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Using Creativity to Heal from Divorce with Susan Bernardo

Divorce is a painful process that comes with some very strong emotions. Yet in order to avoid a toxic situation that puts your kids in the middle, divorcing couples must find safe spaces to express their anger and grief. Susan Bernardo found healing in writing workshops, art and dance classes, using creativity to work through the sadness, pick up the pieces and build something new.

In fact, Susan’s experience with divorce inspired her first picture book, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs, which reassures kids that love is forever, even if you are physically separated from the ones you love. Her sophomore effort was a collaboration with LeVar Burton to help kids cope with traumatic events, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. Since then, she has published a third picture book, The Big Adventures of Tiny House, and her debut YA novel, Inspired.

Today, Susan sits down with Katherine to explain how creative channels allowed her to process the grief she was feeling and how she went about reestablishing her identity as an individual in the aftermath of divorce. She discusses her conscious decision to divorce amicably, explaining how a mediator can help couples craft a shared mission statement that focuses on the children. Susan also addresses her shared custody arrangement with her ex-husband and offers insight around the concept of home as a feeling you carry. Listen in to understand how Susan leaned on allies and mentors to maintain her dignity through the process—and learn how to reframe divorce as an opportunity for discovery.


How Susan’s divorce experience inspired Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

The grief Susan experienced in being away from her kids

How Susan used creativity to process her strong feelings

The process of reestablishing your identity after divorce

Susan’s conscious decision to pursue an amicable divorce

The value in crafting a shared mission statement

The safe places where Susan was able to express her emotions

Susan and her ex-husband’s shared custody arrangement

Gaining a deeper appreciation of each other’s roles after divorce

Susan’s intention to model the resilience she wants for her kids

How allies and mentors gave Susan perspective during the process

How to reframe divorce as an opportunity for discovery

How Susan’s friendship base expanded in the aftermath of divorce

Susan’s insight on the concept of home as a feeling you carry


Susan’s Website

Inner Flower Child Books

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs on Facebook

Susan on Twitter


Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher

The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton, Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher

The Big Adventures of Tiny House by Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765