The Joy and Freedom of Being Imperfect with Expert Debra Fox Gansenberg

Imperfect Love | Debra Fox Gansenberg | Being Imperfect


We often believe that if we try harder and harder to be the perfect partner, parent, friend, or employee, we will somehow create a trouble-free life and gain the love, safety, and respect we crave. Yet when we chronically strive for perfection, we tend to create more self-judgment, anxiety, and stress. Unfortunately, this toxic dynamic can foster a nasty inner critic whose negative commentary harms the self and those around us. And all too often, the fear of judgment, disapproval, not being loved, or disappointing others feeds the beast of perfectionism. Can gentleness, grace, and imperfect love be the antidote? Join Dr. Carla and psychotherapist Debra Fox Gansenberg for an uplifting exploration of how to make friends with your wonderfully imperfect self and free yourself from toxic comparisons, shame, and blame! As the co-author of How to Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids and Be Okay with It and as an Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy expert, Debra brings a wealth of clinical experience to this dynamic episode.


Books by Dr. Carla Manly:

Date Smart: Transform Your Relationships and Love Fearlessly

Joy From Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend

Aging Joyfully: A Woman’s Guide to Optimal Health, Relationships, and Fulfillment for Her 50s and Beyond

The Joy of Imperfect Love: The Art of Creating Healthy, Securely Attached Relationships


Connect with Dr. Carla Manly:









Book by Debra Fox Gansenberg:

How to Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids and Be Ok with It: Real Tips & Strategies for Parents of Today’s Gen Z Kids


Connect with Debra Fox Gansenberg:


Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


The Joy and Freedom of Being Imperfect with Expert Debra Fox Gansenberg

Releasing the Fear of Judgment and Unworthiness That Feed the Drive to Be Perfect!

We often believe that if we try harder and harder to be the perfect partner, parent, friend, or employee, we will somehow create a trouble-free life and gain the love, safety, and respect we crave. Yet when we chronically strive for perfection, we tend to create more self-judgment, anxiety, and stress. Unfortunately, this toxic dynamic can foster a nasty inner critic whose negative commentary harms the self and those around us.

Can gentleness, grace, and imperfect love be the antidote? Today we’ll focus on this listener’s real-life question. “I didn’t have a great childhood, and I worry every day about repeating my parents’ mistakes. Even though I know it’s not possible to be a perfect wife or mother, I beat myself up constantly. I screamed at my three-year-old the other day when he made a mess, and the look on his face crushed me. Why can’t I get it right when I try so hard?” That question is the focus of this episode.


Imperfect Love | Debra Fox Gansenberg | Being Imperfect


I’m joined by a very special guest, Debra Fox Gansenberg. She is a psychotherapist who will be sharing her expertise on parenting, relationships, and the art of being okay with imperfection. Debra is the founder and president of the New Beginnings Counseling Service. She’s also an author and was the co-host of the radio show, LIFE UNfiltered. Welcome to the show, Debra. It’s such a joy to share time with you.

Thank you for having me. I’ve been looking forward to our time together and I love the topic of your entire show and this visit as well. Looking forward to our conversation.

How to Raise Imperfect Kids and Be OK With It

Thank you and I’m so excited to share your expertise with our audience. You have written a book on parenting. Could you give us the title and a little bit about what that book is about?

It’s How to Raise Imperfect Kids and Be OK With It. I think the idea is similar to the title of your show, that imperfection is reality, and that if we’re striving for perfection, we’re heading for a big disappointment. When I sit with all of my clients and students, we talk about the idea that there is nothing that we would consider perfect in life. If there was, I’d love to hear about it because I’m not sure it’s out there.

I’m with you on that. I also think perfection is an important lens to have. I often think when we go out in nature, we say, “It’s a perfect day.” We’re not picking the trees apart or telling the birds their feathers should be perfect or anything like that. We’re saying, “Ahh.” We’re looking at it through the lens of joy.

I wish more people would use that lens when we say what a perfect day, that we could use that lens and do the U-turn and look at ourselves and embrace who we are, what we are, and consider that our type of perfection, our personal perfection.

Maybe ditch the word perfect. I realized, “I’ve been perfect. I’m working on me.” This is a good thing. Before we launch into the actual interview, could you tell us a little bit about what makes you, you?

I knew this question was coming after listening to all of your wonderful episodes and I thought about it. I think what makes me me is the word connectivity. I’m all about connection. I feel as though whether it’s connecting with friends, family, children, or clients, personally or professionally, I’m always looking for connection and the U-turn with myself.

Always strive to stay connected with what’s going on within myself and to make sure that I am staying connected to what’s important to me. I’ve been called a transmuter, which is somebody who also brings in negative energy and enables it to come through my system and I output positivity. I love to hear that as a descriptor for myself because I do believe I try. I’m not here to put a smile on everyone’s face.

I do love humor, but I believe that when a client, a student, a dear friend of mine, or one of my kids, my husband comes to me, I am somebody they connect with and that I’m able to bring in what’s going on with them, that the output is draped in more of a positive lens, a positive feeling, a positive attitude, or what have you. It’s important to me. I think the other thing that makes me me is I always signed a card, “Love and laughter.” If I could tattoo something on my forehead, it would be love and laughter because those two things are probably two of the most important things to me as I travel through life.

Thank you. A few things about what you said. I love the idea of being a transmuter and that takes me to the idea of alchemy, where we transmute in alchemy. We turn the lead of life into gold. That takes intention. We’re not talking about alchemy. We’re not talking literally about taking the lead, although some people think there’s a science behind somehow taking this lead and turning it into gold.

When we look at it in the emotional world, in the world of love, we can take things that are lead in, that are heavy, and turn them into something much more pure and joyful and golden in energy. Congratulations on being a transmuter. I think that that’s an important part of being in the healing profession. It’s being able to help people on that journey from transmuting their challenges, maybe not into joys, but into something that they’re able to navigate and move through with courage and resilience.

The other thing that you were saying about is if you could tattoo something on your forehead, it would be love and laughter. It’s so interesting because as you likely know in the research, we hear that in loving relationships, humor is such an important element. It’s not humor at other people’s expense. If somebody is saying, “That permits me to be sarcastic with my partner or my kid.” We’re not talking about being sarcastic. We’re talking about humor that makes people feel connected and have laughter arise organically. Is that where you come from?

Absolutely. I always say, I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. I think it’s so important to feel as though humor is used healthily. Through the years, I’ve learned that I can go up over the hill a bit, and maybe my humor can get me in trouble at times. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that humor is one of those things that lighten life and is such an important ingredient to be happy. I love humor and laughter. I had a lovely little young child in my office the other day and they recently lost their father.

Humor is one of those things that brightens life and is such an important ingredient to being happy. Share on X

The young girl says to me, “I want my mommy when she gets upset to say instead of a word that gets her upset, I want her to say peanut butter and blueberries.” I said, “Why is that?” She said, “Because I want us all to laugh.” What a beautiful example of bringing humor into something. This is a young child and I thought, what a beautiful thing to want your parent to feel and to exude. She wants her to use these funny words to bring forth laughter and humor. It was a perfect example of what I’ve been trying to make sure I instilled both personally and professionally.

I love that peanut butter and blueberries instead of throwing out something negative, throw out, “Peanut butter and blueberries.”

We’ve all thrown out the negative. I own it too. We’re not perfect. She was trying to assist her mom in coming up with a way to be frustrated but bring humor into it so that the frustration would evolve into laughter.

I like that and it also is a way of looking at the idea of being imperfect. When we are in a relationship with anyone, in this case, the mom is talking and then the kid is talking. In some way, it sounds like this child is saying, “Ouch, this hurts me. Mama, could you do this instead so the air in the room feels better, so the energy feels better?”

Sometimes we want to tell someone who’s asking us to shift to behavior. We want to say, “No, let me be me, let me do it my way.” We want to be able to be sarcastic, critical, or negative. I think it’s so important to be able to tune into how maybe our feelings, not that we want to put our feelings underground, but also, I would think, want to make sure that the people that we are in the same room with this sharing energy with. You want to be careful about how those words and that energy lands on them.

You touched on so many things. Little nuggets there that when I work with couples, married or uncoupling, or parents who are co-parenting or intact families, it’s so important to understand how our messages leave our mouths. How they are received and how we intend them to be received when they land on somebody else.

It's important to understand how our messages leave our mouths, how they are received, and how we intend them to be received when they land on somebody else. Share on X

Quite often they aren’t quite the way that we intended them to be. It might come out sideways, it might land on them as a hurt or a disappointment. It is so important then as we’ve been slowly speaking about is the space to make sure that we can loop around, heal, and discuss what it is that isn’t going well in that discussion.

Ruptures And Repair

You hit on one of my favorite topics, and this does take us back to our listener’s question, healing ruptures because ruptures in relationships are going to happen. Ruptures between a parent-child, partner-partner, friend-friend, whatever it is at work. I think it’s the healing of the ruptures because we are imperfect. We will get it wrong sometimes. No matter how long we’ve been on the planet, no matter how many alphabetical letters are behind our names, we all make mistakes. Tell our audience a little bit about ruptures and repair.

This is something that is almost spoken in my office daily. To begin with, I always look at three stages in every relationship. Oftentimes, we come together because we enjoy each other, that connection, whether it’s a friend or a colleague, it’s our child, it’s our spouse. We come together, we enjoy something, or we communicate for a purpose in a good way.

The next part of that is that we will have a miscommunication, a misunderstanding, a rupture, a disagreement, and a difference of opinion. When that happens, it’s not if. I love that you spoke in such concrete, “It will happen. It’s not if it happens, but it will happen.” That doesn’t mean you’re in an unhealthy relationship. It means that the next step is healing that rupture.

That is the key to a healthy experience and a healthy relationship. I think what’s so important is how we repair. When I work with couples, the repair is truly the hardest type of work. If you don’t do the repair, then you live in the rupture. When you live in the rupture, the hurts add up and I call it, “Adding flapjacks to your stack.”

They only pile up and pile up and then we end up in a whole different situation with lots of hurts and ruptures and you live in a ruptured state. It’s not pleasant and it’s not easy. It’s so important to learn how to heal. I call it, “The Loop Around.” My clients know it as The Loop Around. It is when somebody in the relationship is sitting with discomfort, whether it’s a conversation that went awry or for them, the conversation went awry.

Maybe the other person isn’t aware of this, but the loop around is an opportunity where if you feel like you’ve misstepped, I call it a misstep. I don’t call it a mistake often because I feel like it was meant to happen, whether it’s in that moment to learn something, heal something, or understand something about your partner, the person you’re speaking with, or yourself, it’s a misstep.

When the misstep happens, whether you’ve spoken to your child in a way that you’re disappointed in yourself, you’ve gotten upset with your partner, or you had a conversation go poorly at work. A loop-around is an opportunity to be the one who’s pursuing the conversation, extending the olive branch, and engaging in a conversation where you’re teaching the other person about yourself. I use that lens because it then decreases the opportunity for somebody to have the knee-jerk reaction of defending themselves. I use the lens of teaching somebody about yourself.

Growth And Healing Opportunities

Just like a pause because this is such a rich piece. We can imagine that this listener, the mom who screamed at the three-year-old kiddo, let’s give her an example, now there’s a rupture. The kid is looking at Mama, crying. Mom is saying, “I’ve made a misstep here. I want to use this as a growth opportunity, a healing opportunity.” How would you suggest she do this with a three-year-old kid?

A great question. I would encourage, and I use the word coaching. I coach my parents all the time to loop around and teach the child about yourself and say, “Remember when we had a little argument over the fact that you wanted something at Target and I said you couldn’t? There was a part of me that wanted to say yes, but the part of me that knew we were going to have dinner in a little bit. I didn’t want you to have the candy.”

“That part of me is looking out for you and you got upset with the answer, no. You kept asking and asking and I kept saying, no. The part of me that got frustrated was the part of me that got loud and said something that I didn’t like. I want to say I’m sorry that I got loud or upset because I didn’t like that and I didn’t want to do that or I didn’t like myself when I did that.”

When a three-year-old is trying to understand, I speak in terms of the part of me. Instead of saying, “Mommy was mad at you,” it’s more of, “The part of me that felt upset was the part that raised their voice.” It helps children understand that. It begins to teach them that not all of them have made Mommy upset, but a part of them. That part of Mommy was the one that misspoke. “I want to share with you that I’m sorry that the part of me that was upset got loud.”

This is perfect because when we talk in parts, some people might think that you and I are talking about dissociation.

I’m talking about IFS, but yes.

Internal Family Systems

IFS is an Internal Family System and it’s a wonderful psychological theory and framework. When we’re talking about internal family systems, I don’t speak for you, this is a lovely way to look at it. Could you give our audience a little snippet of what you mean when we’re talking about internal family systems and how we have all of these parts inside of us? It’s normal and it’s healthy.

However when you practice it, sometimes you feel like you’re a little unsure of what’s going on. It was a movie, I forgot the name of the movie. It had all the different colors and different feeling words. They all had a color, a word, and an expression.

Inside out.

Yes, that was Inside Out. it was played at the IFS annual conference. It’s such a great example of what IFS is. Essentially it’s the fact that we all have hundreds of parts of us. We have a happy part, a sad part, frustrated, disappointed, angry, joyful, athletic, and intellectual. What’s so important is when we are going about our day, we behave from these parts of us.

We all have hundreds of parts of us; we have a happy part, a sad part, frustrated, disappointed, angry, joyful, athletic, and intellectual. Share on X

When we’re happy, we might smile and look joyful. When we’re sad, the part of us that’s sad might cry or be tearful. The part of us that’s frustrated might have a scowl on our face or we might be mumbling under our breath. What’s so important is to understand that it’s a part of us and that we can hopefully learn how to navigate these parts of us by practicing and learning and understanding that we can navigate these things about ourselves.

When you’re teaching a young child, it’s beautiful because sometimes children think, “I’ve done something wrong. I’m bad.” No, it’s a part of you that did something. Let’s see if we can find a part of you that feels remorseful or apologetic. Let’s bring that part over and see if we can get that part to say, “I’m sorry,” or “Whoops, I did a misstep.” It helps kids learn and parents understand that it’s not all bad. It’s just a part of you.

I love Internal Family Systems Theory, I think it’s wonderful. When we look at it, what it does is it takes us away from this, “I’m all good,” or “I’m all bad.” This dichotomy of my partner is all good or all bad, my parents are all good or all bad, and my kids are all good or all bad. What does it do? It creates room for imperfection. That’s one of the biggest problems with a perfectionistic attitude. It creates this I’m either perfect, all good, or I’m imperfect, all bad.

Embracing Imperfections

Let’s lean into our listener’s question again. She’s feeling as though she can’t get anything right. The harder she tries, that she’s not able to be this perfect wife, this perfect Mom. I don’t know about the individual’s work life, but I would imagine that’s a thread through their life, “I need to be perfect.” Having been there in life, there is so much pressure and so much stress. What would you say about that element, that striving so hard to be perfect and never getting it right?

If this person was sitting in my office, we would explore what that word means to them, what the belief system is attached to it, what perfect is, and why it’s so important to them. If we’re using IFS and it’s a part of them, we would work hard to understand this, but then also to see if we could decide that this part could step back so that they could lean in to understand, appreciate, and bring forward the imperfect part of them and be okay with it, Embrace the fact that maybe the imperfect part is the part that they need closer to them, while the part of them that feels it is necessary to be perfect, to step back a bit.


Imperfect Love | Debra Fox Gansenberg | Being Imperfect


In terms of coaching a Mom who feels this way, I often self-disclose. I might share a story of my own, “You misstepped? I have disagreements with my kids, my partners, my friends, and my family.” It helps them understand that it’s quite healthy. I don’t even like the word normal, but typical to have these things happen. I think a mom in that situation then feels like, “Maybe this isn’t something I need to strive for because it isn’t reachable.”

I’m a fan, as it sounds you are, of being able to make mistakes and not seeing them as failures, but as growth opportunities. Growth opportunities? Let’s take it back again to the listener and she’s making a mistake with her kid or at her husband. It is that opportunity to say, “Wait a second, deep breath in, deep breath out,” then collect yourself and do something as you’re saying, “Draw that part of yourself that knows how to be calm.” There’s a part of you that knows how to be calm and maybe draw that part forward in that case.

I do think through all of these things. One of my mentors taught me an actuality when you have these ruptures, you want to have a level of appreciation that they’ve occurred, because now there are opportunities for you to do a U-turn on your own and your ownself to understand, “Why is this bothering me? What is this about?”

Instead of pointing the finger and saying, “You got me so upset, I punched a hole in the wall,” do the U-turn and understand, why did you get so upset? What was so upsetting about this experience? That’s when I have parents who are seeking perfection. Why is it that they’re seeking perfection and understanding that to change the expectations they have of themselves?

I love that question, that pausing of saying to the self, “Why?” Getting curious about yourself. One of my favorite questions, I’m curious what you think about this, because I’m such a fear specialist, I’m grounded in that piece as well, but looking and saying, “What am I afraid of? If I’m not perfect, what’s my fear?”

If I show up and my hair is a mess or I’m a little grumpy and I don’t have a smile on my face 24/7, What am I afraid of? What am I afraid of if I show up as my genuine self and if I make a mistake? What am I afraid of as far as apologizing and making it right? What do you think about that framework of beginning to ask yourself, “What are you afraid of?”

It’s so connected when I am working with someone, I always ask, “What if you weren’t perfect?” What does that mean to you? What’s the meaning underneath it? What does the word perfect mean? What’s the belief system attached to this word? What comes up for you when you think, “My goodness,” if I show up without the makeup or a kid still in his pajamas or a child who is not in a good space right now, but yet we still have to go and do this.

The child might misbehave or misstep in that situation. What is it about yourself? Are you afraid of judgment? Are you afraid of disappointing somebody? Usually, these things are what I call in the undercarriage of the need to feel perfect. I use a great example with my clients where one of my children will date me.



When Target first came forward out on the East Coast, I had a couple of toddlers at the time and one of my children wanted the little goldfish. Very long story short, I said, “No, you need to put them back.” He was my tantrumer and I said, “I’m sorry.” I put them back and he got all red in the face and he started getting upset.

I said, “I’m going to set my watch and you have one minute to have your tantrum and then we’ve got to go because we got to get home and have dinner. A woman was standing to my right and my son was looking at me and I said, “Go ahead, have your tantrum.” I was looking at my watch and he stopped immediately, he looked at me like, “What?”

As I was walking away, the woman said to me, “Weren’t you afraid that he was going to have a big tantrum?” I said, “If he did.” There’s the imperfection to somebody else. Looking at the imperfections that my child was going to have a tantrum and my goodness, wasn’t I worried about that? Frankly, no, I wasn’t because I’m not worried about the judgment. I’m not worried about what other people are thinking at that moment in time. I think that often is very attached to perfection, worrying about what the outside is thinking, looking in.

Thank you so much for pausing here because it’s such a simple question on the outside. If we say, “What if you weren’t perfect?” If we each ask ourselves that question, what if you weren’t the perfect wife? What if you weren’t the perfect mother, the perfect child, the perfect employee, the perfect boss? What would happen? I agree with you. I think when we drill it down and get really to the foundation of it, it’s a handful of things. I won’t be respected. I won’t be loved. I won’t be safe. I won’t be seen. I won’t be found worthy. I will be judged. It’s in that handful of things.

I won’t seek approval. I won’t get the approval. I call oftentimes the need for perfection what I call a legacy burden, which is something that is generationally handed to us. If your mom or your grandmother were always put together perfectly, every hair was in place, perfect outfit, and you never saw them sweat, in some ways, oftentimes, those burdens are handed down generationally. All of a sudden, we might not want to behave in the same way. We get to change that legacy and maybe not be so perfect and not have our hair done exactly the way our grandmother or our mother was and be okay with that. It takes a lot of work to reach a stage and a place to feel okay with not carrying on that legacy when it doesn’t serve you anymore.



I think in the age of social media, where there is this legacy that’s coming through social media channels, we are not talking about intergenerational legacies, we’re talking about a legacy of people we don’t know handing us very carefully curated images and airbrush, and we’re looking at ourselves and saying, “I can never be that.”

We now have a different legacy, which is this 24-7 viewing. We can go there and compare our lovely, wonderful, imperfect selves with something that appears to be perfect. That is a legacy that we need to keep on our radar as well for our listeners, for the one who wrote in, realizing who are you comparing yourself to.

Not that we want to ever be abusive to anybody, but I’m not sure I know any mom who hasn’t lost her temper at some time or done something where you go, “My God, how did I do that? How did I forget that?” If we’re comparing ourselves to these very isolated images of somebody else’s life, handpicked images that show the perfect dinner or the perfect family outing or the husband with the roses, we’re forgetting that that person too has a very imperfect life.

I try and help all my clients remember that images are a snippet in a second, in a moment, and everyone who tries to present that their life is like that. We make not just the observation but the judgment that they’re perfect. If you sat down with all of these people behind these images, everybody has something. I try and teach parents this.

Give Yourself Grace

I’ve worked in education for a very long time and working with children who have learning challenges and every child has something along the way. If someone is trying to teach you otherwise, I don’t know how authentic or real that story is. It’s permitting people to say, “I had a less-than-perfect day today or hour or moment and it’s okay.” I always say to moms and working dads. Especially moms, “Give yourself a little grace. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

Give yourself a little grace. Don't be so hard on yourself. Share on X

I echo you. I use that same phrase with clients. Give yourself grace because there’s no upside to being blamed or critical. There’s an upside to giving yourself grace, pausing and saying, “If I could redo that.” Not what you did wrong. Not going in replaying what you did wrong, but going for a moment and saying, “If I could redo that, how would I do it differently? How would I breathe into that moment in a slightly better way?” Replay that in your mind because when we replay what we wish we could do, that’s what we’re hardwiring into the brain rather than the fact that we made a mistake. We made a misstep, then we get to do a different dance the next time, slightly different.


Imperfect Love | Debra Fox Gansenberg | Being Imperfect


I do, I tell my clients, a few of them, as they come into my office, to take the boxing gloves off and leave them outside so that they can take a pause from being hard on themselves and beating themselves up. Some people need that gentle reminder.

I think we can all use a little more gentleness in our lives internally and externally. I think that’s where the power of grace comes in. Grace isn’t an excuse. It is this gentleness that you say, “I’m imperfect. I’m evolving. I want to do better, but right now I’m just a human.” Debra, I could talk with you for ages about this topic. I can’t wait to connect again. Are there any final words you might have for our audience about this topic of being imperfect and being okay with it? I’d love to have you tell our audience where they can find you.

Imperfection is underrated. It is a word that I wish we saw more and more of. I’m thrilled that we’re discussing it because it is reality. In our world today, that’s what needs to be portrayed out there. That’s what needs to be on social media. For those who do have imperfect moments, don’t be so embarrassed to share them.

Talk about them and wear them as a badge of honor, not as something that they should be embarrassed or feel badly about. The more we talk about it and the more we discuss it, maybe it won’t have such a negative connotation. I welcome the conversation always in my office and I hope readers take a pause and take a breath and learn why it is that they need to feel perfect and see if they can get that part to step back.



I do have to say before you tell our audience where they can find you, that is a perfect follow-up to our listener’s question because kudos to individuals as you’re saying, “Reach out and share that blip you had.” This individual reached out and said, “I yelled at my kid.” If that person is tuning in, she will start to think, “I’m not alone. You mean other people out there have yelled at their kids and felt like, my God, I can’t get this right?” Of course, there are. Welcome to the club of imperfect people.

Maybe we need to start a club, Carla. It’s going to be the Imperfect People Club. We wear a badge of honor because that’s a sign of authenticity and being honest and truthful instead of trying to present it as that snapshot in the social media that we all know we see. We might even put up ourselves because it was a joyful moment in time, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a representation of all the time.

The more we talk about it, the more we talk about the gifts of being authentic, of being yourself and being proud of that. It’s beautiful. Where can our audience find you, Debra?

I’m not a huge fan of social media. When I wrote my first book with my co-author, they enjoyed the social media run, but I do have a wonderful website, That website is about myself and the book and how you can reach me. I also have an Instagram account where you can find me.

It used to be a lot about the radio show and the book. I hope that it will repeat it, but it’s @FoxGanzy. Those are the two places if you’re looking for me, you can find what’s going on in my world. I’m also located at a local university as a professor right now teaching at the master’s level. A lot of people are finding me over there as well, which is wonderful. I’m enjoying that as well.

That university is?

Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts.

There you go. Thank you, Debra, for gracing us with your presence. It has been a joy and a privilege. Thank you to our audience for sharing your time with us. This is Imperfect Love.


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About Deborah Fox Gansenberg

Imperfect Love | Debra Fox Gansenberg | Being ImperfectDebra Fox Gansenberg, MSW, LICSW is the founder and owner of New Beginnings Counseling Service P.C. located around the North Shore of Boston. She has a 25-year history working in the mental health field as a skilled clinical psychotherapist and business owner specializing in individuals, couples, group, and family therapy.

Debra has also been the Director of School Services for NBCS for 20+ years and she has customized and implemented school-based counseling services for several schools, Pre-K through 12th grade. Her cases includes a wide variety of patients working to improve their communication skills, learning coping skills, problem solving, and improving the quality of their relationships, as well as traveling through self-exploration.

Debra has an eclectic approach to treating a wide variety of issues that range from depression and anxiety to self management and self concept, as well as various mental health diagnosis. Her experience includes: clinical therapy, psycho education, public speaking, creating curriculum, business management/business operations, and clinical supervision. She received her counseling degree from Simmons College School of Social Work. She lives north of Boston with her husband and three sons.