Eleanor Spackman Alden
Eleanor Alden has been working with stepfamilies for over 40 years. She began her professional work with these families in the poverty areas of Chester, Pennsylvania and gained a deep admiration and respect for families structured so differently from what was considered the norm at that time. Since then she has worked with thousands of individuals and families who have the word step attached to their relationships and continued to recognize that they had strengths and gifts not seen as readily developed in other family structures. Some also had difficulties that were unique to them, and they often were battling not only some of the individual problems each family has, but a culture which defined them as broken, and failed before they began.
Eleanor Alden received her Masters in Social Work majoring in Clinical Social Work, but having an emphasis on research. She also received a Masters in Business Administration with a major in management, and often contemplated the similarities between well managed business groups with high morale, and well managed stepfamilies.
In the 1980s she worked as a faculty member and Director of Behavioral Science at the Mercy Family Medicine Residency Program and was a member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. She began a private practice in 1986, and has been seeing couples, individuals and families in this setting ever since.
She taught graduate students in psychology at Naropa University for over a decade, and developed and taught classes and seminars on Jungian Psychology and Family Therapy and took a leave to finish this book.
Her volunteer work has included being the Public Education Director of the Jungian Institute of Denver for several years, and serving as the President of the Jung Society of Colorado for almost a decade. She is trained in EMDR, hypnotherapy, group therapy, and works with people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Her workshop presentations on Stepfamilies use history, archetypal and depth psychology, family therapy, humor and common sense to engage audiences in an invitation to change the shaming paradigm with which most of the culture views stepfamilies and enjoy the gifts they bring.