The door to Dr. Stephen P. Herman's Roxbury office is open to forensic psychiatry or clinical pediatric care.

Herman has office hours in Suite 5, upstairs from the Roxbury Market & Deli, at 26 North St. in Roxbury.

He maintains a practice in New York City but, given he has lived in New Milford for more than two years, he wants to provide psychiatric care close to home.

"In my clinical practice, I see primarily children," Herman said. "I was a pediatrician for several years before entering psychiatry. I always was interested in the behavioral aspects of pediatrics."

Therapy for young children is done through play -- a child is engaged through play and talk, while a teenager would be engaged through talking.

Herman said it is possible for a child to require medication for severe depression or bipolar disorder, but added he wouldn't diagnose an antidepressant for a very young child.

"I would be reluctant to medicate a 3-, 4- or 5-year-old because we don't know the longterm effects on a developing brain," he said.

Herman believes it is important to treat "the whole person" and to be "medically alert" when working with a client.

"I often pick up medical abnormalities in children who are presented as having a psychiatric disorder," he said. "A child who is anemic or depressed or generally run down could have a thyroid problem."

Similarly, he noted, an older adult who presents with depression might have the beginnings of dementia.

Herman also sees adult clients.

His career in forensic psychiatry spans 30 years. Forensic psychiatrists interface with the law, he said.

Herman has evaluated murderers, determined if alleged perpetrators were fit to stand trial, and been called in on custody disputes.

"I had a mentor at Yale (University) who was a forensic psychiatrist. She had a great influence on me and opened this world of forensic psychiatry," he said. "My father was a trial lawyer and I also grew up with law being discussed at home."

Herman has evaluated and testified in court cases in all five boroughs of New York and across the country. He has evaluated and testified in two Navy court martials. He usually has five custody evaluations underway, primarily in New York City.

New Milford attorney Roland "Lon" Moots has used Herman's services for some 25 years.

"I've use him in a number of cases involving child custody," Moots said. "I find him to be forthright, very competent, very sympathetic and oriented with what is in the best interest of the child. He testifies very well in court."

Dr. Stephen P. Herman can be reached at 917-597-5704.