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Becoming A Stepfamily: Patterns of Development in Remarried Families (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Book S) Paperback – January 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0881633092 ISBN-10: 0881633097 Edition: New Ed

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Becoming A Stepfamily: Patterns of Development in Remarried Families (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Book S) + Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn't
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Product Details

  • Series: Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Book S
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gestalt Press; New Ed edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881633097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881633092
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Presenting information crucial to the understand of many contemporary American families, Dr. Papernow gives a vivid description of the various stages of stepfamily integration. Well-written, easy to read, with excellent examples and vignettes, this book deserves a special place in the library of every therapist."

- John S. Visher, Ph.D., and Emily B. Visher, Ph.D. 

About the Author

Patricia L. Papernow is a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, MA.

More About the Author

I am in my fourth decade of working with, learning about, and teaching others about stepfamily relationships. I got hooked 3 and a half decades ago. I was married to a man with two kids and I needed a dissertation topic. I wrote about normal stages of development in stepfamilies, which later became my first book, Becoming a Stepfamily: Patterns of Development in Remarried Families.

At the time, I promised myself I would never ever write another book! But, two decades later, we know so much about what works and what doesn't, and so little of this information has been made available to the public, or even to clinicians, clergy, guidance counselors, pediatricians and others who want to help. My goal in this book was to provide a readable, accessible guide based not only on my own decades of clinical research, but also on the rich trove of research that had accumulated since my first book.

I am now closing in on 20 years in my second marriage. I have a 30-year old daughter from my first marriage, and 3 stepchildren in this marriage who now all have both partners and their own kids (two each for a total of six grandkids!) I am a psychologist in private practice in Hudson, MA, and an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. I now work primarily in the Internal Family Systems model.

I am passionate about helping others to understand and successfully navigate the often intense challenges of this family form. I love to teach. I give workshops throughout the world and will talk to anybody who wants to learn more about what works and what doesn't to create thriving stepfamily relationships.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peter Gerlach on November 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a stepfamily therapist and researcher, and an invited member of the Stepfamily Association of America's Advisory Council. I have read over 40 lay and clinical books on stepfamilies and stepparenting since 1979. "Bocoming a Stepfamily" is one of the two best ones I have read, on a complex and controversial subject. The other is Margaret Newman's "Stepfamily Realities."
A major plus for this book is the many stepfamily vignettes and quotes Papernow uses to illustrate her points. Another is her way of framing the developmental stages of four kinds of typical stepfamilies. A third plus is Papernow's insightful sketching of the respective viewpoints and needs of the biological parent and the stepparent in different phases of stepfamily development. A rare feature of her book vs. others in the genre is her acknowledging that many stepfamily co-parents (bioparents and stepparents) have significant psychological wounds from their childhood that impact their stepfamily relationships. Most stepfamily authors ignore this vital reality.
A last unique advantage to this book is Papernow's (accurate) description that stepparents (and their kids, if any) initially feel like "outsiders" in the new stepfamily system, and that a major task all members face is to acknowledge that, and work to balance the outsiders and insiders through expanding mutual empathy.
A major drawback to this book is Papernow's decision to say little about ex mates. She implies that a nuclear stepfamily excludes or minimizes them (and any new mate and stepkids they have). The benefit of this is to keep her book conceptually simple. The great deficit is that it ignores a major source of re/marital and co-poarenting stress (or potential strength) for adults and kids alike.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
In 1994, my then fiance and I read together Papernow's book on stepfamilies in order to prepare us for the challenge of blending my five children and his eight children (four of which were already married). This was so invaluable in giving me the perspective of all parties involved. Over and over through the years (it is now 2001) this book made me realize that my side of the various issues that come and go is not the only valid view of things. Time does make a big difference in settling issues and feelings. I think this book should be required reading before anyone undertakes the task of step parenting. It arms you with so many valuable insights before you have to learn by experience and wreck your marriage. Our marriage is going strong; this book did help.
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By Amazon Customer on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Well researched and well written. If you are serious about stepfamily counseling this is must read
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