Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership
By Roger B. Burt, Mala S. Burt
Help for stepfamilies, and the therapists who counsel them, is available in this book that normalizes the adjustment process and provides hope and guidance.
Published in 1996 as Stepfamilies, The Step By Step Model of Brief Therapy this book has been reissued with a new forward and new title: Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership.
Originally intended for mental health professionals, Emily and John Visher, the founding “parents” of the Stepfamily Association of America, referred to it as the definitive work on stepfamily interventions.
Recently the book went out of print and its authors considered it too important a work to let it disappear. It has been reissued as a book that could be used by stepcouples or helping professionals needing information about the stepfamily adjustment process.
The book contains tools that can be used during a therapeutic intervention or by motivated couples.
The model utilized is called a “normalizing” model in which stepfamilies are considered to be normal families undergoing multiple simultaneous adjustments. There is an economy of intervention using this model and it avoids the extensive data gathering often associated with the medical model where pathology is assumed.
The supporting data for this brief, couples based, episodic therapy model was gathered by the authors from almost 500 couples at Step By Step, their specialized psychotherapy practice. The power of the model is seen in the fact that these families often arrived in terrible distress, yet the average number of sessions was only eight.