As a courtesy, Dr. Heller offers a complimentary initial case consultation that can be scheduled for legal counsel.
I received my PhD in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a Psychologist for the next four years for the largest foster care and group home agency in Brooklyn, NY (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 (The Cherokee Nation) thru a sub contract with the Indian Health Service. Upon my return to New York, I was employed as the Clinical Director of a large County Mental Health Clinic that served dual-diagnosed patients (with variations of 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 on the Areas of Expertise page 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.
Forensic Psychologist and Expert Witness with extensive court experience in Civil, Criminal and Family Court cases. Currently a forensic psychologist on staff at Rutgers University Biomedical Health service, specializing in criminal behavior and risk assessment as well as a forensic psychologist consultant for the Rockland County (NY) court evaluation service, where he has performed hundreds of child custody, as well as criminal competency and child abuse/neglect evaluations. In Civil cases, Dr. Heller is retained by both plaintiff and defense counsel to assess plaintiffs for emotional and mental injury. He takes an unbiased, ethical approach to assessments and is not "a hired gun." He is an expert in objective evaluations that assess the probability the plaintiff is suffering PTSD, other emotional injuries or if there is exaggeration of symptoms based upon psychological testing and other data. He has expertise in cases that involve group home/residential schools, provider negligence and assaults. In criminal cases, Dr. Heller is experienced in providing successful rebuttal testimony explaining the scientific issues related to the problems of validity, reliability and usefulness of "Syndrome evidence" such as "Child Sexual Abuse accommodation Syndrome" and "Rape trauma syndrome." He testifies in child sexual abuse cases and explains research related to false allegations, recantations, memory, suggestibility, child testimony, interview protocols and "Believed-In Imaginings" in children and adults. He has expertise in domestic violence and has assessed women who have been victims of intimate partner violence and "Battered Women Syndrome" that contributed to homicides, assaults and other felonies by the victims of abuse. He is a fully vetted and approved forensic psychologist for the N.J. Office of the Public Defender as well as other Public Defender offices. (Federal Public Defender, Legal Aid in Manhattan, Bronx, Kings and the NYC assigned counsel program). He often travels throughout the US as a forensic consultant in important court cases including military Court Martials, death row assessment, sexual abuse, assault and multiple homicides. He is well known and respected among his colleagues as a clinician and as a forensic psychologist/expert witness.
- Staff forensic psychologist for Rutgers University Biomedical Health service, specializing in criminal behavior and risk assessment.
- Many years of faculty and agency experience
- Well known and respected among his colleagues as a clinician and as an expert witness
- He is the forensic psychologist consultant to the Rockland County, New York courts. He provides custody evaluations, juvenile delinquency and child neglect evaluations upon referral from Family and Supreme court
- Performs independent custody evaluations and consultation
- Successful rebuttal witness to questionable syndrome evidence such as CSAAS and Intrafamilial child sexual abuse syndrome
- Provides testimony regarding interview protocols for assessment of children found to have been sexually abused and those alleged to have been sexually abused
- Provides Contra reports in regard to unfavorable custody evaluations
- Serves as an Independent Medical Examiner to analyze and assess personal injury related to accidents and trauma and provide forensic evaluations and expert testimony in both civil and criminal courts.
- He is an examiner for the New York State Department of Disability Determinations and performs evaluations for mental disability, intellectual disability and organic brain disability associated with the full range of disorders including alcohol and substance abuse problems
- He has delivered numerous professional speeches and his volunteer clinical supervisory and professional actvities have been recognized by agencies he has helped
His forensic specialties include:
- Custody evaluations that assess factors of domestic violence, parental alienation, traumatic bonding, emotional attachment and parental capacity in regard to the best interests of the child.
- Evaluations of defendants in regard to criminal behavior, including competency and discovering the hidden factors that contributed to a criminal act. Providing testimony regarding protocols for forensic interviewing of children and adolescents in child sexual abuse cases, the factors that may cause children and adolescents to make delayed disclosure of abuse, and other factors that may cause impaired memory or false allegations, including issues of recantation and secondary gain.
- Evaluation of plaintiffs in civil cases, record review and consultation to the legal team regarding standards of care, emotional pain and suffering, trauma as well as the probable future mental health treatment plan and cost caused by the emotional, mental or cognitive injuries.
- 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.
- American Psychological Association, Div. 41, Psychology and the Law
- The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- The Virginia Satir Avanta Network
- The Orange County (New York) Coalition Against Domestic Violence