Understanding and working with Stepfamilies

Module Sections:

SFD Model

Laszloffy (2002) uses the metaphor of a round, multi-layered cake to illustrate the SFD Model. In his metaphor, the ingredients of a cake represent the individuals in a family. When brought together as a complete family, the resulting "product is greater than the sum of its parts" (p. 208). Also utilizing this metaphor, it is easy to imagine that someone baking the cake has high expectations that it will turn out perfect, when in fact it may be lopsided once baked. This can extend to visualize the formation of a stepfamily and the characteristic that expectations are high and often unrealistic that once combined into family, the resulting product will be without flaws. In addition, the layers of the metaphoric cake represent the multiple generations of the family And the round shape of the cake depicts the family's life cycle occurring through the passage of time.

SFD Model

Examining a "slice of the cake" enables the clinician to explore the generations involved in the family and the placement of their current stage within the stepfamily cycle and the related transition process.

Audio Companion: Understanding Stepfamilies