Meet Our Gambling Addiction Treatment Team
The treatment team at Williamsville Wellness is comprised of licensed or certified professionals to treat the whole person including physicians, consulting psychiatrists, psychologists, addiction specialists (gambling, alcohol, and other drugs), counselors, social workers, art therapists registered nurses, personal trainers, life coaches, massage therapists, resident managers, and chefs. Our ancillary staff demonstrates the recovery mission of Williamsville Wellness in their interaction with clients and their families. We have a 1 to 1 ratio of therapists to patients, unheard of in the treatment field.
Click on the name to read the Bio.
Meet Our Staff
As a person who was lucky enough to find recovery for his own addictions, Williamsville Wellness founder and executive director Robert W. Cabaniss Jr. has dedicated his resources, experience, time, and energy to bring together the best elements of treatment found under one roof to help others.
With a noted clinical psychiatrist known for expertise in addiction treatment, Cabaniss developed an Advanced Synergized Treatment method that combines five different therapeutic modalities, supported by a highly trained staff of psychologists, counselors, and social workers. No other treatment center in the U.S. offers this program.
A graduate of the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, Cabaniss began a career in real estate before becoming involved in the wholesale beverage industry. Cabaniss went on to expand his business, opening microbreweries in Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and St. Martin, FWI.
Battling both gambling and alcohol addictions for over three years led to the closing and sale of the businesses in 2005. Having conquered his alcohol addiction in 2002, in 2006 he started treatment to stop his gambling addiction.
In 2007, Cabaniss opened Williamsville Wellness in his familyâ€™s historic home outside Richmond, Va. In the four years since that time, people seeking to break the bonds of addiction have found Williamsville Wellness to be a fulfilling, whole health experience, treating both mind and body.
Cabaniss is passionate about helping individuals overcome the darkness that addiction brings to themselves, their loved ones, and their friends.
Dr. Lyndon Aguiar comes to Williamsville Wellness with over 20 years experience in the fields of counseling and psychotherapy, clinical assessment, teaching / training, research, public health administration and management, leadership, and policy development. He is a licensed clinical psychologist. He held a professional faculty position at University Counseling Services at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) prior to his appointment at Williamsville Wellness. At VCU, he served as outreach coordinator and he led and participated in several university-wide organizations and committees, including the Faculty Senate, Provost’s task force, Division of Student Affairs committees, and others. During his eight years at VCU, Dr. Aguiar provided individual, group, and couples therapy. He supervised the clinical work of pre-doctoral interns and advanced graduate students in counseling. He also taught seminars and workshops on depression management, anxiety management, culture shock and adjustment, multicultural counseling, gender issues, ADHD treatment, and clinical assessment. He earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from New York University (an APA-accredited program), where he also taught courses in counseling skills, research, and practice. Dr. Aguiar completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Miami Counseling Center (an APA-accredited program). He also holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. He has presented at national conferences on the topic of mental health outreach and he has presented his research at APA national conventions. Dr. Aguiar has also published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and other media. He uses an integrative approach to therapy (schema therapy) that is client centered and interpersonal in nature. Dr. Aguiar’s clinical interests and skills are in the areas of depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, addiction, personality, and multicultural counseling.
Dr. Brown is a residency trained psychiatrist who has been licensed to practice medicine since 2000. He has a solo practice outside of Richmond, Virginia, and sees patients every week as part of the treatment team here at Williamsville. His areas of interest include the treatment of addictions, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.
Dr. Brown attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, and residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. He also holds a bachelors degree in Biology from Florida State University. Dr. Brown is a member of the American Medical Association and the Medical Society of Virginia.
Michael Cocchiola is a recent graduate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), where he earned his B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. After graduating, Michael decided to follow his true passions of nutrition and exercise. He earned his Personal Trainer Certification from NESTA (National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association), which is a NCCA nationally accredited program. After becoming certified, Michael continues to earn CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) to further his knowledge about optimal body composition and lifestyle changes. His most current CEU is Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist, which deals with lifestyle / behavioral changes and their effect on maintaining a healthy weight. In addition to his education, Michael also has a personal blog, where he writes articles, tracks workouts/nutrition and provides insight on the most up to date nutritional/exercise information.
Until 1994 Richard was the program director for all child and adolescent services at Charter Westbrook Hospital. Currently he is the program manager of Emergency Mental Health Services for Henrico County and manages the mental health and outreach services to Police and Fire Department of Henrico County. Richard has maintained a small private practice for 22 years in the Richmond Area seeing adults and children. Richard has specialization is working with trauma, emergency mental health, and men’s issues
Ellen Hart is the Family Therapist at Williamsville Wellness. Ellen’s passion for family therapy began as she provided family services to those affected by a cancer diagnosis at the ASK Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Clinic of VCU-MCV Hospital. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University she received many academic honors, including the highest honor given scholars university wide, Phi Kappa Phi. After graduation, her professional training continued at Virginia Commonwealth University where she provided individual and group counseling to young adults, medical students, and graduate school candidates, most recently on the Medical College of Virginia campus. Ellen was a contributor to the textbook The Recovery Philosophy and Direct Social Work Practice by Joseph Walsh, PhD, and completed research at the Farley Treatment Center for Addiction about therapeutic factors that predict positive treatment outcomes for residential clients with addictive behaviors. Ellen states “Family interactions, both good and bad, touch on the core of who we are as human beings. Serving a client in that vulnerable space in therapy is a privilege and an honor.” She is the mother of four children, three of which are grown, and when she isn’t at Williamsville or with her family she enjoys attending live music, camping and hanging out at coffee shops.
A native of Virginia, William “Billy” Hoffman spent many years battling his own addictions to drugs, alcohol, and compulsive gambling.
After discovering the solutions to his addictive behavior he made the decision to dedicate his life to helping others find the answers they need to develop a healthy and productive life WITHOUT ADDICTION.
Billy joined Williamsville Wellness in 2007 and helps the clients uncover what motivates, drives, and enhances their quality of life.
Hoffman holds a CSAC-A with the Virginia Board of Counseling. In addition, Billy is a Certified Professional Coach and Certified Addictions Coach.
Ralston J. Mims is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and he holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Washington, DC (APA accredited). His therapeutic orientation is integrative and includes psychodynamic and family systems elements with a focus on cognitive-behavioral theory. He completed his internship and post-doctoral residency at Associated Clinical Services in Springfield, Virginia. There he provided individual, couples, and family therapy in addition to conducting psychological assessments. At Williamsville Wellness he continues to conduct psychological assessments while also providing individual and group therapy. His professional interests include: anxiety disorders, attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders, dual diagnosis, and impulse-control disorders.
Emily is a licensed clinical psychologist here at Williamsville Wellness, involved in providing psychotherapy and conducting psychological assessments. Before becoming a full-time staff member, Emily completed her pre-doctoral internship at Williamsville Wellness Center. She has a Doctorate in Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Washington, DC (an APA accredited program). Her professional interests include: dual diagnosis; developmental processes, especially adolescence and emerging adulthood; trauma; anxiety; attachment and relationships; and women’s issues. Emily’s style of therapy tends to be an integration of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral concepts to fit the individual needs of the patient.
Dr. Sandra Rasmussen brings 40 years of family therapy experience to Williamsville Wellness. Many of those years were spent counseling gamblers seeking to break their addiction and helping their families better understand and cope with addiction. She is the author of Addiction Treatment.
She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice from Harvard. In addition to being a Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) in alcohol, other drugs and gambling, she is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Registered Nurse (RN).
A member of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, Dr. Rasmussen teaches in graduate programs for counseling, psychology, and public health. She serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Social Change and the Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Services.
David is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 17 years of experience in counseling at
both inpatient and outpatient settings. David has served in past positions of Clinical Director,
Assistant Clinical Director, Family therapist and Primary therapist at Remuda Ranch Treatment
Center for 15 years, a nationally recognized inpatient treatment center and leader in the
treatment of Eating and Anxiety disorders.
David specializes in Eating and Anxiety disorders, individual, marriage and family systems
therapy, trauma recovery, addictions, depression and adjustment disorders. He has worked
with over 500 clients and their families, ages 8 and above and has supervised both doctoral and
masters’ level therapists. He has taught counseling professionals at numerous conferences
across the U.S and into Canada, and trained students at graduate schools in Massachusetts
David earned his Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Gordon Conwell Theological
seminary and his Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Southern Maine.
Todd is the art therapist at Williamsville Wellness. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Longwood University and his Master’s degree in Art Therapy from The George Washington University. Todd comes to Williamsville Wellness with a wealth of experience practicing art therapy with various populations, including adults living with HIV, adolescents suffering from emotional and behavioral disturbances, children on the Autism spectrum, as well as children undergoing treatment for cancer in India. He practices a client-centered and existential approach to therapy, and he also has training in trauma treatment. As an artist, Todd is interested in several modalities, such as painting, drawing/illustration, bookmaking, stained glass, and found object art.
Dr. James E. Thompson has been involved in addiction medicine since his days as a resident physician at MCV. He has been on the board of directors for multiple non-profit treatment centers as well as in private addiction practice. He was awarded the Joel Hernandez as part of the McShin Foundation for his involvement in advocating for addiction treatment in the state of Virginia and his work with the state legislation in funding community based addiction treatment. He is board certified in Internal Medicine as well as Addiction Medicine. He is a California native, lives in Richmond with his wife and three daughters.
Lisa has been with Williamsville Wellness since 2010. She brings a diverse background of experience, including: Medical Office & Health Information Management, Multi-Unit Management and Financial Practicality. She attended the University of Alaska, Anchorage and is a graduate of Alaska Computer Institute, Medical Office Specialist. She is always available to assist patients and their families with questions about the programs that are offered at Williamsville, insurance inquiry’s and discussion of financial options to facilitate admission to Williamsville.
You can contact her directly at 804-559-9612 or 804-559-9959 x504