Forensic and Clinical Psychology Expert Witness
His forensic specialties include criminal behavior, types of crime and disability evaluations. His practice consists of offering a range of psychological services to a broad spectrum of clients. Clients include individuals with bi-polar and other depressive disorders, personality, anxiety and pain disorders, sexual problems, family, marital and a variety of other psychological issues.
Services include psychological testing, family and 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
Diminished Capacity Assessment
I serve 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. I am an examiner for the New York State Department of Disability Determinations and perform evaluations for mental disability, intellectual disability and organic brain disability associated with the full range of disorders including alcohol and substance abuse problems. I am a member of the Rockland County De-briefing team for policemen, firemen and emergency medical technicians who have been involved in traumatic situations. I serve as a clinician for the member assistance program of the New York City Patrolman's Benevolent Association. I also serve as a Volunteer Supervisor of Counselors for the Volunteer Counseling Service in New City, New York. Offices are located in New York City, Rockland and Orange Counties, New York.
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)
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)
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)