Forensic Psychological Services for Families
Forensic Psychological Services for Families

Dr. Tamsen Thorpe has more than 15 years of experience providing forensic psychological services to families. She provides two types of help: evaluations and interventions.

Evaluations include custody/parenting time, risk assessments, relocation and problem focused.

Interventions include co-parent counseling; parent coordination; divorce coaching/therapeutic mediation; and reconciliation/reunification/family intervention.

Dr. Thorpe also conducts the New Ways for Families® program, a short-term method for strengthening conflict resolution and communication skills for parents and families in separation or divorce.

Some of the terms above might be unfamiliar to you, so it may be helpful to define them.

What is New Ways for Families®?

High-conflict divorce and separation cases can be very challenging for everyone involved.

New Ways for Families® is a program specifically designed to save parents time and money in court and protect the emotional needs of children as their families re-organize in new ways.

It focuses on teaching parents new skills, including ways to make big decisions and ways to reduce conflict and tension to pave the way for effective co-parenting.

Here are two links that explain it further:

What is Parent Coordination?

It’s a hybrid model of alternative dispute resolution. The process is non confidential and begins with a court or consent order. It combines assessment, education, case management, conflict resolution and, sometimes, decision-making functions.

Parent coordinators (PC’s) are typically professionals with mental health backgrounds and mediation training. In general, the PC assists co-parents to implement their parenting plan.

PC’s can help parents resolve child-related issues in a timely manner, diverting them from court involvement. They can also sustain safe and healthy parent-child relationships. The process can help reduce parents’ conflict and may shield children from exposure to their parents’ disagreements.

What is Divorce Coaching/Therapeutic Mediation?

Therapeutic Mediation is a consultative service designed to help couples deal with separation, divorce and discernment (deciding whether to remain married). It helps parents resolve emotional impasses so that more effective decision-making can occur.

If separation/divorce is the chosen path, therapeutic mediation aims to help clients achieve a satisfactory settlement, while saving time and money. It’s a way to resolve a dispute without going to court. Respect and cooperation are promoted, in an attempt to reduce harm during a time of uncertainty and transition.

Mediators conduct training in communication, conflict resolution and negotiation. Clients are encouraged to be goal directed and engage in a collaborative, problem-solving way.

Mediators provide education about the psychological effects of divorce, on adults and children, and offer models of cooperative parenting. The clients are primed to think about co-parenting in a manner that’s most beneficial to the well-being of their children in their new post-divorce lives.

What is Reconciliation/Reunification/Family Intervention?

Divorce involves many changes and adjustments for all family members. Some families are able to negotiate their hurdles, while others become embroiled in conflict and co-parenting struggles. When this occurs, children may get caught in the middle and may resist contact with a parent.

Early intervention is advised to address these problems and prevent them from becoming irreparable.

Reconciliation centers around the belief that the child ought to have meaningful relationships with both parents. The therapy involves all family members. Individual, joint and family sessions are held to create new narratives in these situations, with assurances that parents will strive to reduce conflict and work to co-parent cooperatively.

Are forensic family services covered by my health insurance?

No, they’re not. It’s also important to know that the rates for forensic services are typically higher than rates for psychotherapy. Also, a retainer is usually requested.

Forensic services are different from psychotherapy in that there is no identified patient, no clinical diagnosis is given and there are no CPT codes. Therefore, forensic clients aren’t able to submit claims to insurance.

Dr. Thorpe’s forensic family training:

Dr. Thorpe has attended intensive courses including, but not limited to, those listed below.

  • Certified in Family Mediation, NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), New Brunswick, NJ.
  • Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training, Center for Mediation and Collaborative Divorce, Wall, NJ.
  • Parent Coordinator Training, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Madison, WI
  • Children and Divorce: The Voice of the Children and Interventions When Children Resist Parental Contact, AFCC, Madison, WI
  • New Ways For Families, High Conflict Institute, San Diego, CA, a program helping families transition through separation/divorce
  • Advanced Issues in Child Custody, AFCC, Madison, WI

To schedule an appointment for forensic psychological services for families, please call 973-425-8868 or email Dr. Thorpe at