Preparing to Blend 2.0: Effective Pre-stepfamily Counseling Issues and Strategies

Original price was: $149.00.Current price is: $69.00.


Course Presenter: Ron Deal, M.MFT., is a bestselling author, licensed marriage & family therapist, podcaster, and popular conference speaker who conducts “laugh and learn” marriage and family seminars and professional training around the country and online. He specializes in both marriage enrichment and stepfamily education. Frequently featured in the national media, Ron is a leading national expert and the most widely read and viewed author on blended families in the country. He serves as President of Smart Stepfamilies™ and Director of FamilyLife Blended®, a division of FamilyLife®. 


In blended families, the rules are different. The majority of pre-stepfamily dating and engaged couples will walk into their wedding feeling unprepared and unequipped to address issues like co-parenting, finances, establishing family identity, and daily routines for their new life together. In fact, pre-blended family couples are about half as likely to get premarital preparation compared to first marriage couples; 75 percent get no preparation at all (Carroll & Doherty, 2003; Ganong & Coleman, 2004). Preparing to Blend 2.0 will address main issues and strategies for Mental Health Professionals, Marriage Coaches, and Ministry Leaders to equip couples and children for stepfamily living. The course will discuss competing emotional attachments, relational complexity, multiple households, and ambiguous relational dynamics in stepfamilies—and how the structure of pre-stepfamily counseling varies from traditional premarital counseling. 

Learning Objectives 

Participants will… 

  1. Describe how unrealistic premarital expectations set couples up for relational distress, disillusionment, and family conflict
  2. Analyze how previous loss and loyalty conflicts interfere with bonding in newly formed blended families 
  3. Describe a counseling/coaching process and specific interventions designed to help couples and children co-create a new family identity 

Course Lesson and Summaries 

PTB 101: Pre-Blended Family Preparation: What Are We Trying to Accomplish? 

Ron L. Deal, M.MFT. 

This session identifies key goals in pre-blended family counseling and discusses key differences distinguishing it from traditional premarital counseling. We will also discuss what is not different in terms of couple idealistic distortion. 

Run Time: 1:00:06


PTB 102: Overview and Sample Session Outline 

Ron L. Deal, M.MFT. 

Pre-blended family counseling is very different than traditional premarital counseling and covers topics specific to stepfamily living. This session will present an overview of recommended topics and discuss their relevance to stepfamily development. It will then present a sample session format and between-session Growing Activities meant to enhance couple and children bonding and ease the transition to becoming a family. 

Run Time: 1:00:06


PTB 103: Special Topics in Pre-Blended Family Counseling 

Ron L. Deal, M.MFT. 

Counselors will need to help couples prepare for a variety of complex family configurations and circumstances. This session will discuss meeting with a former spouse, the need to reconcile fractured parent-child relationships, couple cohabitation, and theological questions related to divorce and remarriage. 

Run Time: 1:00:27


Continuing Education   

3.0 CE Credits available for LPC, LMFT, and LCSW.  

The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) offers some psychologists, therapists, counselors, social workers and play therapists Continuing Education (CE) credit due for good standing with certain states and a limited number of professional organizations. It remains the responsibility of each participant to be aware of state licensure and CE requirements.  


Participants should check their state and/or local regulations regarding required continuing education hours. For more information Light University Continuing Education programs, please visit: https://lightuniversity.com/continuing-education-statements/