Shawn K. Acheson, PhD

Dr. Shawn Acheson earned his PhD in clinical psychology at Southern Illinois University –  Carbondale in 1997. He performed his pre-doctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology and pain management within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center (1995 – 1996). Post-doctoral training and studies were completed at Duke and the Durham VA Medical Center with emphasis in clinical neuropsychology as well as behavioral and developmental neuroscience (1996 – 1998).

The majority of Dr. Acheson’s early career was devoted to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in neuropsychology, cognitive/intellectual assessment, statistics and research methods; providing clinical supervision; and, conducting clinical and pre-clinical research in behavioral and developmental neuroscience, traumatic brain injury, and substance abuse. At the same time, Dr. Acheson was actively engaged in private practice involving neuropsychological assessment across the life span.

In 2007, Dr. Acheson’s clinical interests shifted to forensically oriented referral questions at which point he established his own practice focusing on pre-employment evaluations for local law enforcement. This work quickly evolved into more complex forensic neuropsychological evaluations in criminal, civil, and administrative courts. In 2011 he joined the Center for Psychiatry and Law in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke where he served as lead psychologist from 2015 to 2017.

Following retirement from full-time academia in 2017, Dr. Acheson’s work has been dedicated to forensic neuropsychological evaluation in criminal and civil courts. His work in criminal cases typically involve neuropsychological questions of diminished capacity, voluntary intoxication, or mitigation in capital murder cases in NC, TX, and NV. His work in civil matters typically focuses on personal injury involving TBI, toxic exposure, PTSD and other psychological injury. Dr. Acheson also provides psychological and neuropsychological fitness for duty evaluations.

Dr. Acheson also provides training and consultation to attorneys on matters involving the biomechanics, pathophysiology, diagnosis and rehabilitation/recovery of traumatic brain injury as well as psychological and neuropsychological assessment. He was awarded a five year $1M grant from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs to develop an empirically valid pre-clinical model of mild TBI and study novel therapeutics for the treatment of mTBI (2011 – 2016). As a former professor having taught graduate courses in psychological and neuropsychological assessment for many years, Dr. Acheson also has a deep understanding of the nuances and complexities of psychological assessment instruments, the assessment process, and the difficulties associated with assessing change in neuropsychological and neurobehavioral function following TBI and other neurological insults. The assessment of changes in function are particularly complicated across critical developmental windows such as childhood.

Dr. Acheson is a licensed psychologist in NC and certified through the National Register of Health Services Providers. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, including Divisions 12 (clinical), 40 (neuropsychology) and 41 (law); the International Neuropsychological Society; and, National Academy of Neuropsychology where he currently serves on the Policy and Planning Committee.

Dr. Acheson has been an independent contractor to fpamed since 2020.

References available upon request.

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