Stepfamilies: A Multi-dimensional Perspective

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Psychology Press, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 254 pages
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Combining theoretical, empirical, and clinical knowledge, Stepfamilies: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective contains recent research and information that will help mental health practitioners, family therapists, psychologists, and counselors understand the characteristics, dynamics, needs, and issues of nonclinical stepfamilies. Based on direct experiences with diverse types of stepfamilies, this book gives you new guidelines and strategies that will enable you to offer more successful sessions to your clients and improve your effectiveness as a practitioner.

Developed to give you a more realistic understanding of stepfamilies, this text helps you avoid the stereotypes and false perceptions that often surround stepfamilies. Offering methods and strategies aimed at making your clients feel comfortable about themselves and their situations, Stepfamilies: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective examines several aspects of these families that you need to know in order to improve your effectiveness with them, including:
  • the definition and description of stepfamilies and recognizing historical and social changes in the stepfamily structure
  • critical reviews on the present knowledge of stepfamilies
  • describing the complexity of family structure, the ambiguity of boundaries and roles, and the struggle with the diverse phases of the life cycle
  • discussing key issues for stepfamilies, such as past orientation and acceptance/rejection of differences from non-stepfamilies and focal subsystems
  • the profile, characteristics, and case studies of an innovative typology of stepfamilies that includes integrated families, invented families, and imported families
  • aspects of ethnically and culturally different stepfamilies, including American stepfamilies, Israeli stepfamilies, and immigrant stepfamilies from the former Soviet Union
  • social perceptions and attitudes of stepfamilies in schools, social services, community organizations, the media, and with the law

    Offering case studies and data on a variety of families and situations, Stepfamilies: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective will show you that all stepfamilies are not the same and cannot be helped by just one practice method. Complete with principles and instruments to assess patients and the success of sessions, Stepfamilies: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective works to promote an understanding of stepfamilies that will result in effective and positive therapy for your clients.
 

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Contents

The Changing Context
3
Who Are They?
9
Characteristic Features of Stepfamilies
19
Key Issues of Stepfamilies
51
TYPES OF STEPFAMILIES
65
Acknowledging Differences
72
Typical Issues
78
Summary
84
Summary
120
Black Stepfamilies
137
Gay and Lesbian Stepfamilies
149
HELPING STEPFAMILIES OF DIVERSE
161
Choosing with Whom
181
Summary
201
Strategies and Techniques for Working
203
Using Collaborative Conversational Approaches
210

A Parental Focal Subsystem
92
The Fox Family
98
Living
105
Denying Differences from NonStepfamilies
112
Summary
230
Index
245
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