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"I'm looking for just the right mental health professional.
I've made a dozen calls and written at least that many emails."

What should I say
(and what should I not say)
in my first contact?

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                Consultants LLC
                        we are
About Dr. Garber
Keeping Kids Out Of The Middle
 Keeping families out of court
                        do you take care of yourself?


Dr. Garber can respond to email more efficiently than phone calls. Please do not leave voice mail. Email creates a written record that may be useful later. Reach Dr. Garber at bdgarberphd@FamilyLawConsulting.org. It may be easier to reach Dr. Garber's administrative assistant at admin@FamilyLawConsulting.org.

2. WHAT SERVICE ARE YOU SEEKING? Child therapist? Evaluator? Testifying expert?

The purpose of your first contact is to clarify the role that you'd like Dr. Garber to fill, whether Dr. Garber is qualified and available to serve in that role, and the details associated with that service (e.g., cost, timing). This page describes some of the distinct roles that Dr. Garber serves in.

3. PLEASE DO NOT TELL YOUR STORY, share your history, or express your concerns.

In some roles, Dr. Garber must make every effort to remain impartial. This may mean taking care NOT to hear your perspective at the start. If you tell your story in your first contact, you may actually disqualify Dr. Garber from providing the service that you're seeking  If its appropriate for Dr. Garber to hear your story, that time will be arranged as soon as possible.

In the ideal, your first communication with Dr. Garber should be brief and concise. Identify the role you're seeking to fill, the relevant timing (is this urgent? is there a hearing coming up soon?), and inquire about practical details (e.g., costs, scheduling availability, distance and travel time).


For example, if you're seeking child therapy, its usually necessary (and wise) to copy the child's other parent. If you're seeking co-parenting or Parenting Coordination, its usually necessary (and wise) to copy your co-parent.

If you're seeking someone to conduct a court-ordered evaluation, its usually necessary (and wise) to copy all adults involved in the proposed evaluation.

HOWEVER, if you're seeking expert consultation in an ongoing legal matter, its usually wise to copy your attorney but NOT to copy others.


If your request for services is based on a documented event (e.g., a child's suspension from school, a restraining order, or the court's order that you obtain a psychological service), please attach that paperwork to your initial inquiry email. Please DO NOT attach the entire history of the matter (see #3 above).

Please provide relevant documents as scanned, searchable (i.e., OCR-formatted) pdfs.
To illustrate:
[seeking therapy
for a child:]

"I am a 35 year old father of two looking for a therapist for my 12 year old son. I've copying his mother on this note. Can we talk about how to proceed?"
[seeking impartial
court-related evaluation:]

"I'm in the middle of a messy divorce. The court ordered a family evaluation. I'm copying my kids' mother on this note. Please reply to all. I've also attached the court order. How do we proceed?"
expert opinion:]

"I represent a mother in a very acrimonious custody matter. Alienation has been alleged. I'm copying my co-counsel. I have a hearing in 2 months. I'd like to talk to you about educating the court. Please reach me asap."

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Dr. Garber provides a number of distinct services but can only serve in one role with any given family. This means that Dr. Garber cannot (for example) be both a child's therapist and an expert witness in the litigation concerned with that child.
Keep in mind that Dr. Garber is specially qualified to provide a number of child-centered, forensic (that is, court-related) services (e.g., child custody evaluation, expert witness). Thus, it may make sense to find other professionals to provide services that are more commonly available (e.g., psychotherapy) and ask Dr. Garber to serve in these other more specialized roles.

Dr. Garber will typically reply to your email inquiries within one business day.

 If you are seeking

Clinical services include individual child, adult, couples, or family therapy.
Read more here jump to link

(a) If you are seeking clinical services for yourself , Dr. Garber will be glad to schedule an initial interview with you as schedules permit.

(b). If you are seeking clinical services for a child AND you are that child's legal guardian,
Dr. Garber will first ask you to reach out to the child's other parent. Unless there are legal restrictions or acute safety concerns, Dr. Garber will only provide child therapy when BOTH (or all) parents are engaged in the process. In this situation, Dr. Garber may ask that you copy your child's other parent(s) on all preliminary communications.

If you are seeking clinical services for a child but are NOT that child's legal guardian (e.g., step-parent), Dr. Garber will need to speak with the child's legal guardians.

(c) If you are seeking clinical services
for your family, for you and your adult intimate partner, couples' or marriage counseling, please copy the other adult(s) involved on all preliminary communications.

If you are seeking
FORENSIC services:

Forensic means "court-involved."
Read more here link here

(a) Do you have a court order requiring the service that you're seeking? Please scan and email or fax that order to Dr. Garber asap.

(b) Do you have a (temporary) parenting plan relevant to the proposed service (e.g., co-parenting or Parenting Coordination see link here). Please scan and email or fax the parenting plan asap.

(c) If you are seeking co-parenting or Parenting Coordination services, please consider copying your children's other parent(s) on your communications with Dr. Garber. Unilateral communications can compromise Dr. Garber's (appearance of) impartiality.

(d) If you are seeking an impartial forensic evaluation such as Child Centered Family Evaluation (CCFE see link here) please scan and email or fax the relevant court order asap.

(e) If you are seeking expert services relevant to litigation, please have your lawyer reach Dr. Garber directly. (read more here Link here). In this case. speaking with you, the litigant, can compromise Dr. Garber's ability to serve in this role.


No matter the service that you're seeking, Dr. Garber will need to receive basic identifying information about everyone (including the children) who will be involved in that service.

In some cases, Dr. Garber will need to conduct a conflict check to assure that he does not/has not otherwise provided services to persons involved in the current matter.

Please provide:

  • Each person's full name (including the children)
  • Each person's date of birth
  • Each person's mailing address
  • Each person's phone and email contact information
  • If this is a legal matter, please provide the CASE CAPTION (e.g., Smith v. Jones, NH 627-2019-DM-00xxx.

Dr. Garber will use these data to open a file.
Note that some services require that participants endorse a Service Agreement
which is generated using these data. Read more here Link here.

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Dr. Garber is typically available to respond to email
Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm eastern time (USA)

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For litigants
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