Sanford Cassel, PH.D.


I work as a psychotherapist, executive coach, collaborative child specialist and collaborative coach. I am committed to helping children, adolescents and adults clarify, and remove impediments to realizing, their own dreams and desires. I am also committed to the collaborative goal of helping each individual feel heard and respected, through developing his/her own effective voice, and through learning concrete strategies to advocate for his/her own interests within the context of family, relationship and/or work conflict.


  • Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1983
  • M.A., State University College of New York at New Paltz, 1975
  • B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1974
  • Internship, Virginia Treatment Center for Children/Medical College of Virginia, 1980-1981
  • Two levels of Clinical Hypnosis training with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
  • Two levels of EMDR training
  • Dreamwork from a Jungian perspective
  • Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member of the Collaborative Professionals of Richmond
  • Member of the Fredericksburg Area Collaborative Professionals



When in Richmond, VA, visit:
310 S. Sheppard Street
Richmond, VA 23221

LOCATION: (Click Here)


Mailing Address:
3000 Idlewood Ave.
Richmond, VA 23221

When in Charleston, SC, visit:
68 Line Street
Charleston, SC 29403

LOCATION: (Click Here)



I have been a psychotherapist in the Richmond area for over 25 years. My style as a therapist is to combine insight-oriented techniques with practical problem-solving strategies. I practice an active, involved form of therapy. Often, there are mutually agreed upon tasks, or "homework," to continue to develop new skills in "real life," outside the therapy office.

I work with children, adolescents, families, couples and adults. I specialize in marital issues, blended family issues, parenting issues, separation/divorce, PTSD, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, grief, women's issues and men's issues.


As a business coach, my goal is to maximize the productivity of your organization. To that end, I am trained to:

  • clarify personality conflicts that slow down productivity.
  • develop more efficient, effective meeting styles.
  • troubleshoot for organizational problems that effect productivity.
  • develop strategies to resolve personnel and organizational problems.
  • train staff and management, as needed, to implement solutions.
  • case-manage the implementation of strategies to maximize productivity.
  • address personal/family issues interfering with concentration, focus, creativity and productivity

I bring a flexible style to meet your organization's needs, including on-site evaluation, management team consultation and staff consultation. I work closely with owners/upper management professionals, and am available for ongoing coaching consultations.


Collaborative Divorce occurs without ever going to court. Collaborative Divorce is a non-adversarial, team process aimed at providing an equitable, mutually agreed upon settlement. When children are involved, a principal goal is to allow parents to co-parent effectively and well, during and after the divorce.

The Collaborative Divorce team is composed of lawyers, coaches, a financial specialist and a child specialist. In marked contrast to an adversarial divorce, there is open communication among all team members. The goal of all team members is to arrive at mutually agreed upon settlement that both protects and respects the interests of both individuals.


I work as a collaborative divorce coach on the collaborative divorce team. A coach is a mental health professional with specialized training in the collaborative divorce process. Most frequently, each spouse has his / her own coach in addition to his/her own lawyer. On some occasions, there is a single, neutral coach for both individuals. The purpose of a coach is to help each person manage the intense emotions that arise in the course of a divorce, and to help each person advocate for him/herself clearly and well during the collaborative process. As a coach, I typically meet alone with my client, and then meet collectively with the other spouse and his/her coach. These "4-way meetings" are aimed at allowing each spouse's concerns and preferences to be respectfully aired and heard. It is a forum to resolve conflicts as calmly and productively as is possible. When children are involved, these meetings also focus on developing a comprehensive parenting plan, with input from the child specialist.


I work as a child specialist on the collaborative divorce team. A child specialist is a mental health professional trained in normal child, adolescent and adult development. I typically meet first with each parent individually, to gather information about the characteristic development of each child, and the reaction of each child to the ending of the marriage. I then meet directly with each child, usually individually, to gather information about how s/he is coping with the dissolution of the marriage, and to understand his/her concerns. Careful attention is paid to possible feelings of responsibility for the divorce, perceived pressure to "take sides", and perceived pressure to "act as if s/he is OK". My job is then to be the "mouthpiece" for each child in the parenting meetings; to be sure that his/her concerns are addressed and to advocate for his/her needs.


I am either a coach or a child specialist on the collaborative divorce team. In either role, I communicate regularly with all other members of the team. Property settlement and division of assets are issues primarily handled by the lawyers, and the financial specialist, however I am aware of the progress of these negotiations and available for consultation.


I have received intensive geriatric training, aimed at developing a comprehensive understanding of the unique issues facing the elderly and their families. I am trained in managing issues related to:

  • loss of independence skills
  • loss of functioning
  • memory problems
  • loss of family and friends
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • grief
  • medication management
My work with the elderly includes:

  • psychological assessment
  • psychological testing
  • individual therapy
  • family therapy
  • case management