Working with blended family clients Zoom seminar

Date: TBC
Time: 9.00am-3.00pm (Sydney time)
PD Points: 6
Recorded session will be available for one month following the training if you are unable to attend on the day.


This one-day course is designed for Therapists and Counsellors who want to understand and support clients who are in a blended family. Blended families present all sorts of challenges for the people in them, some of whom have had very little choice in their new family arrangement.

Blending a family typically involves putting together step-siblings who have been parented differently, new partners with different parenting styles, step-parents who do not have the same level of attachment to a step-child as they do to their own children, and managing relationships with everyone’s ex-partners (who may also have new partners). 

Given the complexities, it’s surprising how quickly some people want to re-create families after breaking one up. Unfortunately, this speed – and perhaps some naivety – can end up harming relationships with child/children. In the worst cases, it can result in a lifetime estrangement between a parent/s and child/ren.

Many couples and families seek Jacqueline McDiarmid’s professional guidance when relationships are on the line in a blended family.  

In this seminar, she’ll share insights and guidance gained from 25 years of experience and case presentations, including work with families who are referred because they in a process with the Family Court.

Here are some of the outcomes you can expect.

  • You will learn how to set up sessions, who should attend sessions and how to engage all parties in the process.
  • You will learn what the common mistakes are when parents re-partner and how to guide your client in the best interests of their children.
  • You will learn how to help parents when a step-parent feels undervalued or resentful of a partner, partner’s ex or partner’s children.
  • You will learn what the parenting boundaries should be for step-parents with step-children. 
  • You will learn how to help a parent/s whose children do not want to spend time with the step-parent or step-sibling.
  • You will learn how to guide parents to communicate with their ex-partner.
  • You will learn how to help a parent whose child/teen is refusing contact with them.
  • You will learn about other ways to parents can build a meaningful relationship with their child/teen if there is limited access.
  • You will learn how to guide parents when step-siblings do not want contact with each other or are constantly fighting. 
  • You will learn when it may be appropriate to encourage mediation or litigation and what the differences are.

This course is suited to anyone who works with individuals, couples or families where there is a step-family or blended family presentation.  There will be a focus on setting up sessions within the framework of Family Therapy – however, all concepts and ideas can be applied to working with individuals, couples and families. Systemic theory will underpin this seminar.  

While Jacqueline brings in-depth knowledge to the seminar, she is an engaging presenter and you’ll walk away with ideas you can use immediately in your work.  

Normally priced at $341 

Earlybird price $264

This seminar will be conducted via Zoom and a link will be sent to all participants in advance.
Recorded session will be available for one month following the training if you are unable to attend on the day.


jacqueline finalCourse presenter

Jacqueline McDiarmid MCFT, B.Couns., Dip. Psych, is the Director of the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists, a private practice in Sydney and the Director of The Couple and Family Training Centre where she runs professional development training sessions and a mentoring program for those who wish to work in couple and family therapy. She currently lectures in the Masters program at the Jansen Newman Institute and guest lecturers at various universities. Jacqueline is well known for her work with couples and families and is passionate about offering clients the opportunity to experience a safe and productive place to work with well trained Couple and Family Therapists. Jacqueline is a Clinical Member of the Family Therapy Association of Australia and a Clinical Member of PACFA.