My Approach to Clinical Treatment

In my clinical practice, I work to develop collaborative, supportive relationships that facilitate the change process. It is an honor to be invited into the lives of people during vulnerable difficult times. I seek to help my clients with what matters most – living in the present, engaging in activities and relationships of value, and minimizing all that distracts.

First trained in Marriage and Family Therapy, I learned to think from a systems perspective, considering social, environmental, and individual circumstances for each client I serve. Later, my experience as a psychologist allowed me to gain proficiency in clinical research. I deepened my understanding of well-practiced strategies that help people to cope and heal from symptoms associated with diagnoses like anxiety, depression, and trauma disorders. I also spent two years earning board certification in rehabilitation psychology. This time helped me to marry what I know about evidence informed care with personalized treatment and flexibility.

Please peruse my website to learn more about what I may be able to offer you and my professional background. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to discuss setting up a complementary initial consultation. A note about confidentiality: Since email is not a secure form of communication, please do not write any personal information in emails. It is best to use email for initial inquiries and scheduling correspondence only.

Psychotherapy Interventions Utilized

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Family Systems
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Unified Protocol (UP)

Academic Training


Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Neuropsychology & Rehabilitation Psychology Service, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA


2010 DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, Counseling Psychology

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


2010 INTERNSHIP, Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Minneapolis, MN


2003 MASTER OF SCIENCE, Marriage and Family Therapy

University of Maryland, College Park


2001 BACHELOR OF ARTS, Psychology and Sociology

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Professional License

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Commonwealth of Virginia #0810004502

Recent Appointments

2013-present Psychologist in Private Practice

Richmond, VA


2015-present Director of Development and Engagement

Consultant to E. Ritter & Company (ERC)

Ritter Family Council (RFC)


2013-2018 Staff Psychologist

McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center (PRC)

Faculty Appointment

Affiliate Assistant Professor (2012-current) Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Virginia Commonwealth University Health System


Wilder Schaaf, K. & Kesting, E.B. (Jan/Feb 2020). Developing Effective Governance: Persistence pays off. Family Business Magazine.

Wilder Schaaf, K. Clark, N., & Arnold, J. (2019). Engaging the New Generation: Cost effective strategies for providing education and developing interest for the youngest in a family business. Family Business Magazine.

Wilder Schaaf, K. (July/August 2018). Tools to Create Purpose and Structure for your Family Council. Family Business Magazine.

Kreutzer, J., Marwitz, J.H., Klyce, D., Wilder Schaaf, K., Sima, A.P,. Welch, A.M., Niemeier, J.P. (2018). Family needs on an inpatient brain injury rehabilitation unit: A quantitative assessment. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000390

Stevens, Lillian F., Pickett, T., Wilder Schaaf, K., Taylor, B., Gravely, A., Van Houtven, C., Griffin, J. (2015). The relationship between training and mental health among caregivers of individuals with polytrauma. Behavioural Neurology, 15, doi:10.1155/2015/185941.

Pai, A.B., Tower, D.O., Wilder Schaaf, K., Sizer, C., Lew, H.L., & Cifu, D.X. (2015). Special topics in the rehabilitation of veterans. In Raj Mitra (Ed), Principles of Rehabilitation Medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Griffin, J. M., Friedemann-Sánchez, G., Carlson, K. F., Jensen, A. C., Gravely, A., Taylor, B. C., Phelan, S.M., Wilder Schaaf, K., Ceperich, S.D., & Van Houtven, C. H. (2014). Resources and Coping Strategies Among Caregivers of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Veterans with Polytrauma and Traumatic Brain Injury. In Military Deployment and its Consequences for Families (pp. 259-280). Springer New York.

Wilder Schaaf, K., Artman, L., Peberdy, M.A., Walker, W.C., Ornato, J.P., Gossip, M., & Kreutzer, J.S. (2013). Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD Following Cardiac Arrest: A Review of the Literature. Resuscitation, 84(7), 873-877.

Strom, T., Leskela, J., Possis, E., Thuras, P., Leuty, M.E, Doane, B.M, Wilder Schaaf, K., & Rosensweig, L. (2013). Cognitive-behavioral group treatment for driving-related anger, aggression, and risky driving in combat veteran: A pilot study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26(3), 405-408.

Wilder Schaaf, K., Kreutzer, J., Danish, S., Pickett, T., Rybarczyk, B., & Nichols, M. (2013). Brief report: evaluating needs of military and veterans’ families in a polytrauma setting. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58(1), 106-110.

Flores, L. Arango-Lasprilla, J.C., Deng, X.; Wilder Schaaf, K., De los Reyes Aragon, C.J., Quijano, M.C., & Kreutzer, J.S. (2012). Factors associated with depression and burden in Spanish speaking caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury. Neurorehabilitation, 31, 443-452.

Meis, L. A., Wilder Schaaf, K., Polusny, M. A., Erbes, C. R., & Miron, L. (2012). Interest in partner-involved services among veterans seeking mental health care from a VA PTSD clinic. Psychological Trauma: Theory Research, Practice, and Policy.

Godwin, E.E., Wilder Schaaf, K., & Kreutzer, J.S. (2012). Practical approaches to family assessment and intervention. In N. Zasler, D. Katz, & R. Zafonte (eds.), Brain Injury Medicine, Second Edition. New York: Demos Medical Publishing.

Hsu, N.H., Godwin, E.E., Wilder Schaaf, K., Smith, S.W., Taylor, L.A., & Kreutzer, J.S. (2012). Neuropsychological assessment and treatment planning. In N. Zasler, D. Katz, & R. Zafonte (eds.), Brain Injury Medicine, Second Edition. New York: Demos Medical Publishing.

Carlson, K.F., Meis, L.A., Jensen, A.C., Simon, A.B, Gravely, A.A., Taylor, B.C., Bangerter, A., Wilder Schaaf, K., Griffin, J.M. (2012). Caregivers reports of subsequent injuries among veterans with traumatic brain injury after discharge from inpatient polytrauma rehabilitation programs. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 27(1), 14-25.

Danish, S. J., Forneris, T., & Wilder Schaaf, K. (2007). Counseling Psychology and Culturally Competent Health Care: Limitations and Challenges. The Counseling Psychologist.


Wilder Schaaf, K. & Clark, S.W. (2017, September). A Systematic Review of the Medical Decision Making Literature: Best Practices for Patient-Centered Capacity Evaluation. Poster session presented at Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit: Advances in the State of the Science and Best Practices

Wilder Schaaf, K. & Campbell, T. (2015, May). Assessing Decision Making Capacity in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program. Poster session presented at Polytrauma System of Care: New Perspectives in TBI Rehabilitation Conference. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lumpkin, J.M. & Wilder Schaaf, K. (2015, April). Assessing Medical and Financial Decision Making in Older Adults. Paper Session presented at the Southern Gerontological Society Annual Conference.

Wilder Schaaf, K. & Lumpkin, J.M. (2014, November). Decision Making Capacity. Polytrauma Grand Rounds: McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Wilder Schaaf, K., Kreutzer, J.S., Pickett, T.C., Rybarczyk, B.D., Nichols, M.G. (2012, February). Preliminary Quantitative Investigation of Military and Veteran Family Needs in a Polytrauma Center. Poster session presented at Rehabilitation Psychology Conference.

Wilder Schaaf, K. (2011, February). PTSD: Assessment and Diagnosis. Invited Lecture: Center for Psychological Services and Development, Richmond, VA.

Wilder Schaaf, K. (2011, February). Understanding Family Needs and Family Centered Care in Polytrauma Rehabilitation Settings. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology Grand Rounds, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Wilder Schaaf, K., Meis, L.A., Erbes, C.R., Polusny, M.A., Miron, L.R., Marut. E, Bradel, L. (2010, November). Interest in Partner-Involved Services Among Veterans Seeking Mental Health Treatment from a VA PTSD Clinic. Poster session presented at Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Wilder Schaaf, K. (2010, July). Understanding Family Needs and Family Centered Care in Rehabilitation Populations. Mental Health Grand Rounds: Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Griffin, JM, Friedemann-Sanchez, G, Jensen, A, vanRyn, M, Carlson, K, VanHoutven C, Taylor, B, Phelan, S, Gravely, A, Clothier, B, Levison, D, Meis, L, Wilder Schaaf, K., Pickett, T, Ceperich, S, Poole, J, Thors, C. Polytrauma and Blast Related Injuries: Challenges for Families after VA Inpatient Rehabilitation. Poster presentation at: 2010 VA Conference Supporting Veterans at Home: Caring for Those Who Care. 2010 Jul 13-15; Arlington, VA.

Wilder Schaaf, K., Danish, S. J., Wallace, I. J., McClish, D., Westerberg, A. L., & Hoy, K. N. (2006, March).
Parents’ influence on adolescents’ self-efficacy to engage in health behaviors. Poster session presented at the Women’s Health Day, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Wilder, K., Epstein, N., & Werlinich, C. (2003, October). Conflict, Communication, and Intimacy in Couples. Poster Session presented at American Association of Marital and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Long Beach, CA.

Wilder, K. & Epstein, N. (2003, November). Conflict-Resolution Communication Behaviors: Does It Reflect Levels of Psychological and Physical Abuse in Couples’ Relationships. Part of Symposium: Assessment of Psychological and Physical Abuse in Couples: What We Can Learn Through Different Methods at Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy Annual Conference (formerly AABT now ABCT), Boston, MA.

Epstein, N., Werlinich, C., & Wilder, K. (2003, November). Cognitive and Affective Predictors of Partners’ Behavioral and Emotional Responses to a Conflict-Resolution Discussion. Poster Session present at Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy Annual Conference (formerly AABT now ABCT), Boston, MA.

Information, services, messages, and other content on this website are provided for educational and informational purposes only. No warranty is expressed or implied with respect to health care, treatments, or any other matter. Certain links included on this website are links to other websites owned by third-parties. Dr. Kathryn Wilder-Schaaf is not affiliated with, does not endorse, and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, services, or other materials appearing on any linked website.