Family Law and Family Forensics  
Training Program
An Innovative Interdisciplinary Program 
for Attorneys, Judges, 
 and Mental Health Professionals

Invites you to attend

The Good Enough Family Forensic Evaluation 
Friday May 11, 2018  8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Washington Square Institute  
41 E. 11th St. (between Broadway and University Pl), 4th Fl., NYC  

Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30 - 9:00am
Introductory Remarks, Linda Gunsberg, PhD   
9:00 - 9:15 am 
Honorable Sondra Miller
9:15 - 9:45am  
How a Good Enough Family Forensic Evaluation Can Be Critical to the Court's Determination of Best Interests of the Child and Parental Custody 
Ellen B. Holtzman, Esq.
9:45 - 10:15am
What Every Forensic Evaluator Should Know  
About Current Custody Law in New York State 

BREAK: 10:30 -10:45am

Morning Panel 10:45am -12:30pm
Peter Wolf, PhD
The Good Enough Evaluator: Humans Understanding Humans
Marc Mednick, PhD
Toxic Personality Styles Clashing in Child Custody Cases:  
The Case of John and Jenna, and How They Coached their Kids  
and Created a Psychological Disaster
  Mark Rand, PhD
Speaking of Mental Illness in Family Forensics
Q & A with Melissa E. Bonaldes, Esq., Legal Commentator
12:30 -1:00pm

  LUNCH BREAK: 1:00- 2:00pm 
Afternoon Panel: 2:00- 4:30pm

Steven Demby, PhD
High Conflict or Entrenched Interparental Hatred:  
What Does the Difference Mean for the Child Custody Evaluator?
Linda Gunsberg, PhD
Assessment of Domestic Violence, PTSD, Parental Alienation, and Their Interrelationship Is Critical to the Good Enough Family Forensic Evaluation
Kelly Sykes, PhD
The Parent Capacity Exam in Child Protection:   
Evaluation of Parenting after Infants and Toddlers Have Been Removed
  William Salton, PhD
Evaluation and Advocacy for Political Asylum Seekers:  
The Arrival of the Fittest
Q&A  with Melissa E. Bonaldes, Esq., Legal Commentator 
Conference Educational Objectives  
  1. To understand the intersection between the Court, the law, and the family forensic evaluation regarding the Best Interests of the Child
  2. To gain knowledge about the good enough family forensic evaluation with regard to: a) the forensic evaluation as a human, interpersonal enterprise; b) the spirit of inquiry embraced by the forensic evaluator; c)what areas of expertise are required of the forensic expert including but not limited to developmental processes and attachment; d) personality theory and mental illness; e) trauma, PTSD, and resilience; f)interparental hatred; g) child abuse; h) Domestic Violence; i) parental alienation; and j) geographic relocation *
  3. How the specific areas mentioned in educational objective (2) impact a) the parenting capacity of each parent; b) impact the child; and  c) impact the ability to function as a parental couple now and going forward
  4. To illustrate the applications of the forensic expert's skills and knowledge base to Child Protection matters (assessment of the parent-infant/toddler relationship after a child has been removed or has never lived with the birth parent), and evaluations and advocacy of political asylum seekers in Immigration Court
  5. To address the countertransference reactions and vicarious traumatization experienced by the forensic expert

* These areas will be addressed in this conference. 

Registration  and Fees 

Conference Fee: $175 *
*Limited number of partial scholarships available. Please email Linda Gunsberg for further information,
  • Pre-registration and payment is required for attendance at this conference. 
  •  All registration forms and check must be postmarked no later than May 2, 2018.
You can download the  registration form here.
Registration is by check only, payable to Washington Square Institute. Mail your check with the registration form to: 
Linda Gunsberg, PhD
130 W. 56th St. (Fl. 2)
New York, NY 10019

Refund & Cancellation Policy
Full refund of registration fee will be granted if cancellation request is prior to May 1st.  No refunds for no-shows on the day of the conference.
Continuing Education Credits: 6.5 hrs
  •  Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers, #0269.
  • Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for Licensed Psychoanalysts, #P-0008.
  • Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 6.5 CLE credits for attorneys pending

Melissa Bonaldes is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School. She has been an attorney in private practice for over 18 years and has been on the 18B Panel, Family Court for 17 years.  Her main areas of practice are Family and Matrimonial Law, in which she represents   children as an attorney for the child, and also represents adults.  Ms. Bonaldes will be the legal commentator for this conference.
Steven Demby is a forensic psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City and Brooklyn. In addition to his psychoanalytic practice, Dr. Demby conducts forensic custody evaluations, parenting coordination, peer review, and mediation of parenting plans. Dr. Demby is a former Co-President and current Board Member Emeritus of the NY Chapter of the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts.   He is on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Forum on Family Law and Mental Health.  He teaches psychiatric residents at Beth Israel Hospital and is on the faculty of the Contemporary Freudian Society and the Family Law and Family Forensics Training Program at WSI.  Dr. Demby has published articles on forensic custody evaluations, parenting coordination, and interparental hatred.
Linda Gunsberg is Chair of the Family Law and Family Forensics Training Program at Washington Square Institute in New York City. Dr. Gunsberg  created this program 20 years ago, with the goal of training mental health professionals, attorneys for children, matrimonial attorneys, and judges from an interdisciplinary perspective. Within family litigation, she has served as a forensic expert on issues such as divorce, child custody and parenting plans, grandparents rights, relocation, parental alienation, parental child abduction, child abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional), battered woman syndrome and domestic violence, Hague Convention cases, and adoption. Dr. Gunsberg conducts and supervises forensic evaluations, consults with attorneys for children regarding how to interview children, is a trial consultant to legal teams (domestic and international) and conducts work product reviews of child custody evaluations. She also is a parent coordinator, parent-child facilitator, and facilitator for a support group for alienated parents. Dr. Gunsberg was past Clinical and Research Director for Take Root, the only organization in the United States for adults who were parentally abducted as children. She is Co-Chair since 1999 of the Psychoanalysis and Law Discussion Group of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Gunsberg has co-edited and written chapters in the volume,  A Handbook of Divorce and Custody: Forensic, Developmental, and Clinical Perspectives, and Fathers and Their Families. She has co-edited and contributed to the monographs for Psychoanalytic Inquiry,  The Psychoanalyst in the Courtroom, and T he Adoption Journey. She has lectured on numerous forensic topics, most recently the best interests of the child, parental alienation, factors critical to the child/adolescent's paradoxical preference to live with the batterer in child custody cases, and complex issues regarding overnights for infants and toddlers. In her private practice, Dr. Gunsberg sees children of all ages, and adults.
Ellen Holtzman is a graduate of New York Law School and has concentrated her practice in Matrimonial and Family Law in Rockland County since 1989.  Ms. Holtzman is a past President of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) and is presently President of the Bar Foundation of WBASNY. She is the 2007 recipient of the Association's Joan E. Ellenbogen Founder's Award, which recognizes the recipient's contributions to the advancement of law and the legal system. Ms. Holtzman served two terms on the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District.  She is presently the Director of Legal Training at the Family Law and Family Forensics Training Program at Washington Square Institute.  She has been a frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education programs in matrimonial law.  Ms. Holtzman has participated as a panelist at the American Psychoanalytic Association 2012 Annual Meeting in a discussion of The Intersection between Legal, Psychological and Judicial Concepts of Best Interests of the Child; a panelist at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in a program, Where are We Now Regarding the Best Interests of the Child Standard? - The Interface Between Legal, Judicial and Psychoanalytic Perspectives; and in 2016, she moderated an interdisciplinary seminar for judges, lawyers and mental health professionals at WSI, The Loss of a Parent to the Child and the Loss of the Child to the Parent: Investigation of Relocation, Parental Alienation and Parental Child Abduction.
Marc Mednick is a clinical and forensic psychologist. For the last thirty years, he has conducted almost 1000 court-ordered child custody evaluations. Dr. Mednick has testified as an expert on matters ranging from child custody, child development, post traumatic stress disorder, adolescent psychopathology, and the effects of bullying. He has also maintained a child and family clinical practice, specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders, ADHD, and PTSD; and has consulted to school districts, forensic mental health centers, and corporations on diverse mental health matters. 
Honorable Sondra Miller is Chief Counsel to McCarthy Fingar LLP. Justice Miller leads the Firm's Appellate Practice. She is a mediator, arbitrator, collaborative lawyer and a member of the Firm's Litigation and Matrimonial and Family Law groups. Justice Miller was appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in 1990 and retired in 2006.  Previously, she had served as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in the Ninth Judicial District and as a Family Court Judge in Westchester County from 1983-1986. She serves on the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and as co-chair of the New York State Task Force on Family Violence. She is a member of the New York State Matrimonial Practice Advisory Committee, founding member and past president of the Westchester Women's Bar Association, and Vice President of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York.  She is a founding member, former Co-President, and a member of the Board of Directors of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA) and a founding member of Blacks and Jews in Conversation. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and former Vice President of the Harvard Law School Association.
Mark Rand is a psychologist, having received his Ph.D. from Yeshiva University in 1983. Dr. Rand completed his training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training. He earned a Masters in Public Health at the Mailman School (Columbia University) in 2007. After more than 25 years in various roles as a psychologist (working in hospitals, research and teaching) Dr. Rand has been in full-time private practice in forensic psychology for more than ten years. He has been conducting family forensics for 30 years.
William Salton is a Clinical Professor at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. He is Director of the Training Clinic, which is staffed by over 150 student clinicians and serves over 500 patients each year. In addition, Dr. Salton teaches courses on Psychopathology and Illness, Adult and Child Psychotherapy, and Adolescent Development. For the last 5 years, he has co-directed a program at Ferkauf that trains students to evaluate and advocate for people who are seeking political asylum. He has recently been the recipient of Ferkauf's Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr Salton is a graduate of the Family Law and Family Forensics Training Program at Washington Square Institute (WSI). He also serves on the faculties of the Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (MITPP) and the New York Institute for Psychotherapy Training of Infants, Children and Adolescents (NYIPT). He is in private practice in both New York City and Westchester County.
Kelly Sykes is a child and forensic psychologist who maintains a private practice in Brooklyn. Dr. Sykes works with high conflict families in a variety of contexts including as a custody evaluator with divorcing and separating parents, as a parenting/family coordinator, an expert witness in child protection matters, and as a court-appointed therapeutic supervisor. Central to her work is the use of the parent capacity exam as a tool for intervention and understanding of the parent-child relationship.
Peter Wolf is a graduate of the NYU Postodoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.  In addition to his private psychotherapy practice in New York City, Dr. Wolf has worked with children and parents in the foster care system.  Stemming from that experience, he developed a forensic practice dealing with issues of custody and visitation.
For further information please contact: 
Linda Gunsberg, Ph.D.
Chair, Family Law and Family Forensics Training Program 
Washington Square Institute 
Call: (212) 246-5506 or Email: 
Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.