Forensic and Clinical Psychology Expert Witness
Dr. Heller is qualified by the Federal and New York State Court as a Psychologist expert witness. Forensic Psychologist at Rutgers University from 2011 to 2021. Forensic Consultant to the Rockland County (NY) Courts 2006 to 2018. Dr. Heller has offices in New York and New Jersey and can consult nationally on cases. As a clinical forensic psychologist, Dr. Heller is available on-site or via telehealth for all 33 PSYPACT-approved states*: AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MD, MN, MO, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI.
*ASPPB (The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards) has determined that Dr. Heller has met all requirements for an E.Passport and granted him the Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT) in PSYPACT participating States.
Services include psychological testing, peer review of custody evaluations, training for professionals, individual therapy, family therapy, behavior management programs, brief therapies, agency consultation, staff training and clinical supervision of other therapists. I have trained and served as a consultant to agencies that include: outpatient and inpatient alcoholism and drug abuse treatment centers, schools, as well as a variety of group homes for emotionally handicapped, children with special needs, adolescents, developmentally delayed and dual-diagnosed people. I also provide services to law enforcement personnel regarding treatment for alcohol and emotional problems they experience. I train colleagues in short-term, intensive therapy modalities (brief therapies) in my role as founder of the Hudson Valley Satir Training Group.
Litigation Support Services
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.
• 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,"
Areas of Expertise
Abuse; Emotional Damage; Diminished Capacity Assessment related to murder, Assault; Battered Women Syndrome; False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse.
• EXPERT IN 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. Approved forensic psychologist for the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. Criminal case assignments include “death row" evaluation for the Federal Public defender (AZ), evaluation for the Dutchess County public defender in murder case (NY), triple homicide/kidnapping case (PA), Defense expert witness in murder cases related to “Battered Woman Syndrome (IA, OK, KY, NY, NJ), Psychological Consultant in a Capital Quadruple Murder case (MO). Expert witness in child sexual abuse and physical abuse (MT), evaluation of a Military defendant and consultation to counsel regarding a Court Martial (related to allegation of spouse abuse). Featured forensic psychologist on Netflix series “Inside the criminal Mind” episodes on famous cult leaders and kidnappers/kidnapping victims (2018). Featured forensic psychologist on “Crime stories with Nancy Grace” regarding accusations of domestic violence in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation case (4/20/22) and other segments related to murder (2022). 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.
EXPERT IN CIVIL LITIGATION:• 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. Parental grief, pediatric grief, inter-personal grief due to death, traumatic death, or serious injuries to loved ones.
5. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and stress reactions.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Malpractice/ethical issues of behavioral health providers/institutional staff.
9. Psychological, Psychiatric and Alcoholism Treatment Record Review (inpatient and outpatient).
10. Inappropriate psychiatric hospitalization, negligent child welfare agency performance and care.
11. Alcoholism and other drug abuse problems, Accidental death caused by alcohol and other drug abuse. Addictions to prescription pain medication, Adderall, and other substances.
12. Personal injury, sexual harassment, emotional pain, long-term effects, long-term psychological treatment plans and estimation of costs.
13. Symptoms and signs of child sexual abuse.
14. Children with special needs (psychological, educational), learning disabilities.
15. Bullying (effects of), School and agency response to bullying, inappropriate handling of school issues by schoolteachers, guidance staff, school principals.
16. Suicide, homicide, psychological autopsy, crime victims, accidental death and liability.
17. Peer review in mental health malpractice cases related to patient suicide and other standard of care professional issues.
18. Work-related Injuries (emotional and trauma assessments).
19. Assessment of emotional pain to victim or plaintiff's significant others/family.
20. Eating disorders, sexual addictions, gambling addictions, other compulsive disorders (treatment of, effects of).
21. Native American issues (alcoholism, inter-generational posttraumatic stress, cross-cultural psychology, domestic violence, adoption issues, criminal involvement, pain and suffering).
22. Postpartum depression,
23. Police officers and stress, Critical incident stress.
24. Pain and suffering caused by false arrests, inappropriate police/security guard behavior.
25. Americans with disabilities Act (ADA) and alcoholism/drug/psychiatric claims.
26. Independent medical examinations related to accidents/motor vehicle accidents/other accidents.
27. Case and trial consultation to legal team regarding psychological/emotional aspects of and analysis of pertinent psychological issues of a case.
28. Emotional pain and suffering due to domestic violence/abusive spouse.
29. 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.
30. Assessment of symptom under- or over- reporting related to recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse and other reported emotional/mental issues.
31. 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).
Independent Clinical Practice Commencing January, 1981
Director of Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Tahlequah, Oklahoma: 1983-1988.
Staff Psychologist, St. Vincent's School and Clinic, Brooklyn, NY: 1979-1983.
Consultant: Hamaspik of Orange County, Inc. 2001-Present. Consultant: Edwin Gould Academy, Chestnut Ridge, NY – 1995-1996.
Private Practice with Children, Adults and Families, Douglaston, NY – 1981-1983.
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 (ASPPB):
(Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards).
Certificate of Clinical Training in Psychology (NJ)
Post-Doctoral Certificate in Family Forensics, Washington Square Institute (NY)
Forensic Psychologist Expert, New York City Assigned Counsel Program
Approved Forensic Psychologist for NJ Office of the Public Defender
Telepsychology Competencies Credential (TCC) from the National Register and The American Psychological Association Insurance Trust (APAIT)
ASPPB (The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards) has determined that Dr. Heller has met all requirements for an E.Passport and granted him the Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT) in PSYPACT participating States. Dr. Heller has also obtained an Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate (IPC) from the ASPPB and a Temporary Authorization to Practice (TAP) from the PSYPACT Commission that permits him to temporarily provide in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology across jurisdictional boundaries for up to 30 days per year without obtaining additional State licenses. Dr. Heller has offices in New York and New Jersey and can consult nationally on cases. As a clinical forensic psychologist, Dr. Heller is available on-site or via telehealth for all 33 PSYPACT-approved states: AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MD, MN, MO, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI.
Legal Experience & Services
I have testified at depositions, submitted reports that were used in murder trials, DWI, wrongful death, custody and employment discrimination cases. While I was the Clinical Director for Dutchess County Clinic for the Multi-handicapped as well as Director of Alcoholism and Mental Health, I wrote opinions for Social Security, adoption and Child Abuse cases.
Areas of Expert Witness Specialization:
Review and analysis of potentially mitigating circumstances in connection with crime
Mental impairment/diminished capacity assessment
Criminal behavior affected by intellectual, mental and emotional disability
Post-traumatic stress disorder and its effects on criminal behavior
Dangerousness, malingering, criminality assessment
Pre-sentence Family studies and Bio-psycho-social evaluations
Police officers and Post-traumatic stress disorder
Types of Crime
Sexual assault, sexual abuse
Hit and Run, DWI, Vehicular Homicide
Personal Injury Litigation and Disabilities
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Retardation and Developmental delays
Personal injury, emotional pain, long-term effects, long-term psychological treatment plans
Psychological, Psychiatric and Alcoholism Treatment Record Review
Injured Child Assessments
Alcoholism and other drug abuse problems
American Psychological Association, Div. 41, Psychology & The Law
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Member
Association of Family & Conciliation Courts
The Virginia Satir Avanta Network 40
The Orange County (New York) Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Rockland County (NY) Council on Alcoholism, Certified Alcohol Counselor Training Program.
Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1988-1992. Professional Development Faculty.
Northeastern Oklahoma State University, Tahlequah, OK, 1986-1990. Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Social Work.
Clinical Psychologist (part-time), Rockland County (NY) Highview School – 1991.
Clinical Supervisor, Clinic for the Multi-disabled, Dutchess County Department of Mental Hygiene, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1988-1991.
Clinical Supervisor, Volunteer Counseling Service, Rockland County, NY, 1996-2003.
Awards & Honors
“Exceptional Contribution to Our Community as a Volunteer Clinical Supervisor,” presented by the Volunteer Counseling Service of Rockland County, NY, June 2000.
“Outstanding Services to the Cherokee People,” presented by Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, June 1988.
Seminars & Training
“Community Empowerment as a Prevention for Drug and Alcohol Problems in a Native American Tribe,”
“Creating Change in Individuals and Families,”
“Mental Health Prevention and Community Empowerment: Promoting a Better Future for Cherokee Children"
“Death and Dying, Grief, and Healing Processes,”.
“Current and Future Approaches to Treating Co-dependency,”
“Helping Children and Families Cope with Chronic Illness and Stress,”
“Cross-cultural Stress Management Workshop,"
“Group Treatment with Acting-out Teenagers in a Group Setting: Transforming ‘Street Empathy' into Self-growth,”
“Criminal Behavior, Individual Differences and Emotional Implications,”
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 49th 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 (2021): “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.”
Please call for the most recent references for Charles Heller, PhD.
Ph.D. 1979, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dissertation: “Criminal Behavior and Arousal: Test of a Theory”
M.A. 1974, St. John's University, Jamaica, NY (Clinical Psychology)
B.A. 1971, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY (Psychology)