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Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn't

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships draws on current research, a wide variety of clinical modalities, and thirty years of clinical work with stepfamily members to describe the special challenges stepfamilies face. The book presents the concept of "stepfamily architecture" and the five challenges it creates, and delineates three different levels of strategies ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2013)
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Ray Branch
This is a tremendous book to use as a resource in counseling stepfamilies. Papernow is extremely helpful in describing the many problems that are faced by stepfamilies as they begin their new blended family together. Not only does Papernow describe these problems and what causes them but she does a good job in giving techniques that can be used as tools by counselors to help stepfamilies overcome these numerous obstacles. This book covers stepfamilies in different stages of development, so it wi ...more
Louis Postel
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Surviving and Thriving is making all the difference this Holiday season.

You know, before I read it I had this BELIEF that Thanksgiving could only look a certain way. It just had to be - a long table with a silver haired Dad at the head and June Cleaver running around getting stuff and stuffing and smiling all the while. Everyone just getting along so well. And the reality was - different. Ah, very different. Sad. A bummer.

But this time - miracle of miracles Thanksgiving was ok - more than ok. It
Misty Ray
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Psych books are always more approachable when case studies come into play, and the reader gets plenty of that here, with overviews and complete dialogues with the clients. This is a very readable book, to be taken in two ways: one, as an interesting overview on the step-family conundrum, and two, as a textbook reader on power positions and genograms. It helps to have a basic working knowledge of psychology terms and approaches before opening the cover.

With that said, I see this as more of a spri
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stepfamilies
Written by a therapist who has specialized in working with stepfamilies for 30 years, this book is a "must read" for both stepfamilies and those who work with them. Insightful, compassionate, and wise, it empathizes with every member of the family system. Valuable tips from the psychoeducational, intrapersonal, and intrapsychic levels throughout, plus excellent illustrative case studies. While written from a clinical perspective, it is accessible to everyone. ...more
Jill Hinton Wolfe
An incredibly helpful & well-researched guide

I wish I’d had this book 6-plus years ago. I wish my THERAPISTS had had this book. So many helpful concepts & ideas for families struggling to come together. It should be on the wedding registry of any couple with kids from a previous relationship.
Diane Kaplan
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Boy has this book been helpful! I’m preparing to move in with my boyfriend and his son, and this book has given vocabulary for my worries, and concrete lessons/advice for how we can proceed in the healthiest way- my boyfriend is reading it now too. I’ve gone from feeling totally daunted to feeling informed and I equipped!
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stepfamilies
I listened to this audiobook and felt it was extremely helpful in terms of understanding lots of stepfamily systems and what is most helpful to each system. As well as common challenges and helpful practices.
Holly Guthrie
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wish I would have read this book when I began my relationship with my current husband. Still good info and tips / tricks to try, but would have been really helpful to know sooner.
Aislinn Watson
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-work
Well-written and easy to follow. I learned a lot about step-family dynamics and will revisit this book if I end up doing therapy with step-families more regularly.
Orazie Slayton
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
great book for those starting a stepfamily relationship or even already in one and need some helpful tips to thriving.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is written for both the layperson and also those in the helping profession. As a layperson, I found it very helpful in understanding how the dynamics of a first family are completely different from that of a step-family and expectations cannot be the same. Understanding how much the children are affected is so key in making a step-family work. As someone who was divorced after 10 yrs of marriage and who now lives with a widower, our 2 1/2 yr relationship is still young. We have 3 child ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr Papernow writes eloquently and provides stepfamilies with much needed support in her new book. Her case studies provide specific examples and stories giving the reader access to real life issues and how to live with and survive them with dignity. Always thoughtful of all sides of the issue, Dr Papernow presents us with resolutions that hold families together witnessing one another's needs. ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"It is not whether children live in a first-time family, single-parent family, or a stepfamily that most powerfully predicts their wellbeing. It is the level of conflict, combined with the quality of parenting practices." ...more
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Dr. Patricia Papernow is widely recognized as one of the world's foremost experts on "blended families" and post-divorce parenting. Patricia is in her fourth decade of working with, learning about, and teaching others about stepfamily relationships. Her new book, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t is engaging and accessible and it is chock full of wisdo ...more

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