Understanding and working with Stepfamilies

Module Sections:

Using Strategies and Techniques


Stepfamilies need time and attention in creating opportunities for inclusion, handling transitions and celebrating their diverse histories. When considering the integration of these strategies and techniques into the therapy process, it is important to take into account the complexities of stepfamily development. A therapist should consider the developmental phase of the stepfamily, the age of the children, the marital history of the adults, a broad lens regarding the losses the family has experienced, and the history the family attempts to organize. These will guide the therapist in choosing interventions and adapting those interventions for the family.

The use of rituals is an important strategy in assisting stepfamilies through the integration process. These rituals aid the family in remembering and honoring the past while celebrating the present and creating a sense of future for the new family.

Audio Companion: Understanding Stepfamilies