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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.  [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.]  

Get advanced training in therapy with stepcouples and blended families with Ron Deal's 12-hour virtual training. Learn more here

If you use the Prepare-Enrich assessment, click the video below to watch three successive videos with Ron Deal talking about using Prepare-Enrich when working with stepfamily couples.

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.
  • Statistics on Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage in America