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049 | A Good Blend: Effective Stepfamily Therapy for Couples and Children

Preconference Workshops


Ron L. Deal, M.MFT.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, and Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




Complex blended families need stepfamily-informed licensed mental health clinicians and ministry leaders who can insightfully help couples and children. This workshop will explore the key relational challenges leading to stepcouple and blended family distress and how therapists can effectively treat the multi-household stepfamily system. For example, this workshop will discuss practical therapeutic procedures in working with remarried couples and stepfamilies and discern traditional therapeutic interventions not suited for stepfamilies. In addition, clinicians will explore how to integrate stepfamily therapy strategies with both children and adults into their current therapeutic modalities. This workshop is informed in part by data from the National Survey of Stepfamilies and the presenter’s nearly 30 years of clinical and ministry work with stepfamilies. Implications for preventing divorce and strengthening stepfamilies will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives

Outline numerous family process dynamics that are different in stepfamilies than in biological families
Describe how attachment, loss, and loyalty issues create competing attachments and barriers to family integration
Identify the roles of biological parents and stepparents as they relate to raising children in stepfamilies