After the First Marriage with Susan Orenstein | PoP 497

After the First Marriage with Susan Orenstein | PoP 497

As a therapist, what do you need to know when working with clients after their first marriage? How can therapists encourage clients to set up boundaries for their benefit? What are some core mindsets to have when wanting to assist people after separation?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about After the First Marriage with Susan Orenstein.

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Meet Susan Orenstein

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples.

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage.

Visit her website, listen to the podcast, join the Facebook community, and connect on Instagram or Twitter.

Sign up for the free e-course here.

In This Podcast


  • Core things therapists working with clients through separation need to be aware of
  • Co-parenting do’s and don’ts
  • Boundaries
  • What mindsets do therapists need to have when working with couples after the first marriage?

Core things therapists working with clients through separation need to be aware of

  • Couples that are newly divorced nay need assistance in identifying their support system and independent, strong social network since after a separation, usually the couple’s friends are all divided up. Therapists can help their clients by speaking about their social networks and highlight friendships to them that are long-standing and healthy.
  • Identity: this is a big one for people after a separation, the question of ‘who am I now?’ What they can be reminded of is thatas much as divorce is a loss, it also creates a space wherein you can create newness, a place where adults can create new pathways.

Co-parenting do’s and don’ts

  • Co-parenting is exceedingly important for both the children and the adults. There needs to be a solid co-parenting system alongside a separation agreement.
  • The parents can also layout an agreement for how they plan to interact and trust one another.
    Naturally, there are recommended rules of engagement.
  • With regards to something like texting, only text when there is an emergency instead of getting into the habit of sending an email back and forth during the week as this could create an unhealthy pattern.


With boundaries between two separated adults, it can help to keep the peace and encourage individuality by not allowing any texting after alcohol. A frivolous example but true none the less.

What mindsets do therapists need to have when working with couples after the first marriage?

  • Have an open mind by being comfortable discussing dating relationships and sex again with their clients, because even adults will need refreshers after a long marriage – especially when one client has had their self-esteem knocked.
  • The therapist and client can also have conversations about informed consent, sexual confidence, keeping yourself safe, and so forth.
  • Teach clients not to rush into it: help guide them in using patience, humility, and a sense of humor to guide them a long way.

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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