Years in Practice

25 years +


San Rafael CA 94901 - United States



Additional Expertise

Counselor/Therapist, Divorce Recovery Coach, Marriage Educator, Mediator

I Practice in

All areas, please inquire



I Believe

Marriage is complicated.  When trouble starts, many couples try to fix it on their own. That's a good thing. The problems come when the couple isn't able to repair what's broken, yet they don't seek professional help soon enough. One study reports that most couples wait six years before going into therapy. By then, the layers of pain have piled up.  

In my work with couples spanning more than two decades, I've developed a unique method of quickly untangling the hurt (without getting bogged down in the past) and getting to the heart of the matter. Most couples can heal relatively quickly and enjoy lasting results.

I've also written three books about how to handle troubled marriages. The first was San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide ti Deciding Whether to Stay or Go, (New Harbinger, 2008), The second was Stronger Day by Day (New Harbinger, 2010), and my most recent book, co-authored with journalist, Vicki Larson, is called, The New I Do, Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels.

About Susan Pease Gadoua

As a child of divorced parents, I know first-hand how disruptive an unhappy marriage and subsequent marital dissolution can be. When my mother and father split in 1981 (on their 28th wedding anniversary), marriage counseling was unheard of and emotional divorce support virtually nonexistent.

My own experience, combined with years of working with couples in distress – some striving to save their marriage, some to transition out of it – led me to become passionate about offering support to people at perhaps one of the most crucial junctures in their lives. 

As a result, I have made it my life's work to help individuals and couples find their authenticity and bring it into their relationships, whatever form they may take.

In 2000, I founded the Transition Institute of Marin and began providing information and counseling to the underserved divorcing population. This has more recently morphed into the Changing Marriage Institute, whose mission statement is, "Changing Marriage provides innovative approaches to marriage that set people up to succeed from beginning to end."


My latest book, which is a collaboration with journalist, Vicki Larson, has received attention world-wide. The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press), questions the pertinence of "traditional" marriage in our modern world. We call it the "Occupy Marriage Movement." The hope is that, as a society, we will move away from a shame-based, one-size-fits-all paradigm, to a marriage model that fits a wide range of couples and lifestyles. 

In 2008, I wrote, Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go
(New Harbinger), a book that provides objective guidance to those struggling in a rocky marriage as well as invaluable information on how to navigate the divorce process. Contemplating Divorce became a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller its first week in publication.

In 2010, I completed a meditation book for those challenged by difficult emotions during and after divorce entitled, Stronger Day by Day, Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce. (New Harbinger)


Susan Pease Gadoua Articles