In Working With Stepfamilies, Dr. James H. Bray shows his approach to counseling stepfamilies or remarried families—families created when two spouses who already have children get married. This is a complex form of therapy—as there are usually many people involved—including the parents, their respective children, the nonresidential parents of those children, grandparents and other members of the extended family, and children born to remarried ex-spouses. The goal of this therapy is to help the family blend together by improving their functioning in four areas: parenting, disciplining, strengthening the marital relationship, and working to include nonresidential family in the stepfamily.
In this session, Dr. Bray works with a couple who, although they have been involved for 5 years, have only recently married, and are dealing with the bickering and acting out of their children from previous marriages. Dr. Bray works with the couple and their children, attending to the needs of each member of the family, focusing especially on parental disciplining skills, communication skills, and blending of family traditions.