Tera Ester offers support to those living in a stepfamily. This service provides those within a stepfamily to learn strategies to become a more cohesive unit.
Stepfamilies can be complicated given there are many people involved and not everyone is always on the same page. Tera works with stepfamilies using a methodology developed by Dr. Jeannette Lofas but also while practicing the principles of applied behavior analysis, as a BCBA. Dr. Lofas’s methodology is based on a business model of management but as a BCBA, Tera puts a behavior analytic spin on it, as well. Tera attempts to help all participating family members define how the current stepfamily system is organized, in order to move forward on developing an action plan that focuses on what is best for the child. This allows Tera to better assist with managing the stepfamily system, as a whole, given the dynamics of a stepfamily are different from an original or biological family. After gathering information from all participating family members, Tera will help to define three initial goals that those participating would like to meet. An action plan is developed, participating family members are assigned roles and then the plan is implemented. It is important to keep the child/children as the focus throughout the whole process and Tera helps keep the child/children as the emphasis throughout coaching.
Tera works with couples on how to make better connections with one another from a behavioral standpoint and learn to partner together in the multifaceted framework of a stepfamily. Dr. Lofas explains it best by saying,
“The therapy we use is educational. We teach that the step system cannot and will not function as does a biologically related family. We work with couples how to communicate and partner in the complex context of step. We use the precepts of business management. We ask each partner to define their vision and wishes as to their criteria and just how do they want the family to function. We coach couples to communicate and to respect each others worldview. Our model is positive and forward-looking. By honoring differences and supporting the couple’s love, we merge diverse systems, protocols, child rearing practices and beliefs about the world and God.”Dr. Lofas