Forensic Psychologist and Expert Witness with extensive court experience in Civil, Criminal and Family Court cases. He currently is 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. 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 litigation that involves 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 recently served as an expert witness in Battered Woman Syndrome and helped a woman who killed her husband in Iowa receive a conviction of voluntary manslaughter rather than murder due to her history of being a victim of intimate partner violence and emotional 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.
Education & Licenses
Ph.D. 1979, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. 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)
Licensed Psychologist (NY, NJ) Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (NY) Certificate in Family Forensics (Washington Square Institute, NY)
Recent Presentation: 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.
Recent Publication: Heller, C. 2009. Applications of parental acceptance-rejection theory and evidence to forensic psychology. Interpersonal Acceptance, 3, 3, 1-2, 5.