Jane Finkle Graduate School, Second Edition

ISBN 13: 9781892148117

Graduate School, Second Edition

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9781892148117: Graduate School, Second Edition

Revised and expanded with new resources and recommendations, this guidebook will help college students and young adults who have decided to pursue graduate degrees.

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About the Author:

Patricia W. Stevens, PhD, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Supervisor, a Certified Family Therapist, and Licensed Professional Counselor. Patricia's career includes nearly 20 years of experience in mental health work, private counseling, supervision of counseling professionals involved with marital and family problems, creating instructional materials, and teaching at the university level. Since 1990, she has been Director of the Marriage and Family Training Program at the University of Colorado at Denver where she is also currently an Associate Professor in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education. She has also acted as Director of the University's Counseling and Family Therapy Center. Patricia has been recognized and awarded honors for her outstanding work with families, counselors, and marriage partners, and she has been a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. A highly sought-after speaker, she has presented at seminars throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Malaysia, and has authored and co-authored numerous books, journal articles, and other publications concerning marital and family issues. Patricia is active on the local level as well as the national level. She is currently a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, the American Psychological Association, the American Family Therapy Association, and is active with the National Family Health Care Coalition. Currently President-Elect of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, Patricia's past appointments also include being a member of the Joint Council on Family Relations, and Executive Director of the American Association of State Counseling Boards. For over 12 years, Patricia and her children have been members of blended families.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

TODAY'S AMERICAN STEPFAMILY. . . Is "The Brady Bunch" Too Much To Expect? Consider these facts:

** Of all first marriages, 60 percent will eventually end in divorce

** Eventually 75 percent of those divorced persons will remarry

** About 65 percent of remarriages involve children from a prior marriage

** 1,300 new stepfamilies are formed every day

** One out of three Americans is now a stepparent, a stepchild, a stepsibling, or some other member of a stepfamily

** If remarriage rates continue as they are, 35 percent of all children born will live in a stepfamily by the time they are 18 years of age

** Before they turn eighteen, 20 to 30 percent of stepchildren will see their custodial parent and stepparent divorce

** It is estimated that more than half of Americans today have been, are currently, or will eventually be in a stepfamily relationship during their life

Where does your stepfamily fit into the puzzle . . . How can your stepfamily beat the odds? Just a few decades ago, very little support and very few resources were available for stepparents and stepfamilies. Society assumed that the roles and relationships within the stepfamily resembled those of the nuclear family. But, as any stepfamily will attest, their needs are often more complex. A stepfamily is a family born from the loss of a spouse or parent, whether it is through divorce or death. As a stepfamily is formed, each family member may entertain a range of expectations and emotions, sometimes contending with past grief or anger, sometimes dealing with the current situation. Often children, in particular, may feel overwhelmed as they adapt from being in a nuclear family, to being in a single-parent family, to now being a member of a stepfamily possibly with new stepsiblings. Part-time visitations with their natural parent may add to children's confusion and stir up mixed feelings of parental loyalty. Tempers flare, words are spoken, and stepparents wonder why they ever took on the role of stepparent. The American stepfamily rarely mirrors the sunny side of life as depicted in "The Brady Bunch." Blended families are at greatest risk during the first two years, say some experts. They suggest that it may, in fact, take upwards of eight years to successfully achieve the delicate balance necessary for a stepfamily's survival. Unfortunately, many couples enter into remarriage with misconceptions about their parenting role, mistaken goals for their family, and misguided hopes for their stepchildren. Eventually, this naivet and lack of support undermine the foundation couples work so hard to build. However, there is good news. Recently, professionals involved with stepfamilies, as well as surveys of stepfamilies, have provided more in-depth understanding about the dynamics of stepfamily life. Nowadays we recognize that the pressures and stresses that stepfamily members endure are remarkably different from those encountered by nuclear families. This has translated into better support and quality resources to help stepfamilies past the hurdles they may face. Some believe that the best predictor of stepfamily happiness and success relies primarily on two factors-the quality of the relationship that develops between the stepparent and the children, and the strength and quality of the bond between the couple. By understanding how each family member may react or feel, and being flexible about how each member fits into the stepfamily puzzle, you may ensure the success of your stepfamily. Our purpose in creating this guidebook is to identify the best resources to help you as you marry and form a stepfamily. The books, websites, videotapes, and audiotapes reviewed here provide the necessary tools to help you understand your parenting role, appreciate (and predict) each other's emotional reactions, and help your stepchildren grow to accept their new family.

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