Independent Licensed Psychologists at EGT have specialized training and experience working with children, adolescents and adults in the treatment of:
Elizabeth Messer, LCSW, Brian Moyer, Ph.D., and Drew Messer, J.D./Ph.D. are New York State licensed mental health professionals with individual practices who often work with families reporting post-separation contact problems.
Post-Separation Contact Problems (PSCP) occur when children resist visitation or contact with a parent or family member, or when children uncharacteristically withdraw or act out during visitation or contact with a parent or family member, and they formerly enjoyed a normal, or at least adequate, relationship with the parent or family member.
In many cases, PSCP are normal and expected reactions to divorce that are temporary and short-lived, or infrequent and only in certain situations, are directed at both parents and family members.
At the other end of the spectrum, however, are extraordinary cases of PSCP that may involve a child presenting a risk of harm to self or others or making false allegations of sexual or physical abuse, or refusing contact for long periods of time, or rejecting any person or thing associated with a parent or family member – such as extended family, cards and/or gifts.
When a party presents concerns about the relationship between a parent and a child, the assessment of parents focuses on parental behaviors that may contribute to or intensify PSCP. Assessment of children focuses on the presence and intensity of PSCP in the context of developmental levels of functioning for social-communication, cognitive-affective, and problem-solving skills.
If the parties agree, or a Court Order stipulates, that one goal of treatment is to monitor, maintain, or improve the relationship between children and parents, treatment interventions include bringing to awareness and modifying behaviors which are contributing to PSCP. Therapy with the children emphasizes coping skills. Parents may be asked to attend conjoint sessions with their children, other family members and significant others.
When it is reasonable and appropriate to do so, the team works with the children's family system. Taking a family systems approach may involve a team of mental health professionals; one provider works with the child/children; one provider with the mother and one provider with the father. Other designated family members may be included as indicated by the providers.
Our process is continuous and on-going. We recognize that the needs of children change over time as do the needs of families. Things that work now may not work next year, or in 5 years.