The next member of my "Justice League" that I am going to introduce to you is my amazing Neuropsychologist, Dr. Cherisse McKay!

A Clinical Neuropsychologist is an expert in brain-behaviour relationships.

Early on in my work with Dr. McKay, I underwent neuropsychological testing, which is an assessment of a person’s cognitive/thinking skills, psychological/affective functioning, and behavioural/personality changes.

What an exhausting process.

Is it weird that the windows in the testing room had bars on them, and there was a huge running wheel in the corner?

photo borrowed from www.hackedgadgets.com

Totally kidding.

Thank goodness the testing was only one day, though.

Shortly after my neuropsychological testing, Cherisse presented the results at one of my team meetings. I was so nervous. What was she going to say?

She immediately put me at ease. She explained everything in a language and style that we could all understand. Even the rest of my team members who hear results from these tests often, thought it was incredible how well she explained everything, using metaphors and and stories.

Another role of the Neuropsychologist - specifically, Dr. McKay - in my case, is intervention and neuropsychological counselling.

At first, the thought of having a neuropsychologist was pretty intimidating and kind of uncomfortable… Who is this “neuropsychologist”? Is she going to try and read my mind?

The truth of the matter is, I think the thought of opening up and talking about my brain injury and sharing my struggles and pain with a stranger was a little bit scary.

Cherisse has really helped me understand the nature of my injuries, and the impact it has on my life and the lives of others. Through education and conversation she has helped to normalize things for me and has given me more clarity and insight in my life.

Sessions with Dr. Mckay have been so helpful for me and I am so thankful that I have such an amazing neuropsychologist. It took me a little while to really feel comfortable opening up, but Cherisse is so easy to talk to. She makes me feel really relaxed and comfortable, like I’m chatting with an old friend. It’s also an added bonus that she is an avid ‘at home chef’ and food lover, like me.

Cherisse has helped (and is still helping) me implement various strategies in my life to help me cope with cognitive, behavioural, emotional and other challenges that I am facing.

I truly believe that everyone could benefit from seeing a counsellor or psychologist at some point in their life.

If you have ever seen a counsellor or psychologist and have had trouble connecting, don’t give up! Try somebody else. You have to find someone who you can trust and feel comfortable with - it might take some time.

Before I met Cherisse, the way I viewed neuropsychologists’ was about the same way I viewed Fine Dining.

And that is not a positive thing.

Working with Dr. Mckay is more like going out for lunch for a Philly Cheese Steak or what I like to call, a Steel City Cheese Steak.

And that’s a very good thing!

“Specific to Jon, I think my role has been to provide education regarding his brain injury and how it has affected his temper, emotional regulation, and ability to manage his daily life. I provide emotional support and a ‘sounding board’ for him to discuss his feelings and challenges, as well as helping brainstorm possible solutions."

-Dr. Mckay

“When we deny our stories, they define us.

When we own our stories,

we get to write a brave new ending.”

– Brene Brown

Thanks for stopping by! I Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Steel City Cheese Steak, anyone?

Peace & Love,

Jonny Aps

See below for ingredients and step by step instructions.