ERIC Number: ED264040
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Stepfamilies: The Restructuring Process.
Intended primarily for professionals, this booklet describes a process of psychosocial restructuring through which, sometimes with help, members of stepfamilies may assimilate the reality of their new situation. Sections of the discussion focus on phases in the restructuring process: fantasy; pretending; panic; and the emergence of a new family reality involving conflict, re-working, and moving on. Characteristic of the fantasy phase are the 'good' and 'bad' fantasies about the new partnership and the new family. In the pretending phase, stepfamily members pretend to be the collection of fantasies they bring to the new family. Essentially, the panic phase arrives when one or more people in the family begin to recognize their unique, individual view of the family and of other family members and, consequently, start to feel like an outsider. The conflict phase is that time in which the couple and/or family as a whole confront highly charged differences in values, traditions, histories, standards, styles, perceptions, and skills. During the re-working phase conflicts are perceived in new and different ways and members begin to create relationships. Now, moving on, stepfamily members are better able to appeciate and explore the differences within their new family, differences which often become assets. Experience suggests that movement through the process takes at least 4 years. (RH)
Descriptors: Cognitive Restructuring, Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Emotional Adjustment, Family Counseling, Family Environment, Family Relationship, Fantasy, Helping Relationship, Social Adjustment, Stepfamily
Judy Osborne, 353 Walnut St., Brookline, MA 02146 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Document contains small type.