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Ron L. Deal Speaking at a Event.

Ron has been training therapists and ministry leaders for over 25 years.

  • Click Events to view upcoming ministry, therapist, and/or premarital counselor training opportunities. Learn more about becoming a Recognized Smart Stepfamily Therapy Provider below.
  • If you are interested in having Ron speak at your upcoming professional conference see the information below.
  • Learn more about Preparing to Blend premarital training here
  • Pastors and ministry leaders: visit FamilyLife Blended to learn how to start or grow a ministry.


"I just started working with a stepfamily that has a lot of challenges. I wanted to let you know how grateful I am to have been part of the Smart Stepfamily Provider training. It provided me with tools I use often."  --Rachael Myers, LCSW


Therapists: Get Advanced Clinical Training in Working with Stepcouples and Blended Families (earn 12 CEs)

Invite Ron to speak at your event, or attend Ron's virtual Recognized Smart Stepfamily Therapy Training which consists of 12 hours of live training (12 CEs approved) with handout, large and small group interaction, and case studies.

Smart Stepfamily Therapy has been approved by NBCC for NBCC credit. Smart Stepfamilies is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. NBCC Approval No. SP-4483. 

In addition, participants receive a lifetime referral listing on as a Recognized Smart Stepfamily Therapy Provider (view here). Find the next live virtual training (recorded on-demand training is not available at this time). See event listing here. 

Ron is an LMFT and LPC (Arkansas and Texas) and has been doing clinical work with stepfamilies (adults and children) since 1992 and has, himself, undergone advanced training in stepfamily therapy and Restoration Therapy (Level 1 Certified). He has been actively training clinicians since 2000. 

Description: Smart Stepfamily Therapy Training

The stepcouple divorce rate remains alarming. Therapists often feel overwhelmed when treating blended families given their complexity and relational dynamics. This two-day workshop specifically designed for therapists who espouse a Christian worldview (a secular version of the training is available for conferences and private groups, as well) will explore key relational challenges leading to stepcouple and stepfamily distress and how therapists can effectively treat the expanded stepfamily system including children and former spouses. Biblical and pastoral considerations for working with Christian clients will be included. Clinical applications of the psychoeducational principles from Ron's Smart Stepfamily Series of books will be discussed. And data from the National Survey of Stepfamilies (over 50,000 couples surveyed by Ron Deal and David Olson) will be presented and implications shared for preventing divorce and strengthening the entire stepfamily unit.

Learning Objectives: Participants will:

  1. List family process dynamics that are different in stepfamilies than in biological families;
  2. Describe how attachment, loss, and loyalty issues create competing attachments and barriers to family integration;
  3. Learn an overall developmental model for understanding family integration;
  4. Identify practical therapeutic procedures in working with remarried couples and stepfamilies and learn how to discern traditional therapeutic interventions not suited for stepfamilies;
  5. Describe the differing roles of biological parents and stepparents as they relate to raising children in stepfamilies and marital cohesion;
  6. Share and discuss case studies;
  7. Evaluate their current practice model and talk through how to integrate stepfamily therapy strategies with both children and adults.


Cost, Dates, & Locations: See the next live virtual training to become a Recognized Smart Stepfamily Therapy Provider (recorded on-demand training is not available at this time)

"Blended families are a collection of subsystems in search of an identity. They are born out of loss and born into ambiguity (another form of loss) and initially are comprised of competing attachments and people who often carry attachment injury and insecurity...all while intending to become family to one another. Because stepfamilies are emotionally complex systems filled with ambiguity, therapy is generally complex and ambiguous, as well. And given that a large percentage of our clients come from, are in, or will be part of a blended family at some point in their lives, training in stepfamily therapy is well worth your time."

-- Ron Deal, LMFT, LPC
Author of the Smart Stepfamily Series of books, Director of FamilyLife Blended, and a Fellow of the Townsend Institute for Counseling and Leadership. 


Sign-up or Make a Speaking Request

  • To receive email notifications about future training complete the Contact Us form with the message: "Add me to the Smart Stepfamily Therapy Provider email list".
  • Or, if you are planning a professional training conference and need a keynote, workshop, or a full-day intensive training for your clinicial team, complete a Speaking Request and describe your event, dates, speaker arrangements, and audience.