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Equipping You to Counsel Stepfamilies

Don't be part of the problem. One study found that half of subjects in therapy suffered from the treatment received because their clinician lacked specific knowledge about common stepfamily dynamics. Prepare yourself to be an asset, not a liability. Click the video to the right to watch three successive videos with Ron Deal talking about working with stepfamily couples (or click the playlist button to select the one you want to watch). [Reference: Pasley, K. , Rhoden, L., Visher, E.B., & Visher, J. S. (1996). Successful stepfamily therapy: Client’s perspectives. Journal of Marriage and the family, 22, 343-357.]

Key articles & web-based resources:

  • Therapy with Stepfamilies – article by Ron L. Deal, LMFT, LPC providing an overview of remarriage and stepfamily assessment and intervention. An essential guide for learning how to counsel stepfamilies.
  • Couple Checkup inventory – have dating, engaged, and remarried couple’s take the online Couple Checkup (powered by PREPARE/ENRICH) before or during treatment. You will get an x-ray of their strengths and couples’ receive dynamic feedback (and intervention) for their relationship. Counselors may choose to use the more detailed version PREPARE/ENRICH (visit
  • Pre-Stepfamily Counseling – learn how preparing couples for stepfamily living is different than first-marriage premarital counseling and see a sample 10-session format.
  • Stepfamily Ministry – encourage your congregation to build a supportive, educational ministry to couples in stepfamilies. Learn about available resources and how to structure the ministry here.
  • Marriage Intensives – difficult cases and crisis couple’s may benefit from a 2 or 3-day Marriage Therapy Intensive with Ron L. Deal. He will work with you to provide after care following the intensive.
  • Therapy with Stepfamilies training– find training workshops throughout the country here
  • Statistics on Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage in America
  • Stay abreast of research - read Ron's article Monitoring the Impact of Divorce and Remarriage on Families or print this Building Smart Stepfamilies article for a colleague or pastor.