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Dr. Jenna Godfrey on Managing Anxiety During a Divorce | Ep 13

Are you needing advice on how to cope with anxiety after a separation? How does one go about rebuilding self-esteem after a divorce? What can you do to work towards the future while dealing with the past? In this podcast episode, I speak about managing anxiety during a divorce with Dr. Jenna Godfrey.


Dr. Jenna Godfrey is a psychologist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She helps individuals develop coping skills and confidence to succeed in life transitions, such as divorce, and to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.

She utilizes a strengths-based approach and cognitive-behavioral techniques to help people overcome obstacles and achieve their personal goals.






  • Holding onto hope
  • Don’t cling to control
  • How anxiety may show up
  • Creating a vision for the future
  • Self-esteem post-divorce


Having someone to listen to and show you compassion in the early stages is important. Somebody who is not directly involved in the family is even better, because they may not be inclined to falsely support you no matter what, they can listen and comfort you objectively and provide fresh perspectives for you to work with.

You remember the small moments and add them up until they grow bigger and hold more weight in the face of the difficult aspects. Ask yourself, what is it that I can concentrate on for my sake? Even if you work with one positive aspect out of 10 negative ones, still work with it.


Do not cling to control, explore what lies behind that urgency to control the situation, because usually behind a need to control lurks fear. Lean into that fear and see where it is coming from and how you could release it.

We cannot control everyone else, but we can control ourselves and our reactions to situations. You can spend time with your therapist or counselor figuring out step-by-step approaches to dealing with circumstances and your reactions to them that merit the best outcome.
Having a strategy for dealing with these emotions will help you when and if you get stuck.


Anxiety can arise in many different forms post-divorce or separation and it can surround itself around different aspects for different people. It may be anxiety over financial strain, over what happens to the children, over losing in-law family that you are close to, how the friend circle will look after the separation if you and your partner shared many of the same friends.

Think to yourself: what can you rely on?

  • Yourself
  • Positive support from your family and friends
  • Support from your therapist or counselor

“Even though it feels like everything is crashing down, it doesn’t have to remain that way forever. It may seem that way and very much feel that way for a short time but that doesn’t mean that’s what life has to be like from here on out.”


Therapists and counselors hold hope for people until they can hold it for themselves. Therapists can provide encouragement and support for people until they can continue that system for themselves until the worst is over.

Think to yourself, what are your values and principles that make you, you? What are the things you enjoy doing, what are things you are proud of and how do you get back to that? Gently explore the ways that these things can come to fruition again.


About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

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. 

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