Don Waxman, MA, LMFT

Don Waxman View Specialties

  • Marriage and Family Counselor
  • #6 C Street, Petaluma, California, 94952
  • Phone: (707) 585-2334
  • Send A Message To Don.
  • This member is also available for E-counseling.
  • E-counseling methods: Email, Phone, Webcam

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Free 30 Minute Initial Consultation

Don Waxman, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, works with individuals, couples, families, and groups in Petaluma.  Don has over twenty-five years experience starting-up and managing private sector and non-profit businesses. He has worked for Hospice as a bereavement and end-of-life volunteer; as a group facilitator with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence; and in school settings with emotionally and behaviorally challenged teens and their families. Don chose to enter the field of counseling psychology after being involved in other careers, because as he says, "When I am working with clients I am challenged to be the best human being I can possibly be."  

Don collaborates with clients to help them cultivate a more intimate and compassionate connection to what they are experiencing in the moment. He believes therapeutic change can occur as soon as the therapeutic encounter begins, and that it happens in small, but potentially very significant steps.  He is committed to proceeding at each client's unique pace, integrating complementary theories and techniques to personalize and tailor his approach to individual needs and issues. Don has received specialized professional training in the following therapeutic modalities:

  • My husband and I tried several different therapists before we found what we were looking for in Don.  With a non-judgmental attitude and respect for out dignity, Don skillfully helped us face some of the more difficult issues of our marriage in way that allowed us to grow gracefully into a new place in our relationship.  Don is unusually centered, present, non egotistical, and lacks the detachment that we have found in some other therapists.  He infuses his sessions with a human quality that is the opposite of the stereotypical clinical experience of therapy.  In short, we always feel like Don genuinely cares about us and has all the time in the world to spend with us. He is clearly in practice because it is a deep vocation for him, and not just to earn a living.  As he himself says, it is a way for him to be the best human being he can be, and that sincerity comes through in every session.
  • My husband and I have visited Don Waxman about 5 or 6 times to help us improve our overall communication with each other.  Basically it has helped us each understand ourselves, and what our core issues are -- and how those core issues come into play when we disagree and fight.  We are both getting a handle on things and our communication is improving very significantly.  It's not that I am surprised -- well, maybe I am surprised -- because I honestly didn't know how to fix what was going on in our marriage.  Don has helped us a lot, and has been respectful and encouraging all along the way.  Thank you DonWaxman.

  • Don Waxman has been helping my wife and me improve our relationship by teaching us communication skills that we can apply in our daily interactions.  His heart centered approach has made us aware of our core issues in a safe and supporting atmosphere.  As a result, I feel I have a better understanding of my wife’s needs and I have the confidence to dialogue with her in a more supportive manner.  I recommend Don’s approach to couple’s counseling based on our positive experiences. 

  • Don was able to provide a comfortable environment for us to work on our issues. He was very good at keeping the conversations on point and finding common ground where it seemed there was none in sight.  More than once I thought the relationship with my partner was beyond fixing, but Don showed us (myself especially) that sometimes the issues we have with our partners are not what they seem; that you might need to look carefully at yourself.  In therapy with Don, I learned a lot about myself and I use this knowledge in all types of relationships- personal, work, etc.  
  • I came to see Don during a time of immense upheaval in my life.  Within a few visits he helped me re-imagine my life after divorce.  This foundational work was something I needed to be doing anyway, which speaks to the beauty and simplicity of Don’s approach.  His collaborative and experiential-based approach allowed me to re-program some of the thought patterns that no longer served me, and gave me a useful set of practical tools that I am able to draw from on a daily basis.  As well, I am particularly grateful for the male role model Don provided.   A little more than a year removed from this period of crises, I feel like I’m back on track, leading life with a creative passion that I wasn’t previously.

  • I have worked with Don Waxman for almost two years and find him to be the most effective therapist I have ever used.  Don has the ability to be empathetic and directive in a way that works for me.  His use of somatic tools with me has been dramatic in my self-exploration and healing.  He is very knowledgeable and creative, and has a great set of tools to help you attain your goals.

  • Don Was instrumental in bringing my thoughts and focus back to the center.  Divorce, financial pressure and physical health issues were colliding in my experience.  During a period of time when there was an immense amount of pressure, stress, confusion, delusion and despair, Don was able to help me regain my footing.  The primary takeaway was that Don helped me focus on myself and not on how others framed their perception of who I am.  At that point in time it was exactly what was needed to help me compartmentalize the areas I needed to work on versus issues that were not mine, and which I had no control over.  This bit of clarity helped extremely then, and is something I continue to use this very day.

  • I have found Don’s therapy to be very beneficial.  I have learned innovative and effective ways to redirect old negative habits and be more present in my relationships, and more present in the moment at hand.  I real like Don’s style – he’s a great guy, and he calls me on my BS.  I think he has great therapeutic skill and knowledge, which has been really helpful to me.

  • I’ve been working with Don for six months now, and he has really helped me deal with not only my anger, but with my grief as well.  With Don I’ve enjoyed a better level of communication with others and myself.  He’s shown me how to meet my feelings, give them space to exist and eventually work through them instead of simply turning them all into frustrated anger and never dealing with anything.  I’ve improved relationships with family and friends, all from using techniques Don has gone over with me.  Don is a very nice man, very attentive, and very helpful.
 Men’s Group
  • Being a part of this group has benefited me in several ways.  On a week-to-week basis, it has provided a safe and supportive environment to share my current challenges.  I’ve benefited from getting other male perspectives and from learning that most of our issues are not unique.  When you are feeling bad about yourself, it helps tremendously to learn that other men have similar experiences.
     In the longer term, Don’s focus for this group has helped me reconnect with my          
     feelings.  By paying attention to my body, I’ve become far more self-aware and          
     am less likely to “stuff” or deny my feelings.  Instead, I turn towards difficult                    emotions and deal with them.  Because of this work, I was able to accept huge          
     losses in my life without becoming angry, destabilized, or depressed. 
  • Post divorce issues, the death of a parent, and troubling work issues were more that I could successfully manage on my own.  I was interested in a group where I could obtain a sense of perspective from others.  I decided to search the Internet for a local Men's Group and found that Don was holding one in Petaluma.  I felt at home after a few minutes in the group because of the pace and variety of therapeutic and educational exercises that Don led us through.  I found the group to be a safe sanctuary where I could be open and receive feedback from others.  Unique about Don's group was the sense that he was part of the group not a detached leader, and that he was responsive to the requests of the group members when that was appropriate.  He has a great sense of humor too.   
       After my participation in the group was no longer something I felt I needed, I    
       had a few months of private sessions with Don as we already had a good       
       understanding of each other.  Those private sessions significantly helped me           
       to develop a better relationship with my girlfriend, and allowed us to move    
       forward together successfully.  This past weekend, we even started looking at            
       wedding rings – very exciting!  
       Don Waxman is a knowledgeable, personable therapist that is adept in helping others
       turn towards and experience emotional material, resulting in a sense of freedom and
       a better quality of life.  I would recommend friends and family to work with Don, as
       well as anyone who wants a partnership with a professional to work through emotional
       issues, and clarify needs.
  • I recently spent several months working with Don to address personal behaviors and issues that I thought I could just take care of on my own.  After years of attempting self-control and saying I won’t do that again, I finally realized I was kidding myself.  I needed help. 
       My initial contact with Don on the phone was warm and welcoming, but I was still
       nervous and embarrassed to meet with him and open up about my    
       problems.  From the very first minute of our first session together, Don made 
       me feel comfortable and safe.  I left our first session with tools that helped me 
       make an immediate positive impact in my relationships with my teen-age 
       children and myself.  It wasn’t long before Don was able to have me seeing     
       things differently.  I learned that my struggles and issues were normal.  He 
       helped me understand that my relationships weren’t bad, rather it was how I    
       interacted in those relationships that needed improvement.  Working with Don 
       over the next several months on understanding my relationships and helping 
       me change the way I interacted in those relationships was an amazing time of 
       transformation for me.  Today I enjoy significantly improved relationships and 
       have a whole new appreciation for the people I interact with.  Don was able to 
       provide several different methods and techniques that helped me achieve my           
       While my work with Don on an individual basis was extremely effective,       
       equally effective was my participation in Don’s men’s group.  Facilitated by 
       Don, the men’s group provided me an opportunity to meet and work with new 
       people who shared similar problems and issues.  Through this confidential 
       group forum, we shared experiences and explored solutions to our common 
       and individual concerns.  As much as I valued my individual work with Don, I 
       found the group experience to be complimentary and just as powerful, but in a 
       different way.  I was able to learn about other men’s issues and problems, be 
       an integral part of the validation process and helping find solutions to improve 
       their lives.  During the process I was able to relate my own experiences and 
       concerns to those of other men in the group, so I was always able to take    
       away bits and pieces that helped me in my own struggles.

       Finding Don and working with him both on an individual and group basis has 
       opened up my life to having more fulfilling relationships with family and 
       friends.  My only regret about my time with Don is that I did not seek his help 

Don Waxman Reaches

Petaluma CA