CURRENT FORENSIC AND EXPERT WITNESS PRACTICE:
Preface: I received my PhD in 1979 and worked as a Psychologist for the next four years for the largest foster care and group home agency in Brooklyn, NY (St. Vincent’s Home, School and Clinic, Catholic Charities). I have been a licensed psychologist since 1981. I have worked full-time over the last 35 years in independent practice as well as agency positions that gradually increased in responsibility to the point that I served for five years as the Director of a large mental health system for a community of over 100,000 Native Americans in Oklahoma. Upon my return to New York, I was hired as the Clinical Director of a large County Mental Health clinic that served dual-diagnosed patients (with mental health, developmental disabilities/autism spectrum disorders and psychosis). My doctoral dissertation at Wisconsin-Madison was on criminal behavior and I have been involved in Forensic work in various capacities since that time. I have been qualified as Psychologist expert in State and Federal Courts. As an expert witness, I have been qualified numerous times as a Psychologist, Child Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, Expert in Child sexual abuse, Expert in Domestic violence, Expert in child custody cases and other areas. I have listed below many kinds of cases I consider myself experienced in as a forensic psychologist because I have actually worked on these kinds of civil, criminal and family court cases. Additionally, over the years I personally have diagnosed and treated thousands of patients, in outpatient, inpatient, alcohol/drug rehabilitation, residential schools and correctional settings and supervised other clinicians in clinical matters.
Areas of Expertise
- Child Abuse
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Trauma
- Jail Suicide
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Harassment/Discrimination
- Spousal Abuse
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: Licensed Psychologist (NY, NJ)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (NY)
National Register of the Council of Health Service Providers in Psychology
Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (State Reciprocity):
(Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards).
Certificate of Clinical Training in Psychology (NJ)
Post-Doctoral Certificate in Family Forensics, Washington Square Institute (NY)
Mental Health Panel Member, New York State Law Guardian Program
Forensic Psychologist Expert, New York City Assigned Counsel Program
Approved Forensic Psychologist for NJ Office of the Public Defender
Certificate in Basic Theory and Practice of Eclectic Cognitive Behavior Therapy from Long Island University and the New York Center for Eclectic Cognitive Behavior Therapy, awarded December 2010.
Post-Doctoral Certificate in Family Forensics awarded by the Family Forensics Training Program of the Washington Square Institute of Psychotherapy and Mental Health, New York, NY (A program chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York). This is a certification program in Family Forensics. This two-year certification program included training and coursework in child development, adolescence, family, parental assessment and significant issues in conducting custody evaluations. The program requirements included an externship and a final research paper. 2006 –2008.
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
American Psychological Association, Div. 41, Psychology and the Law
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Fellow.
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
The Virginia Satir Avanta Network
The Orange County (New York) coalition against domestic violence.
The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).
The National Register of Health Service Psychologists.
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: RECENT PRESENTATIONS:
Ongoing suicide prevention training for Correction Officers for the State of New Jersey Department of Corrections including assessment of suicide risk, appropriate intervention, understanding research about suicide.
With Linda Gunsberg, PhD “A Child’s preference for the batterer in child custody cases: An assessment protocol.” A workshop presented at the 49 th Annual Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). Chicago, Illinois: June 7, 2012.
Heller, C. H. (2009) Applications of Parental Acceptance-Rejection Theory and Evidence to Forensic Psychology. Interpersonal Acceptance, International Society for interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection, September 2009, University of Connecticut: Storrs.
CURRENTLY BEING REVISED FOR RE-SUBMISSION FOR PUBLICATION (2019): “A Child’s Paradoxical Preference for the Batterer in Child Custody Cases: Consideration of domestic violence, diminished parental capacity, impaired attachment, traumatic bonding, parental alienation, as well as developmental failures and short and/or long-term psychological injuries to the child.”
Director of Mental Health, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services – (1983-1988.
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Tahlequah, Oklahoma).
In this role, I developed and administered an extensive mental health and addiction services program for 100,000 Native Americans in a 9,000 square mile area. Program administration tasks included the provision of psychological services, the supervision of a variety of other mental health professionals, the development of school-based, outpatient and inpatient programs, and the leadership and development of a number of mental health and alcoholism/substance abuse staff training work-shops for service providers and clients. Provided direct care and supervision of all cases and specialized in substance abuse treatment, assessment/validation/treatment of child sexual abuse/physical abuse/child neglect, domestic violence and suicide/depression. I was responsible for all fiscal over-sight, grant writing, budgets, interviewing and hiring of staff, policy and procedures for the mental health and substance abuse programs. Developed a model residential chemical dependency treatment center for Native American adolescents and coordinated efforts with the State and Federal agencies such as the Indian Health Service
Clinical Supervisor, Clinic for the Multi-disabled-(1988-1991. Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene, Poughkeepsie, NY). Clinical Director of a mobile team to supervise and provide services for dual-diagnosed patients (Intellectually impaired/ developmentally impaired/Emotionally/Mentally impaired) and provision of advanced training for professional personnel, consultation to staff of Group Homes, Respite Homes, Sheltered Workshops and Supportive/Supervised apartments. Coordination and development of treatment plans/behavioral plans for clients in relation to State Standards and various agencies. Provided assessments of patients (children and adults) with organic brain syndrome, intellectual impairment, and psychosis, as well as ongoing direct care and supervised treatment. I supervised all treatment plans, quarterly reports and administration of the mobile program clinical services. Supervised cases included sexual abuse/assault of clients by other clients and/or staff, substance abuse and co-morbid conditions related to posttraumatic stress disorder, developmental and organic problems.
Staff Psychologist, (1979-1983. St. Vincent’s Home, School and Clinic, Catholic Charities, Brooklyn, NY).
I had clinical responsibility for psychological services provided to children and teenagers residing in three group homes and 120 foster homes. In this role, I developed staff training programs, policies, and procedures for both organizational guidelines and therapeutic outcomes. I provided assessment and therapy services for children and teenagers who were traumatized by foster parents or group home staff, biological parents and inner city crime. Cases included anti-social personality disorder, bi-polar personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder as well as child/adolescent sexual abuse victims.
Suicide Prevention Training for NJ Dept. of Corrections Officers: “How to prevent suicides in the inmate and correction officer population:” Ongoing training as part of Rutgers University staff position.
“Battered Woman Syndrome as a Legal Defense-A Psychological perspective.” A continuing legal education seminar delivered in May, 2011. Sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Kings County, Criminal Defense office.
“A day camp for your soul,” An experiential, full-day workshop presented by The Hudson Valley Satir Training Group, focused on overcoming old family rules and self-esteem issues, May, 2008.
"Developing Behavioral Plans and Growing with difficult, aggressive children and adolescents in New York, Full day work-shop presentation, White Plains, New York 2006.
"Facilitating Change in Individuals and Creating Organizational Resiliency”, Grand Rounds, presented At Nyack Hospital Recovery Center, Nyack, NY.
“Community Empowerment as a Prevention for Drug and Alcohol Problems in a Native American Tribe,” presented at the International Congress on Family Therapy, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Rockland County (NY) Council on Alcoholism, Certified Alcohol Counselor Training Program – 1995-1997. I taught several courses on alcoholism issues related to Native American and Jewish populations as well as on intervention techniques.
Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY – 1988-1992. Professional Development Faculty (Concurrent with Practice).
CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION
“Exceptional Contribution to Our Community as a Volunteer Clinical Supervisor,” presented by the Volunteer Counseling Service of Rockland County (This is a domestic violence agency serving battered women), NY, June 2000.
“Outstanding Services to the Cherokee People,” presented by Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, June 1988.
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: NO
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: 200+
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: • Civil litigation (related to emotional and mental injury): Personal Injury Litigation evaluations for both defense and plaintiff counsel. I have special expertise in the forensic evaluations necessary in civil matters, with interview, data collection, collateral interviews, record review and the use of psychological tests to document in metric terms the emotional and mental symptoms related to posttraumatic stress (PTSD) reported by plaintiffs and to assess whether a plaintiff may be minimizing, suppressing or exaggerating symptoms of PTSD or other emotional reactions. Cases that I have worked on have included:
1. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Emotional pain suffered by people who have Disabilities, Intellectual retardation, Developmental delays, Autism spectrum disorders, Brain injury/trauma, Asperger’s disorder.
2. Injured Child Assessments.
3. Children who have been burned, bitten/injured by animals, sexually abused, emotionally abused or neglected in foster homes, hospital, group home or other settings (e.g. a neighbor’s home, children’s camps, school bus drivers, school bus aides, classroom).
4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and stress reactions.
5. Assessment of children and adults who do not show obvious signs of PTSD or effects related to trauma due to cultural/family taboos about showing or talking about the trauma (e.g. Punjab culture, Native Americans, closed, suppressive family system rules) or due to developmental/autism spectrum disorders/Brain injury/verbal expression problems.
6. Foster care (standards), group homes (standards), institutional care for intellectually disabled/developmentally disabled (standards regarding level of supervision required, pain and suffering), psychological care (standards) and assessment of evidence-based treatment.
7. Malpractice/ethical issues of behavioral health providers/institutional staff.
8. Psychological, Psychiatric and Alcoholism Treatment Record Review (inpatient and outpatient).
9. Inappropriate psychiatric hospitalization, negligent child welfare agency performance and care.
10. Alcoholism and other drug abuse problems, Accidental death caused by alcohol and other drug abuse. Addictions to prescription pain medication, Adderall, and other substances.
11. Personal injury, sexual harassment, emotional pain, long-term effects, long-term psychological treatment plans and estimation of costs.
12. Symptoms and signs of child sexual abuse.
13. Children with special needs (psychological, educational), learning disabilities.
14. Bullying (effects of), School and agency response to bullying, inappropriate handling of school issues by schoolteachers, guidance staff, school principals.
15. Suicide, homicide, psychological autopsy, crime victims, accidental death and liability.
16. Peer review in mental health malpractice cases related to patient suicide and other standard of care professional issues.
17. Work-related Injuries (emotional and trauma assessments).
18. Assessment of emotional pain to victim or plaintiff’s significant others/family.
19. Eating disorders, sexual addictions, gambling addictions, other compulsive disorders (treatment of, effects of).
20. Native American issues (alcoholism, inter-generational posttraumatic stress, cross-cultural psychology, domestic violence, adoption issues, criminal involvement, pain and suffering).
21. Postpartum depression,
22. Police officers and stress, Critical incident stress.
23. Pain and suffering caused by false arrests, inappropriate police/security guard behavior.
24. Americans with disabilities Act (ADA) and alcoholism/drug/psychiatric claims.
25. Independent medical examinations related to accidents/motor vehicle accidents/other accidents.
26. Case and trial consultation to legal team regarding psychological/emotional aspects of and analysis of pertinent psychological issues of a case.
27. Emotional pain and suffering due to domestic violence/abusive spouse.
28. Review and analysis of case documents, including medical records, peer review and critique of evaluation reports performed by opposing experts, and other consultation regarding psychological/psychiatric/mental health treatment discovery.
29. Assessment of symptom under- or over- reporting related to recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse and other reported emotional/mental issues.
30. Written briefs on related forensic/ethical issues for attorneys (e.g. the inappropriate use of a psychological test by another forensic practitioner with a plaintiff from a different culture in which the test was not standardized/normed, standards of professional practice in various aspects of mental health care).
• Criminal behavior: I provide the review and analysis of criminal behavior. Received PhD from the University of Wisconsin with a doctoral dissertation entitled: "Criminal Behavior and Arousal: Test of a Theory," Presented a paper at the APA annual meeting: 'Criminal Behavior, Individual Differences and Emotional Implications". Published article on the applications of Parental Acceptance-Rejection theory to forensic Psychology (2009). Mental health panel expert of the NYC Assigned Counsel program. New York City Dept. of Corrections legal pass holder and approved forensic psychologist for the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. Recent criminal case assignments include “death row" evaluation for the Federal Public defender (Arizona), evaluation for the Dutchess County public defender in murder case, triple homicide/kidnapping case (PA), Defense expert witness in a murder case related to “Battered Woman Syndrome (Iowa), Expert witness in child sexual abuse and physical abuse (Montana), evaluation of a Military defendant and consultation to counsel regarding a Court Martial (related to allegation of spouse abuse). Experienced in the following crimes, assignments and evaluations:
1. Murder, Multiple murders, Rape, Robbery, Bank robbery, Conspiracy, Arson, Assault, Burglary, Sexual assault, Sexual abuse, Child abuse, Child sexual abuse, Domestic violence, Hit and Run, DWI, Vehicular Homicide, Use of child pornography and White Collar Crime (embezzlement, fraud).
2. Evaluations performed in County, State, City of New York, County jails in other states and Federal correctional facilities.
3. Mental impairment/diminished capacity assessment.
4. Assessment of competency to stand trial.
5. Criminal behavior affected by intellectual, mental, cognitive and emotional disability.
6. Clinical assessment of personality, psychopathology, organic deficits and intelligence.
7. Administration and analysis of objective and projective psychological tests.
8. The effects of alcohol and various kinds of drug abuse on criminal intent and behavior.
9. Assessment of acute vs. chronic alcohol use as related to DUI sentencing.
10. The assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder related to violent crimes.
11. Assessments to rule-out malingering of posttraumatic stress disorder.
12. Clinical Assessment and detection of Malingering and Deception in defendants.
13. Not guilty by reason of insanity/criminal responsibility.
14. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its effects on criminal behavior.
15. Battered Woman Syndrome as a legal defense.
16. Effects of domestic violence and symptoms of battered women.
17. Analysis of intimate partner violence.
18. Effects of intimate partner violence on children.
19. False arrest
20. False confession.
21. Coerced confession
22. Assessment and evaluation of incarcerated defendants.
23. Dangerousness, criminality assessment, recidivistic sex offenders.
24. Administration of actuarial tests and other indicators of recidivism and future risk.
25. Sex offender re-offense risk assessments.
26. Pre-sentence Family studies and Bio-psycho-social evaluations,
27. Immigration/deportation matters (the effects on family of person to be sentenced or possibly deported).
28. Police officers and Post-traumatic stress disorder.
29. Victim Assessments
30. Mitigation reports prior to sentencing.
31. Review of interview transcripts and recordings of other investigators (therapists, caseworkers, and police) related to standards and protocols used in assessing children about alleged child sexual abuse.
32. General characteristics of false allegations of child sexual abuse and domestic violence.
33. General Characteristics of Children of Sexual Abuse.
34. Appropriate Investigative Child Interview Techniques (protocols) in Child Abuse Cases.
35. Problems with children’s testimony (suggestibility, recantation, memory issues, delayed outcry, the phenomena of “Believed-In Imaginings”).
36. Forensic interviewing of children.
37. Interview protocols used in assessment of children alleged to have been sexually abused.
38. Rebuttal witness to other experts who promote “syndrome evidence” such as “child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome” (CSAAS), and “intrafamilial child sexual abuse syndrome,” testifying about alternative explanations for symptoms associated with these syndromes.
39. The phenomena of delayed disclosure in child sexual abuse and rape.
40. Explanation and discussion of myths and realities in true and/or false allegations of child sexual abuse.
41. Testimony about “red-flag” indicators of possible child sexual abuse.
42. Research on causes of eyewitness identification error, memory and perception.
43. Stalking and harassment.
44. Crime sprees, mass murders.
46. Media consultation.
47. Parental-acceptance-rejection syndrome related to homicide, depression and other aberrant behavior.
48. Rejection sensitivity related to criminal acts.
49. Pornography, internet addiction, inappropriate use of on-line sites.
50. Cross-cultural factors in the assessment of defendants.
51. Litigation Consultation to legal team regarding analysis and pertinent issues of a case.
52. Assessment of complex psychological dynamics and “counterintuitive victim behavior” specific to complex domestic violence cases (delay in reporting, not leaving, numerous unexplained inconsistencies).
53. Analyst for CBS evening News regarding “the Craig’s list killer.” Analyst for WABC TV (Inside Edition) regarding the segment on “the BTK killer.”
54. Featured forensic psychologist on Netflix series “Inside the criminal Mind” episodes on famous cult leaders and kidnappers/kidnapping victims (2018).
55. Effects of PCP on criminal intent/behavior.
56. Internet behavior and addiction.
57. Child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy.
• Family Court/Custody evaluations: Expert to the Court in New York City (all boroughs) also providing custody evaluations in Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, Nassau and Orange Counties (New York) as well as numerous counties in New Jersey. Qualified as a Psychologist expert witness by New York State Supreme Court, Family Court, and Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDV) as a Psychologist expert witness, Psychologist Expert for the assigned counsel plan (18 B), City of New York (all boroughs) and the Law Guardian Program as an expert custody evaluator (Supreme Court Appellate Division, First and Second Judicial Departments, State of New York, State of NJ Office of the Public Defender in parental representation cases (for forensic child risk assessments, parent-child bonding assessments, determination of parental capacity) and New Jersey Superior Court as a Psychologist expert witness. Received a Post-Doctoral certificate in Family Forensics, after successfully completing a two-year advanced training program at the Washington Square Institute. This is one of the only post-graduate training programs in advanced issues related to performing custody/family forensic evaluations. Experienced in cases that have included the following areas and evaluations:
1. Child Custody and Visitation evaluations that focus on the best interests of the child (“A Best Interests Evaluation”).
2. Special expertise in domestic violence, parental alienation, child sexual abuse. physical/emotional abuse, and neglect.
3. Juvenile delinquency evaluations.
4. Consultation to attorneys regarding adverse custody evaluations.
5. Relocation and removal evaluation cases.
6. Cases in which children of a batterer (or who formerly lived in a domestic violence situation) choose to live with the perpetrator (and the reason why as well as what the emotional and psychological injuries are that would cause a child or teenager to choose to reside with the batterer).
7. Risk Assessment regarding visitation.
8. Domestic violence/issues of power and control/assessment of allegations of domestic violence.
9. Sexual assault perpetrated by a spouse or the other parent.
10. Parental alienation/irrationally alienated children/assessment of allegations of parental alienation.
11. Individual and parent-child treatment for alienated children and targeted (rejected) parents.
12. Parents who cause their children to be estranged from them.
13. Alcohol and substance abuse related to custody issues.
14. Parental capacity/fitness.
15. Child attachment and emotional bonding.
16. Child abuse, child sexual abuse and neglect.
17. False allegations of child sexual abuse.
18. Juvenile delinquency/sexual assault perpetrated by adolescents/fire-setting/violence/substance abuse.
19. Evaluation of psychopathic tendencies in adolescents.
20. Recidivism and risk assessment for re-offense in adolescent sexual abusers.
21. Credibility assessments.
22. Symptoms of Battered Women.
23. Analysis of Evaluation reports and Peer Review/critiques of other expert child custody reports.
24. Consultation to legal team regarding relevant case issues and Briefings on related forensic issues.
25. Assessment of Potential for Parental child abduction/evaluation of children who have suffered international parental child abductions.
26. Termination of parental rights.
27. Home visits/observation of parenting skills/observation of transition between each parent.
28. Grandparent custody and visitation issues.
29. Posttraumatic stress disorder in children and adults/traumatized children.
30. Parents with criminal history/or who are incarcerated.
31. Home visitation and related family system analysis.
32. Supervision and training in conducting custody evaluations.
33. Parental acceptance-rejection syndrome related to parents and children in custody, delinquency, abuse and neglect cases.
34. Folie-a-deux/Shared delusional disorder (mother and child).
35. Reasons why an adolescent may choose to reside with the batterer in child custody cases.
INDEPENDENT CLINICAL PRACTICE:
• I continue to have a small independent practice as a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist providing psychological, marital and family therapy services to a broad spectrum of clients. I have experience and have supervised other clinicians in the treatment of clients with bi-polar and other depressive disorders, personality disorders (including borderline personality), anxiety disorders, pain disorders, sexual problems, victims of domestic violence, trauma, child sexual abuse, alcohol/drug problems, organic/brain dysfunction as well as family and marital issues. Experienced in psychotherapy and psychological testing. Consultative expert evaluations to assess children and adults for intellectual, emotional and mental abnormalities as defined by federal regulations. Expert witness for the Office of Hearings and Appeals related to disability claims.
• Agency consultation: Process consultation to agencies to improve team effort and communication and reduce conflict. Facilitation of executive and leadership committee meetings and goal setting. Staff training and clinical supervision of other therapists.
• Consultant to agencies that include: outpatient and inpatient alcoholism and drug abuse treatment centers, schools, foster care agencies as well as a variety of group homes for emotionally handicapped, children with special needs, adolescents, developmentally delayed, autistic and dual-diagnosed people.
• Training of colleagues in short-term, intensive therapy modalities (brief therapies) in role as founder of the Hudson Valley Satir Training Group. This group provides experiential, growth workshops based upon family systems theory for professionals and the public.
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: 50%
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: 50%
- Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
- A: 20-40
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: February 2019
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: 200
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: 150
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: 35
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: Consulting, Record Review, Psychological Evaluations, Expert Witness Services, Research.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $ 400.00
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $ 400.00
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $ 500.00 with a minimum plus 2 hrs. prep time
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $ 500.00 with a minimum plus 2 hrs. prep time
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: Travel: $ 250.00 per hour
Available Upon Request