(800) 681-3114
Dr. Lidia Abrams

Dr. Lidia D. Abrams, PhD

Clinical and Forensic Psychological Services

Psychological Services Provided:

Dr. Lidia Abrams has practiced clinical and forensic psychology for 30 years. She studied directly under Dr. Albert Ellis, the original developer 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 24 masters’ and doctoral level clinicians, and also oversees supervision of masters’ and doctoral level interns. Resolve Community Counseling Center carries out the above evaluations for Union County Family Court. 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 parents’ divorce. Particular attention is paid to children becoming alienated from the non-primary parent, refusing or resisting contact. The refuse-resist dynamics can be explained through various theoretical frameworks, notably family systems theory and cognitive bias formation. The Parental Alienation Syndrome proposed by Richard Gardner has been much discussed in the field and accurately describes how many children alienated from a parent behave. However, the current understanding of the phenomena expands beyond just the favored parent causing the alienation, to the children’s own internal processes and to the family dynamics overall.

Children of divorcing parents often align themselves with their favored parent and distance themselves emotionally and physically from the other parent. These children may firmly 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.

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 contribute to alienating 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 one partner has clearly failed more egregiously than the other, there is almost always still value in that person as a parent. Children naturally love both their parents, imperfect as they all are, until those parents fight and hurt each other. At this point children are likely to stand in support of their favored parent and in harsh judgment of the other parent. The favored parent may also tell them, or subtly convey, that to love and approve of the other parent is an act of betrayal to themselves, and a good, loving child would understand this. Such angry parents teach their children, directly or indirectly, that mistakes cannot be forgiven and that it is not possible to have the love of both parents. These angry parents, who in other ways may be wonderful 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 frequently are faced with the problems with children refusing to maintain a relationship with one of their parents. Dr. Abrams is a psychologist called upon to evaluate such situations. Dr. Abrams 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.

Other Psychological Evaluations:

Evaluations for Non-English-Speaking Clients

Dr. Abrams is able to provide counseling and evaluations in Romanian and Hungarian.

Payment Policy

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 but not in-network with any private insurances. The office will help you bill your insurance so you may be reimbursed to the extent of your coverage. 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.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made with less than 24 hours notice will incur a fee

For More Information:

(800) 681-3114
Offices in Clifton and Jersey City