Dr. Lidia Abrams has practiced clinical and forensic psychology for more than 25 years. She studied directly under Dr. Albert Ellis, the founder of cognitive behavior therapy, a field she has extensively researched and written on. She has expertise in several areas of psychology, in particular in areas of psychological evaluations.
Dr. Lidia Abrams provides comprehensive and objective psychological evaluations which stand up to scrutiny and cross-examinations. She is experienced in working with the legal system, having been qualified as EXPERT WITNESS and having testified in several New Jersey courts. She has demonstrated ability to successfully convey her view and opinion to the Court.
In addition to her private practice, Dr. Abrams is the Executive Director of Resolve Community Counseling Center, the nonprofit mental health center in Scotch Plains, NJ. www.ResolveNJ.com. She is clinical supervisor for about twelve masters’ and doctoral level clinicians, and also oversees supervision of masters’ level interns. Resolve Community Counseling Center is contracted with Union County Family Court to carry out the above evaluations for the Court and trusted with its most difficult cases. Dr. Abrams has carried out or supervised literally hundreds of these evaluations. In her private practice, Dr. Abrams has served as expert witness in several Family Courts throughout the state of New Jersey. Her evaluations and testimony are balanced, objective and thorough, and are well-received by presiding judges.
Evaluations of divorcing clients and their children are perhaps the most difficult types of evaluations, as divorce tends to bring out the worst in people, raising emotional levels, from anger to fear and paranoia.
Dr. Abrams evaluates family dynamics thoroughly but carefully not to cause additional harm to children going through the changes brought on by their divorcing parents. Particular attention is paid to Parental Alienation Syndrome, an often-found situation where children of divorcing parents find themselves compelled to side with the alienating parent and distance themselves emotionally and physically from the other parent. These children loudly state that they don’t like one of their parents one bit, that there is nothing good about that parent. This level of negativity towards the disliked parent usually starts about the same time when divorce proceedings start. Younger children will make up fantastical stories about the alleged evil deeds of the demonized parent, while older children will point to moderate mistakes that parent has made as justification for not wanting to have anything to do with them, ever again!
The anger and disappointment people often feel at their spouses at the time of divorce is not only expressed by lashing out at that person. Worse, this is done in front of the children. And worse still, the angry parent may influence their child or children to take sides, to be just as angry as they are, to disavow the other parent. Yet time and time again, psychologists find that parents who make bad spouses are still good, loving parents. The worst thing that an angry parent can do is alienate their child from the other parent, depriving them from all the benefits that come from having two loving parents.
No perfect person marries a terrible person. Failed marriages are due to ill-advised actions – and inactions, of both partners. Even when clearly one partner failed more egregiously, there is usually still value in that person as a parent. Children naturally love both their parents, imperfect as they all are, until the slightly more beloved parent tells them, or somehow conveys to them, that it is an act of betrayal to keep loving the other parent. These angry parents teach their children that mistakes cannot be forgiven and that they are not allowed to have the love of both parents. They must choose! Angry parents convey that a “good child” will hate the other, allegedly non-deserving parent. These angry parents, who under other circumstances might be adequate or better as parents, are so caught up in their own suffering that they do not see how much confusion and pain they are causing their beloved children.
Family Courts in New Jersey and elsewhere are very aware of the dangers and prevalence of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Abrams is a psychologist called upon to identify this dynamic and help put a stop to it by bringing it to light. She feels strongly that any parent who loves their children should have a chance to give them their love and parent them. And children should never be put in the middle, never be made to choose.
In the course of custody and parental fitness evaluations, parental deficits often come to light, difficulties a parent faces which interfere with their ability to parent. These may take the form of a mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, cognitive or learning difficulties, or external challenges. Once these roadblocks to proper parenting are identified, it remains to be seen whether the lacking parent is willing and able to take steps to improve. Help with how to parent can usually be given to any parent who cares enough to take advantage of this help. Ultimately, it is usually the level of caring for the child that determines parenting ability.
Dr. Abrams is a provider for DCP&P (The Division of Child Protection and Permanency) and has served as expert witness for them for many years. She has also often worked to support parents, privately or though her affiliation with the N.J. Office of Parental Representation, to maintain or re-gain custody of their children. Dr. Abrams carefully assesses allegations of abuse and neglect and evaluates individuals thoroughly and objectively. She takes the time to fully understand her client’s point of view and difficulties encountered, to help the client receive fully informed and fair treatment from the legal system. Always keeping the best interest of the child in mind, Dr. Abrams also aims to protect parental rights when warranted, and make recommendations to improve parental deficits so that families may stay together.
Dr. Abrams is able to provide evaluations in Romanian and Hungarian. Clients speaking Spanish and other languages can be evaluated with the aid of an interpreter.
For psychological evaluations and reports, a retainer is requested to cover the estimated number of hours expected to be required to interview all parties involved, administer, score and interpret psychological testing, review related documents and write the evaluation. The estimated number of hours will vary depending on the scope of the evaluation. If deposition and/or testimony is requested, payment is requested for a minimum of two hours plus travel prior to the services being initiated.
Payment is due when services are rendered unless third party payment arrangements have been made.
Dr. Lidia Abrams is provider for Medicare and Medicaid/NJ Family Care and will bill private insurances. Please note, health insurance may cover part or all of treatment-related costs, but typically it does not reimburse for forensic work.
Regardless of the source of fees or the identity of the referral source, Dr. Abrams is an independent, objective evaluator. Using objective data collected in an ethical manner, Dr. Abrams will reach unbiased conclusions and make unbiased recommendations. If these conclusions and recommendations do not supported the client’s desired outcome, Dr. Abrams will inform the client and will not proceed to incur additional expenses for the client unless directly instructed to do so.
Cancellations made with less than 24 hours notice will incur a fee
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