Susan E Casey

Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Grief


Susan Casey, MSW, MFA,  is a writer, clinical social worker, and life transitions coach. Throughout the past 25 years, Susan has worked in hospice, in-patient, and home-based settings with teens and adults. In addition to her clinical work, she’s been committed to researching and teaching the therapeutic benefits of writing to clinical social workers. Her MFA thesis focused on how the art of writing can be applied as a therapeutic tool to facilitate emotional healing, motivate change, and inspire growth. To inform her thesis, Susan developed and facilitated a therapeutic writing program for adolescents with severe behavioral and emotional issues at the juvenile detention facility in Southern Maine.

When Susan’s younger brother died unexpectedly in February 2014, she experienced firsthand the saving grace of putting pen to paper. Susan chronicled her grieving process on her blog and became a contributing writer to Open to Hope and The Grief Toolbox. She recently completed her book, titled Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief, which sprung from the overwhelming responses she received from her personal essays about grief.

While writing her way through the loss of her brother, she completed a 35-hour training at the Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Maine and became a certified Bereavement Group Facilitator. On the year anniversary of her brother’s death, she left her 14-year corporate job with an international behavioral health organization and launched her own business, Write 2 Be Free, to coach, support, and guide people through major life transitions. She uses writing prompts as tools to help her clients mine for joy in the murky waters of grief, loss, change, and fear that hold them back from living the highest and grandest expression of themselves.

Susan, through her own experience and working with others, understands it’s critical that we work through our grief and loss so we can soar to greater heights with a clear vision, and with joy in our hearts.

Susan lives in Bowdoinham, Maine with her husband Steve and two Golden Retrievers, Indy and Maisey. Currently, Susan is seeking representation for her YA novel, Here’s the Truth and her Adult Nonfiction book, titled Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Grief. 

To date, excerpts from Here’s the Truth have won awards in the following contests: Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Literary Contest: Honorable mention in Novel Excerpt category; Green Rivers Writers National Literary Contest: First Place in Novel Excerpt category ; PEN/Nob Hill Soul-Making Literary Contest: First Place in the Novel Excerpt category


  • 2010: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research Special Issue: Developing Effective Research-Practice Partnerships for Creating a Culture of Evidence-based Decision Making
  • Bi-monthly PSC International Newsletter to over 10,000 employees
  • Monthly online blog:
  • When It’s Grief, Not Depression published on Open to Hope website (
  • What No One Ever Told Me About Grief published on Open to Hope website
  • Open the Door, Welcome Joy published on Open to Hope website
  • A Conversation With Grief published on The Grief Toolbox website (


  • BA English
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Fiction
  • Certified Bereavement Group FacilitatorCenter for Grieving Children
  • National Certified Passion Test Facilitator for adults, teens and kids
  • Certified Team Advantage Coach
  • Completed MentorCoach Coaching course with Dr. Ben Dean
  • Completed Authentic Happiness Coaching course with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman






2 thoughts on “About

  1. Congrats! Love your blog. Beautifully true and inspirational!

  2. Oh Susan- you are such a gifted soul! I am so honored to connect with you and read your gorgeous words! 🙂

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