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What Makes Us Special

Your  LifePath.....


    Our lives can take turns and directions that are unanticipated and unplanned.  Even for those who had carefully thought through goals, events can impact us in ways that alter our plans.  For others, envisioning one's future can be confusing and overwhelming.  We can face challenges as we work to enhance our careers and/or deal with compromised or undeveloped personal relationships. Establishing a life plan requires understanding one's own self - recognizing one's strengths, capabilities, desires and potentials as well as apprehensions, weaknesses or fears.  To act on one's plan requires understanding viable options, an optimistically focused inner "drive" and the self-confidence to take on those "reasonable" risks calculated to bring success and fulfillment.


    The coaches of  LifePath recognize you for who you are, but more so, for the potential you have to achieve.  THE most experienced and credentialed life coaching practice in the area, LifePath has offices in Richmond and Charlottesville.  It offers unsurpassed coaching to individuals seeking to determine and act on their desired life goals.  Our award-winning coaches are exceptionally knowledgeable with over 100 years of combined experience in health care administration, coaching and clinical appointments.  Through careful listening and inquiry, we identify your circumstances, interests, needs and desires, then work with you to develop the self-image, confidence and motivation needed to establish your path toward a fulfilling life.  Issues that may be actual or perceived barriers to your success are explored with the intent of revealing the means of overcoming them and enjoyably progressing on with your life.  Further, as each of the LifePath coaches' extensive administrative experience includes having hired personnel at all levels, they are very familiar with the employment search process, effective resumes, maintaining positive work relationships and particularly what determines a winning job interview.  Our clients consistently report their coaching as a positive, focused, motivating and personally uplifting experience.


The LifePath Professionals


Client recommendation....

When I decided to see Dr. Spitzer for career counseling, I figured he would give some generic advice during a couple of sessions.  I received so much more than generic advice.  Sessions with Dr Spitzer offer professional insight and guidance that is current and relevant in getting along and getting ahead.  As I continue my upward professional track I will continue to seek the services of Dr. Spitzer and I highly recommend him for anyone wanting sound, solid and beneficial guidance to succeed in their industry."

Carmen P. (MSN - Nursing Administrator/Educator)

Dr. William J. Spitzer is a nationally recognized and well-published professional with over forty years of leadership experience in major health care/trauma systems, university teaching, coaching, counseling and consulting.  His coaching focuses on both career and personal life transitions, with clients across all age ranges and situations.


Dr. Spitzer's academic degrees were awarded by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and include a PhD in Social Work and Business Administration, Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) and dual Bachelors degrees in Psychology (BS) and Sociology (BA).  He holds professional credentials as a Clinical Diplomate in Social Work (DCSW), Certified Life Coach (CLC), as a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) and as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oregon.  Dr. Spitzer is the recipient of eighteen national, state and organizational awards for practice as well as for university teaching and professional association leadership, including as President of the Oregon, Virginia and Illinois (Central District) Societies for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, as an officer/board member of the Virginia, Oregon and Central Michigan Chapters of the National Association of Social Workers and on the National  Board of the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care.  In 2022, Dr. Spitzer was honored with induction into the "Pioneer Group" of the National Association of Social Workers for lifetime contributions regarded as having advanced overall social work practice in the United States.


He has chaired 20 professional conferences, presented nationally and internationally, served on publication editorial boards and formal university re-accreditation committees.  While Director of Social Work Services at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University Hospitals, Dr. Spitzer's department was honored as "Best Patient Care Department" by health system administration, distinguished with 17 awards in 6 years.  At Oregon Health Sciences University Hospitals, under Dr. Spitzer's leadership, the Department of Social Work Services received two state health care program awards and commendations from both hospital and State of Oregon administrations.  Dr. Spitzer's Illinois health system department operations were featured in two national business conferences.  Among his 58 publications, Dr. Spitzer's textbook Social Work Practice in Health Care: Advanced Approaches and Emerging Trends (Sage, 2016) was adopted for use by 26 universities and colleges.


Personal Statement:  The satisfaction of coaching arises from being able to successfully engage clients to address opportunities and challenges in their lives. . .to empower them to achieve their potential and realize greater fulfillment in their personal and professional experiences.  Working with each client as a "team", my approach is one of being realistic, understanding, supportive and encouraging, overcoming barriers and moving forward on positive life goals.   Clients set the pace, determine their priorities with guidance and then establish practical, achievable plans to better their lives.

What colleagues say....

“I have known Dr. William 'Bill' Spitzer both personally and professionally for over 35 years. During this time, I learned first-hand of Bill's ability to communicate well across all professional levels, often patiently explaining complicated issues and guiding members through various business anomalies. Bill's depth and breadth of experience extends across many subjects, and leverages his expertise well. A "benchmark" professional, Bill demonstrates passion for his work, analyzing short and long-term goals and strategies. He is well respected by his colleagues.

James Kesaris, Senior Finance and Operations Executive

San Diego, California

I have known Dr. Spitzer for over 35 years.  I have found him to be wise beyond his years when I worked for him.  He was/is a mentor whose advice continues to serve me well to this day.  It is with great pleasure that I share my knowledge of him.  He is an accomplished author, speaker and leader.  The consummate professional, Dr. Spitzer is visionary, dedicated and knowledgeable.  I have appreciated his friendship every bit as much as his guidance all of these years.

Judy K. Kaplan, ACSW, LCSW, CEAP - Clinical Social Worker / Therapist

Houston, Texas

“Over the last 21 years I have had the honor to interact with Dr. Spitzer on a professional and personal level. In my 27+ years as a healthcare professional and hospital CEO responsible for hiring executive management, I have not encountered any individual that possesses more passion, love for the job and desire to make a difference than Dr. Spitzer. This attribute is not one that can be taught. You either have it or you do not. Dr. Spitzer most certainly has it. His energy and genuine enthusiasm towards working through problems, creating new ideas, working with and leading people is infectious to those around him.”

Jeff Ruskan, PT/EMBA - President 

 Select Medical Inpatient Rehabilitation Division

Richmond, Virginia

“It is my pleasure to recommend Dr. William Spitzer.  I have known him for 13 years when we met during an interview.  I was impressed with Dr. Spitzer, who was very personable and exuded so much enthusiasm and energy.  Dr. Spitzer and I worked closely on several projects and I was further impressed by not only his commitment and vision, but also his interpersonal skills, which he used expertly to get the job done. He modeled and inspired teamwork, he listened carefully to his colleagues and those he supervised, always looking for concrete ways to address problems and issues.  Dr. Spitzer’s greatest strength, however, resides in his sense of humor and optimism and he uses these skillfully to bring out the best in others.  He encourages others to discover how they can best contribute while improving their knowledge base and skills at every opportunity.  This unique perspective, combined with his many abilities, makes him respected and well-liked by nearly everyone.  Dr. Spitzer is a true leader and I have learned a great deal from him.  I can say that he is a kind, trustworthy person of high character and great depth.”

Dr. Andrew Sharp, PhD - University of Richmond

Richmond, Virginia


Brenda Wilson, LCSW, CEAP, GCM, CLC maintains the LifePath practice in the Charlottesville Virginia area. She brings valuable insight and guidance based on her extensive professional experience in management, Employee Assistance, Eldercare Consultation, counseling and coaching. Brenda has served as Manager of Social Work Services at UVA Medical Center and Director of the Employee Assistance Program at the University of Virginia.  She was a Virginia state professional association president, President of the Employee Assistance Professionals in Higher Education national organization and has provided considerable individual, family and group counseling for over 30 years. She gained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a Virginia LCSW, Certified Employee Assistance Professional, Geriatric Care Manager and is nationally certified as a Life Coach.

Brenda’s clinical specialties include workplace stress and change; eldercare consultation for practical and resource concerns as well as the conversations and planning; planning for one’s own long term care;   contending with disability issues;

becoming suddenly single; empty nest adjustment, non-financial retirement planning; and adult transgender transition both at work and in the family, as well as other areas. Seminars on caregiving, stress management, and other topics are available and Brenda is comfortable providing zoom consultation and coaching sessions.

Personal Statement: My work with employees and their families has shaped my belief that all of us want to be happy and productive. No one wants distress but while engaging in life and relationships, we will have adversity or distress or confusion and at times feel stuck emotionally. What you will find in working with me is that life’s transitions and stuck spots can be opportunities for growth as well.  My approach is simple yet well founded in theory, years of clinical experience and my own life path: I believe the answers are within you and my role is to help you find the answers that suit your situation and need. We will do that together, through a counseling or coaching process. You will find me practical, providing feedback when desired yet I’m warm and sincere. I look forward to hearing from you.

What colleagues say....

“I have known Brenda Wilson for 28 years, working for her and with her for many of them. She is an excellent, caring clinician whose straightforward manner includes warmth, support, structure and problem solving. Brenda has a head for the practicalities of life and with years of professional and personal experience under her belt, she can help others encounter and move through transitions with confidence. Whether coaching or counseling, Brenda is skillful and thoughtful. She is the real deal and can help anyone explore, problem-solve, plan and take steps to help themselves and their families. If you are motivated to explore and improve your situation, she can help. Brenda has excellent experience in caregiving, eldercare, midlife transitions, separation and divorce, retirement and work life balance issues. She is bias-conscious and has been an important ally to the LGBTQ community. I heartily endorse Brenda as a life coach and counselor.”

Alan Cohn, LCSW, BCD

Director, UVA Faculty & Employee Assistance – Retired

“Having known Brenda personally and professionally for the last 30 years, I have found her extensive knowledge in the arenas of life and work to be incredibly astute. She understands that life has it’s twists and turns and that all of us want to be our best each and every day but sometimes need guidance or mentoring to reframe a problem or move out of a stuck spot. At times like this, Brenda’s comments, suggestions and guidance are thoughtful and inspiring. She is kind, helpful, honest and demonstrates in her work that she understands the human condition. Brenda is also versatile with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a tool and framework for individual, couple and team dynamics and communicates the assessments in a fun and easily understandable manner. She has excellent organizational and managerial experience and can assist individuals in their work and life transitions.”

Susan Donovan Cathcart

Director, EURITA Project, International Rescue Committee


Paul Stolzenbach, LCSW, CLC has a distinguished professional health care leadership career extending over forty years, including directorships and clinical appointments in hospital systems and clinics in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as serving as Clinical Supervisor for case management.

Holding a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Paul is certified as a Life Coach by the

Orange County California Institute of Life Coaching and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Paul has held numerous positions in the Virginia Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care and presented at national and state professional conferences. His coaching interests extend from personal, family and marital relationship dynamics to those of employment, aging, special needs family members and military service/civilian sector transitions. A military combat veteran, Paul is married with two children.

What colleagues say....

“I have known Paul for over ten years and in my capacity as a life coach, psychotherapist and clinical social worker for over twenty years, I readily recommend him as demonstrating the skill and compassionate sensitivity of the consummate professional. Paul is easy to work with. He understands the uniqueness of people and can knowledgeably sort through complex personal and work situations. His work with a broad array of individual situations, along with his experience in many professional contexts give him the keen perspective to guide clients to make sound, fulfilling life decisions. I have found Paul’s life coaching collaboration to be truly outstanding and have nothing but the highest regard for his abilities.” 

CJ Kirk, Life Coach

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