Separation and Divorce Clinicians

Durham Raleigh Chapel Hill Telehealth

Durham Office

JEFF FISCHER, PH.D.

Dr. Jeff Fischer recognizes that divorce is a time fraught with conflict and complex emotions. Once couples have decided to separate, navigating the process often falls to the legal profession. Although lawyers are effective negotiators, they have limited tools available to them for the resolution of the emotional issues that emerge between separating spouses. Unfortunately, past relationship conflict often makes the separation process far more complex. Similarly, underlying emotional conflict can drive lengthy financial and custody disputes. Dr. Fischer uses psychological tools to help clients process the strong emotions associated with separation and divorce and clear the way for reaching effective settlements. Where appropriate, he also draws on his conflict resolution and mediation skills to help clients reach solutions to the many complex tactical and financial issues pertaining to divorce.

DEE PHILBERT, LCSWA

When working with families who are separated or divorced, Ms. Dee Philbert tends to use a solution-focused approach. The services utilized are tailored around each families’ presenting concerns. Help is provided in a variety of areas, and can range from aiding children in adjustment, parent coaching, parent collaboration, along with family or individual session for parents or children.

BLAKELY MULDER, PH.D.

Separation and divorce is a difficult experience. Dr. Blakely Mulder’s goal is to make this transition as smooth and positive as possible. She specializes in processing emotions around the divorce, helping family members utilize coping strategies and grow as individuals, and developing action plans to improve the quality of life going forward. Dr. Mulder works with both adults and children. With children, she helps them process their feelings and make sense of their new family structure. She helps provide parents with strategies for effective communication and co-parenting.

ERICA PRITZKER, PSY.D.

Dr. Erica Pritzker assists couples, families, and children to make the often stressful process of divorce as smooth and manageable as possible. She has experience working with children who are going through or who have experienced divorce in their family in processing this event and moving through it with a healthy and intact sense of self. She has also worked to help parents create plans for successful co-parenting. Dr. Pritzker works closely with parents to create a loving, secure environment in their homes so that the child feels safe to connect with both parents and others and individuate in healthy and effective ways. She approaches therapy with parents with a mix of cognitive-behavioral techniques and insight development, with a strong focus on coaching the parent in taking this new knowledge and skill achieved in therapy into their co-parenting relationship and home. Dr. Pritzker is particularly interested in working with parents through the divorce process to provide parent guidance in creating healthy households after divorce takes place.

SOPHIA WALDER-HOGE, PSY.D.

Ms. Sophia Walder-Hoge supports individuals and families experiencing separation and divorce. She emphasizes effective communication, managing and processing intense emotions, increasing adaptive functioning and coping skills, and developing strengths-based positive action plans. Ms. Walder-Hoge works with both adults and children. For adults, she helps to explore and structure new expectations surrounding self and family functioning. For children, she provides support with framing the pertinent issues in developmentally appropriate ways, processing difficult emotions, and building resilience to meet significant changes adaptively. Ms. Walder-Hoge also provides support for parenting through separation and divorce. 

DEJA BUCKNER, M.A.

Ms. Deja Buckner works with children, families and couples who are adapting to the separation and divorce process. She works with children and adolescents to process their emotions and build coping skills on how to adapt to the changing of their family structure. She creates a therapeutic atmosphere for children and teens to share any emotions that may arise for them throughout the process. Additionally, she helps individuals and parents develop healthy communication and coping skills to manage their feelings during this transitional period.

LAURA O’MALLEY, M.S., NCSP

Separation and divorce is a difficult time for both partners as well as children. Ms. Laura O’Malley provides therapy to children and teens to assist in the transition. Her therapy with children and teens provides support during this difficult life transition. Ms. O’Malley emphasizes self-care during this period of transition, teaches coping skills, and helps foster hope for the future for family members of all ages. With parents she provides support to each partner, and assists in establishing a healthy and effective co-parenting relationship for the benefit of the children.

LINDSEY OHLER, PSY.D.

Dr. Lindsey Ohler works with children, families and couples who are transitioning through the separation and divorce process. Providing supportive therapy, she works with children and adolescents to process their emotions in relation to the break-up of their family. Dr. Ohler provides a warm and safe environment for children and teens to share their fear, anger and sadness. Furthermore, with adults she helps individuals

COLLEEN HAMILTON, PSY.D.

Dr. Colleen Hamilton provides assistance to individuals transitioning following divorce or separation. Her individual work focuses on life-restructuring issues often seen during that time, such as identifying support systems, changing one’s peer groups, and effective co-parenting. As one of our resident child psychologists, she is well versed in helping parents understand, help, and guide their children through the divorce process. Dr. Hamilton also works with parents to develop an effective co-parenting relationship or parallel parenting system.

TINA LEPAGE, PSY.D.

From the very beginning of her career with a B.S. in Child Development & Family Relationships, Dr. Lepage has been focusing on families, and she has extensive experience working with individuals, couples, parents, and children going through divorce. Dr. Lepage completed both her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation in Clinical Psychology in the area of developing parenting plans, and is an expert in cooperative co-parenting and parallel parenting. Her combined experience in divorce transitions, child development, parenting plans, and conflict resolution make her highly sought out by people going through separation. She is skilled at helping within the traditional divorce model

MINA RATKALKAR, PH.D.

Dr. Mina Ratkalkar recognizes divorce can bring up strong and sometimes contradictory feelings for separating couples and their children. She supports clients wherever they are in the separation and divorce process. Dr. Ratkalkar helps clients individually navigate the significant mental, emotional, and legal transitions involved in divorce. She also provides couples therapy for separating partners as they work toward reducing conflict and establishing themselves as individuals. In addition, Dr. Ratkalkar provides guidance and recommendations to parents on co-parenting, discussing divorce and separation with their children, and setting boundaries and expectations as families co-create the next chapter in their lives.

Raleigh Office

ALEXANDRA MAESTRE, PSY.D.

Just as every relationship is unique, every separation comes with its own challenges and grief. In the life of a family, separation or divorce is invariably a major event, affecting not only the couple but also their relatives and any children they may have. Seeking therapy around a separation or divorce can help all people involved process the experience and navigate the future. Dr. Maestre has experience working individuals, couples, children and families undergoing separation and divorce. She is interested in helping children understand and cope with divorce in age-appropriate ways, supporting separating couples in their communications around co-parenting and other important decisions, and helping each individual adult formulate a plan for their next life chapter.

MS. HOPE VENETTA

A time of upheaval in any relationship, Ms. Hope Venetta seeks to serve divorcing couples as they enter the next chapter of their lives. In her therapy work, she combines her passion for building self-esteem and self-acceptance with the structure of goal setting and steady movement toward goals. Ms. Venetta believes everyone has the ability to create a vision of the change they want in their lives, and take steps to make that vision reality. It is her belief that the most effective change happens when there is a therapeutic alliance of mutual trust and respect between the therapist and clients.

CHERYL COHEN, LCSW

Cheryl Cohen works with couples, individuals and children (minors and adult children) experiencing the pre and post phases of separation and divorce. She approaches this fragile subject by providing a safe, open, honest, and neutral setting to address the issues that are present.

Chapel Hill Office

KEVIN METZ, PSY.D.

Dr. Kevin Metz assists couples, families, and children to make the often stressful process of divorce as smooth and manageable as possible. He has significant experience working with children and teenagers who are going through or who have experienced divorce in their family in processing this event and moving through it with a healthy and intact sense of self. Dr. Metz is particularly interested in working with parents through the divorce process to provide parent guidance in creating healthy households after divorce takes place.

Telehealth Online Office

LESA BRIDGES, LCSW, ED.D. (ABD)

Throughout her career, Ms. Bridges has worked with families in crisis and has extensive experience in managing relationship difficulties that arise during separation and divorce. Ms. Bridges understands that separation and divorce can be an uncertain, even upsetting transition for all family members – particularly children. By focusing on individual/family strengths, Ms. Bridges encourages her clients to seek common ground and solutions when and where possible with an emphasis on healthy outcomes. To accomplish this goal, she utilizes psychoeducation about family break-ups and positive communication skill-building. Ms. Bridges utilizes an eclectic therapy model based on individual, couple or family needs. She is rostered and certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) which promotes improved self-regulation in times of discomfort, frustration, and crisis. By teaching mindfulness and positive coping skills along with other strategic interventions, Ms. Bridges assists the family in transitioning through the challenges faced during separation and divorce.