Music Director and Songwriter for PBS and Nick Jr.
In my early years, one of my greatest blessings was to meet Christopher Cross. He raved about my music and was kind enough to offer me free studio time, playing guitar, some background vocals and his boundless expertise—and off I wrote.
After producing my first dozen songs and demonstrating my breadth and skills as a songwriter, I was fortunate enough to be offered a job as both music director and songwriter for a show that was in an initial creative process by a Methodist minister and Porchlight Entertainment. It soon became our PBS hit series, Jay Jay the Jet Plane— a warm and wonderful preschool series about animated singing airplanes— filled with positive messages. More recently I became a songwriter for Nick Jr’s. Mutt & Stuff.
Educational Background for Don MacMannis, Ph.D. (aka Dr. Mac)
In addition to my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, I have a master’s in school-child psychology from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Child and Family Psychologist
The Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara, is a public non-profit organization that was founded by my wife, Debra, in 1980. Joining the team soon thereafter, I became the Clinical Director. Overseeing the work of fourteen therapists, we provide psychotherapy services to hundreds of clients each year. We have also trained dozens of interns and have presented workshops offering continuing education to therapists throughout California.
We also sponsor yearly workshops with other internationally renowned presenters, most notably: Virginia Satir, M.S.W., Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., John Gottman, M.D., Raymond Moody, M.D., Eben Alexander, M.D., Charles Fishman, M.D., Esther Perel, Mark Epstein,M.D., Ram Dass, Robert Brooks, Ph.D., Ron Taffel, Ph.D., Pat Love, Ed.D., Violet Oaklander, Ph.D., Eliana Gill, Ph.D., Monica McGoldrick, Ph.D.. and Scott Shannon,M.D.
Debra and I have co-authored two highly acclaimed books, How’s Your Family Really Doing?: 10 Keys to a Happy Loving Family and Who’s the Boss? The Win-Win Way to Parent Your Defiant Strong-Willed Child. My online parenting course, Parenting Strong-Willed Kids, has been attended by over a thousand parents worldwide.
I have been a school consultant for the past fifty years, starting with my first job out of college— working in the Boston Public Schools. More recently, I’ve been a consultant to teachers at Waldorf, as well as in four local public schools where my research on my songs was conducted here in Santa Barbara.
Educator and Speaker
I’ve taught courses in life-span developmental psychology and behavioral psychology at graduate and postgraduate levels. I’ve also been in high demand as a presenter on a variety of topics related to parenting, teaching, and social and emotional learning. I recently won the title of “Best Family Therapist” in a poll taken by SBParent.com, and have been featured in national newspapers, magazines, radio programs, CNN, Time Magazine, Inside Edition, Time for Kids, AOL, and At Home-Live.