Don & Debra

Don and Debra are a team both at home and at the office. Married for thirty-five years, they’ve simultaneously served as directors of the Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara. They oversee the work of fourteen therapists seeing couples and families, continue to train hundreds of therapists in integrative models of therapy, and present workshops for parents and professionals on a variety of topics related to families. They are also each seen as experts on additional topics—Debra on legal and ethical issues in psychotherapy, and Don, on children’s character, social and emotional development. He has presented workshops for the National Association of Education for Young Children, the California Psychological Association, the California Kindergarten Association and the Character Education Partnership. They are invited favorites as presenters at Cottage Hospital Psychiatric Grand Rounds, and provide consultation to physicians, schools, non-profits, parent groups, churches, mental health associations, attorneys, prisons and juvenile justice facilities.



Debra and Don have provided advanced training and supervision to psychologists, social workers, and MFTs for over 30 years. They offer input on a one-time basis or through ongoing support and supervision. For help with challenging cases, they provide supervision in person, by phone, or Skype. They are also available to provide live supervision or review video or audiotapes of sessions .


Debra and Don are available for on-site case consultation to principals, teachers and school counselors, and for liaison work between schools, students and parents.

Don also provides training for elementary school teachers. His specialty is in the use of award-winning, research-based songs and activities to boost character, social and emotional skills.


Don and Debra are available to consult with non-profit counseling centers, medical, legal and law enforcement agencies, private businesses and individuals. Areas of expertise include systems analysis, law and ethics, on-site case consultation, and training in specific topics regarding work with couples, families, teens and children.

Advanced Topics in Integrative Psychotherapy:

Debra and Don provide quarterly clinical training seminars with CEU’s for LSCW’s and MFT’s sponsored by The Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara. Each session explores a different clinical topic such as Working with Resistant Couples, The Use of Paradox, Treating Difficult Adolescents, Law and Ethics, etc. The format includes reading material, lecture, discussion and when appropriate, videotaped material. They  offer 1 to 4 hour lectures at schools, meetings or other mental health agencies.

1 & 2 Day Workshops

Don and Debra are available for one and two-day workshops, either as co-presenters or as individuals. Workshops are offered to either the general public or to mental health professionals. 

Professional Topics include:

  • Assessment Tools for Couples and Families
  • What Therapists Should Know about Evidence-Based Treatment
  • The Role of Emotion in Change
  • 10 Keys to a Happy Loving Family
  • Treating Kids with Anxiety  and Phobias
  • Treating Kids with Behavioral Challenges
  • Integrating Spiritual Perspectives into Therapy
  • Contributions of Positive Psychology
  • The Use of Paradox and Innovative Techniques for Resistant Clients

Topics for General Audiences include:

  • 10 Keys to a Happy Loving Family
  • Setting Limits from Toddlers to Teens
  • Closeness and Communication in Intimate Relationships
  • Songs and Activities to Boost Character, Social and Emotional Skills
  • Assessing Your Relationship Strengths and Weaknesses
  • How to Grow Past Old Wounds and Trauma
  • Confronting the Challenges of Technology with 21st Century Kids