Parenting Stepchildren/Expert Profile

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I can answer questions that pertain to challenges stepparents face, as well as challenges with adjustment and integration of the stepfamily. I can answer questions about psychological, emotional, and social changes that affect adults and children in stepfamilies. I can answer questions that have to do with the emotional and psychological impact of stepfamilies pertaining to child support, visitation, or divorce.

Experience in the area

I am a stepmother to one boy and one girl. I have been in their lives since they were about 8 years old. I have first-hand "real life" experience with 'baby mama drama' and strains in marriage due to the complications and challenge that being a new stepmother presented. Bio: Inspired and motivated by her experiences as both a stepdaughter and stepmother of two children, Dr. Carey founded the Triangle Stepfamily Institute and is committed to empowering stepfamilies. She has first-hand experience both personally and professionally, with the difficulties people may experience when adjusting to stepfamily life. Dr. Carey believes that with the right support, and armed with knowledge, living harmoniously within a stepfamily is possible. She has dedicated countless hours to understanding the delicate functioning of the stepfamily and has produced several articles related to stepfamily relationships and functioning. Dr. Carey has studied with research pioneers and clinical leaders in the field of stepfamily life. She has also conducted independent research about stepfamilies with a focus on the concerns of the stepmother. She has also earned certification as a stepfamily counselor. Dr. Carey has also earned seven specialty certifications. Dr. Carey’s specialty certifications include being a nationally certified professional counselor, an accredited clinical supervisor, a credentialed distance counselor, board certified health services professional, school guidance counselor, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and a certified stepfamily counselor. For more information on services, or to request Dr. Carey for counseling, interviews, or speaking opportunities, please contact her through her web site, or by calling 919-454-7857.


National Association of Professional Women American Counseling Association Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina

Publications, expert author


Oakland University, Rochester, MI Ph.D. in Counselor Education 2009 Dissertation: “The Experience of the African American Stepmother: An Exploratory Investigation ” Honors: Dissertation nominated for 2010 Outstanding Humanistic Dissertation Award Cognate Concentrations: Child and Adolescent Mental Health & School Guidance Counseling Major Advisor: Robert Fink, PhD Madonna University, Livonia, MI M.S. in Clinical Psychology 2002 Madonna University, Livonia, MI B.S. Psychology 2000 Cartified Stepfamily Counselor, Stepfamily Foundation, 2011 • Licensed Professional Counselor, State of North Carolina, (6893) • National Certified Counselor, NBCC, (234907) • Credentialed Distance Counselor, CCE, (966) • Approved Clinical Supervisor, CCE, (ACS01058) • Board Certified Health Services Professional, CCE, (1472) • Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist- Provisional- State of North Carolina • Licensed Bachelor of Social Work, State of Michigan, (6802084095) • Limited Licensed Psychologist, State of Michigan, (6301012018) • Social Worker Registration, State of Michigan, (6803075415) • School Counselor license (K-12), State of Michigan, (SC000554) • School Counselor license (K-12), State of North Carolina, (XXXXX2200)

Awards and Honors

•Kappa Gamma Pi, National Catholic College Honor Society, inducted 2000 •Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International, inducted 2005 •Robert Brown Memorial Fund Scholarship, 2005

Past/Present Clients

Step family members, children, adults, teens

What do you like about this subject?

I am a stepdaughter and a stepmother of two children. I enjoy working with stepfamilies to help them become strong, instead of focusing on what is "wrong".

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I continue to quest for more knowledge about various ethnic stepfamily groups, and how culture impacts them. I am also interested in learning more about stepfamilies with same gendered parents (gay and lesbian stepfamilies).

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Stepfamilies outnumber nuclear families.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

A stepmother's job is more difficult than a stepfathers. Full-time stepparenting is more difficult than part-time stepparenting.

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
L02/01/1710Very polite and kind, however, I was .....
Lauren05/30/16101010Thank you so much for responding to .....
Leigh08/17/13101010Helpful advice, delivered with insight,and patience
Confused Stepmom08/06/13101010 
Marie06/25/13101010Thanks for your quick and helpful reply!

Recent Answers from KaRae' Carey, PhD

2016-05-24 Inappropriate touching between children:

Hello,     It is highly advised that you are frank with your children about the situation and what is appropriate versus inappropriate with regards to interaction, both verbal and physical. It is essential

2016-05-24 Stepfamily issues:

Hello,     Thank you for the inquiry. It may be helpful to have a frank discussion without the children present about your concerns about therapy and the family moving forward. Perhaps, your step daughter

2016-05-12 My stepdaughter's mom is borderline (BPD):

Hello,     The goals for your SD counseling should be her own. Take the pressure off of yourself in that regard. Present her to counseling, with parental consent, and allow the therapist to work with her

2016-03-10 Boyfriend's Daughter Is Disrespectful:

Hi there,     I can sense your frustration in the situation! One thing to remember is that your boyfriend's daughter is going through an adjustment. It can be a huge loss for children to have a disconnection

2015-07-05 Girlfriends daughtee:

Hello,     Thank you for writing in. It can certainly be difficult to be in the situation you are in.     With regard to your question, I offer the following.     First, try not to compare your family


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