tests
    • Write concise assessment reports
    • Provide individual and family intervention to facilitate adjustment and emotional coping
    • Address pain and provide psychological pain management treatment
    • Provide education addressing stroke, stroke consequences, and stroke recovery to patients and their families
    • Learn the clinical presentation of common stroke syndromes
    • Learn the differential diagnoses of dementia
    • Provide consultation to treatment team members

    Spinal Cord Injury and Burn Injury Rotation

    The main focus of this rotation is psychotherapy with patients who have sustained a spinal cord injury, orthopedic injuries, amputation, burn, or cancer. Psychologists on this rotation conduct an initial assessment of emotional status and cognitive status. Neuropsychological assessment may be performed if that is indicated. Intervention is provided for those patients displaying problematic adjustment or coping. Additionally, psychologists on this rotation can participate in an injury-specific education program for patients with spinal cord injuries.

    Specific objectives for this rotation:

    • Understand psychological and basic medical aspects of spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, burn injuries, and amputation.Basic medical aspects include delirium from a variety of causes.
    • Assess emotional and cognitive functioning
    • Provide treatment, including pain management intervention, to enhance patients’ gains within their overall rehabilitation program
    • Provide behavioral management, including formulation of behavioral interventions, and leadership in the multidisciplinary team’s execution of behavior management techniques
    • Participate in weekly Physician-Team Rounds, monthly service line meetings, and bi-monthly SCI continuum meetings.

    Outpatient Services Rotation I

    Outpatient Rotation I allows a resident to provide a broad spectrum of neuropsychological experiences as part of the RIM outpatient program on the main campus (downtown). The comprehensive neurorehabilitation program serves a wide range of patient groups and provides a variety of services. Residents are involved with urban and suburban cases, forensic neuropsychological consultation to attorneys and insurance companies, and consultations with case managers and vocational specialists.

    Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:

    • Provide neuropsychological evaluations and recommendations in functional terms that can be understood and applied by the patient, family, team and vocational specialists
    • Refine psychotherapy skills in working with rehabilitation patients such as those with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries
    • Develop consultation skills to work effectively with other rehabilitation professionals
    • Develop forensic consultation skills to address issues of appropriate treatment, poor effort and excessive disability

    Outpatient Services Rotation II

    This outpatient experience takes place in three different settings during the same rotation, again providing a broad spectrum of neuropsychological experiences. The majority of time will be spent working in the suburban neurorehabilitation services at the RIM satellites in Novi and Sterling Heights, Michigan. Some training and clinical activities will also occur on the main campus (downtown).

    The suburban satellites emphasize the assessment and treatment of traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, MS, and other neurological and non-neurological factors affecting function, at the postacute level. Aspects of community re-integration are regularly addressed in cooperation with rehabilitation team members.

    Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:

    • Provide neuropsychological evaluations and recommendations in functional terms that can be understood and applied by the patient, family, team and vocational specialists 
    • Refine psychotherapy skills in working with rehabilitation patients 
    • Develop consultation skills to work effectively with other rehabilitation professionals 
    • Develop skills to address issues of appropriate treatment, poor effort and excessive disability 


    Research involvement is an option for residents. It may occur primarily with staff in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology, although opportunities with other researchers do arise. Regardless of the faculty or site involved, all research projects in which trainees wish to become involved (whether archival or prospective) must be reported to and approved by the Director of Training and Wayne State University's IRB, before the trainee becomes involved. Even if a project or measure was approved by another institution (e.g., research that began during your internship or that was part of your dissertation project), it must adhere to the approval and monitoring process described above.

    American Psychological Association
    Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
    750 First St, NE
    Washington, DC 20002-4242
    Telephone: (202) 336-5979
    TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123
    Fax: (202) 336-5978

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