A Subsystems Approach to Working with Conflict in Stepfamilies

CE Hours: 6.0

Friday, September 18, 2015, NHS, Colmar PA
Friday, September 25, 2015, PCS, Lebanon, PA
Friday, October 30, 2015, Philhaven Conference Center, Mt Gretna, PA

Many of the children treated by Family-Based programs live in complicated caregiving systems where caregivers are separated and experiencing significant conflict.  Not only do the caregivers live in separate homes, but they have developed relationships with new partners who have children of their own. Whether married or not, they function as stepfamilies. Both living in and working with step-families can present difficult structural and emotional challenges. This workshop presents a practical, evidence based approach for conceptualizing and treating stepfamilies co-developed by Dr. Scott Browning.   This approach is outlined in Dr. Browning’s well-regarded book, Stepfamily Therapy: A Ten-Step Clinical Approach (2011, APA Publications).

This workshop explains and demonstrates the subsystem approach to treating stepfamilies.  Videotaped sessions are shown to highlight common treatment issues and their solutions.  Major focus is given to how genograms and structural mapping can be used in clinical decision making with respect to who should be invited to meet with whom in sessions, defining appropriate roles of the different caregivers, and working with triangulation and conflict of loyalty.

This workshop is designed to help you: 1) recognize the unique needs of stepfamilies; 2) identify common structural problems among stepfamilies, 3) use genograms and structural mapping in clinical decision making, 4) recognize family therapy techniques not suited for stepfamilies; 5) identify specific techniques that work with stepfamilies; and 6) apply a ten-step model to the treatment of stepfamilies.

The presenter, Scott W. Browning, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Professional Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, and is considered an authority on the treatment with stepfamilies. Scott has provided advanced training in the treatment of stepfamilies both nationally and abroad. He is the author of numerous chapters and articles on the topic.