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Email :   |   Phone : (605) 484 5294   |   Address : 2650 Jackson Blvd STE 19B, Rapid City, SD 57702

Dr. Jim Simpson, Ed. D.

head shotJames Simpson, Ed.D. is a mental health counselor who specializes in services to families in transition. This includes:Divorce and family counseling for families who are divorcing or have experienced a divorce,
  • Blended families
  • Single parents who have been through a divorce as well as parents who have never been married,
  • Widowed parents,
  • Parents and children and spouse of parents who have been deployed by the military.

Dr. Simpson started working in the helping profession in 1967 and has worked for mental health centers in Colorado, Iowa and South Dakota. In 1992, Dr. Simpson opened Individual and Family Counseling. Since then he has devoted his practice to working with families and their members in transition.

Dr. Simpson is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, a Qualified Mental Health Professional, a Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health who is also a registered Custody Evaluator and a Mediator. In addition, he has been an adjunct instructor at several different colleges and has been a guest speaker on the subject of families in periods of transition, such as child custody, supervised child visitation, and mediation situations


  • Certified Clinical Mental Health Professional Counselor
  • Licensed Counselor Mental Health – SD & WY
  • Nationally Certified Custody Evaluator 
  • Nationally Certified Parenting Coordinator
  • Qualified Mental Health Professional
  • Registered Custody Evaluator & Mediator

Evaluations & Custody Home Studies

A custody home study is a process in which a custody evaluator identifies the parenting strengths and weaknesses of the parenting figures in a child's life and determines the needs of a child/children based on age and developmental status. Once this has been accomplished, the evaluator attempts to make a goodness of fit. In other words, the evaluator attempts to match the child/children with the parent best suited to meet the child/children's needs at the point in time. This is done for time spent with and for who is determined to be responsible for making certain decisions such as education, medical and religious matters. As long as there is joint legal custody, both parents should be involved in these decisions, however with primary custody comes the responsibility for taking the lead in these matters. This is a time and energy intensive effort.

The evaluator needs to have the education, training and experience to conduct these studies. Furthermore, the evaluator should have the ability to prepare a report for the parents, caregivers and courts that outlines the methodology:
The instruments used:
  • Identifies tasks requested of the participants
  • Identifies methods utilized by the evaluator;
  • Interview
  • Observation
  • Formal testing, etc.
Lists documents reviewed and considered by the evaluator:
  • Discusses and analyzes test results
  • Provides recommendations that;
  • Are research based
  • Considers the current literature on the subjects of;
  • Family dynamics
  • Parent/child interaction
  • Child development
As a custody evaluator in South Dakota, I am one of only two professionals who hold the Nationally Certified Custody Evaluator level of credentialing. To have that credential, an evaluator is required to have training in: child development; psychopathology of children and adults; family dynamics, including, but not limited to parent-child relationships, blended families, and extended family relationships; research, theory, policy and practice regarding divorce and child custody issues and the effects of separation, divorce, custody arrangements, and parental conflict on the psychopathological and developmental needs of children and adults. The evaluator is also required to have engaged in at least five (5) highly conflicted custody court cases. There are only two people in the State of South Dakota and one in North Dakota who possess that credential. There are approximately 146 custody evaluators throughout the United States who have this credential.