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About Don MacMannis, Ph.D & Debra Manchester-MacMannis, MSW

Don MacMannis, Ph.D. and Debra Manchester MacMannis, M.S.W. are a team both at home and at the office. Married for more than thirty years and parents of two sons, they are psychotherapists who have simultaneously served as directors of the Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara. In addition to nationwide lectures on families, they have provided postgraduate training to hundreds of therapists.

Are You Tending Your Garden of Love?

"Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing." -Jim Rohn The wish for a deep sense of connection and commitment to others is universal. Ask people what is most important to them and their first answer is always [...]

Celebrating the Essence of Thanksgiving

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. -Tecumseh, Shawnee leader Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every day had a little bit [...]

By | 2017-12-18T19:28:51+00:00 November 21st, 2017|Categories: Holidays, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Communication: 5 Simple Tips

We're constantly shocked by just how easy it is to hurt or be hurt by our loved ones due to problems with communication. Communication is supposed to consist of both talking and listening in somewhat equal measure. But regrettably, sometimes there is one but not the other. Sound familiar? In some families, everyone seems to [...]

Family Rules

Rules provide a road map for helping family members get along with each other and with others in the outside world. They fall into several basic categories. First and most crucial are rules that keep children and teens safe. Protection is the reason for teaching small children not to get in cars with strangers and [...]

Learning to Love Reading

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” -Dr. Seuss in I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! One of the most important ways to get kids to read is to read aloud to them, starting with when they are toddlers. In a [...]

By | 2017-07-06T17:25:32+00:00 February 5th, 2016|Categories: families, parenting, reading|0 Comments

Too Permissive With Your Kids?

Family researchers have known for years that healthy families create environments that balance large doses of love and warmth with sufficient firmness and structure. Kids thrive in these settings. Without love and warmth they tend to feel abandoned and resentful, and without firmness and structure they will often become anxious and/or have behavior problems. Over the [...]

The Truth About Spanking

The vast majority of psychologists, researchers and parenting experts have come to the same conclusion: spanking and other forms of physical discipline can pose serious risks to children. The American Psychological Association discourages the use of any form of physical punishment, seeing it as both harmful and unnecessary. Thirty countries in the world have banned physical [...]