If you are a new patient
If you are a new patient or have questions…
Writing about your family’s therapist on a public site (Yelp) takes a lot of courage, alas, for Ms. Deb (as our family affectionately calls her) you just have to…. Deb brings her heart and soul to her important job. She has become an integral part of our family, always bringing nonjudgmental insights and supportive coaching to guide us. Deb helps us understand that change comes only incrementally; she reminds us over time of the progress we’ve made when we don’t see it. Sometimes – despite her busy schedule – it feels like we’re her only clients. She brings enthusiasm and creativity to every session, often buying materials we need for programs we’re going to implement and proactively coordinating with other care providers if necessary. She bonds individually with every person – at their own level (we all are very fond of her). Finally, she helps us anticipate behavioral issues, preparing us to avoid conflicts that would have ensued had we not employed our learnings. Then she gives us kudos! She’s no softie though – on a number of occasions my wife and I have used the ‘don’t let me tell Ms Deb’ card (on each other ;). If you have a child that is struggling, and need someone to talk to about options, how to navigate school and prepare other adults (coaches, teachers, nannies), which behaviors to tackle first, calmly look you in the eye and tell you what you’re doing right, why it is working, what you’re doing wrong, why it isn’t…well, give Deb a call.
-P.G.R. San Francisco, CA
Debora McManus changed my life beyond words! She listens to you openly and does not judge. Her advice and ideas helped me to be able to live thru one of the most difficult times of my life. She not ownly helped me with myself she helped me become a better mother to my daughter. If it wasnt for her I dont know how I would have been able to make it thru that time of my life.
Angela S. (Martinez, CA)
I came to see Debora when I was feeling over whelmed by the tasks of motherhood and as my role as wife, I needed some guidance with parenting. In one session I felt immediately better because Debora taught me ways handle my daily stress and how to work with my kids so that they would respond to me in a positive manner. We also saw Debora as a couple and my husband also felt the positive effects of one session with Debora, everyday we use tips Debora taught us to be a better husband and wife and also parents. I could not be happier with the results thus far.
Debora brought my family back into the warm sunshine after months of living in a cold and disconnected home. After feeling desperate watching my relationship with my young son spiral into a dark whole, she gave both us tools to help focus our daily interactions with each other so that we could once again grow together and learn to navigate our ever changing world of mother and son. My son enjoyed his time talking and playing with Debora and she always gave me a chance to review the previous week and hone my new skills during our weekly check-ins. For us, she is our safety net for the future should the need arise again.
– mother of a seven year old son
Debora’s play-therapy practice is interactive, fun, and well loved by the children who receive services. We are more than pleased with her program, and are so happy to be working with her. Play-therapy, as opposed to talk therapy, uses play and active processes to help children express feelings and learn new behaviors. It’s like they are going to play with a friend who helps, rather than going to a “therapist”. We (as parents of a child ) couldn’t be more pleased.
R. Pleasant Hill, CA
Upon adopting our son from foster care suffering from a lot of trauma, I started researching for a therapist with a lot of experience dealing with high-risk children and found Debora. Debora has been my family’s therapist for two years now. Debora has been a lifesaver to me. I could not have made it through all the trials which come from adopting a child from foster care had it not been for Debora and her expertise. Debora is very professional and goes above and beyond what is expected. Debora is always there when needed providing her help and guidance. I cannot thank Debora enough.
S. (Alamo, CA)
Deb is a life saver! She has helped my daughter and I with some extremely challenging issues around adoption and trauma. Not only has she created a space where my daughter feels safe to disclose her past and anxieties but Deb has also provided me with life changing resources, education and support. I’m a therapist and work with a lot of child therapist. Deb is the most dedicated and skilled child therapist I know.
Last year, my sister-in-law was killed by her husband – in front of their toddler. While mourning this great loss, my husband & I made a life-changing decision to adopt our niece (who we had not met before). We were overwhelmed by our own questions. How do we prep for this change? Is she traumatized? How do we adjust for a bi-racial child? How does adoption work? Etc. Luckily, we were referred to Deb McManus. We called, and sensing our anxiety, Deb assured us that she could help and adjusted her schedule to see us the next day. First, she worked w/ my husband and me, and in a few weeks, our kids too. Once our niece joined our immediate family, she also joined our sessions. (The kids love Deb!) Since that first call, Deb has gone above & beyond. She worked w/ our kids’ school to ensure that they also understood anticipated needs and ways to manage potential behavior problems, and she quickly responded to rush requests for progress reports from the legal system and Child Services. After several months navigating CPS, our niece finally joined our family! A number of times since, our experiences have mirrored what Deb anticipated. W/ that, we’ve been prepared! We use the filial therapy and other techniques that she taught us to help us understand our kids’ needs and to successfully adjust to our changing family dynamics. We’re far better off having worked w/ Deb. She’s calm, non-judgmental, highly competent, and very effective.
G. Walnut Creek, CA
Our pediatrician recommended Debora McManus as someone who could help us quickly and advise us with concrete parenting strategies. We called her immediately and she quickly referred us to the best book we have read, Transforming the Difficult Child. She is trained in this approach, The Nurtured Heart Approach. Both my husband and I are reading the book and going to see Deborah. We have only been 5 times and already our household has been magically transformed. Our daughter who suffers from some abandonment issues (adopted) and had frequent tantrums and lashed out with angry words and emotions is now much calmer and we are able to support her in a much more positive way. We feel much better about our own parenting and as a result, our whole family feels better. We have an older son as well who did not need this extra amount of care. Debora is brilliant at what she does. I know there are many child development books and philosophies. I am a teacher myself and have read a lot. This approach with Debora’s guidance has been a life saver for our family. If you are considering calling someone, call Debora asap:)! She is warm, down to earth, a mother of 4 kids, and very competent. She goes above and beyond and truly believes in what she is teaching. She uses many if not all of the strategies in her own home. It is not therapy. It is concrete strategies for parenting a child who is challenging your parenting skills:) or lack thereof:).
Please call or email for a child or family therapy consultation today.