Yaffa Balsam, LMFT
Yaffa Balsam is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Los Alamitos, specializing in helping step families become happy and successful through education and therapeutic intervention. She provides her clients with information, insight, and tools for setting realistic goals for their families, for building healthy relationships, and for developing cohesiveness and a sense of belonging.
Yaffa is passionate about helping step families celebrate their family life and helping them overcome the shame they carry over being a step family.
She was involved with the Step family Association of America for about 25 years as a board member, and was past president of its Los Angeles chapter. Over 20 years, Yaffa designed and facilitated many psycho-educational workshops and groups for step families in the LA area.
Yaffa currently facilitates a free monthly support group for adults in step families.
She recently developed and wrote the manual for a 12 week educational group titled Remarried With Children: A Step-by-Step Program for Steps with Steps. The program covers all aspects of the step family life style. Some of the topics covered are co-parenting with exes and new spouses, the couple relationship, identifying unrealistic expectations, grieving past losses, managing finances, conflict resolution, the extended family, and creating a vision for the family.
Yaffa is also a divorce coach in the collaborative divorce model. She believes that a peaceful, dignified divorce contributes to a smoother transition into the step family phase when people remarry.
She makes presentations on step families to different groups of parents and professionals.
She was recently a guest on two Internet-based radio shows talking about the challenges of step families. She was also interviewed for The Orange County Register, The Independent Press Telegram in Long Beach, and a local T.V. talk show about step families. Additionally, she wrote a column for O.C. Parenting magazine.
Yaffa wrote a handbook titled 7 Steps to Your Step family Survival, a booklet titled Step families: 63 Tips to Help You Connect, and an e-book titled Your Step family Holiday Survival Guide.
Yaffa is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. It is a naturalistic trauma healing method which helps in healing traumas such as, child abuse, car accidents, terrorist attacks, and divorce.