Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Email | RSS | More
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.
TherapyNotes facilitates the workflow of mental health professionals through robust, secure, and streamlined software, accessible wherever and whenever you need it. With fully-integrated scheduling, notes, billing, electronic claims, and more, you’ll have more time for what matters most: your patients.
To get 2 free months of TherapyNotes click on www.therapynotes.com and enter the promo code: Joe
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
- 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.
- What is Collaborative Divorce? How to Get Referrals From Attorneys with Randy Pitler | PoP 496
- Events – click on the event’s dropdown
- Group Practice Boss
- Sign up to join the free webinars and events here
- Podcast Launch School
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Free resources to help you start, grow and scale
- Apply to work with us
Meet Joe Sanok
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!
Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!
Between writing notes, filing insurance claims, and scheduling of clients, it can be hard to stay organized. That’s why I recommend TherapyNotes. Their easy-to-use platform lets you manage your practice securely and efficiently. Visit www.therapynotes.com to get two free months of therapy notes today. Just use the promo code JOE when you sign up for a free trial at www.therapynotes.com.
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 497.
Well, I hope you are doing awesome. Last week we had Killin’It Camp, and it was online. And we’re sorting through all the videos and creating just a mega ecourse. If for some reason you missed that and you want access to those three days of amazing content, you can still get it for $95 over at killinitcamp.com. Really excited for that. Just an amazing group of people and just a lot of fun and, you know, not very many tech snafus. So head on over to killinitcamp.com for that.
I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’re feeling safe. If you don’t know, our family is on a mega road trip. We don’t really know when we’re going to return back to Michigan. We left in early September, went across the Badlands, up to the Tetons, Yellowstone, spending October in Fort Collins, Colorado, where we’re hanging out with some friends, especially Dr. Jeremy Sharp, the ‘Testing Psychologist’ who has The Testing Psychologist podcast.
Just so excited about kind of all that’s going on. And actually, this coming weekend, I’m putting on a social distanced small group called The Art of Dreaming Big and so excited for it. If you want to grab a ticket last minute for that and you’re in the Colorado area, details are over at practiceofthepractice.com, we have a new ‘Events’ section there. Because we have so many webinars, we have so many people, I mean, right now we now have Whitney and Alison, who they’ve launched the Group Practice Boss program, which is a membership community for people that have at least one or two clinicians working for them, just as a membership community. So you can check out more about that over at practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss. And we have LaToya Smith, who has a webinar coming up. It’s all-around race, injustice, and how to make sure your practice really is just putting a good spotlight on what needs to happen in the world. And I have some webinars coming up.
There’s a lot going on and we don’t want to have to email you every single time we have all these things because you know, we often have two or three things going on a week. So head on over to practiceofthepractice.com, you’ll see the Events drop-down, that has all the events right there for you. So no matter what you’re looking for, we usually have something for you. If you’re just starting a practice, if you’re growing a practice, we have some clinical skills, all sorts of things coming up, that you’ll want to make sure that you sign up for, and almost all of them are free things that we are hosting. The Art of Dreaming Big, it’s only $500, it’s two days, and we’re gonna have a really small group, socially distanced, outside, working together and dreaming big beyond just private practice. So we’re talking podcasting, consulting, leveling up in the world, to really affect the world in a unique and new way. So I’m super excited about that.
And we have a bunch of other things coming up throughout November. It’s just, we have a team of four now in South Africa. And so we have a copywriter, we now have video editing, we have regular image editing, we have podcast management. So really kind of whatever phase you’re at, we’re here to support you, if you want to speed things up for yourself.
Well, today, I am so, so excited for Susan Orenstein. Susan is just an amazing podcaster. She is also a therapist. I talk a little bit about her in her bio at the beginning. But to watch her After the First Marriage podcast take off and just how many people it’s helped. I mean, I have so many friends that are getting divorced and it’s just, you know, things happen. And for a while, in your early twenties, for me it felt like everyone was getting married and everyone’s having kids. Now there’s just a lot of uncoupling going on. And she has a great podcast called After the First Marriage that is all about that, all about different ways to structure, things to do, things to not do, and I just had to interview her about it. And so I’m really, really excited about this podcast. So without any further ado, here is Susan Orenstein.
Well, today on the Practice of the Practice podcast we have Susan Orenstein. I am so excited to have Susan on the show. She is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network with her After the First Marriage podcast, she’s the owner of Orenstein Solutions, and she is just a dynamic woman that is changing the world. Susan, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. [SUSAN]:
Well, it’s an honor to be here. Thank you, Joe. [JOE]:
I just love when I’ve worked with someone and got to know someone, like, it’s fine to meet guests for the first time when I’m interviewing them, but it’s just something different when it’s someone that I’ve been able to watch over the last year, like, grow your practice, grow your podcast, find your vision, it’s just I’m so excited to kind of have you on the podcast and talk more about what you’re working on. [SUSAN]:
Yeah, me too. And it’s been really helpful for me to have to articulate what I’m doing. And it’s helping me so much, just like it helps clients when they have to articulate their goals and their visions. It’s a very powerful process. [JOE]:
Yeah. Well, I want to go back to before the podcast. You have a counseling practice. There’s things that I think people, before they really can dive into kind of a new project, you kind of clean some things up in your practice before you can feel like, okay, I’m not just adding more to my plate, but I’ve kind of retracted some things. In the lead up to kind of going after a big idea, what did you work on in your practice? What did you feel like had to be more automated for you to put in the time and energy into a new project like a podcast? [SUSAN]:
That’s a really good question. I think there was some giving up of other projects. So I tend to get excited about the next new thing. The next online course, the next workshop I’m going to be giving, and I can go in ten different directions. And so I really had to say, what is the main thing I want to focus on? And what’s something I can focus on that’s going to integrate a lot of my interests? So I had to let go of some of the squirrels that I chase sometimes. [JOE]:
Yeah, that’s so hard to do when you’re an ideas person? How do you capture those squirrels and, you know, keep track of them? Because I think there are good ideas that pop up, and then they leave, like, do you have any system that you kind of keep track of those ideas, even though you’re putting them on pause? [SUSAN]:
Well, I think what’s fun about this project is it seems very holistic. So I am just looking at all the squirrels or all my different eyes, but through one lens. And so that helps me organize my thoughts and ideas. And so the lens is After the First Marriage. So I can look at how families interact with the court system, or finances, or substance abuse, or children, but I have a lens, so it doesn’t seem as all over the place. [JOE]:
Yeah, I’d love to talk also about kind of the struggle of landing on just the direction of the podcast. Because now that it’s After the First Marriage, it just feels like it fits with you. It’s the work that you’ve done, the group of people you’re passionate about, and we’ll talk about that. But it wasn’t always that way. It took us a while to kind of land on what you were going to have be your podcast. Maybe talk a little bit about your interests, your professional development, things that you considered, what made it easy or hard to figure out, just who you wanted this podcast to be for? [SUSAN]:
Right. So when I entered this profession, I mean, always, as far as I can remember, I’ve been interested in the relationship aspect, and families, and what parents need to do to help their children have emotional well being. At one point in my professional career, I thought, oh, I’m going to focus on child counseling. And then when I was looking at that, I thought, what I really need to do is make sure parents are supported because parents are the leaders of the family. And then when I was doing that for a while, and individual counseling, I thought, wait a minute, I think what individuals really need to know is they’re part of us, they have a strong bond with their partner. And so I’m going to focus on the marriage, and that really seems to be the unit of the family.
And then over the years, I think I would struggle because I was doing couples counseling and some couples really were not happy. They didn’t have a shared vision. They didn’t get each other. Maybe one or both of them weren’t really motivated to get each other and they wanted to move on. And I would feel like I was a failure. Yeah, sorry. It would become about me, like, what am I doing, being a marriage therapist, and these people want a divorce? And then a few years ago, I came to this recognition – divorce can be really helpful for some people. So my role for couples at times can be to strengthen the marriage and help them really get their needs met together. And at other times when both the people wanted something else I could help them let go. And that was so freeing to me to see it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
And then also, I’ve just discovered in my private practice, some of the people I’ve enjoyed working with the most are people who are going through divorce. It’s kind of like… it’s a grieving process, but I get to see them come back to life. So it’s kind of like watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. I mean, I have seen the most amazing transformations with people who are going through divorce. And that was what motivated me when we would have discussions about the podcast, of what to choose. I thought, that’s what really energizes me, that’s where I feel I can be helpful, in creating support and guidance, for these caterpillars turning into butterflies. And so that’s why I landed on After the First Marriage.[JOE]:
Yeah. Now, I want to go back to what you just said about feeling like a failure when you’re a marriage therapist and someone’s getting a divorce because I don’t think that’s uncommon. I think there’s a lot of people that, you know, I’m Gottman level two therapist, and I worked with people, and I’m doing this work, and it’s like, why are they not having a breakthrough? Why are they not connecting? Why aren’t they doing all these things? Like, what perpetuates that? And maybe let’s zoom out a little bit. What in grad schools, what in society, what in the movies, all that, like, what perpetuates that idea that marriage is the highest kind of form of relationship? [SUSAN]:
Well, I want to talk about that. So some of it is that… some of it is there is some truth to having a strong partnership with another adult. That is really valuable and really precious, that we know from research can make people’s lives better. People who are in strong happy marriages have better immune systems, have less incidence of substance abuse, have a longer life span. That’s where some people… now, the people who are in long-standing marriages that are unhappy, that is not something to aspire to. And so I think what we look at when we, as a profession, and the research, is happy couples, and how well they do. But we haven’t really looked at the distress and misery a painful marriage can cause. And I think you’re right, like, our society really elevates marriage. We celebrate marriage. Again, I don’t necessarily think that’s bad, but I think we have some of our incentives messed up. So for instance, people spend tens of thousands of dollars on marriages, and then they’re really reluctant to spend money on couples therapy. So there’s some paradoxes in our culture. There’s some ideas in marriage that can be really confining for people, and don’t work for people, so we have to really revise our thinking of what could be a healthy, happy relationship. And for some people, that could be a long committed marriage, for some people, it might not be. [JOE]:
Yeah. Now, as you started to formulate some of the first episodes, I know we talked through a bunch of different ideas. Maybe take us through some concepts that therapists can learn from, so things like co-parenting, uncoupling, all those kind of big things that, after the first marriage, are really important for people to learn. I think even in our grad school, and in-kind of ongoing training, learning about couples, learning about relationships, learning about good marriage counseling, is really emphasized. But then when we look at resources that help people after the first marriage, there’s not a lot there. I think about how many of my friends, even just in the last year, have got divorced, there’s not a lot out there to point them to. And so what are some of those kinds of core or essential things that a therapist should be competent in regards to just basics of after the first marriage? [SUSAN]:
Right. One of the things that I see people who are newly divorced, or going through the process, struggle with is their social network. They feel such a loss, because think about it, if you are a widow or you lose somebody really important in your life, there is a societal way of helping you heal. There are people who come together at a funeral. There are people who bring you food, people will call and reach out to you. Now when people are going through a divorce, it is very much like a loss. They’re gonna often lose half of their support system, or it’s gonna be… [JOE]:
Yeah. Who gets which couple? Who gets, like, you know, are they just gonna see ’em individually? Do they do it as a couple? It gets messy. [SUSAN]:
Exactly, exactly. So when you’re grieving the loss there’s all this messiness and complications with your friends and your family. And it’s just very different than other kinds of losses. So for instance, think about it, you’re really, really close to your brother-in-law or your sister-in-law, and then there’s a divorce and there’s a family event, it’s so much messiness, and people not knowing what to say. And so one of the issues that I think is really helpful first off, is to talk about people’s support system, and to acknowledge that there are going to be some losses, and also to highlight who is there for you consistently. Maybe it’s your best friend from high school who is still going to be your support system. Reach out and celebrate that relationship as much as you can, and maybe mourn some of the other relationships.
And then I think of an example, I had… I have an example of a client I saw and she had been married for years. It was her second marriage and his second marriage, and she’d gotten really close to her stepdaughter who had, by the time she was getting divorced, was a young woman. And she just assumed that she was going to lose that stepdaughter in her life, and didn’t really talk about it, didn’t reach out to that stepdaughter, there was just this awkward silence. And so one of the things we talked about in counseling is that may be true, that relationship may be over, or you may be able to forge a new relationship with your stepdaughter. But wouldn’t you like to reach out? You’re the more mature woman here. You’ve been a part of this young adult’s life for so long. Maybe you could have some interaction and come to a different place instead of the elephant in the room of, well, all of a sudden we’re not talking anymore because your father and I are divorced.[JOE]:
Yeah, I remember my grandma, who I called ‘Babcia’ – ‘Babcia’, quick side note that has nothing to do with this, she wasn’t Polish, even though ‘babcia’ is Polish. My Polish grandma wanted to be Grandma, but my non-Polish grandma wanted to be Babcia – so Babcia, she was just this quirky, wonderful lady. But my uncle had got divorced. And for years, I remember as a teenager, her still kind of connecting with, she called her Sue-one because my uncle married a second lady named Sue. So it was like Sue-one and Sue-two. And she continued that relationship because they just had that connection. And I thought, now as an adult thinking through, like, how nice that must have been that woman didn’t lose the entire family, but then got to continue to know my grandma is just such a cool way to demonstrate just relationships. [SUSAN]:
I agree. Yeah. So I think there’s a bigger system involved when people get divorced. It’s not just you, it’s these other people. And you can also be modeling for this next generation. We don’t have to cut off and pretend that this never existed. Let’s talk about things. So Joe, you were asking what are some of the issues? So one, I think for people going through divorce is what’s their support system? Let’s acknowledge the support system they may be losing. Let’s highlight the support system they’re going to continue to have, and then let’s look at some of the question mark relationships and figure that out.
The second issue that we work with with a lot of people is identity, like, who am I now? Who am I now that I’m not part of this marriage? And how can I recreate myself so that this isn’t the end? This is the end of one chapter, but it’s not the end of my life. Adults can create new paths and continue to learn. We know about – it’s called neuroplasticity, that our brains are continually changing and developing and growing. And when there’s a trauma, like a divorce, we can heal from that. So it takes some work and some conversation, and some discovery of our identity, but it’s not over. And I think those conversations give people hope who are going through the divorce process.[JOE]:
Yeah. Now what about co-parenting? As you’ve done this podcast, what have you learned? I know you’ve interviewed some experts on different topics, but around co-parenting, what are some do’s and don’ts? And especially as therapists, what should we know about co-parenting? [SUSAN]:
So co-parenting is incredibly important for the mental health of children, and for both parents. So I think a lot of people are obviously very emotional when they’re divorced. And there’s so many details to figure out. There’s the finances, the splitting homes, so many changes, and people just want to move on. But if they don’t have a really solid co-parenting agreement, then they’re setting themselves up for a lot of pain and anguish. So lawyers and mediators can tell you what a Separation Agreement looks like. There’s kind of a legal term which is with the co-parenting – who sees the kids, how do they manage visitation, how do they manage holidays, how do they manage like the expenses of the kids and the medical decisions related to the kids? But beyond the legal perspective, I think it’s so important that parents when they are co-parenting, and they’re now divorced, they have an agreement around how they’re going to treat each other. So I would like to do some podcasts about this, because I love talking to couples and individuals about this, is like, what are the rules of engagement going to be like for communicating with your ex around co-parenting, so it just isn’t an ugly mess? [JOE]:
What are some examples of those kinds of rules of engagement? [SUSAN]:
Okay, so one rule for engagement is this thing called text. Some people like it, some people hate it, a lot of people find being bombarded with texts raises their blood pressure. So one rule, or one agreement they could have, is like, okay, we’re only, for example, we’re only going to text if there’s an emergency. Otherwise, we will speak on the phone every Sunday night, or we’re going to send an email back and forth. So whatever it is, whatever the agreement is, what’s important is that both people are comfortable with it, and it’s explicit. [JOE]:
So having some kind of clear boundary around it. I remember, I was working with some co-parenting parents – the topic they really were focusing on was co-parenting – and they were great at discovering all these different apps. And I’m sure that they’ve changed since I was doing therapy a couple years ago but there was this one app they used where you replied within the app, and it highlighted words or phrases that could be volatile. And they had agreed settings within this app, where if, like, you had a red word, then it wouldn’t send the app until you turned it to all be, like, yellow or green, which I thought was great. [SUSAN]:
That is brilliant. Wow. [JOE]:
And so, like, one of them didn’t really realize how kind of jerky they came across. They’re like, it takes me twenty minutes to send this text because it’s half red, and he just didn’t realize how he came across in this app. I wish I could remember the name of it but there’s probably a million of those out there. [SUSAN]:
Yeah, I’m looking ’em up. That’s brilliant. [JOE]:
Yeah. It just allowed him to realize, I’m using very heightened, volatile language and that’s not my intention, but it’s just how I’m talking to this person. What other kind of boundaries do you think are important, or kind of rules of engagement, whether it’s co-parenting or even if you don’t have kids? [SUSAN]:
So some of this sounds very obvious when we are in daylight, and we’re sober, and we’re having this conversation, but one of the things I’ve seen some people do is they text their ex when they’ve been drinking, and they send things that they wish they hadn’t sent, and those things can’t be taken back. So, really bad idea. Do not text when you’ve been drinking. [JOE]:
So just as a rule for that, you know, make sure that you… it’s probably just a good rule in general, to not be texting people that you don’t have a very stable relationship with, if you’ve been drinking. [SUSAN]:
Now, I’d love to in the last kind of bit of the interview here, just hear a little bit more about what therapists need to know, what they need to hear. Because it’s one thing to kind of just talk about the clients, but what do you think that… what mindsets do therapists need to have as they help people after the first marriage? [SUSAN]:
I think therapists need to feel comfortable or gain some kind of comfort talking to individuals who have gone through divorce, about dating and sex, and how important that can be for people and what the role of people’s sexual identity is, too. So when people are going through divorce and dating again, they can be carrying some baggage, some hurt, some shame around their sex lives, and then they might be bringing that into another relationship. Or they may be going into a relationship and it’s just very different and they haven’t learned… they’re not sure how to set boundaries, how to really understand about consent, and they might be putting themselves in a vulnerable position. So having conversations about informed consent, sexual confidence, keeping yourself safe, making sure you’re not coercing anybody, those kind of things that, you know, it’s funny, because we might think that those would be conversations you’d have with a teenager, although many people don’t have those conversations with a teenager. We’ll fast forward it ten years, twenty years, thirty years, when people get back into the dating world, those same feelings, those same concerns, that same confusion comes up again. And it’s so important to face those things and learn how to talk about them. [JOE]:
Yeah, I mean, I think about, I mean, we’ve been married sixteen years and thinking about my dating experiences, you know, we dated for a bit before we got married. So my like, “operating system” in regards to the dating world is eighteen years old. So I wouldn’t know really where to start. I think I have a general idea, but even just saying, what’s that world like now for somebody? It’s probably a kind of outdated dating system. And so the idea of kind of updating that, I think that’s such a good idea, to just kind of go over those basics of this is what the dating world is like, doing your own work as a therapist to make sure that your clients kind of understand all those nuances. [SUSAN]:
Mm hmm. And I think it’s so important that people can really feel entitled to having a great relationship. And if it’s not meeting their needs, it’s okay to keep dating, you know, not to rush into something and feeling like they need to settle. [JOE]:
Yeah. You don’t want to have the after the second marriage, or after the third marriage, yeah. [SUSAN]:
Right, right. [JOE]:
No, I think that’s a great point, to not rush into it, and to allow your clients to take their time to really think about what they want. [SUSAN]:
Mm hmm. And that being said, people are vulnerable, and everybody will enter another relationship with their own baggage, and we’re not perfect. So I think just having a sense of humor, and having patience, and having some humility will take you far. Those are general comments that I think can apply to most people. [JOE]:
What rules of thumb do you have in regards to if you’re seeing a couple and they’re going through a divorce, and then one of them wants to see you individually? Like, I know there’s a lot of ethical discussions out there about that. But how would you handle that? What would you recommend in regards that you’re seeing a couple, they’re getting divorced, and one of those individuals wants to work with you individually? [SUSAN]:
Okay. Very good question. And I’ll let you know, my take on that has changed. So in the past, like a lot of couples therapists, I would see people individually and as a couple. And I would never do that again. So I’ve been burned several times where somebody else… the couple might say, oh, sure, it’s okay to see the individual. They just want to talk to you, and I’m okay… the other partner might even say, I’m okay with it. And then the person will come in – and this has happened to me several times – they will just lay a bombshell on me that I just never expected and then they’re wanting me to hold a secret from their partner, and then I’m complicit in a lie as a couples therapist. So it’s very clear to me now that I need to be loyal to the couple and that I don’t see them individually. [JOE]:
What about after the couple dissolves? So, they’re getting divorced, they’re divorced, then one of them wants to see you after that relationship is over. How do you handle that? [SUSAN]:
Okay, so I think I misunderstood the question. Great question. So you’re saying they’re not in the middle of the divorce. It’s over. [JOE]:
Yeah. Would you check in with that other person? Because, I mean, in one sense, you’d want that. But then also, you’d be breaking the confidentiality of that person that’s reaching out to you. Would you just refer out? How do you typically handle that? [SUSAN]:
I would refer out because think about it, if I see the individual and then let’s say the other partner wants to come see me, what do I say? Oh, I’m already seeing your ex, so I can’t see you. Then it’s not really equitable. It’s not fair. So that’s a really good question. Although now that I think about it, I have to backtrack. I have to say, I have seen… I’d seen a couple and then they got divorced and then I saw the individual in a new marriage later, and I was fine with that. [JOE]:
Yeah. It seems like if you know the couple’s divorcing, maybe in that final couples session to talk through it as part of the discharge. I mean, then you could at least clear it up to say, as a couple, what do you think? Would you feel comfortable with me potentially seeing both of you separately without you knowing that? Would you want one of you to get me [unclear]? So I mean, to allow them to be a part of that discussion could be kind of a helpful negotiation, too. [SUSAN]:
That’s a really, really good point. I’m glad you brought that up, Joe. And I will be thinking about that some more. [JOE]:
Yeah, I think that’s the thing about after the first marriage is that there’s all sorts of things that are messy, that we don’t anticipate. As therapists we would hope that we have clear, kind of, here’s the ethical boundaries, here’s this and that, but clients throw stuff all the time that we have to think on our feet and decide in the moment what’s the best decision here? Of course, there’s things that are clear, black and white, ethical violations. But then there’s other things that, what’s the intent of, you know, seeing these people or not seeing these people? And what damage does it do to refer out when there’s an established relationship versus stay? I mean, it’s just not clean, it’s not clean. And so I think it’s good to have these discussions publicly and to just acknowledge, it’s not clear cut a lot of the time. And you know, we do our best as professionals to sort through it. [SUSAN]:
Right. Well, what I would say is, I wouldn’t want to agree to something too early, because I have seen couples who plan on getting divorced and then six months later, or a year later, they do have a change of heart, or they want to work through some of the co-parenting. And so when it’s that raw, I think I probably would say it’s not a good idea for me to see them. But I love your idea of having that conversation explicitly with them. I think that makes a lot of sense. [JOE]:
Yeah, I think, yeah. And just thinking about that dynamic of, so say you saw them as a couple divorcing and then they say, sure, if either one of us wants to do individual, that’s fine. And then you’re doing individual with one and then they decide they want to do co-parenting together with you. And then having those dual relationships, oh, just part of me is just like, I am so glad I sold my practice.
Oh, well, Susan, the podcast is already launched, it’s already successful, you’re getting tons of reviews and listens. So if people want to listen to it on any platform that you listen to podcasts, you can just search for After the First Marriage. Make sure you refer your clients to it. It’s great for clients, it’s great for clinicians. Also, all of the rest of our podcasts that are in our podcasting family are over at practiceofthepractice.com/network. Susan, the last question I always ask people is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?[SUSAN]:
Stay humble, just like our conversation and you got me to think. We never know it all and things keep changing. So keep reading, keep talking to other professionals, stay in dialogue, keep learning. Whatever I’m saying on this podcast, maybe in five years I’m going to have a new way of looking at it. And so I think we’re all doing the best we can but just stay open-minded to learn. [JOE]:
Such good advice. So if people want to connect with you or follow your work, where’s the best places for them to connect? [SUSAN]:
So they can go to afterthefirstmarriage.com or they could go and look at my private practice and reach me through orensteinsolutions.com. [JOE]:
Awesome. And do you want to also talk about the free email course you have over at afterthefirstmarriage.com? [SUSAN]:
Sure. So if you go to the website, the after the first marriage website, you can sign up and it’s a free course that really will help people who are going through divorce look at the personal journey, and look at a way to get guidance through the grieving process, and to reframe this so that they have some hope, and a way to see the whole experience as is a way to have personal growth and resilience. And that’s what I look at at the podcast too, is how can you really grow through this experience? [JOE]:
So it’s such a great resource for your clients or for yourself if you’re going through this, or if you’re wanting to grow. So make sure you check out that free email course as well as the podcast. The website is afterthefirstmarriage.com. Make sure that you also check out the podcast. Susan, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. [SUSAN]:
Well, it was a pleasure, Joe. Thank you so much.
I really want to thank TherapyNotes for being a sponsor. I’m so excited that they continue to be a sponsor, they’re gonna be a sponsor for 2021. And they were sponsors at Killin’It Camp. They are the premium electronic health records. They also now have video as part of that. So make sure you sign up over at therapynotes.com. Also, if you are a Next Level Practice member, you get six months for free when you sign up. And so it’s pretty darn awesome that you get that, six months. That’s a huge value for our members. We have a bunch of those types of things. We have a cohort opening in November, our last cohort of 2020 for Next Level Practice. So if you have started a practice, you are starting a practice, if you’re under that hundred thousand dollars a year, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite to get that. Also, we have some really great episodes coming up, also our five hundredth episode, we’re counting down for that. So thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome day.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music; we really like it. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.