Peter K. Gerlach, M.S.W.
January 27th 1938 - October 22, 2015

His legacy lives on through this free online self-improvement course

     “My life purpose is to educate and motivate other people to protect future generations and break the toxic [wounds + unawareness] cycle that is crippling many persons, families, and our society.”

Peter K. Gerlach


A compassionate, generous, emotionally intelligent, gifted therapist and researcher has passed from this world.

Pete Gerlach graduated from Stanford University with a degree in engineering. He lived in the Chicago area for most of his adult life. Several years of his career were spent in engineering and business. He later recognized that his true interest was in helping people with low nurturance childhoods like his own, heal and attain a healthy sense of self and wholeness. He earned his Masters in Social Work, and continued to take classes, to study inner family systems with Dick Schwartz and develop his own expertise in Personality Parts Work as well as remarriage and blended families.

Pete co-founded the nonprofit Stepfamily Association of Illinois, Inc. (SAI) with interested others in 1981. Shortly after that, he was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA) by its founders, Drs. John and Emily Visher. He later served on the SAA Advisory Council, and was invited to rejoin the Board in March 2002 by President Marjorie Engel, PhD.After SAA passed its mission to the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC), Pete became a member of their Stepfamily Experts Council.Pete took over 3,000 calls on the Stepfamily inFormation "warm-line." He moderated the "Stepfamily Issues" chat at for two years, and answered over 500 online step-parenting questions at He rejoined 2008 as an expert in effective communication, childhood-trauma recovery, marriage, and counseling.

To read more about Pete's life and the legacy he leaves us please click here.

For support and learning pleae visit our Facebook page here.

Pete invites you to visit his nonprofit, ad-free Web site that provides a modular self-improvement course to alert you to the cycle, and proposes practical ways to break the cycle in your home and family.

Please click the Welcome image below to enter.


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