Relationship Counseling in
Downtown Chicago

Stepfamily, Stepparents, Remarried Couples or Committed Partners

Learn How Couples Counseling Helps Stepfamily, Stepparents, Remarried Couples or Committed Partners

If You are in Chicago
Call or Text 312-416-6191
All Inquiries and Sessions are Strictly Confidential

On a Cell? Tap to Call: 312-416-6191

Couples Counseling Associates

Whether you or your partner became a stepparent due to divorce, remarriage, a new committed relationship, or death of a spouse, couples counseling can support you through the challenges you’ll encounter. You don't have to do it alone.

Integrating families can be difficult to navigate and stressful for both adults and children. Every family is different, so there isn’t one textbook way to bring new families together harmoniously. That’s why speaking to someone about your unique stepfamily can be extremely helpful. Couples counseling can help stepfamilies reduce friction between family members and develop mutual respect for one another. Counseling can help you as a couple, or individually, become a strong unit to weather the storms that inevitably occur in a stepfamily situation.

Tips to Manage a Stepfamily Integration

  1. Build Trust

    Stepfamilies—which we define as “his,” her,” or “our” children living together some of the time—are vulnerable to conflicts and disagreements, according to family research. That’s not surprising considering a new family is just that—new! It’s not easy getting used to a new situation, but with stepfamilies the transition can feel even more personal and intrusive. However, you and your stepfamily can work together to build trust within your new family unit to avoid tense conflicts.

    Couples counseling helps remarried couples and stepfamilies explore patience and understanding as an important component of trust-building and helps everyone become more comfortable in the new situation.

    In counseling sessions, you can also resolve feelings about your previous relationship or marriage and learn how to set the right expectations between family members about everything from living arrangements to parenting styles. Each discussion builds more trust between members and improves your chances of creating a healthy stepfamily situation.

  2. Set Boundaries

    It’s important to remember that new stepfamilies can feel out-of-place, isolating, or even hostile to children, even if that isn’t the intention of a stepparent. Work with your partner to develop parenting boundaries so that together you relieve intense pressure often felt by children in a new family situation.

    As a stepparent, it’s important to remember that you cannot replace a child’s biological parent. It’s completely OK to give children the space they need to love—and feel connected to—their biological parents, regardless of previous infidelity or marital issues in their biological parents’ previous relationship. Keeping this in mind, especially early on during the integration process, will help you and your partner set appropriate boundaries within the stepfamily and make children feel more comfortable with the situation.                                                      
  3. Talk to Someone                                                                                                                                                                                                                               One thing we do in couples counseling is discuss the nature of the couple’s relationship and the relationships between co-parents and children. Improving the stability and strength of these relationships is one of the best predictors of successful family integration. 

When you talk to a counselor or family therapist, you gain the unique perspective of someone who can bring experience and expertise into your situation. This new clarity can help you strengthen a relationship with a partner, stepchildren, or stepparents.

One of our experienced counselors can help you and your stepfamily:

  • Negotiate household arrangements with children
  • Establish who disciplines children
  • Increase acceptance of different parenting styles
  • Identify what problems can be solved and what problems need ongoing management
  • Manage conflicting loyalties
  • Explore if family integration is possible and, if it seems too tough, learn what tactics can help your unique situation
  • Discuss who feels included or excluded from the family
  • Establish respected family boundaries
  • Identify where weak bonds exist between stepfamily members and how to strengthen them

Do any of these sound familiar to you? That’s likely because they are common issues reported by step mothers, step fathers, and step children. However, the list includes common ways counseling helps address these stepfamily challenges. If you’re not sure where to start, counseling can help. You’re not alone.

In fact, some of the best predictors of family integration and stability are the nature of the relationships between co-parents and their children and the nature of the couple relationship.

Couples Counseling can help with anger management too.

An experienced counselor can address the following issues

Negotiation of household arrangements involving children

Who disciplines the children?

How to increase acceptance of different parenting styles

Figuring out which problems can be solved and which problems need management 

Managing conflicting loyalties

Is family integration possible?

Who is included and who is excluded from the family

Establishing and respecting amily boundaries

What are the weakest bonds and how to strengthen them?

Consider Relationship Counseling Before Making Major Decisions

Couples may consider divorce or separation even when the two adults are happy together because of problems in the stepparent-stepchild relationship.

Expert Couples Counseling for stepfamilies and/or remarried couples can considerably decrease the vulnerability and risk of divorce or separation.

Call for relationship counseling at Couples Counseling Associates now. Waiting may not make things better.

Click here to Contact Us For More Information Or To Make An Appointment


By the way, in my efforts to bring value to your life, I've developed a series of lessons that could have a major impact on effectively improving your relationship.

I encourage you to click here (or the image to the right) in order to discover how these resources can benefit you.

Remember, it's the positive habits we develop that guarantee us success in all areas of our lives.

Discover these 7 habits I've laid out for you and how they'll help improve your relationship.

Learn more about Couples Counseling Associates

How do you find a good couples counselor?

Find books that may help enrich your blended family

Call 312 416 6191 to ask questions or to make an appointment

Go from this page to Getting Started page

Go from this page to FAQ page

An experienced couples counselor can also help find answers to the following questions:

How many families are there in a stepfamily?

What are the characteristics of successful remarried (or step) families?

How do we set up realistic expectations?

What are some of the best ways to form satisfactory relationships?

What are recommended ways to deal with power and anger issues?

Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago

Tap to Call:

© 2017 Couples Counseling Associates

Click on pictures below for more information


Intake Counselor 

Call me or email me now.

I will answer all your questions!

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 1

Sara Schwarzbaum


Founder, Couples Counseling Associates 

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 202

Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 204

Liz Garvey



Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 207

Rory Koontz



Tap to Call:

Linda Lazzara



Tap to Call:
312-416-6191 ext. 205


 Michael Villarreal:

773 789-9775