Clinical Work with Children and Families


As a Clinical-Child Psychologist in private practice with over 50 years of experience, he specializes in the full range of infant, child and adolescent psychological, behavioral, emotional, and psycho-educational problems. He has had a long-time sub-specialty of consulting with parents and teachers on the unique issues of Special Needs Children, particularly those on the Autism Spectrum.

As a Family Therapist, he helps members of a family or of a step-family to more effectively deal with conflicts that naturally arise at certain periods in a family’s development.

As a Marital and Couple’s Therapist, his goal is to teach couples skills in problem-solving and conflict-management, so they are better able to negotiate daily marital issues that arise and enhance what is already good in their relationship.

As a Parenting Consultant, he efficiently helps parents to develop creative and effective strategies for more successfully managing the behavior of their children. These parenting action-plans can usually be developed and implemented within just a few consultation sessions. The creative approach that he takes goes beyond the usual approaches promoted in most parenting books on the market. It is based on the unique, individual differences of each particular child. He believes that effective parenting approaches must be tailor-made to the unique temperament characteristics of each child; a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting rarely is successful.

As a Relationship Clarification Counselor, informed by evidenced-based research and decades of working with couples, he facilitates reaching the important decision faced by couples who are unsure about whether to remain together or seek separation or divorce. This usually is completed in a single session or two.

Divorce Related Work

As Founder and Director of Family Mediation Service, Dr. Saposnek offers a range of services specifically related to families in transition.


As a Separation Counselor, he assists parents who choose to separate but remain married in structuring up a separation agreement that clarifies the role of each parent in a separated status. This is often helpful because, once a couple separates (either emotionally within the same household, or into two different residences), the implicit and explicit rules of the relationship or the marriage no longer necessarily apply. Thus, it is useful to detail new rules of engagement to minimize conflict over two different interpretations of how they are to relate to one another, and what their shared responsibilities will be for their children.

As a Divorce Counselor, he provides couples choosing to divorce with lots of information, appropriate resources, and assistance in selecting an optimal method for getting a low-conflict, low-cost divorce, He also provides a full, research-based, divorce education to inform parents on the expected consequences of divorce for their children and for themselves, and on best ways to protect and support their children while going through a divorce, and after.


As a Child Custody Mediator, he assists parents in creating and drafting a legally proper post-separation and post-divorce Parenting Plan. As past Director of the Family Court Services of Santa Cruz, he managed the family court services for 17 years and has intimate knowledge of the workings of family court and the legal system for family matters. Additionally, he has personally mediated over 6,000 child custody disputes, with a high success rate, in both the public and private sectors since 1977.


As a Co-Parenting Counselor, he assists parents in implementing their Parenting Plan with a minimum of conflict. It is very common for disagreements, both old (even years after a divorce!) and new, to arise between parents who are in process of, or who have already divorced. Once a judge signs a Marital Settlement Agreement (that includes a Parenting Plan), the parents are left on their own to implement the Parenting Plan. However, without professional guidance, this often results in parents turning on each other, creating increased parental conflict—which harms their children. Co-Parenting Counseling was designed to help parents work out their differences and make their Parenting Plan run more smoothly. This process focuses on clarifying areas of disagreement and teaching new and effective co-parenting communication skills (which are different from marital communications).

   *Please note that Dr. Saposnek does no evaluative work in divorce-related matters. This means that he does not conduct custody evaluations, does not advocate for, write letters in support of, or testify on behalf of one parent, and that all of his divorce-related roles are conducted within a strictly confidential format and protected from attorney subpoenas and disclosure to court-appointed custody evaluators and other personnel in Family Court.