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Clinician Spotlight: Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Byrne

Updated: Jul 12

In our ongoing series 'Clinician Spotlight', we learn more about all the amazing clinicians here at Newton Neuropsychology Group. We sit with Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Byrne in this installment to learn more about her!

Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Byrne with her husband and son.

What drew you to Neuropsychology?

I feel like I stumbled into it! I joined graduate school and thought for sure I was going to be a therapist, but I had a wonderful instructor for my assessment courses, and he made me really passionate about the data you can get from a neuropsychological evaluation and how helpful it can be for individuals and their caregivers. Often, people feel stuck or feel like something isn't working in their life or in their treatment process, and they can't put a finger on it. We can help point out what’s under those layers to validate individuals' understanding of why parts of their lives may feel difficult. You can make a huge difference in people's lives in this field. Neuropsychological testing can help people identify different pieces of themselves, some of which they may not have been aware of or had the language to describe and name, and as the evaluator you play an active role in helping people become more self-aware of these different pieces and have the chance to help people better understand themselves and put these pieces together, like a puzzle.

I’ve always been drawn to the field of psychology in general because I’m more of a nurturer and advocate at heart. When I was in college and studying psychology and criminology and law, I saw firsthand how many people who found themselves entangled in the criminal justice system had underlying mental health issues. I was drawn into the field by realizing that so many people get to these low points and fall into the cracks of the judicial, medical, and educational systems, and I wanted to be one of the people to try and stop that, to help seal up those cracks so to speak. At the end of the day, I wanted to make a difference in people's journeys.  

What do you enjoy most about Newton Neuropsychology Group?

The atmosphere! It is SO collaborative, so supportive. Everyone brings something unique to the table. We can seek each other out as needed, and no one hesitates to do that. I find that at a practice of our size, we have a lot of opportunities to get to know each other as people, and we’ve been able to build such a great team of like-minded individuals. Everyone enjoys being in the office together and we all seem to just get along so well. Being able to connect with the people you work with on that personal level makes a huge difference for sure. The atmosphere is just so amazing. We have a wide variety of mental health conditions we are able to treat in our cases because of the variety in our training. There’s such a curiosity and desire to learn from each other. 

What do you hope clients can gain from working with you as a clinician?

I want clients to, first and foremost, gain a better sense of self. My goal is to always validate a client's experience and give them a better understanding of themselves as well as to promote self-compassion. I think we all have to start our treatment journey somewhere, and by fostering a sense of self-understanding, we as clinicians are able to help give clients the tools and resources to be more self-aware, to promote that insight and self-understanding. In turn, this enables our clients to build their self-reliance and self-advocacy skills, which consequently allows them to maximize their unique strengths and achieve their full potential. I want them to walk away not just with a diagnostic label, but to walk away feeling like they understand themselves better; to empower them to use that newfound knowledge of themselves to aid in their journey and live their best lives. Essentially, I want to be a stepping stone on my client’s journey to self-discovery and living a fulfilled life. 

What’s a fun fact or something about neuropsychology that most people might not know?

There are no medical tests involved, no needles or brain imaging! All of that stuff can be helpful, but it’s not what we do :) We look at how someone thinks, how they problem solve, what sort of things are easier for them from a cognitive perspective, and what things may be harder. We look at those underlying strengths and weaknesses; identify someone’s growing edges or things that are more challenging for them so that we can target those areas and strengthen them. Yes, “neuro” is in the word, so there’s an emphasis on cognition, but we also look at the social-emotional factors that make up a person’s clinical presentation and incorporate various measures of social/emotional functioning into all of our testing batteries because, simply put, we as humans are not machines and do not exist in a vacuum. We exist beyond this cognitive aspect, and there is so much research to support just how much various social, emotional, and environmental factors influence our cognition and our ability to properly access and utilize our cognitive resources to their utmost potential. We do so much social and emotional learning as humans, so it is important for us as clinicians to also take into consideration just how all of these various factors come together and shape a person’s presentation.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

My son! I have an almost 2-year-old, and it’s amazing seeing him discover the world. Spending time with him is a lot of fun; he makes traditionally boring tasks (like grocery shopping) such an adventure. 

I have two big dogs: a German shepherd and a husky. They keep me active and on my feet. I love the time I spend with them, playing fetch, going on walks, and running—they’re wonderful family dogs and total lovebugs.

I’m also fortunate to have a wonderful, supportive husband who embraces fatherhood and marriage with his whole being. We enjoy spending time together as a family, whether it’s being outdoors or just doing things around the house; it’s the togetherness that we appreciate. I also enjoy hiking, walking, and just being outdoors in general; one of my favorite things about Massachusetts is having access to so many great hiking and walking paths. I’ve always been passionate about books and enjoy most genres, and I’ve found that audiobooks work well with my current lifestyle, too! 


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