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Iishana Artra, PhD

Practical Solutions & Heart Healing

Learn to:

Decode your stepfamily.

Get Clear about What to Do Next.

Reduce Your Stress and Feel More at Peace in Your Stepfamily.

Iishana Artra, PhD, CPC, CNLP

Certified Stepfamily Foundations Coach, Intuitive, & Founder of Stepfamily Services

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Dr. Artra's Most Recent Articles 

iishana Artra Stepmom article 10 Mastery Moves

   Stepfamily Peace - How?

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Decoding the Stepfamily:

7 Stages from Chaos to Calm

Dear Brave StepMom,

I too am a stepparent and I write in the stepfamily field. I get it. A rare woman enjoys the intense complexity and uncertainty of stepfamily life. This journey asks the best of us, every day. I am constantly discovering strengths and areas that need support in my own coping, even though I have already broken through the debilitating shame and blame game. The challenge will be true for the rest of my journey as a stepmom. The fact is that this simply is too steep a learning curve to do on our own. My commitment to you is to ensure that you receive caring support with specialized expert guidance, because together we are on this very important Path of raising ourselves and this world's future generation. 

"Iishana is the real thing.

She knows what she is talking about." K.M.

"I feel encouraged now. I know I am not alone.

There are solutions." C.T.

"This has been life changing!" A.P.

Why I do this Work...

This is THE TIME in our collective history as

women to step into our personal power,

which is not power over, but power within. 

This type of power inspires massive amounts

of courage and wise intuition,

it can radically transform our reality –

even in the face of constantly unexpected and

inexplicable circumstances. 

This is our evolutionary call.

Today is the time for each stepmother to activate her power within so that she can create a wisdom-based reality such that the world may be raised to know kindness,

strength, and peace amidst constant change,

uncertainty, grief and differences.

This is our time to lead the way,

to leave a legacy of wisdom.

My purpose includes helping stepmothers become the experts of their situation and masters at raising their

mental frequencies to expand their capacity for joy, to design a life they love, the benefits of which ultimately extend to their stepfamily, community, and the larger world. Stepmothers, as the majority of women raising children,

are raising the future.

iishana Artra, PhD

Who is This For?

I teach empowered action. The Steps who get the most value are people who are already taking action, such as seeing a counselor, a doctor, or engaging in a self-development practice. I have found that successful Steps are either highly motivated to decrease their own suffering, or to prevent it. They feel "done" with the old way and are looking for a new way. They are now ready to learn and then maintain the actions that are proven to radically improve their role in stepfamily dynamics and their personal wellbeing. They are ready and willing to design their lives, to focus on what they can do rather than on what they want everyone else to do. This is the turning point. 

I respect the natural process of personal transformation. We all make change at our own pace. I do not attempt to convince a Step to make an effort. If you are ready to take action, I offer expert insight, caring support, and mastery teaching so the efforts you do make can be fruitful. 

This is not counseling or coaching. It is keenly targeted consultation. You get answers that you can use right away, ideally with the support of your counselor or other guidance professional so you can release blocks and have emotional support to maximize your use of the tricks of the stepmom trade.

This approach is for Stepmoms who want to:

  • Cope more effectively with stress and the challenges of stepfamily life
  • Respond to disturbing household events more gracefully
  • Feel more alive in the present moment

While expert consultation is not a "cure" for serious mental health conditions and should not be used as a substitute for licensed mental health treatment, research indicates that stepfamily skills training can have a significant positive impact on stress, relationships, and decision making. Successful stepfamily adjustment requires skills training.

Focused Consulting that Gives You a Transformative Action Plan for Steps and Therapists

In 8 60-minute sessions, I provide training in the 4 Steps and targeted consultation to address difficult stepfamily dynamics. Between the sessions, you engage in a 15-minute activity once daily. Your experience of the activity informs my recommendations. Upon completing the consultation process, you will have a personalized action plan that you can carry out at your own pace. You will have a more complete understanding of the skills necessary to help your stepfamily and yourself thrive.  Then, we can continue working together with your foundation established. 

Clients have called this "life changing", "a relief, " and "a blessing." 

Please understand that I do not provide counseling or coaching. Although, I have a PhD in psychology and am trained in certain psychotherapeutic methods, I am a consultant and trainer, not a therapist. This support is part of your total self-care strategy. 

Stepfamily mastery is based in learning and guidance as well as emotional support. Your expert action plan strengthens outside therapy or coaching, making it easier for you to get to the heart of the matter so you can take the actions necessary to get your life and your stepfamily on track. 

I finally get it. We have options. Most of what I was feeling was because I was thinking we needed to be like a regular family. Now, I catch myself when I am doing that. I live a more real life now. 

Stepmom of 1, Bio-mom of 2 who learned the Steps-4-Steps System

Immersion - The Sensational Life Retreat for StepMoms

3 days that transform your life with other caring stepmoms. Plenty of time to make new friends, unburden yourself and practice new skills. Nothing is more powerful than the support of caring women who understand and are there for each other. It is a necessary luxury to have the time to spread out in our minds and hearts to really get to the core of what we are feeling, wanting, and capable of so we can transform our lives.

This retreat is scheduled upon request by stepmoms, retreat centers, leadership institutes, and others. These retreats are delicious, fun, safe, heartwarming, hopeful, creative, breakthrough opportunities. I am joined by other trained stepfamily counselors and practitioners.

Would you like to request or know when a retreat is happening? We would love to hear from you. Let us know by using the Contact Us page. 

Complementary Programs

Designing Your Life Workshops for Women

My Brain Solutions: Reduce stress and anxiety, increase resilience, and overcome addictions

I was going to burn out. There's always going to be stress, but now I feel more relaxed about it all. I am still learning every day, but I get it – that's normal for a stepfamily. It doesn't mean one of us is a bad guy. We can ask you what works in stepfamilies for certain situations when we are not figuring it out on our own, and move on.

Stepmom of 2 who learned the Steps-4-Steps System

Why Take this Approach?

You and I focus on increasing your sense of predictability, trust, safety, and wellbeing in your stepfamily.


Most stepfamily situations boil down to 6 types of stressors unique to stepfamilies. The stress can be reduced dramatically by developing just 5 qualities and 4 habits of successful stepfamilies. These are not complicated, but do require a strong determination to live more happily and stay together.


We can build more trust, safety and wellbeing in our stepfamilies when we understand stepfamily dynamics. 

You will not focus on changing your stepfamily or your feelings into something more like an original family. Instead, you will step into the reality of being a stepfamily so that you can manage it with greater confidence and skill to become a successful stepfamily. 

Does this sound familiar?

You may have noticed that stepfamily dynamics can create a crucible: a powerfully transformative experience that alters our sense of who we are. This experience reveals our values and expectations, first as we fight to have them validated and realized, then as we loosen our grip and act in new ways. 

You have probably noticed that the state of shock and overwhelm so common for stepmothers temporarily shuts down our higher mental functioning. Tears, shutting down or shouting, begging, ill health, and other symptoms are clues that our psychological pattern is not adapted to the situation. Responding well requires that we come out of shock and hone our ability to make good judgments about what is actually happening, then respond strategically rather than reactively. 

In this process of mastering our stepfamily responses, we greatly enlarge our capacity for noticing, which helps us discover what has been holding us back in life in general, then we have the self-knowledge it takes to expand our possibilities. That is the process and the gift of stepfamily adjustment, in a nut shell. I am here to help you navigate. 

The Steps who succeed are those who bravely face challenges in ways that free up their most powerful potentials to lead happier lives within in and outside of their stepfamilies. 

Contact Me – I am Here to Help

"We've been to 3 counselors and no-one ever helped us like this.

I wish we had come sooner." N.R.*

*Quotes from satisfied clients are kept anonymous to preserve the privacy of these stepfamilies.