Meeting the Clinical Challenges of 'Blended Family' Relationships

Presented by Patricia L. Papernow, EdD on 05-15-2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

Stepfamily members enter their new families expecting and longing for blissful blending and a fresh start. But these same family members often seek help because they may find themselves struggling with unhappy children, caught in conflicts over parenting, confronting difficulties with the stepparent role, facing uncooperative ex-spouses, and dealing with differences about everything from the “appropriate” cost of a pair of sneakers, to whether Grape Nuts is a breakfast food or a form of cardboard. Furthermore, at a time of major transition when children most need attuned attention from their parents, stepfamily structure creates experiential divides that leave children feeling alone and parents feeling deeply frustrated.

The dilemma is that few mental health professionals receive any training in the complex dynamics and intense challenges of what we call “blended family” relationships, despite the fact that these issues saturate our practices. Stepfamilies can be healthy, happy families and good places to raise children. However, what it takes to make a strong stepfamily is very different from what works in a first-time family. Furthermore, using what you know about first-time families as a guide all too often leads stepfamily members and those who want to help badly astray.

Whether you work with adults or children, with individuals, couples, or families, with young people or with older adults, this engaging and practical web conference will help you to make sense out of the apparent chaos and choose the most effective path to being helpful. Dr. Papernow will integrate over three decades of clinical experience with her solid understanding of the research to provide you with immediately applicable tools for helping stepfamily members to meet their challenges and develop solid satisfying relationships.

This intermediate-level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Outline some of the major differences between “first-time” families and stepfamilies;
  2. Discuss some of the challenges to intimate relationships that stepfamily structure creates;
  3. Explain some specific strategies for meeting those challenges;
  4. Describe guidelines for an effective stepparent role;
  5. Utilize the three different levels of clinical work with stepfamilies: psychoeducational, interpersonal, and intrapsychic.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Just want CE credits? Sign up for a monthly or annual CE Subscription with GoodTherapy to get unlimited access to our CE Program, including this event, other live CE web conferences, and hundreds of hours of homestudy courses.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $29.95 or access the homestudy recording for $14.95. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.


I loved this workshop. I found it clear, relevant and clinically useful. Very concrete. - Lisa Shouldice, MA, RP, CCP

Click here to
Sign In and Access

Meet the Presenter

Patricia L. Papernow, EdD

Patricia L. Papernow, EdD

Dr. Patricia Papernow has been internationally recognized as an expert on “blended families.” She is a highly engaging speaker and teacher and the author of two of the classic books in the field. Her most recent book, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t (Routledge, 2013), has been widely acclaimed by both clinicians and stepfamily members, as well as by clergy, teachers, grandparents, and adult stepchildren. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and has been interviewed on many local and national television and radio shows, including Good Morning America, PrimeTime Live, and The Katie Couric Show.

Dr. Papernow maintains a private psychology practice in Hudson, Massachusetts, and she also works at Harvard Medical School as a clinical instructor. For more information, or to contact Dr. Papernow, please visit her website at

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

670 CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy Premium or Pro Members at no additional cost.
GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.