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Step and Blended Families with Ruth Morehouse, Ph.D.

Ruth MorehouseRemarriage provides an opportunity for a fresh start in life but is often fraught with conflicting loyalties, integrity struggles over differing values, and emotional fusion between parents and children. Effectively dealing with these high intensity issues requires therapists to be firmly grounded in systemic thinking and to use a therapeutic approach that can be applied equally effectively to couples, children, the entire new nuclear family and the increasingly complex extended family system. The Crucible Approach®, a differentiation based therapy, provides a reliable framework for understanding step family dynamics and facilitates successfully working through varied issues ranging from parenting styles, conflict with biological parents, sexuality, intrusive in-laws, and developing non-traditional family units.

In this Institute, Dr. Ruth Morehouse will weave together current research about stepfamilies; the efficacy of a differentiation based therapy approach to address these issues; and a strong emphasis on clinical application. Through case examples, discussion, demonstrations by the presenter, and guided active-learning approaches, the participants will learn to work with step families in a manner that enhances differentiation and increases the well-being of all those involved.

By the completion of the Institute, participants will be able to:

* discuss current research on step families and remarriage.
* describe typical issues that come up in step families and remarriage.
* explain the process of differentiation and give examples pertaining to stepfamilies and remarriage.
* list the Four Points of Balance and describe how they are integral to effective step parenting.
* explain the basic tenets of the Crucible Approach including a non-pathological approach, anxiety tolerance rather than anxiety reduction, and talking to the best in clients.
* understand the collaborative alliance.
* discuss how to identify which specific issues of differentiation to address therapeutically.
* explain the importance of the differentiated stance of the therapist in working with remarriage and blended families.
* describe what is meant by an isomorphic intervention in working with step families.

Course Schedule

Thursday, March 3, 2011 – Sunday, March 6, 2011
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day

This course provides 20 hours of continuing education.

Ruth Morehouse, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist (Diplomate, AASECT) who has been working with step parenting and remarriage issues for over 30 years. She is co-director of the Marriage and Family Health Center of Evergreen, Colorado, which is the home of the Passionate Marriage® and Crucible® Approaches. She has years of experience conducting training around the world and also provides ongoing case consultation on couples and families to experienced mental health professionals.

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The Institute registration fee includes handouts, a Welcome and Closing Reception, a continental breakfast on class days (beginning on March 3), and continuing education verification.  For your convenience, there are four easy ways to register for the AAMFT Institutes for Advanced Clinical Training.

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Place your company's fliers, brochures, or other promotional pieces in all Institute attendees' informational packets. These packets will be handed to each attendee (approximately 150 - 200) upon arrival at the Institutes.

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Hotel & Travel

La Fonda on the Plaza is not only a beautiful hotel, but also a vibrant, historic Santa Fe landmark. The La Fonda hotel is surrounded by history and art museums, plus a wide variety of shops, galleries, and historic churches.

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American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
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