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Executive Director


Dr. Joan E. Winter is the current director of the Family Institute of Virginia which she founded in 1977. She is a nationally known therapist who has worked and trained with internationally recognized authorities such as Milton Erickson, Murray Bowen, Virginia Satir and Carl Whitaker. Noteworthy accomplishments and assignments include: Director, Family Therapy Research Project, Virginia Division of Justice and Crime Prevention; Distinguished contribution Award, Virginia Department of Corrections; and director of programs for delinquents within the Department of Corrections. She lectures on the subjects of marital therapy, family therapy, and incest. Her writings include extensive discourse on the practice and evaluation of family therapy. 

Additionally, Dr. Winter is on the Clinical faculty of the VCU Medical College of Virginia Department of Psychiatry where she supervises residents in family therapy. She also serves as a consultant to many organizations, both in the non-profit and private sectors. Her credentials include licenses in social work and Marriage and Family Therapy as well as Approved Supervisor Status for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.


Clinical Director

Dr. Grace Hadeed has served as the Clinical Director of The Family Institute of Virginia since 1986.

She provides family, marital, group as well as individual therapy, while at the same time supervising and serving as the administrator of the staff. Dr. Hadeed, together with Dr. Joan Winter, Director of the Family Institute of Virginia and Dr. Harry Aponte, are also involved with leading on-going instruction that provides training for therapists and professionals. In addition, Dr. Hadeed serves as a consultant for family owned businesses, closely held corporations and non-profit organizations.Since 1978, Dr. Hadeed has also served as a member of the clinical faculty at the VCU Medical College of Virginia, Department of Psychiatry, supervising residents in family therapy. Dr. Hadeed’s career began at the Community Residential Care for Adolescents with the Virginia Department of Corrections. In that position, she had a myriad of tasks including administration of two residential treatment programs for delinquents, clinical supervision, administration of budgets, program development, community and public relations and grant writing. Dr. Grace Hadeed is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.


Senior Mental Health Practicioner 


Dr. Steven C. Wolf, Ph.D. has been a mental health practitioner for over 40 years. He has worked as a therapist with children, adolescents, adults and families experiencing various relationship difficulties including interpersonal, family, and other complicated issues.  He has also served as a program developer, consultant, and a program administrator in a variety of programs at the state level. Dr. Wolf has been a regular invited presenter at both national and international conferences on the subject of interpersonal violence. Between 1999 and 2017, Dr. Wolf was the Director of the Office of Sexually Violent Predator Services (OSVP) for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. In that position he designed, implemented, and guided the growth of Virginia’s statewide SVP services. Dr. Wolf left his state position in 2017. He began working with the Family Institute of Virginia in 2018 in a private practice setting working with a with a variety of clients.



Resident Therapist

Beth has been a Resident Therapist with the Family Institute of Virginia for over a year.  Her clinical practice focuses on individual, couples, and family therapy.  Drawing from her diverse educational, professional and life experiences, Beth employs a collaborative, strengths-based approach to helping clients uncover their own strengths to healthy solutions.  She utilizes evidence based therapeutic modalities such as family systems, psychodynamic, attachment, and CBT.  Beth has experience working with mood disorders, trauma-related diagnoses, substance abuse, relationship issues, and other life challenges, as well as with TGD clients.

Before starting as a resident therapist, Beth worked in infectious diseases research programs overseas.  While in the public health field, she traveled the world, forging connections with a diverse range of people to solve complex health issues.  As a result, she honed an innate ability to connect with people from many different backgrounds.  This invaluable gift for making any one person feel comfortable, safe, and understood allows clients to share in a nonjudgmental space.    



Psychiatry, Clinical & Teaching Research

For the past 30 years, Dr. Robert O. Friedel has been the Chairman of Psychiatry for three major universities including: The Medical College of Virginia, University of Michigan and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was also the Vice Chairman of the University of Washington and a faculty member of Duke University. Additionally, a portion of his career was spent as the Medical Director of Charter Medical Corporation serving on the Board of Directors and as Senior Vice President. Thus, Dr. Friedel has both academic and real world business experience.His areas of expertise include adult and adolescent psychiatry, mental health care facility management, clinical and teaching research. Along with the many publications he has authored, he was the founding editor of Current Psychiatry Reports and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.


Family Therapist & Trainer

Harry J. Aponte is internationally known as a family therapist and trainer. His work on the interaction between social context and family problems has had a profound effect on the conduct of family therapy. His skills in assessing individuals and families in the context of their community and social systems are models for his profession.He has served as a clinician, supervisor, teacher, and administrator at the Menninger Foundation and the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic in Pennsylvania. Mr. Aponte operates a private practice in Philadelphia and serves as a consultant to mental health professionals, agencies, and community organizations throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe.




Office Manager

Martha has over two decades of experience in healthcare administration and brings a wealth of knowledge for efficient operations to our team and clients. Since joining the Family Institute of Virginia in 2021, Martha has spearheaded our streamlined processes and organizational standards. She has been instrumental to ensuring that our operations run smoothly, and clients receive high-quality care.


Beyond her professional accomplishments, Martha holds a B.S. in Education from James Madison University. Her approachability creates a welcoming atmosphere for both staff and clients alike, and her dedication to the success of FIV is evident in everything she does.


Office Administrator

Throughout her remarkable 40 year career, Merle has worked as a caregiver for clients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and as an administrator. Her extensive experience and background enable her to handle a wide range of responsibilities.


At the heart of Merle's skillset is her unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. She is certified in Physician Billing ICD-9 & CPT Coding and is bilingual in English and Spanish. These qualifications underscore her commitment to staying current with industry best practices and emerging technology.

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