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Stepfamilies: Great for Parents, Grief for Kids?

Patricia Papernow talks about the double-reality new stepfamilies face and how we can help them.


Stepfamilies have gone from being a therapeutic rarity to a staple of family practice. In a recent conversation—part of our webcast series on meeting the unique challenges of 21st century families— Patricia Papernow, an expert in working with stepfamilies, helps us understand the fundamental issues and unique hurdles most stepfamilies must navigate, including a child’s disregard for a stepparent, attachment wounds between parents and kids, conflict among children, and stresses the happy couple never anticipated.

In this quick video clip, Patricia explains the two realities of new stepfamilies—adults who are enthralled and optimistic, and children who are undergoing a series of real losses. I think you may find her insights helpful as you work with stepfamilies in your practice.

Let us know.

Patricia Papernow is one of the six leaders we interviewed for our upcoming video webcast series, 21st Century Parenting: What Really Works. It gives you a insider’s look at the most relevant parenting issues that experts like Dan Siegel, Ron Taffel, Martha Straus, Stan Davis and Ben Furman have to offer that can expand your own clinical repertoire with some of the most challenging—and increasingly common—families you’ll work with. To learn more about this popular webcast, click here.

About Patricia Papernow: Patricia has worked as a trainer, consultant, and therapist with stepfamily relationships for more than 30 years. She’s a National Stepfamily Resource Center senior training faculty member and the author of the award-winning books Becoming a Stepfamily and Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships.

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One Response to Stepfamilies: Great for Parents, Grief for Kids?

  1. What Patricia is presenting is so on-target. As a therapist and a stepparent, I have seen both professionally and personally what a mixed bag of issues are at work in stepfamilies. Thanks for your work in this area.

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