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Stepping In, Stepping Out: Creating Stepfamily Rhythm

ISBN: 978-1-119-24655-8
160 pages
November 2015
Stepping In, Stepping Out: Creating Stepfamily Rhythm (1119246555) cover image


This much-needed resource offers insight into building and maintaining satisfying and successful stepfamily relationships. As the number of stepfamilies continues to increase, counselors and other mental health professionals are likely to encounter clients seeking help in navigating these often complicated relationships.

In this book, Dr. Gold emphasizes the principles and practices of narrative therapy as a means to address key concerns within the family system, reauthor dominant social myths surrounding stepfamily life, and create realistic treatment plans that are inclusive of all members of the family. Detailing the inherent strengths and challenges of the stepfamily experience, he provides an in-depth examination of the roles of each member in a blended family, including stepfathers and stepmothers, ex-spouses, grandparents, and children. This book is an excellent guide to thoughtful, practical, and empirically validated interventions for helping stepfamilies thrive.

*Requests for digital versions from the ACA can be found on wiley.com. 
*To request print copies, please visit the ACA website.

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Table of Contents

Preface v

About the Author xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 Introduction: What We Know About Stepfamilies 1

Chapter 2 Developmental Schemas of Stepfamilies 13

Chapter 3 Marital Issues in Stepfamilies 25

Chapter 4 Stepparenting 37

Chapter 5 Stepfather Families 51

Chapter 6 Stepmother Families 63

Chapter 7 Mutual-Child Stepfamilies 75

Chapter 8 Extended Stepfamily Constellations: Relationships With Ex-Spouses 87

Chapter 9 Extended Stepfamily Constellations: Relationships With Stepgrandparents 101

Chapter 10 Future Directions in the Study of Stepfamilies 115

References 121

Index 131

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Author Information

Joshua M. Gold, PhD, is a professor in the Counselor Education Program at the University of South Carolina. He completed his doctoral study at Kent State University in 1991 and then served on the faculty of Fairfi eld University for four years before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina in 1995. He is a member of International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and a contributing editorial board member of The Family Journal. This book marks a refl ective milepost for him in a career that began in clinical work with stepfamilies, which was the focus of his dissertation research and then remained a research thread during his tenure as a professor.

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“Joshua Gold has crafted a timely, highly readable, and clinically relevant work that will be of interest to both trainees and experienced clinicians. Each chapter is structured to confront and reauthor dominant social myths about stepfamilies and offer creative solutions. Gold has combined developmental and narrative models that engage the reader, and he continues to make lasting contributions to the field of marriage and family counseling.”—Stephen Southern, EdD
Editor, The Family Journal

“The blending of families is often a difficult task for family members and for the counselors who work with them. Stepping In, Stepping Out: Creating Stepfamily Rhythm is a valuable resource to help counselors address the unique potentialities and problems involved in the development of well-functioning stepfamilies where family members and extended family members step with rather than step on one another.” —Richard E. Watts, PhD
Texas State University System Regents’ Professor
University Distinguished Professor
Sam Houston State University

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