Welcome to the

Canadian Stepfamily Institute

Solution Focused - Research Driven - Strength Based -  Professional Training Programs  

The Key to Stepfamily Harmony


Managing The Stepfamily Maze

Professional Resources


         Educational Events


Program Consultant

Conference Speaker

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From Intake to Integration:  Clinical Framework for Stepfamily Therapy

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Stepfamily Resources

Traditional Counselling



Certified Stepfamily Counsellors

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The Goals of The Canadian Stepfamily Institute

Driven by the lack of professional educational opportunities for family service professionals, and the ever increasing number of Canadian stepfamilies looking for information and support, Dianne Martin launched The Canadian Stepfamily Institute with a mandate to research, design and develop the following:

 Professional development seminars for family service practitioners, organizations and agencies.

 Educational workshops and counselling for stepfamilies and single parents planning to remarry.



Family Therapists Face Clinical Challenges

Universities fail to adequately prepare social workers for clinical work with stepfamilies

As a therapist, do you find the problems presented by stepfamilies a little overwhelming and hard to deal with?

Stepfamily researchers have demonstrated that stepfamilies are a unique population that requires a distinctive clinical approach. Effective stepfamily therapy requires that therapists are cognizant of the developmental, structural and functional issues and dynamics that are not found in first families.

1.    Therapists may lack the basic knowledge and clinical skills essential for stepfamily therapy.

2.    Family therapists become overwhelmed by the sheer number and complexity of the issues  presented by stepfamilies.

3.    Traditional therapeutic approaches are not effective with stepfamilies

4.    Stepfamilies have reported that therapists did not understand their issues and in fact, found themselves in the position of having to educate their therapists. 


 Have Canadian universities dropped the ball?

Social workers and therapists are graduating from Canadian universities and working therapeutically with stepfamilies without adequate preparation. Traditional therapeutic approaches are not effective with stepfamilies. Therapists who fail to appreciate the unique characteristics of stepfamilies may--unknowingly--exacerbate family tension and trigger increased confusion, chaos and conflict.

Will Canadian family practice professionals benefit from attending research driven, professional educational programs, and learning the core concepts and skills, that underpin successful, strength-based therapy with stepfamilies?

The Canadian Stepfamily Institute has researched, designed and developed a two-day intensive training program to meet the professional development needs of Canadian family service professionals.

The seminar-- From Intake to Integration: A Clinical Framework for Stepfamily Therapy--is now accepting registrations at for addition information go to Intake to Integration

Dianne Martin, BSW, RSW, Certified Stepfamily Counsellor

Founder, The Canadian Stepfamily Institute

February 11, 2017

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