Meeting the (Big) Challenges of “Blended Families”: Rupture and Resilience Up Close and Personal

Although “blended families” come together with big hopes and fervent wishes for a loving new family, the realities of stepfamily living can create constant painful ruptures–within the couple, between stepparents and stepchildren, between parents and their children, and between ex-spouses. The longing captured in the language of “blended families” all too often adds layers of shame to dashed hopes.

Whether therapists work with couples or families, with individual adults or with kids, this workshop will help them recognize the major challenges all stepfamilies face, introduce them to a 3-level clinical framework for meeting those challenges, and point out some “easy wrong turns.” Using case examples and clinical demonstration, therapists will take away immediately applicable tools for softening conflict, sowing realistic hope, providing evidence-based guidance, and forging connection.

Learning Objectives:

  • List some of the ways that stepfamilies differ from first-time families
  • Describe key stepfamily challenges
  • List concrete, evidence-informed strategies to meet stepfamily challenges


Patricia L. Papernow, Ed.D., is a psychologist in Hudson, MA. She has received Award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Psychology (APA Couple and Family Division). She is the author of 3 highly acclaimed books plus multiple articles and book chapters on stepfamilies. Patricia Papernow is also Director of Institute for Stepfamily Education, and Senior Training Faculty at National Stepfamily Resource Center.

Date / Time:

Friday, February 28, 2020
10:00 am–4:00 pm

Continuing Education:

5 CE Contact Hours

Register Online:

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