Child and adolescent therapy

When stress interferes with some part of a child’s life, such as school, home or relationships with peers, child therapy can help.

Children typically experience stress around developmental transitions like starting school or entering adolescence, or stress may follow an external event such as an important loss, frightening experience, or trouble with peers. At other times, children show uncharacteristic behavior that is not easily explained by outside circumstances, which may reflect internal sources of worry. Whatever the reason, children who experience stress can show behaviors that cause concern to adults, and at such times the opportunity to meet with a child psychologist can help.

Generally speaking, the goal of child therapy is to remove obstacles to typical development in order for children to more freely resume the “work” of growing up. Of course, parental involvement in child therapy is a crucial ingredient for meaningful change. The nature of adult involvement will vary based on the child and your family’s needs. With your help, Dr. Judge will determine the best treatment configuration for your child.

Adolescents generally require a greater amount of autonomy from their parents in the course of psychotherapy. Issues of privacy and sharing of information can understandably cause anxiety for parents and teenagers alike. Dr. Judge is well trained to address these and other issues that uniquely affect adolescents and will work with you and your teenager to navigate these concerns. As with child therapy, the primary goal of treatment with adolescents is the removal of obstacles that impede the “work” of growing up. Importantly, adolescence is also a time where serious psychiatric problems can first appear, and teenagers and adults often struggle to know which behaviors are “normal” and which may be cause for greater concern. Dr. Judge’s specialization with this age group allows her to help you evaluate these concerns.

Adult psychotherapy

Therapy can help adults in times of external change or stress, as well as when internal worries and frustrating patterns persist without obvious cause.

Dr. Judge has experience treating major mental illness as well as the kinds of worries that accompany typical development. She has specialized training and interests in the long-term effects of trauma, severe mental illness in the family, and addressing internal obstacles to artistic and creative pursuits. Psychotherapy with adults will vary in length and kind based on the patient’s needs and his/her history. An initial evaluation will clarify what troubles you and help determine the most appropriate form of treatment.

Forensic Evaluations

Dr. Judge has been a court-appointed child custody evaluator for the Probate and Family Courts and she also has conducted a range of court-ordered evaluations for Juvenile Courts throughout Massachusetts.

She is qualified to conduct the following child and family forensic evaluations:

  • trauma evaluations
  • aid to sentencing of juveniles
  • care and protection matters
  • independent psychological evaluations
  • risk and needs assessment for adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior
  • needs assessment and trauma evaluations for survivors of sex trafficking
  • civil and criminal cases involving trauma
  • child sexual exploitation and abduction

Dr. Judge also provides expert testimony on the topics of child sex trafficking, traumatic bonding and parental alienation. Dr. Judge’s forensic work is based at the Children and the Law Program/Law and Psychiatry Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.


Dr. Judge is frequently invited to present about a range of clinical and forensic topics.

Commercial sexual exploitation / domestic sex trafficking

  • Iowa Human Trafficking Summit
  • Boston Juvenile Court Clinic
  • Cambridge Public School Administrators
  • National Association of Women’s Judges and Executive Office of the Massachusetts Trial Court
  • Rhode Island Family Court Conference
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • MIT Workshop on Technology and Trafficking
  • American Psychology and Law Society, the American Psychological Association
  • Norfolk County Probation Department
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Invited Grand Rounds, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School
  • The Molly Bish Foundation
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center

Family treatment high conflict divorce and parent-child contact problems

  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Massachusetts Probate and Family Judge’s Educational Conference
  • Invited plenary, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Florida chapter, 2015
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Annual conferences
  • Invited Pre-conference Institute, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Adolescent relationships, sexual development and social media

  • American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Annual Meeting
  • Harvard Medical School Annual Conference on Sexuality and Gender
  • Harvard Medical School Annual Conference on School Mental Health
  • Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
  • Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School, Cambridge, MA
  • Derryfield School, Manchester, MA
  • Hingham Public School, Hingham, MA
  • The Rivers School, Weston, MA
  • Family Online Safety Institute, Washington, DC
  • Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, MA
  • Division of Developmental Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Child Psychiatry Fellows seminar series, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Harvard Law School

Consultation to parents, schools and agencies

Parents, schools and organizations often require the input of a clinical psychologist following a significant event or in anticipation of major changes. Rather than providing treatment, it is a consultant’s role to equip individuals or groups with psychological information and tools that address a specific question or issue. Dr. Judge frequently consults to schools and mental health professionals on the following topics.

Psychotherapy affected by court involvement

Divorce, abuse and family conflict are commonplace in clinical practice and can pose a range of dilemmas to the process of psychotherapy. Inappropriate intervention by clinicians can unwittingly escalate conflict and cause significant damage, and effective treatment requires specialized knowledge about divorce dynamics, formal systems, role definition and ethical practice. Dr. Judge consults to mental health professionals about navigating these practice challenges using a clinical approach based on her specialization in child forensic psychology, work as a court appointed child custody evaluator and court appointed therapist, and membership on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).

Adolescent relationships, “sexting” and the schools

Youth-produced sexual images between minors (i.e., “sexting”) and other aspects of social media are controversial topics for school administrators and counseling staff to address. There is relatively little research available to help guide schools and there are also significant cultural differences between how adults and teenagers understand these topics.

Dr. Judge published and presented on the subject of teens and technology, including an edited book. In a consulting role, Dr. Judge uses a psychological approach to address how mobile communications and digital technology affect the core developmental tasks of adolescence. This includes, for example, intimacy and trust in interpersonal and sexual relationships, privacy, and the anticipation of social consequences. Dr. Judge has consulted to school administrators and wellness teams on these topics, and she has also presented to various configurations of school communities (e.g., parents, students, counseling staff).