Welcome to the Institute of Step-Family Dynamics

We’re a resource for people who are part of a step-family or work with step-families, and those who are both!

There are some very important differences between how step-families function and the dynamics involved and how ‘first families’ work. Far too often people in step-families are given advice that might work very well if the advice was for a ‘first family’, but for a step-family that advice can leave them feeling like failures and sometimes make things even worse.

For professionals, like teachers, counselors, health professionals, and even legal professionals, there isn’t a lot of training in how to deal specifically with the step-family dynamic. School systems often aren’t set up to deal with children having multiple homes. Professionals aren’t trained in how to deal
with high conflict situations, or how to recognize when there is attempted parental alienation atplay.

Here at the Institute we are experts in Step-Family Dynamics. It’s what we do, it’s what we know, and we are passionate about sharing that expertise with people.


Anita is a step/mum to 7, ranging from tweens to adults. As a child of divorce and a divorced mum, she was completely unprepared for life married to a man in a high conflict relationship with his ex. This led to her current career, helping others deal with complex stepfamily dynamics. She lives in New Zealand but works with clients in North America and Australasia. She specialises in helping families navigate high conflict situations and those dealing with trauma. She is a certified stepfamily coach, with graduate and post-graduate qualifications in psychology. Along with co-founding Stepfamily Magazine, she also found the Institute of Step-Family Dynamics and mentors other step-family coaches and professionals.

Keep up to date with our Newsletter


* indicates required