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Welcome to Happy Steps, the UK's only research based stepfamily resource centre.   Stepfamilies are now the fastest growing family type in the  UK. It's estimated that 1 in 3 of all families are now stepfamilies. Research has shown that stepfamilies often have to overcome challenges when developing their new family units which can affect their mental wellbeing, with increased stress and anxiety. 

Despite this, there is very little help and support available. Happy Steps has been designed to gather together a whole range of services to help families and individuals strengthen their stepfamilies and to provide training and tools for organisations and family professionals. 

 I hope you find what you're looking for on the site - if not, please drop us a line and tell us how we can make it even better!  

Professor Lisa Doodson, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, SFHEA


Support for Stepfamilies

  • Are you're struggling to cope with your stepfamily dynamics? 
  • Are you confused about your role in the family? 
  • Want to know how to deal with your stepchildren better? 

Research has shown that most new stepfamilies can really benefit by getting support and help with common stepfamily issues. There is light at the end of the tunnel!     We can help and support individuals and families in a number of ways including:-   


Support for Organisations & Family Professionals

  • Do you have employees in stepfamilies who need support and advice?
  • Do you need training to understand  stepfamily specific issues?
  • Are you looking for advice on how to provide support to individuals or couples in stepfamilies?
  • Do you want to train your staff to provide more effective help within your organisation or community?

We can help with a range of services. These include:-

  •        Employee assistance (coaching)
  •        Lunch and learn or similar short training
  •        Training for Family Professionals
  •        Stepfamily Literature
  •        Bespoke Consulting Service

For more details please click here or go to the Products & Service page. I have extensive experience in working with a wide variety of organisations including local authorities, International Corporations and National Charities. If you would like further information please contact me.


Stepmums and Stepdads wanted for project at Liverpool University

Exploring daily work-life experiences of blended families

We are conducting research exploring the experiences of mothers and fathers living in blended family households, and how they manage their work and non-work lives. Specifically, we are keen to know how people do this on a daily basis and some of the issues they face. While there is a great deal of research on work-life issues in traditional two-parent households, we know much less about such dynamics within blended family households. Findings from our research will be used to feed into academic and policy debates about these important issues and we are therefore keen to learn about your views and experiences. 

Are there any benefits in taking part?

You will have the chance to tell your stories; share your experiences; and contribute to an interesting and novel piece of academic research. If you wish, you can also be sent a report of the research findings so that you can see the kind of conclusions the project has produced. The aim is that the findings from this research will have a positive impact on policy and practice for blended families and you will have the opportunity to contribute to this.

Who can I contact if I have further questions?

Principal investigator: Dr. Laura Radcliffe

Address: The University of Liverpool Management School, Chatham Street, Liverpool L69 7ZH 

Telephone: 0151 795 3605

Email: L.Radcliffe@Liverpool.ac.uk

Contact details of investigatory team:

Anneke Schaefer

Address: The University of Liverpool Management School, Chatham Street, Liverpool L69 7ZH 

Email: A.Schaefer@Liverpool.ac.uk



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Professor Lisa Doodson, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, SFHEA

Happy Steps has been developed by Professor Lisa Doodson, a chartered psychologist specialising in stepfamily dynamics. As a stepmother herself she understands the unique demands of being part of a stepfamily, and is determined to use her skills as a psychologist to develop services and tools specifically designed for stepfamilies and family professionals.