Meeting the Challenges of “Blended Family” Relationships

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STEP1: Surviving and Thriving in ‘Blended Families’:
Clinical Skills for Individual, Couple and Family Therapists

Thursday, June 14, 2018 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Patricia L. Papernow, EdD, instructor

STEP2: Offering Family Life Education for Stepfamilies as Primary Prevention

Friday, June 15, 2018 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday, June 16, 2018 | 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Francesca Adler-Baeder, PhD, instructor

Pricing & Credits

STEP1: 6 CE Credits | $240
STEP 2: 12 CE Credits (includes 2 hours of online prerequisite) | $400
STEP 1 & 2: 18 CE Credits | $600

Lunch provided on Saturday.


Program Details

STEP 1: Surviving and Thriving in ‘Blended Families’: Clinical Skills for Individual, Couple and Family Therapists

This full-day seminar, led by Dr. Patricia Papernow, internationally recognized expert on stepfamilies, will teach you how to recognize and work with the five major challenges stepfamilies face. This workshop is primarily for therapists; however it will be useful to all who are in a position to be helpful to stepfamilies (including school personnel, medical personnel, religious leaders, etc.). Dr. Papernow will teach you how to help stepcouples maintain connection in the face of constant attachment ruptures, and how to work with the intense triggering we often see in these families.  You will learn how adults can help children make this major transition, how successful stepparenting differs from parenting, tips for managing discipline, how stepfamilies build a sense of “we”, and guidelines for co-parenting with an ex-spouse. This workshop will give you detailed, evidence-based guidelines and tools for effectively working with stepfamily challenges on three different levels: Psychoeducational, interpersonal and intrapsychic.

STEP 2: Offering Family Life Education for Stepfamilies as Primary Prevention

This one and a half-day seminar, led by Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder, Director of the National Stepfamily Resource Center, will focus on educational approaches to building strengths in stepfamilies.  Dr. Adler-Baeder will orient you to the highly effective, 6-session group educational program, Smart Steps for Stepfamilies, Embrace the Journey. This program can be adapted to a wide variety of populations and purposes. It is designed with parallel lessons for both couples and children in stepfamilies. Federally-funded research has confirmed the program’s effectiveness across a broad range of educational levels, distress levels, and ethnic groups. Whether you would like to lead a Smart Steps program, or you just want to learn more about resources for stepfamilies, Dr. Adler-Baeder’s training will give all participants a rich array of well-designed, evidence-informed materials and resources. It will also enable participants to lead a Smart Steps program in their area.  In addition, Dr. Adler-Baeder will provide an overview of other available psycho-educational materials for stepfamilies.


This course is designed to help clinicians and other helping professionals to:

  1. Identify the major differences between “first-time” families and stepfamilies.
  2. Recognize the challenges to intimate relationships that stepfamily structure creates
  3. Utilize evidence-informed specific strategies for meeting those challenges 
  4. Learn about three different levels of clinical work with stepfamilies (psychoeducational, interpersonal, intrapsychic). 
  5. Run support groups for stepfamilies.
  6. Gain familiarity with a variety of evidence-informed educational materials for stepfamilies.

We highly recommend purchase of the Smart Steps program leaders guide for attendees.  It is offered to attendees at a 45% discount price of $110 (regular price $199).  Please call Teresa Wagner at 334-707-2090 to purchase your copy at this discounted price, which will be shipped to you.  One purchase per agency or school or other group of attendees would be sufficient for all members of the group.

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