Saltzman Center

Institute for Family Forensic Psychology

Mission of IFFP

Divorce, separation, or any other family reorganization can create a great deal of stress for a child. Children are confronted with many changes at one time -understanding family roles, redefining relationships with parents, changes in schedules, as well as the possibility of changing schools and establishing new friendships. Children need security, predictability and love in order to thrive. Ongoing conflict between parents is one of the most destabilizing factors for children going through a family reorganization.

The goal of the Institute for Family Forensic Psychology is a) to help parents responsibly manage their conflict, b) provide evaluative information to help determine strength and needs of the parents and children, and c) provide therapeutic programs for children and families going through divorce and/or other family reorganizations.

Services Provided by IFFP

Therapeutic Services
  • Individual psychotherapy to children and families going through reorganization
  • Family therapy for high conflict court involved families
  • Psychotherapy for families involved in the child protective system
  • Children of Divorce Groups
  • Therapeutic Visitation
  • Co-parenting counseling
  • Forensic Custody and Visitation Evaluations
  • Court ordered Psychological Evaluations
  • Child Protection Evaluations
PEACE Program

The PEACE (Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness) Program is an educational program designed to provide information to parents about the divorce and separation process. Our main goal is to improve parent/child relationships in the reorganized family and reduce the number of contested custody, visitation, and support disputes that face our courts. Information is provided on:

  • The impact of divorce and parental separation on children and how to reduce it
  • The divorce and separation process and its stages
  • The nature and effect of custody litigation on parents and children
  • Parents’ legal and moral obligations concerning child support
  • How the courts decide custody and support issues
  • How the legal process works and options available
  • Community resources to help divorcing and separating families.

The PEACE Program consists of two days. The first day is led by a judge or lawyer and focuses on the legal process, such as: how the court resolves disputes parents do not resolve themselves; the nature of the lawyer-client relationship; the role of the courts, law guardians, and forensic evaluators; litigation and its alternatives (such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration); as well as the goals and rationale of the program. The second day is led by trained mental health professionals and focuses on: the state of divorce and separation in America today; identifying changes in oneself; developing means for reducing conflict; improving communication with the co-parent; the effect of divorce and separation on children; the children’s point of view; the behavioral response of children to parental conflict; the needs of children during this time; and community resources.


Divorce Mediation Program

When parents separate or divorce, they are often stuck in a legal, economic and emotional quagmire. The Mediation Program for Separating and Divorcing Parents assists families in achieving the best results for parents and children go through a family reorganization. Through a joint effort of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the Department of Psychology, Psy.D. Students and Law Students work under the supervision of experienced dispute resolutions professionals to help families develop amicable solutions to their reorganization.

All students involved in this program must complete a 40 hour training in divorce mediation. This training meets all of the professional standards for “certification” as a mediator.

Divorce Mediation Program: Services Provided

Divorce/reorganization Mediation
  • All mediations employ a child focused model of mediation
  • All mediations are conducted by a Psy.D. Student/Law Student Team
  • All mediations are supervised by a psychologist/mediator and an attorney/mediator
Pre-Mediation Preparation/Coaching
Alternative Dispute resolution

Divorce Mediation Program Directors

Paul Meller, Ph.D.
Divorce Mediation Program
Center for Children, Families, and the Law
(516) 463-2400

Teresa Ombres, Esq.
Divorce Mediation Program
Center for Children, Families, and the Law
(516) 463-2400

IFFP Clinic Coordinators

Alyssa Feld | Bio
Julie Zeiberg | Bio

Contact the Clinic

IFFP and Mediation contact information

(516) 463-2400