I’m a bit uncertain about coming in for counseling. What should I expect?

Considering therapy and reaching out for help can be a difficult process for many. Congratulations on taking the time, courage and consideration to prioritize your needs and mental health. We encourage you to call to find out more about how our services can meet your needs.

What is the Process of Therapy?

In the first few sessions, we discuss the issues that made you decide to seek counseling. A thorough intake of many areas of your life will be reviewed. The single most important factor in the success of therapy is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client. Together we build a trusting, respectful collaboration by jointly setting goals and strategies to obtain these goals.

Do you have evening or weekend hours?

Derek Brand works in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Dr. Thorpe is in the office during the weekdays and upon special arrangement early evenings.


Dr. Thorpe is in-network with BCBS only PPO (for therapy not forensic cases).

Derek Brand is in-network with Cigna all plans.

Payments in full or insurance co-payments are due at the time services are rendered. Forms of payment accepted are check, cash or credit cards.

If you will be accessing out-of-network  benefits you may want to call your insurance company in advance to determine your deductible, co-insurance and what portion of the allowable fee they will cover. Our billing service can handle the entire submission, as a courtesy.

Our staff is currently contracted as in-network providers for limited insurance plans. If you are accessing in-network benefits you will want to call your insurance company in advance to determine your benefits including deductible and co-pay amount.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call Dr. Thorpe at 973.425.8868 to discuss your preferred scheduling and whether our services will be a fit for your needs.

What are your fees and how long are appointments?

Sessions are by appointment and are normally scheduled for 45 to 60 minutes. If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment please give at least 24 hours notice to make a change. It is our policy to charge for missed appointments.

Dr. Thorpe: $225 per hour

Derek Brand: $150 per hour

Occasionally special pay arrangements may be negotiated on an individual basis.

What's the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, they can prescribe medications, and they spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment. Psychologists focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with cognitive-behavioral intervention.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy involves communication between patients and therapists that is intended to help people:

  • Find relief from emotional distress, as in becoming less anxious, fearful or depressed.
  • Seek solutions to problems in their lives, such as dealing with disappointment, grief, family issues, and job or career dissatisfaction.
  • Modify ways of thinking and acting that are preventing them from working productively and enjoying personal relationships.

Psychotherapy begins with some discussion of a person’s background and the concerns that led him or her to seek help. Following this initial assessment, the patient and therapist come to an agreement, called the treatment contract. The treatment contract specifies the goals of treatment, treatment procedures, and a regular schedule for the time, place and duration of their treatment sessions. Sometimes this treatment contract is written down explicitly, but more often it is discussed between patient and therapist.

Talking with a psychotherapist differs from talking with a friend in three respects that increase its likelihood of being helpful:

  • Friends may be able and willing to listen and give advice, but qualified and duly licensed psychotherapists are trained professionals with specialized education and experience in understanding psychological problems.
  • Whereas friendships are typically mutual relationships in which people take turns being helpful to each other, psychotherapy is devoted entirely to the patient’s welfare. Psychotherapy is focused solely on the patient’s needs for symptom relief, problem solutions or lifestyle changes.
  • In contrast to the mutuality, informality and multiple shared interests that usually characterize friendships, psychotherapy involves a formal commitment to meet regularly at a designated time, to talk just about the patient’s concerns, and to continue meeting as long as doing so serves the patient’s best interests.

Many different kinds of psychotherapy have proved effective in helping people feel better, resolve problems in living and modify their attitudes and behavior in constructive ways. Knowledgeable psychotherapists select and recommend a treatment approach that is known to be well-suited for addressing a patient’s needs and concerns, and they tailor their procedures to fit each individual patient’s personality style and life circumstances.

Source: APA Div. 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology)


Why do people consider using therapy?

Therapy is a partnership between an individual and a professional such as a psychologist who is licensed and trained to help people understand their feelings and assist them with changing their behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one-third of adults in the United States experience an emotional or substance abuse problem. Nearly 25 percent of the adult population suffers at some point from depression or anxiety.

People often consider therapy, under the following circumstances:

  • They feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness and helplessness, and they lack hope in their lives.
  • Their emotional difficulties make it hard for them to function from day to day. For example, they are unable to concentrate on assignments and their job performance suffers as a result.
  • Their actions are harmful to themselves or to others. For instance, they drink too much alcohol and become overly aggressive.
  • They are troubled by emotional difficulties facing family members or close friends.

Provided by American Psychological Association

What does research show about the effectiveness of therapy?

Research suggests that therapy effectively decreases patients’ depression and anxiety and related symptoms — such as pain, fatigue and nausea. Therapy has also been found to increase survival time for heart surgery and cancer patients, and it can have a positive effect on the body’s immune system. Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are very closely linked and that therapy can improve a person’s overall health status.

There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions of therapy are far better off than untreated individuals with emotional difficulties. One major study showed that 50 percent of patients noticeably improved after eight sessions while 75 percent of individuals in therapy improved by the end of six months. Psychotherapy with children is similar in effectiveness to therapy with adults.


Provided by American Psychological Association


Be sure to allow extra time during your first few visits – my office is located in a busy section of town.

  • Community Place is a one-way street two blocks from the square in the center of Morristown.
  • The office is a brick building located half a block in from South Street
  • Most parking is metered so please bring quarters. Close street options are: South St., Community Pl or Maple Ave
  • Take the elevator or stairs to the fourth floor to find my shared office suite – note the elevator is very slow
  • Please take a seat in the shared waiting room. I will come out to greet you at our specified appointment time. You do not need to check in with the admin.