Meet Our Team

New Ways for Families is a new program designed by High Conflict Institute to help potentially high-conflict families facing separation and divorce. It is designed to help families avoid getting stuck in a never-ending high-conflict battle that costs huge sums of money, involves multiple professionals, works against the child’s best interests and impacts them in both their short-term and long-term well-being.

Sharon Ryan Montgomery, Psy.D.

Sharon Ryan Montgomery, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in private practice. Dr. Montgomery maintains both a clinical and forensic practice; providing individual, couples and family therapies, in addition to a myriad of forensic evaluations and interventions. The latter includes Custody/Parenting Evaluations, Risk Assessments, Problem Focused/Brief Assessments, Personal Injury Evaluations, Parenting Coordination, Co-Parenting Therapy, Parent Coaching, Mediation, and Family Interventions in which a child resists contact with a parent. She also provides intensive therapy workshops/weekends for families in which a child refuses contact with a parent through the Building Family Resilience Program.

Dr. Montgomery has taught and lectured extensively, having presented papers at both the National and International Child Abuse Conferences. She has been a frequent presenter for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education of New Jersey, the New Jersey Association for Justice, the Family Court Judges Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Bar Association, New Jersey Family Law Inns of Court, the New Jersey Judges Annual Retreat and the New Jersey Judicial College. Dr. Montgomery is Past President of the New Jersey Psychological Association, the N.J. Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Morris County Psychological Association, and the Human Services Association of Morris County.

Dr. Montgomery obtained her doctorate in psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. She is a certified provider for New Ways for Families, and holds certifications as a Mediator, Group Psychologist and in Collaborative Law. Dr. Montgomery is also a Certified School Psychologist.

Aaron Welt, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Aaron Welt has been working in the field of psychology since 1969. He maintains a private practice in the psychotherapy of children, adolescents, adults and elder care consultation, specializing in focused, short term evaluation and treatment of lifespan issues. His diversified practice includes individual and family consultation, often working with families and children of divorce. Much of his recent work has been with couples, performing marriage and divorce counselling or Divorce Coaching in the Cooperative/Collaborative Divorce process. Having taken advanced training in Divorce Coaching and the Child Specialist role, he has spoken about these topics to various professional and lay audiences. He has organized regional conferences on advanced topics in the Collaborative Divorce process and Divorce Coaching, and the New Ways for Families parenting skills and conflict resolution program.

Dr. Welt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Seton Hall University where he was the recipient of the Psychology Medal. He earned his Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from St. John’s University where he was appointed as a Teaching Fellow. He has been on staff at the Hoboken University Medical Center and the St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic and formerly served as Past President of the professional clinical staff at a large public hospital where he was a team leader and supervisor and where he was commended for his leadership role in coordination of professional relationships with the Court.

Dr. Welt has served on the Executive Boards of the New Jersey Psychological Association and the New Jersey Collaborative Law Group and as the Vice President of the New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation. In 2015 he was selected as Psychologist of the Year by the New Jersey Psychological Association. He has been the moderator of the 1000 member electronic bulletin board Listsery of the NJ Psychological Association. Dr. Welt has maintained an extensive program of continuing professional education, seeking to benefit his clients with the most current, effective and sensible approaches to very difficult family issues.

Dennis J. Shaning, Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Shaning is a licensed psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in private practice. His expertise includes both clinical and
forensic psychology. Dr. Shaning’s clinical specialties include treatment and evaluation of children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. In
addition to treating anxiety disorders, phobias, depression, and ADHD, Dr.Shaning specializes in working with families and individuals in transition, to
assist them in con?ict resolution, as well as pre and post divorce adjustment.

Dr. Shaning is a licensed provider for New Ways for Families, a Qualified Divorce Mediator, and the consulting psychologist to the Randolph New Jersey Police Department. His work in forensic psychology has established him as a Court-approved Expert for child custody. He is also a Court-approved parenting coordinator and a Certified School Psychologist. He has consulted at various schools, medical practices, and corporations on issues pertaining to behavioral health and wellness. Dr. Shaning has conducted workshops on stress management, creative problem solving, weight loss, smoking cessation, parenting coordination, and effective parenting. His research in divergent thinking and creative problem solving has earned national acclaim and publication in professional journals. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at Rutgers University in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, and the Graduate School of Education at Seton Hall University.

Dr. Shaning obtained a BA and MA in Psychology from Seton Hall University. He received a Professional Diploma in School Psychology at Kean University before continuing his education at Fordham University where he recerved hlS Ph.D. in Psychology. He also did post-doctoral training in medical hypnosis at Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead, New Jersey.

Tamsen Thorpe, PhD Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Thorpe is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice since 1997. Her therapy practice focuses on treating adults, children, couples and families in transition. Dr. Thorpe also provides consultative forensic psychology services. Some of these services include: Overcoming affairs, Parent coaching and coordination, Divorce coaching, and Reunification/Family integration counseling, New Ways For Families, as well as other problem-focused forensic evaluations.
Education includes an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Drew University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology. Research positions at UCLA were in the areas of heritability of illness and biomedical ethics. Dr. Thorpe has worked in several New York City corporations.

Dr. Thorpe has taken numerous advanced courses to keep current in the areas of marriage, attachment, divorce, custody and high conflict families. She is certified in both Family Mediation through the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) and in New Ways for Families by the Institute for High Conflict. She is trained in Parent Coordination through the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC). For couples therapy, Dr. Thorpe draws on a research based approach from The Gottman Institute. In addition, she is trained in Collaborative Divorce.

Dr. Thorpe has conducted seminars at Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Honeywell, Pfizer, Cendant and Novartis on such topics as Stress Management, Emotional Intelligence and Relationships. She also talks about the Psychologist’s role in family law matters at venues such as the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Section, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Seton Hall Law School and ICLE. She is active in the Morris County Psychological Association and the NJ Collaborative Divorce Group.

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