About Us

A Note from Susan Davis-Swanson, PhD, LCSW, Executive Director

As a stepmother since the mid-1970s, I’d struggled with the lack of both services for stepfamilies and therapists who truly understood stepfamily life. With so many years working through my own stepfamily issues, I understand firsthand the challenges and struggles that are often missed in counseling, and dedicated myself to being a resource for stepcouples and stepfamilies in Southern California.

That’s why I founded The StepFamily Center in 2004. The center has provided help to so many stepcouples navigating their new lives, and has kept marriages intact! Most of us don’t really “know” that a stepfamily works and operates completely differently in many fundamental ways from a nuclear family. Couples’ therapists who don’t live in stepfamily life are often looking from the outside in, which can lead to more of a sense of failure. We need to be with people who know and understand stepfamily life from the inside out. Arming myself with all of the available research, I can help couples do just that.

Stepfamily life is a couples’ journey. Both partners need to learn and understand the issues that come up in every stepfamily and how to solve problems rather than fight about them. My goal is to give stepfamilies hope that they can make it work and provide the tools they need to do so. Let’s change the dismal failure rate of second families and get the tools needed for success!

Call to schedule an appointment to make your stepfamily stronger today!

About Susan Davis-Swanson, PhD, LCSW, Executive Director

Susan is a noted authority on issues involving step, blended, and divorced families. She has spent more than 20 years working with couples, helping them understand the issues that are part of stepfamily life and work on their communication so they can collaborate on problem solving to strengthen their relationship.

Susan received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from California State University, Long Beach. She received her doctorate in spiritual counseling from the University of Sedona in Arizona. Her experience includes over 10 years of running support groups for separation and divorce and for mood disorders.

She has spoken numerous times on the subject of mood disorders and on the topic of remarried couples and stepfamilies to various groups. She offers continuing education on the subject of stepfamilies to other professionals.

She has been quoted in The New York Times, made an appearance on the pilot of “The Practical Princess”, and hosted two radio shows devoted to the issues of stepfamily life: “Susan Swanson on Step” for New Day Talk Radio and “The Relationship Hour” for Healthy Life Talk Radio. She has been published in the California Clinical Society of Social Work Newsletter and has been a frequent contributor to StepMom Magazine. Susan holds board-certified diplomate status in her field.