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About Stepfamily Consultation and Counseling:

Barbara Perlmutter is a certifed social worker and psychotherapist.
She is the founder of Stepfamily Consultation and Counseling and has worked extensively with individuals, couples and groups who are facing remarriage and stepfamily issues. She received her Master's Degree from the University of Washington in 1986. Barbara is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and is a clinical affiliate of the Stepfamily Association of America.

In addition to participating in ongoing professional stepfamily training and consultation, she has several years of "on-the-job" training with her three teenage stepchildren. She combines therapeutic understanding, personal experience and common sense to provide a unique opportunity for gaining new insights and making positive changes in your stepfamily relationships.


Stepfamily Consultation & Counseling
613 19th Avenue East
Suite 205
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 329-1711

Why women have joined stepmother support groups:
  • To "feel like I’m not alone"
  • To hear other women’s stories and experiences
  • To get support and understanding
  • To vent
  • To receive ideas about how to solve stepfamily problems
  • Because "I often feel 'crazy' in my new stepfamily"

Stepmother Support Groups

Stepfather Support Groups

Workshops for Couples

Counseling, Consulting and Supervision Services

Stepmother Support Groups

Whether you are just starting out as a new stepmother, have been stepparenting for years, or are considering becoming involved in a stepfamily, you are likely to find yourself facing a multitude of personal challenges.

Among the common issues for stepmothers are:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Confusion about their role
  • Challenges related to former spouses
  • Isolation from other stepfamilies
  • Feeling misunderstood
Being a stepmother can be a challenging experience.

This counseling group will be...
  • A place for you to receive encouragement, support and understanding
  • A way to increase your understanding of how stepfamilies work and learn new stepmothering skills
  • A time to talk about the importance of nurturing yourself and your relationship with your partner... even though you have kids!
  • A place to honestly explore your feelings, questions and reactions to the many demands this role places on your life

A Stepmother Support Group can really help!

To register, or for more information call (206) 329-1711.

Comments from group members include:

"The support I've received is invaluable. I feel that I'm not alone and that my problems and responses are normal."

"I've gotten so many positive ideas! And feedback that my boundaries and limits are OK… and essential."

"The group has provided a network of wonderful women that have validated my experience, made me laugh and given me a place where it's safe to let it all out."

"It's been helpful to ventilate in a safe place, reassuring to meet other stepmoms and see that I wasn't a horrible person for having feelings of jealousy, resentment and anger."

"Even though stepfamily life has changed over the past 5 years and is now quite positive, I still find the group continues to give me the strength, peace and support I need for being a stepmother, a wife and a woman."

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Stepfather Support Groups

Meet with other men in stepfamilies for discussion, education and conversation about what it means to be a stepfather.

To register, or for more information call (206) 329-1711.

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One Day Workshops for Couples

Facilitated by Barb Perlmutter M.S.W. and Steve Hunt, M.D. Starting a new marriage in a stepfamily brings complications most of us did not imagine! It is not unusual for a remarried couple to struggle with concerns such as these:

  • Nurturing the marriage amidst the many demands of stepfamily life
  • Co-parenting and discipline issues
  • Defining appropriate roles and responsibilities
  • Handling finances and child support
  • Negotiating relationships with previous partners
  • Enhancing communication

For information on dates and times of workshops call (206) 329-1711.

Comments from former group participants include:

"Great information…good to hear that we're all in the same boat! It's so helpful to hear the ideas and struggles of others in stepfamilies"

"It was great to share experiences and perceptions with other couples. I gained a lot of information to process in order to see what fits for my new stepfamily."

"Appreciated the information, thoughtfulness, humor, compassion and honesty. So nice that a "step-couple" is leading it!"

"We found the group very helpful. We had been trying to become a nuclear family, and now realize this is not achievable."

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Counseling and Consultation for Individuals and Couples

Available by appointment.

Consultation or Supervision for professionals working with stepfamilies.

Please call (206)329-1711 to schedule.

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Stepfamily Presentations

Issues and questions frequently arise in our communities that relate to stepfamily situations.

Who is authorized to pick up a sick child from school? Where do school records, report cards and announcements get sent? Where and how do mental health therapists encourage stepfamilies to work problems out? What behaviors might one expect from a child going through the remarriage process? Do our churches and synagogues truly recognize and value stepfamilies? How do clergy acknowledge various stepfamily members in weddings and other religious ceremonies? Are stepparents able to "sign" at a hospital for a stepchild with a medical emergency? With the number of stepfamilies rising dramatically---by 2010 it's estimated that there will be more stepfamilies than nuclear families---it is essential that professionals in our public and private institutions understand what stepfamilies are about. What makes a stepfamily different from nuclear families? What are the ramifications of these differences? What can we expect as these families develop over time? What do stepfamily members need us to know in order to serve them respectfully and responsibly? Education and information really help!

Presentations and classes have been offered through:
  • University of Washington Women's Center

  • City University - MA Counseling Program

  • Seattle University - Psychology Program

  • Shoreline Community College Women's Center

  • North Seattle Community College Continuing Education Dept.

  • Bellevue Community College Women's Center

  • Stonewall Family Services

  • Seafirst Bank

  • Fairfax Hospital

  • Unitarian Church

  • FamilyWorks

  • Bitterlake Family Center

  • King County Employee Assistance Program

Seminars, presentations and classes available include:

Building A Strong Remarriage & Stepfamily

Stepfamily Life: Defining Roles and Responsibilities

Stepfamily Life: Nurturing the Couple

Successful Stepfamily Living

Parenting in the Stepfamily

Clinical presentations to undergraduate/graduate classes

Clinical presentations to clergy, mental health professionals, and educators (or presentation subject available by request)
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Reproduction in whole or part without explicit permission is prohibited.

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