About Karen Bonnell

Karen has over 30 years of experience working with couples and families facing transition, loss, growth and change. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she served on the faculty of University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University & Seattle Pacific University before beginning full-time private practice in 1984. In 2021, she brought her psychiatric nursing career to a close, and now focuses strictly on coaching and mediation. She regularly writes for, speaks to and trains health care and legal professionals.

Karen’s work as a Collaborative Divorce Coach spurred her determination to write “The Co-Parenting Handbook” “ with Kristin Little, Child Specialist. Parents learn the best ways to support their children, strengthen their co-parenting, and discover the necessary tools to skillfully create a two-home family.

“The Parenting Plan Workbook” followed with contributor Felicia Malsby Soleil, JD. Karen and Felicia built a workbook and four-plus hours of coaching seminars (The Parenting Plan Workbook Video Series), which provide valuable access to the mechanics behind writing a strong, child-centered parenting plan.

And most recently, Karen and Patricia Papernow, PhD released the newest handbook for parents ready to date and hoping to one day successfully create stepfamily, “The Stepfamily Handbook: From Dating, to Getting Serious, to Forming a ‘Blended Family’”.

As a teacher, trainer, facilitator, Karen played an instrumental role in developing the year-long facilitator training program for the Compassionate Listening Project. As a certified Compassionate Listening trainer, Karen utilizes this heart-centered approach to authentic speaking and capable listening used around the world in high-conflict situations such as Israel/Palestine. Her deep listening skills make all the difference working with co-parent pairs in conflict as they find their way through the pain of divorce into a future with optimism.

Karen has served on the board of King County Collaborative Law and Collaborative Professionals of Washington. She is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and King County Collaborative Law.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Karen to discuss interviews, forums, trainings, or coaching and consultation services.

Karen enjoys sharing with interviewers, radio hosts, and the public through book signings and presentations her enthusiasm and love for helping families restructure in the best way possible. Whether as a result of divorce / separation or through the excitement of stepping into a new stepfamily, today’s modern family thrives with the right “how to’s” that help all members succeed and grow. Give a listen, watch … and find out more about how she can help your family or someone you love.

Also, did you know “The Co-Parents’ Handbook” (first edition) is available as an audiobook? For busy parents, listening to books on tape is a time-saving alternative, when hands are busy and ears can do all the work! Click here to download.

Get to know more about Karen through interviews and podcasts — simply click on the tabs below.