A picture of Vanessa Schaeffer, the Gainesville Psychologist.

Dr.Vanessa Schaeffer

About ME

Hello! I'm Dr.Vanessa Schaeffer.

I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in working with older adults and the people who love and care for them.

I see clients via Telemental Health, so you can access my services from the comfort of your own home. Research shows these sessions are just as effective as in-person care, with easier access.

As a Geropsychologist (someone who specializes in treating adults age 65 and older), I am part of a very small group of providers with this focus.  In fact, only 1.2% of Psychologists describe their specialty as Geropsychology.  In order to be able to meet the needs of this population, most of my work with you will be time limited.  This means that we will identify your goals, and get right to work, and our time together will not be indefinite, rather, we will use our time well as there will be a limited number of sessions for our work.  

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”
Robert Frost
Are you feeling alone?

Let's Work Together

My goal is to help you navigate, manage, heal, or move through a challenge, answer any questions , and take a journey – whether you are an older adult or someone who is a caregiver for one.

After 25 years of practicing psychology in my own private practice, as well as in hospitals and medical systems, with people of all ages, I decided to dedicate my work entirely to serving individuals aged 65 and older as well as to their caregivers. I am grateful to be able to serve this amazing and deserving population with a specific focus on all issues related to aging – whether that is how to thrive in these years, or how to survive the specific challenges that can emerge in this stage of life.

Here’s why I made this career change. I’m the only child of parents that I love very much and a few years ago I found my life interrupted in a very unexpected way. In October of 2018, my mother underwent a medical procedure that revealed she had Stage IV cancer. I traveled to be with her after her extensive surgery. Future plans to spend time with my mom became plans to help her navigate the final stage of her life.

I accompanied my mom as she transitioned from the hospital, to physical rehabilitation, and very quickly to a dedicated hospice facility. My mom never returned to her home after that first medical procedure. She passed away on December 31, 2018, a mere 75 days after her diagnosis.  It was the help, support and love of my village that got me through these challenging and difficult days. 

What I know

Here’s what I learned from being a caregiver and decision maker in the last months of my mother’s life:

"Aging is the solution, and not the problem."
Marc Agronin, MD