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Counselling for Infertility
Counselling for Infertility
Becoming a parent is one of the major transitions in adult life for both men and women and the stress of not being able to experience this has been associated with a range of psychological problems including anger, depression, anxiety, feelings of defectiveness and incompetence, relationship problems, sexual dysfunction and social isolation.
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Who Can Infertility Counselling Help?
Do you feel hopeless and helpless in the face of your infertility? Has trying to conceive taken over your life? Have you had numerous failed IVF cycles? Does it seem like getting pregnant is so easy for everyone else and does
this make you angry? Do you feel you need support that your family cannot offer you? Are you trying to move on from having a biological child or becoming a parent but are struggling with this process?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these above questions it is possible that you would benefit from our infertility counselling services.
A Recent Testimonial
Patricia - Clapham“I had therapy before but anxiety kept recurring with a higher intensity every time. I was feeling despair, panic and physical exhaustion when I had my first session with Venetia. She helped me to understand my thought process and the impact it was having. She provided me with the techniques to challenge the negative thoughts and learn more helpful ways of thinking. Through our work together I have been able to bring balance and control to my life. Although negative thoughts can flare up at any time I now feel confident that I have the tools and mental strength to manage my emotions. Venetia was highly dedicated and had a genuine commitment and interest in helping me to find solutions. It was very apparent that she was doing a lot of work outside of the sessions to ensure our sessions remained personal and specifically targeted to my own ongoing treatment.”.
What Does Counselling for Infertility Involve?
One of our Psychologists will meet with you (and your partner if you feel that this would be helpful) to discuss your experiences of infertility and how it is impacting on you and your life. They will also ask you about what you would like to achieve through your counselling to ensure that the treatment programme they devise fits with what you need and want.
Your Therapist will then teach you techniques to manage your thoughts and feelings in a way that will make your experience of infertility and any medical procedures (for example IVF) you choose to undergo more tolerable.
Your Therapist will then help you to rebalance your life so that wherever you are on your fertility journey your life will no longer feel like it is on hold. If you are trying to move on from trying to conceive our Psychologist will help you to reconfigure your life and image of yourself with your experience of infertility as a part of it and not as something that dominates it.
Finally, your Therapist will continue to support you until you feel as if you have the internal strength to support yourself.
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All of our Therapists offer Infertility counselling for both individuals and couples, click here to view the team.
Why Counselling is a Good Idea
When you decide to have a baby you step onto a roller coaster of emotions that doesn’t ever really end. Trying to conceive, be it naturally or through medical procedures such as IVF, presents couples with a raft of emotional challenges. Once you conceive you face the challenge of pregnancy and then once your baby is born you face the challenge of parenting. Learning to better manage your emotions at this stage will benefit you not only now but for the rest of yours and your children’s life.
Another reason to give this part of your well being attention when you are struggling within infertility is that evidence suggests that poor mental health has a detrimental impact on physical health. For example, it has been found that suffering from depression increases your chances of developing heart disease by 67% and cancer by 50%. More specifically one study reported a 2-fold increase in the risk of infertility among women with a history of depressive symptoms. It is thought that depression and anxiety could directly affect fertility by elevating prolactin levels and disrupting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, thyroid and immune function. Depression and anxiety has also been associated with abnormal regulation of luteinizing hormone, a hormone that regulates ovulation.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of counselling which equips you with both a comprehensive understanding of why you are struggling with something and a clear set of psychological and practical tools to resolve this. CBT has a robust evidence base across a range of psychological and physical difficulties including fertility problems. For example, in a study of women who were not ovulating, one group received CBT and the other group was just observed. 80% of the women who received CBT started to ovulate again, as opposed to only 25% from the randomised observation group.
More Reading on this Subject
Dr Emma Gray’s book will guide you through the physical and emotional roller coaster of getting pregnant. Despite being told she was ‘infertile’, Dr Emma Gray, a mother of 4, conceived naturally over the age of 35. This book, based on her professional and personal experience of infertility, shares scientifically proven strategies to prepare your mind and body to conceive naturally and quickly. Including comprehensive information on diet, supplements, optimising ovulation and conception, lifestyle, complementary approaches, psychological techniques and dealing with miscarriage. Click here to buy a copy.
Should you wish to find out more about Infertility then you can check out our fertility related blog articles here.