Seasoned Professionals Demystifying the Divorce Process



These two have known of each other and have cross-referred for many years. They saw similarities in one another’s work and commitment to healing people dealing with separation. Both Susans believe in creating a different model, so people can feel successful, connect in healthy ways, and change some of the relationship patterns that haven’t worked. Because of this, they decided to create a talk together called Demystifying Divorce.

In Demystifying Divorce, they bring their wisdom and many years of experience to professionals and people who are going through a separation. This talk will emphasize health and independence in relationships, not only during a separation, but going forward in all relationships.

Some of the topics and questions addressed in this talk include:

For therapists helping divorcing clients…

  • How can therapists best work with couples, when one person wants a divorce and the other is vehemently opposed to getting a divorce?
  • What kinds of support can a therapist recommend (other than therapy) to a client who is dealing with a difficult or challenging co-parent?
  • Are there any alternatives that therapists can offer clients who are faced with either staying in an unhappy or unfulfilling marriage or getting a divorce?

For those, who are divorcing (or considering divorce)…

  • I’m about to have a couples’ session and I know my partner is going to tell me that they’re done. How do I handle all the emotions that are coming up?
  • How can I get the right kind of support through my divorce? I feel like I’ve burned out my friends.
  • Can you give me some tips on how to recreate my life after divorce?


We welcome your questions and feedback!

Susan Pease Gadoua, LCSW – [email protected]
Susan Regan, MFT – [email protected]


We are not attorneys or financial specialists and we do not give legal or financial advice. Our focus is on the emotional well-being of people going through separation and divorce.




As a child of divorced parents, Susan Pease Gadoua knows first-hand how disruptive an unhappy marriage and subsequent marital dissolution can be.

When her mother and father split in 1981 (on their 28th wedding anniversary), marriage counseling was unheard of and emotional divorce support virtually nonexistent. Her parents got through their divorce relatively unscathed by the legalities, but they definitely needed more support than they got.

Susan’s personal experience, combined with years of working with couples in distress– both in striving to save their marriage or transition out of it – led her to become passionate about offering support to people at perhaps one of the most crucial junctures in their lives.

In 2000, Susan founded the Transition Institute of Marin and developed an entire agency dedicated to helping men and women take care of their emotions when their relationship was in turmoil. In just a few years, the organization grew to the point where it needed a broader reach. Today, The Changing Marriage Institute has a national, and indeed international, audience.

Susan expanded the focus from almost exclusively on the divorce transition to all kinds of relationship concerns, including alternative ways of coupling.

There still exists today a great deal of shame for those who are not following the “traditional, one-size-fits-all” marriage paradigm. The goal of much of her work is to turn that around by helping people let go of shame and get on the other side of the pain.

Susan runs divorce support groups for women in Marin County and Sonoma County. She is the author of four marriage- and divorce-related books, including the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Contemplating Divorce, Stronger Day by Day, The Parenting Marriage Workbook, and, co-author of The New I Do. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Mediator.


Susan Regan is a family therapist and certified mediator who has been in private practice in San Francisco and Berkeley for over 25 years. Her interest in helping families separate and supporting children through the process started when she founded a nonprofit organization called Bay Area Children First. BACF’s mission was to provide counseling to families. Especially to help parents explore pattern from the family they were raised in, to heal themselves and the ways they were parented instead of passing these patterns onto their children. She has counseled hundreds of families, parents, couples, and children of families going through a separation or divorce.

In 2013, Susan founded an organization called Solutions: Therapy and Mediation. From her experience with BACF, she knew the only way to support children is to support the people raising them. Many of the families she works with are in the process of a separation or divorce. Susan’s goal is to help stabilize parents so they can ensure their children’s emotional and physical security while rebuilding a healthier family and heal themselves. Susan believes people can use divorce as a transformational process to recreate their lives and healthier relationships for themselves. Maybe the couple relationship didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t be solid and continue having a happier life.

Susan Regan was raised in Boston. Some of her relationship models were conflictual and unhappy. Instead of fostering healthy connections in relationships, Susan observed many of the family and relationships in her community lack communication skills. Unhealthy patterns were passed on through generations. Susan saw and experienced the damage this dilemma had on families, especially children. Children deserve to be happy but if their parent’s relationship is dominated by high stress and conflict, it’s challenging for kids to feel cared for and seen. If separated parents can create a stronger parenting relationship and have less tension in their relationship, their children are more secure. Parents often need time to work on accepting that their couple relationship was not able to survive through all lives chapters, but that doesn’t mean failure. This just means the rebuilding of a different structure within the family and a new format of health and happiness.

Susan specializes in co-parenting therapy, mediation, facilitating divorce support groups, and emotionally supporting families going through a divorce.


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